Do I sound like a whackjob?


No, I don’t mean in everyday situations, just in this letter I sent. I wrote an email to the head of a midwifery school in my state asking if you were permitted to “opt-out” of learning treatments you found religiously objectionable, because a term used in a course description raised a red flag. She responded with “We’ve never had this situation come up before, let’s talk about your specific situation”, and she’s supposed to call me tomorrow afternoon. This is what I wrote back.

"I was asking this question because I was not sure about what exactly the practical aspects of your course in Female Sexuality for Midwives involve. I don’t know much about applied sexology, so I have no idea what the exam mentioned in the course description would entail. I wanted to investigate it first.

The reason I put my question in religious terms is that my particular Christian tradition believes that all sexual expression must be potentially life-giving. The women I will be assisting once I become certified are of that same tradition. Therefore, treatments for their psychosexual health which would involve non-generative sexual activity on their part would be off-limits. I would also object to prescribing these during my training period or in the course of classroom exams and would attempt to find alternative treatments.

Again, I don’t know what the course entails or what kind of treatments are considered generally appropriate for sexual health, so I can’t make a judgment as yet. I just had asked because I wanted to know what would happen if I found myself in a situation where I was going to be expected to do something objectionable. We can talk about this some more on Thursday."

So… do I sound like a religious whackjob?


You sound serious and reasonable,
wanting to find out what’s what before you commit yourself.
You may have to be a little more explicit in your phone conversation, however. Don’t be afraid to say, I couldn’t prescribe birth control pills/IUDs/etc.
God bless.


I had to ask about the “religious whackjob” part because I’m worried that if I decide to go there they’ll be like “Oh, that’s some crazy Christian woman, we don’t want her here” after having had this contact with me. It’s just, when they say “sexology”, I automatically think of all the weird stuff that goes on at liberal arts colleges. I want to make sure they’re not going to expect me to tell women that I’m treating while a student that if you’re not getting enough sex you should masturbate, that porn will make your sex life more interesting, things like that. The contraceptives aren’t a big deal, because for health issues alone they’re unsafe (high blood pressure and reproductive cancers from the Pill, all kinds of weird stuff with IUDs… and all the other stuff you can get OTC so it’s not my decision), so I’ve got enough reason there.

Also, I’m wanting to go up to, say, Front Royal, or out to Ave Maria if they end up succeeding, because 1) I’d be working with Catholics, and 2) I’d be busybusybusy with all the babies subculture Catholics have. :stuck_out_tongue: So even if they did make me do that stuff, I’d never use it in practice.


They sound pretty reasonable so far, but be prepared and know your rights.

You can start your research at the Physicians For Life website, and also at the Thomas More Law Center website.

I found an article by typing in “Florida Medical Conscience Clause” and I found a quote “Florida’s conscience clause provision establishes the right to refuse to furnish contraceptives or information about contraceptives for medical or religious reasons”

So, if they get snippy with you-- play hardball, the law seems to be on your side.


Oh, I will definitely bring it up if that lady starts to get snippy with me. I’m hoping she’ll understand, though, and I’m sure she’s conversant with Florida law.


You sound reasonable in your letter, not a “whackjob” so don’t worry about that part. I applaud you for standing up for your beliefs!

When I went through nursing school and did the OB/GYN class and clinical, they had us learn about birth control and pregnancy “options” but I just gave them the answers they wanted to hear on the test so I could pass. Now, in a certain clinical, they were letting us give a birth control shot if someone came in for their birth control injection. Luckily, I didn’t have to give one, but other nurses did, but I was prepared to tell my teacher that I absolutely refuse. I didn’t care if she would’ve failed me for that clinical day…there are just some things I cannot do in a good conscience.


The woman I talked to was very polite and reasonable and explained just what the class I was concerned about teaches - it’s a “these are the parts, this is how sex works, this is what is and is not normal” course. Any issues with giving out contraception are things I’ll have to make arrangements with my preceptor (the woman I apprentice under in my last year of school) about, so I’ll attempt to find a reasonable preceptor.


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