Will we choke on the pill?

bc pill.jpgIn a recent column, I connected the morning-after pill controversy with the larger issue of contraception. Basically, pro-lifers can't oppose the MAP without opposing birth control pills, since they contain the same ingredients (female hormones) and, therefore, may both cause abortions - stop an embryo from implanting in the uterus.

Pro-aborts have honed in on this and are using the contraceptive issue as a wedge to separate the public from pro-lifers and pro-lifers from each other, since abortion is no longer the wedge issue it once was with anyone.

See these articles/columns from various sources just yesterday, for instance:

  • The move to withhold contraceptives "was started by a small group of extreme ideologues who claim the right to impose their personal beliefs on the overwhelming majority of the American people," Mrs. Clinton declared in an email to supporters on Wednesday. "They're waging this silent war on contraception by using the power of the White House and their right-wing allies in Congress... and so far, they're getting away with it." - Newsmax.com, May 17

  • They have a plan for you and if you are anything like the 85 percent of American couples who have sex once a week, you're not going to like it. The pro-life groups who are the most committed to ending legal abortion—and gotten the furthest in their goals—are also leading campaigns against the only proven ways to prevent abortion: contraception. Shocking as it may be, there is not one pro-life organization in the United States that supports the use of contraception. - Op ed by Cristina Page of NARAL NY in TomPaine.commonsense, May 17

  • There seems to be a concentrated effort by the population control crowd recently to paint Republicans as being anti-contraceptive. - Human Events, May 17
  • I am a Protestant who opposes contraception, not only because some of its forms may cause abortions, but also - moreso - because the thinking behind contraception makes it the forerunner to abortion.

    I base my thinking on several Biblical concepts. The foremost concept is that God is always described in Scripture as the sole procreative decision-maker. To my knowledge, every incident in Scripture describing pregnancy or barrenness gives God complete credit.

    If that premise is true, who has the right to say no to God? Who can say they have a better grip on timing than God?

    Pro-aborts are right. Contraception is next issue after abortion. And pro-lifers must work it through.


    Comments:

    You are absolutely right about contraception and the thinking behind it. I would also add that the "contraception mentality" inevitably leads to abortion because it views children as intruders rather than blessings from God. And this is supported statistically, as the majority of abortions are performed on women who were using some form of birth control when they became pregnant.

    "the only proven ways to prevent abortion: contraception"? Give me a break.

    Posted by: Sandy at May 18, 2006 2:31 PM


    Come on now, it seems you are linking the morning after pill with other forms of reproductive control like the pill and condems. That is just simply unfair. You wrote "Basically, pro-lifers can't oppose the MAP without opposing birth control pills, since they contain the same ingredients (female hormones) and, therefore, may both cause abortions - stop an embryo from implanting in the uterus. You forgot to mention that this does not happen in all cases. Even if one bought into your belief that life beings at conception (which is most likely true)the morning after pill in most cases does not kill the embryo but stops the embryo from being formed in the first place in which would mean that no abortion took place. The morning after pill is a safe tool for women who choose to be sexually active and if a condem breaks. It should not be over the counter however, and must be prescribed by a medical professional to protect the most important right of a woman... her life.

    Posted by: Joseph Grigoletti at May 18, 2006 9:33 PM


    Also do not confuse the two pills together: Plan B and RU-486. Plan B is not RU-486 (the abortion pill); it will not work if you are already pregnant. Plan B is an emergency contraceptive that can still prevent a pregnancy after contraceptive failure or unprotected sex.

    Posted by: Joseph Grigoletti at May 18, 2006 9:39 PM


    Get educated, Joseph-steroids that harm women to avoid pregnancy are a lose-lose situation. In January, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - the cancer research agency of the World Health Organization -confirmed what cancer researchers had known for decades-- that estrogen-progestagen steroidal contraceptives and postmenopausal hormone treatments, which had been classified as "possibly carcinogenic" have been moved into what "Group 1", definitely carcinogenic--the highest classification.
    Although breast cancer is the most significant carcinogenic effect of the drugs because breast cancer is by far the most common reproductive cancer in women, these combination steroids have significant effects on the risks of other types of cancer. Specifically, the IARC also labeled them carcinogenic with respect to liver cancer and cervical cancer

    Posted by: kathyO at May 20, 2006 3:04 AM


    John, you're not stating your case as strongly as you should - there is no evidence that the morning after pill stops a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. It may cause this to happen, but we have as much reason to believe that as we do to believe that eating peanut butter keeps a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

    And kathy, regardless of what alarming statistics you might want to pull out of your ass, some of us would rather increase our risk of having breast cancer by 2% than not use birth control. In other words, if I use birth control perhaps my risk of breast cancer increases slightly, but having children increases my risk of having to potty train by 100%. Childbearing is not without its own risks.

    Posted by: Sara at May 20, 2006 11:43 AM


    kathyO: You're conflating use of post-menopausal estrogens with BCP. The use of BCP significantly decreases the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer, although it may (or may not, studies conflict) produce a slight increase in breast cancer risk. Post-menopausal estrogen is much riskier in terms of the potential for developing cacner. See, for example, here or numerous other studies for more data on this issue.

    Posted by: Daniel at May 20, 2006 12:50 PM


    What is your position on IVF, Jill? If God is the "sole procreative decision-maker," is not IVF as much an afront to God as abortion?

    Posted by: Jeff L at May 20, 2006 4:51 PM


    I see. So, in the interest of being consistent, you'll be opposing breastfeeding next? Certainly you're aware that breastfeeding works to suppress a woman's fertility by shifting her cycle such that fertilized eggs will not implant in her lining. If you want to prevent fertilized eggs from "going to waste" you'll want to mandate celibacy for all. Over 50% of all conceptions fail to implant, about 25% more of them miscarry after implanting. That's under the best circumstances possible, derived from studies on in vitro fertilization because there are no tests to detect the presence of a fertilized egg that has no implanted.

    Furthermore you're absolutely incorrect that contraceptives or even being pro-choice leads to abortions. Self-identified pro-life women have abortions at about the same rate, not to mention their use of contraceptives their movement claims to be abortifacient. Taking the morning after pill (Previn or Plan B) while pregnant has no effect on the pregnancy, nor does the pill. I ought to know. I'm currently five months pregnant, I was using the pill, missed some pills resulting in a breakthrough ovulation, then took a bunch of pills at once which has an effect similar to taking Plan B. I continued to take the pill for a month and a half after implanting before I confirmed the pregnancy. Considering that I'm a woman of faith and the Law given by God in Leviticus states that causing a woman to miscarry is only punishable by a fine, if the husband insists, and even that is capped by the local judges. The penalty is not eye for an eye as for injuring a person. As a result, I see no theological basis for being anti-abortion. The Torah does not discuss the use of contraceptives with one exception where the issue was an attempt to violate a stated Law rather than the contraceptives itself. Meanwhile the New Testament instructs us not to go beyond Scripture, so if you're Christian and it isn't spelled out in the letter of the Law, you have your own Scriptures telling you to back off. So I'm pro-choice, but we're having this child.

    Posted by: TheGlimmering at May 20, 2006 6:16 PM


    if you are against contraception, don't use it. others should be free to decide how to handle their personal lives without interference from the finger wagging daddies in the government and their do-gooder neighbors. is there _any_ sexual decision by an ADULT considered private by you people?

    Posted by: spacebaby at May 20, 2006 6:18 PM


    You are absolutely right about contraception and the thinking behind it. I would also add that the "contraception mentality" inevitably leads to abortion because it views children as intruders rather than blessings from God.

    the contraception mentality is "I don't want to have to give birth every year as the price I pay for regular sex." who the hell are you to tell other adults how they should arrange their marraiges, their families, and their sex lives? butt out.

