This American Life

Could Abortion Providers Become Conscientious Objectors?

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Black young male doctor in mask measuring the pulse of pregnant woman and caring about her health at hospital
 (SeventyFour/iStock)

In 1973, not long after the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, Congress amended the Public Health Service Act to allow medical professionals to refuse to provide abortion care on the basis of their moral or religious beliefs. But if healthcare workers can be “conscientious objectors” to abortion care, couldn’t “conscientious providers” of abortion be legally protected, too? That’s the question University of San Diego law professor and bioethicist Dov Fox asks in his recent New York Times op-ed “What Will Happen if Doctors Defy the Law to Provide Abortions?” We’ll talk to Fox and other experts about the medical and moral dilemmas abortion providers face in the post-Roe world. 

Guests:

Dov Fox, professor of law and director, Center for Health Law Policy and Bioethics, University of San Diego School of Law

Dr. Jennifer Conti, adjunct clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Stanford University

Sonja Sharp, metro reporter, LA Times

Dr. David Eisenberg , associate director, Division of Family Planning, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine

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