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

Brady Swenson

Pro-life medical practices that refuse to prescribe birth control opening around the country; To be truly pro-life the Vatican should lift its contraception ban; Adults need sex education too.

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. 

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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.

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.

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

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.

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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