    And this is supported statistically, as the majority of abortions are performed on women who were using some form of birth control when they became pregnant.

    oh, i'm SOOOOOOO sure you have valid, reputable sources for this claim.

    Posted by: spacebaby at May 20, 2006 6:21 PM


    Are we going to ban condoms too?

    Posted by: El Comandante at May 20, 2006 7:31 PM


    Banning contraception is one of the few things that could make Bush's poll numbers go even lower. Fortunately, he's not completely insane, and would never propose such a thing.

    Posted by: steve at May 20, 2006 7:44 PM


    1) the medical community defines the beginning of pregnancy as implanation of a fertilized egg. before implantation, there is no pregnancy.

    2) hormonal birth control does not interfere with an established pregancy -- that is, an implanted fertilized egg.

    3) an abortion is the termination of a pregnancy.

    conclusion: hormonal birth control does not cause abortions.

    just so we're clear on what the meanings of 'abortion' and 'pregnancy' are. please refrain from trying to redefine these terms. the medical community is the authority on this, not you or the bible.

    furthermore, there is no evidence that hormonal birth control interferes with implanation.

    not. one. shred.

    by 'evidence' i do not mean the statements of scientists and doctors saying that it might. they only acknowledge the possibility because there isn't any hard clinical research indicating that it does. if there were positive, concrete clinical research showing that hormonal birth control interferes with implanation of fertilized eggs, then they'd say that it 'does' interfere with implanation rather than 'might.'

    there is clinical research indicating that it does not function this way.

    just so we're clear on the current state of clinical evidence for the mechanisms of action for hormonal birth control.

    I am a Protestant who opposes contraception, not only because some of its forms may cause abortions, but also - moreso - because the thinking behind contraception makes it the forerunner to abortion.

    no. the absence of contraception is the forerunner to abortion. contraception prevents pregnancy. without pregnancy, there can be no abortion.

    I base my thinking on several Biblical concepts. The foremost concept is that God is always described in Scripture as the sole procreative decision-maker.

    i base my thinking on the american values of respect for liberty and the pursuit of happiness. having to bear a child every year or two as the 'price' for regular sex is a complete and total assault on women's liberty and pursuit of happiness. raising 8 or 9 more children than one actually wants because some arrogant and self-righteous control freak prefers it is a recipe for misery, not to mention child neglect and abuse.

    that free will thing is a big deal in the bible. if your God endowed humanity with free will, who are you to subvert it? do you think you are so much better than God that you will suppress that which he intentionally gave to humanity?

    To my knowledge, every incident in Scripture describing pregnancy or barrenness gives God complete credit.

    i still don't see any justification for shoving your personal utopian experiment down everyone else's throat via the long arm of the US government. i do not share you religious beliefs nor do i share your opinion of birth control. religion is personal, not a matter of public policy.

    If that premise is true, who has the right to say no to God? Who can say they have a better grip on timing than God?

    and who better than you to claim to know the mind of God.

    Pro-aborts are right. Contraception is next issue after abortion. And pro-lifers must work it through.

    bring it on. your movement is going to become a laughingstock or a monster. the only way you will succeed in preventing people from using contraception is to develop totalitarian methods of surveillance and punishment. saudia arabia punishes adultry with death, but they never run out of people to kill for it.

    Posted by: spacebaby at May 20, 2006 8:24 PM


    I base my thinking on several Biblical concepts.

    Please. Don't tell me how to live my life based on your personal religious convictions. It bespeaks a medieval and - dare I say it? - anti-American mindset.

    Pro-aborts are right.

    Yes, yes we are. Although we prefer to be called "pro-choice."

    Posted by: kurage at May 20, 2006 8:43 PM


    Your argument might make more sense if God wasn't a fairy tale.

    Posted by: Fred at May 20, 2006 8:47 PM


    Daniel-I am not confused or misconflating, and your link doesn't help your case. The way the pill works is to put a woman's body in a state of "pseudo"pregnancy. This confers some of the benefits of real pregnancy, i.e., no ovulation, which reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, and the differentiation of the endometrium (due to the progestagens), which reduces the risk of endometrial cancer. For every 100 women with cancer, 28 have breast cancer and 3 have ovarian cancer. Checkout www.bcpinstitute.org for a complete analysis.
    As(s) to Sara: please spend time researching the topic thru google or medical libraries.
    For spacebaby: (1) Planned Parenthood's research group at www.guttmacher.org regularly cites 53% of pregnancies are conceived while women are contracepting.
    (2)At conception, the unique human has all the genetic info ever required to grow and develop, and it is only SOME in the medical community and a few stray books, that attempt to undevalue the conceived human who never reaches the womb by changing the definition of pregnancy. Embryos that grow in the fallopian tube, or elsewhere outside the womb are real pregnancies, though medically challenged. The purpose of dogmatic new claims that women carrying embryos outside wombs are not pregnant is a means of justifying possible abortifacient action of morning after pills and OCs. It also serves to undermine the value of 46-chromosomed human embryos, encouraging moral indifferenece to frozen "spare" embryos at clinics and to cloned embryos destroyed for stem cells.

    Posted by: kathyO at May 20, 2006 11:18 PM


    Jill,

    You may be a Protestant, but you sure sound like a Catholic to me. Perhaps you, like other ardent Christian pro-life activists, are also approaching communion even if you yourself don't yet realize it. Whatever the case, I'm sending you a great big cyber-hug! Thanks for everything you do and the immensely sensible posts that you write.

    For what it's worth, I agree with you. Contraception is the next issue after abortion, just as it was what led up to abortion. For those who think that contraception isn't an evil, consider this: Contraception, abortion, and most importantly the loss of the Christian faith, among other things, are the current reasons for the massive depopulation of Europe that is now accellerating.

    What must be tackled is the twisted, sick notion that freedom consists solely in doing whatever one wants (including not having children). Contraception doesn't really make women free. Contraception, for example, often keeps women prisoners in relationships they otherwise wouldn't be in if there was a risk of getting pregnant.

    The 70s generation of women was led to believe that happiness and fulfillment could be found in a career path and that children were obstacles to that path. Well, let me tell you, half of my high school class is unmarried and childless and I can't say that they are extraordinarily happy. We were sold a bill of goods and we were young enough that we believed it. (Fortunately, I managed to get off of the merry-go-round before it was too late, but not quite early enough to avoid infertility issues.) They have money and careers and they go home to an empty house that isn't a home. How sad. They gave up the irreplaceable. I gave up some extra money, but joy that I have in hearing my son's giggles and laughter is more compensation than I could ever ask for.

    Posted by: American Phoenix at May 21, 2006 1:59 AM


    Jill,

    Ever taken a walk through an old cemetery? Eighteenth, nineteenth century perhaps? My, my, look at all the headstones for young women of child-bearing age. (Not to mention the legion of tiny headstones for "infant" or "baby.") That ol' procreative decision-maker God made an awful lot of really bad decisions in the era before modern medicine. Each headstone is testament to a slow death in terrible pain. But I guess those woman had it coming. Probably used the Lords name in vain one too many times or some such transgression. The Lord truly works in mysterious ways.

    Posted by: Furlong at May 21, 2006 8:25 AM


    For spacebaby: (1) Planned Parenthood's research group at www.guttmacher.org regularly cites 53% of pregnancies are conceived while women are contracepting.

    from guttmacher:

    "7. How well do contraceptives work?

