News Release: SB 136 Strikes Balance Between Religious Liberty Rights, Health Care Needs

March 21, 2013

(Lansing)—Michigan Catholic Conference today is applauding the Senate Health Policy Committee for passing legislation that protects religious liberty rights of those who purchase health care, work in health care or operate health care institutions. The legislation now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

According to Tom Hickson, Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy: “This legislation proves that patient rights and employer rights are not mutually exclusive of religious rights. It creates the perfect balance by ensuring no one is denied critical health care and employers are able to get their job done—without compromising an individual's constitutionally protected religious rights.

"By allowing health care facilities the flexibility to craft their own policy to accommodate conscientious objections to elective procedures, employers and health care providers are protected. Patients can be sure their needs are met. The bill unequivocally states patient discrimination is not allowed.

"Michigan Catholic Conference is thankful for the committee chair's discussion of the issue, and especially for the diligent efforts of the bill sponsor to protect religious liberty rights and for crafting legislation that reflects countless hours of workgroup meetings with health care organizations. We now look forward to further action on this bill in order to protect the civil rights of Michiganders."

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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