California bans state-funded travel to Ohio over religion law


California bans state-funded travel to Ohio due to new state law allowing doctors to deny medical services to people on moral or religious grounds.

The Ohio measure triggered a 2016 California law that requires the attorney general to ban state-funded travel to states that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, according to a press release released Friday by California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

The ban takes effect on September 30, the statement said. Ohio will become the 18th state in which California will not pay for travel, the statement said.

Ohio lawmakers incorporated the provision into a massive budget bill, House Bill 110, which was recently passed.

The language of the provision is broad, allowing not only doctors but also nurses, counselors, social workers, researchers, pharmacists and others to refuse services if they have a “conscientious objection” to the specific service requested.

The law allows health insurers to refuse payment for services on the same grounds.

“Whether it’s refusing a prescription for drugs that prevent the spread of HIV, refusing to provide gender-affirming care, or violating a woman’s right to choose, HB 110 unnecessarily puts the health of women on the line. Americans in danger, ”Bonta, a Democrat, said in the press release.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s office did not immediately respond to an email on Friday.

Ohio law provides that “when possible and when the physician wishes, the physician should seek to transfer the patient to a colleague who will provide the requested health care service.”

It also designates that emergency treatment does not qualify for objections.

In addition to Ohio, California has banned travel to Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia, Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.

This story was originally published September 24, 2021 2:46 pm.

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Wes Venteicher presents the popular cover of The Bee’s State Worker in the newspaper’s Capitol Office. It covers taxes, pensions, labor, state expenses, and the California government. Originally from Montana, he reported on healthcare and politics in Chicago and Pittsburgh before joining The Bee in 2018.


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