Victoria's Anti-Abortion Doctors Risk Breaking Laws, Study Finds
Doctors who object to abortion stand accused of failing their legal obligations to women seeking termination.
February 1, 2019
Abortion was decriminalised Victoria in 2008 but since then health practitioners have held on to the right to conscientiously object to carrying out abortions so long as they refer women on to a health expert who does not object.
But, according to a University of Melbourne-led study, some of the state’s anti-abortion professionals are breaking the law by subjecting women to tactical delays that flout Section 8 of the Abortion Law Reform Act 2008.
Victorian doctors who object to abortion 'attempting to delay or deny access'
Study reveals failure of legal protections to ensure women’s access to terminations
Thu 31 Jan 2019
Victorian doctors who conscientiously object to abortion are breaking the law by failing to refer women on to practitioners who will perform the procedure, leading to some women having abortions later than necessary or having the baby despite wanting a termination.
This was the finding from a study led by associate professor Louise Keogh at the University of Melbourne, who examined whether mandatory referral, introduced in Victoria during abortion law reforms in 2008, was making healthcare more accessible to women.
Abortion in Ireland: A guide to how it will work
Everything you need to know before the planned introduction of termination services
Dec 7, 2018
With just three weeks to go before the planned introduction of abortion in Ireland, there remains widespread scepticism among health professionals that the deadline of January 1st will be met. The legislation to give effect to the measure still has to complete its passage through the Oireachtas and questions about resources and supports have still to be fully answered. The thorny issue of conscientious objection also looms large for many doctors, nurses and pharmacists, and existing Medical Council ethical guidelines governing the medical profession will not be revised in time for the deadline.
Notwithstanding these considerable doubts, the Government and in particular Minister for Health Simon Harris has made the provision of abortion by the start of next month an absolute priority. At this point, it therefore seems likely the service will begin as planned in the New Year.
Irish Lawmakers Vote to Allow Abortion, Part of Landmark Liberal Shift
By Ed O’Loughlin
Dec. 6, 2018
DUBLIN — Fighting off last-ditch resistance, Irish lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a bill introducing free and legal abortion to a nation that was long a bastion of staunchly conservative Catholicism, seven months after voters repealed a constitutional ban on abortion.
An often heated session of the Parliament’s lower house on Wednesday had to be extended several times, as a small number of members — mainly independent conservatives — talked at length on dozens of amendments, almost all of which were voted down by large majorities. The bill’s opponents attempted to prolong the debate even further, which could have derailed the government’s plan to make abortion available in January.
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.
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.
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
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.
List of abortion doctors could stop women being turned away
Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland Reporter
October 19 2018
Simon Harris is considering creating a list of doctors who will provide abortion services in order to spare women the “extra distress” of being turned down by multiple medical professionals.
The health minister said that he was concerned by anti-abortion groups and TDs who were lobbying in favour of allowing doctors to completely opt out of abortion services but who were not considering the impact on women.
Survey results split over doctors opposed to abortion
Saturday, 6 Oct 2018
By Sharon Tobin
A survey has found that respondents were split on whether doctors opposed to abortion should be obliged to refer a patient to another doctor who will carry out the procedure.
The poll of 1,000 adults was carried out by Amárach on behalf of The Pro Life Campaign, which is holding its National Conference today.
Last-ditch attempt to curtail abortion law
Ellen Coyne, Senior Ireland Reporter
October 2 2018
An anti-abortion senator has claimed that the public did not vote to legalise abortion up to 12 weeks and has asked politicians to legislate as they “see fit”.
In a last-minute appeal to restrict abortion access in Ireland, Rónán Mullen has urged TDs and senators to “represent the concerns” of those who voted against repealing the Eighth Amendment in any new abortion law.