A pro-life medical doctor in South Africa finally may begin practicing again, five years after being suspended for telling a pregnant patient that an abortion kills a human being.
Last week, the Health Professions Council of South Africa lifted its suspension of Dr. Jacques De Vos, a young pro-life doctor who is in a wheelchair, The Cape Times reports.
“He is relieved, very happy that he can proceed. Also a huge part of his life has been wasted, he is in a wheelchair, severely disabled. It is very frustrating,” said his lawyer, Martus de Wet.
De Vos was barred from practicing medicine in 2017 just as he was finishing his medical training, and he has not been allowed to practice since then. The medical council accused De Vos of trying to dissuade a female patient from aborting her unborn baby at 19 weeks of pregnancy by telling her that her “fetus was a human being.”
He was suspended and later charged with unprofessional conduct. The charges were dropped in 2020, but De Vos remained suspended until now.
The pro-life organization Doctors For Life celebrated the news in a statement this month, saying it is “delighted” that De Vos finally may practice medicine.
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“We were appalled at the unfair and discriminatory manner in which he was treated,” the pro-life doctors group said. “The scientific reality of the humanity of the unborn child is generally undisputed.”
MP Marie Sukers, a politician with the African Christian Democratic Party, said she hopes the council will apologize to De Vos and compensate him for the five years of work that he lost, according to the Cape Argus newspaper.
“This is a massive victory in the battle for the sanctity of human life. It is also a major step in the right direction to guarantee the unborn child the reasonable protection that it deserves,” Sukers said. “He can once again make a crucial difference in the lives of our people, especially in that of the unborn.”
Christian View Network leader Philip Rosenthal said the medical council has agreed to review its policy that “led to the unjust prosecution of De Vos,” and he hopes it will be changed. His organization accused the council of “harassing” the young doctor for years “without evidence.”
The suspension and charges centered around De Vos’s work in 2016 at 2 Military Hospital in Wynberg. 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 in 2019.
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.
De Vos’s lawyers said he was not given a fair trial, and court proceedings were repeatedly delayed.
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, which are under attack by pro-abortion groups and political leaders across the world. Without them, medical workers can lose their jobs and, worse, be prosecuted just for telling the truth.