Achieving transparency in implementing abortion laws

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. (2007) 99, 157-161

Rebecca J. Cook, JN Erdman, Bernard M. Dickens

Abstract:

National and international courts and tribunals are increasingly ruling that although states may aim to deter unlawful abortion by criminal penalties, they bear a parallel duty to inform physicians and patients of when abortion is lawful. The fear is that women are unjustly denied safe medical procedures to which they are legally entitled, because without such information physicians are deterred from involvement. With particular attention to the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee, the Constitutional Court of Colombia, the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal, and the US Supreme Court, decisions are explained that show the responsibility of states to make rights to legal abortion transparent. Litigants are persuading judges to apply rights to reproductive health and human rights to require states’ explanations of when abortion is lawful, and governments are increasingly inspired to publicize regulations or guidelines on when abortion will attract neither police nor prosecutors’ scrutiny.[Full Text]

The Ever-Expanding Health Care Conscience Clause: The Quest for Immunity in the Struggle Between Professional Duties and Moral Beliefs

34 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 779, 816 n.237 (2007) 

Maxine M. Harrington

Introduction:  During the past few years, the debate over whether health care professionals should be required to provide services that conflict with their personal beliefs has focused primarily on pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions.1 According to one media account, during a sixmonth period in 2004 there were approximately 180 reports of pharmacists refusing to dispense routine or emergency oral contraceptives. 2 This controversy, however, extends beyond the pharmacy into every facet of the heath care system. . .[Full Text]