Health-Care Provision: Abortion Refusal

This safeguard indicates the religious liberty protections available for health-care providers, individuals and institutions, with respect to abortion procedures. States exhibit variation in who has the right to refuse from what negative consequences the entity is safeguarded, and whether there are limitations to those safeguards. Checkmarks below indicate in which states the named entity is safeguarded, the consequences precluded, and if the safeguards are not limited in the case of medical emergency.

*A special note on public hospitals: Court cases in three states—Alaska, Minnesota, and New Jersey—have effectively eliminated refusal rights in abortion for public hospitals in these states. That is, these judicial rulings supersede the abortion refusal statutes cited here where they apply to public hospitals.

(For more about data collection within the health-care provision group, please see the details here.)

Note on citations:
Where multiple laws are cited, the link is for the first listed. To find subsequent laws -or- in cases where a state's laws are not possible to link to directly, use the citation number to manually navigate to the statute of interest. For more precise information on citations as well as our reasoning behind each score, download the full data set which includes additional research notes.