While the ACLU weighed in on the expected spate of abortion bills, including bills mandating ultrasounds before abortions and codifying Roe v. Wade into state law, perhaps the most heated debate came from an innocuous bill seeking to create a licensing program for genetic counselors. Advocates inserted “conscience clause” language into the bill, allowing for pro-life genetic counselors to refuse mentioning abortion as a viable option, and requiring them to do nothing more than refer frightened parents to a website to help them find a counselor who would provide more complete advice. While the ACLU and other pro-choice organizations attempted to compromise on conscience clause language which would protect the rights of parents to know their options, this compromise was rejected, and the bill failed to move out of committee.
Genetic Counselors (H 7571, S 2286A)
Representative Eileen Naughton and Senator Rhoda Perry