by Steven Ertelt
December 11, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The national organization for obstetricians and gynecologists is coming under fire for a new policy saying all doctors, including those who are pro-life, should refer women to abortion centers. Dozens of pro-life groups have issued a new letter condemning the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) position.
ACOG has released a position statement entitled "The Limits of Conscientious Refusal in Reproductive Medicine."
The paper targets pro-life physicians, insisting that physicians who object to doing abortions should refer patients to doctors who will do them.
ACOG also requests that pro-life doctors move their practices closer to abortion businesses so women can have a shorter drive to get an abortion when their physicians refuse to perform or refer for one.
A leading group for Christian doctors, the 15,000-member Christian Medical Association (CMA), has issued a challenge to the OBGYN organization.
CMA sent a letter on behalf of itself and dozens of pro-life groups to ACOG president Douglas Laube and the group’s board of directors.
In the letter, Dr. David Stevens, CMA’s director, tells ACOG that its new position statement, "suggests a profound misunderstanding of the nature and exercise of conscience."
Stevens says ACOG has "an underlying bias against persons of faith and an apparent attempt to disenfranchise physicians who oppose ACOG’s political activism on abortion."
"ACOG is not only out of touch with conscience-driven physicians, but also with our long-standing American tradition to protect the rights of citizens to not participate in conscience-violating actions-especially when those actions would take a human life," Stevens added.
The groups say ACOG’s position will result in Christian doctors feeling pressured to exit the field of obstetrics.
"At a time when many communities are already suffering the loss of obstetricians
and gynecologists forced out of their practices for economic reasons, it seems especially unwise to send such a message of ideological intolerance and religious discrimination," the letter says.
Gene Rudd, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist and the vice-president of CMA, told LifeNews.com that he has withdrawn his membership in ACOG after 25 years.
"My conscience can no longer support their lack of conscience," he said.
"ACOG’s strategy seeks to marginalize dissenting opinions. I as an obstetrician have a moral obligation not only to act in my patient’s best interest, but also in the best interest of the developing baby, and of society as a whole," Dr. Rudd concluded.
ACTION: Express your disappointment with the ACOG policy paper by contacting the group at: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology, Douglas W. Laube, MD, President, PO Box 96920, Washington, D.C. 20090-6920. You can call ACOG at (202) 638-5577 and members can email [email protected].