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VA and Military Doctors and Nurses May Be Forced to Perform Abortions


By Mike Griffith, Staff Writer

All indications are that President Obama is going to rescind an existing executive order, commonly known as the conscience exception or the conscience rule, that prohibits doctors and nurses from being forced to participate in abortions against their will.  If the conscience exception is revoked, doctors and nurses in VA and military hospitals, as well as veterans who are doctors and nurses in non-military hospitals, could be forced to choose between performing abortions or losing their jobs.

At this point it is unclear exactly how far the Obama administration is going to go in reversing this policy, but it’s clear that protections are going to be weakened for doctors and nurses who don’t want to take part in abortions, even if they object on moral or religious grounds. 

     

Thirty medical organizations have written an open letter to President Obama urging him to preserve the conscience rule.

Polls show that a substantial majority of Americans do not believe a doctor or nurse should be forced to perform an abortion if it violates their moral or religious beliefs.

Since military hospitals are of course run by the federal government, a repeal of the conscience rule would definitely affect all doctors and nurses who work at them.  A repeal of the conscience rule would also affect any veterans who are doctors and nurses at other hospitals.  Currently VA hospitals generally do not perform abortions, but this could change very quickly.

"For President Obama to do this would be a huge blow to religious freedom and First Amendment rights," says Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. "No one should be forced to have an abortion, and no one should be forced to be an abortionist in violation of their religious or ethical convictions."

However, as mentioned, it remains to be seen how far the Obama administration will go in reversing the current policy.

Sources for Further Study:

Obama Administration Poised to Rescind Conscience Protection

Obama to Rescind Bush Conscience Rule Regarding Abortion

Medical Providers Urge Obama to Save Conscience Rule

 

 

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5 Responses to "VA and Military Doctors and Nurses May Be Forced to Perform Abortions"

  1. George Christie,Vietnam veteran  April 12, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Mike, I have a question: if government doctors and nurses are allowed to not perform abortions because of their religious beliefs, who’s next? What if government doctors and nurses are allowed to refuse treatment to homosexuals because of their religious beliefs? Or Blacks, or Hispanics, or old people. Apparently what religious freedom means to you and your ilk is freedom to disciminate against those people you don’t like. Every time a act of discrimination actually goes to court the gay and lesbian people win. Each person is permitted to have their own religious beliefs if they so choose. But when YOUR religious beliefs interfere with MY gettings the medical services I may need it’s called discrimination – clear and simple. Why don’t you guys join the 21st Century? Gay people exist; learn to live with it.

  2. Patpace  April 11, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Mike what an excellent point, I am amazed to actually see someone (you) show how veterans lives are an integral part of everyday life in society. If you mentioned this in a comment area on a vet website, you would be told you went off topic because it seems most will not look at the whole picture. More veteran problems could be solved, i.e. the decades old crime of VA clinical (miss) management mandating overmedication of most veterans because of cost. You are not just looking at doctors who will lose their right to say no. Look back to reports printed out from three years ago, like one on VA finances. Now go back to that website for the latest recorded document, and you will find that the same information is not available to the public. We are slowly losing our rights and no one is noticing. The last few months in most states, the media is blowing totally out of proportion gun murders, and most are injecting the word “race” where that word is totally off topic. All this to take away our second amendment rights. Mike thank you for letting me know there are still veterans out there who are not overmedicated. You mention VA doctors who will have a problem of conscience performing an abortion, well imagine the many VA doctors who prescribed the mother/veteran the cheap VA drug cocktail of mind altering psychiatric medications well knowing other VA doctors prescribed this same patient mind altering morphine, muscle relaxers and nerve medications. If you are looking for a good side to all this; most of the VA doctors involved will know why the abortion is necessary.

  3. Tom Barnes  April 11, 2009 at 10:36 am

    What does ANY of this so called Christian Right to Life stuff have to do with veterans’s problems? Once again we have good Old Mike forcing HIS version of Manifest Destiny American onto all of us.

    Why am I not surprised?

    • Mike Griffith  April 11, 2009 at 11:43 am

      Oh, so an executive order that could force VA and military doctors to perform abortions against their will is not a veterans issue?!  This is not about the pros or cons of abortion itself, but about forcing medical personnel to participate in procedures that violate their moral conscience.

    • Mike Griffith  April 11, 2009 at 11:54 am

      "What does ANY of this so called Christian Right to Life stuff have to do with veterans’s problems?"

      Let me try to explain it to you: One, there are thousands of veterans who are doctors and nurses.  Two, VA and military hospitals employ thousands of doctors and nurses.  Three, if the conscience exception is repealed, VA and military hospitals will be compelled to force their doctors and nurses to perform abortions against their will.  Got it?

      And this is not about "so-called Christian right-to-life stuff."  Many of those who support the conscience rule are not Christian pro-lifers.  They just happen to believe that it’s wrong to force a doctor or nurse to perform an abortion against their will.  You know, freedom of choice and freedom of conscience–you’ve heard of that, right?

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