Last month, the University of California at San Francisco began offering an online course on abortion. The class, which is the first of its kind, claims to “place abortion within the context of public health and fill in the gaps left by its exclusion from mainstream curricula in health professions.”
Heavy emphasis is placed on so-called “pregnancy options counseling,” specifically on physicians' obligations to promote abortion – directly or indirectly –in this regard. The idea that all physicians, regardless of their personal beliefs are obligated to help women procure abortions is a fundamental principle of the course instructor, Jody Steinauer. Steinauer insinuates that any physicians who decline to commit abortion, make abortion referrals, or present abortion as a viable option for their pregnant patients because they conscientiously object to the practice is falling short of their obligation to protect women's health.
Steinauer is an abortionist, and although she claims that the class is a strictly clinical discussion of abortion that does not consider religion or morality, she does opine on religion and morality by insisting that they are superseded by the “right” to abortion.
“I want to say right up front that I believe very much that we are providing a balanced view,” she said, responding to the question of whether her class was offering students a balanced view of the abortion issue. She said that the course was balanced, “…when viewing abortion through public health and clinical health frameworks.” Yet Steinauer goes to great lengths to insist that as so-called health care, access to abortion should supersede any other consideration.
Steinauer suggests that a physician's right to refuse to participate in abortion in any way is at odds with a woman's right to access abortion. She mentions that a “wonderful” article by Global Doctors for Choice, which she recommends to her students, posits that there is actually a “conscientious commitment to providing abortion.” The “balanced view” Steinauer insists that her class provides becomes increasingly evasive as her true feelings about conscientious objection to abortion are revealed. “So,” she says, “…there may be times when our personal beliefs may conflict with what is best for the patient, and then this becomes really an important issue to consider in our practice.”
Is there a conflict of interests presented in the course, when one considers that the instructor also makes a living from the commission of abortions? After all, physicians sacrificing their own morality to ensure that abortion referrals are made can only rev up business for abortionists like Steinauer.
And Steinauer is not the only individual who stands to profit if the values enshrined by the course prevail in the abortion business. One of Texas' most infamous abortion chains, Whole Woman's Health, plays a role in course instruction as well. The chain's owner (yes, the owner), Amy Hagstrom Miller, is interviewed as an “expert” on the course material. Hagstrom Miller stands to profit from the success of her businesses and is not a health care professional. Her interview for the course primarily focuses on how Pro-Life legislation in Texas has hurt her business, and how tragic it is that women are inconvenienced by Pro-Life legislation when they want to kill their children quickly and cheaply.