What if my doctor is not listed?
There are many reasons that your physician might not be listed in the Directory of the Association of Pro-life Physicians.
The most obvious reason is that they are “pro-choice”; that is, they think that abortion should remain a legal option for women. These physicians, of course, would not want to be listed in the Directory of Pro-life Physicians, and will be the chief opponents to any attempt to distinguish between pro-life and “pro-choice” physicians. Most patients are unaware of whether their physician performs abortions or refers for abortions, so this veil of secrecy shelters the abortionists from scrutiny and stigmatism. Though the APP will only publicize the names of physicians who will not commit abortions or refer for abortions (we will not publicize the names of physicians who are “pro-choice”), the abortionists will still vigorously oppose our attempt to draw “a line in the sand” over this issue. The Abortion Holocaust continues in part because of the public’s veil of ignorance about the humanity and viability of the pre-born child and a veil of secrecy over the abortion industry. It is one of the aims of the APP to tear down these veils: to defend the humanity and viability of the pre-born child in its natural environment from the moment of fertilization, and to re-stigmatize abortionists in the medical community and in society.
It cannot be over-emphasized, however, that many physicians who consider themselves pro-life will be reluctant to join the Association of Pro-life Physicians. There are many reasons for this.
Some physicians who consider themselves to be pro-life and are personally against abortion believe that others may have different moral value systems and therefore should have abortion available as a legal option consistent with their personal value system. These physicians might never perform an abortion or have an abortion, but they want others to make their own choices consistent with their own personal opinions and judgments. Although most pro-lifers consider this the classic “pro-choice” position, these physicians frequently insist that they are personally “pro-life.” However, since this physician prefers abortion to remain legal and willingly refers patients for abortions, we exclude him from the APP. To hold that purposefully ending the life of a certain class of innocent human beings should be legal is unethical and merits the condemnation of decent society.
Some physicians who consider themselves to be pro-life and claim to be against abortion are willing to make exceptions when it comes to babies conceived through rape and incest, and so are excluded from the APP. They claim sympathy with a woman who has been traumatized through rape or incest and seek to allow her the option to alleviate her suffering by abortion any offspring conceived through the assault. We hope to educate and admonish these physicians that ending the life of an innocent human being should never be an acceptable alternative, even ending the life of a tiny human being who has been conceived in the extremely unfortunate circumstances of rape or incest. The remedy for a violent act against an innocent human being can never be another violent act against an innocent human being.
Some physicians who consider themselves pro-life and claim to be against abortion make exceptions when it comes to the health of the mother, and so are excluded from the APP. They claim sympathy with a woman who is suffering from an illness or a disease and wish abortion to remain a legal alternative in such circumstances. We hope to educate and admonish these physicians that intentionally ending the life of an innocent human being should never be an acceptable alternative, even of a tiny human being whose mother is suffering from an illness or disease that would resolve or improve with an abortion. It is wrong to end the life one of our patients to improve the health of another. We should try to help them both. If the pre-born child cannot be saved (as in an ectopic pregnancy) and aggressive surgery such as surgical removal of the fallopian tube must be employed to save the mother’s life, this care is ethical. If through our treatment of the mother’s illness the pre-born baby inadvertently dies or is injured, this is tragic and, if unintentional, is not unethical. But intentionally ending the life of an innocent pre-born baby is never necessary.
We hope to publicize our distinction between physicians who will not commit abortions and physicians who will commit abortions or refer for abortions. Even intentionally ending the life of just one innocent human being, whether because they were conceived through rape or incest or to improve the health of the mother, precludes a physician from being a member of the APP. Certainly, if such a physician converts to the APP’s position and commits never to commit abortions again, we would be glad to add him to the Directory of Pro-life Physicians.
Some physicians who are truly pro-life – who are convinced that life begins at conception and who will not perform an abortion or refer for an abortion - may still be reluctant to join the APP for many reasons. For the most part, people are settlers, not pioneers, and physicians are no exception. Truly pro-life physicians may be reluctant to enthusiastically join a bold, new venture like this for fear of failure, for fear of ridicule, or for fear of losing friends and business. Perhaps they are unconvinced of the motives or the character of those who are leading the charge. This is understandable. Many physicians who sympathized with the principles in Hippocrates’ original oath refused to publicly embrace it at the onset of his ethical revolution of medicine. They were followers, not leaders. We believe that America’s pro-life physicians, once they see the wisdom of the APP’s goals and once the pro-life community begins to support our efforts, will not only join our cause, but will invest their time, talent, and treasure into ultimately making it a success.
We cannot over-emphasize that we are not to judge those who are initially reluctant to join the APP. We must give them time and let them understand our positions, see the diligence of our efforts, sympathize with our aims, and witness its positive affect upon the community, and they will soon join us in restoring the pro-life Hippocratic principles to the medical community and protecting innocent life.
Another reason that sincere pro-life physicians may not be members of the Association of Pro-life Physicians is because they are misinformed about us. Some of them think that it’s a dues-paying club. This is not true. Others think that it’s a club for physicians who specialize in issues involving childbirth or reproduction, or for pro-life protesters or anti-abortion activists. Not so. The Association of Pro-life Physicians is a list – that’s it. It’s a list of physicians who won’t commit abortions or refer for abortions, which will be publicized to the community. It is our goal in the next decade that every pro-lifer in America will have a list of physicians in their community who share their values about life. It is our prayer that in the next twenty years every American will be aware of two different types of physicians in America: the Hippocratic physician, who will not abortion patients, and the non-Hippocratic physician, who will.
Finally, the most common reason that sincere pro-life physicians may not be members of the Association of Pro-life Physicians is because they are uninformed about us. This is where you can help! Click “How do I start a chapter in my community” and help restore the pro-life Hippocratic principles to a remnant of physicians in your community. Help us re-stigmatize abortionists in your community. Help stop legal abortion in America. You can do it! Together, we can save lives and we can save medicine. Let us start an ethical revolution in defense of innocent life in America!