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

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

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

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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Unconscionable: When Providers Deny Abortion Care

Unconscionable: When Providers Deny Abortion Care

June 19, 2018
Click here to download the report [PDF]

The global women’s movement has fought for many years to affirm safe and legal abortion as a fundamental right, and the global trend has been the liberalization of abortion laws. Progress is not linear, however, and persistent barriers prevent these laws and policies from increasing women’s access to services. One such obstacle is the growing use of conscience claims to justify refusal of abortion care.

Often called “conscientious objection,” a concept historically associated with the right to refuse to take part in the military or in warfare on religious or moral grounds, the term has recently been co-opted by anti-choice movements. Indeed, accommodations for health care providers to refuse to provide care are often deliberately inserted into policies with the aim of negating the hard-fought right to abortion care.

Existing evidence reveals a worrisome and growing global trend of health care providers who are refusing to deliver abortion and other sexual and reproductive health care. This phenomenon violates the ethical principle of “do no harm,” and has grave consequences for women, especially those who are already more vulnerable and marginalized.

Continued: https://iwhc.org/resources/unconscionable-when-providers-deny-abortion-care/

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Chilean women’s lives at risk with ‘backdoor’ restrictions on new abortion law

Chilean women's lives at risk with 'backdoor' restrictions on new abortion law

Anastasia Moloney
April 5, 2018

BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Women and girls in Chile, including rape victims, will find it harder to access legal abortions - after a total ban was lifted in August - as the government has started allowing clinics to deny services on moral grounds, campaigners said on Thursday.

The new law, allowing abortions when women’s lives are in danger or if a fetus is unviable or the result of rape, was welcomed by rights groups in a region with some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-chile-abortion-women/chilean-womens-lives-at-risk-with-backdoor-restrictions-on-new-abortion-law-idUSKCN1HC2VI

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USA – How The Administration’s Proposed ‘Conscience’ Rule Undermines Reproductive Health and Patient Care

How The Administration’s Proposed ‘Conscience’ Rule Undermines Reproductive Health and Patient Care

Adam Sonfield,Guttmacher Institute
First published on Health Affairs Blog: March 21, 2018

On January 19, the Trump administration proposed new regulations to interpret and enforce more than 20 federal statutory provisions related to “conscience and religious freedom.” Collectively, as interpreted by the administration, these statutes would grant broad powers to individuals and organizations in the health care field and beyond to refuse to provide or be involved with services, information, and referrals to which they have religious or moral objections. That includes services related to abortion, contraception, end-of-life care, global health care assistance, vaccination, and much more. The proposed regulations and steps to enforce them have real potential to undermine existing legal and ethical protections for patients’ access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, and other critical care.

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2018/03/how-administrations-proposed-conscience-rule-undermines-reproductive-health-and

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UK: Home abortions ‘could see more objections from GPs and pharmacists’

Home abortions 'could see more objections from GPs and pharmacists'

Feb 8, 2018

A midwife who campaigned for staff to opt out of abortion work fears plans for "at home" abortions could see a rise in objections from health staff.

Mary Doogan lost her fight to not be responsible for other colleagues involved in terminations. She thinks the plans to allow women to take the second abortion pill at home will implicate GPs and pharmacists.

Continued: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-42989711

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Abortion in Italy, a Right Wronged

Abortion in Italy, a Right Wronged

By ILARIA MARIA SALA
NOV. 13, 2017

Late last month, Cosimo Borraccino, a left-wing member of the regional council for Apulia, in southern Italy, proposed passing a local law to require the enforcement of national legislation granting women access to abortion. His opponents on the council, mostly from center-right parties, said the bill was unnecessary and that Mr. Borraccino was “slamming into a wall of self-evidence.”

Yet when it comes to reproductive rights in Italy, respect of the law is anything but self-evident. In fact, 9 out of 10 gynecologists in Apulia refuse to perform abortions, even though the right to obtain one has been legal since 1978. Nationwide statistics are only slightly less staggering: Seven out of 10 gynecologists in Italy won’t terminate a pregnancy.

Continued at source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/opinion/abortion-italy-conscientious-objectors.html

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Lessons for Ireland from the Pro-Choice movement in Italy

Lessons for Ireland from the Pro-Choice movement in Italy
Date: Mon, 2017-09-25

I moved to Ireland from Italy shortly after the Strike4Repeal of the 8th of March, a mass mobilisation on the streets of Dublin in protest of Ireland’s archaic abortion laws, which I followed closely on social media. While still in Italy, I had been involved in organising a successful feminist demonstration in the city where I lived, on that same date (International Women’s Day), and I felt deep sympathy and admiration for the Irish pro-choice activists and the amazing work they were carrying out. At first glance it was unbelievable to me that in a western-European country people still had to take the streets to demand access to abortion. While the Irish situation initially felt like something I could not relate to, I soon remembered where I was from and I had to think twice: despite abortion being legal in my home country, safe and effective access to abortion service is currently utopia.

Continued at source: Worker's Solidarity Movement: https://www.wsm.ie/c/lessons-ireland-pro-choice-italy

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Abortion in Italy Is Legal but Sometimes Difficult to Obtain

Abortion in Italy Is Legal but Sometimes Difficult to Obtain
We visited the country to find out why.
Lucia Benavides
Sep 12, 2017

Valentina Milluzzo was five months pregnant when she died in a Sicilian hospital in October after her family claimed her doctor refused to perform an abortion that could have potentially saved her life.

Milluzzo, 32, was carrying twins and was first hospitalized in Catania after complications with her pregnancy. According to The Guardian, she gave birth to a stillborn baby and then became ill. Her family claims her doctor refused to remove the other fetus because he objected to abortions and the second fetus still had a "viable heartbeat." Milluzzo died soon after of septic shock. (The hospital has disputed the family's account, saying that though all of the doctors at the hospital were "conscientious objectors" to abortion, "other specialists could technically have been called in if required," according to The Guardian.) Her case is one of many highlighting the struggle to access abortion in Italy.

Continued at source: Teen Vogue: http://www.teenvogue.com/story/abortion-in-italy-is-legal-but-sometimes-difficult-to-obtain

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