Lawmakers approve conscience protection measure

      A controversial health care proposal cleared the Health Committee during the second dayof the 2014 Legislative Session.{} Alabama lawmakers and socialconservatives want to give health care workers option to exclude themselvesfrom participating in abortions and other procedures.

      It's called the 'conscience protection measure'. It was proposed by Rep.Becky Nordgren who says the latest version would allow health care workers toobject in writing to abortions, embryonic stem cell research, cloning researchand sterilization procedures. Employers then could not punish the employees.{} In recent years, similar versions have diedin the Senate but House Bill 31 cleared the Health Committee on Wednesday.Nordgren also added that this bill does not apply to workers at licensedabortion clinics and it requires an employee to stay on the job until areplacement is available in a life-threatening situation.{}

      Opponents to the conscience protection bill say the proposal threatenswomen's health care rights.