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Amnesty International decries conscience clauses, Catholic bishops’ ethical directives

August 10, 2012

Citing Amnesty International’s maternal-health campaign, Elizabeth Charnowski of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute writes that

Amnesty International, a human rights organization that used to be abortion neutral, is now using the problem of maternal mortality to advocate for abortion. In a new report, ostensibly on medical care for maternal health, Amnesty calls on governments to repeal abortion laws and conscience protection for medical workers who may object. They also call for public health systems to train and equip health care providers to perform abortions.

In “Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA,” Amnesty International decries conscience protection for medical professionals as well as religious hospitals’ refusal to provide “reproductive health services” such as contraception, sterilization, and abortion.

The report notes:

Some states have policies or legislation (also known as “conscience clauses”) which allow health care providers and pharmacists to refuse to provide services or dispense medication, including contraception, if it conflicts with that person’s religious or moral beliefs … The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) has documented refusals by pharmacists to dispense contraceptives in 24 states. The NWLC also found that pharmacists have confiscated prescriptions, refused to transfer a prescription to another pharmacy, and lectured or harassed women.

Women may also be refused reproductive health services when they seek care at religious hospitals. Policies may prohibit sterilization, the provision of contraception, emergency contraception and abortion, even when the woman’s health is at risk. Physicians have reported that when practicing medicine in such facilities, there may be interference with their medical judgment, endangering women’s health. For example, Catholic hospitals are required to follow the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, which restrict treatment of ectopic pregnancies …


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  • Posted by: bruno - Aug. 10, 2012 5:31 PM ET USA

    Soon they'll need to change their name from 'Amnesty International' to 'Secular Allegiance International'. Toe the party line, you foolish Christians!

  • Posted by: mrschips19308196 - Aug. 10, 2012 5:04 PM ET USA

    This qualifies as "some of his ilk".(See first item)