"If enacted, requiring military physicians to perform abortions threatens military readiness. Morale will suffer among those already serving. Morale is a key component of military effectiveness. Furthermore, just as we have seen a marked decrease in young doctors entering OB/Gyn training for fear of being forced to do abortion, this requirement will discourage young doctors from joining the military."Current law in effect since 1996 prohibits the performance of abortion by Department of Defense (DoD) medical personnel or in DoD medical facilities (except when the life of the mother is at risk or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest). A separate provision prohibits the use of DoD funds for abortion except to save the life of the mother. In 2006, the House rejected by a vote of 191-237 an amendment similar to the Burris amendment. The Burris amendment, which would allow abortion on both domestic and overseas military bases, is even more expansive than the rejected 2006 amendment. The letter from military physicians urges senators to "vote NO on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (DoD) (S.3280) because it contains Sen. Roland Burris' amendment to strike Section 1093(b) of Title 10 of the US Code."
"In addition to facilitating further destruction of unborn life, the provision will place military physicians with life-honoring convictions in the unenviable position of either disobeying orders, abandoning their conscience, or seeking objector status."
CMA Director of Global Health Outreach Col. Donald Thompson, MD, who recently retired from the Air Force, said,
"This provision would put conscientious military medics on the losing side of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) in key areas crucial to good order and discipline in the military. Chain of command, avoidance of fraternization and carrying out lawful orders are key to an effective combat force, yet this provision would require military physicians, nurses and support staff to leave their ethical convictions at the door when they join the military. When a senior officer in the chain of command 'thinks that this should be done,' then that is the same as a direct order to the subordinate. Favors and perks go to those who 'feel' the same as the boss.Action: Contact your senators and urge them to "vote NO on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (DoD) (S.3280) because it contains Sen. Roland Burris' amendment to strike Section 1093(b) of Title 10 of the US Code."
"Our military exists to fight our nation's wars, not to be a ideological playground. If this provision stays in the NDAA, it will drive out of the military those who are most likely to serve their nation by going in harm's way."