The Herald Sun reports on a doctor, who, for personal and religious reasons, refused an abortion on the grounds of gender, has come under fire. He also faces possible punishment for not referring to a doctor who would perform the abortion, which would be no different for the conscientious doctor to performing the abortion himself.
A DOCTOR who says that he refused an abortion referral on gender grounds believes all abortion is “murder” and said he has not made any referrals for “quite some years”. Dr Mark Hobart said he was “dumbfounded” when a couple told him they wanted an abortion referral because they wanted a boy, not a girl, and says he broke the law by refusing to provide a referral. In Victoria, a doctor who is a “conscientious objector” to abortion is required to refer patients to another doctor who is not a conscientious objector. Dr Hobart said he would not know which doctors were objectors or not, but he refused to refer the couple directly to an abortion clinic, then learned later they had found one and had the abortion. According to a 2011 submission to a Victorian inquiry, Dr Hobart believes “anyone with full knowledge of their actions and with free will who assists in abortion is committing a mortal sin and the Catholic Church teaches this person will go to hell”. “I am unable to refer for an abortion, because reason and logic lead me to conclude it is murder,” he wrote. “To say it is not murder is against direct observation, reason and logic. “To say it is not murder is to deny reality. Hence, if I refer for an abortion I become an accomplice to murder.” Asked yesterday if he still stood by those views, Dr Hobart said that he did. “That’s basically how I feel,” he said. Dr Hobart is a former Democratic Labor Party candidate. “Pro-life” Victorian DLP senator John Madigan has drafted legislation to ban Medicare rebates for gender-selective abortions, although there is scant evidence they occur. Dr Hobart conceded the clinic that eventually carried out the abortion on the couple who wanted a boy may have been unaware of their original reasons for the abortion. Reproductive Choice Australia President Dr Leslie Cannold said Dr Hobart should have disclosed that he wouldn’t have referred the couple to an abortion clinic under any circumstances. “The doctor made it sound like he wouldn’t refer because of what he alleged were the couple’s reasons for the abortion but now we know he wouldn’t have referred no matter what,” she said.
There is more than one issue at stake here. First, the way in which a couple can consider the gender of a child to be so repulsive that they would abort, not on health grounds, but on selective grounds. Second the way in which doctors, who are, to the best of their ability, to save lives and preserve their patients, are being asked to make decisions, which have to impact on their own conscience over time, on whether a child in a womb should live or die.
UPDATE: this from a brilliant National Review article by Mark Steyn:
America is the abortion mill of the developed world. In Western Europe, the state is yet squeamish enough to insist that the act be confined to twelve weeks (France) or 13 (Italy), with mandatory counseling (Germany), or up to 18 if approved by a government “commission” (Norway). Granted, many of these “safeguards” are pro forma and honored in the breach, but that’s preferable to America where they’re honored in the breech and the distinction between abortion and infanticide depends on whether the “doctor” gets to the baby’s skull before it’s cleared the cervix.
It’s worth reading the full article, which covers the liberal West’s reluctance to face facts when they stare them in the eye.