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Allow conscience exemptions for abortions
Aug. 14, 2022 6:30 am
Perform abortions using religious and conscience exemptions.
Various religious hospitals didn’t perform abortions, even when they were legal. Various religious doctors wouldn’t write prescriptions for birth control pills. Our laws provide a great deal of leeway for religious exemptions — including "back then" for men eligible for the draft.
Our American founding, creates a tension between law and respect for individual conscience, which is in continual conflict.
Current laws and regulations for informed consent arose after World War II — after the Nuremberg Trials, and revelations about Dr. Josef Mengele and his horrific experiments on Jews. After that, for various issues, ''I was following orders'' was no longer a defense. Medical professionals, specifically, are required to exercise conscience judgment, notwithstanding the law, or Mengele could be repeated.
The paradox is enormous. Conscience overrides law. Disobeying law subjects one to legal penalties. Obeying law, without conscience, as the Nuremberg defendants found out, subjects one to penalties of law.
Should we force a hospital to perform abortions — doctors' religious convictions require them not to. “I was following the law” sounds nice, but Nuremberg defendants tried that defense — it didn’t work.
Obeying their own constitutional laws was not a sufficient defense.
Should a pharmacist refuse to dispense the morning-after pill? Some pharmacies refuse to carry them at all.
We require that they follow their conscience, lest they be subject to the penalties of law for crimes against humanity.
Perform abortions using religious and conscience exemptions. Should SCOTUS allow religious freedom?
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