Dr. Jeffrey Barrows is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist who in 1999 joined the staff of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations to help administrate a medical education mission outreach called Medical Education International (MEI). While working with the Christian Medical Association, he was asked by the U.S. State Department in 2004 to research the health consequences of Human Trafficking. From 2005-2008, he compiled and submitted an annual report to the Director of the State Department’s -Office to Monitor & Combat Trafficking of Persons. This research resulted in the article Human Trafficking and the Healthcare Professional published in the May 2008 Southern Medical Journal. Since 2005 his work to combat human trafficking has included teaching other healthcare professionals to identify victims they may encounter in the course of their medical practice. He produced the first on-line CME program regarding human trafficking specifically designed for healthcare workers. In 2006 he completed a consultation on the healthcare needs of trafficking victims in Sierra Leone and Liberia for the U. S. State Department. In 2008, he Founded Gracehaven, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing a rehabilitative home in Central Ohio for adolescent girls who have been victims of child sex trafficking in Ohio. In 2014, he became a member of the Technical Working Group on health and human trafficking under HHS’s Administration for Children and Families. He is a founding board member of HEAL Trafficking and currently serves as Founder of Gracehaven, a rehabilitative facility for victims of domestic minor sex trafficking in Ohio.
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The Travails of Moral Distress for the Abortionist
It will come as no surprise that the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently released a special issue filled with articles and opinions arguing for the absolute necessity of access to legal abortion. One opinion that caught my attention was entitled “Implications of the Dobbs Decision for Medical Education Inadequate Training and Moral Distress.” CMDA recently publicly released a new position statement on moral distress, so I was naturally intrigued. Were the authors of this opinion piece actually going to make the argument that the lack of access to elective abortion, a procedure that has been considered immoral for thousands of years, will cause moral distress among upcoming students and residents? Exactly.
While it is never possible to accurately paint a picture of the future, especially the future of the complex culture of healthcare, what is happening in Canada should alarm every healthcare professional in the United States who desires to practice medicine according to a Judeo-Christian ethic.
A recent article by NBC News bemoaned the decreasing number of medical schools and residency programs that engage in abortion training. The author attempts to blame this reduction on the increasing number of states passing legislation restricting access to abortion. What is not acknowledged is the fundamental fact that aside from the state of Texas, where a very unusual law exists prohibiting abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, no other state currently limits abortion in the first or early second trimester of pregnancy. The reason is the present legal landscape dictated by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. This raises the question as to the real reason abortion training options are diminishing, since abortion is legal after the detection of a fetal heartbeat in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
Will Roe Stand?
On December 1, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) heard arguments regarding the legality of abortion restrictions put into place by the state of Mississippi. The case is known as Dobbs v. Jackson. It is the most high-profile abortion case argued before the Supreme Court since Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992.