American OB/Gyn professors demand compulsory referral by objecting physicians

Time Magazine reports upon a statement signed by 100 American professors of obstetrics and gynaecology under the headline, “Doctors Urge More Hospitals to Perform Abortions.”  The statement expresses frustration that abortion policies and laws envisioned by 100 predecessors who signed a 1972 letter have not materialized.  Notably, the statement reiterates the demand of the original letter that objecting physicians should be compelled to refer for abortion, something many objectors find unacceptable, and insists that all hospitals that admit women should be forced to admit women for abortions – and, presumably, provide them.  This would be unacceptable to denominational institutions that object to the procedure.

The Time article notes that only 14% of American obstetrician-gynaecologists perform abortion, and hospitals provide only 4% of abortions done annually.  The rest are provided in free-standing clinics.  The signatories stress the need for hospitals to respond to the demand for second trimester abortions, which are even more controversial than the much more numerous first trimester procedures.  It does not appear that the signatories recognize that requiring hospitals to provide second trimester abortions would likely generate more dramatic conflicts of conscience for health care workers who might be pressured to participate.

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