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In most western nations, governments impose some minimum level of professional standards. This is particularly so in medicine and surgery, where the doyens of the profession do not lightly tolerate frauds and charlatans. However, a curious anomaly arises in regard to induced abortions, most of which are performed for social, not medical reasons. In no other area of surgery is information deliberately withheld from patients. Indeed for some surgical procedures such as hip replacements, prospective patients are required to watch a video of the operation and after-care, while a voice-over explains the possible outcomes and the risks, including infection. However with induced abortion, information about what exactly is being removed from the patient's body is withheld, or the description is misleading ("blob of tissue," "clots," "products of conception").

In a report on the provision of abortion services in Australia, practitioners were advised that when using ultrasound to estimate gestational age, the screen should be turned away from the mother because viewing her fetus might cause her to change her mind. Such a recommendation would be intolerable in other areas of medicine. All surgery carries some risk, and reputable surgeons discuss the procedure with patients and explore other options, as surgery is often a last resort. In contrast, whenever any legislation is proposed on giving pregnant women information about alternatives to abortion, or requiring them to view films of fetal development before termination, such legislation is vigorously opposed by abortion practitioners.


Why does the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology tolerate such anti-information, anti-education tactics by a minority within their specialty? The American College of Surgeons would not tolerate a branch of the profession opposing a discussion of alternatives to tonsillectomy, and they would probably investigate a surgeon who had a record of removing healthy appendices or tonsils in 99 percent of his cases.


Why is the removal of healthy fetuses from healthy wombs, without any exploration of alternatives to this surgery, tolerated by the medical profession?


Babette Francis

National & Overseas Co-ordinator, Endeavour Forum Inc. Toorak, Vic., Australia







Member Organisation, World Council for Life and Family

NGO in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC of the UN