Braid: Bill 207 challenges abortion access based on conscience


There is by all accounts an airborne infection that compromises premiers. For Jason Kenney, contracting a plane for $16,764 to fly some benevolent premiers to Saskatoon is mysteriously absurd.

Presently, this is in no way like ex-chief Alison Redford’s “phantom riders in the sky,” the system of booking non-existent travelers on an administration plane, departing the legroom to herself and her company.

Air Kenney’s travelers do give off an impression of being genuine instead of spooky. The reason — Stampede friendliness in addition to government business — is at any rate faultless.

Yet at the same time, the optics of contracting a plane when you’ve recently dropped the most troublesome cost-cutting spending plan in an age are appalling.

The scene covered a considerably more important issue this week — the presentation of ”

It may appear to be harmless from the start, however this bill is a huge indirect access exertion to restrict quiet access to premature birth, all for the sake of still, small voice.

The private part’s bill, supported by Peace River UCP MLA Dan Williams, will be discussed and potentially passed.

It gives invulnerability from objection or control to wellbeing suppliers that won’t manage patients whose requirements insult their heart.

The bill never utilizes the word fetus removal, which makes it possibly wide-coming to. Still, small voice rights could likewise be extended to help for LGBTQ individuals and helped demise.

None of this should come as an amazement. Kenney has consistently said he won’t meddle with the fetus removal administration. Yet, a bend recommends something like Bill 207 was inescapable if the UCP won the political race.

Gotten some information about premature birth get to last Feb. 12, Kenney stated: “Among the supposed social preservationists I know in the gathering, they’re not discussing that issue. They simply need the legislature to disregard them with regards to certain intrinsically secured opportunities of still, small voice and religion.”

In any case, Bill 207 wouldn’t simply disregard these wellbeing suppliers. It would extend their entitlement to force their soul on patients while making them resistant from analysis.

In the current week’s release of Inside Alberta, Calgary Herald feature writers Don Braid and Chris Varcoe talk about the plausibility of a , the province of Alberta’s economy and the postponing of a .

First, it would require any health regulatory body that receives a complaint about a doctor’s refusal to “immediately dismiss the complaint.”

Further, any objection to a decision based on conscience could not even be recognized as a complaint or grounds for complaint. Nor could the doctor’s behaviour be regarded as unprofessional conduct.

Health providers would also be immune from lawsuit for any decision “based on their conscientious beliefs.”

While eliminating the ability to question a health provider, the bill also extends the grounds for refusing service from simply “religious beliefs” to include “conscientious beliefs.”

One of the biggest issues for these conscience health providers is whether, in denying service, they are obliged to refer a patient to someone who will provide the service.

Many were alarmed by an Ontario court decision in May which required physicians to make an “effective” referral to a willing health-care provider.

Bill 207 skirts the issue.

It says: “For greater certainty, nothing in this Act derogates from a health care provider’s or religious health care organization’s obligations to their patients, which may include informing individuals of options in respect of receiving a health care service.”

Note the word “may.” The bill does not concede that physicians have a duty to refer patients.

MLA Williams didn’t just write this bill on the back of a napkin. He cites wide consultation as well as significant medical and legal support for his view.

Williams says, “Let me be clear, this bill not only protects freedom of conscience, but it also in no way limits access to health services in the province.”

But it’s hard to see how, if doctors have total discretion to exercise and define conscience, it would not have some impact on access.

Many UCP MLAs — maybe more than one-third — are against abortion. Anti-abortion groups aggressively recruited and funded their campaigns for UCP nominations.

It worked. “The nominations have gone very well for the pro-life movement,” over the name of Cameron Wilson, director of political action for the Wilberforce Project.

“However, as always, we now need to keep the candidates who won their nominations accountable and on track to enacting pro-life policy should they win in the general election.”

Kenney, himself an abortion opponent, has always said he learned a lesson from ex-prime minister Steven Harper — don’t re-legislate contentious matters that are already fixed in law.

Well then, the premier should vote against Bill 207.

This is not just a minor guarantee of conscience rights.

It broadens the conscience power significantly. It offers protections to doctors exercising that power, without ever mentioning patients.

And that’s not a small matter, no matter how the UCP tries to pitch it.

Don Braid’s column appears regularly in the Calgary Herald.

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