A group of pro-life OB/GYN doctors was unceremoniously banned at the last minute from presenting a panel on abortion at an international conference for women in medicine in South Korea last week.
Dr. Mary Davenport, one of the three pro-life doctors scheduled to speak, told The Daily Caller she was shocked because the group’s presentations detailing the risks of abortion were “straight academic talks.”
“It wasn’t any kind of advocacy position about what any nation’s abortion laws should be or anything like that,” said Davenport. “But we find this all over — that due to political correctness there’s some things you can’t say.”
Davenport and her two colleagues from the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) learned of the cancellation the night before the presentation was supposed to take place.
As to why the group was invited only to have its event cancelled, Davenport said “it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.” She theorized there was a split between the conference’s organizers, the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA), and its Korean hosts.
“The Korean people wanted to hear what we had to say,” Davenport said. “But I guess they were overruled by the leadership of this particular organization.”
The interference didn’t end there.
Anna Choi, a pro-life Korean obstetrician who had invited AAPLOG to the conference, arranged an interview with a Korean news team while the doctors were supposed to have been holding their panel. But during the course of the interview, secretary general of the MWIA Shelley Ross “barged in” and “blocked the camera,” said Davenport.
Despite protests from the Korean journalists, Ross said the interviewers had no permission from the conference and announced, “This interview is over,” according to a narrative posted at the AAPLOG site.
Davenport says another scuffle ensued when the group moved out to a different location to complete the interview. Two European conference attendees taunted, photographed and tried to grab the group’s Korean translator, Davenport told The DC. A Korean reporter broke the women up.
“It was quite something,” said Davenport. “I had never seen anything like that at a conference.”
After the incident, the MWIA issued a press release detailing its reason for cancelling the doctors’ presentation.
“MWIA is proud to stand for women’s rights,” the release read. “MWIA strongly regrets the politicalization [sic] of women’s reproductive health by listed speakers at our 29th International Congress of MWIA who would deny women their basic right to choice.”
Professor Afua Hesse, the president of MWIA, stated in the release “as President I have intervened to ensure that there will not be such presentations that have no scientific merit and threaten women’s reproductive rights and therefore do not belong at our triennial meeting.”
But Davenport isn’t buying it.
“It’s just that the leadership [of the MWIA] didn’t like what we had to say because it contradicts their message of free abortion everywhere being the best kind of strategy to promote women’s health,” she said.
Shelley Ross of the MWIA did not return a request for comment.