Melbourne GP investigated for refusing a sex-selective abortion

Michael Cook
12 Oct 2013
Reproduced with Permission

A general practitioner in the Australian state of Victoria is under investigation for refusing to get involved in a sex-selective abortion. Dr Mark Hobart, a suburban doctor, was approached by an Indian couple who had discovered at 19 weeks that their baby was female. They told him that they wanted an abortion simply because they did not want a girl. He refused. They went elsewhere and obtained an abortion.

The parents never lodged a complaint, but doctors in Victoria are obliged to refer patients if they have a conscientious objection to abortion. So five months ago the Medical Board of Victoria initiated an investigation of the incident which could end in Dr Hobart's deregistration.

Victorian MP Christine Campbell has taken Dr Hobart's case to the state Parliament. She says "Mark is being hung out to dry by a secret group of people whose minutes are secret, whose motions are secret, and whose voting is secret. If the final ruling is against Mark, his only recourse is a financially and personally costly Supreme Court Appeal. Yet, taxpayers will fund his faceless, nameless accusers' case."

Sydney journalist Miranda Devine criticised the "star chamber" in a scathing column. "The irony is that Victoria's abortion laws, among the most extreme in the world, were driven by a bipartisan feminist agenda. Yet now those same laws are being used to punish a doctor who refused to participate in the sort of selective abortion of female foetuses which has made girl babies an endangered species in India, China and other patriarchal societies."