Abortion Rights

Photo: September 25, 2012 in Vancouver. Joyce Arthur speaking at rally against Motion 312, organized by Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada and BC Federation of Labour.

Conscientious objection” in reproductive healthcare is wrong and dangerous:

What International Human Rights Groups and Agreements, and Global Health Orgs, Say About “Conscientious Objection” in Healthcare (Resource document, May 2021)

ESCRH’s Position Paper on SRHR should not tolerate the denial of care due to
personal beliefs (March 2021)  ESCHR is European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health

How to Reduce or Eliminate “Conscientious Objection” in Reproductive Health Care, by Joyce Arthur and Christian Fiala (Nov 2020)

The Refusal to Provide Healthcare in Canada (Oct 2020)

There’s no defence for “Conscientious Objection” in Healthcare – Presentation to UK Doctors for Choice (April 2019)

Lessons learnt from the past: “Conscientious objection” to abortion in Chile will lead to widespread disobedience of the new law, by Christian Fiala and Joyce Arthur (Aug 2018)

Expert group denounces the refusal to treat under ‘conscientious objection’ (July 2018)

Letter to the Editor: The FSRH guideline on conscientious objection disrespects patient rights and endangers their health, by Christian Fiala and Joyce H. Arthur, BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health (April 2018)

Letter to the Editor: Refusal to Treat Patients Does Not Work in Any Country—Even If Misleadingly Labelled “Conscientious Objection”, by Christian Fiala and Joyce H. Arthur, Health & Human Rights Journal (Sept 2017)

There is no defense for ‘Conscientious objection’ in reproductive health care, by Christian Fiala and Joyce H. Arthur, European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology (July 2017)

“Conscientious objection” kills women, by Christian Fiala and Joyce Arthur (June 2017)

The dishonourable disobedience of not providing abortion, by Joyce Arthur, Christian Fiala, and Kristina Gemzell Danielsson (Nov 2016)

Yes We Can! Successful Examples of Disallowing ‘Conscientious Objection’ in Reproductive Health Care, by Christian Fiala, Kristina Gemzell Danielsson, Oskari Heikinheimo, Jens A. Guðmundsson, and Joyce Arthur (February 2016)

“Conscientious objection” in reproductive healthcare is dishonourable disobedience – Presentation delivered at the IWAC conference in Bangkok Thailand on January 28, 2016 – the 3rd international conference on women’s health and unsafe abortion (PowerPoint in PDF format)

Prohibit Conscientious Objection: My Feedback to the Ontario College of Pharmacists (November 2015)

“Conscientious Objection” in Reproductive Healthcare is Immoral and Should Be Abolished (October 2015)

Christian doctors angry they can no longer abandon their patients (April 2015)

Doctors do not have the right to discriminate and deny basic health care (August 2014)

The CO debate: ‘Conscientious Objection’ is still dishonourable disobedience by Joyce Arthur and Christian Fiala (July 2014)

Why We Need to Ban Conscientious Objection in Reproductive Health Care by Joyce Arthur and Christian Fiala (May 2014)

“Dishonourable disobedience” – Why refusal to treat in reproductive healthcare is not conscientious objection, by Christian Fiala and Joyce Arthur. PDF version. (March 2014)

Abortion politics and media:

The inconvenient anti-choice record of ‘pro-choice’ Pierre Poilievre (July 2022)

Joyce Arthur on New Reproductive Rights Updates in Canada, an interview by Scott Douglas Jacobsen (Jan 2022)

Ban on abortion protesters outside clinics would protect patients and staff (Dec 2021)

Nope, Erin O’Toole is still not pro-choice (Sept 2021)

Why Access to Abortion Remains an Election Issue, a 30 minute podcast interview by Rabble Radio (Sep 2021)

Joyce Arthur Responds to the Alliance for Life Ontario, 68 minutes, by Strong and Free Podcast. (July 2021)

Oosterhoff’s extreme anti-choice views should be a ‘bridge too far’ in politics (March 2021)

The Pro Choice Abortion Perspective: A Conversation with Joyce Arthur, The Strong and Free Podcast – 61 minutes (Oct 2020)

Erin O’Toole is not pro-choice (Sept 2020)

The Conservative Party is still anti-choice – Its future viability may depend on whether it can leave the abortion issue behind (Aug 2020)

The pro-choice movement will defeat any threats to abortion rights (Aug 2019)

The power of fake news and anti-choice lies (Aug 2018) – 34-minute podcast of presentation for  BC Humanist Society, about Canada Summer Jobs funding for anti-choice groups.

