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The Vanishing Rights of Conscience for ProLife MD’s

Posted by MDViews on December 9, 2008

In my lack of posting the last few years, I’ve missed commenting on perhaps the most important issue to present itself to prolife MD’s since abortion was legalized, and that is the right to refuse to perform or refer for abortion.

About 1 1/2 years ago, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist (ACOG) issued a statement from their “ethics committee” which said physicians must refer for abortion, do abortions themselves if no abortionists live close by, or move closer to abortionists so the service would be available.

Unfortunately, I’m not making this up. I submitted my resignation to ACOG based on that statement.

Last fall, the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG), which is the group responsible for board certification of all OB/GYN doctors in the country, came out with a statement that all OB/GYN doctors certified by the board had to follow the ethics guidelines of ACOG or board certification could be denied.

Now, you must understand that board certification is not the same as licensing. Each individual state issues licenses to medical doctors to practice medicine based on their education, training and experience. Board certification is rarely required for licensing. But board certification is proof by an expert independent group that a doctor has special skill and knowledge in a particular area, such as OB/GYN.

The problem is that many health plans, HMO’s, PPO’s and hospitals require board certification. In such an instance, board certification is critical to one’s livihood. If a prolife OB/GYN can’t get hospital privileges, he or she would not be able to deliver babies or do surgery. So you can see where ACOG and ABOG are going. They don’t just want abortion legal, they want those of us who speak against abortion out of the profession of OB/GYN by depriving us of our ability to make a living.

This issue has gone to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Secretary Leavitt has issued rules affirming the right of conscience (in good measure due to the outpouring of letters, emails and blog posts from the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) and the American Association of Pro Life OB/GYN’s (AAPLOG). However, the new Secretary of HHS will be Tom Dashle who, along with our new president Barak Obama, is strongly proabortion. ACOG and ABOG will have friends in power.

Should ACOG and ABOG have their way and my behavior be labeled unethical and my ability to practice OB/GYN impacted, I am prepared to walk that walk. I feel a bit like Martin Luther must have felt standing before the Diet of Worms, who, when asked to recant, said those famous words, “I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.”

Please pray for your prolife doctors.

2 Responses to “The Vanishing Rights of Conscience for ProLife MD’s”

  1. MD Views said

    Thanks for your comment. Respect for life is a Christian concept. Our society, especially the university liberal elites, make themselves too smart by half. It’s like the emporer and his new clothes. Killing defenses human life is just that–killing. Bloody. Painful. Horrifying. All the euphemisms of “choice”, “right to choose” hold no water when the blood fills the pan and the abortionist looks for little hands and feet to see if everything is out (that’s what they do). When people say, “It’s so hard to choose abortion,” they mean it is very difficult to do the wrong thing, the killing, the taking of innocent life. If one cannot morally justify the event, demonizing those opposed is the only recourse. Same with euthanasia. I would encourage you to go to to get a Christian intellectuals view of life issues. I think you’d enjoy the reading.

  2. Dianna said

    Uncle Matt –
    I have to say, while I’m still working out issues on the pro life side of things, I have to say that this situation is surprising. It’s one thing for abortion to be legal, but it’s entirely another to encourage doctors to do something that is against their conscience. Thanks for posting about this.

    -Dianna A.

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