A healthcare conscience bill is being endorsed by a large majority in Missouri's House of Representatives. Representatives voted 116-38 in favor of the legislation.
The measure would allow healthcare workers and religiously affiliated hospitals to refuse to participate in procedures that violate their ethical or religious beliefs.
It would apply to procedures such as those involving abortion-inducing drugs, artificial insemination, cloning, and embryonic stem cell research, among others.
Critics argued the bill would block access to health care for patients, especially women.
The bill is pending one more vote before moving to the state Senate.