Christian doctors are now protected in three states from lawsuits or job losses if they decline to perform various medical procedures that go against their religious or moral views, reports Christianity Today.
South Carolina last month became the third state to protect Christian doctors after Republican Gov. Henry McMaster, signed into law the Medical Ethics and Diversity Act, which gives medical practitioners the freedom to refuse any nonemergency service they object to morally, such as gender transition, end-of-life care, family planning, or prescribing medication.
"This is America, where you should have the freedom to say no to something you don't believe in," South Carolina Republican state Sen. Larry Grooms, who championed the law, said after it was signed.
"It's based on procedure, not on patients," he added, insisting the bill does not discriminate.
Similar laws passed in Arkansas and Ohio in 2021.
"We had a number of instances of individuals and doctors being pressured and coerced to participate in medical procedures that violated their conscience," Aaron Baer, president of the Center for Christian Virtue, which lobbied for the Ohio law, told Christianity Today.
Critics say the laws adds barriers to medical care for LGBTQ people.
"It is absolutely targeting people," Ivy Hill, the community health program director for the LGBTQ rights group Campaign for Southern Equality, told NPR. "These are real people in our community who need help and who need care."
Sarah Warbelow, legal director for the Human Rights Campaign, told NPR the South Carolina law "dangerously legitimizes non-medical opinions of healthcare institutions, medical providers, and even insurance companies at the cost of critical patient care, compromising the health and safety of all South Carolinians."
Solange Reyner ✉
Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.
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