Should doctors be allowed to refuse abortion referal due to their own religion?

Jessica - posted on 02/19/2011 ( 150 moms have responded )

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Should doctors be allowed to refuse abortion referal due to their own religion?

My cousin called me to tell me (shes 18) That she just found out she was pregnant and went to the doctor and he would not give her a referal to a local abortion clinic due to his own religion preference.

What do you think about that???????

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Krista - posted on 02/20/2011

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I don't see why all medical professionals should be forced to do something against their beliefs because one lady out in the boonies got screwed by the system's flaws and bad timing and had to adopt out instead of abort or keep the baby she didn't want.

So if this "one lady out in the boonies" was raped, and conceived as a result, you're okay with her basically being forced to bear that child, so that some doctor's fee-fees aren't hurt?

Wow. There are just no words.

You know what? Fuck my doctor's religious beliefs. Fuck them with a gigantic, spiky dildo. My doctor's job is to provide me with medical treatment. His job is NOT to impose his own brand of morality upon me.

What's next? Allowing doctors to refuse to treat women who are pregnant and unmarried, because unwed pregnancy is against their morals? Allowing doctors to refuse to treat overdose victims, because drugs are against their morals? Allowing doctors to refuse to treat any woman who walks into their office wearing pants, because they consider it incredibly immoral for a woman to not wear skirts?

It's bullshit. If I wanted to be judged, I'd go see a priest. When I want medical care, I go see a doctor. And if you're a doctor, and your moral pronouncements are more important to you than providing LEGAL medical care, then put down your stethoscope and go to divinity school so that you can become a minister instead.

Krista - posted on 02/20/2011

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No, I do not believe that doctors should have the right to refuse those referrals.



Why?



Because it sets a precedent -- a dangerous one.



It's very easy to say, "Well, I'll just go see another doctor, or go to the walk-in clinic" when you actually HAVE those choices.



However, there are women in rural areas who only have access to the one doctor. So let's say you have a woman who is about 8 weeks along and just found out she's pregnant. She wants to terminate the pregnancy, so she makes an appointment with her doctor so that she can get a referral. Her appointment is for the following week. She has her appointment and her doctor won't refer her.



The closest alternative is a doctor in the next town over -- a 45 minute drive. So now, she has to contact this doctor and make an appointment. The doctor's on vacation for two weeks. She can either wait, or she can try to get an appointment with a doctor in another town -- an hour and a half away. She gets an appointment for the following week.



She doesn't have a car. So now she has to try to arrange for a drive. She arranges for a drive, sees the doctor the following week. He gives her the referral. She calls the clinic and makes the appointment, and they can see her the following week.



I can see this coming a mile away -- more and more and more restrictions are going to be put on abortions after 20 weeks gestation. And the pro-life contingent are only too happy for more and more and more roadblocks to be put in front of women, to the point where it'll be impossible for any of them to get this done under the 20 week mark anyway. Combine this with the defunding of Planned Parenthood, the murder of abortion providers...well, I guess there's no need to overturn Roe vs. Wade, is there? For many women, abortion might as well be illegal, for all of the access that they have to that service.

Ez - posted on 02/19/2011

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I'm a medical secretary and actually dealt with this precise issue the other week. A young woman phoned up, unexpectedly pregnant after she found out her fiancee had been cheating 6 weeks before they were due to get married. She had the bloods done to confirm and quantify HCG levels, and asked if her doctor would do a referral for an abortion. Her doctor is a strong Catholic and does not do abortion referrals. But they are actually not needed in my city anyway. As long as the patient has the blood results they just walk in to the clinic.



I admit I wasn't sure how to feel about the doctor's refusal. This is a lady I have worked for for 6 years. I hate organised religion, but respect her right to her beliefs. If she was trying to persuade the patient not to abort, refused to release the blood results, berated her on morality, or preached to her about religion, I would have a massive problem with that. But how she conducted herself was perfectly professional. She advised the patient on where to go, printed out her results but said she was unable to do the referral (which was unnecessary anyway).



