Loading
Australian doctor under fire for refusing sex-based abortion
Sleeping Baby, by Vera Kratochvil (CC0 1.0).
Sleeping Baby, by Vera Kratochvil (CC0 1.0).
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- A Catholic doctor in Australia could face suspension or the loss of his license for refusing to refer a couple who sought the sex-based abortion of their unborn daughter.

“I refused to refer the patient because there was no medical reason to do it and it offended my moral conscience,” Dr. Mark Hobart told Nine News Australia.

“It’s very wrong, I don't know any doctor in Victoria that would be willing to refer a woman that wanted to have an abortion just because of gender at 19 weeks.”

The 55-year-old doctor, who lives in the Australian state of Victoria, has practiced medicine for 27 years. He said the pregnancy was “well advanced.”

The married couple had asked Hobart to refer them to an abortion clinic 19 weeks into the woman’s pregnancy, when they discovered they were having a girl but wanted a boy.

For the last five months, Hobart has faced an investigation from the Medical Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Victoria’s Abortion Law Reform Act of 2008 requires that doctors with moral objections to an abortion refer their patient to another non-objecting practitioner for treatment and advice.

He said the investigation shows that the state’s abortion law “stops doctors from using their conscience whether it is appropriate or not.”

Hobart went public about the request for the sex-selection abortion in April. The Medical Board of Victoria began an investigation after board members complained that the incident called into question his professional conduct.

Neither the woman nor her husband filed a complaint against him, the Daily Mail reports.

Any decision could affect Hobart’s ability to practice medicine throughout Australia.

Sex-selective abortions are common in parts of the world, particularly in some Asian countries where there is a strong cultural preference for boys over girls. The practice has contributed to severe gender imbalances in some regions.

Abortions based on sex also take place in Western countries, especially in some immigrant communities.

The controversial procedures have become the focus of controversy in the United Kingdom after investigative reporters with the Daily Telegraph secretly filmed doctors at British clinics agreeing to abort unborn babies merely on the basis of their sex.

Opponents of sex-selective abortions contend that the procedures violate the 1967 law allowing abortion only in “a limited range of circumstances.” However, the head of public prosecutions has said that the law “does not expressly prohibit” these sex-targeted abortions, the Catholic Herald reports.

Anthony Ozimic, a spokesman for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, warned that British doctors could face situations similar to Hobart’s if sex-selective abortion continues and if conscience protections continue to be weak.

“The lives of baby girls and livelihoods of good doctors are at stake,” he said.

In the United States, the states of Arizona, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma have barred sex-selective abortions. Utah, Florida, New York, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Colorado and North Dakota are considering legislation to ban the practice.

Tags: Sex-Selection Abortion, Sex-selective, Gender discrimination

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
19

Liturgical Calendar

December 19, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14