This is a transcript of a recent speech given by an OB/GYN to her parish in Columbus, Oh
by Kathleen Lutter
Hello St. Timothy Parishioners! My name is Kathleen Lutter. I have been asked by the Knights of Columbus and Father Hayes to provide a personal witness about the recent Department of Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate.
I am from a large, poor Catholic family of fourteen children, ten of whom are girls! I have been a parishioner at St. Timothy Parish with my husband Ken, for the last 28 years. We have raised three children here in this parish. I am an OB/GYN physician, advocating for women and women’s health issues. My friends and family know that I am much more comfortable in the BACK of church, not here in the front! But I feel compelled to stand here and explain, in very real terms, how the recent HHS mandate is NOT good for women, not good for Catholics and how it is a violation of our First Amendment Rights. Its impact upon me as a Catholic employer and as a Catholic physician is both undeniable and unacceptable.
In August of 2011, the President introduced the concept and, in February 2012, entered into the Federal Register, a mandate that forces all employers to provide for their employees at no cost, sterilization, contraception and direct abortifacient drugs. Most Americans believed that this was just about making birth control more affordable to women. Nothing could be further from the truth. Branded birth control pills are already available to every patient on Medicaid FREE of charge. Working women can purchase generic birth control for $13 dollars for a 3-month supply. The REAL agenda behind the mandate is the inclusion of a drug by the name of ELLA, E-L-L-A. Look it up! It was included by brand name in the mandate. Most were unfamiliar with this drug and falsely assumed that it represented yet another method of contraception. In our enthusiasm to get our pills for free, we allowed the federal mandate of a drug, recently available from France, a relative of RU-486, whose SOLE indication is the medical termination of pregnancy. Also included were Preven and Plan B, drugs that are called “contraceptives” yet if taken more than 48 hours after exposure, represent DIRECT ABORTIFACIENT drugs! The REAL tragedy is that we Catholics did NOT stand up and tell the president that he grossly underestimated our respect for life and our disdain for abortion. Our passive silence has allowed this to move forward faster than most of us can believe. This is now LAW and we have NO moral recourse to object to mandated coverage of the surgical termination of a pregnancy, since we have passively accepted the medical termination drugs.
What then, did you hear about “The Compromise” that the President made weeks after the mandate came out? In a nutshell, the only compromise was to give Catholic physicians and institutions a year to reconsider their beliefs.
So, what does this mean for me as a Catholic employer? I must provide free-ofcharge to my employees, sterilization, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.
Whether I pay for the services directly, or pay the insurance premium indirectly, I am condoning and sponsoring abortion against my religious convictions. I am only eligible for a religious exemption if I both care for and employ exclusively Catholic individuals. Lastly and perhaps more frightening to me, is the February 2013 date which marks the end of my year’s reflection on my stance on abortion. By this date, I must comply with and accept my role in providing medical abortions to my staff and patients, if asked. If I fail to comply with the HHS contraceptive and abortion drug mandate, my access to patients who use Medicare, Medicaid, TriCare, Champus and other federal programs is cut off!
Either comply with the mandate OR release from my care all of my seniors, my disabled patients, my impoverished patients, my immigrant and refugee patients and my military family patients. Break a commandment or break my vocation? I took an oath in May of 1984 at my medical school commencement which is widely known as the Hippocratic Oath. I will close with a portion of that oath…
I WILL FOLLOW that method of treatment, which according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patient. I will neither prescribe nor administer a lethal dose of medicine to any patient even if asked, nor counsel any such thing nor perform these acts. I will have the utmost respect for every human life from fertilization to natural death and reject abortion that deliberately takes a unique human life.
Hippocrates circa 460 BC
Please consider joining the Knights of Columbus . . . as they embark upon a letter writing campaign, in support of our brave bishops and clergy. Join with people of
ALL faiths in an attempt to seek legislation to protect the conscience of our
Catholic physicians and health care workers and to rescind the HHS mandate.
Dr. Kathleen Q. Lutter
Courtesy of the Ohio Liberty Council