04.10.2012 08:07 AM

Whose “conscience”?

If it’s Wildrose’s “conscience,” get ready for social chaos:

Then there’s “conscience rights.” The Wildrose policy book says government should “implement legislation protecting the ‘conscience rights’ of health care professionals.” The policy doesn’t spell out what that means, but when party delegates voted for the policy they put it in the context of a health-care worker – who is against birth control – being allowed to refuse to fill a prescription for the morning-after pill.

And Smith, it seems, wants to take conscience rights one step further to include marriage commissioners.

In August, responding to a questionnaire from the Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association, she wrote “the Wildrose will ensure conscience rights for marriage commissioners and health professionals. This would ensure the protection of personal expression for individuals, while also ensuring that personal beliefs are respected for all Albertans.”

Again, Smith was vague, not specifying what conscience rights would mean for marriage commissioners, but when used in the past the term has referred to allowing marriage commissioners to refuse to perform civil ceremonies for same-sex couples. It smacks of state-sanctioned discrimination and a Saskatchewan court has deemed the idea unconstitutional.


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    Geoffrey Laxton says:

    Why don’t they just rename the party the “We hate gays/oil and gas royalties party of Alberta.”

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    kre8tv says:

    Conservatives of that ilk play the victim card at every opportunity when talking about getting government off their backs. Unless of course it’s about sticking their noses in lives of others and making it their business to decide what’s moral or correct. Then suddenly everyone in a blue tie is a-okay with the busybody nanny state.

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    Cameron Prymak says:

    Republicans in the US have tried to position elements of Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act in the same way. The compromise introduced is to have the employee receive the care from their insurance provider if the procedure or prescription violates the employer’s beliefs.

    But you have to ask another question given that so many women hold a different opinion on the subject compared to their religious leaders, i.e. ‘Whom exactly is objecting to these practices? “

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