As some of you Kossacks know I am a physician who has provided legal safe abortions in Texas for 31 years and published a number of pro-choice diaries on Daily Kos. And you have probably heard about the recent catastrophic antiabortion regulations rammed through the legislature last week that if not struck down will virtually eliminate access to abortion care in the Tea Party fundamentalist Christian right wing Republican fascist dictatorship of Texas under the guidance of the inept bigot who is our governor (revving up to stupidly run for president again), Rick Perry.
“Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.”
Physicians, it can be safely assumed, are very intelligent, conscientious, responsible, and industrious people. One simply cannot make it into and through medical education and training without such traits, and the vast majority of physicians measure up to those qualifications very well. However, there are some who don’t measure up in other such essential attributes of character as sensitivity, compassion, humility, rationality, and honesty. Two Texas physicians who have failed miserably and disastrously in those attributes are Dr. Bob Deuell, a family physician, and Dr. Donna Campbell, an ophthalmologist, both Republican Texas state senators. In the legislative wranglings over HB2 they used their credentials as M.D.’s to achieve undeserved respect and influence – to create the false impression that since they are physicians they must know and understand what they are talking about. Well, neither of them did know nor understand what they were talking about. Neither of them have had any actual experience in abortion care, and both of them are self-described so-called “pro-lifers” who reflexively judge and condemn abortion care for anyone at any time and for any reason. To anyone who does know and understand the truth about abortion care it was glaringly obvious that they were blatantly lying about supporting HB2 from a blatantly dishonest and/or inexcusably ignorant fallacy of making abortion care “safer” for women and teenage girls. They obviously knew, understood, and cared not about “safety,” unless too stupid and/or obstinately ignorant and/or dishonest to be physicians in the first place, but were on a transparent so-called ”pro-life” mission to do away with abortion care in Texas, and the effect of HB2 has been to virtually abolish abortion care in Texas, as was clearly predictable by anyone who did know, understand, and care about the immense importance of access to the already existing very high degree of safety that had been available to women and teenage girls seeking abortions in Texas for over forty years. Their “mission” was obviously to force, by ill-considered and misrepresented law, their minority religious beliefs upon all women and teenage girls and their families in Texas. Senator/Dr. Deuell made his true intentions and incompetent humanity blatantly clear by his silly theatrics in a legislative hearing when he placed two pairs of baby shoes for display on the table in front of him in a childish ploy that he must have hoped would gain sympathy for fetuses and trump any concern for the women and teenage girls who would be forced to suffer and DIE by the disastrous law he was so relentlessly advocating. By virtue of their misused respect as physicians they were thus influential in creating conditions that made abortions vastly LESS safe and brought about an enormous public health crisis in Texas that will result in anguish, suffering, and DEATH for tens of thousands of women and teenage girls for a long, long time to come. Drs. Deuell and Campbell, in their inexcusable ignorance and/or flagrant dishonesty even to themselves, must have believed that they were doing “good,” that they were doing “God’s work.” At least that was what they showboated as their motivation, seemingly blind to the tragic consequences that their false witness (isn’t there one of the “Big Ten” commandments prohibiting that?) would bestow upon Texas women and teenage girls. Well, it was their responsibility to foresee those “unforeseen consequences.” We strenuously tried to educate them. They refused to listen, and they refused to think - another example of attempting to explore space in a two millennia-old ox cart – and of the old saying about the road to hell being paved with good intentions – assuming that their intentions, though tragically misguided, actually were good and not just political. But, after all, their reelections to office they have thus demonstrated they are not qualified to occupy in the first place would rely upon the votes of the droves of mind-abducted extreme fundamentalist, so-called “pro-life” Christians that are epidemic in the backward state of Texas. Apparently, to people like Deuell and Campbell (i.e., other mind-abducted Tea Party Republicans), the emotional suffering and the injured, sick, and DEAD bodies of thousands of women and teenage girls for years to come are no more than stepping stones to enable them to misspend a few weeks in Austin every other year feeling “important” and “famous.”
Drs. Deuell and Campbell are conscientious objectors to abortion care of the sort who strive to impose their ox cart consciences on the entire population. There is an ongoing controversy in medicine and law concerning whether physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care workers should have the right to refrain from any involvement, however slight, in abortion or any other aspect of reproductive health care, including referrals to abortion care providers, even mentioning abortion as an alternative to an unwanted pregnancy, prescribing contraceptive medications or devices, and in the case of pharmacists, filling prescriptions for contraception and the “morning after pill.” All in the name of personal conscientious objection. “Keep YOUR rosaries off of MY ovaries!”
“We're not going to have the America that we want until we elect leaders who are going to tell the truth - not most days, but every day.” - Ann Richards, former governor of Texas
PHYSICIANS are even REQUIRED by so-called “pro-life” instigated laws in some states, including Texas, TO LIE to their patients by “informing” them with greatly exaggerated or totally false assertions of the medical risks of abortion, such as the thoroughly disproven LIE that having an abortion increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer – such as the thoroughly disproven LIE that having an abortion results in serious emotional illness in women and teenage girls – such as the thoroughly disproven LIE that safe, legal, professionally provided abortion care is “dangerous.”
Below the fold is a letter I wrote to Dr. Bob Deuell (family practitioner), a physician-state senator who was influential in passing the sweeping draconian legislation through the legislature and onto Perry's desk. Copies were sent to two other antiabortion Christian bigots in the senate who are physicians, Dr. Donna Campbell (ophthalmologist) and Dr. Charles Schwertner (orthopedic surgeon).