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