Tuesday, May 29, 2007
>Read the full article.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Canadian women owe Dr. Morgentaler a tremendous debt of gratitude for standing up for their lives and health at great personal sacrifice and risk. He is a legend, a hero, and a national treasure in both our countries.
Dr. Morgentaler challenged the Canadian criminal code by founding the first free standing abortion clinic in Canada. He was tried and jailed for providing safe abortion care to women. His challenges eventually led to the 1988 landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision that gave women the right to obtain abortion care. When Canada’s top Charter experts compiled a list of the most important and influential Charter cases, not surprisingly R. v. Morgentaler was included.
Since then, Dr. Morgentaler has worked to increase women’s access to quality abortion care in Canada. He has survived numerous threats on his life, a clinic bombing, and constant protests.
Dr. Morgentaler has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years, including NAF’s highest honour, the Christopher Tietze Humanitarian Award. The Tietze Award honours significant, lifetime contributions in the field of abortion care or policy.
Dr. Morgentaler’s determination and tireless efforts on behalf of Canadian women have never ceased. He has changed the legal landscape in Canada. And, he continues to provide leadership in current struggles to ensure that women have access to publicly funded abortion care.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Under current Kansas law, abortion of a viable fetus is legal after the 21st week of pregnancy to save a woman's life or to prevent "substantial and irreversible harm" to "a major bodily function." Doctors report each procedure, whether the fetus was viable, and whether the abortion preserved a woman's life or her health. Physicians must state generally how they made those assessments.
"This measure runs counter to Kansans' strong belief in the importance of medical privacy," Sebelius said in her veto message. She said the requirements would open private medical records up for public viewing and would not collect sound data. Sebelius also vetoed another abortion-reporting bill last year.
Ireland’s abortion law has received international media attention over the last month due to the High Court of Dublin’s decision that allowed a 17-year-old girl in the care of the Health Service Executive - whose fetus had a fatal brain condition - to leave the country to obtain abortion care.
Friday, May 18, 2007
In Canada, access to health services is guaranteed by the Canada Health Act. Abortion is funded under provincial and territorial health plans, and coverage varies regionally. In New Brunswick, in order to have a publicly funded abortion, a woman has to have approval from two doctors and obtain abortion care in a hospital. Only two hospitals in the province offer abortion care, which is not sufficient to meet the needs of women. Therefore, more than half the women who need abortion care in New Brunswick, get their care at the Morgentaler Clinic. The government’s refusal to fund abortions provided in a clinic setting is in direct violation of the 1988 Supreme Court decision, which decriminalized abortion in Canada.
"The women of New Brunswick are entitled to medically safe abortions that are covered by medicare," Dr. Morgentaler wrote last year. "The government has not only refused to cover abortions at the Morgentaler Clinic, it has not taken the appropriate action to advise the medical profession, nor New Brunswick women seeking abortion services, where this essential service will be available."
>Learn more about access to abortion in Canada.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
AWHC is a NAF Member and we immediately sent our Security Director to Austin to assist the clinic and law enforcement. Within just two days, authorities apprehended Paul Ross Evans. We are asking our member clinics to remain on heightened security alert. When abortion is featured prominently in the news, there is often an increased risk that abortion providers and clinics will be targeted for violence. In fact, just last week a clinic in Virginia Beach was the victim of arson.
Evans faces five criminal charges including using and carrying a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence, and possession of a destructive device by a convicted felon. Evans is also charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, which is punishable by up to life in prison.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
>Learn more about international abortion issues.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Today, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) sent a letter to the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) calling on them to change their policy of allowing physicians to refuse to refer patients for abortion services noting that, "a physician's religious and moral beliefs should not jeopardize a patient's access to needed care." The complete letter follows:
Dear Dr. Colin McMillan, Dr. Louise M.C. Cloutier, and Dr. Jeff Blackmer:
The Canadian Medical Association's (CMA) policy of allowing physicians to refuse to
refer patients for abortion services is a violation of CMA's own Code of Ethics,
which requires physicians to first consider the well-being of the patient; to
practice medicine in a manner that treats the patient with dignity; to disclose
and resolve conflicts of interest in the best interest of patients; not to
discriminate against any patient on grounds such as gender or medical
conditions; and to provide patients with information they need to make informed
decisions about their medical care. Your policy treats women unfairly and
impedes women's access to critical health care guaranteed through the Canada
As you know, abortion is a safe, legal, and insured service under the Canada Health Act and should be treated the same as all other medical procedures. In fact, all provinces and territories have recognized that abortion is a medically necessary procedure. A physician's religious and moral beliefs should not jeopardize a patient's access to needed care.
If doctors do not wish to refer and inform patients about their comprehensive medical options, including abortion care, then they should not participate in the public system. Refusing to refer women for abortion care could result in delays that could force women to have later abortions at an increased risk to their
Women in Canada deserve to have access to a full range of safe reproductive health care options. The CMA should not allow physicians to treat abortion referrals differently than referrals for other health care services. A patient's needs must remain paramount.
The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers in Canada and the United States. Our members include health care professionals at clinics, doctors' offices, and hospitals, who together care for more than half the women in both countries who choose abortion each year. We set the standards for quality abortion care in North America, and we have played a leading role in advocating for increased access to quality abortion care throughout Canada.
The National Abortion Federation calls on the Canadian Medical Association
to change your policy to come into compliance with your own ethical standards.
By not doing so, you abdicate your moral authority to set policies regarding
health care in Canada.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
According to Karin Michels, the lead author of the study and an associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard, “There are still some states that require women to be informed about the risk of breast cancer if they get an abortion. I think that may not be justified based on the current evidence.”
More than 100 of the world’s leading experts on pregnancy and breast cancer have concluded that having an abortion does not increase a woman’s subsequent risk of developing breast cancer. However, the anti-choice community continues to claim an association between abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer in an attempt to scare women away from choosing abortion.
>Learn about other abortion myths
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
On April 18, 2007 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal law banning certain
abortion procedures after the first trimester. It remains the case,
however, that abortion is still legal in the United States in the first and
second trimesters, and under very limited circumstances in the third
trimester. We are working with our members and attorneys to ensure that
women continue to have access to the highest quality abortion care in compliance
with the court’s decision.
If you have questions about abortion or need referrals to providers of quality care, please call our toll-free Hotline at 1-800-772-9100. Our hotline provides callers with unbiased, factual information about abortion in English, Spanish, and French.
NAF has been at the forefront of challenging this dangerous ban. Our mission is to
ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care to promote health and justice
for women. Our members include health care professionals at clinics, doctors'
offices, and hospitals, who together care for more than half the women who
choose abortion each year in the United States.