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.

Continued: https://www.rte.ie/news/2018/1013/1002952-abortion-conscience/

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‘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.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/14/you-were-shamed-punished-queensland-changes-its-mind-on-abortion

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‘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.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/oct/10/uruguay-pioneering-abortion-laws-changed-lives-yet-stigma-lingers

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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.
Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/08/queensland-doctors-accused-of-deep-disrespect-for-women-seeking-abortion

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Ireland – Doctors call for legislation to protect conscientious objectors in abortion services

Doctors call for legislation to protect conscientious objectors in abortion services
Nurses and midwives hope ‘current protections will apply in the future’

Fri, Oct 5, 2018
Patsy McGarry

The Department of Health is to meet medical colleges including the Irish College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Physicians, and the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to discuss clinical protocols to deliver an abortion service, a spokeswoman for the Irish Medical Organisation has said. It is the largest medical representative body and trade union in Ireland.

It was “important that medical professionals can, on a conscientious basis, choose not to deliver this service,” she said.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/religion-and-beliefs/doctors-call-for-legislation-to-protect-conscientous-objectors-in-abortion-services-1.3653149

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Inside Australia’s only clinic providing late surgical abortions

Inside Australia's only clinic providing late surgical abortions

By Hagar Cohen and David Lewis
Sep 7, 2018

The journey to the Marie Stopes clinic in Melbourne's east is a harrowing one for the 200 or so women who go there each year for a procedure denied to them elsewhere.

By the time they reach the building, sitting behind a car park on an unassuming suburban street, they have likely been turned away by multiple doctors and hospitals.

And until the Victorian state government banned the practice in 2015, there was a very real risk of encountering anti-abortion protesters at the entrance.

Continued: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-08/abortion-clinic-providing-late-surgical-abortions/10210656

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Ireland – Shareholders in private hospitals threaten legal action to block abortion laws

Shareholders in private hospitals threaten legal action to block abortion laws

27/08/2018

Minority shareholders in some private hospitals are threatening to block the new abortion laws in the courts.

They have outlined their demands in a letter to the Oireachtas Health Committee, saying they want their religious beliefs protected without being financially disadvantaged.

Continued: https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/shareholders-in-private-hospitals-threaten-legal-action-to-block-abortion-laws-864756.html

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Ireland – Abortion laws ‘must not leave doctors in fear of prosecution’

Abortion laws ‘must not leave doctors in fear of prosecution’

Jennifer Bray, Ireland Deputy Political Editor
August 24 2018

The government has been urged to improve its draft legislation on abortion to stop doctors interpreting the new laws too conservatively.

A position paper by experts from Dublin City University, the University of Birmingham and Queen Mary University of London said that the government should consider asking doctors who have a conscientious objection to providing abortion care to declare it before the law comes into effect. Clinical guidelines that are due to be introduced alongside the legislation should clarify when and how a doctor who holds a conscientious objection should disclose it, it says.

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/abortion-laws-must-not-leave-doctors-in-fear-of-prosecution-wpwvkqnsp

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

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

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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