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7 October 2010

AR update, 7 October 2010

Council of Europe debates use of conscience clauses; ten years of mifepristone in the USA; updates from the medical journals, and more ...

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A quarterly news digest is provided in the print edition of Abortion Review. You can download the print edition for free here.

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- 1. COUNCIL OF EUROPE DEBATES USE OF CONSCIENCE CLAUSES

Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe are set to vote on a resolution to crack down on ‘the problem of unregulated use of conscientious objection’ in healthcare.

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- 2. COMMENTARY: WHY DOCTORS SHOULD HAVE THE ‘RIGHT TO REFUSE’

In a blog for the UK Independent, Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of BPAS, writes:

‘The issue of “conscientious objection” is a difficult balance of the right of doctors to withdraw from an act they think is wrong, and the right of individuals to receive legal health care. Those of us who champion reproductive choice are keenly aware of the problems that conscientious objection can cause for women – particularly in countries where few doctors agree with abortion. Even in Britain, where abortion is widely available, many women facing an unwanted pregnancy are reluctant to involve their GP because they fear their doctor may judge them or even object.

‘But maintaining this difficult balance is preferable, both on moral and practical grounds, to a system that would force doctors to act against their consciences. At BPAS, we think it is better that doctors with a moral objection to abortion do have the opportunity to opt out of services, providing they make this clear to patients and inform them about others who will help. Women seeking abortion deserve better than treatment from doctors who think they are sinning…’

Read on, here.

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Ann Furedi is chairing the session ‘Your conscience, my health: the right to refuse?’ at the Battle of Ideas festival in London on Saturday 30 October 2010. See here for further information and tickets.

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- 3. NEW ABORTION REVIEW ARCHIVE LAUNCHED

To see articles from the medical and mainstream press grouped by topic, from Early Medical Abortion to the population debate, please visit the sections on the left-hand side of the homepage.

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- 4. UK: TV ROW OVER MORALITY OF ABORTION AND EUTHANASIA

Broadcaster and agony aunt Virginia Ironside has caused a stir by claiming on a TV show that she would ‘suffocate’ a child to end its suffering.

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- 5. USA: TEN YEARS OF MIFEPRISTONE

A decade after it received FDA approval, mifepristone is used in an estimated one in five abortions under seven weeks’ gestation.

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- 6. AUSTRALIA: LARGE RISE IN USE OF THE ABORTION PILL

Therapeutic Goods Administration data shows use of mifepristone increased greatly in the second half of last year after a national chain of day clinics was licensed to use it.

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- 7. AUSTRALIA: EARLY MEDICAL ABORTION: LEGAL AND MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

From The Medical Journal of Australia.

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MEDICAL UPDATE

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- 8. UK: COMPARING MEDICAL VERSUS SURGICAL TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY AT 13-20 WEEKS OF GESTATION

Women find surgical termination of pregnancy in the second trimester more acceptable than medical termination, according to a new study published in BJOG.

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- 9. USA: ABORTION AND MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS IN ADOLESCENTS

A study from Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health concludes that adolescents who have an abortion do not appear to be at elevated risk for depression or low self-esteem in the short term or up to five years after the abortion.

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- 10. USA: CERVICAL PREPARATION FOR SECOND TRIMESTER DILATION AND EVACUATION

From the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 

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- 11. AUSTRALIA: VIEWS AND PRACTICES OF INDUCED ABORTION AMONG FELLOWS AND SPECIALIST TRAINEES

From The Medical Journal of Australia.

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ABORTION REVIEW UPDATES

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For news updates from the UK, see here.

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For news updates from around the world, see here.

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For updates from the medical press, see here.

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