Sitting on Arkansas Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson‘s desk is legislation that, if signed into law, would allow a vast array of healthcare workers including doctors and pharmacists, hospitals, and even students to deny service to LGBTQ people or anyone else for any reason, including religious or moral, if doing so would violate their conscience.
SB 289, the “Medical Ethics and Diversity Act,” is sponsored by Republican state Senator Kim Hammer, a Missionary Baptist preacher and hospice pastor who earlier this year declared war on Democrats after then-President Donald Trump had been impeached.
Should it become law, a physician could refuse to treat a transgender person, a mental health professional could end treatment with a young teenager who just revealed to them he is gay, a pharmacist could refuse to dispense contraceptive medication even if prescribed for non-pregnancy-related illnesses, and a student nurse could refuse to assist with an abortion, even if it were medically necessary to save the life of a woman.
But that’s not all. The legislation is so broad that it allows hospitals and even insurance companies to refuse service for – including refusing to pay for – anything their polices claim violates their conscience. Catholic hospitals for decades have been refusing to allow abortions to be performed, but now an insurance company could refuse to pay for HIV medications, or even PrEP. They could refuse to pay for gender confirmation surgery.
The wrongly-named legislation – it has nothing to do with supporting ethics or diversity – has the support of an anti-LGBTQ hate group, the Alliance Defending Freedom.
The Arkansas Chamber of Commerce opposes the bill, saying if it becomes law “we position ourselves as being not open and welcoming like we’ve portrayed ourselves to be,” the AP reports.
“Driving out doctors, nurses, and other medical providers because of their faith means fewer health care options for patients at a time when our nation’s health care system is overstretched and experiencing a dire shortage of providers,” ADF attorney Stephanie Nichols said, The Advocate reports.
The legislation offers only one narrow exception: during a hospital emergency or birth.
If Governor Hutchinson “takes no action within five days from receiving the bill, it becomes law without his signature. If he vetoes it, a simple majority of legislators can override the veto,” The Advocate adds. The bill’s final passage was Thursday, making Tuesday, March 23 the fifth day. Hutchinson has not indicated if he will sign it or not.
UPDATE: 03.24.21 –
Apparently things move slowly in the Arkansas legislature. Despite the bill being passed by the Senate two weeks ago and the House last Thursday, the “paperwork” was delivered to the governor’s desk only today, Wednesday, a week after passage.
So, if my math is right, Hutchinson has until Monday to sign SB354 (Sunday doesn’t count in the 5 days)
He has until Saturday to sign SB289, the medical conscience bill. https://t.co/RQFY0m0eIu
— Andrew DeMillo (@ademillo) March 23, 2021
This article has been updated to include the new date the bill was delivered to the governor, and to add “hospital emergency” to the exceptions list.
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
Twitter Suspends Right Wing Activist James O’Keefe
James O’Keefe, the activist best known for producing and promoting selectively edited, deceptive videos used to advance a far right wing agenda, appears to have been suspended from Twitter, and that suspension appears to be permanent.
On his verified Instagram account O’Keefe posted a screenshot of the suspension:
View this post on Instagram
The Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona suggests Twitter suspended him for operating fake accounts. He reports Twitter says the suspension is permanent.
This is Twitter’s manipulation and spam policy that James O’Keefe apparently violated. So it appears O’Keefe was involved in sock puppet accounts or something of that nature.https://t.co/35jrmNBEEq
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) April 15, 2021
O’Keefe is also suing CNN.
“Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe announced on Tuesday’s ‘Hannity’ that he plans to sue CNN for defamation,” Fox News reports.
O’Keefe’s new website, exposecnn.com, requires an email address to access and currently claims: “Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are all suppressing the distribution of our new undercover recordings.”
In September of 2020 The New York Times reported that a “deceptive video released on Sunday by the conservative activist James O’Keefe, which claimed through unidentified sources and with no verifiable evidence that Representative Ilhan Omar’s campaign had collected ballots illegally, was probably part of a coordinated disinformation effort, according to researchers at Stanford University and the University of Washington.”
$20 Million Pro-Trump ‘Policy’ Group Launches Providing Jobs for Ex-President’s Former Aides and Advisors
Larry Kudlow, Linda McMahon, Rick Perry, Pam Bondi , John Ratcliffe, Paula White, Brooke Rollins, Keith Kellogg, Jack Brewer, and Scott Turner are all getting new jobs at the just-formed America First Policy Institute, a pro-Trump nonprofit that’s getting started with a $20 million endowment that the group hopes to double next year.
