It was pretty disturbing to read that every single staff member in the Southland obstetric department opposes the proposed abortion service. That’s the claim former clinical director Norman Maclean (also chairman of anti-choice group Southlanders for Life) made last week at the Southern DHB board meeting. According to Dr Maclean, “staff in the Southland obstetric department had ‘unanimously’ refused to be part of the service, apart from dealing with complications” and “a number of senior Southland medical staff had informed Southlanders For Life they would reconsider their ongoing employment with the board should the service be implemented”. (SDHB challenged on abortion plan, Southland Times 6/7/12)

If that’s true, that’s not good news for the women of Southland. If it’s not true, then it’s pretty outrageous that Dr Maclean would make that claim. As an ALRANZ supporter points out, if it is true there’s a possibility it reflects a hiring policy (especially given Dr Maclean’s former position in the department).

— QOT has yet another great pro-choice post up in response to this issue too–

ALRANZ has written to the Chief Operating Officer at Southland Hospital questioning the accuracy of Dr Maclean’s statement. See a copy of our letter here. If you would also like to write, the address is:

Lexie O’Shea
Chief Operating Officer
Southland Hospital
PO Box 828
Invercargill 9840

And of course you can also write to the Southland Times if you are as horrified by the idea of an entirely anti-choice obstetrics department as we are!

Letters to the editor should be emailed to Usual rules apply: 250 words or under (shorter more likely to run usually), and include name, address and phone.

And still on the topic of Southland, we’re continuing to update our compilations of anti-choice and pro-choice letters to the editor on the proposed abortion service.