The Globe and Mail
Dr. Jillian Demontigny keeps a rainbow bracelet wrapped around the stethoscope that she drapes across her neck. It’s her signal to any LGBTQ patient who arrives at her clinic: you are welcome here.
Dr. Demontigny is one of 13 physicians working at the Taber Clinic, a family medicine clinic in a southern Alberta town of 8,500 people. Over her 14 years in Taber, she has expanded her practice to offer extra supports for patients looking for the kind of health care that can be hard to access in this rural, conservative region, where anti-abortion billboards are posted along the highway. . . [Full text]
The Irish Sun
THERE were 12,080 calls made to the HSE helpline about unplanned pregnancies between January and the end of November 2019, estimate figures have revealed.
Data also shows that the MyOptions website was accessed over 331,000 times this year – in the first year of abortion services in Ireland.
Official figures regarding the operation of the service is set to be published during 2020. . .[Full text]
The Irish Catholic
Northern Ireland’s bishops have said new abortion laws in Northern Ireland are “unjust” and that no one is obliged to cooperate with them.
Currently there is a regulatory framework in place in the North that governs abortion provision until more permanent legislation is expected to be introduced in three months.
“The new regulatory framework in Northern Ireland should provide all health professionals including midwives, nurses and ancillary staff working in hospitals and other community settings with the right to refuse to participate in any aspect of the delivery of abortion services such as consultation, administration, preparation, in addition to the direct and intentional act of abortion itself,” the bishops said. They added this should include pharmacists. . .[Full text]
Change will make it harder for hospitals to deny women seeking to terminate pregnancies in cases of rape or endangerment to their health.
Buenos Aires Times
The Health Ministry has published new guidelines for non-punishable abortions in Argentina, moving to guarantee access for those seeking to end pregnancies that are a result of rape or endanger the mother’s life.
The new protocol, published in the Official Gazette just three days after Alberto Fernández was sworn-in as president, is a move to guarantee access for those who meet the conditions.
“The protocol will be used as a guide, especially in cases where the law clearly allows for the interruption of pregnancies,” Health Minister Ginés González García told a press conference. . . the Health Ministry also advised that conscientious objection “will not be considered an institutional excuse to not comply with the law.” [Full text]
Irish Medical Times
There is a lack of training and a considerable level of unwillingness among Irish GPs to participate in the medical termination of pregnancy, a study, the first to look at the issue in Ireland, has concluded.
“There is a lack of training and considerable level of unwillingness to participate in this process among Irish GPs,” the research team stated in their research report.
“There is also a perceived lack of patient support services for women experiencing unwanted pregnancy. It is incumbent upon state and professional bodies to address these issues.” [Full text]
The Christian Institute has raised concerns about the right to conscientious objection after the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) said it would teach and assess “abortion skills”.
In its ‘Better for Women’ document, the RCOG is calling on the General Medical Council (GMC) to “review the Undergraduate medical curriculum to include the importance of abortion care to students”. . .
The RCOG added it would “teach abortion skills as a part of its core curriculum and assess those skills through examination”. . . [Full text]
Almost a year since abortion services were legalised in Ireland just over 300 GPs have agreed to carry out the procedure, according to new figures.
The procedure known as, Termination of Pregnancy (TOP), was signed into law, by President Michael D Higgins, and introduced on January 1 this year.
At the start of this month, 347 GPs had signed up to provide the service. There are 3,500 GPs nationwide, a third of whom are women. . . [Full text]
Medicine Hat News
Bill 207 has been aborted, at least for the time being.
The controversial piece of legislation, which would have allowed
health-care providers to refuse to provide certain medical services
under the guise of “freedom of conscience,” was quashed Thursday night
It was a thinly-veiled effort to roll back abortion, assisted suicide and transgender rights as a concession to the religious right. It rightfully provoked fierce public backlash from the very health-care providers whose rights it purported to protect. . . [Full text]
The health of “vulnerable” people living in remote communities
across Australia could be put at risk if the Commonwealth pushes ahead
with its Religious Discrimination Bill 2019, experts say.
Australian Medical Association NT president Dr Rob Parker has
written to Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter asking for
significant changes to the proposed legislation.
Dr Parker was concerned conservative doctors could deny vulnerable patients health care on moral grounds, leaving them with few other options. . . [Full text]
‘This is a very political thing and a very cynical thing and it is not about physicians’
A controversial private member’s bill that called for more
protection for Alberta health workers who invoke conscience rights was
rejected Thursday by an all-party committee of the legislature.
The Conscience Rights Act for Healthcare Workers, or Bill 207 — introduced
by Peace River MLA and UCP (United Conservative Party) backbencher Dan
Williams — would have meant doctors could not be sued or sanctioned for
refusing to provide a service that goes against their moral beliefs.
Some doctors and patient advocates said the bill would limit access to medical services such as contraception, abortion and assisted dying. . .[Full text]