Abortion also tangled up a bill that sought to establish licensing procedures for the profession of genetic counselor. In this instance, it was the House that was responsible for the mischief, quietly inserting an overly-broad “conscience clause” amendment into the legislation. The amendment not only allowed genetic counselors to refuse to counsel patients about abortion options when it might be medically indicated, but obligated them to do nothing more than refer patients to a web site to try to find another counselor who could provide appropriate guidance. The ACLU vigorously opposed the scope of the amendment. The Senate refused to take up the bill, following the lead of the Senate sponsor, Rhoda Perry, who strongly objected to the amended language.
Genetic Counselors (H 5251)
Representative Eileen Naughton and Senator Rhoda Perry