Doctor Curtis Lowery refers to unborn children as “material” during official legislative hearing.
Yesterday the House Public Health Committee voted to pass SB134 by Senator Jason Rapert. The bill prevents abortion at or after the twelfth week of pregnancy if a fetal heartbeat is detected—except in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of or prevent grave physical harm to the mother. The bill passed easily, but what was bizarre was chilling testimony from a representative from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Dr. Curtis Lowery is a medical doctor, professor, and Chairman of the school’s OB/GYN Department. On Thursday he told the House Public Health Committee the school’s OB/GYN program had been cited because it does not provide residents with “adequate training for abortions,” which is a “national mandate.” He went on to say he believed passage of SB134 would force the school to send residents out of state for training or risk losing accreditation.
Dr. Lowery told committee members, “We have national reviewers that come in and review our program, and there are criteria they use to review the ability of the program to train residents. One of them is training residents about contraception and abortion. They cited us for our residents not having adequate training for abortion even now, before this law is enacted. And so we’re going to have to deal with this in some way.”
When Rep. Hammer asked for additional clarification, Dr. Lowery responded, “If you reduce significantly the number of abortions in Arkansas, I don’t know where we’re going to get the opportunity to train our residents. So it puts our program in jeopardy.”
Rep. Justin Harris asked, “So what you’re saying is if we restrict abortions you won’t be able to train your doctors?”
Dr. Lowery replied, “We don’t have material. There’s no way to do it.”
Doctor Lowery’s testimony speaks for itself: In no uncertain terms he told Arkansas’ representatives the state’s leading medical school simply needs to do more abortions, and even went so far as to call pregnant women and unborn children “material.”
When he said those words, people visibly shuddered both on the committee and in the audience. Even people who are not necessarily pro-life appeared uncomfortable.
It would be as if a doctor came before a committee to testify on an anti-smoking bill, saying, “We can’t afford to discourage smoking, because if we do, the residents we’re training at our medical school won’t have enough lung cancer patients to work on.”
That’s what I say. Abortion is not just another medical procedure. Women and children aren’t class material. They’re human beings.
Even abortion proponents have said abortion ought to be “safe, legal, and rare.” It makes absolutely no sense to sit before a group of Arkansas lawmakers and say abortion needs to be more commonplace for the sake of your school’s accreditation.
Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.