People forget that doctors are just normal people, who happen to be taking on a shit load of responsibility.

Ez - posted on 02/21/2011

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Doctors refusing to refer or perform a specific procedure is not new. Australian doctors began rejecting Routine Infant Circ in the 1980s because they were both morally opposed and believed it had no therapeutic benefit.

I am not comparing abortion to RIC in any way other than the fact it can be a controversial topic. Even now, we get the odd family asking for a referral for circ. They do not get them routinely, and that is based on the doctors' personal moral and medical opinion. But they are given the name of the only doctor in the city who does it. So again, their access to the service is not blocked.

Isobel - posted on 02/21/2011

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They Hippocratic oath, however forces them to "do no harm". If they feel that abortion is murder, then obviously they cannot perform abortions...sending them to another doctor however, is a gray area to me.

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[deleted account]

Emz, I definitely don't agree w/ that doctor. I've only ever had one sex partner, but you'd better believe I've been tested for a bunch of STD's cuz HE'S had multiple partners. Even if YOU do everything 'right' (in quotes cuz I know not everyone agrees on that point).... you can't control what anyone else does and you still need to know if you are clean or not. I'm sorry you went through that.

Jenny - posted on 03/03/2011

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Emz, I think that is cruel and the doctor should have their license revoked.

Emz - posted on 03/03/2011

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I went to a doctor and requested a full STD test, and she refused telling me that i needed to be educated, she said i should have one partner or no sex at all.( to cut a long story short).
I believe she was pushing her religious and cultural values on me that day too. she didnt test me by the way...even after i pleaded with her for half an hour.
i dont think it is right that this doctor refuses a patient on his religious views.

Bexterwhite - posted on 03/03/2011

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None of which are tested for during pregnancy or aborted because of!
Although i think that it is wonderful that you have gone out of your way to give your whole life over full time, forever to two disabled children, some people do not have the resources or courage to do so! they also do not want to see there child in some shitty "home" for the rest of its life and lets face it there is not a long line of people like you who are queuing up to adopt them.

Jessica - posted on 03/03/2011

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WOW.....so if its ok for me as a woman to go ahead and kill my unborn child, i guess that makes it ok to go ahead and kill my neighbor too because hes an insane dickhead...right?? I mean that is what all of you are saying..but i need to make sure i go ahead and get the Dr's consent because hes a health hazzard.

You all can sit and swallow your own shit all you want...abortions are killing no matter how any one puts it. Dr's are human and have every divine right to deny care to a patient who wants one or a referral to one.

Jessica - posted on 03/03/2011

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2 thank you VERY much!! My oldest has ADD, ODD, Schitzophrenia, Anxiety, and dysymia.

Jessica - posted on 03/03/2011

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Johnny i am "suggesting" that people start thinking before having sex. Abortion is simply a quick fix to an on-going problem. The problem is unwanted pregnancies.

[deleted account]

So men can have all the sex they want because they can't get pregnant? Did I understand that right? But because women can have babies, we need to buy dildos and not have sex.....really? Please tell me that's not what you're saying.

Jenny - posted on 03/03/2011

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Jessica, I am not a breeding factory. Just because a women conceives doesn't mean a baby needs to be born from it. No birth control is 100% but I wish it was. I conceived my first while on the pill. We have too many people on this planet as it is and unless a parent plans on raising them until they are self sufficient I beleive it is highly irresponsible to bring them into the world just to be dumped off on society. As soon as the adoption agencies are empty we can bring that up as a viable option and even then I would never subject a woman to 40 weeks of pregnancy just because a sperm got to the egg. No person or government has the right to subject a woman to reproductive slavery.

