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Abortion, conscience clause. Izabela Leszczyna: if there is a threat to a woman’s life or health, the doctor cannot invoke it

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There will be no lists of hospitals where termination of pregnancies is performed and those where it is not. Do you want to have a contract with the National Health Fund? Then you have to perform the benefits package for which you receive money – emphasized the Minister of Health, Izabela Leszczyna. She added that “if we are talking about a threat to a woman’s health or life, a doctor cannot invoke the so-called conscience clause.”

Minister of Health Izabela Leszczyna at Wednesday’s conference, she presented a project for women called “Safe, Conscious Self”. She talked about, among other things, abortion. – The Minister of Health and certainly doctors, hospitals, and all gynecological and obstetric departments must ensure the safety of women who come to the hospital because their health or life is threatened by pregnancy – she emphasized.

She “said with regret” that the guidelines on procedures in connection with the termination of a pregnancy that threatens health or life, prepared by a team appointed by the minister Adam Niedzielski, “are not satisfactory”. – According to experts, they do not ensure the safety of women and do not improve this safety, and yet they were supposed to be there to prevent tragedies from happening again, which unfortunately happened in our hospitals – said Leszczyna.

She announced that “at the end of February, the Polish Society of Sexual and Reproductive Health will publish guidelines consistent with WHO guidelines.” – Yesterday I talked to representatives of this society and many other representatives of organizations that defend women’s rights and everyone is waiting for these guidelines in line with the latest medical knowledge and in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization – she added.

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Leszczyna on the conscience clause

She said that she “absolutely does not run away from the responsibility that the Minister of Health, who is responsible for the legal and organizational aspects, must have.”

– We must remind all doctors that invoking Article 39 of the Act on the Profession of Doctors and Dentists, i.e. the article that states that a doctor may refrain from performing a specific medical procedure, may be used, but never when there is a risk of is the patient’s health or life – she emphasized. She explained that “if we are talking about a threat to a woman’s health or life, a doctor cannot invoke the so-called conscience clause.”

– We will remind and change the provisions in the general terms and conditions of contracts National Health Fund with gynecological and obstetric departments. (…) The head of a facility that has such a contract with the National Health Fund must ensure termination of pregnancy in accordance with Polish law, i.e. in these two cases – she emphasized.

She announced that “there will be no lists of hospitals where termination of pregnancies is performed and those where it is not done.” – Do you want to have a contract with the National Health Fund? Well, you have to fulfill the benefits package for which you receive money. Otherwise, you simply won’t have this contract, said the minister.

READ MORE: Legal abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy? There is the latest survey

Hazel: half a billion zlotys a year for in vitro

Part of the project is an in vitro program. – From the beginning of February, a team will work to develop accessibility criteria for the program for patients, but also accessibility criteria for healthcare entities that want to participate in this project – Leszczyna said.

She emphasized that health department will allocate at least half a billion zlotys for this purpose each year. – We start on June 1 – she announced.

Leszczyna also drew attention to the issue of oncofertility. – This is something that is very important for young people who want to have children but must undergo an oncological procedure – she explained. She announced a large educational and information campaign to raise awareness that you can be a parent despite cancer.

Leszczyna also announced that prenatal tests will be available to all pregnant women. – They will be carried out using the most modern methods and will not be invasive – she emphasized.

Main photo source: TVN24



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