I've been following a blogging discussion which has been very disappointing, but kind of telling about the traps liberals and conservatives can fall into. It started when a UU sexuality educator of some fame posted a diatribe in her blog against an OBGYN practice which only deals with Natural Family Planning. (For those not in the know, NFP is a 30 year old scientific update of the old Rhythm method and is the only method approved by the Catholic church. For many women who have regular cycles and who (with are their partner) are willing to enjoy sex only at safe times of the month, it's quite effective...but it's a big commitment.)
It was sad to me to see someone who holds herself out as an expert be so reflexively negative and apparently ignorant about a very popular family planning method, which is used, not only by Catholic women but by 'whole wheat' women who don't care for other methods, and women who can't use other methods. And she really got an earful from many commentors extolling the virtues of their chosen menthod. She got some hate mail too vile to post, she said, which is an unfortunate tactic that conservatives resort to way too much, and quite a few proponents of NFP not only think it's their favorite birth control method, they think it should be the ONLY birth control method.
But it was even sadder to hear so many liberal proponents of the right of conscience in matters of abortion deny the right of conscience of physicians to limit their practice (with notice to patients) to a particular set of options. A shocking number of liberal commenters sounded their fury against the notion that someone would have to shop around for a congenial physician to get birth control prescriptions. Liberals can have such a reflexive attitude of privelege over some matters, and this is one.
Conscience is Sacred. I would no more be a slaveholder than a slave, said Abraham Lincoln, and I myself say, I would no more force a physician to offer medical care that violates her conscience than I would allow her to force me to accept medical care which violates mine.
The Debate is here