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Competing Rights: Exploring the Boundaries of ‘Conscientious Objection’

From the human rights perspective, we see the ability to exercise conscience as fundamental to individual integrity.

Earlier this month, Joyce Arthur and Christian Fiala argued in a piece for RH Reality Check that clinicians should not be permitted to claim “conscientious objection” as grounds for refusing to provide abortion or contraception, taking issue with any tolerance of it. Global Doctors for Choice thinks differently on both philosophic and strategic grounds.

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Why We Need to Ban ‘Conscientious Objection’ in Reproductive Health Care

The exercise of conscientious objection is a violation of medical ethics because it allows health-care professionals to abuse their position of trust and authority by imposing their personal beliefs on patients.

The exercise of conscientious objection is a violation of medical ethics because it allows health-care professionals to abuse their position of trust and authority by imposing their personal beliefs on patients.

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Irish Law, “Conscience Clauses,” and Needless Death: Three Questions About Savita Halappanavar’s Death

University College Hospital, Galway. Photo: Thejournal.ie.

Numerous questions have arisen in the wake of Savita’s case. Why did this happen? Doesn’t Ireland, a country with otherwise draconian abortion laws, allow abortion to save the life of the mother? Was there any doubt an abortion was necessary to save Savita’s life? Can this happen in the United States? And here are my answers.

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We Are All Savita Halappanavar: Catholic Hospital in Ireland Denies Woman Life-Saving Abortion

Last month, a Catholic hospital in Ireland effectively murdered a pregnant woman by denying her a life-saving abortion. Anti-choicers in the United States are trying to impose the same policies on women in the United States. This must be stopped. 

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Obama Administration Repeals Portions of Bush “Provider Conscience Rules”

Today, the administration issued a final ruling on the “provider conscience” regulation put in place by Bush Administration in 2008, rescinding the rule equating contraception with abortion.

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