dv3849: I think you’re response has a lot more to do with your feelings about the Church’s teachings on contraceptives than with my blog entry or even the title.
I don’t BLAME women for choosing artificial contraceptives. One of the issues I covered in the blog entry was how delaying education in fertility charting to a brief marriage prep promotional video does women a disservice. How are you supposed to trust what NFP when it contradicts everything you’ve grown up believing about how your cycle works? Moreover, espeically when our own doctors roll their eyes at NFP and large families seem to be the sign that “Oh yep. They use NFP. It fails.”
My parents’ spent the first part of their marriage not aware that the Church taught that artificial contraceptives were condemned by the Church. They happened to go to a liberal parish when they were young and their priest advised them in that direction. When I was older, we moved and switched parishes. The parish was more loyal to Church teaching (not that the parish didn’t have it’s flaws.) They were eventually convinced to go off birth control. They planned my sister’s pregnancy, but the pregnancy turned out to be high risk. For awhile there appeared to be cysts on my mom’s ovaries. They disappeared during the pregnancy. Then my mom simply embraced the idea that any amount of breastfeeding would work for the first six months (she didn’t learn about the principles of ecological breastfeeding nor LAM). And I can tell you from experience that when you’re anovultory, charting is a nightmare. You can only observe when your body is trying to ovulate. You don’t know when it’s going to succeed. Some women have constant mucus which gives them the impression that there are no safe days. Others are more dry and only have to deal with long periods of abstinence as they finally approach their first ovulation after they have a baby. Once you start cycling, it’s a bit more straight forward if it comes back fairly regular.
So my parents were very new to NFP and going through all this confusing stuff. In the meantime, my mom ended up pregnant 3 times in a very short period of time. She nearly hemmeragged to death during one of her miscarriages. My sister and brother are still only a year and a half apart. Bringing the pregnancy to term was difficult. She was put on tributalin which made her entire body shake. She was on bedrest for at least a couple of months. My sister was sent to live with grandma and so was our dog. My brother and I were told that we had to help mom but not ask anything of her.
The whole thing put her life at risk. I don’t blame my dad for getting a vesectomy. Their Catholic friends kept saying “This is ridiculous! You’re not being selfish here. Her life is at stake.”
So, I totally get it, but I don’t believe the problem is that NFP is ineffective, nor can we deny that the Church came out three times in the 20th century condemning artificial contraceptives. What I was doing in my blog was criticizing how NFP ends up being promoted in the Church, how we need to stop seeing it as family planning, how we need to teach young girls to chart their cycle to monitor their reproductive health, make sure Catholics have local information of doctors who are willing to try out alternative treatments , and that we shouldn’t judge women for being on hormonal birth control for theraputic reasons that have nothing to do with preventing pregnancy. Humanae Vitae (the last official document that explicitedly condemned contraceptives) did explicitedly say that women could use such treatments for that purpose.
Anyway, they removed the link. My primary argument is that women should not ignore irregular cycles and leave them untreated because recent studies of demonstrated that irregular cycles have been linked with ovarian cancer. I then went into why I believe this is due to the effects of estrogen in irregular cycles and how estrogen has been shown to cause cancer in other situations.
I then criticized Catholics for creating a level of taboo against hormonal contraception that mocks women for being on it for non-contraceptive purposes, when the Church does not condemn it for those purposes.
Apparently though sparring everyone with a really long post and linking to my blog violates the posting policy so they’ve removed the link.