Stop Bill 207: “Abandoning Patients Act” Is Unconstitutional and Dangerous
November 12, 2019
Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada
ALBERTA – A bill introduced on Nov 7 in the Alberta legislature is blatantly unconstitutional because it legalizes discrimination against vulnerable groups on the basis of “conscience.”
Bill 207, misleadingly titled Conscience Rights (Health Care Providers) Protection Act, was introduced by MLA Dan Williams of Alberta’s ruling Uterus Control Party (UCP). The bill is more aptly named the Abandoning Patients Act because it is a license for medical negligence.
Under the bill, health care professionals would enjoy complete immunity for refusing to provide a health care service they disagree with for personal or religious reason (so-called “conscientious objection”). The bill removes existing patient protections, including their right to a referral, and their ability to have a complaint heard or to launch a lawsuit.
Abortion Access In Alberta At Greater Risk With New Bill
Last Updated November 8, 2019
Alberta doctors could refuse to refer women to abortion practitioners if a bill currently making its way through the provincial legislature is passed. Bill 207 would protect doctors from referring patients to procedures that conflict with their personal beliefs.
If it becomes law, the bill would be a blow to reproductive rights in the province. While abortion is legal across Canada, provinces regulate and determine access. And in Alberta, that access is already hit and miss. Crisis pregnancy centres — basically anti-choice centres masquerading as women’s support groups — outnumber clinics that provide abortions four to one. People outside of Calgary and Edmonton have limited access to clinics where surgical abortions take place, and it’s up to individual physicians to decide if they want to prescribe the abortion pill.
The erosion of abortion availability
By Bridget Kelly, opinion contributor
The U.S. Supreme Court has not overturned its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, but lower courts and statehouses are threatening to turn the clock back nearly 50 years on abortion rights. The fate of Missouri’s only remaining abortion provider, a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis, hangs by a thread, awaiting the outcome of a recent arbitration hearing. If it is forced stop performing abortions, Missouri will become the first state without an abortion provider since Roe recognized the right to abortion in America.
The State of Missouri refused to renew the clinic’s license to perform abortions, citing safety concerns. Planned Parenthood disputes that rationale, testifying that abortion is one of the safest medical procedures. Abortions performed in the U.S. have few complications. Among women in the U.S. who have had them, fewer than 1 death in 100,000 can be attributed to the practice. An injection of penicillin is more likely to cause death than an abortion.
U.S. federal judge blocks Alabama’s near total-ban on abortion
By KIM CHANDLER The Associated Press
Posted October 29, 2019
A federal judge on Tuesday blocked Alabama‘s near-total abortion ban from taking effect next month, saying the law, part wave of new abortion restrictions by conservative states, is clearly unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued an expected preliminary injunction temporarily blocking Alabama from enforcing the law that would make performing an abortion a felony in almost all cases. The ruling came after abortion providers sued to block the law from taking effect Nov. 15. The injunction will remain in place until Thompson decides the full case.
Sex-selective abortions: Reproductive rights are being pitted against gender equality
Critics say the bans are "anti-abortion ruses" rooted in an effort to racially profile Asian American and Pacific Islander women.
Oct. 27, 2019
By Safia Samee Ali
When Dr. Colleen McNicholas treats a woman seeking an abortion in Missouri, she must, under penalty of law, ask a series of uncomfortable questions probing why the woman wants the procedure, including if it’s because of the fetus's gender.
That question, which she said patients find “absurd” and “completely inappropriate,” is a requirement that was left intact by a Missouri federal judge who halted several other restrictive measures, such as a ban on abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy, signed into law by Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, in May in an effort to block abortion access.
