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Georgia

House Bill 566 (2005)

Check the status of this bill at the Georgia General Assembly

Introduction
This bill includes several amendments to existing legislation concerning unemancipated minors, as well as the addition of "referral" to an existing statute that offers protection to both patients and health care providers. Only those parts of the bill relevant to the issue of freedom of conscience are reproduced below. [See complete text of bill.] [Administrator]

G05 LC 33 0702

By: Representatives Loudermilk of the 14th, Maddox of the 172nd, Rice of the 51st, Coan of the 101st, Burmeister of the 119th, and others

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT

To amend Chapter 7 of Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to family-planning services, so as to define certain terms; to authorize agencies to provide medical referral services under certain conditions; to require parental notification for an unemancipated minor to receive medical referral services or birth control devices; to change certain provisions relating to right to refuse services; to change certain provisions relating to right of employee to refuse to offer services; to change certain provisions relating to plans and programs to carry out chapter; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.


BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1.

Chapter 7 of Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to family-planning services, is amended by striking Code Section 49-7-2, relating to definitions, and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

49-7-2.

As used in this chapter, the term:

***

(2) 'Birth control device' or 'contraceptive' means any drug, medical preparation, medical procedure, medical device, rhythm chart, or any related product whose primary function is to prevent impregnation during sexual activity.

(3) 'Family-planning services' means counseling and interviews with trained personnel regarding birth control, infertility, and family-planning methods and procedures; and distribution of literature relating to birth control, infertility, and family planning; referral to licensed physicians or local health departments for consultation, examination, tests, medical treatment, and prescriptions for the purposes of birth control, infertility, and family planning; and, to the extent prescribed, the distribution of rhythm charts, drugs, medical preparations, contraceptive devices, and similar products used for birth control and family planning.

(4) 'Medical referral services' means referral to licensed physicians or local health departments for consultation, examination, tests, medical treatment, and prescriptions for the purposes of birth control, infertility, and family planning.

***

SECTION 3.

Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Sections 49-7-4 through 49-7-7 and inserting in their respective places the following:

***

49-7-5.

The refusal of any person to accept family-planning services or medical referral services shall in no way affect the right of such person to receive public assistance or public health services or to avail himself or herself of any other public benefit. The employees of the agencies engaged in the administration of this chapter shall recognize that the right to make decisions concerning family planning and birth control is a fundamental personal right of the individual; and nothing in this chapter shall in any way abridge such individual right, nor shall any individual be required to state his or her reason for refusing the offer of family-planning services or medical referral services.

49-7-6

Any employee of the agencies engaged in the administration of this chapter may refuse to accept the duty of offering family-planning services or medical referral services to the extent that such duty is contrary to such employee's personal religious beliefs; and such refusal shall not be grounds for any disciplinary action, for dismissal, for any interdepartmental transfer, for any other discrimination in his or her employment, for suspension from employment, or for any loss in pay or other benefits. The directors or supervisors of such agencies shall be authorized, however, to reassign the duties of any such employees in order to carry out this chapter effectively.

SECTION 4.

All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

 

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