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Refusal Clause
Pennsylvania allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide abortion services under most circumstances.
 
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Pennsylvania allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide abortion services under most circumstances
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Pennsylvania allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide abortion services under most circumstances -
Refusal to Provide Medical Services
Abortion Refusal Clause


Pennsylvania allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide abortion services.

To whom does the refusal clause apply? Physicians, nurses, staff members, employees of hospitals or other health care facilities, or hospitals.

What does the refusal clause allow? No physician, nurse, staff member, or employee of a hospital or other health care facility, who objects in writing on moral, religious, or professional grounds, may be required to or held liable for refusing to participate or cooperate in abortion.

A person who is discriminated against because of a refusal to aid, abet, or facilitate abortion against his or her conscience may bring a claim for damages including $5000 in punitive damages. No private hospital or other health care facility may be required to or held liable for refusing to perform or permit abortion contrary to a written ethical policy adopted after January 22, 1973 and posted conspicuously for public inspection.

The expressed willingness or refusal of a private facility to perform or permit abortion may not be a basis for discrimination, denial of public funds, or other penalty. This denial clause does not permit a student or an employee to either: (1) refuse to participate in an emergency surgical procedure that involves an inevitable abortion; or (2) refuse to complete participation in a surgical procedure voluntarily undertaken without knowing it would involve an abortion.

No hospital or other health care facility may be required to perform or permit the performance of abortion contrary to its stated ethical policy. The refusal to perform an abortion may not be grounds for liability.

Must the refusal be in writing? Yes.

Does the law require the refusing entity to notify the persons affected? No. However, except for facilities that perform abortions exclusively, each facility that performs abortions must post prominently a notice of the right not to participate for medical personnel.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?Yes.The expressed willingness or refusal of a person to participate or cooperate in abortion may not be a basis for discrimination, disciplinary action, denial of public funds, or other penalty except where:

(1) this expression constitutes an overt, disruptive act, or endangers the health or safety of a patient;

(2) an employer proves that accommodating the persons needs constitutes an undue hardship or that non-objection to abortion is a bona fide occupational qualification; or

(3) the employer is a health care facility operated exclusively for the performance of abortion.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for abortion services? No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause? No.

43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. 955.2 (Enacted 1973); 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. 3213 (Enacted 1982; Last Amended 1988); 16 Pa. Code 51.1 - 51.61 (Enacted 1977).


STERILIZATION REFUSAL CLAUSE

Pennsylvania allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to perform or participate in sterilizing procedures.

To whom does the refusal clause apply? Physicians, nurses, staff members, employees of hospitals or other health care facilities, or hospitals.

What does the refusal clause allow? No physician, nurse, staff member, or employee of a hospital or other health care facility, who objects in writing on moral, religious, or professional grounds, may be required to or held liable for refusing to participate or cooperate in a sterilization.

No private hospital or other health care facility may be required to or held liable for refusing to perform or permit a sterilization contrary to a written ethical policy adopted after January 22, 1973 and posted conspicuously for public inspection.

The expressed willingness or refusal of a private facility to perform or permit a sterilization may not be a basis for discrimination, denial of public funds, or other penalty. This denial clause does not permit a student or an employee to either: (1) refuse to participate in an emergency surgical procedure that involves an inevitable abortion; or (2) refuse to complete participation in a surgical procedure voluntarily undertaken without knowing it would involve an abortion.

No hospital or other health care facility may be required to perform or permit the performance of sterilization contrary to its stated ethical policy. The refusal to perform a sterilization may not be grounds for liability.

Must the refusal be in writing? Yes.

Does the law require the refusing entity to notify the persons affected? Yes. Except for facilities that perform abortions exclusively, each facility that performs abortions must post prominently a notice of the right not to participate.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised? Yes. The expressed willingness or refusal of a person to participate or cooperate in abortion may not be a basis for discrimination, disciplinary action, denial of public funds, or other penalty except where:

(1) this expression constitutes an overt, disruptive act, or endangers the health or safety of a patient;

(2) an employer proves that accommodating the persons needs constitutes an undue hardship or that non-objection to abortion is a bona fide occupational qualification; or

(3) the employer is a health care facility operated exclusively for the performance of sterilization.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for abortion services? No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause? No.

43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. 955.2 (Enacted 1973); 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. 3213 (Enacted 1982; Last Amended 1988); 16 Pa. Code 51.1 - 51.61 (Enacted 1977).


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