November 27, 2012

SPEAKING OUT: Porn at the Doctor’s Office

My husband and I are excited to start our own family! We went to the doctor’s office on the army base in TX to meet with doctors for a preconception visit. I want to point out that this is a family doctor that specializes in helping people grow their families. This is a special time for us and I found myself overcome with joy as I looked around the waiting room and saw lots of little babies, young kids playing on the floor and pregnant women with adoring husbands holding their hands.

On our way out of the clinic, my husband stopped to use the one, family restroom they had in the office. He came out very upset. Immediately I knew something was wrong. He told me that there were porn magazines stacked on the table in the bathroom. In disbelief, we decided we had to say something about this to the doctor right then. We explained how we were surprised, disgusted and dismayed, but he said that people complain if they don’t keep porn in there for collecting for IUI and IVF procedures. I suggested that they remove it from the bathroom and keep it in a desk somewhere if someone asks for it, but he said that then they feel embarrassed for having to ask for it. He said that our complaint was the first complaint for the porn being there. I was just shocked that a family hospital–a family-oriented clinic–would leave pornography lying around in a bathroom! Little kids use that bathroom too! He says they sell porn right there at the hospital, in the basement shopette. We told him that the fact that my husband didn’t need to use it proves that the porn isn’t necessary. My doctor said he agrees with us, but he said that we can’t force our morals on other people. Well then, they shouldn’t be allowed to force their immorality on us!

I didn’t know what else we could do to help make a difference. We’re just so upset by this; this clinic is all about helping couples start their families, and here they are endorsing something that destroys them. My doctor gave me the address to write to his boss who is in charge of the entire clinic, so I contacted Dawn at Morality In Media and she helped me find resources to put together a letter about this.

We sent the letter, but miraculously, just before I sent it, my doctor called me. He said that after we left, they called an office meeting and asked all of the staff about what they thought about this matter. Most of them agreed that pornography is harmful and shouldn’t be left just laying around. One of the head doctors insisted they had to provide it, so one of the receptionists came up with the idea of buying a locked cabinet that could be placed high out of reach of children to keep the magazines in.

I’m not entirely happy with the solution, but it’s so much better than it was and it only took us speaking up about it!

It just made me so mad that this is at my clinic, where people are trying to start families–it’s just the last thing you should be thinking about when you’re trying to help your wife get pregnant! All this data makes me realize more how lucky I am in my marriage…I knew this was a widespread problem, but this really puts it in perspective how large a widespread problem it really is.

-Sarah

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