Attestation requirement is being wildly misinterpreted (April 2018)

The Canada Summer Jobs kerfuffle: Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing (Feb 2018)

The backwater of P.E.I. abortion politics (May 2015)

Moving forward with the abortion debate (May 2014)

New Brunswick invites the return of unsafe abortions (May 2014)

Nothing but contempt: Putting the lie to media coverage of Dr. Henry Morgentaler (June 2013)

The 25th anniversary reader: Key readings on the Morgentaler decision and Canada’s abortion rights struggle (Feb 2013)

A Harper Majority? Say Goodbye to Abortion Rights (April 2011)

The Political Is Too Personal – Why abortion is an election issue, and why it shouldn’t be. (July 2004)

Abortion laws / decriminalizing abortion:

Why we do NOT need to enshrine abortion rights into law (June 2022)

Why the UK doesn’t need an abortion law at all (June 2014)

The Injustice and Harms of Parental Consent Laws for Abortion (March 2014)

The Benefits of Decriminalizing Abortion, by Joyce Arthur and Jane Cawthorne. PDF version. (Jan 2013)

We Need an Abortion Law (but not the kind you think) (April 2010)

The Case for Repealing Anti-Abortion Laws – A detailed argument using evidence from Canada, the only democratic country in the world with no abortion restrictions. (Jan 2009)

Repeal All Abortion Laws – A shorter blogged version of the article above. (Jun 2007)

Canada Does Not Need an Abortion Law (Oct 2008)

Abortion in Canada – History, Law, and Access (Oct 1999)

Fighting anti-choice bills and motions:

Oppose Bill C-233 that would ban sex selection abortion (Nov 2020) 

 Bill C-225 would establish fetal personhood by making fetuses a separate victim of crime (March 2016)

Motion 408 to condemn sex selection abortion (introduced 2012):

Motion 312, a testing ground for giving legal personhood to fetuses (introduced 2012):

Bill C-484, “Unborn Victims of Crime Act” (introduced 2007) – would establish fetal personhood by making fetuses a separate victim of crime.

Other bills:

Global perspectives:

Coming soon: A brave new pro-choice world (Oct 2014)

Maternal health without abortion: A fundamental hypocrisy (Oct 2013)

A giant step forward on contraception — but we can’t lose sight of abortion (Aug 2012)

Defending Motherhood by Murdering Pregnant Women? (Feb 2011)

Criminalized Abortion Overshadows Good News of Reduced Unsafe Abortion Deaths (Dec 2010)

Consensus on Abortion? – A Pro-Choice “Extremist” Critiques the Global Search for Consensus on Abortion (March 2007)

Death in Perspective – The annual death rate from maternal mortality is three times greater than the 2006 Indian Ocean tsunami. (Jan 2006)

Different Foundations, Diverging Futures – The abortion climate: comparisons between Canada and the U.S.A. (March 2003)

Legal Abortion: the Sign of a Civilized Society – International perspectives. (Oct 1999)

Refuting anti-choice academic “research”:

Study Still Dead After Resurrection Attempt Fails (October 2015)

‘False Witnesses’ Publish Deeply Flawed Study on Abortion Mortality in Mexico (March 2015)

How Deeply Flawed Studies on Abortion and Breast Cancer Become Anti-Choice Fodder (Jan 2014)

A Disgraceful Example of B.A.D. Science (biased, agenda-driven): Anti-Choice “Research” on Maternal Mortality in Chile (Aug 2012)

Anti-choice researchers in Chile try to hide illegal abortion – and women who die from it (June 2012)

Refuting Elard Koch’s errors and distortions – Supplement to above article. Updated Addendums appear at bottom (June 2012; latest update Nov 2014).

Yes, Legalizing Abortion Does Save Women’s Lives – Refuting the bizarre and false anti-choice claim that legalizing abortion does not improve maternal health. (March 2010)

Abortion Still Does Not Lead to an Increased Risk of Breast Cancer (March 2010)

The fetus, and why it’s wrong to focus on it:

How to Think About the Fetus – This is a poster in PDF format, 1meg. (Jan 2016)

Behind the Fetal Tissue Scandal – No, Planned Parenthood is not selling baby parts (Oct 2015) (PowerPoint in PDF format)

Why fetus porn doesn’t help the anti-choice cause (July 2013)

Show the Lies: Annual “Show the Truth” tour traumatizes communities with offensive lies (Aug 2008)

Let No Fetus Defeat Us! – The heart of the abortion issue is inside the heart of a woman. When she’s pregnant, the value and fate of her fetus is completely up to her and nobody else. (April 2006)

Fetal Pain: A Red Herring in the Abortion Debate – Fetuses cannot feel pain until the third trimester, if even then,  but virtually no abortions occur at that late stage anyway. (May 2005)

The Fetus Focus Fallacy – Focusing on the fetus has dire legal and social consequences for women’s rights and dignity. (Spring 2005)

Personhood: Is a Fetus a Human Being? (Aug 2001)

Abortion and religion:

Increased Mifegymiso coverage is progress for abortion access in Canada, By Joyce Arthur and Martina Zanetti (Sept 2017)

Catholic Bishops need my writing help (Oct 2010)

Abortion: The Ultimate Insult to Male Authority (May 2007)

