Doctor Mark Hobart, a Melbourne GP, is being investigated by the Medical Board of Victoria, Australia, for allegedly refusing to refer a couple for an abortion of their healthy
19-week unborn baby, simply because the baby was a girl.
Section 8 of Victoria's abortion law requires a doctor with a conscientious objection to abortion to refer a woman seeking an abortion or advice on abortion to another doctor who he/she knows does not have a conscientious objection.
Dr. Hobart, 55, has been practicing as a GP in the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine for 27 years. He is a devout Catholic. There is no complaint or allegation against for harming a patient. He is being investigated by the board solely for refusing to refer a woman for a gender-selection abortion of a healthy baby, which polls consistently show most Australians are opposed to.
The irony is that Victoria's abortion laws, among the most extreme in the world, were driven by a bipartisan feminist agenda. Yet now those laws are being used to punish a doctor who refused to participate in the sort of selective abortion of female fetuses which has made girl babies an endangered species in India and other patriarchal societies.
Dr. Hobart told Life Site News: "My belief that abortion - specifically, foeticide - is morally wrong is based on scientific evidence, reason and logic." He said that the current abortion law in Victoria because "it compels doctors to perform or comply with an objective morally wrong act." He told the Herald Sun that he doesn't know any doctor who would agree to abort a healthy baby because of its gender. He said: "The general response from my colleagues is disbelief and revulsion."
Dr. Hobart risks being deregistered by the board and losing his livelihood. Section 8 of the Australian abortion law contravenes Section 14 of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006, which states: "Every person has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief." Section 8 creates the rediculous situation in which medical and health professionals are denied the freedom of conscience guaranteed to all other Victorians by Section 14 of the state's charter.
One of the largest studies was the 2007 Latrobe University investigation by Dr. Angela Taft and Dr. Lyndsey Watson. From surveys of over 24.000 women aged 18-27, they found that "partner violence is a strong predictor of termination and other reproductive outcomes among young Austrian women." The researchers concluded that, as these women had a much higher incidence of depression, any strategy to reduce depression among women must involve "prevention and reduction of partner violence which may reduce the rate of unwanted pregnancy."
This means that the symptoms of depression in a woman asking for an abortion referral, particularly if it's her partner or family members pushing for the abortion, is an indicator of a possible abusive relationship. In such a situation, a doctor needs to be able to assess if the woman is depressed, and if her depression is impairing her ability to make a free choice. The doctor needs to assess if the first priority is to refer the patient for the treatment of her depression (rather than for an abortion), so that she can make a free decision about her pregnancy.
The doctor also needs to assess if the patient is being coerced into an abortion and take appropriate action, depending on the level of abuse. If the young woman is also under the age of consent, a doctor has added reason to be concerned.
However, under Victoria's abortion law, a doctor with a conscientious objection is not even allowed to ask questions in order to make a proper diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment.
Source: News Weekly 2013.