Alberta's “controversial” bill to extend pro-choice protection to doctors who refuse to assist with abortions or suicide


Does pro-choice include whether a doctor has the choice not to help someone get an abortion or commit suicide?

A new private member's bill introduced by UCP backbencher MLA Dan Williams in Alberta's provincial legislature wants to protect the conscience rights of physicians.

The bill has already passed first reading, cracking open a debate around the rights and responsibilities of physicians asked to assist or advise on abortions, contraception or medically assisted deaths. If the bill becomes law, it would amend the Alberta Human Rights Act to include “conscientious beliefs” as a basis for protection from discrimination, or refusal of employment.

According to the media, the bill is controversial and even anti-LGBTQ.

So I read it.

No, no, they’re not looking to ban abortion or whatever Jason Kenney’s shrillest opponents want to do. Actually, they want to bring back a bit of pro-choice. As in: pro-choice implies that the choice is up to you. So if you want to be pro-life, you can be; if you don’t, you don’t have to be.

This bill doesn't take away any medical obligation to a patient. It just says the patient can’t force the doctor to do anything contrary to his religion.

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