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North Carolina House Bill Draws Fire Over Contraception Rules

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Birth control pill dispensers (AP file photo)

Birth control pill dispensers (AP file photo)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A bill broadening so-called conscience protections and the number of employers who can refuse to provide contraception services in health insurance coverage has been approved by a North Carolina House committee.

The bill approved Wednesday allows any medical professional to refuse to participate in an abortion and allows any business to refuse to provide contraception coverage on religious or moral grounds.

The bill expands so-called conscience protections beyond doctors and nurses to include people such as pharmacists and technicians.

The contraception provision expands existing law that exempts religious organizations to any private or nonprofit company.

The bill also outlaws health care plans that include abortion services from future online marketplaces of private plans offered under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Opponents say the bill tramples women’s rights.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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