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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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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Appeal Court overturns first case based on ruling that patients have right to information on treatment options

BMJ 2017; 356: j992
Author: Clare Dyer
“A pregnant woman was entitled to be told about research indicating that there were risks to her fetus in delaying labour, the Court of Appeal has ruled in an important judgment on patients’ right to information.The three Appeal Court judges held that Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was liable for the serious brain damage suffered by Sebastian Webster as a result of his late delivery 14 years ago, reversing a High Court judgment in favour of the trust.”
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Paid protection? Ethics of incentivised long-acting reversible contraception in adolescents with alcohol and other drug use

Journal of Medical Ethics 2017;43:182-187.
Authors: Won T, Blumenthal-Barby J, Chacko M
“Pregnant adolescents have a higher risk of poor maternal and fetal outcomes, particularly in the setting of concomitant maternal alcohol and other drug (AOD) use. Despite numerous programmes aimed at reducing overall teen pregnancy rates and the recognition of AOD use as a risk factor for unintended pregnancy in adolescents, interventions targeting this specific group have been sparse. In adult drug-using women, financial incentives for contraception have been provided but are ethically controversial. This article explores whether a trial could ethically employ monetary incentives in adolescents with AOD use to promote the use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), with special attention to the relevant distinctions between adults and adolescents.”
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The Use of Public Health Evidence in Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt

JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(2):155-156.
Author: Daniel Grossman
“Enacted in 2013, Texas’s House Bill 2 (HB 2) was one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. The law had 4 provisions: (1) physicians providing abortion had to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, (2) medication abortion had to be provided according to the protocol described in the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved labeling of mifepristone, (3) most abortions at 20 weeks postfertilization or later were banned, and (4) facilities providing abortion had to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers. The first 3 provisions went into effect by November 2013; the fourth provision, meeting the standards of ambulatory surgical centers, was enforced only briefly in October 2014 before the US Supreme Court issued a stay.”
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Uneasy About the Ethics of Egg Donation

The Atlantic, 17 January 2017
Author: Chris Bodenner
“The following reader tells the story of her long battle with infertility that culminated with the successful use of donated eggs. But despite the happy ending, she struggles with uneasy questions about the ethics of the donor industry and the “massive resentment” she harbors toward her husband.”
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Texas rule requiring burial or cremation of fetal tissue shames women, suit says

The Guardian, 13 December 2016
Author: Tom Dart
“The lawsuit against the Texas department of state health services (DSHS), filed in federal court in Austin, alleges that the regulation has no medical benefits, will pose practical burdens by increasing the cost of healthcare services and is an attempt to stigmatise abortion and heap shame on women seeking the procedure.”
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