A DOCTOR risks being deregistered because he allegedly refused a referral for an Indian couple who wanted to abort a healthy unborn baby girl at 19 weeks, simply because they wanted a boy.
Dr Mark Hobart, 55, has been under investigation by the Medical Board of Victoria for five months, accused of having committed an offence under the state’s controversial Abortion Law Reform Act of 2008.
His patient and her husband requested a sex-selection abortion after an ultrasound determined their fetus was female.
They only wanted a boy, the husband told Dr Hobart, who, as a practising Catholic, had a conscientious objection to providing the abortion.
Under Victorian law, he was obliged to refer the patient to a doctor he knew would terminate the pregnancy.
But Dr Hobart doesn’t know any doctor who would agree to abort a healthy baby for sex selection reasons.
“The general response from my colleagues is disbelief and revulsion,” he said.
In any case, a referral is not necessary for an abortion. Hobart’s patient independently procured the abortion a few days later. Neither she nor her husband made any complaint.
But Dr Hobart now finds himself subject to a star chamber inquiry by the Medical Board of Victoria. [Full text]