Christian Medical Group Highlights Media Bias on Bush Abortion Proposal
by Steven Ertelt
July 23, 2008
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — A medical group for Christian doctors and nurses is highlighting media bias found in a New York Times story about a new Bush administration proposal. The policy would help pro-life medical professionals avoid employment discrimination if they don’t want to participate in abortions.
In its news story covering the idea, the Times presented a typical one-sided article quoting only abortion advocates complaining about the idea.
That upset Jonathan Imbody, the vice-president for governmental relations at the Christian Medical Association.
The news story in question, "quotes only sources opposing draft regulations by the Department of Health and Human Services" Imbody said.
He said there is little reason for abortion advocates to oppose the proposal because it only "would require recipients of aid under federal health programs to certify that they will adhere to federal laws related to abortion and other controversial procedures."
"These regulations would enforce existing federal laws that uphold the right of health care professionals to make professional judgments on ethical issues," he said.
He said the proposal follows the 35-year-old Church amendment which prevents federally-funded institutions from requiring individuals to provide or assist in abortions if they have moral or religious objections.
Imbody said it also follows the Hyde-Weldon amendment that Congress approved in 2005 that prohibits federal agencies from dispersing money to state and local governments that discriminate against health care professionals who choose not to perform or refer for abortions.
He said the Bush administration plan is needed because the laws aren’t being followed.
"Regulations paralleling these laws are long overdue and sorely needed," he explained.
"Two of every five of our members surveyed report experiencing discriminatory pressure to violate their convictions on controversial health issues. Medical students are eschewing careers in obstetrics for fear of being forced to perform abortions," he added.
Imbody concludes: "Upholding the First Amendment rights of health care professionals to make professional ethical judgments based on objective ethical standards not only protects patients, it also protects the First Amendment rights of us all."
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