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Viewpoints

Catholic OB-GYN opened 'pro-life' practice March 1

022912lipscomb-mugWINSTON-SALEM — Obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Lewis Lipscomb has felt called to make some substantial changes in how he practices medicine since his conversion to Catholicism in 2004.

Armed with his newfound faith, Lipscomb sought to practice medicine according to the Church's comprehensive understanding of human sexuality, including "Humanae Vitae," Pope Paul VI's encyclical affirming the Church's teaching on marital love, contraception and sterilization.

Following medical training from the Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha, Neb., Lipscomb stopped prescribing artificial birth control last year, and now he's taking it a step further this month by starting his own "pro-life" practice in Winston-Salem, specializing in Natural Family Planning for his patients.

"Since I converted to Catholicism in 2004, I have struggled with the Church's teaching on contraception and sterilization," Lipscomb said. "'Safe sex' in our culture is defined as 'contracepted' and 'covered up.' As an obstetrician-gynecologist, I was called on every day to provide effective means for women to avoid pregnancy.

"Over the past several years, I began to seek out the truth about human sexuality, and found that our own Catholic Church was really the only entity willing to articulate these truths."

His new practice, Triad Obstetrics & Gynecology, is a Novant Medical Group practice with a staff of four – and one of the only pro-life OB-GYN practices in North Carolina.

His patients appreciate his Catholic approach to women's health.

"To practice NFP is to follow God's loving design for marriage and to live in communion with the doctrine laid out by our Holy Mother Church," said Leslie Smith. "Having practiced NFP for over 10 years, I feel so blessed now to have an OB-GYN who understands charting. There is no longer a 'language barrier.' I look forward to walking into Dr. Lipscomb's new practice and not encountering advertisements for contraceptives, morning-after pills and sterilizations."

Katie Knickrehm, another of Lipscomb's patients, shared her excitement about the new practice:

"The Triad is extremely fortunate to have a pro-life OB-GYN practice that supports Natural Family Planning. Catholics practicing their faith now have somewhere to turn in their own backyard. Personally, NFP has strengthened my own faith and marriage. It is such a blessing that Dr. Lipscomb has made himself available to the pro-life community."

Lipscomb admits this is a big step and a leap of faith for him and his family, but he is confident about his new practice.

"My objective now is to offer a non-contraceptive approach to women's health. The tendency of most OB-GYNs is to use contraceptives to treat just about any problem that women suffer. Unfortunately, this approach only masks the symptoms of underlying disease. Women deserve better.

"Using the skills that I learned at the Pope Paul VI Institute, I will, as an NFP Medical Consultant, offer true diagnosis of underlying organic and hormonal abnormalities, and treatments that work cooperatively with a woman's physiology to truly treat her disease, rather than mask the symptoms," he added.

Father Lucas Rossi, parochial vicar at St. Leo Church in Winston-Salem, is proud of Lipscomb's stance.

"Dr. Lipscomb is truly committed to helping women...to giving them the care that so many physicians do not provide – care that reverences a woman's fertility instead of treating it as disease," Father Rossi said. "He is an inspiration to all Catholic men, especially to us priests, who have given our lives to serve the Church. I am so thankful that there is a physician who can provide women with sound medical care while at the same time offering them other fertility options that are not sinful or contraceptive in nature. I pray many more physicians and nurses, Catholic and non-Catholic, will be inspired by Dr. Lipscomb's witness. He is going to need help, since countless women are looking for a physician who is grounded in the Gospel of Life."

Triad Obstetrics & Gynecology is located at 1900 Hawthorne Road, Suite 614, in Winston-Salem. For details, call 336-277-0340.

— SueAnn Howell, staff writer

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