Trump Administration Strengthens ‘Conscience Rule’ for Health Care Workers

Trump Administration Strengthens ‘Conscience Rule’ for Health Care Workers
A shift in the balance between the rights of patient and provider, with religion in the middle.

By Margot Sanger-Katz
May 2, 2019

President Trump on Thursday announced an expanded “conscience rule” to protect health care workers who oppose abortion, sterilization, assisted suicide and other medical procedures on religious or moral grounds.

The rule establishes guidelines for punishing health care institutions with the loss of federal funds if they fail to respect the rights of such workers.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/02/upshot/conscience-rule-trump-religious-exemption-health-care.html

Read more

The Trump Administration Will Allow Health Workers To Refuse Abortion And Sex Reassignment Services

The Trump Administration Will Allow Health Workers To Refuse Abortion And Sex Reassignment Services
The rule will protect discrimination based on “conscience” or “religious beliefs,” but opponents argue it will greatly limit access to care.

Ema O'Connor BuzzFeed News Reporter
Dominic Holden BuzzFeed News Reporter
Posted on May 2, 2019

The Trump administration released a final rule Thursday that will allow health workers to refuse to perform or assist medical procedures — like abortion, assisted suicide, or sex reassignment surgery — if it violates their “conscience” or religion.

The rule, which will take effect in 60 days, applies to health care institutions receiving federal funding. It repeals an Obama-era discrimination protection rule that President Donald Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services said “proved inadequate.” The new rule specifically protects “providers, individuals, and other health care entities from having to provide, participate in, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for, services such as abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide.”

Continued: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/emaoconnor/trump-rule-religious-doctors-refuse-abortion-sex

Read more

Self-managed Abortion Highlights Need to Decriminalize Abortion Worldwide

Self-managed Abortion Highlights Need to Decriminalize Abortion Worldwide
Most of the world's decades-old abortion laws don't reflect the advent of the abortion pill, and they permit the punishment of people who end their own pregnancies and nonmedical providers.

Nov 12, 2018
Patty Skuster, Kinga Jelinska & Susan Yanow

In countries with a range of laws regulating abortion, there is growing evidence that people are safely self-managing their abortions outside a clinical context—sourcing and using misoprostol alone or in combination with mifepristone, on their own and with the help of family and friends, or with community-based support.

Recognizing the potential of abortion pills to expand access to safe abortion, feminist collectives across the world have mobilized to create reliable resources about self-managed abortion. Activists run telephone hotlines, email help desks, and groups to provide information about self-management. Women often obtain the medicines through online services, community distribution networks, or pharmacies.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2018/11/12/self-managed-abortion-decriminalize/

Read more

POLAND – The rapid degradation of the rule of law in Poland: what it means for women’s sexual and reproductive rights

POLAND – The rapid degradation of the rule of law in Poland: what it means for women’s sexual and reproductive rights

Nov 9, 2018
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

All downhill from here. The rapid degradation of the rule of law in Poland: what it means for women’s sexual and reproductive rights, and LGBT+ persons’ rights

by International Federation for Human Rights, November 2018

This report is the result of several months of desk-based research, combined with an international fact-finding mission conducted by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) in Poland, on LGBT+ persons and women’s sexual and reproductive rights in the context of the degradation of the rule of law these past three years. FIDH was able to conduct approximately 20 interviews, all in Warsaw, of a wide range of actors: civil society organisations, members of the Polish government, members of the Parliament, the office of the Prosecutor, the office of the Polish Commissioner for Human Rights, associations of professionals – lawyers, doctors, teachers – and national experts.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/10992-2/

Read more

New Zealand’s ‘degrading’ abortion ban breaches human rights, say activists

New Zealand's 'degrading' abortion ban breaches human rights, say activists
Advocacy group lays discrimination complaint with country’s rights commission over criminalisation of terminations

Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin
Mon 8 Oct 2018

An abortion advocacy group in New Zealand has laid a discrimination complaint alleging New Zealand’s strict abortion laws breach the human rights of pregnant people, and subject them to “ritual humiliation”.

As experts prepare to hand down a major review into the country’s controversial abortion laws later this month, ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa has teamed up with five women who have experienced difficulties and emotional pain in accessing abortions in bringing their complaint to the country’s human rights commission.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/08/new-zealands-degrading-abortion-ban-breaches-human-rights-say-activists

Read more

New Zealand – Abortion rights group brings complaint to Human Rights Group over ‘discriminatory’ laws

Abortion rights group brings complaint to Human Rights Group over 'discriminatory' laws
Sun, Oct 7

Abortion Rights Aotearoa (ALRANZ) has lodged a complaint to the Human Rights Commission over New Zealand's Abortion laws.

The group said last night in a statement that it believes New Zealand's abortion law discriminates against women and pregnant people on the basis of sex.

Continued: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/abortion-rights-group-brings-complaint-human-over-discriminatory-laws

Read more

Women’s bodies have become a battleground in the fight for Iran’s future

Women’s bodies have become a battleground in the fight for Iran’s future
A regressive law to boost the population has restricted the reproductive choices and rights of all Iranian women. Though some suffer more than others.

Zaynab H
29 August 2018

In the early 1990s, Iran had one of best family planning programmes in the developing world. From 1980 to 2010, it managed to cut the average number of children each woman bore from six and a half to two. But these gains have since been reversed and all Iranian women are suffering under regressive legislation passed in 2015. Though, of course, some are suffering more than others.

As a sexual and reproductive health and rights advocate, I have been working with marginalised women's collectives in underserved districts of Tehran for five years. I have seen how laws like The Comprehensive Population and Exaltation of Family Bill (or Bill 315, as it is known) most directly and severely affect the poorest women: sex workers, those with drug abuse issues, rural, migrant and ethnic minority women – those who were highly dependent on state provision of contraception.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/zaynab-h/womens-bodies-battleground-fight-for-iran-future

Read more

Ireland – No GP should be allowed opt out of abortions

Newton Emerson: No GP should be allowed opt out of abortions
Conscientious objection amounts to saying ‘We don’t serve your sort around here, love’

Thu, Jun 14, 2018
Newton Emerson

The UK supreme court sat for the first time in Belfast last month, hearing an appeal into the “gay cake” case, among others.

“People will of course not expect an answer any time soon,” the president of the court said upon reserving judgment.

Another thing nobody expects is for the court to let bakers opt into a register of those willing to ice gay cakes, comprising only a handful of bakers in the country, with people obliged to travel to find them.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/newton-emerson-no-gp-should-be-allowed-opt-out-of-abortions-1.3529281

Read more

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

Read more

Abortion: UK ‘breaches NI’s women’s rights’

Abortion: UK 'breaches NI's women's rights'

By Catherine Smyth Health producer, BBC News NI
23 February 2018

The UK breaches the rights of women in Northern Ireland by unduly restricting their access to abortion, a UN Committee has found.

"Denial of abortion and criminalisation of abortion amounts to discrimination against women because it is a denial of a service that only women need," said the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

Continued: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-43167255

Read more