A California woman alleged that her doctors had denied her artificial insemination because she is a lesbian. The physicians said they would not perform the procedure on any unmarried woman. But the state supreme court ruled in August that the state's anti-discrimination law trumped physicians' rights of religious freedom and free speech. David Stevens is CEO of the Christian Medical Association (CMA), which filed a brief on behalf of the physicians.

Have you seen other cases like this?

We did a survey of our members, and 40 percent said they had been discriminated against because of their stance on issues like this. If these issues are not dealt with, Christians will be slowly pushed out of health care. One of my doctors in Texas was employed by a university. When it became known a few months ago that she did not prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women, they pressured her, and she resigned. Ob-gyn residents have been denied training when they stated they were not willing to do abortions.

Does CMA have a stance on fertility treatments for gays and lesbians?

[CMA's] physicians take care of people [whose behavior] we disagree with all the time, whether the patients don't take their medicine or whether they are rapists. We would be happy to take care of your cold, your cancer, or whatever, but when you ask me to be an active participant in an act I see as immoral, I become complicit in it.

Do you believe this is a case of discrimination?

This group of physicians provided the health care up to the act they considered to be immoral. They told the woman when she came in the door that that would be the case. She chose to stay there until the point of [intrauterine insemination]. Then they referred her to a different practice. She got pregnant, had a child, and sued them. This was about making a point, not about, "I couldn't get the services." What's trying to be legislated through the courts is essentially to turn doctors into vending machines.

Related Elsewhere:

The Los Angeles Times reported on the December 2005 ruling in favor of the doctors, as well as the August ruling against them.

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