House Panel OKs Abortion Restrictions

Legislation advanced Thursday in the General Assembly that would allow health care workers to opt out of performing some work tasks and limit insurance coverage for elective abortions.

A subcommittee of House members approved a bill, dubbed the Freedom of Conscience Act that allows hospital workers, nurses, pharmacists and others in the health care field to give written notice to their employer if they morally object to performing certain work tasks.

Lawmakers also approved:

  • Merging the Conscience Act with a second bill that would ban state health care plans from covering elective abortions. A temporary budget proviso bans the coverage now. The bill also would limit private insurers to covering elective abortions only under supplemental plans that require a separate premium be paid.
  • Passed a “Born Alive” bill, which has passed several times in past years, extending the definition of “human” and “child” under S.C. law to include fetuses who survive abortions and fetuses born with a beating heart, working lungs and other signs of life in a hospital, at home or anywhere else.

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