Abortion care in Canada is decided between a woman and her doctor, without recourse to criminal law

BMJ 2017; 356: j1506
Authors: W V Norman, J Downie
“As the UK debates decriminalisation of abortion and people wonder about the effects it might have, it may be useful to consider the Canadian experience of nearly 30 years without a criminal law to police access to abortion.”
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Decriminalisation in the NT signals abortion is part of normal health care

The Conversation, 24 March 2017
Author: Suzanne Belton
“The Northern Territory parliament this week passed a bill decriminalising abortion up to 24 weeks’ gestation, removing the requirement of parental approval for abortions in teenagers and providing early medical abortions with tablets.”
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Decriminalisation of abortion

BMJ 2017; 356: j1485
Author: Clare Dyer
“In the year that sees the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act 1967, which created a framework for legal termination, campaigners argue that the time has come for abortion to be decriminalised in England and Wales. A coalition of 20 organisations, We Trust Women, says that women who choose abortion should no longer risk life imprisonment under a law dating back to the Victorian era, when only men could vote. The organisations include the Royal College of Midwives and Doctors for a Woman’s Choice on Abortion. The BMA has no policy on decriminalisation but set out possible options in a recent discussion paper.”
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Support building for landmark move to overturn El Salvador’s anti-abortion law

The Guardian, 23 March 2017
Author: Nina Lakhani
“El Salvador’s controversial law banning abortion in all circumstances, which has provoked ruthless miscarriages of justice, could be overturned in what has been described as a historic move. Momentum is building around a parliamentary bill proposing to allow abortion in cases of rape or human trafficking; when the foetus in unviable; or to protect the pregnant woman’s health or life. Prominent church groups, doctors, lawyers and ethicists have spoken out in favour of loosening restrictions.”
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Could Roe v. Wade be overturned?

The Conversation, 20 March 2017
Author: B. Jessie Hill
“But the real danger may be not so much that things will radically change – it’s that they’ll remain the same. From my vantage point as a constitutional law professor who also litigates reproductive rights cases, the landscape looks about as treacherous as it ever has.”
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Regulator grants license for Britain’s first three-parent IVF babies

Reuters, 16 March 2017
Author: Kate Kelland
“Britain’s fertility regulator on Thursday granted doctors the first UK license to create babies using a three-parent IVF technique designed to prevent inherited genetic diseases. The license, granted to a team of doctors in Newcastle, northern England, means the first child created in Britain using the mitochondrial pronuclear transfer technique could be born before the end of this year.”
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Why critics say a Texas bill lets anti-abortion doctors lie to pregnant women

The Washington Post, 11 March 2017
Author: Peter Holley
“In announcing the proposed legislation in November, Creighton’s office said that the state senator from Conroe, near Houston, “took a stand for the unborn with a bill intended to protect doctors from legal pressure to recommend abortion. Based on legal precedent, doctors can be assigned liability for children born with abnormalities if they identified those abnormalities in utero and failed to advocate for termination, resulting in what’s termed a ‘wrongful birth.’” The bill’s opponents say S.B. 25 would create an incentive for antiabortion doctors to avoid conducting prenatal tests, of fully informing pregnant women of the test results — or even to lie to patients who might seek an abortion after learning their fetus has abnormalities.”
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States Wrestle With Legalizing Payments For Gestational Surrogates

NPR, 10 March 2017
Author: Emily Sohn
“Last month, state legislators proposed a bill that would regulate gestational surrogacy — potentially adding legal oversight to fertility clinics that facilitate these pregnancies, when one woman carries a pregnancy for another. Minnesota’s surrogacy legislation and the debates that surround it echo the larger national debate on reproductive rights.”
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Unconventional combinations of prospective parents: ethical challenges faced by IVF providers

BMC Medical Ethics, 2017, 18:18
Author: Robert Klitzman
“Professional guidelines have addressed ethical dilemmas posed by a few types of nontraditional procreative arrangements (e.g., gamete donations between family members), but many questions arise regarding how providers view and make decisions about these and other such arrangements.”
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