More Than 200 Military Physicians Sign Letter to Senators
The 16,000 member Christian Medical Association has sent a letter to US Senators signed by more than 200 military physicians who have served U. S. Soldiers asking them to vote against the National Defense Authorization Act for 2011. The act contains
an amendment by Sen. Roland Burris that would remove restrictions on performing abortions in military facilities.
Current law in effect since 1996 prohibits the performance of abortions by Department of Defense medical personnel or in DOD facilities, except when the life of the mother is at risk or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. A separate provision prohibits use of DOD funds for abortions except to save the life of the mother. In 2006 the House rejected a proposal similar to the Burris amendment by a vote of 191 to 237.
CMA Senior Vice President Gene Rudd, MD, who received the Gorgas Award for distinguished service in the American Military said: “If enacted, requiring military physicians to perform abortions threatens military readiness. Morale will suffer among those already serving. Morale is a key component of military effectiveness. Furthermore, just as we have seen a marked decrease in young doctors entering OB/Gyn training for fear of being forced to perform abortions, this requirement will discourage young doctors from joining the military.
“In addition to facilitating further destruction of human life, the provision will place military physicians with life honoring convictions in the unenviable position of either disobeying orders, abandoning their conscience or seeking objector status.”
CMA Director of Global Outreach, Col. Donald Thompson, MD, who recently retired from the U.S. Air Force concluded: “Our military exists to fight our nation’s wars, not to be an ideological playground. If this provision stays in the NDAA, it will drive out of the military those who are most likely to serve their nation by going in harm’s way.”