The no correlation argument: can the morality of conscientious objection be empirically supported? the Italian case

BMC Medical Ethics 2017 18:64
Authors: Marco Bo, Carla Maria Zotti, Lorena Charrier
“The legitimacy of conscientious objection to abortion continues to fuel heated debate in Italy. In two recent decisions, the European Committee for Social Rights underlined that conscientious objection places safe, legal, and accessible care and services out of reach for most Italian women and that the measures that Italy has adopted to guarantee free access to abortion services are inadequate. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Health states that current Italian legislation, if appropriately applied, accommodates both the right to conscientious objection and the right to voluntary abortion.”
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End criminal sanctions for abortion

BMJ 2017; 359: j5409
Author: Richard Hurley
“The 1967 Abortion Act entitled British women to a legal termination of pregnancy, provided that certain conditions were met. It created exemptions to the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, which is still on the statute books and makes abortion a crime punishable by life in prison.”
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After 50 years of legal abortion in Great Britain, calls grow for further liberalisation

BMJ 2017; 359: j5278
Author: Sally Howard
“Despite these shifts and many countries having moved to liberal models of social “abortion on demand,” the 1967 Act remains largely unchanged. An increasingly vocal lobby of medical practitioners and campaigners, including the BMA, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), say that the act is outdated: it excludes social abortions; it restricts abortions to registered medical premises but not primary care settings; and, perhaps most controversially, it does not extend to Northern Ireland.”
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U.S. top court to hear fight over California pregnancy center law

Reuters, 14 November 2017
Author: Larence Hurley
“The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether a California law requiring private facilities that counsel pregnant women against abortion to post signs telling clients how to get state-funded abortions and contraceptives violates free speech rights.”
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Mexico baby death trial reveals growing persecution of women who miscarry

The Guardian, 8 November 2017
Author: David Agren
“McPherson is currently serving a 16-year sentence after she was convicted of homicide for the death of her baby in what she says was a miscarriage. Her case gained national notoriety when court videos surfaced in which the prosecutor described McPherson’s alleged actions as something “not even a dog would do”.”
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The global abortion policies database—legal knowledge as a health intervention

The BMJ Opinion, 1 November 2017
Author: Joanna Erdman
“In 2012, Savita Halappanavar died in an Irish hospital from miscarriage complications after being refused an abortion. The treating physicians believed that because the fetus still had a beating heart their “hands were tied.” Under Irish law, abortion is a criminal offence unless necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman, yet there is little clarity on this exception. Following nationwide protests, the government introduced the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 to clarify the law and to regulate access under it. Years earlier, the European Court of Human Rights called for precisely such regulation moved by the impossible position of physicians who “faced criminal charges, on the one hand, and an absence of clear legal, ethical, or medical guidelines, on the other.”
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Ectogenesis, abortion and a right to the death of the fetus

Bioethics. 2017;31:697–702.
Author: Joona Räsänen
“Many people believe that the abortion debate will end when at some point in the future it will be possible for fetuses to develop outside the womb. Ectogenesis, as this technology is called, would make possible to reconcile pro-life and pro-choice positions. That is because it is commonly believed that there is no right to the death of the fetus if it can be detached alive and gestated in an artificial womb. Recently Eric Mathison and Jeremy Davis defended this position, by arguing against three common arguments for a right to the death of the fetus. I claim that their arguments are mistaken.”
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Undocumented 17-Year-Old Must Delay Abortion, Court Rules

NYT, 21 October 2017
Author: Christina Caron
“An undocumented 17-year-old caught in a legal standoff with the federal government must further delay plans for an abortion after an appeals court ruled on Friday that the Department of Health and Human Services had 11 days to find a sponsor to take custody of the teenager.”
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Evolving State-Based Contraceptive and Abortion Policies

JAMA. 2017; 317(24): 2481-2482
Authors: Divya Mallampati, Melissa A. Simon, Elizabeth Janiak
“This Viewpoint discusses the importance of US state-based contraceptive and abortion policies given renewed focus by the Trump administration on restrictions to federal funding for reproductive services.”
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A health issue, not a crime: it’s time to scrap outdated abortion laws

The Guardian, 25 June 2017
Author: Caroline de Costa Heather Douglas
“On Wednesday the Queensland law reform commission (QLRC) received a reference to consider how Queensland should amend laws relating to termination of pregnancy and remove abortion offences from the criminal code. The QLRC has 12 months to report on how to repeal these archaic Queensland laws dating back to 1861.”
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