[deleted account]

Of course she is not saying that but they should be responsible take all measures to be careful. we should go back to when sex waited for marriage haha if only but since that aint gonna happen since we live in an age where people are horny bastards and cant control themselves they should be careful. Look im pro choice when it comes to others who am i to say what you can and can not do howeve i am pro life when it comes to myself. If you have sex with out birth control get pregnant i think its stupid for you to want to kill a baby. If you know there is a chance that with intercourse you may become pregnant and are prepared to deal with that chance ( by choosing adoption if you do not want a baby) then at least be on the pill use condoms use everything to try and prevent from getting pregnant!! Should you never be able to have sex if you dont want kids of course not but you should know that you are taking that chance everytime you do have sex. Dont be stupid and just kill your mistake and go on with making the same decisions.

Johnny - posted on 03/03/2011

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So Jessica, are you suggesting that people who do not want babies should never be able to have heterosexual vaginal-penile intercourse? Does this just apply to women or to men too?

Jessica - posted on 03/03/2011

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"Freedom for women" is making sure we as women get the jobs we want with the same pay as men, equal rights, not the right to kill...there are so many alternatives to abortions...i am an open minded person and understand life isnt perfect and there are things that happen, but there are SOO many people that cannot have babies, why not give life to those who want it?!

Jenny - posted on 03/03/2011

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I've never heard wanting freedom for women called ignorance before. Ignorance would be not knowing all of the facts. We do know the facts. Some women want babies, some women don't.

Bexterwhite - posted on 03/03/2011

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He has no business being a Dr. if he cant separate his religious opinions from looking after the health interests of his patients.

Jessica - posted on 03/03/2011

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People like you will NEVER change even as we humans evolve..

Do yourself a favor..buy a dildo and dont pro-create, we really dont need more ignorance walking the earth

Jenny - posted on 03/03/2011

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"If you dont want babies(other than rape situations)

DONT HAVE SEX!!!! "



Oh please. Take you archaic anti-women views back to 1955. I WILL have sex and I will enjoy it. I wil produce children on my schedule. I will love the ones I have and be thankful I have the rights to control what is in my uterus or not. Yay freedom!

Jessica - posted on 03/03/2011

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To Everyone, pro-choice and Pro-Life

I got this in an e-mail:


October 5th: Today my life began. My parents don't know it yet, I am as small as a seed of an apple, but it is I already, and I'm to be a girl. I shall have blond hair and blue eyes. Just about everything is settled, even the fact that I shall love flowers.
October 19th: Some say that I am not a real person yet, that only my mother exists. But I am a real person, just as a small crumb of bread is yet still truly bread. My mother is, and I AM!
October 23rd: My mouth is just beginning to open now. Just think, in a year or so I shall be laughing and later even talking. I know what my first words will be: MAMA
October 25th: My heart began to beat today all by itself. From now on it shall gently beat for the rest of my life without ever stopping to rest! And after many years it will tire, it will top, then, I shall die.
November 2nd: I am growing a bit every day. My arms and legs are beginning to take shape. But I have to wait a long time before those legs of mine will raise me to my mother's arms, before these little arms will be able to gather flowers and embrace my father.
November 12th: Tiny fingers are beginning to form on my hands. Funny how small they are. I'll be able to stroke my mothers hair with them.
November 20th: It wasn't until today that the doctor told my mom that I am living under her heart. Oh, how happy she must be! Are you happy mom?
November 25th: My mommy and daddy are probably thinking of my name for me. But they don't even know I am a little girl yet. I want to be called Kathy. I am getting so big already.
December 10th: My hair is growing. It is smooth and bright and shiny! I wonder what kind of hair mommy has.
December 13th: I am just about able to see. It is dark around me. When mom brings me into the world it will be filled with lots of sunshine and flowers. But what I want more than anything is to see my mom. How do you look, mom?
December 24th: I wonder if mom hears the whispering of my heart? Some children come into this world a little sick. But my heart is strong and healthy! It beats so evenly: TUP-TUP, TUP-TUP! You'll have a healthy daughter, mom!

