Commentary Contraception

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

Robin Marty

A New Zealand doctor is refusing to prescribe contraception unless he feels you have had enough children already.

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:

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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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