Australian Doctor may lose license for refusing to perform sex-selection abortion, not referring woman to another doctor

By Dave Andrusko

Dr. Mark Hobart

Dr. Mark Hobart

It’s a nightmarish scenario for Australian physician Dr. Mark Hobart, 55, who stands to lose his license for refusing to perform a sex-selection abortion and then for not referring the couple on to another physician.

She told Dr. Hobart her husband wanted a son, not a daughter.

It’s important to know that the woman went to another doctor, had the abortion a few days later, and lack of access to abortion is not the reason Hobart, a practicing Catholic with an impeccable 30-year career, is under siege by the Medical Board of Victoria. There is no need for an abortion referral in a country with wide-open abortion laws.

Dr. Hobart and his defenders complain that he is being denied the information he needs to defend himself.

· “Dr Hobart’s repeated requests for the identity of his accusers and the substance of the complaint have been rebuffed by the board and its parent body, the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency,” reports Miranda Devine of the Herald Sun. Devine wrote that Victorian MP Christine Campbell introduced a statement on Dr Hobart’s behalf to a Legislative Council inquiry into AHPRA.

Devine says Dr. Hobart “is at risk of losing his licence to practice medicine because the secrecy of the [board] is making it difficult for him to defend himself.”

Devine wrote that AHPRA told Dr Hobart that “’some’ members of the board initiated the ‘Own Motion’ against him at a meeting on 9 May, and that a majority of members present voted in favour.”

What Devine described as a “Star Chamber inquiry” began after Dr. Hobart disclosed in a Herald Sun article in April

“That a patient had asked for a sex-selection abortion. The context was a bill sponsored by the Democratic Labor Party’s John Madigan to remove Medicare funding for sex-selection abortions. …

“Three weeks after the story appeared, he received a letter from AHPRA advising him the Board had initiated an inquiry into ‘your professional conduct, following receipt of information that indicates you may have… Failed in your obligation to refer a female patient seeking treatment or advice on abortion to a non-objecting practitioner.’”

Dr. Hobart said he knew of no doctor who would agree to abort a healthy baby for sex selection reasons. “The general response from my colleagues is disbelief and revulsion,” he told Devine.

The conclusion to “Doctor risks his career after refusing abortion referral” is poignant and ironic:

“Dr Hobart says the investigation ‘affects you… You get anxious and think, ‘Am I doing the right thing?’”

“’But I cannot find any reason why I should obey this law. It’s just plain wrong.

“The irony is that Victoria’s abortion laws, among the most extreme in the world, were driven by a bipartisan feminist agenda. Yet now those laws are being used to punish a doctor who refused to participate in the sort of selective abortion of female fetuses which has made girl babies an endangered species in India and other patriarchal societies.

“For the patient, at least, there is a happy ending.

“She became pregnant again, but refused to find out the sex.

“Her baby [was due last weekend], and only when it is born will the father know if he has a son or another daughter.”

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