Nebraska Medical 'Conscience' Bill Faces Criticism

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A bill that would let doctors, nurses and other health care providers opt out of services they find morally objectionable is facing tough scrutiny from a Nebraska legislative committee.

Several members of the Legislature's Judiciary Committee criticized the measure Friday as too broad, with the potential to expose employers to religious-discrimination lawsuits.

Supporters say current law could allow employers to discriminate against health care providers who are personally opposed to contraceptives, abortion or premarital sex.

Opponents say the bill would allow those providers to deny medical care to patients without referring them to another medical professional.

Some of the toughest questioning came from Senator Ernie Chambers of Omaha, who threatened to filibuster bills for the rest of the session if the committee advances it.