A group of pro-life American doctors say they were banned from running an exhibit booth at a national medical conference because of their opposition to abortion.
The obstetricians and gynaecologists say the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) shut them out because they are telling patients that abortion is harmful.
They had been allowed to set up their exhibit for the past 15 years.
The pro-life doctors said it was especially shameful given that this year’s conference theme is ‘Building Bridges.’
They were given no explanation for the last minute cancellation other than an indication it was because they disagreed with the professional body over abortion issues.
A spokeperson for the pro-lifers said the action normalises abortion for aspiring medical professionals and “suppresses scholarly debate.”
The college said: “We welcome exhibitors and meeting participants that align with ACOG’s commitment to the advancement of evidence-based, scientific information.”
ACOG has compiled a Guide to Language and Abortion urging “those writing about reproductive health” to “use language that is medically appropriate, clinically accurate, and without bias” when discussing abortion.
According to the guide, “Much of the language that is colloquially used to describe abortion or discuss health policies that impact abortion has a basis in anti-choice rhetoric and is inherently biased and inaccurate.”
Phrases identified by ACOG as problematic include: late-term abortion, chemical abortion, surgical abortion, heartbeat bill, fetal heartbeat, dismemberment ban, abortion provider, self-induced abortion, elective abortion, partial-birth abortion, womb and abortion-on-demand.
The college classifies chemical abortion as “a biased term designed to make medication abortion sound scarier than the safe, effective medical intervention that it is.”
ACOG also opposes graphic descriptions of termination procedures.
The guide advises people not to use the terms baby and unborn child because “centering the language on a future state of a pregnancy is medically inaccurate.”
Dr. Ingrid Skop of the pro-life research organisation the Charlotte Lozier Institute asserted that “ACOG is dramatically out of touch with the vast majority of its own members who love caring for women and babies and want no part in ending any patient’s life.”
“One survey found that 86% of US OB-GYNs did not want to carry out abortions. Excluding pro-life obstetricians from this important educational conference is a transparent attempt by pro-abortion ACOG leaders to convince students that they are alone if they oppose abortion, which is far from the truth,” Dr. Skop said.
The head of the pro-life OB-GYNS association Dr. Christina Francis explained that “ACOG is obviously afraid for its students, residents, and medical educators to be exposed to any position on abortion other than their own radical position.”
Five Republican lawmakers are calling on fellow Congress members not to have any meetings with ACOG after what they labelled its “hypocritical and outrageous” ban of the pro-life booth.