I am a doctor and a caregiver, but above all else, I am a woman of faith. It is my faith that drew me to become an OB-GYN, called me to open my own practice to treat women with dignity and compassion, and that helps me navigate the daily challenges of my profession. But two months ago, Planned Parenthood and the state of New York convinced a court to strike down federal regulations that protect medical professionals like me from being forced to perform procedures—like abortions and physician-assisted suicide—that violate our consciences.
Supported by my colleagues at the Christian Medical and Dental Associations and by the federal government, I have asked a federal appellate court to intervene and allow me to continue to provide compassionate medical care without being forced to violate my conscience.
As an OB-GYN, I am present during the most intimate moments in the life of a mother, father, and child. I have the privilege of placing children into the arms of their mothers for the very first time. I also have to deliver the life-altering news of infertility and guide mothers and fathers through the tragedy of a lost pregnancy.
This work cannot be done impersonally. I cannot leave my humanity at the door. I give all my patients the degree of care that I would a close friend or loved one. I provide them the advice that I would want to receive, bringing my best judgment to their situations.
While walking with women through some of their greatest joys and sorrows, I am called to offer more than just my medical expertise. I am called to provide the compassionate guidance of a friend, to be Christ’s outstretched arms for the women who enter my practice. But if Planned Parenthood and New York succeed in blocking conscience protections for medical professionals, I may be forced to either perform procedures that violate my conscience or leave my practice and the profession entirely.
These federal conscience protections, known as the Conscience Rule, merely allow the government to enforce laws that have been on the books with bipartisan support for decades. These laws, like the Weldon Amendment and the Coates-Snow Amendment, simply prevent tax dollars from being used to force pro-life doctors like me from performing abortions.
But Planned Parenthood and New York don’t like that, so they sued to render those long-established and bipartisan laws toothless. Without the Conscience Rule in place, religious doctors and nurses across the country are at greater risk of being forced to perform procedures that violate our core beliefs.
I cannot take the life of a child in one room and guide another child into this world in the next. Nor can I care for one elderly woman while helping another end her life. That would not only undermine my most deeply held religious beliefs and my medical judgment, but also the oath I took as a medical professional.
Medical professionals have the privilege and the honor of serving those in need. For doctors like me, our job is our calling. And we do not take this calling lightly. Each and every day, we make decisions in reliance on our medical judgment and the best interest of our patients. Government bureaucrats should not insert their politics into these critical and deeply personal medical decisions.
My faith is at the heart of who I am. It is what drives me to put the needs of women and their children first every day. It makes me a better doctor. For decades, our country has recognized that a big, diverse nation like ours can deliver high-quality medical care without making taxpayers force people of faith to violate their core beliefs. If we forget that insight, we’ll hurt both doctors and patients.