As senators inch closer to voting on the 2011 Defense Authorization bill – which contains an amendment that repeals a longstanding ban on allowing abortions to be performed on military bases – more than 200 physicians, who served in the U.S. military, sent a letter to Senators today, asking that they consider the consequences before voting.
Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., sponsored the amendment.
The letter, sent by the Christian Medical Association (CMA), said, “Such a drastic and controversial change in longstanding federal policy could disrupt military medicine in a time of war and also undermine military physician retention and recruitment.”
Gene Rudd, senior vice president of CMA, said that if the amendment is enacted, it will ultimately threaten religious liberties and the effect on morale and military readiness.
“In addition to facilitating further destruction of unborn life,” Rudd said, “the provision will place military physicians with life-honoring convictions in the unenviable position of either disobeying orders, abandoning their conscience, or seeking objector status.”
The letter went on to state:
“Many of us remember well that when President Clinton tried to inject abortions into military facilities from 1993 to 1996, virtually all military physicians refused to participate in abortions. Partisan abortion ideology and lobbying have translated into a diminishing of conscience rights which, coupled with inherent pressures in pro-abortion policies such as advocated in the Burris DoD amendment, hold the potential to drastically reduce the number of physicians, thus reducing patient access. A scientific survey of faith-based physicians reveals that 95 percent will actually leave medicine if pressured to compromise their life-affirming ethical commitments. (For polling details, see www.freedom2care.org/learn.)
“Reducing physicians and patient access during two wars and at a time of a growing and severe national shortage of physicians,” the letter stated, “especially in the fields of obstetrics and gynecology and family medicine – is hardly wise policy, regardless of one’s views on abortion.”
“Our military exists to fight our nation’s wars,” said Donald Thompson, CMA’s director of global health outreach, “not to be [an] ideological playground.”
Dr. Arnold Ahnfeldt, orthopedic surgeon and retired U.S. Army colonel said that it’s simply a matter of conscience. “The doctors should not have to be involved in providing abortion service.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read the letter sent to senators, urging them to vote “no” on the Burris amendment.