    * Modern contraceptive methods are highly effectiveso much so that nearly half (47%) of all unintended pregnancies in the United States occur among the small proportion (7%) of women at risk of unintended pregnancy who do not practice contraception."

    there is a much higher correlation of unplanned pregnancy and absence of contraception. birth control is effective at preventing pregnancy when used properly. there would be multitudes more unplanned pregnancies without it. a casual look at most third world countries where it is outlawed or otherwise unavailable is proof positive for this. the fact that birth control is not perfect is not a scientific, thoughtful, intelligent argument against its use.

    (2)At conception, the unique human has all the genetic info ever required to grow and develop, and it is only SOME in the medical community and a few stray books, that attempt to undevalue the conceived human who never reaches the womb by changing the definition of pregnancy.

    an fertilized egg cannot think. it cannot feel. it cannot experience life in any meaningful way. that a fertilized egg is a 'person' is a religious belief.


    Embryos that grow in the fallopian tube, or elsewhere outside the womb are real pregnancies, though medically challenged.

    _this_ statement undervalues women. an ectopic pregnancy is not 'medically challenged.' it is doomed. and if it is not aborted, the woman is also doomed.

    The purpose of dogmatic new claims that women carrying embryos outside wombs are not pregnant is a means of justifying possible abortifacient action of morning after pills and OCs.

    i repeat: there is NO evidence for this. NONE. not ONE iota.

    It also serves to undermine the value of 46-chromosomed human embryos, encouraging moral indifferenece to frozen "spare" embryos at clinics and to cloned embryos destroyed for stem cells.

    yes, the embryos are screaming with despair and depression at their impending doom. oh wait, they aren't because they have absolutely NO capacity for conscious experience.

    and since you can't actually convince the 90 percent of women who do use birth control to stop, you and people like you are attempting to harness the power of the state to compel them to stop. i ask again, is there ANY personal decision related to sex and child-bearing that you people think is private? anything?

    i have a challenge to all of you who want to ban contraception:

    pick 10 people that you personally know and whom who suspect use BC. a couple married for 10 years with only 1 or 2 children is a good bet. pick ten strangers whom you suspect to be using BC.

    go to all twenty of them in turn, scripture in hand, and tell them that you have reason to suspect that they are using contraception. tell them that they are murderers of their children and evil people who are going to hell for using it. i'd like to hear their reactions.

    Posted by: spacebaby at May 21, 2006 8:48 AM


    There seems to be a wide range of confusion here. For other reasons than the debate over abortion, I wondered if there was some 'power' that God had reserved as His own - even today. There is: and this is the power of bestowing significance. Without this we are truely 'lost'!

    {I ask the so-called atheists: why they even bother writing here if they and/or their words have no significance? Is it not of greater significance that God believes in us, even if we do not believe in Him?
    And for the pro-abortion lady who wished to etche-out a pro-abortion stance from the old testament ... I have always found the story of Cain-Able fascinating. Just how can killing 'our brother' (our own), be a benefit?

    Jill may be very right, in the whole issue of contraception and abortion. Just as smoking causes cancer (and we still do it), does a huge reversal in population demographics (that will soon threaten human existence) tell us that humans have little control ... birth or any other sphere?

    Posted by: John McDonell at May 21, 2006 8:55 AM


    For what it's worth, I agree with you. Contraception is the next issue after abortion, just as it was what led up to abortion. For those who think that contraception isn't an evil, consider this: Contraception, abortion, and most importantly the loss of the Christian faith, among other things, are the current reasons for the massive depopulation of Europe that is now accellerating.

    so, basically, this is about treating the reproductive organs of white woman as public property and a natural resource. human beings are not an endagered species. in fact, our population is rapidly outstripping our ability to produce enough food to feed it.

    What must be tackled is the twisted, sick notion that freedom consists solely in doing whatever one wants (including not having children).

    strawman. common logical fallacy. learn what it is and stop using it. if one does not want to have children, then being able to avoid having them IS freedom. 'whatever one wants' is not the pro-choice standard, so quit lying about the oppositions beliefs.

    there is nothing wrong with not wanting to be a parent. i don't care what the bible or the pope says. religion is personal, not public policy. how far are you willing to go to keep people from using it. saudi arabia sentences adulterers to death, and they never run out of sinners to execute for it. how far? jail time? just fines? lashings?

    Contraception doesn't really make women free. Contraception, for example, often keeps women prisoners in relationships they otherwise wouldn't be in if there was a risk of getting pregnant.

    stop talking about women as if they are not adults who are capable of deciding what counts as 'freedom' for them. it's insulting. you cannot win this debate if you refuse to acknowledge that women use contraception because they CHOOSE to.

    being forced to give birth a dozen times in her life is also not 'freedom'.

    being deprived of the right of control and ownership over one's body, life, and choices is not 'freedom.'

    being forced to observe religious values that aren't one's own values, that actually conflict with one's own values is not 'freedom'.

    taking away choices from women is not 'freedom'.

    making the US government God's representative on earth and using it to dictate the most private of choices is not 'freedom'.

    if you have to punish people for using contraception, you aren't respecting their freedom. you cannot stop them from using contraception without punishing them. i want specifics. how far are you willing to go?

    Posted by: spacebaby at May 21, 2006 9:07 AM


    Jill may be very right, in the whole issue of contraception and abortion. Just as smoking causes cancer (and we still do it), does a huge reversal in population demographics (that will soon threaten human existence) tell us that humans have little control ... birth or any other sphere?

    human population is not reversing. it is expanding. over-population and ecological collapse threatens human existence, not the use of birth control.

    no one has attempted to justify making their personal interpretation of scripture the law of the land. i am not a christian. i don't believe in god. i want to be left alone to run my life as i see fit.

    i will not be treated by my government as a walking womb, and i will be willing to resist violently. that's where i stand. where do you?

    Posted by: spacebaby at May 21, 2006 9:15 AM


    kathy: If you want to be taken seriously by anyone other than those who already agree with you, you're going to have to cite statistics from publications in peer-reviewed journals, not web sites with no particular standing. As I already pointed out, the association of OCP and breast cancer is minimal and transient, if existent. Some have found that the cancers that do occur in past users of OCP are less advanced compared to those of women who have never used OCP. See, for example, this article from Lancet On the other hand, the reduction in risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer is real and large. As you point out, ovarian cancer is rarer than breast, but it is also far more difficult to treat and far more deadly.

    The odd thing about this argument is that there are real and serious risks to using OCP, but they're in the area of heart disease and clotting, not cancer. Women with risk factors for heart disease should probably avoid OCP, especially if they smoke. (Though, of course, if they're going to give up one of the two, they're much better off giving up smoking.) Is heart disease not scary enough for you? I guess cancer does sound more like a wrath of god sort of thing.

    Posted by: Daniel at May 21, 2006 11:56 AM


    "Contraception doesn't really make women free. Contraception, for example, often keeps women prisoners in relationships they otherwise wouldn't be in if there was a risk of getting pregnant".

    I really don't understand this particular quote. Most of the women I know are MORE likely to stay in abusive relationships if there is a child involved because they are afraid of the custody fight, the chance that their partner may get vistation rights, because they feel like it's "wrong" to break up the father/child relationship, etc...
    That basic point aside, I'm also protestant and I really don't see where the big deal with contraception is. I find it slightly insulting, actually, to assume that every person who has ever used contraception (which I have read numbers as high as 98% of all American women) has exactly the same mindset about children. I love children myself and have no problem having them. In fact, I'm pregnant with number three right now. However, after this one is born, I will go back to using contraception because I would like a break. I have had three pregnancies in three years and my body is worn out, I'm worn out. We tend to conceive very easily (less than two months of unprotected sex with each child) and were I to not use contraception, I would most likely end up with 12-15 children, like my grandmother has. I want some time to just enjoy the children I have and spend some time with my husband, maybe even possibly work on getting back in shape so IF we decide to have more children, I can do so in a healthy manner. If whatever choice of contraception we use fails, the resulting child would not be aborted. So can someone explain to me how my use of contraception leads to abortion?
    Finally, the fact of the matter is a desire to have children does NOT come from use of contraception, but use of contraception follows a desire not to have children. The distinction is very important here, because without contraception in this country what you would see is a huge increase in the amount of unplanned pregnancies, and about half of unintended pregnancies end in abortion. Contraception actually prevents a huge number of abortions in this country.

