California Attorney General Robb Bonta announced on Friday that California will restrict state-funded travel to Ohio due to Ohio’s passage of the “Medical Practitioner Conscience” clause in June, which has been called a “license to discriminate” and “the most homophobic law in the country.”
The law allows allows healthcare providers to refuse care if they feel that care conflicts with their “moral, ethical, or religious beliefs.”
Passed in 2016, California Assembly Bill 1887 (AB 1887) stemmed from the California Legislature determining that California must take action to avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. To that end, the law restricts state agencies, departments, boards, or commissions from authorizing state-funded travel to a state that — after June 26, 2015 — has enacted a law authorizing, or repealing existing protections against, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
“Blocking access to life-saving care is wrong. Period,” said Bonta. “Whether it’s denying a prescription for medication that prevents the spread of HIV, refusing to provide gender-affirming care, or undermining a woman’s right to choose, HB 110 unnecessarily puts the health of Americans at risk. Critically, the law runs afoul of Assembly Bill 1887. When states discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans, the California Department of Justice must act. That’s why — in line with the law — we’re adding Ohio to California’s state-funded travel restrictions list.”
“Ohio’s decision to condone attacks on the health of its nearly 400,000 LGBTQ+ residents was widely opposed by the state’s medical community. It’s plain that this law only serves to discriminate,” said Assemblymember Evan Low, who serves as Chair of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus. “We will never put Californians at risk of falling victim to the same toxic standard by supporting the use of taxpayer dollars for travel in places where anti-LGBTQ discrimination is the law of the land.”
The travel restrictions to Ohio will be effective on September 20, 2021.
Originally published by The Buckeye Flame, republished here with permission.