Many Hospitals Refuse To Provide Reproductive Care, Even In States Where Abortion Remains Legal

Emily Stewart
NOVEMBER 16, 2022

Voter approval of ballot measures protecting abortion rights in three states on Election Day was an important first step toward addressing the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Since that ruling, at least 13 states have implemented restrictions rendering access to abortion almost nonexistent. Still more states have applied extreme limits. People seeking abortion care are being forced to travel to other states, or figure out how to obtain medication abortion through the mail (which may not be their preference). Health providers are struggling to determine what pregnancy emergency care they can provide without violating newly-enacted abortion bans. Too many are unable to overcome these hurdles to get the care they need.

Continued: https://www.healthaffairs.org/content/forefront/many-hospitals-refuse-provide-reproductive-care-even-states-abortion-remains-legal


Abortion rights at risk in region led by party of Italy’s possible next PM

The Brothers of Italy has further impeded access to abortion in the Marche region – a policy it could replicate nationally if it wins power

Angela Giuffrida in Ascoli Piceno
Mon 22 Aug 2022

When Giulia, 20, discovered she was pregnant she immediately decided that she wasn’t ready to have a baby. Supported by her boyfriend and family, she sought medical advice in her home town in Italy’s central Marche region on how to obtain an abortion. She faced obstacles at every turn, from telephones not being answered and surgeries being closed, to one doctor who tried to persuade her to change her mind.

Abortion in Italy was legalised in 1978, overturning an outright ban enforced by the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini who deemed it a crime against the Italian race, but the high number of gynaecologists who refuse to terminate pregnancies for moral reasons – 64.6%, according to 2020 data – has meant women still encounter huge difficulties in accessing safe procedures.

Continued:   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/22/abortion-rights-at-risk-in-region-led-by-party-of-italys-possible-next-pm


Australia – Victorian public hospitals could not prevent doctors from providing abortions under new bill

Reason party leader Fiona Patten, who is introducing the bill, says ‘imposed religious faith has no place in the public health system’

Tamsin Rose
Sun 31 Jul 2022

Public hospitals in Victoria would not be allowed to stop doctors from providing abortions under a bill being introduced to state parliament this week by the crossbench MP Fiona Patten.

The legislation follows the overturning of
the landmark Roe v Wade decision in the US in June, and comes with just four
more sitting weeks before Victorians head to the polls in November.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/aug/01/victorian-public-hospitals-could-not-prevent-doctors-from-providing-abortions-under-new-bill


Thousands rally in Croatia after woman denied abortion

Thousands have rallied across Croatia in solidarity with a woman who was denied an abortion despite her fetus having serious health problems

By The Associated Press
12 May 2022

ZAGREB, Croatia -- Thousands rallied across Croatia Thursday in solidarity with a woman who was denied an abortion despite her fetus having serious health problems, and whose weeks-long ordeal has sparked public outrage.

Protests demanding a better public health system and respect of women's right to choice were held in several cities and towns throughout the predominantly conservative and strongly Catholic nation.

Continued: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/thousands-rally-croatia-woman-denied-abortion-84679046


Why Was a Catholic Hospital Willing to Gamble With My Life?

Feb. 25, 2022
By Katherine Stewart

More than 20 states are poised to ban or severely restrict abortion if the Supreme Court decides to overturn or undermine Roe v. Wade this year. We know these laws and regulations will have a devastating effect on women’s rights and liberty, but many people do not realize how deeply they will reach into maternal medicine. You can’t take away the right to abortion without risking the health and lives of all women who become pregnant.

We can get a sense of why this is so by taking a look at the Catholic hospital systems. All Catholic health care facilities, including hospitals and clinics, and many affiliated providers are governed by the Ethical and Religious Directives, a numbered set of rules that apply Catholic doctrine to health care. These directives, which act as guidelines and impose limitations on the types of services and procedures these facilities are able to deliver, are codified by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/opinion/sunday/roe-dobbs-miscarriage-abortion.html


Faith and Access: The Conflict Inside Catholic Hospitals

Why should publicly funded hospitals get to limit access on religious grounds?

