Experiences of Christian Medical & Dental Associations Members
Christian Medical Dental Associations , USA
Reproduced with permission
Mark J Heulitt, MD, FCCM, FAARC, FCCP
I am a pediatric intensivist at a children's hospital where the morning
after pill is offered. Since we are a children's hospital we have been able
to deny any abortion procedures and refer them to other adult hospitals.
When the issue of the morning after pill arose I explained that I could not
prescribe it for any patient. Since I am also an ER attending it was agreed
that if a patient came in while I was the attending another attending would
be found who could care for the patient and write the prescription. Of
course despite the fact I am a senior faculty member and have been here 16
years, some faculty have complained that I do not have the right to "force
my beliefs on others," but I have held my ground.
While I was a student on OB rotation one of the nurses asked if she could
speak to me in private and brought me to a utility room off the OR. In there
she pulled a towel off of a basin which contained an aborted fetus. She
looked me straight in the eye and said "What are you afraid of? This is just
tissue," and told me to grow up. I told her I would pray for her and left
the room. I will never forget the anger in her eyes over my decision not to
be involved with this procedure.
The bias we face is many times subtle but poignant, but we must practice our
faith and stand up for our beliefs.
Matt Anderson, MD
I applied for OBGYN residency programs in 1977. Iowa had an excellent
program and was where I wanted to go. I interviewed with the only pro-life
faculty member and one of the only pro-life residents. By accident, I might
When I started on clinic (two months in the first year and two months in the
second year-the time I was to go to the abortion clinic one or two days each
week), I told my chief resident I would not be going. Then, I was approached
by at least three faculty who sat me down and told me I was stupid. I just
did not understand. How could I judge about the need for abortion when I had
never spoken with these desperate women, when I was ignoring the carnage of
illegal abortion, when I was just uninformed and naive. I was just a dumb
hick who didn't know any better.
I somehow got in contact with an attorney who did pro bono work for pro-life
organizations. He sent a letter on my behalf, explaining my stand,
explaining that participation in an abortion clinic was a violation of
conscience and that he was certain they could see that and would take all
necessary steps to correct the faulty policy at the U of Iowa Hospitals,
OBGYN department. Oh, dear. What a storm the letter unleashed. I was called
into an office where the director held the letter and paced, his neck veins
bulging, not saying anything for about 5 minutes while I sat, not
comfortably. He asked if this meant I was suing the department, as he threw
the paper onto the desk. I said no, not as long as the policy was changed.
Within weeks, the department backed down.
After all was said and done, I had grown up a bit. The most egregious
mistake was going over there at all. I should have stomped my feet, made a
big fuss, complained loud and clear, and not set foot in the abortion
clinic. One does not need to climb into the pig pen to find out if it is
dirty and smells bad. Although I did not perform abortions, I was there,
keeping the machinery running. Shame on me. I should have argued more
effectively when with pro-choicers. I should have worn pro-life buttons
(everyone else wore pro-choice buttons). I should have been a stronger
witness for Christ and a stronger witness for life where God had placed me.
Representative Don Van Etten
I brought a bill to the [South Dakota] legislature this past session to
protect the conscience of medical care givers and it lost on floor debate in
the House. I was told in a crackerbarrel debate that if I did not want to
give patient's any care they demanded that I should not be in medicine.