Abortion Is No Longer a Crime in Mexico. But Will Doctors Object?

Another battle looms over whether public hospitals will be required to offer the procedure.

New York Times

Natalie Kitroeff, Oscar Lopez

MEXICO CITY — As soon as the nurse found out that she had an abortion at home, Fernanda García knew she was in danger. The nurse began yelling that she was a criminal, that what she had done was wrong, that she would be sent to jail. . . .

Now, Mexico’s Supreme Court has ruled that abortion is not a crime, setting a national precedent that puts the country on the path to becoming the most populous nation in Latin America to allow the procedure. Thousands of people have faced criminal investigations in recent years for ending their pregnancies, and the court’s unanimous decision last week should enable them to get any charges dropped, legal experts said. . . continue reading

Bill Undermines Conscientious Objection to VAD

CQ Today

Duncan Evans

Conscientious objection to voluntary assisted dying (VAD) may not be an option for Queenslanders if the state government’s bill to legalise VAD is passed in its present form, a leading healthcare provider has warned.

In a media statement released last week, Mater Board Chair Francis Sullivan AO said the proposed legislation would force Mater to allow assisted dying to take place at its facilities in direct contradiction to the moral ethos upon which the healthcare provider delivers patient care to Queenslanders.

“The proposed law will also compel Mater and other not-for-profit providers to allow doctors who are not known to our hospitals to enter our facilities to administer lethal doses to our patients,” Mr Sullivan said. . . . continue reading

Spanish win the right to medically assisted death

New Frame

Alex Čizmić, Ricard Gonzalez

Carme Barahona wears a smile that is only erased when she recalls how her son Ivan Martí died in late 2017. “He sent me a message saying: ‘Thanks for taking care of me, mom. I am going to rest’.” 

Marti, 43, had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an incurable neurodegenerative disease that results in a progressive loss of movement and eventually death. Right after receiving her son’s farewell message, Barahona made sure to clock in at her job to prove she had not helped him take his life. Otherwise, she might have been imprisoned. 

Since 25 June, however, this risk no longer exists. Spain has legislated that its citizens who suffer from a “chronic and incurable disease, with an unbearable physical or mental suffering” have the right to ask for medical assistance to die. . . continue reading

New government publishes new guidelines for non-punishable abortions

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]

Women forced to travel as only 10 out of 19 maternity units provide full abortion service

Irish Independent

Eilish O’Regan

Just half of the country’s 19 maternity units are providing a full abortion service, it emerged yesterday.

It means that some women are more likely to have to travel for the service, despite the new abortion law coming into effect in January.

The HSE said that “work is ongoing with hospital groups to roll out the service in additional maternity hospitals”.

However, a spokeswoman said it has not received any formal complaints about women travelling a long distance or failure to get a referral. . . [Full text]