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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South Africa – Anti-Choice Culture Is Allowed To Flourish At UCT. Why?

Anti-Choice Culture Is Allowed To Flourish At UCT. Why?

Aug 22, 2018
Temwa-Dango Mwambene

I am not one to write open letters, but I am enraged. I am very tired but unfortunately for “racist cishetero patriarchal Christian torture” not tired enough (yet) to take action. I am tired of the University of Cape Town (UCT), particularly the Faculty of Health Sciences, taking ethically weak stances on issues that they are meant to be at the forefront of advocating for, writes TEMWA-DANGO MWAMBENE.

I have been at UCT for four years and I remember the then vice-chancellor Dr Max Price welcoming us on the first year MBChB registration day and speaking about how UCT is a place for rigorous academic debate and contrasting views and as an example invited us to participate in the upcoming ‘Israeli-Apartheid’ week. A week, if UCT had any ethical integrity, that should rather be dedicated to collective initiatives around awareness and actions in support of the Palestinian liberation struggle. But this open letter is not about UCT’s inability to take a pro-Palestine position but about abortions.

Continued: http://www.thedailyvox.co.za/anti-choice-culture-is-allowed-to-flourish-at-uct-why-temwa-dango-mwambene/

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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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Expert group denounces the refusal to treat under ‘conscientious objection’

Expert group denounces the refusal to treat under 'conscientious objection'

Joyce Arthur
July 5, 2018

For the first time ever, an expert group has arrived at a majority consensus that the practice of so-called "conscientious objection" by health-care professionals should not be allowed. The experts agreed that the practice of refusing to provide legal and essential health care due to a doctor's personal or religious beliefs is a violation of medical ethics and of patients' right to health care. Abortion and other reproductive health care are the most commonly refused services.

Unconscionable: When Providers Deny Abortion Care is the title of the expert group's just-released report with recommendations. It is a product of the first global meeting on the topic of "conscientious objection," which took place in Montevideo, Uruguay in August 2017 because the refusal to treat is a major barrier to abortion access in many Latin American countries.

Continued: http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/07/expert-group-denounces-refusal-treat-under-conscientious-objection

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After the Eighth: A fatal foetal diagnosis, but too sick to travel

After the Eighth: A fatal foetal diagnosis, but too sick to travel
‘It was awful ... I was wanting something bad to happen to me so they’d induce me’

Mon, Jul 2, 2018
Kitty Holland Social Affairs Correspondent

Aisling McNevin (26) was diagnosed with having a fatal foetal abnormality less than a week after the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment was passed.

She was 21 weeks pregnant, bleeding heavily and had high blood pressure. She was too ill to travel abroad for a termination but could not have one in Ireland because there was “still a foetal heartbeat”.

It had “all started” the day of the referendum, she says.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/after-the-eighth-a-fatal-foetal-diagnosis-but-too-sick-to-travel-1.3550290

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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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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

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