In Reply: I appreciate Dr. LeMaire's letter and wholeheartedly agree with his premise that women of the Catholic faith and all faiths should be sanctioned to use contraception. Not only does doctrine stand in the way of contraceptive choice, but hospital doctrine may pose a barrier as well. Catholic hospitals in particular follow the “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services,” 1 which make a number of statements about appropriate care, including these two directives about contraception: 52. Catholic health institutions may not promote or condone contraceptive practices but should provide, for married couples and the medical staff who counsel them, instruction both about the Church's teaching on responsible parenthood and in methods of natural family planning. 53. Direct sterilization of either men or women, whether permanent or temporary, is not permitted in a Catholic health care institution… In 2011, about 10% of hospital beds in the country were in a Catholic-sponsored or Catholic-affiliated hospital, 2 with resultant effects on access to reproductive health care for a large number of women. I agree with Dr. LeMaire that religious beliefs should not stand in the way of women's health care.
Obstetrics & Gynecology – Wolters Kluwer Health
Published: Nov 1, 2015
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