Catholic doctors speak against access to morning-after pill without a prescription

.- Catholic doctors expressed their position in the ongoing debate on legislation that would require hospitals to offer rape victims the morning-after pill and allow pharmacists to sell the abortifacient drug without a prescription.

Catholic doctors told a Joint Public Health Committee at Beacon Hill yesterday that such legislation would be problematic, as it would require them to act against Catholic teaching. 

“I'm a Catholic. I cherish my faith. Emergency contraception is bad medicine,” Dr. Helen Jackson, president of the Catholic Physicians' Guild, reportedly told the committee.

The Boston Herald reported that Dr. Gertrude Murphy, a retired pediatrician, said this legislation could be a “huge problem” for Catholic hospitals, particularly if a “conscience clause” isn't included.

“No Catholic hospital that is truly a Catholic hospital would be able to prescribe emergency contraception to all rape victims,” unless they had determined the woman hadn't yet ovulated, said Murphy, an honorary staff member of St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Boston.

Supporters of the legislation attended the hearing, saying the drug could prevent hundreds of thousands of abortion procedures.