Definition of conscience clause in English:

conscience clause

noun

North American
  • A clause in a law providing for exemption or other allowances on the grounds of moral or religious conscience:

    ‘Congress passed a ‘conscience clause’ bill, which permitted any individual or hospital opposed to abortion to refuse to perform the procedure’
    • ‘Some states have ‘conscience clauses’ that exempt pharmacists from dispensing drugs that have to do with women's reproductive freedom.’
    • ‘A new Vaccination Act in 1898 removed cumulative penalties and introduced a conscience clause, allowing parents who did not believe vaccination was efficacious or safe to obtain a certificate of exemption.’
    • ‘The pharmacists upheld their right to deny service based on the conscience clause by which they practice.’
    • ‘Nurses with strong objections to abortion can invoke a conscience clause which protects them in law from working in this area.’
    • ‘Mississippi, South Dakota and Arkansas already have these ‘conscience clauses’ worked into legislation.’
    • ‘One judge has suggested that a doctor who invokes the conscience clause should refer the patient to a colleague at once but he did not go so far as to decide that there was a legal duty to do so because that was not in issue in the case.’
    • ‘Added to growing economic pressures, Catholic health-care facilities in several states also face the repeal of legal ‘conscience clauses’ that have allowed them to protect their Catholic ethos and to follow Catholic medical ethics.’
    • ‘Additionally the debate about reinstating the conscience clause, which would allow dioceses to refuse to ordain or recognize women clergy, has been resurrected.’
    • ‘Some said it was a conscience clause; that's good.’
    • ‘Section 3 is a conscience clause, allowing anyone to opt out of the ‘medical procedure’ mentioned in section 1.’
    • ‘Attempts have been made to ignite the fears of the electorate by saying that the conscience clause in the act could deprive women of medical treatment.’
    • ‘It was interesting to note that nurses are afraid to invoke the conscience clause permitting them to refuse to work with abortions because they fear for their jobs.’
    • ‘By giving pharmacists a conscience clause for their working practices opens up an entirely dodgy grey area that probably should not be allowed to exist.’