Medicating Womanhood

by Andrea Mrozek Across North America today, there are calls to make the birth control pill accessible over the counter. The Pill, we are told, is part of comprehensive health care and it is an insult that women should need a doctor’s prescription to use it. Recently, a columnist at the National Post complained that it is easier to get the Pill in Abu Dhabi than in Calgary or Toronto. Most calls for the Pill to be made more broadly accessible—ideally free and without a prescription—all share the same subtext. Denying access to the Pill isn’t merely denying health care, it’s denying women’s rights. Yet this is not about the right to get the Pill but rather, the right to not get pregnant. This stems from the modern idea that men and women are only equal in dignity when we are exactly the same. As a result, we think that if men can have sex without the responsibility of childbearing, then women should too. This is why some feel so strongly that it is wrong for women to not...[more]

Category: Contraception & Abortion


Contraception and the Catholic Church: {Part 5} Contraception vs. NFP: Common Objections and FAQs

by Jenny Uebbing Limping across the finish line to finish up this week-long love fest for the Church’s teachings on sex and babies. Let’s take a couple bites out of the elephant in the room today: the idea of NFP as “Catholic birth control,” and why we continue to simultaneously tout the 98% effective statistic while ably captaining our small herds of humanity. Here’s the thing that gets a lot of people confused, Catholic and non alike. NFP, at first glance, looks a whole lot like primitive, “natural” (aka less effective) birth control that the Church reluctantly throws out as a bone of concession to ensure we don’t all end up with a veritable baker’s dozen of children and driving a cargo van. Except that I personally know like, at least 20 families who fit that exact description. So what gives? If NFP is so wonderful and effective, why are lots of us who sing its praises sized out of the entire efficiency auto market? First off, NFP does not equal contraception. It...[more]

Category: Contraception & Abortion


Contraception and the Catholic Church: {Part 4} Hard Cases and an Invitation to Love

by Jenny Uebbing  We’ve talked historical context, the problematic nature inherent to contraception, and how human fertility actually works. Let’s spend some time today talking about why sex is so good, and why the Church has so much to say about it. Sex is good, but just like too much of any good thing, it’s best enjoyed outside of the all-you-can-eat Golden Corral mentality And contraception, far from being the thing that frees us from the natural consequences, the burdens, if you will, associated with sex, well, contraception is actually the enemy of love. Contraception kills love, it deadens the conscience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and it drives a wedge between the two people who are using it, ironically, to do the thing which should be most capable of bringing two human beings together. And the Church is not in the business of destroying love. She’s pro life, in the fullest sense of the phrase, and She has our best interests at...[more]

Category: Contraception & Abortion


Contraception and the Catholic Church: {Part 3} Babies, Bonding, and How Women Work

By Jenny Uebbing We’ve spent the past couple days talking about the historical background of contraception and the Church’s response to the increasing availability of new technologies and the moral nuances surrounding its use, so I thought it would be good to back up today and take kind of a 20,000 ft. view of sex itself, asking the obvious question, what’s the point? In other words, what is sex for, and, when engaged it, what are the natural outcomes? So, let us begin. First I want to ask the obvious question: What are the natural consequences of sex? The Church says – in a nod to natural law – the the consequences are both procreative and unitive. In other words: babies and bonding. We’ll focus today on the first “B”, if you will: babies. Not every sexual act is capable of producing new life, as we discussed yesterday, and not every couple enjoys healthy fertility. And then there are those 40+ years of life after cycles, which renders the...[more]

Category: Contraception & Abortion


Contraception and the Catholic Church: {Part 2} What's Wrong with Contraception?

By Jenny Uebbing -  Yesterday we began with a little overview of the historical background on the practice of contraception and how for 1,900+ years, Christianity uniformly condemned the practice. Today we’re going to delve into the why behind it: why when the rest of the world has heralded the Pill as a technological innovation on par with electricity and the internal combustion engine (seriously, read some of the UN’s documents on women’s rights) Rome has stubbornly refused to capitulate on the matter. And it’s not because the Church is anti woman. It is, in fact, because She holds women in such high regard and is so intimately concerned with the dignity of women – and men – that She continues to firmly, gently, uncompromisingly say “no.” It’s the same reason I say no to my kids when they bolt in parking lots and run blindly into the street after a stray soccer ball. It’s the same motivation that compels me to store poison up high and restrict...[more]

Category: Contraception & Abortion


Contraception and the Catholic Church: {Part 1} The Historical Precedent

By Jenny Uebbing As promised, this week I’m focusing on the Church’s teaching on contraception: the whys, whens, and hows of it, and (hopefully!) providing a good framework for discussion between couples, curious (or hostile) family members, and the occasional stranger with raised eyebrows in the checkout line. Today’s topic? Some of the historical background on the practice of contraception, and what the Catholic Church’s response has been as the world around her has embraced the practice with open arms. Throughout the history of Christianity the practice of contraception was uniformly condemned by every single denomination until the early 1920’s. Even Even Freud and Ghandi, no staunch advocates of Christianity, opposed the practice, identified it as a sexual disorder and a symptom of a deeper societal illness. Check these out: “The abandonment of the reproductive function is the common feature of all perversions. We actually describe a sexual activity as perverse if it...[more]

Category: Contraception & Abortion


Making the Switch from Contraception to Natural Family Planning

By Patty Schneier Discovering the Truth about contraception can be one of the most defining moments in a couple’s marriage. But quite often, the joy of this discovery is accompanied by fears, doubts, and many questions. My husband Larry and I experienced all of the above in January, 2002 when, after 13 years of marriage, we finally decided to live our lives according to God’s plan for love and life. We literally threw out the contraception. This was the best decision we ever made, and we have never looked back. It was THE defining moment in our marriage. Today, we continue to joyfully celebrate our conversion. We celebrate the beginning of a whole new way of life together and a whole new way of loving each other. But we also vividly remember how difficult it was to be in the middle of this conversion process. Our transformation wasn’t so “joyful” when we were actually going through it. To be honest, we were a mess. We stayed up night after night until the wee hours of...[more]

Category: Contraception & Abortion

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