The Canadian province of Saskatchewan is updating its abortion rules to allow doctors to opt out of carrying out an abortion if they don’t want to.
The guidelines produced by the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1991 have been updated to take into account planned and unwanted pregnancies. As such, the new rules while allowing doctors the option to refuse to carry out an abortion do however expect the same doctor to tell the patient the reason why.
Comment in the preamble of the updated guidelines says: “Any physician who is unable to be involved in the further care and management of any patient when termination of the pregnancy might be contemplated should inform the patient and make an expeditious referral to another available physician.”
The last point, namely making a referral however is disputed by some commentators.
Length of time allowable for abortion is also variable across Saskatchewan. For example, in Regina a woman has up to 16 weeks while in Saskatoon it is just 12 weeks. Abortions however are paid for by the State health care system.
The guidelines also separate planned from unplanned or unwanted pregnancies. Doctors must determine length of the pregnancy and then discuss various options (including abortion) available to the woman.
In other news, a woman in Colorado was accidentally given an abortion drug by accident.
The accident occurred at the pharmacy section of a store where the lady in question had ordered antibiotics. She was given methotrexate instead, which would have severely harmed her unborn baby. Methotrexate is normally used during chemotherapy and for terminating pregnancies.
It seems that guidelines weren’t followed at the store to prevent medication errors.