Axios reports AFPI is “a 40-person nonprofit group” that has the “mission of perpetuating former President Trump’s populist policies.”
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are to be “informal advisers.” Ivanka Trump was required to participate in training as part of a settlement agreement with the State of New York after President Donald Trump personally “misused” funds from his now-shuttered Trump Foundation nonprofit.
The group’s website and inaugural video (below) do not mention former national President Donald Trump by name.
The Axios report does not state on what basis the ten former Trump advisors were chosen or where the $20 million came from. Instead, it reports that there will be 20 “policy” areas.
“The board chair is Linda McMahon, who was administrator of the Small Business Administration, and a member of Trump’s cabinet, after winning fame as a pro-wrestling entrepreneur,” Axios reports. “The vice chair is Larry Kudlow, Trump’s economic adviser, a longtime CNBC personality who’s now a Fox Business host.”
“Paula White, a Trump spiritual adviser, will head a Center for American Values, focused on religious freedom and the Second Amendment,” says Axios.
White is a thrice-married, twice divorced far right religious extremist, a Florida megachurch pastor, a “prosperity gospel” acolyte, and a purveyor of white Christian nationalism, also known as “Christian Trumpism.” She is a longtime spiritual advisor to Trump and delivered the invocation at his 2017 inauguration (photo.)
— America First Policy Institute (@A1Policy) April 13, 2021
MAGA Minister: ‘Tough Guy’ Jesus Was ‘A Man’ Unlike Today’s ‘Effeminate, Almost Homosexual’ Christian Church
Evangelical pro-Trump minister Jeff Jansen denounced the Christian church of the 21st century, calling it “effeminate, almost homosexual,” in comparison to Jesus Christ, who, he says, was “a man,” “a tough guy.”
Jansen, author of “Trump: The Destiny of God’s America: The Great Awakening and Battle for Our Country’s Future,” delivered his declaration “at a ‘Reign’ conference at Ignite Faith Church in Redmond, Oregon, over the weekend, where he bragged that the ushers at his church all carry guns and will not hesitate to kill anyone who even thinks ‘about starting something,'” according to Right Wing Watch’s Kyle Mantyla.
“Jesus wasn’t a wimp,” Jansen told parishoners. “He was a tough guy. He was a man. OK? He was a man. When they were selling in his Father’s house, he went and he braided a whip. Now, that takes time. He’s braiding a whip, and he’s like, ‘I’m coming for you, coming for you.’ … He was very deliberate, and he was mad. He’s a man. He whipped them. Sorry. Just whipped them. ‘Oh, Jesus wouldn’t do that.’ The heck he wouldn’t,” Jansen ssaid.
“He was a man. But the church—the ekklesia, the government of God—has been so neutered and so turned effeminate, almost homosexual,” he added. “I’m just telling you straight up. It’s just ridiculous. Where are the men? Where’s the maleness? Where is the ‘I will defend the children, I will protect the family’? My ushers at my church, they all pack. I mean, they all pack. You come to my place, and you think about starting something, you’re dead. They’ll kill you. They’ll shoot you because they’re gonna protect everybody else. You try to pull something, you’re dead. I said, ‘Listen, guys, if I’m up there preaching and somebody comes up running, make sure you get them. Just kill ’em. Just shoot ’em dead.’”
- YOU CAN'T DO THAT1 day ago
Bill Strips Right to Food Stamps, Unemployment, Medical Assistance if Convicted of ‘Crime’ During Political Protest
- News2 days ago
Maria Bartiromo and Stephen Miller Panic Over Voting Rights Putting Democrats in Charge ‘Forever’
- GUNS2 days ago
3 Dead in Current Active Shooting in Austin – Outrage as Texas Lawmakers Move to Make Unlicensed Open Carry Legal
- NOT HOW THIS WORKS1 day ago
Trump-Loving God-Fearing MyPillow CEO Claims First Amendment Right to Lie About Voting Tech Companies
- OPINION1 day ago
‘Completely Broken’: 5 Major Weekend Shootings Leave Many Furious That Republicans Continue to Block Gun Reform
- POT. KETTLE. BLACK.1 day ago
‘Backlash’ Is Coming: Sen. Rick Scott Pens Op-Ed Threatening ‘Woke Corporate America’
- News21 hours ago
Maxine Waters: Republicans Like Marjorie Taylor Greene Are Using My Words to ‘Send a Message’ to White Supremacists
- WHY?3 hours ago
‘Riding Bikes While Black’: New Jersey Cops Under Fire for Confiscating Bike and Arresting Teen