A South African council reduced charges this week against a pro-life doctor who is being prosecuted for telling a pregnant woman that life begins at conception.
Jacque de Vos, 32, was finishing his medical training in 2016 when the Health Professions Council of South Africa charged him with medical misconduct for trying to dissuade a pregnant woman from aborting her 19-week unborn baby.
IOL reports the Health Professions Council dropped two of the four charges against de Vos this week. One charge alleged that de Vos distributed information that imposed his religious beliefs on patients and colleagues, and the second alleged that he was not objective in his recommendations about contraception, according to the report.
Two charges remain, and his hearing is scheduled to continue on Monday. The doctor still is being prosecuted for allegedly trying to dissuade a patient from having an abortion and failing to respect a patient’s bodily autonomy, the report continues.
The charges go back to 2016 at 2 Military Hospital in Wynberg, South Africa, when de Vos was completing his medical training to become a doctor. Allegedly, he told a patient who was 19-weeks pregnant that life begins at conception (a scientific fact), that her “fetus was a human being” and that an abortion kills an unborn human, Sowetan Live reported earlier this summer.
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However, de Vos lost his job and was suspended from practicing medicine because he told the truth. He was only one week away from finishing his medical degree when he was suspended, the report states.
De Vos’s lawyers said he has not been given a fair trial either.
Earlier this year, attorney Martus de Wet complained about multiple hearing delays and the effect on de Vos’s ability to provide for himself.
De Wet said the two-plus year process has been “very frustrating.” He said the pro-life doctor is “being punished but denied the basis for it and an opportunity to answer.
“His punishment is being not able to practice for more than two years now. He has severe health challenges. It all aggravates the situation,” de Wet continued.
South Africa has some of the most liberal abortion laws in the world, allowing abortions on demand for basically any reason and taxpayer-funded abortions. Abortions became legal in 1996 under the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Bill. Celebrated leader Nelson Mandela supported the legislation.
Now, pro-life doctors are being persecuted simply for telling the truth.
The concerning situation draws attention to the importance of conscience protection laws. Without them, medical workers can lose their jobs and, worse, be prosecuted just for telling the truth. It also provides worrying evidence that abortion activists do not want women to know the truth, and they will use powerful leaders and governing bodies to keep women in ignorance about their unborn babies’ lives and the violence of abortion.