How ‘conscientious objectors’ threaten women’s newly-won abortion rights in Latin America

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How ‘conscientious objectors’ threaten women’s newly-won abortion rights in Latin America
From Uruguay to Chile, medical staff are refusing to provide abortion services even after their legalisation.

Diana Cariboni
18 July 2018

Women’s rights to legal abortion have increased in Latin America – but so have campaigns and policies for medical staff to be able to ‘conscientiously object’ and refuse to participate in these procedures.

“We didn’t see it coming,” said feminist activist Lilián Abracinskas in Uruguay, a secular country where abortion, same-sex marriage and the marijuana market were each legalised in the last decade.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/diana-cariboni/conscientious-objectors-threaten-abortion-rights-latin-america

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Why the fight for legal abortion is only half the battle

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Why the fight for legal abortion is only half the battle

July 13, 2018
By Shannon Kowalski and Susan Wood

For years, Irish women have been forced to travel abroad or seek underground abortion services. But, a historic vote in May delivered a landslide rebuke that rescinded the country’s constitutional provision recognizing the equal rights to life of both a woman and a fetus, opening the door to expanded reproductive autonomy. The euphoria over this victory has barely settled, and already steps are being taken to curb Irish women’s hard-won right. The new front of resistance to women’s rights emerges from those who seek to allow medical professionals to deny women abortion services based on their own religious or moral beliefs. It would be a mistake for Ireland’s legislators to allow such refusals, which ultimately endanger and discriminate against women.

Since 2000, 28 countries have liberalized their abortion laws. In response to this progress, anti-choice advocates and policy makers have mounted a deliberate campaign to undermine women’s access to legal abortion services. A primary tactic has been establishing laws and policies that allow doctors to opt out of fulfilling their professional obligation to provide health care services on the basis of their personal beliefs. The use of these so-called “conscience” claims is on the rise worldwide.

Continued: http://www.euronews.com/2018/07/13/why-the-fight-for-legal-abortion-is-only-half-the-battle-view

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Expert group denounces the refusal to treat under ‘conscientious objection’

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Expert group denounces the refusal to treat under 'conscientious objection'

Joyce Arthur
July 5, 2018

For the first time ever, an expert group has arrived at a majority consensus that the practice of so-called "conscientious objection" by health-care professionals should not be allowed. The experts agreed that the practice of refusing to provide legal and essential health care due to a doctor's personal or religious beliefs is a violation of medical ethics and of patients' right to health care. Abortion and other reproductive health care are the most commonly refused services.

Unconscionable: When Providers Deny Abortion Care is the title of the expert group's just-released report with recommendations. It is a product of the first global meeting on the topic of "conscientious objection," which took place in Montevideo, Uruguay in August 2017 because the refusal to treat is a major barrier to abortion access in many Latin American countries.

Continued: http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/07/expert-group-denounces-refusal-treat-under-conscientious-objection

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USA – How the abortion debate has skewed Americans’ understanding of pregnancy

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How the abortion debate has skewed Americans’ understanding of pregnancy
What led a Walgreeens pharmacist to deny a woman her prescription.

by Lara Freidenfelds June 26, 2018

Last week, Nicole Arteaga lost her very-much-wanted pregnancy. As often happens in early miscarriages — Arteaga was only nine weeks along — her body had not yet expelled the remains. Her doctor prescribed misoprostol to help her body complete the process.

Yet when she went to fill her prescription, she was turned away. The Walgreens pharmacist who denied her prescription cited his “ethical beliefs.” (Misoprostol is also used to induce abortion.)

His refusal highlights how fundamentally abortion politics have limited our understanding of pregnancy, and how a failure of understanding can translate into a heartbreaking failure of compassion.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2018/06/26/a-walgreens-pharmacist-denied-a-woman-medication-for-her-miscarriage-his-actions-show-how-the-abortion-debate-has-skewed-our-understanding-of-pregnancy/?utm_term=.327b4bea3a89

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South Africa – ‘Conscientious objection’: when doctors’ beliefs are a barrier to abortion

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'Conscientious objection': when doctors' beliefs are a barrier to abortion
As a report highlights the ruinous impact of denying abortion, two medics offer opposing views on the role of personal belief

Hannah Summers
Fri 22 Jun 2018

A rise in the number of healthcare providers who refuse to provide abortion services based on their personal beliefs is having a devastating impact on women and girls around the world, a new study has claimed.

Over the past two decades, at least 30 countries – including, most recently, Ireland, Chile and Argentina – have taken steps to improve access to abortion through legislative changes.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jun/22/should-doctors-be-free-to-refuse-patients-an-abortion-on-personal-grounds

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Ireland – Abolish three-day waiting period for abortion, TD demands

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Abolish three-day waiting period for abortion, TD demands
Heads of a Bill to regulate the termination of pregnancy is due to be published next month

Fri, Jun 22, 2018
Sarah Bardon Political Reporter

Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger has called on the Government to remove the three-day waiting period from the proposed abortion legislation.

Ms Coppinger has sent a lengthy submission to Minister for Health Simon Harris, who is preparing a Bill to regulate the termination of pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abolish-three-day-waiting-period-for-abortion-td-demands-1.3540373

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Unconscionable: Health workers’ right to refuse abortions vs women’s right to choose

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Unconscionable: Health workers' right to refuse abortions vs women's right to choose
When religion trumps science in medicine, women's bodies and Constitutional rights may be caught in the crossfire.

21 Jun 2018
Marion Stevens, Mandi Mudarikwa

South Africa‘s Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act legalises voluntary abortion at different stages of pregnancy. Although viewed as a generally liberal law, the Act has not effectively enabled broad and consistent access for women seeking to terminate their pregnancies.

One of the reasons has been some health providers’ and facilities’ refusal to treat women who need abortion care.

Continued: http://bhekisisa.org/article/2018-06-21-00-unconscionable-a-doctors-right-to-refuse-abortions-versus-a-womens-right-to-choose

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Ireland – Minister wants abortion services in place from next January

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Minister wants abortion services in place from next January

Thursday, 21 Jun 2018
By Joe Mag Raollaigh

The Minister for Health has reiterated that he wants to introduce abortion services from January 2019.

Speaking at the AGM of the National Women's Council, Simon Harris said that there are a number of legal challenges to the referendum result and he respects the court must do its work.

Continued: https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2018/0621/972142-national-womens-council/

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Ireland – Health minister says it is ‘sad’ that exclusion zones are required around maternity hospitals

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Latest: Health minister says it is 'sad' that exclusion zones are required around maternity hospitals

21/06/2018

The Health Minister says it is unacceptable that maternity hospitals have to issue warnings about graphic images outside their buildings.

It is after The Rotunda tweeted to let people know that there was an anti-abortion protest taking place last week and that it had notified Gardaí.

Continued: https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/latest-health-minister-says-it-is-sad-that-exclusion-zones-are-required-around-maternity-hospitals-850243.html

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Ireland – Measures to protect from ‘offensive imagery’ to be considered

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Measures to protect from ‘offensive imagery’ to be considered
Harris says abortion services will be available irrespective of ability to pay and geography
June 21, 2018
Elaine Edwards

The Department of Health has been asked to consider measures to protect people from offensive imagery outside maternity hospitals and other health facilities in drafting the legislation on abortion.

Minister for Health Simon Harris also said there would be equitable access to abortion services regardless of someone’s ability to pay or geographic location.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/measures-to-protect-from-offensive-imagery-to-be-considered-1.3538869

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