    Posted by: Julie at May 21, 2006 12:08 PM


    Hi spacebaby,

    maybe you should read a few books on population demoraphics and what is now happening in the wake of the baby-boom. [Instead of the poulation explosion as predicted in the 80's and 90's ... with an attendant collapse of resouces, we have an implosion happening rather than an explosion.] why is there is such a dirth of humans ... that some European governments are giving financial incentines for women to have more than three children. Will you also choose to rid the populace of anyone over 50 as a 'burden' to your freedom? How dare the American government say: NO! ... Is this force ?????????????

    you tie freedom to choice ... how about linking freedomm to love. By becoming one with another ...as in marriage - the ones involved become free because they have extended their being into another. A family then becomes more free BECAUSE it is larger. Too often we follow the math that says: 1/2(from a man) + 1/2 (from a woman) = 1 marriage. The math says marriage is more like a multiplication where 1 X 1 = 1 marriage X 1 = 1 family X 1 = 1 larger family, etc.... Let's fit this with the other view: 1/2 X 1/2 = 1/4 marriage X 1/2 child = 1/8 family etc........


    Freedom can be a much different reality than the one you perceive ...(please note: the analogy above does not demand a faith in God ... but it does help!)Oh, the ultimate freedom comes from an extension of our-being to an unlimiited Being (God).

    Posted by: John McDonell at May 21, 2006 12:40 PM


    maybe you should read a few books on population demoraphics and what is now happening in the wake of the baby-boom. [Instead of the poulation explosion as predicted in the 80's and 90's ... with an attendant collapse of resouces, we have an implosion happening rather than an explosion.]

    the world population is still growing. that is not an implosion. you seem to very concerned with the birth rate among women of _european_ descent. a lower birth rate among those women does not translate into a danger to the human race. in fact, with over 6 billion living members, human beings are one of the most successful species in the planet's history.

    when there are fewer than 10,000 people on earth, then you have a reason to get all worried about human extinction. right now, it is utterly laughable. there were about 1 billion at the turn of the century. were humans endangered then?

    why is there is such a dirth of humans ... that some European governments are giving financial incentines for women to have more than three children. Will you also choose to rid the populace of anyone over 50 as a 'burden' to your freedom? How dare the American government say: NO! ... Is this force ?????????????

    there isn't a shortage of _humans_. european countries have aging populations. i understand the concern about that because they need younger workers to pay taxes to support their entitlement programs, and enticements are acceptable to me. commandeering woman's reproductive organs as if they were a state-owned resource rather than the rightful property of the women they reside in is _not_ acceptable.

    if child-bearing is valuable, then it should be treated as such, not something you have to drag women kicking and screaming to do. i suspect that you just want to extract this effort and labor from them at great cost to them and their families without having to part with any of your own money to pay benefits to women who agree to take on the work of rearing large families.

    pregnancy is expensive in financial and physical terms. child-rearing reduces a woman's life-time earning potential by hundreds of thousands of dollars. you want bigger families? make the workplace friendlier to families. right now, it still operates like most employees are men with stay at home wives.

    if the work of bearing and raising children is valuable, then find ways to compensate women for doing it and make it easier to raise children and have a career.

    you tie freedom to choice ... how about linking freedomm to love.

    if i am not able to make decisions about my personal life, especially something as deeply private and personal as when and how to have children, then i am not free. if others deprive me of the ability to make those decisions, they are depriving me of my freedom. full stop.

    i will not be treated like a walking womb by my government on the whims of other people's personal interpretation of their own religious scriptures. that is tyranny, and i will violently resist it as such.

    By becoming one with another ...as in marriage - the ones involved become free because they have extended their being into another.

    i have plenty of love in my life, thanks. love does not equal 'freedom'. there were plenty of slaves who loved one another back in the 1840s, but they were not free. freedom is being able to live and run one's life as one wishes.

    A family then becomes more free BECAUSE it is larger.

    if a woman is forced to have a large family against her wishes, there isn't going to be much 'love' or 'freedom' going around. if a woman wants to avoid pregnancy and is prevented from using birth control, she is not free to engage in intimate relations with her husband spontaneously, nor he with her. i would call that obstacle to love.

    Too often we follow the math that says: 1/2(from a man) + 1/2 (from a woman) = 1 marriage.

    who is we? your marriage is your business. other people's marriages are NONE of your business.

    Freedom can be a much different reality than the one you perceive ...

    i'm the authority on what my reality is, thank you. in my reality, being compelled to have a baby every year because others object to birth control on religious grounds is not freedom. it is religious oppression.

    Posted by: spacebaby at May 21, 2006 4:38 PM


    It takes humility from a mature-thinking adult to accept the position of another mature-thinking adult. (But hey, Hitler was a mature-thinking adult, wasn't he? So are all adults moral and mature-thinking?) And while Jill tells you what you ought to do (and I agree with her), it's still you're free will to follow that or now.

    Posted by: Ray at May 21, 2006 6:53 PM


    It takes humility from a mature-thinking adult to accept the position of another mature-thinking adult.

    what are you saying?

    (But hey, Hitler was a mature-thinking adult, wasn't he? So are all adults moral and mature-thinking?)

    so, now you're summoning godwin.

    And while Jill tells you what you ought to do (and I agree with her), it's still you're free will to follow that or now.

    not if jill and her little ideological buddies start passing laws DICTATING what i shall do. once there are legal sanctions for choosing to use contraception, there is no 'freedom' to do as i wish with my own life. a mature thinking adult does not seek to shove her religious values down other people's throats via the long arm of the federal government. that is religious oppression and it is most certainly NOT an american value.

    Posted by: spacebaby at May 21, 2006 7:10 PM


    perhaps it is necessary to say a little about your perspective on 'freedom'. Like you, I had the same mind-set but that didn't fit my experience. Just how is a severely disabled (by genetics) and limited person like me entertain freedom? ... that would be similar to a person imprisoned being 'free'. My 'prison' is my poorly controlled body.

    one thing this situation has done is force me into areas of thinking few people ever see. These may still not be right, but at least now I realize that there are other ways of viewing, of seeing 'freedom' from a very different perspective.

    I surmise that you are quite young ... freedom as 'freedom of choice' is important to young folks ... before the people that they love have died. Often I wish them the exhilaration I feel when I hear 'freedom'. Now they cannot choose, they are dead or dying. Sane as me ... but I too love 'freedom', my freedom. In my circumstance then, do I just forget it or, find another way to see freedom.

    Decades ago, a French philosopher (Jean-Paul Sartre) wrote that 'each man is an island' ... to refute this Thomas Merton wrote the book "No Man Is An Island" ... who's right? You will find skewed population demographics in India, Russia and China (where they expect 25 million more males than females) ... sharing wives (without their consent); slave trading in women(now called human-trafficking; and, gang raping will be the new norm. Will you be forced to seek another way to envision freedom?

