New Zealand – Doctors to fight new abortion law

Doctors to fight new abortion law
Group opposes any moves that erode rights in dealing with patients seeking terminations, writes Claire Trevett.

3 Dec, 2018
By: Claire Trevett, Deputy political editor, NZ Herald

A group of doctors opposed to abortion say they will fight any moves in looming reforms to erode their rights to refuse to deal with patients wanting abortions. The issue of referring patients seeking abortions to another doctor has drawn opposition from the group.

Justice Minister Andrew Little says he agrees with a Law Commission proposal for doctors who are "conscientious objectors" to abortion to be made to directly refer a patient on to another doctor who they know will provide the service.


Read more

Ireland – Nurses campaign to opt out of abortion provision

Nurses campaign to opt out of abortion provision

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
By Evelyn Ring

A group of nurses and midwives has joined GPs in declaring they do not want to participate in providing abortion services. The group, Nurses & Midwives4Life Ireland, says if a woman opts for a surgical termination, they will be asked to provide the pre-operative care, to which they object.

Last month, hundreds of anti-abortion GPs voiced their concerns about the new laws and asked Health Minister Simon Harris not to rush legislation through.


Read more

ITALY – Woman pregnant with twins left to die: seven doctors charged with culpable manslaughter

ITALY – Woman pregnant with twins left to die: seven doctors charged with culpable manslaughter

Nov 20, 2018

Seven doctors at Catania, Sicily’s Cannizzaro Hospital were indicted on 13 November 2018 for the October 2016 death of a 32-year-old woman who died of septicaemia after miscarrying twins. The charges are multiple culpable manslaughter. Valentina Milluzzo was 19 weeks pregnant with twins at the time, having undergone IVF treatment. She experienced cervical dilation and began to miscarry but life-saving, emergency action was not taken. Staff refused to carry out an abortion as long as there was a fetal heartbeat. The same as Savita Halappanavar in Ireland in 2012. However, as activist Nadia Somma pointed out, abortion has been legal in Italy for 40 years. Italian law does not allow “objecting” doctors to deny care when the life of a pregnant woman is in danger, under any circumstances. Yet in Sicily 87.6% of doctors are so-called “conscientious” objectors.

SOURCES: ANSA.IT, 13 November 2018 ; IPPF-EN, 20 October 2016 ; PHOTO: © ANSA


Read more

Italy’s politics gives new life to anti-abortion campaign

Italy’s politics gives new life to anti-abortion campaign
Italian cities and government ministers are taking aim at a 40-year-old law on reproductive rights.

By Giada Zampano

ROME — It is 40 years since Italy passed a law that legalized abortion, but activists fear a woman’s right to choose is again under attack — this time from the country’s politicians.

Thousands of women have taken to the streets in recent weeks to protest against a rise in anti-abortion initiatives in Italian cities — but the same measures enjoy widespread backing among supporters of the country’s most powerful party, the far-right League, as well as the Catholic Church.


Read more

Ireland – 25% of GPs won’t provide abortion service, finds poll

25% of GPs won’t provide abortion service, finds poll

Friday, November 9, 2018
By Stephen Rogers, Irish Examiner Reporter

A quarter of GPs will not provide an abortion service and would be reluctant to refer a pregnant woman to a colleague, a survey by the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) found.

The ICGP’s online consultation process noted only a third (32%) of the 3,500 GPs surveyed are currently willing and able to provide termination of pregnancy services.


Read more

Ireland – A doctor must act like one – even around conscience and abortion

A doctor must act like one - even around conscience and abortion
Clinicians have professional duty to put patients’ needs first and above their own

Oct 22, 2018
Wendy Chavkin

Dr X opposed repeal of the Eighth Amendment, does not want to provide abortions and will refer patients to her willing GP partners. Dr Y opposed repeal, does not want to provide or refer for abortions as he does not want anyone to have one. Dr Z voted for repeal but is now upset that GPs will not be paid sufficiently for providing an additional service. They are all considering calling themselves conscientious objectors.

Although most Irish doctors supported repeal and the mandate from voters, how Ireland sets the practical rules for doctors like X, Y and Z will determine whether Irish women get the services promised.


Read more

Draft abortion law ‘could face freedom of conscience case’

Draft abortion law 'could face freedom of conscience case'

Updated / Sunday, 14 Oct 2018
By Joe Little, Religious & Social Affairs Correspondent

A leading member of the Medico-Legal Alliance has hinted that the country's draft abortion law may face a legal challenge similar to the Asher's Bakery freedom of conscience case.

Senior Counsel Ben Ó Floinn said it would be regrettable if such a challenge became necessary in order to secure a wide-ranging freedom of conscience for doctors who will not provide terminations.


Read more

‘You were shamed, punished’: Queensland changes its mind on abortion

'You were shamed, punished': Queensland changes its mind on abortion
Next week the state will likely decriminalise pregnancy termination. It’s been a long time coming

by Ben Smee
Sat 13 Oct 2018

“They make me feel like a criminal,” says Brisbane woman Zena Mason. “I’ve been called a murderer for what I did. I have had the most vulgar comments. People seem to think I woke up one day and decided to have an abortion at 20 weeks.”

Next week, Queensland is expected to repeal the 119-year-old section of the state’s criminal code that makes abortion illegal. For more than 40 years, debate about termination of pregnancy in the state has been often emotional and vicious. Women like Mason wrestle with a grim choice, then find out they’re breaking the law.


Read more

‘I was given photos of the foetus’: abortion stigma lingers in pioneering Uruguay

'I was given photos of the foetus': abortion stigma lingers in pioneering Uruguay
The country has much to celebrate as Latin America’s most progressive on reproductive rights, but the process of getting a termination can still be long and stressful

Elizabeth Sulis Kim in Montevideo and Salto
Wed 10 Oct 2018

Juana Fernandez* was a university student and in the first few months of a new relationship when she discovered she was pregnant.

She was not ready to become a mother in her early 20s, so Fernandez, from Montevideo, decided to have an abortion. At that time, abortion was illegal in Uruguay so she was forced to undergo a clandestine termination. It was a stressful time.


Read more

Queensland doctors accused of ‘deep disrespect’ for women seeking abortion

Queensland doctors accused of 'deep disrespect' for women seeking abortion
Ahead of legalisation debate, pro-choice GP says regional doctors ‘dictate to women’

Ben Smee
Sun 7 Oct 2018

Doctors in regional Queensland routinely treat women seeking an abortion with “deep disrespect” and dictate scripture instead of dispensing medical advice, pro-choice GPs in the state say.

“Abortion is a mortal sin and you’ll go to hell,” one doctor reportedly told a woman in Cairns, who had asked about terminating her unwanted pregnancy.

Read more