Indiana Senate OKs expanded religious objection to abortion

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The Indiana Senate has approved legislation allowing nurses, physician assistants and pharmacists to object on religious or other grounds to having any role in an abortion.

The Republican-controlled chamber voted 38-8 Monday for Senate Bill 201, which now heads to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, who’s expected to sign it into law.

The legislation expands Indiana’s conscience-protection statute for medical professionals who don’t want to perform an abortion or participate in any procedure that results in an abortion, including prescribing, administering or dispensing an abortion-inducing drug.

Physicians, hospital employees and health clinic staffers can already opt out of abortion-related health care based on an ethical, moral or religious objection. The new measure would extend that option to nurses, physician assistants and pharmacists.

The House had previously passed it on a 69-25 vote.

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