    Posted by: John McDonell at May 21, 2006 7:18 PM


    perhaps it is necessary to say a little about your perspective on 'freedom'. Like you, I had the same mind-set but that didn't fit my experience.

    my perspective will _never_ include state ownership of my reproductive organs under the banner of 'freedom.' you are trying to sell me a shit sandwich while pretending it is roast duck. it's not working. you cannot invade people's private lives and dictate their private choices on the basis of your religious beliefs and call yourself someone who respects freedom. doing so would make you an oppressor.

    one thing this situation has done is force me into areas of thinking few people ever see. These may still not be right, but at least now I realize that there are other ways of viewing, of seeing 'freedom' from a very different perspective.

    your situation was not brought about by the actions of others. no one took positive action to force you to live this way. to be forced to do something at the hands of others and to be forced to do something by your circumstances are two VERY different kinds of force. no one made you this way because they felt that God wanted it or that it was good for society.

    I surmise that you are quite young ... freedom as 'freedom of choice' is important to young folks ... before the people that they love have died.

    i am thirty. i am an adult. don't talk down to me. i don't need you or anyone else to dictate my choices because you are SO sure that i will feel differently in the future. i am the authority on what i feel, what makes me happy and what i want for _my_ life. if i am wrong, i am more than happy to live with the consequences of my _own_ choices.

    i do not need to be protected from my own freedom to choose how to run my life. i am quite happy with the way it is, and a compulsory yearly pregnancy will destroy that. if that is what i have to look forward to with no hope of escape, i'll take a fast exit from this world and put a bullet through my brain. if there's no chance that i can make the people who stole my life from me pay for the wrongs they did me and other members of my gender, that would my choice.

    Often I wish them the exhilaration I feel when I hear 'freedom'.

    i feel a deep burning rage at people who plan to enshrine religious doctrine into US federal law, especially since it is all about teaching those little women what's best for them, all the while calling it 'freedom' and 'pro-woman' and 'pro-life'. it is none of the above.

    Now they cannot choose, they are dead or dying. Sane as me ... but I too love 'freedom', my freedom. In my circumstance then, do I just forget it or, find another way to see freedom.

    choose what? contraception has nothing to do with this. my mother, father, siblings and friends are not going to drop dead because i have control over my fertility.

    You will find skewed population demographics in India, Russia and China (where they expect 25 million more males than females) ... sharing wives (without their consent); slave trading in women(now called human-trafficking; and, gang raping will be the new norm.

    the scewed gender balance is about the low status of women in india (hello patriarchy!), not about using contraceptives. rape, sexual slavery, and general abuse of women was endemic long before birth control existed, and are therefore not caused by the use of contraceptives.

    Will you be forced to seek another way to envision freedom?

    see the note about the bullet in my brain. my vision of freedom is just fine and it's in keeping with the dictionary definition:

    1 : the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : INDEPENDENCE c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous d : EASE, FACILITY e : the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken f : improper familiarity g : boldness of conception or execution h : unrestricted use
    2 a : a political right b : FRANCHISE, PRIVILEGE
    synonyms FREEDOM, LIBERTY, LICENSE mean the power or condition of acting without compulsion. FREEDOM has a broad range of application from total absence of restraint to merely a sense of not being unduly hampered or frustrated . LIBERTY suggests release from former restraint or compulsion . LICENSE implies freedom specially granted or conceded and may connote an abuse of freedom .

    Posted by: spacebaby at May 21, 2006 7:54 PM


    I am a Protestant who opposes contraception, not only because some of its forms may cause abortions, but also - moreso - because the thinking behind contraception makes it the forerunner to abortion.

    I'm opposed to asprin. The thinking behind any chemical interference with the body's normal processes makes them the forerunners to contraception.

    I base my thinking on several Biblical concepts. The foremost concept is that God is always described in Scripture as the sole procreative decision-maker. To my knowledge, every incident in Scripture describing pregnancy or barrenness gives God complete credit.

    And God never gives anyone in the Bible an asprin. Case proven.

    Posted by: Phoenician in a time of Romans at May 22, 2006 4:48 AM


    This is strange to me - this idea of a 'contraceptive mindset' is nonsense. I'm pro-choice but used contraception because I did not want to be irresponsible and put myself in a position where I might, because of certain mental health concerns, have to consider an abortion. I got pregnant anyway and have decided that abortion is not an option for me - for ME - I just couldn't justify it as I have a loving partner and good employment prospects and I am sure the mental health issues can be worked through.
    Why is wanting to be responsible, to avoid a pregnancy too young or amid health concerns, so wrong? This is all backwards - if you want fewer abortions and teen pregnancies then improve sex education and socio-economic conditions that disempower women. Women are the ones who suffer most from unwanted pregnancies and yet they are not given the education or the taught the sense of self that allows them to make good decisions about their bodies - including the decision to use contraception. (Remember, a startling number of women are in situations where they are forced to have sex or are mentally and physcially abused and controlled).
    In the end, you believe that you can and should impose your religious views on everyone else through laws - but perhaps you should focus on changing hearts and minds, not laws. I believe that God wants respect for all life - beyond that I would not be prideful enough to assume that I am the one true holder of God's word to be imposed on others. The Protestant movement wanted to move away from a centralized Church that separated the individual from God - allow God to work within people how HE sees fit. Don't ram your sanctimonious version of Him down people's throats. Doesn't God want people to use their choice to go to him? That is where the value lies, not in being forced to follow religious doctrine that is not believed.

    Posted by: Christina at May 22, 2006 8:41 AM


    Hey Christina and other pro-aborts here,

    I'm a starting to get out my ... pity-poor-me-invisible-violin and play a big tune for all you poor, and violated women. What a pile - talk about a shit-sandwich ... but hey - this is the American way - to kill babies and shed a tear or two for disenfranchised pro-aborts. I very much pity the kids whose Mom's will be so yucky!

    Posted by: John McDonell at May 22, 2006 10:30 AM


    Hey Christina and other pro-aborts here,

    I'm a starting to get out my ... pity-poor-me-invisible-violin and play a big tune for all you poor, and violated women.

    i have my own tiny violin playing for y'all. obviously, if others insist that their own value systems are better for them than yours then they're oppressing _you_ because _they_ won't let you oppress _them_. the only problem with this is that you have to switch the definitions of freedom and oppression to make it work logically. good students of Orwell aren't you?

    just for reference here is the definition of oppression

    Main Entry: oppression
    Pronunciation: &-'pre-sh&n
    Function: noun
    1 a : unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power b : something that oppresses especially in being an unjust or excessive exercise of power
    2 : a sense of being weighed down in body or mind

    here is the definition of freedom:

    Main Entry: freedom
    Pronunciation: 'frE-d&m
    Function: noun
    1 : the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : INDEPENDENCE c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous d : EASE, FACILITY e : the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken f : improper familiarity g : boldness of conception or execution h : unrestricted use
    2 a : a political right b : FRANCHISE, PRIVILEGE
    synonyms FREEDOM, LIBERTY, LICENSE mean the power or condition of acting without compulsion. FREEDOM has a broad range of application from total absence of restraint to merely a sense of not being unduly hampered or frustrated . LIBERTY suggests release from former restraint or compulsion . LICENSE implies freedom specially granted or conceded and may connote an abuse of freedom .

    What a pile - talk about a shit-sandwich ... but hey - this is the American way - to kill babies and shed a tear or two for disenfranchised pro-aborts. I very much pity the kids whose Mom's will be so yucky!

    so, now your true colors show through. the last resort of bullies is the ad hominem when passive aggressive condescension fails. but, above all, make sure to avoid your opponent's arguments! you're the one who keeps trying to tell me and other adult women that we do not know what is good or right for us.

    contraception is not abortion. it doesn't kill any babies, the definition of which you are also trying to change. an acorn is not a tree. a tadpole is not a frog. a blastocyst is not a baby.

