The purpose of this paper is to describe divergent recent developments in provision of reproductive health services to North Americans.
Two North American countries with very different histories present similar governance challenges today. The challenge is to provide all women with the full range of reproductive health options to which they are legally entitled now. In Canada, those contraception and abortion options are covered under the medical service plan insurance but not always available in convenient locations. In USA, those options are not uniformly covered under health insurance plans due to statutory limitations. In Canada, where federal law limiting abortion was struck down as unconstitutional, the leader of one of its three major federal political parties sees the way forward being to limit his party to pro-choice candidates. In USA, where new laws limiting abortion have been introduced at an unprecedented rate, the judiciary is being asked to define the way forward.
Clinical governance needs to balance the moral beliefs of individual providers against the rights of patients to have their lawful choices available within reasonable convenience. Progress has been made but needs are still not adequately met, in these North American examples.
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