In advance of its meeting on November 18, 2019, LEAF today sent a letter to the Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members’ Public Bills addressed to its chair, Mr. Mike Ellis.

The letter expressed LEAF’s concerns regarding proposed Bill 207, Conscience Rights (Health Care Providers) Protection Act. In particular, LEAF noted that Bill 207 negates the professional obligations of regulated health care professionals to provide health care services, if doing so conflicts with their conscientious beliefs. Further, the Bill would also prohibit the regulatory bodies of health care professionals from compelling health care professionals to provide the health care services (including referrals), or even from hearing complaints related to denials of service based in conscientious belief.

If enacted, Bill 207 would have harmful effects on women’s access to important health care services, including reproductive health services. These impacts would be especially harmful to women living at multiple intersections of marginalization, such as Indigenous women, poor women, racialized women, women who wear religious attire, lesbian women, trans women, and women living in rural areas

LEAF urged the Committee to provide the opportunity for submissions considering the wide-ranging impact of this Bill on Albertans from a constitutional and equality perspective.

Read our full letter here.