December 28th: TODAY MY MOTHER KILLED ME.



The government protects the women who can't face the reality of sex but when will they protect the children who can't protect themselves. MURDER is MURDER either way you look at it.

If you dont want babies(other than rape situations)
DONT HAVE SEX!!!!

LadyJane - posted on 03/02/2011

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I refuse to take chances with my family's health. I have never not gone for a second opinion. Even when I was little and we had a family doctor, even he said to never accept a decision from any one doctor. There are tons and tons of doctors people can choose from. No matter what health plan you choose, you're always going to have choices. If you don't want a religious doctor, don't choose one. Ask the important questions. It is up to the patient to make sure the doctor they choose is going to give them the care they wish, whether its an abortion, a referral, or whatever. These are questions required to ask of any physician. Both me and my mom actually take with us a list of questions anytime we are going to see a new doctor. We ask them what their religion preferences are, what their stand on abortion is, how many surgergies they've performed, how many malpractice suits they were involved in, etc.

Jenny - posted on 03/02/2011

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Yes, in some circumstances by all means get a second opinion. That should be an exception not a rule though. And never for something like getting a morning after pill or an abortion referral.

I will never support restricting women from medical services for ANY reason, especially religion. I'm done tippy toeing around it. It does not deserve the pedestal some in our society places it on and it is not a legitimate reason for pushing your morality on women not asking for it in a medical setting. Religion belongs in your home and your church, not in my uterus.

Carol - posted on 03/02/2011

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I do that also, go to another doctor. My son was given the wrong dosage of an antibiotic for an ear infection and he ended up getting really bad diaper rash, that in the end left him with what looks like burn marks on his bottom because he had a reaction to the wrong dosage. I wish i could have punched that doctor in the face. Now we screen our kids before they go to the doctor, if they have a runny nose, or a cough we try home remidies and what the doctor would have prescriped us then if it gets bad we will take them to a doctor. So far, they only have to go to the doctor for shots and thats it.

LadyJane - posted on 03/02/2011

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Everytime I needed a surgery or some intensive procedure I always, always got a second opinion. You can't blindly and shouldn't blindly follow one doctor. With so many malpractice suits going on because of a doctor misdiagnosing treatment. If you don't get a second opinion, you could end up in worse shape than when you went in. That happened to my Aunt, who didn't listen and didn't get a second opinion and had part of her bladder removed that didn't need removed all because that first doctor just didn't want to deal with a new procedure.

Anna - posted on 03/02/2011

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I think that as long as there is an alternative way of getting a referral that doctors should be able to refuse on grounds of belief and maybe by doing so in a professional way (like described below) it will be thought provoking. I imagine very few people consider abortion lightly, and at the same time space and time are needed to see the situation from all directions in a supportive environment. I fully support the right to choose - both to choose abortion and to choose to refuse to refer.

Jenny - posted on 03/01/2011

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No wonder health care costs are so high, of course going to a second doctor should not be the norm. They should do their goddamn job and not refuse ANY medical service beneficial to the patient, especially one that is LEGAL. It's horseshit.

Katherine - posted on 03/01/2011

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You're right it was the morning after pill, still considered aborting the fetus.
After being traumatized like that, and even though she could get another referral, that was just a bad scenario.

LadyJane - posted on 03/01/2011

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She didn't ask for a referral. She asked for the Morning after pill and that doctor had every right to refuse her.Going to a second doctor should always be the norm. You wouldn't allow a doctor to perform a hystorectomy even though you were healthy would you? You'd get a second opinion first, maybe even a third. Traumatic situation or not, if one says no, find one who will say yes. It's as easy as going to the next hospital. If she knew enough to ask for that pill, she knew enough to go to a different hospital or different doctor.

