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Why Sask.'s physician regulator is axing its unplanned pregnancy policy

The Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan has rescinded its guidelines on how physicians should handle unplanned pregnancies.

Associate Registrar Bryan Salte told CTV News the council at its June meeting questioned why the college would have a guideline for terminating pregnancies when it doesn't have guidelines for other procedures.

"And I think that part of the message was it potentially stigmatizes this, to have it as part of a very specific standalone policy that says we have to deal with unplanned pregnancies in a very specific way and set up a bunch of specific rules for it," he told CTV News.

The guideline had included clinical expectations such as confirming the pregnancy and determining any abnormalities, Salte said. It also set expectations about providing information to the patient about their options, including maintaining the pregnancy, and what they should be told if they choose to terminate the pregnancy.

Even without the unplanned pregnancy guidelines, physicians are obligated under informed consent regulations to discuss the risks, benefits and treatment options a patient has in terminating a pregnancy as they do with all other medical conditions, Salte said.

Doctors with a conscientious objection to ending a pregnancy or other issues such as birth control or genetic testing must arrange for the patient to obtain that information from somebody who doesn't have a conscientious objection. Top Stories

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