Skip to comments.Out of the Exam Room and Into the Voting Booth
Posted on 11/05/2012 4:59:15 AM PST by Mad Dawg
Ive generally stayed quiet during this election season, but as the election draws near and Im seeing posts saying that voting for Romney is a step backwards for the country I am going to speak why Im not supporting reelecting Obamaprobably different than what youre hearing.
I honestly fear for the future of my job if he is reelected. His moves against the Catholic Church with the contraception mandate frustrate mefor my Church, as well as for me personally. You may or may not know that I have not prescribed or referred for contraception, abortion or sterilization for 16 years. That doesnt mean Ive abandoned womens health care. I took an intensive training (credentialed by a real US medical school) this year in management of conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, infertility, PMS, irregular cycles, and family planning without use of the Pillusing timed blood tests and bioidentical hormones. It WORKSincredibly well. And perhaps shocking to some of you, all my patients are NOT Catholic. I can honestly say I never understood womens health so thoroughly in my entire career as I do now.
Believe it or not, there are women who drive long distances (three hours!) to seek the care of a doctor like me who is trained to manage their gyn problems this way, or have come to have me help them with hormonal therapy when they've had recurrent miscarriages. I have a full schedule of other patients who have known this about my practice for years and keep coming back, and recommending their friends. The few times that insurance companies have questioned me about contraceptives, I told them that it is against the teachings of my Church, and it was accepted.
Conscience protection for doctors has been pulled back in the past 4 years, and as I understand it, it only really applies to not performing abortions. I may have a very difficult choice to make about my future if I were to be required to either prescribe or refer for contraception under the PPACA. From the rhetoric of the election campaign, contraception is a very important (if seemingly not the most important) part of this plan, so the pressure will be on. I cant do what I believe to be wrong, so I then either leave medicine, find some way to practice (occupational medicine or the like) that doesnt require this, or break the law.
Im not the only doctor worried about this. The Catholic Medical Association has expressed concernsa med student from my church met with me to ask how Im going to navigate this and what he can do as a student to avoid procedures that are morally objectionable. A patient recently asked me if I was going to cave if forced to prescribe contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act.
Some common objections: No, I dont FORCE women not to get the Pill. There are plenty of doctors nearby who write for it, so anyone who wants it can get it without my help, and I dont lecture them that the Pill is bad. Yes, you probably know plenty of Catholic doctors who do write the Pill yes, so do I. What they do is between them and God, but this is a teaching of the Church, and I have a right to follow it. And no, this teaching on contraception isnt just followed by pious home-schoolers with 10 kids. I generally look quite normal when out there selling band candy bars at football games, cheering at a cross-country meet, or helping with Scouts I work outside the home, and we only have four sons.
There are things about Romney I don't like, trust me. The perfect candidate is not out there this year...or probably never really. But when weighing two possibilities, I cant ignore religious freedomeither for my Church, or for me, my family, and my professional future.