Illinois bill would remove ‘conscience’ as basis for refusing vaccine


FILE (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois law has for more than four decades protected those who oppose providing or receiving certain medical treatment because of their religious beliefs.

Now Democrats want an exception to allow repercussions against those who refuse vaccinations in the battle against COVID-19.

The Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act has become a basis for lawsuits challenging employers who enforce rules requiring testing for or inoculation against the coronavirus.

Rep. Robyn Gabel, an Evanston Democrat, says the COVID-19 carve-out is justified because the virus is highly contagious. Republicans say it’s a first step toward requiring other medical treatments.

By JOHN O’CONNOR, Associated Press

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