Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a new bill on Friday that will allow doctors to deny treatment to people based on their religious or moral objections. Basically this means doctors are allowed to refuse to treat LGBTQ folks or others based on their religious alignments.
“I support this right of conscience so long as emergency care is exempted and conscience objection cannot be used to deny general health service to any class of people,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “Most importantly, the federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender, and national origin continue to apply to the delivery of health care services.”
According to PBS, organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union have stepped forward to advocate against the bill, saying that it directly affects the LGBTQ community.
“There is no sugarcoating this: this bill is another brazen attempt to make it easier to discriminate against people and deny Arkansans the health care services they need,” ACLU of Arkansas Executive Director Holly Dickson said in a statement responding to the new bill.