OHIO – Late yesterday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed an Ohio state budget that included language allowing health care workers, hospitals, and health insurance companies to refuse to provide or pay for medical services on the basis of moral, ethical, or religious objection. After being added to the Senate version of the budget, the language was retained by the Ohio General Assembly’s conference committee, before being passed on an up or down vote by both chambers and landing on Governor DeWine’s desk. The provision allows medical practitioners to deny medical care based upon the provider’s personal beliefs, including for LGBTQ people in Ohio. Governor DeWine had the opportunity to line-item veto the language while signing the rest of the budget into law and refused to do so.
This provision is one of more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills that came under consideration in more than 30 state legislatures across the country in the 2021 legislative session. Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David released the following statement in response to Governor DeWine signing a state budget with dangerous anti-LGBTQ medical refusal provisions:
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