Protecting a health care worker’s conscience is an important goal of the pro-life movement, and last session, Rep. David Meeks (R-Conway) decided to file a bill that would help to accomplish this goal. Read about his bill below in part 6 of our series on pro-life legislation.
Rep. David Meeks (R-Conway) introduced HB 1983, which would have protected a health care worker’s rights of conscience, meaning that it would have allowed health care workers to refuse to participate in abortions, assisted suicides, artificial contraception, and other practices without discrimination. Arkansas has a rights of conscience law on the books, but it is outdated, in view of all the many advances medicine has made in the past decades with cloning, stem cell research, and so on. Pro-life health care workers should not be forced to violate their deeply held moral beliefs, and they should not lose their job by refusing to engage in a procedure they believe is anti-life. The bill, however, was defeated.