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House Committee Begins Hearings on Conscientious Right to Refuse Act

April 11, 2024
Jennifer Gross News

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COLUMBUS – The House Health Provider Services Committee this week began hearings on House Bill 319, the Conscientious Right to Refuse Act, announced State Rep. Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester). Gross provided sponsor testimony before the committee alongside her joint sponsor, State Rep. Scott Wiggam (R-Wayne County).

The Act will protect Ohioans who choose to decline a vaccine or pharmaceutical due to conscientious and religious beliefs from discrimination in the workplace and higher education.

“It is our duty as State Representatives to protect the constitutionally established religious freedoms of our constituents and to ensure they can freely live their lives while adhering to these morals and principles without discriminatory action,” said Gross.

More specifically, the Act will accomplish the following:

  1. Protect the right of individuals 18 and up to decline any vaccine or pharmaceutical for reasons of conscience, including religious convictions, without being denied employment, any service, and access to commerce; or to segregate or alienate the individual;
  2. Provide injunctive relief and private right of action to any individual who can prove that the business employer, facility, public or private entity, or college discriminated against the individual for their denial of a vaccine or pharmaceutical; and
  3. Establish that no portion of the act shall prevent the recommendation of, education on, or access to any of the listed medical interventions. 

House Bill 319 awaits further consideration by the House Health Provider Services Committee.