INDONESIA – Proposed new criminal code related to sexual relations and much more leads to protest demonstrations
Oct 4, 2019
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
There is bad news from Indonesia. The government has apparently finalised a new criminal code with over 600 clauses that has been in the drafting stage for decades. Clauses related to sexual relations, adultery, sex work, abortion, contraception, blasphemy, and much more are very restrictive and criminalise many new behaviours and people. Abortion would be illegal unless it is a medical emergency or due to rape and would carry a four-year prison sentence. Sex before marriage would be criminalised and could result in a one-year prison term. Living together outside marriage could lead to a six-month prison sentence. Extra-marital sex would be punishable by up to one year in prison. The bill also stipulates new laws on discussions of sex education and contraception. Insulting the president, vice president, religion, state institutions and symbols such as the flag and national anthem would be illegal. The definition of blasphemy is also altered. The bill recognises any “living law”, potentially including hundreds of local sharia or customary laws that discriminate against women, LGBT people and religious minorities. And there is more such as concerns about press freedom, serious problems in West Papua, and the environment.
What’s Become of All the Extreme Abortion Bans From This Year?
By Amanda Arnold
Oct 2, 2019
The first six months of the year saw relentless attacks on abortion rights on the state level. Five states passed bills banning the procedure after six weeks, before many women even realize they’re pregnant. And in May, Alabama governor Kay Ivey signed a near-full ban on the procedure. The same month, Missouri — a state with only one abortion clinic — passed an extreme eight-week ban that didn’t include any exceptions for instances of rape, incest, or human trafficking. In all, seven states have passed similarly stringent laws in 2019, and more are considering them.
But in recent months, judges in many of these states have started to issue preliminary injunctions, which allow patients to continue accessing important reproductive care while the court hears the case in full to determine whether or not the bill is constitutional. In short, these court orders — also known as temporary blocks — maintain the status quo, allowing abortion to remain legal. Most recently, on October 1, a federal judge temporarily blocked Georgia’s ban.
Anti-Choice Activists Fighting a Losing Battle Against Medication Abortion
Medication abortion is a gamechanger for pregnant people, particularly when other forms of abortion are difficult to access or even unavailable.
Oct 1, 2019
Carole Joffe & David S. Cohen
With the recent news that almost 40 percent of the abortions in this country in 2017 were by pill rather than surgical procedure, now is a great time to appreciate the seemingly unstoppable revolution this medical advance has brought about.
Abortion providers all over the country have witnessed this revolution firsthand. As the director of a network of clinics in a large Western state told us, “We’re doing medication abortions with nurse practitioners all over the state, and it’s particularly important in the mountains.” She explained that before medication abortion, in a particularly remote area, “if the doc was there on Tuesday and you came in on Wednesday, you had to wait another week or two.” This pushed some patients too late in pregnancy to have an abortion. But now, patients in the region “can come in on the day the nurse practitioner is there, which is almost every day, and be taken care of.”
The Ban on Abortion for Low-Income People Is Now a Litmus Test for Congress
People have started calling out Democratic members of Congress for supporting the Hyde Amendment.
by Katelyn Burns
Oct 1 2019
Forty-three years ago this week, Congress first enacted the Hyde amendment, which banned federal funds from covering abortion care. The amendment is now standard rider, or bill language, on all applicable federal spending bills. It primarily affects low-income people who depend on Medicaid for healthcare coverage.
Repealing Hyde has emerged as a flashpoint for Democrats as they enter the 2020 primary season in the wake of repeated GOP attacks on abortion access at both the state and federal level. While the current House of Representatives boasts its first pro-choice majority in more than 45 years, there are still a few anti-choice Democratic holdouts who continue to support Hyde, including Reps. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Collin Peterson (D-MN), and Henry Cuellar (D-TX). On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) endorsed Cuellar over Jessica Cisneros, a pro-choice progressive primary challenger. All three anti-choice Democrats face primaries against more progressive candidates.
Ecuador abortion: National Assembly rejects easing law in rape cases
18 September 2019
Ecuador's parliament has rejected a controversial bill to allow abortion in cases of rape, a proposal that exposed divisions in the traditionally Catholic country.
Supporters of the reform pointed to what they say is an epidemic of rapes of girls and underage pregnancies.
Some opposed it on religious grounds saying innocent lives would be at risk.