College of Physicians and Surgians of Ontario moves to deny doctors choice
Frequent readers of the Nexus will almost certainly recall a recent response to a challenge by a pro-abortion blogger in which the philosophical quandry of the so-called "pro-choice" lobby opposing legislation that would protect the rights of doctors to refuse to perform abortions for moral, religious or ethical reasons was brought to her attention.
According to a column published in today's National Post, it turns out the issue is worse than previously thought.
The CPSO has proposed new guidelines that could result in doctors who refuse to perform abortions, refer women for abortions, perscribe the morning after pill, or perform any number of medical procedures they find objectionable for any reason being stripped of their credentials.
The CPSO frames these proposals against a doctor's responsibility to their patients, postulating that a "physician's responsibility is to place the needs of the patient first, [so] there will be times when it may be necessary for physicians to set aside their personal beliefs in order to ensure that patients or potential patients are provided with the medical services they require."
As Gunter notes, one may have questions about at one point an abortion is or isn't a "necessary" service.
Perhaps one of the most recent Order of Canada recipients, Dr Henry Morgentaler, can provide us with a clue.
"We don't abort babies, we want to abort fetuses before they become babies," Morgentaler told CTV in 2004. "Around 24 weeks I have ethical problems doing that."
Morgentaler used his ethical concerns about late-term abortions as a reason to refuse to perform late-term abortions. "What we do at our clinics is if we have a problem like that we usually council the woman to continue the pregnancy and put it up for adoption if she is unable to care for it," Morgentaler noted.
Morgentaler's clinics were only performing late-term abortions in cases where the woman's life was imperiled by her pregnancy, or when a child would be born facing serious health concerns.
That most physicians refuse to perform abortion was cited by Morgentaler as a reason why no rules regulating late-term abortions are necessary. The argument in 2004 was, essentially, that doctors were regulating themselves.
Now, the CPSO is moving to refuse doctors in Ontario the right to refuse to perform an abortion or refer for an abortion.
It was bad enough when the pro-abortion lobby was merely opposing legislation like Bill C-537. Now, one can fully expect that the pro-abortion lobby will inevitably flock to shower praise on the CPSO for passing guidelines that will essentially grant women in Ontario the right to demand abortions (or, at the very least, referrals for abortion) from doctors who would otherwise be unwilling to perform them.
Even while they parrot Dr Morgentaler's insistence that regulation of late-term abortion is unncessary because doctors can refuse to perform them, they'll happily support the CPSO in making that very costly, indeed.
Unfortunately, it isn't at all like the pro-abortion lobby to gut their own logic in support of their cause.
But when the pro-abortion lobby's support of the CPSO emerges -- and it inevitably will -- Canadians will once again have their confirmation that, for the so-called "pro-choice" lobby, the issue isn't about choice at all.
It's about abortion. So much so that they believe that doctors should be denied the right to choose as punishment for the "egregious crime" of opposing abortion for ethical, moral or religious reasons.
One has to wonder, however: how will the "pro-choice" Dr Morgentaler respond if the CPSO makes it impossible for his clinics to refuse to perform abortions it would otherwise refuse to perform for ethical reasons?
Ultimately, Morgentaler himself has a great deal to lose if the CPSO gets its way.