MELBOURNE, October 8, 2013 ( – An Australian doctor with an unblemished record is at risk of losing his medical registration for refusing to refer a couple for a sex-selective abortion. 

According to reports, the couple wanted to abort their healthy daughter, who was 19 weeks gestation, because they wanted a boy. While Dr. Mark Hobart refused to refer the couple, they subsequently obtained the abortion elsewhere.

For the last five months Dr. Hobart has been under investigation by The Medical Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), because of his actions.


Under the Victorian state Abortion Law Reform Act 2008, a doctor who has a conscientious objection to abortion is compelled to refer a patient on to another practitioner who does not hold that objection. 

If an “emergency abortion” is deemed to be necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman, then the doctor is “under a duty” to perform the procedure despite their conscientious objection.  Nurses have also lost their right to conscientious objection. 

In a statement submitted in relation to a Victoria inquiry in 2011, Dr. Hobart had said he believes abortion is “murder.” 

“To say it is not murder is against direct observation, reason and logic,” he wrote.

Abortion is legal in Victoria at any stage of pregnancy, for any reason, up to and including partial birth abortions.  The legislation is believed to be the most extreme in the western world, and there has been a 600% increase in late term abortions since it was passed.  

For medical professionals, penalties for failing to follow the law in Victoria can include the loss of their medical registration.  

At the time the legislation was passed, medical registration was handled by state-based bodies but has since been brought under a national body with the creation of AHPRA, ensuring that a loss of registration would prevent a doctor from practising anywhere in Australia.  

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AHPRA has so far denied Dr. Hobart the information that he needs to be able to defend himself, earning the scorn of Victorian MP Christine Campbell.  

“The Board and AHPRA have a long history of expecting others to be model litigants, yet they are using taxpayers funding to deny procedural fairness and obstruct the principles of natural justice.  Mark is being hung out to dry by a secret group of people whose minutes are secret, whose motions are secret, and whose voting is secret,” she said. 

Correction: The original headline for this article had erroneously referred to Dr. Hobart as a “abortionist.” Dr. Hobart is in fact a practicing Catholic who is strongly opposed to abortion. LifeSiteNews sincerely regrets the error. 


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