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Although abortion is frequently labeled an essential component of women’s health care, a newly published study casts new light on the procedure’s actual acceptance level among America’s obstetricians and gynecologists .

According to a study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology Journal, 97 percent of obstetricians and gynecologists have met with patients wanting an abortion, but only 14 percent are willing to perform them.

Religious affiliation was a major predictor of abortion compliance: the study found 1 percent of evangelical OB-GYNs were abortionists, while 9 percent of Catholics and Eastern Orthodox specialists would perform the procedure. Additionally, 10 percent of non-evangelical Protestants fell in the same category, according to the study.

Despite a surge in pro-life medical groups in recent years, most notably Medical Students for Life, the pressure to normalize abortion in the medical community remains high, reports Kathleen Gilbert, writing for LifeSiteNews”

Dr. Lorna Cvetkovich, medical director of Sanctity of Life Ministries in Fairfax, Va., told a bioethics conference audience in July that many medical programs in the U.S. pressure students to perform abortions as a part of their medical training.

“Many programs are not open to pro-life candidates,” said Cvetkovitch, who also noted that the issue of conscience rights now looms large on the national scene under the Obama administration.

“We will have the choice to either practice anti-Hippocratic, pro-choice type medicine and keep our jobs – or practice Hippocratic, Catholic, pro-life medicine and lose our jobs,” she said.

Thousands of faith-based doctors protested after President Obama rolled back federal health regulations instituted by President George W. Bush to help pro-life doctors assert their right not to participate in abortions, including by dispensing the abortifacient morning-after pill.

A 2009 poll found that 90 percent of faith-based doctors would leave medicine if forced to give up practicing according to their moral beliefs.

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