Washing The Pill down with Organic Milk…and Other Mental Gymnastics

By: Sr. Clare Hunter

I once had a conversation with a college student who was pretty disgusted about her perception that the Church ignores the protection of the environment and animals, but always talks about sexuality and tells people what to do or not do in the bedroom. “After all, God created everything and commanded us to take care of it, right?” She had a point. The conversation was typical, and one I have had countless times with all ages.  It is a tennis match of their excellent points about contraception that truly sound plausible and logical, and my returns:

  • They say: Over-population.
    • I say: Well, I’ve heard some pretty convincing information that there is not accurate scientific proof it is a problem – Population Research Institute. Also, it makes me go “hmmm.” Funny that those of us who made it through pregnancy alive are so determined to stop more from coming. Reminds me of Ronald Reagan’s great quote: “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.”
    • They say: Health reasons.
      • I say: “The Pill” won’t solve a problem (such as the “disease” pregnancy), only deal with symptoms. Doesn’t it seem silly not to deal with the problem? Not to mention the fact that the health risks in taking artificial hormones can be so detrimental. Women never know that! AND – I’ve asked a nurse and a few doctors – is there any other medicine that stops a bodily function from occurring as it is designed to do?? (Answer: only Antiperspirant)  But really, none that they can think of. Does anyone have an answer? I find going to the bathroom during a movie annoying – what about a pill to stop urination? Would there be any bad side effects from shutting down a bladder?
      • They say: Unwanted babies and an end to abortion.
        • I say: I REALLY want to agree with them. It is so very logical. Using contraceptives will stop pregnancy. No surprises, no abortions. I am BEGGING someone to help me wrap my mind around this anomaly! We’ve had tons of contraceptives for years! Legal, easily obtained and (except for Georgetown grad students, apparently) free or rather inexpensive. WHY, WHY, do we still have 1.2 million abortions a year?  52% of pregnancies are unintended. Seriously, is it me?

These two don’t always come up, but I like throwing them in:

  • Marriages: Better with fewer kids, means less divorce.
    • In America, 50% of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce. This is in an era when contraceptives are nearly ubiquitous. I’m not even going to search for stats on infidelity.
    • Happy Women: A woman would be in control of her body, have better relationships with men, feel better about herself, happier and never used or taken advantage of.
      • How’s that working out ladies? Have you noticed depression and low libido on the list of The Pill’s side-effects?

cowMy college friend finally talked about her reasons for taking “The Pill.” She had this great boyfriend. Apparently the experiment to abstain worked for her, but not so much for him, so she needed to not get pregnant. She didn’t really want to talk about that. Poor kid! We moved quickly onto other topics.  I decided just to appeal to her “granola-environmentalist-Whole Foods” side. I couldn’t resist, and sheepishly said, “I sure hope you wash down your artificial hormone pill with organic milk!” She snapped her head up, she looked at me with shock, and said, “I never thought of that before!” I was more startled by her illogic than she was by my question. Yeah, most of us do suffer from cognitive dissonance disorder.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s statement to the Curia last December 20th captures this ideology most succinctly: “The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be.”

And so it happened: man said it is not good to destroy, pollute and abuse nature. Though shalt recycle, save whales and drink organic milk. Then man said, my body – whatever!

15 thoughts on “Washing The Pill down with Organic Milk…and Other Mental Gymnastics

  1. My experience when it comes to choices, we often do what is most convienient and occasionally we do what is difficult. Often what is convienient is not worth much in the long run and what is difficult builds us up in tremendous ways. I am going to go on a hunch and try to be chaste, patient with others, good to my wife and daughter and exercise self control.

  2. I think that treating the symptoms is the problem. We are arguing and fighting over treating symptoms of a much deeper problem: abuse of the sacrament of marriage, abuse of the marital embrace, and a general spirit of fornication. We need to raise children to respect each other early as potential mothers and fathers and as potential wives and potential husbands. We need to talk about this SERIOUSLY to children – that it is a serious means of loving God – to be drawn to each other for the sake of bringing forth and loving and nurturing children. We should raise children to look forward to having their own children – that all attractions (male to female / female to male) should be oriented firstly to marriage/marital love AND raising a family, but never to just that eros which does not seek children.

    • Perhaps “Fides et ratio” by Bl. Pope John Paul II is a good basis for instructing those young who lean on reason, but do not temper with faith.

      I don’t think I would like to hear the Lord say, “Do not be fruitful and do not multiply, for your fruit is repulsive to me.” He does not say this, but many act as if He has said this. The one who desires this is Satan, and many fall into his snare.

