What does it say when a major medical organization that holds to strong statements and beliefs refuses to debate on a straightforward topic?
In early May, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) invited the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to a scholarly debate at Duke University on whether induced abortion is consistent with good medicine.
Duke University’s Civil Discourse Project of the Kenan Institute for Ethics agreed to host the debate.
A letter sent by AAPLOG suggested the debate between AAPLOG's CEO Dr. Christina Francis and ACOG's CEO Dr. Maureen Phipps, and emphasized the importance of open debate on, "pressing questions of meaning, value, and spirit that confront us as human beings and citizens."
The letter went on to say:
"The Civil Discourse Project believes that “we are best able to consider such questions when we expose our convictions to the scrutiny of an intellectually diverse community of friends who will both support and challenge us.” It maintains that “the pursuit of truth and healthy civil discourse require the freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression.” We share in those beliefs about civil discourse and it is in that very spirit that we extend this invitation. Scientific progress and advancement depend on the free exchange of ideas; debate only benefits the wider medical community. Having this debate at a university setting will also aid attending medical students and residents, as they deserve to be given all available information with the freedom to personally discern their approach. Given the cultural climate, openly debating induced abortion is of utmost importance and of national interest."
However, even that plea emphasizing the importance of the very timely topic was met with a rejection.
The short response was:
“The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists will not debate abortion as a part of essential reproductive healthcare. Rather, we will continue to affirm that the role of abortion in our patients’ lives is settled science. “
The Washington Examiner reports Dr. Francis‘s reaction: "Stating that this is settled science ignores the fact that the vast majority of OBGYNs do not perform elective abortion. But it also clearly ignores the vast majority of the medical evidence out there that shows that elective abortions do not improve the health outcomes of our patients, and in many cases, actively worsen the health outcomes. What ACOG is trying to do is make it appear that all OBGYNs feel this way, when that's very clearly not the case."
Francis told the Washington Examiner that someone who believes "settled science" can apply to most things in the medical field "probably need to get out of medicine.”
"Saying something is settled science hearkens back to people being so confident that the Earth was flat that they considered that settled science," Francis said, "and the only way that we discovered that that wasn't the case was through someone questioning that narrative, questioning that status quo, and looking for better answers."
In February, members of AAPLOG who arrived at ACOG’s annual conference were astounded to be prohibited from having an exhibit table, despite 15 years of doing so at ACOG’s annual medical education conference. ACOG admitted to The Federalist that AAPLOG’s pro-life stance was the reason for the rejection, despite AAPLOG having hosted a booth while having this stance over the past 15 years.
Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International, points out the hypocrisy of the situation:
"ACOG's assertion that abortion is 'settled science' is more a statement of faith in abortion that is meant to deflect inquiry. At one time blood-letting and frontal lobotomies were 'settled science.' Not only does the science need continual rigorous investigation, but the moral implications of the science also needs continual clarity as culture changes. The use of science is a cover for political persuasions and special interest power that has gripped ACOG for decades and encouraged the leadership to routinely ignore the science. Otherwise, they'd be much more interested in the actual science of abortion pill reversal."
“As a voice for Big Abortion, ACOG has been pressing abortion into healthcare for the past fifty years,” points out Christa Brown, senior director of Medical Impact for Heartbeat International. “ACOG cannot defend its position that abortion is healthcare or that it is based on "settled science" so clearly a debate would be out of reach for them,” Brown said. “Ending the lives of preborn patients with surgeries and chemicals is not healing or an attempt at restoring health. Abortion clearly does not belong in any type of medical care. ACOG does not desire public discourse, but rather only wishes to converse with those who are in agreement with their political agenda to expand abortion through all stages of pregnancy.”
Tweet This: ACOG cannot defend its position that abortion is healthcare or based on "settled science" so clearly a debate would be out of reach for them
Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News.