No surprise that The American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ABOG) wants OB/GYN physicians to segregate which patients merit their ministrations and which merit the sharp edge of a suction curette – but unfortunately they won’t leave it there. They have declared — with implied White House blessing — that board certified OB/GYNs must play judge and/or executioner to their tiniest patients or they will yank their credentials and by extension their careers.
This month the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) reviewed and reaffirmed the 2007 Ethics Committee Number 385, entitled The Limits of Conscientious Refusal in Reproductive Medicine. This rule states, “Physicians and other healthcare professionals have the duty to refer patients in a timely manner to other providers if they do not feel that they can in conscience provide the standard reproductive service that patients request.”
Furthermore, “in an emergency in which referral is not possible or might negatively affect a patient’s physical or mental health, providers have an obligation to provide medically indicated and requested care regardless of the provider’s personal moral objections.” Additionally, the rule suggests that pro-life physicians should relocate in order to be closer to an abortionist to whom they might refer patients, and that the patients’ autonomy trumps the physician’s conscience.
What about the autonomy of the tiny, innocent, and voiceless? Unbelievably, it all boils down to the ethics – the peculiar saline-and-suction “ethics” of relative person-hood that the Supreme Court conceived in 1973. ABOG says they will only credential physicians who conform to the “ethics” standards of ACOG. And ACOG, in turn, declares that any OB/GYN who refuses to perform or facilitate the state-sanctioned termination of the unfavored misses the mark.
Yes, you heard right. Like menacing thugs, ACOG and ABOG bully and threaten physicians who refuse to be party to intrauterine butchery – and then have the gall to justify their strong-arm tactics on ethical grounds.
That’s rich coming from ACOG, an organization that colluded with the Clinton White House to deceive a judge in their zeal to perpetuate the legal slaughter of late and full-term partially-born infants.
Incredibly, ACOG and ABOG – those punitive, self-ordained “ethics” lords – defiantly and unethically flaunt state and federal laws with this coercive blackmail. This haughty, hypocritical posture had been previously checked by counter-measures from the Bush administration. Unfortunately, President Obama has removed those protections; and once again, OB-GYNs face a punishing choice between their consciences and their careers.
The medical community was also faced with this combination of coercive ethics rules, coupled with draconian requirements for certification, in the spring of 2008. Recognizing this threat to the ability for conscientious health-care providers to practice medicine, the Bush administration first reprimanded the ABOG and ACOG. […]
When the reprimand… did not persuade ABOG and ACOG to change their policy, the Bush administration met this opposition with the Regulation Ensuring that the Department of Health and Human Services Funds Do Not Support Coercive or Discriminatory Practice in Violation of Federal Law in December 2008. The purpose of this regulation was to mandate that entities that received funds from HHS would certify that they will act in compliance with the established federal conscience protection laws—namely, Church, Coats, and Hyde-Weldon.
Healthcare providers no longer have the benefit of an administration that will advocate for their right to practice medicine morally in accordance with the dictates of their consciences. In fact, one of the first things that the Obama administration did was to propose the rescission of this provider conscience regulation in April 2009. This proposed rescission sheds light on the contrast between the administration’s attitudes toward conscience rights, and no doubt encouraged ACOG to defiantly proceed with the reaffirmation of the ethics code that is clearly in violation of federal law.
While there are federal laws on the books and 47 states do provide some degree of protection for healthcare rights of conscience, this continued hostility toward conscience rights from board certifying organizations and the Obama administration should be confronted with stronger conscience protection laws on both the state and federal level, starting with a permanent version of the Hyde/ Weldon Conscience Protection Amendment (a current appropriations rider that is subject to annual renewal). Americans United for Life encourages the new Congress to make this a priority.
You can contact your representatives from this website.