    Posted by: spacebaby at May 22, 2006 11:23 AM


    "I am a Protestant who opposes contraception, ....

    I base my thinking on several Biblical concepts. The foremost concept is that God is always described in Scripture as the sole procreative decision-maker. To my knowledge, every incident in Scripture describing pregnancy or barrenness gives God complete credit.

    If that premise is true, who has the right to say no to God? Who can say they have a better grip on timing than God?

    Pro-aborts are right. Contraception is next issue after abortion. And pro-lifers must work it through."

    "If that premise is true, who has the right to say no to God?"

    The 'right' to say no to (your) god is ASSURED to everyone who lives in this free country.

    YOUR GOD.
    YOUR RULES.
    YOUR LIFE.
    NOT MINE.

    Posted by: electric_bonzai at May 22, 2006 11:41 AM


    The Bible also has God 'taking complete credit' for killing people (deystoying whole towns for example), so it's ok for us to do that too, right?

    What if God was working through the scientists who created contraceptives to prevent the world population growing too large?

    It is foolish to equate European population growth with that of the rest of the world. Global population growth in the next few decades will be heavily concentrated in Latin America, Africa and South Asia. There is no natural growth in Europe, and the U.S. is very dependent on immigration. However the net affect is that by 2050, world population is projected to reach nine billion, a 38% jump from today's 6.5 billion, and more than five times the 1.6 billion people believed to have existed in 1900.

    The minimum number of people needed for humans to continue is about 500. We have 6500000000 and rising. People are not in danger of dying out as a species.

    Posted by: Pro-Lifer at May 22, 2006 12:30 PM


    So contraception is bad because it interferes with God's intentions as to when life begins. And God should have the ultimate say in when life begins and when it ends, correct?

    So how do you justify life-preserving or life-extending medical procedures? Don't those interfere with God's plan?

    Posted by: Jill at May 22, 2006 12:32 PM


    Ah, you guys have made MY point .... over and over, ... spacebaby are you listening ... my definition of what 'freedom' means will not be found in any dictionary .... too precious is it to be found there! The concept of unlimited freedom comes as a consequence of being bound in/to an unlimited being ... what Jesus calls 'the kingdom of heaven'. As such freedom is far greater than a mere right to choose: as philosophers and your dictionary attest. Freedom stems from from the very nature of a human being.

    As such, it involves much more than my will {which your dictionary proscribes as THE definition of freedom). So I have a different understanding of 'freedom' how about courage; or 'life'; or 'love' and most other things. Dare I ask you ... who is free ... you or me... (hey, a poem). As the saying goes::: Been there, done that! I don't wish to go back to saying my God is a dictionary ... because it has the final say. An extension to God IS the ultimate freedom because we become Him. Please read the post above on 'significance'. If these two understandings are not tied together ... then you have freedom without significance ... there is no thing such as merit; nor winning an argument ... even putting-that-bullet-in-your-head is a so-what statement.

    The arguments against contraception has to do mainly with the acorn-tree argument .... please describe precisely who rates as being human ... zygote - fetus - neonate - infant - child - prepubescent - teen - elderly - feeble-minded - Downes syndrome - octogenarian - Are you willing to fight for their precious 'freedom' too? Or, is only your own worth fighting for.

    Next time you are in a theatre yell "FIRE!" ... when in court explain to the judge how you were only exercising your freedom as license. I think you will spend a long time in jail!

    Posted by: John McDonell at May 22, 2006 1:15 PM


    The arguments against contraception has to do mainly with the acorn-tree argument .... please describe precisely who rates as being human ... zygote - fetus - neonate - infant - child - prepubescent - teen - elderly - feeble-minded - Downes syndrome - octogenarian - Are you willing to fight for their precious 'freedom' too? Or, is only your own worth fighting for.

    I'll assume that with "zygote," "fetus," and "neonate" you are refering to those of the Homo sapiens species. With that in mind, all of them are human. No one is saying that a zygote isn't a human. It has the genetic make-up of a Homo sapiens, and both of its parents are Homo sapiens; therefore, it's human. What we "pro-aborts" (because we want every pregnancy to be aborted--hopefully this will be legally mandated soon!--and never, ever actually have children ourselves) are saying is that before one is a physiologically autonomous entity not living parasitically off someone, one has no rights. There is no such thing as the right to be a parasite. Sorry. But what does this even have to do with contraception (a word which, by the way, has no verb form)?

    An extension to God IS the ultimate freedom because we become Him. Please read the post above on 'significance'. If these two understandings are not tied together ... then you have freedom without significance ...

    That's awesome that you find freedom in dogma, but I don't. I am an atheist, and yet astonishingly, my personal freedom is quite significant to me. I make my own significance.

    Next time you are in a theatre yell "FIRE!" ... when in court explain to the judge how you were only exercising your freedom as license. I think you will spend a long time in jail!

    What on earth does inciting panic have to do with the right and freedom to control one's own, personal, private bodily functions? Seriously, why does it bother y'all so much that I, a random student in the Midwest, am not ovulating?! Please don't pretend it's out of concern for my health. Abortion is twelve times safer than childbirth, and not being pregnant, period, is safer than being pregnant no matter what the outcome of the pregnancy. 1600 women die EVERY DAY due to pregnancy and childbirth. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 100,000 maternal deaths could be prevented each year if every woman who did not want any more children ever or at a particular point in time had unfettered access to contraception. I'm sure these women's children really feel like special lil blessings when they're eating the garbage that washes up on the banks of the Ganges or end up a case number in an orphanage with three thousand other special lil blessings with no mommies. Know what the leading cause of death among pregnant women is? Hint: it isn't being asphyxiated by the gag the pro-aborts put on their mouths to keep them from screaming for help while their pregnancies are forcibly aborted. It's homicide at the hands of their partners. Thanks, but I'll take the slight increase in breast cancer risk in exchange for the ability to control my own body, achieve what I want to achieve, and not worry about becoming an 18-year-old mother hemorrhaging to death in a bathroom stall. That way, I can actually have a job and a house and health insurance and money to feed and clothe my kids, since I'll be having them when I want them, when I'm ready for them, and when I'm capable of providing a wonderful life for them. If you're so worried about carcinogens, look into banning smoking and pollution and sunshine, and quit the rouse that you care about women's health and mental well-being when pregnancy and childbirth are exceptionally dangerous physically and emotionally. You just have issues with people having sex in a way that conflicts with your interpretation of your religious scripture. If the way I have sex (with condoms and hormonal contraception) disgusts you, feel free not to mimic me. But don't tell me I have to have sex like you, especially when having sex like you would cause great risk to my health and would destroy my life plans.

    Even if contraception wasn't available, it would not make people suddenly want children. It would make people come up with more homespun ways to prevent conception (like they have been for at least 5,000 years). It would make people abort the unwanted pregnancies that would inevitably occur when you take away the ability to prevent 98% of them, and it would make for more child abuse, neglect, and abandonment, and stress in relationships. That isn't my utopia, nor is it the utopia of any sane person who gives a damn about children or humanity in general.

    Posted by: bridgetka at May 22, 2006 2:11 PM


    Hi bridgetka

    ... guess its time to get out my old violin ... it's poor me time, again.

    Fact knowing God does not equal dogma, but it sure does cramp this autonomous-style because maybe someone does know better than you ... anyway for another discussion.

