J Christopher Carey, MD, former director of an OB-GYN residency program, has filed suit against his Phoenix, Arizona hospital, claiming he was fired because of his public support of providing abortion training to OB-GYN residents. The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), along with other lawyers, will represent Dr. Carey in a suit that claims the Maricopa Medical Center violated his freedom of speech, and discriminated against him for his pro-choice views. “Over the course of 18 months, county officials engaged in a relentless crusade to prevent residents at the medical center from getting abortion training with no regard for fairness or accreditation requirements. Every time I spoke out, they retaliated,” said Carey.
Training in abortion procedures must be available for residents in order for a program to be sanctioned by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, although residents are not required to undergo the training. Maricopa Medical Center had made training available through a partnership with a local Planned Parenthood, but Carey claims that officials ended the agreement in 2003. According to CRR, the hospital allegedly began investigating Carey and attempted to move the residency program to a Catholic hospital. Sanford Cohen of CRR said, “This is clearly a case of anti-choice extremism run amok with public officials risking their own residency program’s accreditation simply to satisfy their own political agenda.”