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

Pro-life advocates participate in the annual March for Life in Washington January 2017. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
Describing abortion as a “key social evil” in the United States, the Jesuits say: “The most fundamental building block of a just social order is respect for human life.”
America StaffJanuary 19, 2018
Men carry a replica of Peru's most revered religious icon, the "Lord of Miracles," during an Oct. 18, 2017 procession in Lima. Each year thousands of Catholics gather to commemorate the image's survival in a 17th-century earthquake that destroyed Lima. (CNS photo/Mariana Bazo, Reuters)
Father Ernesto Cavassa was provincial of the Jesuits in Peru from 1998 to 2004, and president of the Conference of Latin American Jesuit Provincials from 2005 to 2012.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 18, 2018
For over 45 years, Feminists for Life has been committed to ending the practice and legality of abortion and promoting the feminism of Susan B. Anthony.
Serrin M. FosterJanuary 18, 2018
A President Donald Trump supporter is see seen at the annual March for Life in Washington Jan. 27. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
During their tenure in office, President Ronald Reagan, President George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush all addressed the march via telephone or a radio hookup from the Oval Office.
Catholic News ServiceJanuary 18, 2018