Catholic M.D.'s Worry After H.H.S. Mandate

Some Catholics who want to practice medicine in conformity with the church’s teachings worry that a new federal regulation requiring health plans to cover contraceptives and sterilization represents a governmental intrusion into health care that could grow. Anne Nolte, M.D., right, a family physician in New York, said, “If Congress failed to pass an act that provides an exemption for the groups affected by this, and the courts in some incomprehensible way allow [the mandate] to stand, then Catholic health care will have to make a decision to practice civil disobedience.” A fourth-year medical student at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Sarah Smith made clear during residency interviews that her Catholic convictions prevent her from involvement in abortion, sterilization or contraception. Now she worries that an atmosphere in which she already finds some challenges to her pro-life convictions will further sour. “The one safe environment—Catholic hospitals—is not even going to be safe anymore,” she said. Dr. Kim Hardey, of Lafayette, La., believes that some in Washington would like to drive obstetrician-gynecologists like him, who will not perform abortions, out of business. “There are not that many of us...that we’d be too big to go after,” he said.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

“The Senate proposal is fundamentally flawed as written and requires amendment,” said Bishop Frank J. Dewane in a Nov. 22 letter to senators.
Pope Francis greets people at the “Regional Hub,” a government-run processing center for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, in Bologna, Italy, Oct. 1. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)
Although he named no countries, Vatican observers believe he is referring especially to political leaders in several western and eastern European countries.
Gerard O’ConnellNovember 24, 2017
For Thanksgiving, we give you an inside look into what Jesuit basketball teams to watch out for this season.
Olga SeguraNovember 24, 2017
Images: CNS/Composite: America
On Nov. 11, the Catholic Church lost a moral titan in the long struggle for racial equality and justice in the United States.
Shannen Dee WilliamsNovember 22, 2017