      Lord please help us to heal and hear only your words and to follow only your voice. Amen.

  3. ” I am BEGGING someone to help me wrap my mind around this anomaly! …WHY, WHY, do we still have 1.2 million abortions a year? 52% of pregnancies are unintended.”

    I can help you with that!

    It’s simple, really – there are still lots of abortions because 95% of all unintended pregnancies in the US are a result of women who do not use contraceptives, or who use them inconsistently. The women who do use contraception correctly and consistently account for only 5% of all unintended pregnancies (scroll down to the first graph here.)

    The reason many women don’t use contraception or don’t use it correctly is because they don’t have the money, don’t have adequate knowledge about contraceptives, and don’t have access to effective contraceptive services (See Guttmacher’s report here.)

    When women are given the tools to regulate their reproduction effectively, they make the choice to use those tools. As a result, unintended pregnancy rates and abortion rates drop sharply. A study done in the St. Louis area gave 9,000 women and teens their choice of no-cost birth control. A year later, this had cut abortion rates by 62-78% of the national rate.

    So it really is simple. If you want to decrease unintended pregnancy and abortion rates, contraception and comprehensive sex education are the way to do it.

    As for your concerns about womens’ health, it seems like you’re less well-informed than the women who are using the pill. Oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) offer a host of health benefits in addition to contraception. Fourteen percent of OCP users rely on the pill exclusively for noncontraceptive purposes, including 762,000 women who’ve never had sex.

    I agree that women (nay, everyone!) should be duly informed of the risks of any drug or medical procedure they may undergo. But they should be informed by doctors and other relevant experts – not the questionable sources pushing their own health products that you linked to.

    Really, this entire post is very misinformed. It seems like you’re just throwing up whatever arguments you can to support the view you already hold, rather than doing your research about contraception or anything else. And it makes me angry when I think of the college students who might be taking your advice.

    • How is your medical search engine a more reliable source of information than anything Sister posted or linked to? How is Planned Parenthood’s research arm, the Guttmacher Institute, a source of reliable information? I know they have questionable sources and they are certainly pushing “health” products that are not healthy, as Sister explained. The primary point is the Catholic part, which you did not address at all. The student finally admitted she wanted to abstain from intercourse and her boyfriend was coercing her to go against her beliefs and force her to take a so-called medicine for his pleasure. Hence proving the problem with contraceptives and the lie that they are liberating for women. Contraceptives do not stop abortions–they cause them. That is science–look it up.

    • A high number of abortions are done on women who are contracepting! Also, the pill and IUD actually cause silent abortions and do not always prevent pregnancy from occuring. Only astinence and castration are 100 % in preventing pregnancy. PP likes to distort and skew its figures to mean the opposite. Taking a class I carcinogen (according to the World Health Organization) like the Pill makes no sense to prevent a generally healthful, natural bodily process like pregnancy. The IUD is great at causing infections which lead to permanent sterility.Then those who contracept pretend they can’t get pregnant and are more promiscuous and then more prone to abort. if they were chaste, they would not be pregnant.

  4. A woman’s body is designed to get pregnant through sexual intercourse. (Maybe thats “PIV” in your language, Tim?) Sex (with or without contraception) causes pregnancy. Engaging in the act more will lead to more of the body doing what it is designed to do.

    If a woman has intercourse frequently enough, she WILL get pregnant. Contraception of the barrier kinds has a greater chance of preventing a pregnancy, but will still allow many users to get pregnant. Contraception of the hormonal kind is more effective at preventing a pregnancy, usually through making the uterus inhospitable to implantation of the embryo…. so yes, that makes a woman already pregnant. Short of not having sexual relations, any method of contraception will have a failure rate if used long enough.

    A woman’s body is not designed to be a sterile hole. Its designed to bring new life into the world. Why would any sane person want to take a working bodily function and break it? And what sane person would think they could continue to cheat Mother Nature out of the payoff for sex- a new baby?

  5. @Tim Martin

    Whoever told you that “it isn’t affordable” is lying. Trojans normally cost less than $0.50 each. This means that someone could have sex over three times a day and not spend $10 on contraception in a week. And that isn’t even the cheapest brand: there are some brands which are 12 for less than $4.

    As far as using “the Pill”, I’ve found multiple sites which suggest that the average price is $15-50 per month. That is assuming that they are unable to get to PP and that their insurance doesn’t cover them (which is a rarity).

  6. @Tim Martin

    I also felt that I should note that the provided paper’s citations are suspect. One groups all unexpected pregnancies together (including people who were not actively trying to avoid pregnancy) and none of them are specifically focused on the causes of conception-despite-contraception.

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