Stop Bill 207: “Abandoning Patients Act” Is Unconstitutional and Dangerous
November 12, 2019
Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada
ALBERTA – A bill introduced on Nov 7 in the Alberta legislature is blatantly unconstitutional because it legalizes discrimination against vulnerable groups on the basis of “conscience.”
Bill 207, misleadingly titled Conscience Rights (Health Care Providers) Protection Act, was introduced by MLA Dan Williams of Alberta’s ruling Uterus Control Party (UCP). The bill is more aptly named the Abandoning Patients Act because it is a license for medical negligence.
Under the bill, health care professionals would enjoy complete immunity for refusing to provide a health care service they disagree with for personal or religious reason (so-called “conscientious objection”). The bill removes existing patient protections, including their right to a referral, and their ability to have a complaint heard or to launch a lawsuit.
Abortion Access In Alberta At Greater Risk With New Bill
Last Updated November 8, 2019
Alberta doctors could refuse to refer women to abortion practitioners if a bill currently making its way through the provincial legislature is passed. Bill 207 would protect doctors from referring patients to procedures that conflict with their personal beliefs.
If it becomes law, the bill would be a blow to reproductive rights in the province. While abortion is legal across Canada, provinces regulate and determine access. And in Alberta, that access is already hit and miss. Crisis pregnancy centres — basically anti-choice centres masquerading as women’s support groups — outnumber clinics that provide abortions four to one. People outside of Calgary and Edmonton have limited access to clinics where surgical abortions take place, and it’s up to individual physicians to decide if they want to prescribe the abortion pill.