Press Room

Campaign Life Coalition welcomes big win for Alberta doctors

Campaign Life Coalition welcomes the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta’s (CPSA) announcement that it has dropped plans to force doctors and other healthcare workers to participate in medically and morally problematic procedures such as abortion, assisted suicide (MAiD), and “gender-affirming” interventions by requiring them to make an “effective referral.”

“Forcing a doctor to make an ‘effective referral’ is to force them to participate in a procedure against their medical judgment and their conscience,” said Pete Baklinski, Communications Director of Campaign Life Coalition. “In essence, many doctors of conscience see making an effective referral as them being the first domino in a series of events that result in what they view as a negative outcome for their patient.”

A statement quietly posted on the CPSA’s website this week reads: “Based on initial feedback received, the term ‘effective referral’ will be removed from the Conscientious Objection standard. Those that provide feedback during the consultation period will be consulted again during the re-consultation phase and see additional edits before final approval.”

The proposal did not go over well with numerous Alberta doctors, according to feedback left by them on the CPSA’s website. Some were even threatening to leave the province and work elsewhere rather than be put into a position where they would be asked to make such referrals.

“The CPSA acted wisely when it listened to so many of the province’s doctors and citizens who raised concerns about this policy update,” said Campaign Life Coalition National President Jeff Gunnarson.

Now that the CPSA has abandoned this policy proposal, said Gunnarson, it's time for Premier Danielle Smith and the UCP to pass legislation, just like Manitoba has done, to protect doctors’ conscience rights.

“Now, more than ever before, it’s time for Alberta healthcare professionals to unite and demand that their Charter-guaranteed right to ‘freedom of conscience’ be respected and protected in provincial law,” he said.

Baklinski added that there is also a strong desire among Albertans to legislate more protections for the province’s healthcare workers.

“Last November, grassroots members of the UCP passed a resolution (Policy proposal 16) at the party’s AGM calling for protection for Alberta physicians from ‘undue third-party interference,’ while, at the same time, calling for protections for doctors from being compelled to ‘prescribe treatments’ with which they disagreed. Albertans want to protect the conscience rights of doctors. Now is the perfect time.”

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About Campaign Life Coalition
Campaign Life Coalition is a national, non-profit organization involved in political action and advocacy for legal and cultural change in Canada with respect to protecting human life & the family. For more info visit

Media Contacts
Pete Baklinski, Director of Communications, Campaign Life Coalition, 343-369-8772, [email protected]