BY WENDY GLAUSER
Feb. 23, 2022 / MARCH-APRIL 2022 issue, Walrus Magazine

IN THE FALL OF 2020, Susan Camm was among a small group of employees touring a brand new seventeen-storey tower at St. Michael’s Hospital, in downtown Toronto. She liked the large single-patient rooms—a hallmark of modern hospital design—and the big windows that filled the space with sunshine. But something caught her eye: a brass crucifix on the wall. “I had an almost visceral reaction,” she recalls.

Camm, who was then a clinical manager at the hospital, had come across crucifixes at St. Michael’s before. But most had been taken down over the years. What shocked her is that the Christian symbols were in brand new rooms. This wasn’t a decision someone had made decades ago; it was one made in 2020. Later, when she had the chance to enter a patient room alone, she dragged a stool over to the crucifix, stood up, and tried to pull the figure off the wall. Unlike the ones in older rooms, it wasn’t simply hanging on a nail. She would have needed a chisel to pry it off.

Continued: https://thewalrus.ca/catholic-hospitals/


Difficulties linger in accessing legal abortion in Slovakia

By Lucia Yar | EURACTIV.sk
Oct 10, 2021   

As many as a third of all hospitals and
medical facilities surveyed refuse to provide legal abortions on the grounds of
conscientious objection, according to a study by the feminist organisation
Possibility of Choice.

Due to conscientious objection, individuals can refuse to perform certain
medical procedures based on their religious or personal beliefs. However, no
legal norm states that entire medical facilities can exercise conscientious
objection. In addition to hospitals, pharmacies often refer to it when refusing
to sell hormonal contraception to women.

Continued: https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/difficulties-linger-in-accessing-legal-abortion-in-slovakia/


Why Can Canadian Doctors Still Deny Access To Abortion—And Other Healthcare?

The practice of conscientious objection means doctors can refuse or deflect requests for a variety of services, including abortion—and in many provinces, they're not even obligated to provide a referral.

Tracey Lindeman
Updated July 22, 2021

Chantal had already performed all the mental gymnastics.

About eight years ago, the then-23-year-old woman from southern Alberta had accidentally become pregnant, and weighed her options. She settled on having an abortion, the best choice for her in that moment of her life. She booked an appointment with her doctor, one of only a small handful in her community, to request a referral—a requirement in Alberta then. When the time came to meet, she sat in his office and laid her cards out.

Continued: https://www.chatelaine.com/opinion/canadian-doctors-deny-access-to-abortion/


Canada – My body, my business — abortion is a personal choice and right

Kathryn McIntee
March 17, 2021
Viewpoint: Reproductive Justice (Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada)

In August 2020, I was away up North when I suspected that I was pregnant again. My period was not late, but I experienced all the symptoms I felt in the past. I was alone when I took the pregnancy test that confirmed it. My partner was also in the North but in a place far more remote without any cell service. It was difficult not being able to share the unexpected news with him, but I knew I would see him in a week.

When I returned to the city, I decided to see a doctor to confirm the pregnancy and to request a referral for an ultrasound. I have been pregnant several times in the past, but many pregnancies ended due to an anembryonic pregnancy (also called a blighted ovum -- this occurs when an early embryo never develops or it stops developing; it is resorbed and leaves an empty gestational sac). An anembryonic pregnancy does not always result in a miscarriage, and so I have experienced both surgical and medical abortions to dispel the "products of conception that are contained in the uterus." I have also made a choice to end a pregnancy for personal reasons.

https://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/viewpoint-reproductive-justice/2021/03/my-body-my-business-abortion-personal-choice


Polish woman’s quest for abortion exposes conflicted society

By Alicja Ptak
OCTOBER 19, 2020

WARSAW (Reuters) - In April, in the midst of a nationwide coronavirus lockdown in Poland, Katarzyna found out that the baby she was carrying had a severe genetic disorder and would probably die before birth or shortly after.

She immediately decided to terminate the pregnancy. When she finally managed to, five weeks later and after meeting some 10 doctors, securing a fallback plan in Germany and researching home methods, she knew she would not try to get pregnant again.

Continued: https://ca.reuters.com/article/idCAKBN27429N