A student in his senior year at a Canadian medical school will not be permitted to graduate because of his Christian, pro-life stand against abortion.

According to Toronto-based LifeSiteNews.com, the student, who has requested anonymity, was given a failing grade in obstetrics and gynecology because he refused to perform abortions or to refer patients out for any abortive procedure.

Three different appeals to the medical school over the past six months have failed to have the student reinstated. The most recent challenge, said the report, was March 3, when the student appeared before faculty of medicine’s highest appeal committee.

Friday, the student learned his appeal had been turned down.

WND contacted the university’s dean for the medical faculty, Dr. Brian K.E. Hennen, for comment, but as of publication no response had been received.

The university’s associate dean, Dr. Brian Magwood, told Winnipeg’s CJOB Radio News the school’s policy requires students to inform patients of all treatment options within the medical standard of care, said LifeSiteNews.

Carolee Neufeld, a family friend handling media calls, said the student has always maintained high grades and high approval ratings from clinical supervisors, the report added.

Training the next generation

In a special edition on abortion last year, WND’s monthly Whistleblower magazine profiled several medical doctors who explained why they quit doing abortions. One of them, David Brewer, M.D., who performed abortions for 10 years as a military physician in Ft. Rucher, Ala., described his medical-school abortion training this way:

    I can remember … the resident doctor sitting down, putting the tube in, and removing the contents. I saw the bloody material coming down the plastic tube, and it went into a big jar. My job afterwards was to go and undo the jar, and to see what was inside.

    I didn’t have any views on abortion; I was in a training program, and this was a brand new experience. I was going to get to see a new procedure and learn. I opened the jar and took the little piece of stockingette stocking and opened that little bag. The resident doctor said, “Now put it on that blue towel and check it out. We want to make sure that we got it all.” I thought, ‘That’ll be exciting – hands-on experience looking at tissue.’ I opened the sock up and put it on the towel, and there were parts of a person in there.

    I had taken anatomy, I was a medical student. I knew what I was looking at. There was a little scapula and an arm, I saw some ribs and a chest, and a little tiny head. I saw a piece of a leg, and a tiny hand and an arm and, you know, it was like somebody put a hot poker into me. I had a conscience, and it hurt. Well, I checked it out and there were two arms and two legs and one head and so forth, and I turned and said, “I guess you got it all.” That was a very hard experience for me to go through emotionally.

    Here I was with no real convictions, caught in the middle. And so I did what a lot of us do throughout our life. We don’t do anything. I didn’t talk with anybody about it, I didn’t talk with my folks about it, I didn’t think about it. I did nothing. And do you know what happened? I got to see another abortion. That one hurt too. But again I didn’t do anything, and so I kept seeing abortions. Do you know what? It hurt a little bit less every time I saw one.

    Then I got to sit down and do an abortion. Well, the first one that I did was kind of hard. It hurt me again like a hot poker. But after a while, it got to where it didn’t hurt. My heart got calloused. I was like a lot of people are today — afraid to stand up. I was afraid to speak up. Or some of us, maybe we aren’t afraid, but we just don’t have our own convictions settled yet.

One particular abortion changed Brewer’s life.

    I remember an experience as a resident on a hysterotomy (a late-term abortion delivered by caesarean section). I remember seeing the baby move underneath the sack of membranes as the caesarean incision was made, before the doctor broke the water.

    The thought came to me, “My God, that’s a person.” Then he broke the water. And when he broke the water, it was like I had a pain in my heart, just like when I saw the first suction abortion. And then he delivered the baby, and I couldn’t touch it. I wasn’t much of an assistant. I just stood there, and the reality of what was going on finally began to seep into my calloused brain and heart.

    They took that little baby that was making little sounds and moving and kicking, and set it on the table in a cold, stainless steel bowl. And every time I would look over while we were repairing the incision in the uterus and finishing the Caesarean, I would see that little person kicking and moving in that bowl. And it kicked and moved less and less, of course, as time went on. I can remember going over and looking at that baby when we were done with the surgery and the baby was still alive. You could see the chest was moving and the heart beating, and the baby would try to take a little breath like that, and it really hurt inside, and it began to educate me as to what abortion really was.

As for the University of Manitoba senior being failed for trying to “opt out” of abortion, he is reportedly considering an appeal to the school’s senate.

He is also receiving the public support of several Manitoba doctors. One of them, Dr. Frederick Ross, told CJOB radio that many doctors have sworn to protect human life “from the moment of conception” when they’ve taken the Hippocratic Oath, according to LifeSiteNews.com.

Ross urged the university to be flexible enough to give the student a “conscience” exemption from its policy.


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