In This Article

Concluding Remarks

Toute nation a le gouvernement qu'elle merite. [Every country has the government it deserves.]

Joseph de Maistre

What we need -- and aren't seeing -- is a firm stand by moderates against religious extremism....But an even better question is, Where are the doctors fiercely defending their professional integrity?

Paul Krugman[31]

Members of the extreme right have hijacked the Republican Party and promoted policies that are repugnant to most Americans, inconsistent with scientific evidence, and in violation of ethical principles. This has been deemed "sexual McCarthyism," in which those who do not espouse the extreme views of the party leaders are censored or excluded from participation. When evaluated objectively, these 6 examples are as valid as the claim of imminent threat from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. As the Congressional commission concluded, the President and his hawks were "dead wrong." The adjective "dead" is apt. These women's health policies are "dead wrong" as well.

Principles of Ethics

Three principles are the cornerstones of bioethics: autonomy, beneficence, and justice.[32] When these 6 examples highlighting current federal policy are judged by these ethical standards, each fails in 1 or more domains. Thus, these policies are not only unwise and harmful to women but also unethical. Hence, our obligation to oppose them is clear. Two centuries ago, on August 15, 1811, the French diplomat Joseph de Maistre remarked in a letter that countries tend to get the government they deserve. Not so today. Regardless of their political preferences, women and men of America have been betrayed. Lamenting the intrusion of right-wing extremism into government and now medicine, columnist Paul Krugman of the New York Times asked, where are the moderates? More importantly, where are the doctors defending their professional integrity?

Mr. Krugman, we are force. Thousands of us in San Francisco this morning, tens of thousands more in offices and hospitals across the land -- helping women and their families as we do each day. Throughout our proud history, protecting our patients is one of the oldest and most noble legacies of medicine, whether the threat is the black plague, leprosy, AIDS, or misguided zealots. Be assured, we will not waver. We will not abandon the women who count on us. Inspired by compassion and guided by science, we will prevail. And, unlike the politicians temporarily in power, we are not going away.


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