Australian doctor Mark Hobart might be losing his job after refusing to perform a sex-selective abortion.
A woman who was nearly five months pregnant came to Melbourne doctor Mark Hobart seeking an abortion on her unborn baby girl because her husband did not want a daughter. Hobart refused to perform the abortion, saying he had a moral dilemma over performing an abortion on an otherwise-healthy girl. He refused to refer the couple to another doctor, as he is legally required to do under Australia’s Abortion Law Reform Act 2008, claiming he did not know a doctor who would be willing to perform an abortion for sex selection reasons.
As a result of his refusal to perform the abortion or to refer the couple, Hobart has been under investigation by the Medical Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency for months. He is now at risk of being stripped of his medical license. Hobart has been practicing medicine for 27 years.
Abortion is legal in Australia until 24 weeks gestation. The woman in question was 19 weeks pregnant, and got an abortion a few days after being denied one by Hobart.
According to Hobart, the woman requesting the abortion was of Indian descent. India has one of the worst sex ratios in the world: for every thousand male births, only 893 females are born. In some areas of the country, the ratio is as low as 751 female births for every thousand male births.
An act that would ban the practice of sex-selection abortions in the United States was rejected in the House of Representatives last year.