Roundup: “Pro-life” Medical Practices Deny Birth Control Scripts


The Reason for the Anti-contraception HHS Regulations … HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt said that the new controversial proposed regulations are aimed to protect the physician from having to prescribe birth control if they are morally opposed to contraception.  The law already allows doctors to refuse to perform abortions on the basis of conscience but the regulations would extend that privledge to allow doctors to deny patients contraception, by way of legally defining contraception as abortion.  Today the Florida Catholic website has published a story about the increasing number of Catholic doctors who are refusing to precribe birth control to patients on basis of conscience:

“Every day that (a) woman takes the birth control pill, she is saying
no to God and she is sinning,”  [Doctor] Rebecca Peck said. “That is cutting her
off from the graces and blessings she would be receiving. I don’t think
people realize the damage it’s doing to them, the health of their
marriage and the health of their family. As long as people are trusting
birth control instead of God, we’re going to have problems."

The Pecks aren’t alone. 

In November, obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Angela Flippin-Trainer
opened a fully pro-life practice in southwest Florida. Caritas
Obstetrics and Gynecology of Naples does not offer birth control,
perform sterilizations or provide pregnancy terminations.
Flippin-Trainer and her husband, John-William Trainer III, also teach
natural family planning. The practice will eventually offer infertility
treatments and services that are in line with church teachings.

“Basically, birth control interferes with God’s plan, as stated in ‘Humanae Vitae,’” he said. “We’re not to interfere with it.” 

To Be Truly Pro-life, the Vatican Should Lift its Contraception Ban … While the Bush Adminstration considers legally allowing the Catholic Church’s Humanae Vitae to improperly influence federal health policy the Irish Times has published an article warning against the harms of Catholic Church’s ban on contraception.  The article starts with the story of a mother of six who relates the reality of family life without birth control:

"You have a two-month-old on one side of the bed, a 16-month-old on
the other, and a two-and-a-half-year-old in another room. Beside you is
your husband that you love and who has been using his ‘self-control’
for at least four months. Verbal communication is of necessity cut down
to a minimum and cosy chats together are out.

"So you take your
chance and spend the next few weeks (longer if you are breast-feeding)
worrying yourself sick and wondering if you are pregnant again. This is
married life.

"What they never told me is what to do; the don’ts I am familiar with. ‘Use your self control,’ I was told.

"’Put
your husband in another bedroom,’ my gynaecologist said. Now that’s all
very well for a week, a month or two months – but forever?"

The Catholic Church democratically decided agaisnt issuing Humanae Vitae but the pope decided to side with the minority on the commission deciding the issue:

However, the hearts and minds of even the conservative bishops were
swayed by the impassioned testimonials from married couples who
explained the realities of attempting a healthy sex life without the
aid of contraception. The vast majority of the commission voted to
change the teaching and permit contraception.

Sadly, when faced
with the proposal, the pope took a political decision to ignore the
findings and instead adopted a minority report of the few members who
opposed change. The impact of that fateful decision continues.

The
ban has been particularly disastrous in the developing world where
Catholic hierarchies hold significant sway over many national family
planning policies, especially in Latin America and the Philippines, so
obstructing good public health policies on family planning and HIV
prevention.

The world is a very different place today to what it
was in 1968. Then as now, Catholics can, in good conscience, make
decisions that go against church teachings.

Catholics the world
over support the use of contraception, and those who can access it use
it. It would enable hundreds of thousands if not millions more families
to make informed decisions about their futures if the church lifted
this ban – not to mention the impact it would have on HIV prevention.

It
is one thing to talk the talk on promoting a culture of life – and the
bishops do that very well. It is quite another to respect the reality
of people’s lives. It would be truly compassionate and just for the
church to change this fatally flawed teaching. It would be the truly
pro-life thing to do.

Adults Need Sex Education, Too … It is important to remember, in all our talk about improving sex education for our youth, that the older generations among us have sex, too

Our culture remains largely youth-centred and we often forget that
older people can be interested in sex. And yes, 35 seems old to our
teens. websites for older adults depict their target audience as being
friendly, tender and warm in their relationships, but frequently assume
that older adults have no sex life. Sexual health resources and
websites often focus on the impact of medication on sexual function.
This is important, but if a couple plan on becoming intimate, they also
need information on issues such as sexually transmitted infection
prevention and possibly pregnancy prevention.

New relationships bring new decisions, but some things stay the same. A
healthy relationship is built on respecting each other and open
communication. Partners, regardless of age or gender, need good
up-to-date facts, so they can make good healthy choices and keep each
other safe. 

 

 

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  • invalid-0

    Greetings,

    That is an interesting article that you cite. The conclusion (that contraception should be used to avoid too many children with Catholic marriages) is invalid, however. In premise, considering that the couple in question is Catholic, they both made a vow to each other and to God that they would remain totally open to receiving any and all children from God as a gift when they were married in the Church. Consequently, they can pray to Him as a sacrifice of love for the children that He has given them, which they willingly said they would accept by act of solemn vow. The Church is not a democracy that would have her members define what is true. The Church labors to find and adhere to what is true and then proposes it to Her members for belief, as it is unchangeable as it pertains to faith and morals. This belief has consequences.

    Timothy+

  • invalid-0

    According to the article:

    The Pecks gradually became convinced that birth control is wrong. They tried to limit prescriptions to patients who needed birth control for noncontraceptive reasons. But before they could stop prescribing the pill altogether, “we had to be really spiritually fed,” Rebecca Peck said.

    A patient had this to say:

    (Rebecca Peck’s) decision was partly because of her religious beliefs but also because of her medical-ethical beliefs, and that is tantamount to the Hippocratic oath of first, do no harm.

    Congratulations to the doc. She acknowledged that oral contraceptives have many different uses, and then decided to deny all of them. Even IF it’s appropriate to withold birth control pills used for contraception (and I don’t think it is), deliberately dismissing a treatment for non-birth control related conditions (e.g. endometriosis) is medical malpractice, in my opinion. Do no harm? She’s doing plenty of harm!

    In another thread, Lucille argued with me that pro-life pharmacists might ask each person with a prescription why she needed the medication, and dispense only to those who weren’t using birth control pills for contraception. (see: “Physicians, Nurses Oppose HHS Draft Regulations ” on July 29th. Lucille said, and I quote, “Same drug, different use–pharmacists would understand the difference, therefore, no blanket denial as long as you make a little note on your prescription slip.”)

    This article shoots that argument out of the water.