Special to The Hays Daily News

Dr. Amy Hogan of the Salina Family Clinic will be one of the featured speakers at the Salina Diocesan Council of Catholic Women's bi-annual convention Aug. 28 at St. Andrew Parish Hall in Abilene.

She will be sharing the story of how she got involved in fertility care.

"When people appreciate God's gift of fertility, it helps build strong relationships. Strong relationships are the basis for a strong marriage and healthy family, and healthy families lead to a healthy culture," Hogan said.

Fertility care is a new medical discipline. Instead of just prescribing pills or recommending surgery to solve a fertility issue, fertility care involves observation and understanding the body's natural rhythms.

"I try to get my patients to see the goodness of nature in their bodies," Hogan said. "After they see the goodness of nature, they can begin to recognize the goodness of God."

As part of her medical practice, she works with Natural Family Planning Providers throughout the Salina Diocese. "I really want to make this a ministry, and not just a job," she said. "I want people to know that they are being listened to."

She has always been active in the pro-life movement. While going to school at K-State, she worked at the pregnancy testing center in Manhattan.

"That was an eye-opening experience," she said. So many of the clients had gotten pregnant, in spite of the fact that they were on birth control. The hormonal contraceptives didn't work as advertised.

When she was at KU Medical School, she started a pro-life doctor's club.

While she was in her internship in Wichita, she participated in a symposium with a pro-abortion doctor that took place in Salina. They reviewed the different ways abortions can be performed.

"I was eight months pregnant when I debated Dr. Hodges," she said.

She and her husband have three children. She lost two children to miscarriages.

"We have two children in heaven," she said about those lost births.

Wanting to help women avoid this same sorrow is one of the reasons she decided not to prescribe contraceptives, which can cause miscarriages.

She comes from a pro-life family. Her mother, Kathy Martin, is a member of the Salina Diocesan Respect Life Committee.

"She always wanted to be a doctor," Martin said about her daughter. "She was definitely planning to be a doctor when she was in high school. And pro-life concerns were always important to her."

The theme of the convention is "Discipline & Virtues: The Gospel of Life."

Salina Diocese Bishop Paul Coakley said the theme "highlights the importance of striving after holiness in our personal lives in order to bear effective witness to the Gospel."

"We wanted to emphasize discipline, virtue and the gospel of life because society looks down on all of them," said Father Damian Richards, moderator of the convention. "We do not value discipline and self-restraint as a society. And we are all sadly aware how unimportant life is to the secular world."

"Having a speaker like Dr. Amy Hogan to talk about the rewards she sees in her practice that come from respecting life is a great way to encourage us in valuing life."

To register for the convention, contact Phyllis Peterson, 901 N. Buckeye Ave., Abilene KS 67410.