From Conscience and its Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Liberal Secularism
Robert P. George*
On September 11, 2008, the President’s Council on Bioethics heard testimony by Anne Lyerly, MD, chair of ACOG ‘s Committee on Ethics. Dr. Lyerly appeared in connection with the council’s review of her committee ‘s opinion (No. 385) entitled “Limits of Conscientious Refusal in Reproductive Medicine.” That opinion proposes that physicians in the field of women’s health be required as a matter of ethical duty to refer patients for abortions and sometimes even to perform abortions themselves .
I found the ACOG Ethics Committee ‘s opinion shocking and, indeed, frightening. One problem was its lack of regard – bordering on contempt , really – for the sincere claims of conscience of Catholic, Evangelical Protestant , Orthodox Jewish , and other pro-life physicians and health-care workers. . .[Full text]