On November 18th, Bill 207 will go to an all-party committee that studies private members bills. We need to TAKE ACTION NOW and let our government know how we feel about this archaic and discriminative bill. We need to inform the members of the committee and our MLAs about how we put patients' rights BEFORE a doctor's potential biases.
What YOU can do:
WE NEED ACTION. We are organizing a letter writing campaign where YOU can let your elected representative know how you feel about Bill 207. We encourage you to write the letter, or send tweets to your MLA and members of the committee, so that your voice on the matter is heard. A physical letter goes a lot further than an email or a tweet, but please add your voice however you can!!
Find a sample letter HERE, and a list of member contact information for the Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members' Public Bills HERE.
You can also find a list of MLA contact information HERE.
What is Bill 207? *
According to backbencher UCP MLA Dan Williams, Bill 207 is needed to ensure the Charter-protected fundamental freedoms of conscience and religion held by health-care providers so that they ”never have to choose between their most deeply held convictions on one side and their jobs on the other.”
In other words...
Doctors would be able to deny patients care based on the doctor's individual religion or belief, without having to refer the patient to another doctor who could help them. This will lead doctors to refuse to give referrals for procedures like abortions, birth control, and medically assisted death.
This is huge.
Bill 207’s vast reach is surprising: It applies to more than 30 categories of medical and mental health practitioners who provide elective, medically necessary and lifesaving treatments. The list is long and includes emergency, primary and critical care paramedics; midwives, chiropractors, podiatrists, psychologists and psychiatrists; lab, respiratory, ultrasound and X-ray technologists; pharmacists, physiotherapists and physical therapists; opticians and optometrists; dieticians and nutritionists; anesthesiologists, surgeons, and social workers; audiologists, dental professionals and speech-language pathologists.
This is very bad.
Bill 207 is much more than a way to honour medical practitioners’ beliefs. Practitioners who refuse to treat will only have to suggest obtaining services elsewhere, without being obligated to identify who can provide the services. If you don’t like the refusal, then you cannot complain, and it is legislated that such action is not unethical or unprofessional.
*Information verbatim from the following: https://calgaryherald.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-thought-you-paid-for-health-care-with-your-taxes-bill-207-says-think-again
Legal experts say a bill tabled in the Alberta legislature that aims to protect conscience rights of health care providers may have dire consequences for access to health care services in the province, despite the assertion of the government that it will not. –Star Metro
Bill 207 -- The Abandoning Patients Act
If passed Bill 207 would remove the obligation for health providers to make referrals for services they refuse to offer. It also extends so-called “conscience rights” to entire religious health organizations.
This will have a profound effect on people seeking abortions, especially in rural areas. There are also possible catastrophic scenarios where trans people could be refused emergency medical care on the basis of personal beliefs of emergency responders.
We have to stand up for the rights of women and LGBTQ people.
The UCP is using Bill 207 as an attack on women and queer people. It is a political attack on transgender people and could hinder their ability to seek timely access to health care.
We need you to take action to prevent this bill from passing. Write an email and send a tweet to committee members to let them know we stand with women and LGBTQ people.
On November 18th the bill will go to an all-party committee that studies private members bills.
We need to write to the committee to let them know Alberta wants to ensure that women, transgender and LGTBQ people get timely and comprehensive healthcare.
Take action by sending an email to the committee and take a second to send out a tweet with #DownWithBill207 to the committee members.
Analysis and critique of Bill 207
Stop Bill 207: “Abandoning Patients Act” Is Unconstitutional and Dangerous