The premier won’t whip United Conservative Party MLA votes on a
private members’ bill that could leave Alberta women without legal
recourse if an objecting doctor refuses to refer her to a colleague for
an abortion or contraception.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said at a Friday press conference his government will “always have free votes” on bills introduced to the legislature by individual MLAs, as compared to government bills. . . [Full text]
A controversial doctors’ conscience-rights bill won’t impede
services for abortion, transgendered people and those seeking medically
assisted death, Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Wednesday.
But the minister admitted he isn’t entirely familiar with some aspects of private member’s Bill 207, which passed first reading in the legislature last week.
Those comments came the same day the Alberta Medical Association expressed opposition to the bill, calling it “unnecessary” while saying it threatens to “limit access to patient services.” . . . [Full text]
The head of the Alberta Medical Association says a private
member’s bill introduced last week that would protect the conscience
rights of medical professionals is “unnecessary and inappropriate,”
while the bill’s sponsor and the province’s health minister doubled down
that access to health care wouldn’t be affected.
Dr. Christine Molnar, president of the Alberta Medical Association (AMA), wrote to Health Minister Tyler Shandro on Wednesday about her concerns on Bill 207. Also included in the letter were Premier Jason Kenney and Peace River MLA Dan Williams, who introduced the bill on Nov. 7. . . [Full text]
Critics fear the bill will restrict access to abortion and LGBTQ health care.
As doctors and medical associations speak out against Alberta’s controversial conscience rights bill, which would allow doctors to refuse referrals for services they’re morally or religiously opposed to, such as abortion or assisted dying, the province’s premier remains silent.
The private member’s bill introduced by United Conservative Party (UCP) MLA Dan Williams passed first reading last week, with unanimous support from the party’s MLAs in attendance for the vote. It will now move to a second reading, which involves debate in the Alberta legislature. . . [Full text]