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Commentary: Obama's position correct on birth control

February 23, 2012

Re "Commentary: Obama wages war against the Catholic Church," Feb. 19:

I find that Dr. R. Claire Friend's claim that "Obama's war against the Catholic Church is far greater than a simple demand that employer provide contraception and abortion in the guise of women's health services" to be difficult to believe, if not downright outrageous.

As a physician, Friend seems to have forgotten the Hippocratic Oath, which we are sworn to abide by. The section of the oath I am referring to states, "I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure."

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Pregnancy and childbirth can be prevented. To force an unprepared teenage girl to carry a pregnancy to term is not beneficial to the individual, much less to the society. Although a reduction in the need for abortions in these pregnancies through education would be an ideal solution, when the need arises, these services should be provided in a safe and legal fashion.

The separation of church and state gives our nation the opportunity to make these services available. The institution of the Catholic Church has the right to defend their religious beliefs, but when it interferes with a woman's right to choose, a problem arises.

Not every individual who is employed by a Catholic institution is Catholic; therefore he or she is not required to abide by their tenets. Not every person is so fortunate as to be able to find employment by a religious institution of their chosen faith. Should these people not be given the same opportunities as others?

As a female physician who has worked in Third World countries and currently serves a large uninsured or underinsured patient population, I have nothing but the highest regard for President Obama.

To use titles such as monarch and tyrant when referring to our president, no matter whom he or she may be, is simply disrespectful and undermines the strength of our nation as a whole.

It is clear through ad hominem attack such as these that emotion rather than logic is the primary driving force in Friend's commentary. Obama has taken one of the toughest stances any president has to date: the basic right of health care for all citizens of our nation.

We are extremely fortunate to live in a society, which affords us the opportunities set forth by the amendments of the United States Constitution. Humanity deserves the best care our society can offer, and Obama's birth control plan is a step toward this goal. Thank you, President Obama.

Dr. JULIE THOMPSON-DOBKIN is a Newport Beach resident.

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