    Here is a wee bit about human-brain potential. Often people compare the brain to the most advanced machine of the age ... so in the 1930's the brain was a switchboard; today we hear often that the brain is a complex computer.
    Any computer operates on the binary system ... or on-off switch, so our neurons are equated with this. So if we wrote down the number of permutations and combinations for this number, it would take 12 years at one digit per second ... 12 hours each day. By contrast: it would take only 4 minutes to write the number that represents filling the whole physical universe 3 billion light-years across with quarks (the smallest 'thing' in existence and packed so there is no space).
    Wild as this is, each neuron goes 10 and as much as 1,000 ways and does not operate on the binary system at all.

    What I have said in the last few paragraphs is not from religion at all but from medicine and physics. We have historically severely underestimated ALL human beings ... wanted or not. It is a frightening contention that my continued existence depended on being 'wanted'... I wonder what we are 'wanted' for ... remember the posters that read: 'WANTED - DEAD or ALIVE'.

    As far as contraception goes ... perhaps as Jill says, we will have to do a serious re-think here because we are called to bring forth a very special being. It should cause some very hard reflection by everyone ... so we don't have babies nor their Moms floating on the Ganges ever.

    Posted by: John McDonell at May 22, 2006 3:43 PM


    ... guess its time to get out my old violin ... it's poor me time, again.

    Yeah, seriously, bring out the tiny violin! What do those 1600 young women who die horrible deaths every single day have to complain about? It's nothing compared to the sorrow experienced by people who grieve over the death of sperm cells as they are obliterated by the trillions every day at the hands of the spermicidal chemicals and copper coils. Or the anguish experienced by people who abstractly moralize about how it's perfectly acceptable for masses of women to die--when they can be saved ridiculously easily--so long as they're doing their duty to the endangered race that is humankind. Especially when the people doing the moralizing are comfortably incapable of dying in the battle to prevent the extinction of white people. Really, though, it has to be troubling to know some woman may have the audacity to ask you to slap on a condom. Men are entitled to a wonderfully messy orgasm, unhindered by evil latex, and women should be honored to Bring Forth A Very Special Being/bleed to death so they can have it. Unfortunately not many women realize how spectacular an honor this is (and that men only WISH they could experience the joys of fistulae and malnutrition and peripartum cardiomyopathy and postnatal depressive psychosis), and thus need to be browbeaten or legally compelled to accept this honor. Silly womens.

    Really, Mr. McDonell, don't trivialize maternal mortality. Don't. It's not funny. It's not trivial. It's not something you can set to violin music. It's not the evil feminists braying. It's not. It's dead girls and women, orphaned children, widowed partners, poverty, and hunger.

    I would be willing to bring out my little fiddle, though, for privileged men who whine about how contraception is causing the destruction of the world. Contraception saves lives. Actual lives. The lives of ACTUAL LIVING BREATHING WALKING TALKING FEELING LOVING INDIVIDUAL HUMAN BEINGS. And if you seriously are willing to disregard those lives because you ascribe greater value to the "lives" of ova and sperm which are ruined because ne'er shall the two meet...there's simply no reasoning with you.

    Fact knowing God does not equal dogma, but it sure does cramp this autonomous-style because maybe someone does know better than you...

    Yeah, autonomy is for whiners; women should just hand their bodies over to whomever purports to know better than they do. Also, if you have factual, empirical evidence proving the existence of god, please share with the world. You must know something very special.

    Here is a wee bit about human-brain potential. Often people compare the brain to the most advanced machine of the age ... so in the 1930's the brain was a switchboard; today we hear often that the brain is a complex computer.
    Any computer operates on the binary system ... or on-off switch, so our neurons are equated with this. So if we wrote down the number of permutations and combinations for this number, it would take 12 years at one digit per second ... 12 hours each day. By contrast: it would take only 4 minutes to write the number that represents filling the whole physical universe 3 billion light-years across with quarks (the smallest 'thing' in existence and packed so there is no space).
    Wild as this is, each neuron goes 10 and as much as 1,000 ways and does not operate on the binary system at all.

    Thank you for sharing information that has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Anyway, back to the government controlling women's hormones in the name of Jesus.

    It is a frightening contention that my continued existence depended on being 'wanted'..

    Sorry, but them's the rules when you exist inside the body of someone else, diverting her vital resources, taxing her body, and putting her in mortal danger. If you don't like how things are run in someone else's internal organs, leave. Me, I love my mother. My mother is a wonderful person, and if she didn't like throwing up constantly or didn't want to be stuck with my father or had planned a vacation in the Bahamas for the week I was due, she could have gone right ahead and aborted the pregnancy that resulted in me. She was here first. She was an actual person, with things to lose. She had ambitions, and the right to fulfill them. At that point in time, I was a human tapeworm, and if she didn't want me in her body, she had every right to evict me. And guess what? As a shrimp-like organism with partially differentiated tissues and the brain of a seaslug, I can't say I would have cared, lacking as I did the capability to do so.

    As far as contraception goes ... perhaps as Jill says, we will have to do a serious re-think here because we are called to bring forth a very special being.

    You, sir, are not called to bring forth any being, special or not, unless you're Zeus and Athena is about to spring fully-formed from your forehead. Evidently WOMEN are called forth (what authority is doing the calling, I'm not sure. I don't hear anyone) to be reproductive slaves and bring forth Very Special Beings, and maybe die in the process. Charming.

    so we don't have babies nor their Moms floating on the Ganges ever.

    What do you propose, if not allowing people to limit the size of their families to a number they can provide for (thus reducing the number of starving, scrounging kids) and allowing women to control the number of times they experience a condition which has a good chance of landing them face down in the Ganges? Also keep in mind that some people actually enjoy having sex and don't want to abstain until they want a(nother) child, and that in some places women don't have much of a choice about whether and when to engage in sexual intercourse and thus becoming pregnant.

    Posted by: bridgetka at May 22, 2006 4:57 PM


    Ah, you guys have made MY point .... over and over, ... spacebaby are you listening ... my definition of what 'freedom' means will not be found in any dictionary .... too precious is it to be found there! The concept of unlimited freedom comes as a consequence of being bound in/to an unlimited being ... what Jesus calls 'the kingdom of heaven'. As such freedom is far greater than a mere right to choose: as philosophers and your dictionary attest.

    if you have the right to your own personal definition of freedom that is not going to be found in any dictionary, then _i_ have the right to my own definition of freedom. i'm picking the one in the dictionary.

    i do not share your belief in God, and if i did, i certainly would not be required to take you or anyone else's word that you or they know what God wants.

    Posted by: spacebaby at May 22, 2006 5:37 PM


    The thing about the brain had to do with awe ... a sense that something is very special. So this is NOT how you feel about it at all.

    Several decades ago, a doctor Patrick Dunn of New Zealand tracked the moods of pregnant ladies in his ob-gyn practice. He found definite periods of depression weeks 8-11; the 2nd period was the third trimester; followed by a glitch of euphoria at birth (likely endorphin release) and soon followed by the worst depression - the famous postpartum one.

    [unknown to Dr. Dunn, these periods exactly mirror the zinc needs of the developing child. Is the baby inadvertently causing these mood swings? There is a forth stage requiring high levels of zinc and that is puberty. A pregnant-teen is a shoe-in for these periods of depression.]

    Does the answer come with abortion ... I do not think so, because the depression remains (even worsens with blood-loss and will sometimes last for years. PMS also is closely allied here and it seems most of your fears are here too.

    You like to quote misery, as if there is no way out. Just where is this high maternal death rate ... not in America, I'll wager? The sole reason I use the violin (pity-party) is because I am so disabled that anyone who complains about not handling grief knows that I live this every minute of every day. [it very much helped a widow overcome the death of her husband - both good friends.]
    Its my shocking word-way to shake people out of their ritual despondency ... glad it worked for you too. Like you, I do not like pain at all. But unlike you I (do not see pain as inevitable) ... it too can be overcome as well.

