They Are Coming for Your Birth Control: If You Don’t Have Four Children, You Haven’t Done Your ‘Reproductive Job’


Think that anti-choice politicians and activists aren’t trying to outlaw contraception? Think again. Follow along in an ongoing series that proves beyond a doubt that they really are coming for your birth control.

How many children are enough? One New Zealand doctor believes that’s not a decision for a family to decide on its own. He has his own feelings about how big a family should be—and if you don’t have at least four kids, he’s going to withhold a prescription for contraception.

According to the New Zealand Herald News, Dr. Joseph Lee of the Wairau Community Clinic in Blenheim, New Zealand, is refusing to offer birth control pills to his patients if he doesn’t feel they are doing their “reproductive job.” That job, says Dr. Lee, is to produce at least four children.

The Herald News writes:

Dr Lee also did not prescribe condoms, and encouraged patients as young as 16 to use the rhythm method.

The only circumstances in which he would prescribe the contraceptive pill would be if a woman wanted space between pregnancies, or had at least four children.

“I think they’ve already done their reproductive job.”

In some ways, it’s refreshingly honest for a practitioner to openly admit that he wants to ensure women perform their duties and bear a passel of children. And at least he’s admitting that pregnancy and birth—not to mention the actual raising of those children—is a whole lot of work.

Also, the clinic does have a pamphlet at the front desk stating that some doctors will not prescribe birth control, and the practitioner running the clinic said that he will consider a sign to warn future patients. That’s a more honest approach than that taken by our country’s crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), which present themselves as traditional medical clinics yet refuse to offer or even refer for contraceptives. U.S. clinics even embrace their deception as freedom of speech.

Still, few women and girls are heading into CPCs for their reproductive health care, so we should be more concerned about any potential “Dr. Lees” in our midst. Conscience clause legislation has proliferated in the last few years, and we are seeing a growing number of legal groups ready to fight tooth and nail to defend a doctor’s right to deny providing prescriptions for birth control. Dr. Lee may be overseas, but he represents the mindset we are already seeing with a number of medical practitioners in the United States who are coming for your birth control.

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  • liberaldem

    While Dr. Lee is more honest about his beliefs, that is no comfort to the women who are his patients. Has he offered financial assistance to help support these children whom he believes must be born? If not, he’s simply another religious bigot.

    • HeilMary1

      He doesn’t deserve any female patients.

    • Guest

      Why do some people persist in calling anyone with strong religious beliefs bigots? You are an anti-religious bigot for saying it. Patients can chose to go elsewhere for their BC. He hasn’t changed the law of the land, and it is his right to practice as he sees fit as long as he is doing no harm. Women can find other physicians and get their BC elsewhere. There are options.

      • Cactus_Wren

        People with “strong religious beliefs” aren’t necessarily bigots. People like Lee, who insist on inflicting their own religious beliefs on others, ARE bigots.

      • JA

        Being religious doesn’t make you a bigot. Forcing your views on other people will, though.

      • Arekushieru

        What does being able to find other physicians and get their money elsewhere, have to do with whether one is a bigot or not, though? All it does is make it more likely that a woman will experience an unwanted pregnancy. After all, not EVERY woman has the ability to find another doctor let ALONE pay for the extra expenses that trip may cost her. Besides, WHY is it that the only medical decisions that are deemed acceptable for medical doctors to ‘conscientiously’ object to are those decisions that PRIMARILY affect women? See, it’s NOT about choice, especially when you’re affecting the decision-making abilities of another population, when that population happens to be women, it’s called MISOGYNY.

      • fiona64

        . Patients can chose to go elsewhere for their BC.

        How presumptuous! If the Wairau Clinic is the only one available to a patient (and it may well be), she is being denied access. You presume that everyone is just able to hop in a car and go elsewhere, and that all areas have access to all things.

      • HeilMary1

        Heretic piety is no excuse for committing criminal medical malpractice.

      • Mandy

        “”Women can find other physicians and get their BC elsewhere.””

        Not always. Now my experiances are in the US but here, doctors offices (with practicing OBGYNs) are not exactly lining the streets. How far are women expected to drive to find other options? 25 extra miles? 50?! 100 extra miles to the next office accepting patients? Not to even mention that you have to not just find another OBGYN, but find one that accepts your insurance (if you have it that is.) I already drive almost an hour (over the state border) to get a doctor who takes my family’s insurance.

        Not even to mention that this doctor sure as heck COULD be doing harm to women by denying them birth control. There are many medical problems such as anemia, acne, POCS, cycsts, ect that birth control is used to treat.

        Denying women a medication certainly can be harmful. If he can’t do ALL of his job, he shouldn’t have the job at all.

      • bj_survivor

        No, you are welcome to have strong inane superstitions religious beliefs and that alone does not make one a bigot. What makes one a bigot is demanding that others adhere to your religious beliefs, whether they share those beliefs or not.

  • AZDem9933

    South Korea started enforcing its longstanding abortion ban (which had been largely ignored) a few years ago when anti-choicers pushed the “low birthrate” panic really hard there. That’s how they get the elites to go along with their policies, by scaring them about a future shortage of serfs and cannon fodder

    • HeilMary1

      Not to mention child prostitutes who entertain US troops and pedophile priests!

      • Arekushieru

        Or the Japanese…. Sad to say.

