Federal Laws and Regulations
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the major
federal health care reform law passed in the United States in 2009 and
amended in 2010. It includes the following protection of conscience
text of Act-.pdf
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Public Law 111-148, 111th Congress
23 March, 2010
SEC. 1303. SPECIAL RULES.
(b) SPECIAL RULES RELATING TO COVERAGE OF ABORTION SERVICES
(1) Voluntary choice of coverage of abortion services
(A) IN GENERAL.-Notwithstanding any other provision of
this title (or any amendment made by this title)-
(i) nothing in this title (or any amendment made by
this title), shall be construed to require a qualified health plan to
provide coverage of services described in subparagraph (B)(i) or (B)(ii) as
part of its essential health benefits for any plan year; and
(ii) subject to subsection (a), the issuer of a
qualified health plan shall determine whether or not the plan provides
coverage of services described in subparagraph (B)(i) or (B)(ii) as part of
such benefits for the plan year.
(B) ABORTION SERVICES . . .
(C) SEGREGATION OF FUNDS . . .
(D) ACTUARIAL VALUE . . .
(E) ENSURING COMPLIANCE WITH SEGREGATION REQUIREMENTS . .
(2) Prohibition on the use of federal funds . . .
(3) Rules relating to notice . . .
No qualified health plan offered through an Exchange may discriminate
against any individual health care provider or health care facility because
of its unwillingness to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for
(c) APPLICATION OF STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS REGARDING
(1) No preemption of state laws regarding abortion
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to preempt or otherwise have any
effect on State laws regarding the prohibition of (or requirement of)
coverage, funding, or procedural requirements on abortions, including
parental notification or consent for the performance of an abortion on a
(2) No effect on federal laws regarding abortion
(A) IN GENERAL -Nothing in this Act shall be construed to have any effect
on Federal laws regarding-
(i) conscience protection;
(ii) willingness or refusal to provide abortion; and
(iii) discrimination on the basis of the willingness
or refusal to provide, pay for, cover, or refer for abortion or to provide
or participate in training to provide abortion.
(3) No effect on federal civil rights law
Nothing in this subsection shall alter the rights and obligations of
employees and employers under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
(d) APPLICATION OF EMERGENCY SERVICES LAWS
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to relieve any health care
provider from providing emergency services as required by State or Federal
law, including section 1867 of the Social Security Act (popularly known as
(a) In General- The Federal Government, and any State or
local government or health care provider that receives Federal financial
assistance under this Act (or under an amendment made by this Act) or any
health plan created under this Act (or under an amendment made by this Act),
may not subject an individual or institutional health care entity to
discrimination on the basis that the entity does not provide any health care
item or service furnished for the purpose of causing, or for the purpose of
assisting in causing, the death of any individual, such as by assisted
suicide, euthanasia, or mercy killing.
(b) Definition- In this section, the term 'health care
entity' includes an individual physician or other health care professional,
a hospital, a provider-sponsored organization, a health maintenance
organization, a health insurance plan, or any other kind of health care
facility, organization, or plan.
(c) Construction and Treatment of Certain Services-Nothing
in subsection (a) shall be construed to apply to, or to affect, any
limitation relating to--
(1) the withholding or withdrawing of medical treatment or
(2) the withholding or withdrawing of nutrition or
(3) abortion; or
(4) the use of an item, good, benefit, or service
furnished for the purpose of alleviating pain or discomfort, even if such
use may increase the risk of death, so long as such item, good, benefit, or
service is not also furnished for the purpose of causing, or the purpose of
assisting in causing, death, for any reason.
(d) Administration- The Office for Civil Rights of the
Department of Health and Human Services is designated to receive complaints
of discrimination based on this section.