Today the Secular Coalition for America and American Atheists announced that a New Hampshire bill, HB 1787, has won the title of “Worst State Bill in America.” The legislation would allow health care workers and institutions to refuse to provide necessary medical care to patients if doing so conflicts with the provider’s religious beliefs.
The announcement marks the conclusion of the 2018 Bad Bill Madness campaign, organized by the Secular Coalition for America and American Atheists. The educational campaign pit 16 state bills from across the country into a tournament bracket and invited the public to vote on which bill is the worst. After four rounds and nearly 1,000 votes, New Hampshire’s HB 1787 was named the “winner.”
“No one should have their medical options limited by the religious beliefs of their health care provider,” said Larry T. Decker, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. “This legislation does not protect conscience but instead weaponizes it, turning religious belief into yet another barrier between patients and the medical care they need. If signed into law, HB 1787 would give religiously affiliated hospitals a broad and unchecked license to impose their beliefs onto unsuspecting patients. Under this bill, hospitals and health care workers could refuse to provide treatments without any regard for the urgency of the medical issue or the express wishes of the patient. While there were many truly terrible bills in the 2018 Bad Bill Madness roster, New Hampshire’s HB 1787 is a particularly illustrative example of the harm that occurs when lawmakers forget that freedom of religion must include the freedom from religion.”
Read the full story at Secular Coalition for America