The president of the International Federation of Associations of Catholic Doctors, Jose Maria Simon, accused the NGO Doctors Without Borders of promoting “illegal abortions in countries where the practice is prohibited,” even providing information on how to “escape justice.” Simon referenced an internal protocol of the organization that authorizes doctors to carry out abortions in countries where the practice is outlawed or not socially acceptable.
The protocol lays out the directives to follow in case doctors must carry out an abortion to save the life of a mother in countries where it is illegal. “Only a foreign team is authorized to carry out an abortion, in a confidential location, without the assistance of any citizens of the country if possible.”
Simon called the protocol “unacceptable,” because in addition to the fact that the abortion is the “killing of a person and leaves another person wounded—the mother—this document goes even further and incites doctors to act illegally,” something which “international law does not allow.”
DWB not only incites its staff to commit crimes, he said, it also gives them information on “how to do so with impunity,” since if these practices are discovered by authorities, it is easier to escape justice if the abortion has been carried out by foreigners.
The medical director of DWB, Luis Villa, said this week the protocol refers to “speculations” about “cases that could occur” rather than to real cases. In any case, he added, “if a clear medical indication exists, the priority is the survival of the mother, and the law cannot be above that.”
He said application of the protocol “is not common” because “in the places where DWB works the means necessary for diagnosing a life-threatening pregnancy are not available.”