By Florida House of Representatives
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 2, 2023) — Today, the Florida House of Representatives passed legislation allowing health care providers and payors to opt out of participation in or payment for health care services, based on conscience-based objections, without discrimination or threat of adverse actions.
Senate Bill 1580, (Senate companion to House Bill 1403, sponsored by Representative Joel Rudman (R-Navarre)), establishes a health care provider’s or health care payor’s right to decline to participate in any health care service, including treatment and research that violates the provider’s or payor’s sincerely held religious, moral, or ethical beliefs.
The bill prohibits individuals and entities from discriminating against a health care provider or payor on the basis of conscience-based objections. The bill provides civil immunity to health care providers and health care payors for exercising the right of conscience and provides whistleblower protections.
“America is rooted in the principle that no person should be forced to act in a way that contradicts his or her moral, religious, or conscientious beliefs,” said Speaker Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast). “In Florida, we will affirm the right of our medical professionals to stand by their moral, ethical, and religious beliefs in providing care to their patients.”
“Today we passed a bill that reaffirms, codifies, and protects the two most sacred God-given rights that we have in medicine. It’s the right of medical conscience as well as the right to freedom of speech by health care providers,” said Representative Rudman. “We would reject any legislation that legalizes or legitimizes discrimination of any kind. This isn’t about any group of people, this is about legitimate objections to medical procedures.”
For more information on Senate Bill 1580/House Bill 1403, visit www.myfloridahouse.gov.