This is good news, and it’s a long time coming: Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, NH is welcoming Sarah Bascle, M.D., to its Women’s Wellness & Fertility Center of New England. The public is invited to an Open House on March 14 to meet Dr. Bascle and tour the new practice.
This won’t be just an abortion-free practice. It’ll be a practice staffed by professionals who know that fertility is understandable and manageable, it’s not a disease, and women don’t need to be “fixed.” The Open House is a good opportunity to learn more about NaPro Technology and restorative reproductive medicine, among the other specialties of the new OB/GYN practice.
When a woman in New Hampshire wants to find an obstetrician or gynecologist who neither performs nor refers for abortion, it’s an uphill battle. Harder still – impossible, in my experience – is finding a provider who isn’t fully invested in providing and promoting contraception.
My use of natural family planning was tolerated with some amusement by my longtime primary care provider. When she retired a few years ago, after we had known each other for a quarter of a century, she remarked that I was the only patient she had ever known who had used NFP and who understood her own body so well. (There’s a connection there.)
I welcome CMC’s work in expanding life-affirming options in New Hampshire, and I look forward to meeting Dr. Bascle.
Dianne Hunt is a Londonderry, New Hampshire nurse practitioner whose career took a sharp turn after three decades of conventional practice. A Catholic medical professional, she says she became “discontented” with the way Church teaching about the dignity of life was being “held hostage by secular medicine.” One day, she went to a presentation by Paul Carpentier, M.D., a Massachusetts physician certified in NaPro Technology. She also read Humanae Vitae (“a beautiful document …it changed my life”). Hunt found that both science and Church teaching confirmed what she had suspected for a long time: women were being ill-served by pill-centered care.
The result: Humanae Vitae Family Healthcare in Londonderry. Hunt described her new practice recently to an attentive audience at the 2014 pro-life seminar hosted by the New Hampshire Knights of Columbus in Manchester.
Hunt says she is committed to “life-affirming practices and evidence-based medicine” as she works with women of all ages. She is critical of conventional gynecologic care, in which she says “the standard of practice, the gold standard, is treatment with a pill” – pills that treats symptoms without addressing underlying issues. “The drug companies rule. And it’s gotten to where as health care professionals we don’t even want to admit that birth control pills are abortifacient.”
As she has taken on new training and affiliations with NaPro Technology, she says “It’s been a wonderful journey to heal women.” She’s happy to be practicing her profession in a way that benefits her patients and honors her faith at the same time. “Support pro-life providers when you meet them,” she advises. “We need your help. Keep praying for us; I’m just a normal person.” A normal person, that is, who was willing to step out in faith and go back to school at age 50 to chart a new professional course. (More about her practice here.)
Also seen and heard at the seminar, which is an annual event:
I had the privilege of speaking to the same audience for a few minutes on my favorite topic, New Hampshire legislation.
Covering the same material from a different angle was Bob Dunn, an attorney who represents the Diocese of Manchester as a lobbyist. He made a point of talking about the bill to repeal the death penalty, which is having its Senate hearing in just a few days.
Msgr. Anthony Frontiero, rector of St. Joseph Cathedral (where the seminar took place), keynoted the gathering. “We’re in a cauldron of change – the natural result of human creativity. Cultural pluralism is devolving into cultural relativism.” But, not to lose heart: “We should constantly thank God for His power and His presence in our lives. Keep going. Be strong. Let us pray for one another.”
I heard for the first time from Fr. Robert Smolley, who had some choice words about recent and still-pending legislation. “No other business has a buffer zone, and let’s face it – Planned Parenthood is a business. If you’re a business, you don’t need a buffer zone. If you’re medical, you deserve to be regulated.” On the death penalty: “This country practices the death penalty every day. A serious talk about the death penalty must include talk about abortion.” On the recent meeting between Pope Francis and President Obama, after which the President professed admiration for the Pontiff: “We’ll see how much he admires him” when it’s time to enforce the Obamacare contraceptive mandate.