  • YR

    So if a doctor wants to be lazy all he or she has to do is make another doctor do the work? If a doctor chooses to act according to his or her personal feelings rather than sound medical practice, he or she should be happy to accept a pay decrease. Doctors get paid for their medical expertise, not their beliefs. I guess if I think that treating a bowel impaction is icky, I can claim conscientious objection and just get someone else to do it for me; I’ll even get paid for it! By choosing to practice as doctor you also choose the responsibilities that attend the job. If I want to pay someone Not to give me a prescription, I can just give money to my mother or my brother. My aunt is looking for a new car, maybe she has the expertise to refuse to treat me!

    • HeilMary1

      “If I want to pay someone Not to give me a prescription, I can just give money to my mother or my brother.”

      Don’t you know? — you’re paying the doctor for his religious sermons, insults and medical negligence!

  • Staciehew

    Hopefully patients will respond by not giving him any business. I was morally lectured by a doctor once after I went in for a bladder infection. After he gave me some normal practical advise on avoiding them in the future, he had to slip in his abstinence-only preaching because I was not married.
    I definitely never went back to him and hopefully New Zealand women won’t either after they’ve been warned.

  • Amanda Kazarian

    LOL Is he behind on his beach house and cadillac payments? Because money is the only thing he has to gain by making sure his patients have atleast 4 children. Pretty transparent if you ask me.

  • Ella Warnock

    Yeah, I haven’t done my “job.” So sue me.

  • dagobarbz

    I had my tubes tied. My life and body are my own.

  • knitbunnie

    There are choices in life. He chooses to not dispense birth control. YOU can chose a different doctor. Problem solved.

    • 65snake

      so it’s fine if he chooses not to do his actual job?

    • cjvg

      So it is perfectly acceptable for him to try to force his personal medically irrelevant views on his patients?

    • cjvg

      What if another doctor personal views are that women should only be permitted one child because of overpopulation?

      What if that same doctor decides that there should also be some physical qualifications for being allowed to reproduce?
      His personal non medical opinion is that only women with:
      blue eyes (his favorite color), 5.10 to 6 feet tall (he hates the song short people),
      red hair (least common color),
      athletic build (why not, will make sporting events competitive),
      swimmers (less sports injuries to treat)
      should be allowed to give birth that one child?!

      Since he and you find it perfectly acceptable for a doctor to force his personal medically irrelevant opinion on women it is just fine if he is just going to go ahead and insert IUD’s in every women he considers unqualified to reproduce once, right?!

      Wait, that includes you and you want 3 kids.
      Well that’s to bad, you better hope that there is another doctor in your neighborhood that is still accepting patients.
      What’s that, you can not find another doctor that does obstetric care?

      Oh well, a doctor has a right to refuse to provide medically relevant services if it is against his personal convictions according to you.

    • Arekushieru

      Then HE can pay for the woman’s abortions who did NOT ‘choose’ to get pregnant. What you don’t seem to understand, which is REALLY very sad, is that his decisions WILL impact a woman’s ability to make her OWN decisions.

      • HeilMary1

        He’s using fetuses as fists to injure and maim patients.

    • Jennifer Starr

      A doctor’s job should be to look after the needs of his patients, not to look for ways to impose his worldview on their personal lives.

    • HeilMary1

      Munchausen by Proxy malpractice is criminal and deadly. He is committing massive harm against women on behalf of spoiled pedophile priests.

  • cjvg

    His personal ideas about what the right number of successful reproductive attempts are for a woman has no place in what medical and personal decisions I can make!

    There is no medical justification for him trying to make these decisions for any woman by trying to make it more difficult to obtain contraception if she so desires.
    He has absolutely no insight in her personal financial or social circumstances so he can keep his personal opinion confined to his personal life!

    Were is this going to stop, how many deeply personal decisions should doctors be allowed to try to force their patients to conform to the doctors personal views?
    What if car salesman start doing the same, what if they decide that women can not be allowed to purchase cars that can not accommodate 4 car seats since every woman must reproduce at least 4 times so she should be prepared?
    What if some college presidents decide they will not accept female students during their prime reproductive years since they should be busy getting pregnant, according to that presidents personal opinions?

    So when is a woman’s opinion on what is best for her the only one that is needed to access the services she needs/wants and PAYS for herself?!

    He has the right to make those determinations for his own family, no one else!
    These are not medically valid or pertinent decisions he is trying to force on his patients!

  • Valde

    Catholics love to claim that the rhythym method is the best birth control out there, right:

    “The “egg-timer” model of
    the human menstrual cycle, with ovulation and conception regularly
    occurring close to midcycle, has formed the basis for medical thinking
    and intervention since the 1930s. This model needs radical revision.

    The notion of regular
    midcycle ovulation is itself just a statistical abstraction. Menstrual
    cycles show considerable variation both in length, routinely ranging
    between three and five weeks, and in timing of ovulation relative to
    menstruation.

    More important, however,
    several lines of evidence lead to the revolutionary conclusion that
    sperm are stored in the human womb, probably in crypts in the cervix.
    This means that intercourse leading to conception can occur up to 10
    days or more before ovulation takes place.

    This raises major
    problems for the “rhythm method” of contraception, which relies on the
    accepted wisdom that sperm and eggs have strictly limited maximum
    life-spans, surviving for only two days and one day, respectively. In
    practice, the rhythm method (even with refinements) is very unreliable.

    Worse yet, deliberate
    avoidance of intercourse around the time of ovulation can be confidently
    expected to increase the risk of fertilization with a time-worn sperm
    or egg and hence the probability of fetal abnormality. Various studies
    have indicated that this is, indeed, what happens.”

    http://edition dot cnn dot com/2013/07/22/health/how-we-do-it/?hpt=hp_t2