Nelson GP Dr Joseph Hassan, a 40-year-old married father of four, wrote to the 50 patients a fortnight ago telling them he would no longer prescribe contraceptives or refer women for sterilisation.
The letter, which listed doctors who would provide the services, told patients their fertility was a gift to be looked after and not something to be treated with medication like a disease.
"I have done this in response to a personal journey," he told the Herald. " … I have been praying about God’s direction on this in my life. Over the last few weeks, in various ways, I have felt this is the direction I should take."
Dr Hassan, who also opposes abortion and has set up a crisis support programme as an alternative, said he had long been troubled by the conflict between the Church’s teaching on contraception and his medical practice. He said other doctors would prescribe contraception and his move would not increase the teen pregnancy rate, which was due to other factors, "not just a lack of contraception".
New Zealand has the third-highest teenage pregnancy rate in the developed world. In 2002, 3 per cent of female teenagers aged between 15 and 19 became pregnant.
Ms Williams said she was surprised by Dr Hassan’s move. "It’s really out-of-the-Ark stuff these days."
Dr Hassan said he knew of at least five other Catholic GPs who had had "a similar kind of journey to me". [Source]
"It’s really out-of-the-Ark stuff these days." I guess she would prefer a flood of contraceptives to reduce humanity.