Gynecology before Roe v. Wade – Thanks largely to the efforts of one doctor, abortion was formally condemned

Although there is a society of at least 900 pro-life gynecologists, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), the overwhelming majority of gynecologists today are strongly supportive of women’s access to abortion. This was already true in 1972 before Roe v. Wade when the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG) printed a letter from 100 professors of obstetrics and gynecology calling for their colleagues and hospitals to provide abortions.

Last month, 100 current chairmen of departments of obstetrics and gynecology, writing in the same journal, reinforced the 1972 professors’ statements supporting abortion. They praised advances in the field since 1972, including improvements in prenatal diagnosis that “give obstetricians the opportunity and responsibility to make patients aware of a wide range of genetic anomalies and to offer abortion.” They praised the use of the chemical abortion pill, RU 486, and the use of sonograms for guidance during the abortion procedure. (They made no mention of the mind-changing effect that sonograms often have when viewed by women seeking abortion.) They expressed their strong support of policies that would make abortion equally available to poor and wealthy women, presumably meaning government funding.

Much of the statement by today’s 100 condemned recent state legislation requiring waiting periods, counseling, and parental consent prior to abortion. They correctly saw these as impeding women’s abortion access. They specifically criticized requirements in 27 states that “force physicians to provide deceptive counseling including false statements about risks of breast cancer, infertility, and mental health.” However, these are not “false statements.” It appears that these professors are not willing to acquaint themselves with scientific facts when the scientific facts make abortion unattractive.