Doctors are forecasting the closure of hospitals and clinics across America and a mass migration of physicians and their assistances to other careers should the Obama administration succeed in its attempt to overrule their rights of conscience.
“Thousands of conscientious and compassionate physicians, nurses, hospitals and clinics currently serve poor women and those who live in medically underserved areas,” said David Stevens, CEO of the Christian Medical Association today.
“Many of these professionals and institutions are motivated and guided by longstanding Hippocratic ethics and biblical principles that preclude participation in abortion and other controversial procedures. Infringing on their right to practice medicine according to these life-affirming ethical standards will force them to leave the profession and to shut down the hospitals and clinics,” he warned.
Stevens was reacting to reports in several newspapers that the Obama administration is moving quickly to rescind a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rule that currently protects civil rights and the exercise of conscience in health care.
The rule had been adopted under the Bush administration.
“The move to rescind the health-care provider conscience regulation imperils women’s health-care access, threatens health-care professionals’ freedom to practice medicine according to ethical standards, and exposes the myth of moderation in Obama’s abortion policy,” he said.
“The Obama administration claims, without offering a shred of statistical evidence, that the regulation has ‘created confusion’ and will somehow hinder access to health care. What can be clearer than not using federal funds to force health-care professionals to violate longstanding principles of medical ethics like the Hippocratic Oath, which guided medicine for over two millennia?
“The real threat to health-care access is driving out every health-care professional who conscientiously practices medicine according to life-affirming ethical standards,” Stevens said.
He said that four in 10 of the organization’s members “report being pressured to violate ethical standards. Physicians report losing positions and promotions because of their life-affirming views. Residents report losing training privileges because they refuse to do abortions. Medical students report changing career tracks away from obstetrics for fear of pressure to do abortions.”
“We hear a lot of rhetoric from abortion advocates about the government not interfering with the physician-patient relationship. Why is this argument no longer employed when the physician and the patient disagree with abortion on demand? It would appear that for all the abortion ‘choice’ rhetoric, ‘choice’ is really a one-way street. When it comes to pro-life individuals, abortion choice quickly turns into abortion mandate,” Stevens said.
Stevens said Obama’s attack on doctors reveals “the myth of their moderation on abortion.”
“They have no tolerance for moderate abortion policies like informing parents when their children seek an abortion, banning the essentially infanticidal partial-birth abortions, or protecting the civil rights of health-care professionals who follow the Hippocratic Oath,” Stevens said.
The rule-change plan comes on the heels of Obama’s decision to lift the Mexico City policy, which forces taxpayers to support international groups facilitating abortions. Obama also plans to give tax money to the United Nations population program that the U.S. State Department found to have been aiding China’s mandatory abortion policy.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Obama’s move to demand doctors participate in the abortion industry came earlier today. The report said the move was being made “quietly” even as most of Washington was focusing on the president’s budget plan.
WND recently reported on legal challenges to the Bush rule.
Experts for the Alliance Defense Fund and Christian Legal Society then reported they were gearing up to defend three laws that allow medical professionals to follow their conscience and not participate in abortions.
“Medical professionals should not be forced to perform abortions against their conscience,” Casey Mattox, litigation counsel with the CLS’s Center for Law & Religious Freedom, said at the time.
“Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and their pro-abortion allies are seeking to punish pro-life medical professionals for their beliefs,” Mattox said. “Far from arguing for ‘choice,’ these lawsuits seek to compel health-care workers to perform abortions or face dire consequences.”
The public-interest legal groups have filed motions to intervene in three separate lawsuits that seek to invalidate a federal law protecting medical professionals from discrimination because they refuse to participate in abortions.
“For over three decades, federal law has prohibited recipients of federal grants from forcing medical professionals to participate in abortions,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “The arguments in the lawsuits themselves demonstrate lack of compliance with these laws and the necessity of the regulation they are challenging.”
Obama, while a state lawmaker in Illinois, objected to requiring doctors to provide medical care for infants who survive abortions and advocated virtually unlimited abortion on demand.
During his presidential campaign he said he would not want one of his daughters “punished” with a baby.
House Republican Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio said the Obama plan “will hurt faith-based health
providers and hospitals throughout our nation who are committed to
caring for Americans at this critical time. It will also inevitably
result in more abortions being performed nationwide.”
“It is beginning to look like the administration
is intent on enacting [Freedom of Choice Act] incrementally … through
low-key legislative maneuvers and executive orders,” Boehner said.
FOCA would overturn all abortion regulations nationwide.