The Ottumwa Courier

October 31, 2012

Reservations about women’s services


FAIRFIELD — I’m Catholic, and I accept the church’s teachings that abortion, artificial contraception and sterilization are contrary to God’s law. According to the U.S. Constitution, I have the freedom to live out my religious beliefs without restriction by the government. I cannot in good conscience pay for contraception, abortion and sterilization. The federal government is violating my First Amendment rights when it requires all employers to pay for services which many believe go against God’s law.

Furthermore, as a doctor, I have grave reservations about the value of these services to women. I know that oral contraceptives have serious side effects including heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, depression, increased cervical and breast cancer and increased liver tumors. There are safe, natural methods to prevent pregnancy that women can easily learn to use.

Abortion obviously has killed millions of children, but it also damages women. It’s a risky surgical procedure, sometimes even fatal to the young mother. Each year, about 140,000 women suffer complications during their abortion, including hemorrhage, perforated uterus, convulsions, cardiac arrest and serious infection. Women who have had an abortion also suffer increased rates of breast cancer, depression, suicide, infertility, miscarriages and premature births.

St. Paul said in his letter to the Galatians: “For freedom, Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”

I refuse to be forced to cooperate with a government program which kills babies.

I wholeheartedly support those religious institutions and individual religious employers who refuse to cooperate with a government program which violates fundamental religious beliefs about the sanctity of life.

Marianne McGregor, M.D.