LadyJane - posted on 03/01/2011

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That is why it is important to choose the proper doctor who will follow your personal beliefs rather than one who has a differing opinion. Religious people tend to choose doctors who share their religious beliefs or at least share in their personal views. That is where it is so important to choose your doctors wisely. Ask if they support abortion or not, ask what their religious beliefs are, etc. These are just as important as where they went to school, what degrees they hold, etc.

[deleted account]

I don't agree with abortion, but I don't think doctors should be allowed to do that !

That may be their religion, but what about the mother's religion? What if it's acceptable? Then why shouldn't she be able to. Also, we always go on about how its the woman's body and the decision is totally up to her.

Like I said, I don't agree with abortion, but things like this - which either way will affect the woman herself - should be left up to her.

(Like other people have said; the doctor could just pass the patient on to someone who is comfortable with doing so).

Carol - posted on 03/01/2011

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Um im all for people making their own decisions so in this case its the doctors choice to give out the information. If he dosent want to, because he would be seeing himself as assisting in somethign he may not believe in.

LadyJane - posted on 02/28/2011

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Doctors can in fact refuse patients if they do NOt have insurance or if that insurance carrier is not available at that office. So they should also be able to refuse to give referrals based on their personal beliefs. When you choose your HMO you are given a list of doctors you can sign up with. You are supposed to call these doctors to find out which one would be best for you. Just like when choosing a doctor for me and my family, I actually do ask them if they are of a certain religion before I commit to their servies. My mom has in fact called several different doctors to find one that supports her beliefs. Only a hospital is required to accept ALL medical insurances and while it is rare that a hospital will refuse a non-insured patient. I do know at my hospital they can't refuse pregnant women services.

[deleted account]

I think its all alright. I really dont see anything wrong with it. I mean how hard is it too look one up anyways?? i think they should be allowed to do that. I mean some doctors feel really strongly about the matter and they want no part in killing a baby ( fetus) so its up to the individual who wants to get one to do what they gotta do to get one. Not get mad at the doctor that will not provide a referral. I dont know thats what i think. Just because this doctor said no doesnt mean she cant find ten other doctors who will refer her to someone.

Nikkole - posted on 02/24/2011

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People act like Doctors are super humans but they are not they are just like you and me but they went to school longer. I think it would be EXTREMELY hard to do something your 100% against unless a life is in danger! I feel if a Dr. doesn't want to they have that right just as anyone else would.

[deleted account]

I'm not sure it is, but that would be the only reason I could see a referral being needed. I've never gone to an abortion clinic before but I am under the assumption that you walk in, get some sort of counselling to make sure it's truly what you want and then they schedule the procedure. I don't understand why a referral would be needed either.

[deleted account]

You don't need one here in the States either. The only reason I can think of that you would need one is if you were using insurance to pay for it.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/24/2011

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AAAHHHHHH!!! Krista I love you! Thank you...much respect to you!

Krista - posted on 02/23/2011

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Marina, you've worn me out. Kudos. I still think that it's not right for the doctor to refuse the referral, but can no longer intelligently argue my case without falling back on arguments I've already used.

My hat is off to you.

Isobel - posted on 02/23/2011

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I just checked and there were 3 abortion clinics in the ENTIRE state of South Dakota...I don't think it's as simple as going to another clinic when one doctor says no

Christina - posted on 02/23/2011

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No, a dr should have to give a medical referral for any procedure he can not perform due to his practice limitations or religious beliefs. A dr or nurse is protected by law from performing any medical procedure that interferes with his/her beliefs as long as it does not harm the patient medically. For example; A nurse who is against abortion religiously is protected by the law from administering any medication that will cause the abortion. He/she can refuse to participate in the medical procedures of the abortion. He/she CAN NOT refuse to take care of the mother post abortion. And if the nurse or doctor will not participate in the abortion process, then they have to get another nurse or doctor to step in for them.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/23/2011

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I am not the norm.

This is a debate about abortion...not my personal religious beliefs...if you find the thread by Sara on religion...if you chose...you may understand my perspective further. I will find the thread name for you!

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