Melbourne, Australia, Jan 31, 2019 / 13:47 pm
Though Australia's Victoria state requires doctors with conscientious objection to abortion to refer women to another provider, a study published Thursday found that some doctors are noncompliant, "with adverse effects on access to care for some women."
"Conscientious objection to abortion, the law and its implementation in Victoria, Australia: perspectives of abortion service providers", by Louise Keogh, was published Jan. 31 in BMC Medical Ethics.
Victoria's Abortion Law Reform Act 2008 allowed conscientious objection to direct participation in abortion, but mandated that conscientious objectors refer their patient to a non-objecting practitioner for treatment and advice.
The referral requirement, Section 8, is opposed by some, who argue that "it compromises practitioners' religious or moral stance on abortion by compelling those with a CO to be complicit in allowing access to abortion through the act of referral," and there have been calls for its repeal.