British Columbia, Canada
16 February, 2002
Sean Murphy, Administrator
Protection of Conscience Project
The cover of your January/February 2002 edition highlighting Dr. Roey M. Malleson’s article on ‘emergency contraception’ was unexpected: a brawny, half-naked, Aryan warrior, eyes glinting murderously from under his horned helmet, wielding a copper IUD, crouched to spring and slaughter.
I would like permission to post the cover on the Project website, and would appreciate it if you would send me seven copies of the issue. The cover is a splendid illustration of the usual basis for conscientious objection to potentially abortifacient devices and drugs, and the article provides an excellent example of moral obfuscation masquerading as science.
Dr. Malleson clearly believes, as a matter of faith (for it cannot be science), that it is not immoral to destroy an early human embryo by preventing implantation. However, the article fails to explain why this belief should be forced upon those who do not share it. The Journal of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, cited to support Dr. Malleson’s threatening accusation of negligence, is not widely acknowledged to be an infallible authority on faith and morals, nor is Dr. Malleson.
Finally, astute readers will recognize that the law is more complex than suggested by the article. Freedom of conscience is recognized as a fundamental freedom that must be accommodated. It is imprudent and unhelpful to publicly incite civil actions against colleagues in order to secure their submission to the moral outlook so aptly expressed by your cover.