Religion and Abortion – The anti-abortion viewpoint is rooted in misogynistic patriarchal religion. Abortion rights should be protected under our constitutional right to freedom of religion. (Oct 2001)

Anti-Abortionists Don’t Have a Biblical Leg to Stand On – Yes, the Bible is Pro-Choice! (Aug 2001)

Mortal Sins of the Vatican (July 1999)

Why the Christian Right Wages War Against Abortion (Sept 1998)

Responding to anti-choice movement, initiatives, beliefs:

The Holocaust has nothing to do with abortion (April 2017)

No, you can’t be a pro-life feminist: “It’s a betrayal of women” – From: Point/Counterpoint: Can You Really Be a Pro-Life Feminist? (Jan 2017)

Undermining democracy and human rights: A cautionary tale about anti-choice politics (Feb 2014)

Defunding abortion: A non-starter (Nov 2013)

Anti-choice centres lose lawsuit: What does it all mean? (Sep 2013)

Don’t Be Fooled by Fake Clinics (Nov 2012)

Why Abortion Must Be Fully Funded (Oct 2012)

Tips for Responding to the Abortion Crapavan – (sometimes called the “new abortion caravan”), by Jane Cawthorne and Joyce Arthur (June 2012)

Angus Reid Takes Sides – With the Anti-Choice (Spring 2012)

Angus Reid and the ‘False Dilemma’ Fallacy (Feb 2012)

Cozy Bedfellows: Prostitution Abolitionists and Anti-Abortionists (Jan 2012)

What the Pollster Didn’t Ask: Biased Poll Fuels Anti-Abortion Myths (Sep 2010)

Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in BC – A research report on anti-abortion “counselling” agencies for the Pro-Choice Action Network. (Feb 2009) Executive Summary

Women’s Rights Are Not Up For Debate (Jan 2009)

Anti-Choicers Want to Jail Women for Abortion (Nov 2007)

“Abolish Abortion”? NOT!  A Media Lesson from Canada (July 2007)

Linking the prostitution and abortion debates (Jan 2007)

Where is the Anti-Choice Movement Headed? – A detailed analysis of the successes and failures of the anti-choice movement in North America, with a focus on the history and role of extremism. (Summer 2003)

The Myth of “Pro-Abortion Violence” – Did you know the pro-choice movement is 50 times more violent than the anti-choice movement? NOT! (April 2003)

How to Interpret Polls on Abortion (Autumn/Winter 2002)

A Word of Advice to Anti-Choicers – If you want a chance of winning your “war” against abortion, at least “know your enemy!” (Dec 2002)  (Personal, homepage, anti-advice)

Abortion and Breast Cancer – A Forged Link – Anti-abortion zealots hurt women with their disproven claim that abortion leads to an increased risk of breast cancer. (Jan 2002)

No Virginia – Abortion is NOT Genocide (April 2000)

Hypocrisy and the Hippocratic Oath (July 1999)

Psychological After-effects of Abortion: the Real Story (Jan 1997)


The Trumpocalypse – vs. Women’s and Reproductive Rights (Dec 2016). Powerpoint in PDF format.

Study: Review of “Crisis Pregnancy Centre” Websites in Canada (May 2016).
Overview page with summary, links, and other resources.
Full study (PDF).  by Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.
Authors: Joyce Arthur, Rebecca Bailin, Kathy Dawson, Megan Glenwright, Autumn Reinhardt-Simpson, Meg Sykes, and Alison Zimmer.

Saving Women’s Lives – Thoughts on the life and legacy of Dr. Henry Morgentaler (June 2013)

Determinants of emergency contraceptive use after unprotected intercourse: Who seeks emergency contraception and who seeks abortion? – by Zoltan Kozinszky, János Sikovanyecz, Iván Devosa, Dávid Szabó, Katalin Barabás, Attila Pál, and Joyce Arthur. Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 91(8):959-64. (April 2012)

Paternity, Patriarchy, and Reproductive Rights – The male need to control paternity of children explains most of the oppression against women. (Dec 2006)

The Question Left Hanging – How did anti-abortion protester Maurice Lewis really die? (Autumn/Winter 2002)

What Pro-Choice Really Means – or, Pro-Choice for Dummies. (Aug 2000)

“The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion” – When the Anti-Choice Choose (Sep 2000)

Abortion in Canada: History, Law, and Access (Oct 1999)

Risky Business: Learning to Play It Safe (Sep/Oct 1998)


Abortion News – a searchable website of global abortion news.

Abortion Books – a searchable website of hundreds of books about abortion from over 30 countries and 9 languages (pro-choice books only).

Abortion Myths – Refuting myths about abortion. The goal of this website is to to inform and support women with accurate information to help them take their decision.

Conscientious objection – views, news, and studies on the unethical phenomenon of so-called “conscientious objection” in healthcare, in particular for abortion and other reproductive healthcare.

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