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Panel Approves ‘Conscience’ Protection Measure

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A doctor wears a stethoscope during an examination. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A doctor wears a stethoscope during an examination. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers and social conservatives want to allow most health care workers to opt out of participating in abortions and other procedures.

Rep. Becky Nordgren says the latest version of her conscience protection measure would let health care workers object in writing to abortions, embryonic stem cell research, cloning research and sterilization procedures. Employers then could not punish the employees.

House Bill 31 cleared the Health Committee on Wednesday. Similar versions have died in the Senate in recent years.

Nordgren noted that the bill does not apply to workers at licensed abortion clinics. It also requires an employee in a life-threatening case to stay on the job until a replacement is available.

Opponents have said the proposal still threatens women’s health care rights.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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