Australia Abortion Practitioner Disciplined for Doing Abortion Without Consent

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 18, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Abortion Practitioner Disciplined for Doing Abortion Without Consent

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 18
, 2009

Queensland, Australia ( — Australian abortion practitioner Mark Schulberg has been disciplined for doing a late-term abortion on a mentally disabled woman without her consent. Schulberg is also accused of failing to contact authorities about the fact the woman was raped.

The Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria found Schulberg guilty of unprofessional conduct.

The board said he acted unprofessionally when he did the abortion at the request of the woman’s father without first getting permission from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Under state law in Victoria, the guardian of a mentally disabled woman can’t give consent for her for an abortion. Instead, the guardian must submit an application to a state agency that evaluates such requests.

A report in The Australian newspaper indicates the board reprimanded Schulberg and ordered that he undergo a mandatory training class to learn about the abortion laws of the state of Victoria.

However, the board failed to hold the abortion practitioner responsible for falsely certifying that the woman gave her consent for the abortion when he should have known she was mentally incapable of doing so.

The board also did not hold Schulberg accountable for not contacting the authorities about the rape. The board previously indicated police found out from someone else that the woman was raped.

Had Schulberg been found guilty of those two violations, he could have faced a suspension of his medical license.

The woman’s father, for whom Schulberg agreed to do the abortion, was eventually convicted of raping his daughter and sentenced to seven years in prison. He is appealing the decision.

In the United States, pro-life advocates have been fighting an epidemic of abortion centers covering up cases of statutory rape by doing abortions.

This Australian case involves a mentally disabled woman who was more than 24 weeks pregnant at the time of the abortion. The abortion was done at Schulberg’s abortion center in Croydon.

During the hearing before the medical board, he said he didn’t know there were any legal consequences from doing an abortion in the situation he did or that a guardian could not consent for a mentally disabled woman’s abortion.

He also claimed to have informally surveyed other Australia abortion practitioners and that they also did not know that was the case.

Schulberg also blamed the medical board for not providing him with that information and said he never suspected the father of the pregnant woman had sexually abused her.

Last year, Dr. Patricia Moore told the medical panel she was surprised that the abortion practitioner would not notify officials that a sexual assault occurred.

"There was obviously evidence of sexual abuse that was not investigated by many people before the final episode," she said.

In the case, a social worker at Northern Hospital contacted the state for an application for the abortion to go ahead. Not willing to wait, the woman’s father convinced Schulberg to go ahead with the abortion.

Schulberg allegedly talked with the woman’s doctor, who indicated the application had been approved. Schulberg’s attorney said he should have known he needed to wait for the state to give him approval, but said that lack of knowledge about the law doesn’t constitute serious misconduct.

This isn’t the first time Schulberg has come under fire, as he has routinely been accused of doing "cosmetic" abortions on babies who have club feet, webbed fingers, cleft palates or other conditions that are easily corrected.

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