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Abortionist critiques conscience rights protections under Trump admin in medical journal

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

Updated Wednesday, April 18 at 1:58 p.m. EST to include comment from Terrisa Bukovinac.

April 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Planned Parenthood abortionist who has admitted that abortion is “killing” wrote an article in the New England Journal of Medicine this month commenting on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ new office that focuses on protecting conscience rights.

Dr. Lisa Harris is best known to the pro-life community for reflecting on what it was like to abort an 18-week-old baby while feeling her own 18-week-old child kick in her womb and complaining at the National Abortion Federation’s conference that abortionists aren’t given a place in “pro-choice rhetoric” to discuss “the heads that get stuck that we can’t get out” and “the hemorrhages that we manage.”

“Given that we actually see the fetus the same way [as pro-lifers], and given that we might both actually agree that there’s violence in here, ask me why I come to work everyday,” Harris said at the abortion conference in a video secretly recorded by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). “Let’s just give them all the violence, it’s a person, it’s killing, let’s just give them all that.”

In her article for the New England Journal of Medicine, Harris suggested that the new conscience protection office at HHS should consider “the complexity of clinical care” as they enforce laws prohibiting medical professionals from being forced to participate in abortions. She also argued: “It is courageous, morally speaking, to complicate our views, and such complication may in fact be needed, psychologically, for conscience to do its job.”

The abortionist said that “loving abortion work and questioning it” can go together for doctors, who “might express an enormous sense of pride, purpose, and fulfillment in their work, and also say they felt weak-kneed the first time they saw a second-trimester abortion.”

Some find themselves questioning how far their pro-abortion views go when they abort babies for superfluous reasons, like the sex of the baby, she wrote.

“Can we understand abortion as both something that ‘stops a beating heart’ and a fundamental right, rather than insisting it’s only one or the other?” she asked.

Harris concluded:

My call is for health care providers across the political spectrum to take note of our lived experiences, especially those that defy the narratives of movements with which we identify; use ambiguities as the basis for humility about our positions, and then for brave conversations with colleagues across ideological divides — not with the aim of changing each other’s minds about abortion but with the more modest hope that we might tolerate one another enough to collaborate toward shared vision in other areas; and ask our professional organizations to follow closely the work of HHS’s new division. “Conscience” and clinical lived experience need each other; the latter is messy and does not necessarily follow partisan lines. Whether HHS leaders and staff embrace complexity or seek to further entrench existing social divisions will reveal whether their interest in conscience is a political strategy or an ethical commitment.

“I agree with Dr. Harris' call for abortion providers to be more open and direct about the violence in abortion practice that ‘stops a beating heart’ of a tiny baby, often only to sell the heart afterwards for profit,” David Daleiden, who conducted CMP’s extensive undercover investigation, told LifeSiteNews.

“But true ethical progress will not come merely from ‘holding in tension’ providers' honest admissions about abortion and their conflicting political ideology,” he continued. “True ethical and medical progress will come when we ‘hold in tension’ the beauty and the imperfection of human life, by embracing it as good despite its complexity and unpredictability, and welcoming even the smallest and most unplanned members of the human family.”

Terrisa Bukovinac, the Founder and President of Pro-Life San Francisco, told LifeSiteNews that as an atheist, she is supportive of conscience rights.

“Dr. Harris’s insistence that abortion is a complex issue does not negate the reality that it is an act of violence,” said Bukovinac. “As a pro-life atheist, these conscious protections put forth are absolutely necessary for the continued ability of our communities to act in accordance with our values, especially in hostile pro-abortion cities like San Francisco.”

The supposedly objective New England Journal of Medicine advertises itself as “the most widely read, cited, and influential general medical periodical in the world.”

There have been a number of liberal articles fretting over the Trump administration treating conscience as a civil rights issue.

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