Anyone who has ever worked with physicians can tell you they are a hard bunch to nail down. Their schedules are so packed that they only come up for air after their blood oxygen saturation level approaches zero. And if you happen to be lucky enough to be there when they do surface and are also lucky enough to engage them in a conversation about which they care deeply, the clinical practice of medicine, and the angle you take on that topic happens to square with their own view, and they happen to agree with many of their other colleagues on the issue, and they see the issue as one which deserves more of their time, then and only then will the voice of the medical community be heard in the public square. Long odds to be sure but it is happening in New York with scores of doctors signing a statement of ethical protest to New York’s proposed law. Watch Ob/Gyn talk about why Cuomo’s Reproductive Health Act is disrespectful and destructive to patients and medicine.
Lawyers in the form of career politicians are proposing to make abortion and contraception fundamental human rights. Physicians need to be able to engage with their patients not only according to their own conscience but also according to the needs of the patient. Making abortion a right elevates it to the default position of medical care for pregnant women. Government must stay out of the clinical office. Even if one views abortion as bonafide medical procedures, creating rights out of medical procedures is an unprecedented abuse and co-opting of the medical community to accomplish a political agenda. In this case a doctor is not free to practice medicine in a way that aligns with his/her conscience, training, and the ultimate good of the patient as can only be understood by the doctor in the ongoing doctor/patient relationship also known as continuity of care.