Dr Carol Portmann is an obstetrician and gynaecologist who strongly supports a woman’s right to contraception and abortion.
She is also a practising Christian, which is a religion that frowns upon both of those things.
So how does she reconcile her work with her faith?
Well, that was a journey Dr Portmann, 50, took decades ago, but being at peace with those two opposing forces has actually allowed her to mentally tackle the bigger challenge that’s emerged in recent years; reconciling her faith with the actions of others within it.
Carol and 10 other Christians are starring in an SBS documentary called ‘Christians Like Us’. Check out the trailer below. Post continues after video.
Within Christianity more widely, those actions include the highest Catholic in Australia George Pell being convicted of paedophilia, and the priests and Catholic brothers revealed as abusers in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Dr Portmann is adamant it’s about sticking firmly to your core beliefs.
“Don’t be afraid to say ‘I am Christian’, and don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t need to justify that to you’,” she told Mamamia.
Dr Portmann is actually a part of the Uniting Church, which generally supports more progressive views. She says it’s the only way she’s able to practice her faith and be both at peace with it, and find support in it.
“I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t be accepted into the Catholic Church,” Dr Portmann said.
She believes it’s very possible to reconcile her work with her Christianity, and she hopes other people aren’t afraid to write their own stories, when it comes to practising religion.
“I believe as a Christian, and as a doctor, I am here to help people and guide them through whatever situation they are in without judgement. That’s how I express my faith. If you don’t agree that’s OK,” Dr Portmann explained.
She and others of faith admit at this moment in time, they’re feeling attacked given the recent convictions of people of faith.
Dr Portmann has no doubt it’s making people question the religion they are a part of, and for them her message is clear:
“Stick to the basis of faith in terms of how you live your life. Don’t get too lost in theology. Most people are just living Christian lives – and by that I mean trying to be nice, good people,” she explained.
She does believe that many churches are too stuck in the depths of ideology and are failing at making themselves relevant in today’s day and age.