Across the nation, health care providers are refusing to treat patients seeking health care based on religious beliefs. Because of religion, some hospitals have turned away patients seeking care – including birth control, abortion, and care for a miscarriage – even when their lives are in jeopardy. These practices put religious beliefs over patients’ needs and they can – and have – resulted in infection, infertility, and even death.
Voters want policies that put patients first, and they are willing to hold their elected officials responsible for their votes on these issues. A March 2017 nationally representative survey done on behalf of the National Women’s Law Center found that 61 percent of voters oppose laws that allow insurers, hospitals, and other providers to refuse appropriate, needed care to patients based on religious objections. And there is strong support among voters for proactive policies that ensure access to care. This includes making sure all hospitals provide a patient with the right care for her situation, including abortion, and ensuring that hospitals, doctors, and nurses provide complete information and referrals to patients about medical services, including abortion. Additionally, there is strong support among voters for measures that protect the rights of doctors and nurses to provide services, information, and advice to their patients without fear of retribution.