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Military doctors balk at abortions


BONN, Germany -- Military doctors and other medical personnel at American facilities in Europe are refusing en masse to perform abortions, hamstringing efforts to implement a new Clinton administration policy to broaden the military community's access to the controversial procedure.

Two days after taking office, President Clinton reversed a ban that, since 1988, has prohibited American military hospitals abroad from providing abortion services. But military doctors, nurses and anesthesiologists are refusing to assist in abortions on moral and religious grounds.

"As of today, we have no takers," said Col. Ogden DeWitt, assistant chief for the Army's clinical services.

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