    Contraception-control does have some limits ... these 'limits' are being highlighted by current population demographics. Is there a problem? Yes. Is it necessary to have the government 'fix' this problem ... probably not? The government will not bail-you out, you will have to do this yourself ... you'll need the violin though! Remember what it is for, and it will lighten your load ... promise!!!

    Posted by: John McDonell at May 22, 2006 6:46 PM


    As far as contraception goes ... perhaps as Jill says, we will have to do a serious re-think here because we are called to bring forth a very special being.




    Good luck with that... really.

    Perhaps if/when you have succeeded in bearing this "being", you will gain some understanding of what it is we, as women, go through and what an awesome responsibility it is to be the bearer of life. Until then, all of your philosophical waxing about how much freer us women would be if only we'd stop all this silly 'thinking for ourselves' nonsense and just turn our uteri over to the lord, or the government, or the Gestational Gestapo, or whoever, has about as much credibility as me talking about the pain and embarrassment of jock itch. And that's NONE... nada, zip, zero, zilch, thanks for playing. You people apparently have WAAAAAAAY too much time on your hands because you are all WAAAAAAAY too concerned with other people's sex lives and reproductive choices.




    On the up side, however, at least you all have stopped dancing around with your fictitious "culture of life" concerns, (uh-huh, yeah, you almost had us goin' with THAT one... NOT!!!), and have finally come clean on what it is you're really after: control over women. Total and complete control. Control over their sexual and reproductive organs; control over their bodies; control over their lives; hell, control over their very souls. What's interesting to me, however, is that in your little quest to fulfill your destiny as self-appointed "Masters of the Uteri", you all have chosen to completely ignore the fact that 98% of all women who have ever had intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method.




    But hey, don't let that stop you... I applaud you in your efforts and encourage you to continue on in your crusade to eradicate the world of contraception! For I have no doubt -- and I mean NONE -- that although your efforts will fail, they will benefit those of us who truly value freedom, and who truly believe that EVERYONE is entitled to enjoy those principles upon which this country was founded: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is going too far and I have no doubt that, finally, you all will be exposed for the sadistic control freaks that you really are and no longer will you and your ilk be taken seriously. Finally, you will be relegated back to the fringes of civilized society, (kind of like the crazy uncle who babbles on and on but nobody listens to), where you belong.




    (Oh, and BTW... :bowdown:@spacebaby! Always nice to see women like you -- strong, confident women -- who can articulate so well and aren't afraid to speak out! My hat's off to you!)

    Posted by: dixiechiken at May 22, 2006 6:49 PM


    John, somebody above pointed out that the wee violin and the pity-party comments are condescending and unfunny, especially in relation to maternal mortality. I wish you had the same gravitas for that as you do for blastocytes.

    You do not have a lock on self pity because you're disabled. You do not get to shit on other people because you're disabled. I'm sorry you're so bitter about your disability, but guess what? You're not the only one, so stop wishing to restrict the freedoms of others because you feel cheated. Why don't you bust out your violin for yourself and leave grown women alone to make their own reproductive choices?

    Posted by: Norah at May 22, 2006 10:25 PM


    Hi Norah,

    maybe words do not convey what this means ... the violin is meant for me too ... its the self-pity that is self defeating. Above (in one of my earlier posts), you will note that I have developed my-own understanding of what freedom means BECAUSE self-pity does not fit. It offers no answers other than wallowing in more self-pity. So up-against this self-pity trap am I, and finding a new understanding of 'freedom' actually frees me to live again ... this time though, I was free from the self-pity trap. The violin is not meant to be funny nor demeaning but is a ploy to give face to my inner self ... if I am unhappy; why am I so? Am I to be shackled by the self-pity blues .... bs to that!

    Maybe spacebaby's notion of freedom (and it seems yours) serves you well. It did not serve me well at all .... and I suspect that many here have this same problem with self-pity. I have found a way out .... I do not wish to wallow in woes, saying 'poor-me ... pity-me every moment until my life ends and 'I do such-and-such because of excessive woes.'. So if there is pain (and there IS pain, lots of pain ... FIX IT - just don't shove it aside. ... as imo abortion and contraception do, {this self-pity used as a justification for a pro-abortion stance, is what my heart was hearing) ...

    I really hope this helps clarify the little violin trick.

    Posted by: John McDonell at May 23, 2006 5:39 AM


    I am awed by the extent people here take Jill's statement - who is only speaking her mind personally, based on her own understanding of things, not 'imposing' anything on anyone - as an attack on themselves. Very interesting, psychologically speaking...


    By the way, the comments here illustrate very clearly what Jill meant when she spoke about the 'contraceptive mindset':

    'I'm so damn responsible for my future children that I'll do anything (including pumping myself up with hormones for decades) in order to prevent them from being conceived; and I'll make a terrible, but necessary decision (=kill them) if they happen to 'happen' at the wrong time. Because, well, I'm responsible, you know.'


    I know I'll meet with bland looks when asking this, but: If you're so damn responsible, then why do you incur the risk of becoming pregnant at all? Why do you have sex if you don't at least accept the idea that you may become pregnant? Because "Cosmo" tells you you can't live without it???


    Wouldn't not having sex if you don't want to become pregnant be real responsibility? You know, of the kind: 'I'll accept the consequences of my actions - including a pregnancy', and not 'oh f***, I'm pregnant! Let's run to the next PP clinic!'


    And another thing: Furlong made a comment above that was so fallacious that I can't leave it unanswered.

    He/she wrote about women who died in childbirth in earlier centuries, as if people who are for having children were risking women's lives with this. As if the last 200 years or so of medical development and health care had never happened. And if people who are for having children were inevitably also against hospitals and medical care, because, you know, they have such a 'medieval' mindset that they must surely be for medieval methods of childbirth.... Mind-boggling, that's all I can say.

    Posted by: Petra at May 23, 2006 8:37 AM


    Unless Jill Stanek has about 10 kids, I do not for a minute believe that she is against contraception.

    Posted by: steve at May 23, 2006 10:10 AM


    You religious zealots have absolutely no right to interfere with my access to tools of reproductive health. Contraception is a right, useful to men but absolutely essential to women. Contraception saves lives, both from health risks and from poor judgment.

    If the Religious Right goes after contraceptives, rest assured that the rest of America will go after your religious exemption from taxation, your gross interference in politics from the pulpit, and last but not least, your advocacy of hatred towards those different from you.

    If you don't like contraception, don't use it. Taking contraception from others who do want to use it is interfering in our most intimate moments.

    As it happens, my religion requires the use of contraception when pregnancy is not desired. So don't go trampling on my religious rights unless you want your religious rights similarly disrespected.

    Posted by: Andrew at May 23, 2006 1:39 PM


    Jill,
    Thank you for talking about a such a misunderstood topic. I just spoke with a woman yesterday who took Plan B thinking it was in no way able to cause an early abortion. But, of course, if you believe life begins at conception, which she did, it can cause an early abortion. The terms have just been switched from life beginning at conception to life beginning at implantation, which makes Plan B or the Morning After Pill able to be advertised as 'not an abortion, just emergency contraceptive.'

    Posted by: Bonni at May 24, 2006 1:18 PM


    "Wouldn't not having sex if you don't want to become pregnant be real responsibility?"

    What about those who are married and don't want kids? Should they never have sex with their spouse? Some people use sex to express their love for one another... are you going to deny their affection? What about if a women is raped? What about those thousands of horny teenagers? Sex is a natural drive that most of us have... to deny that is quite hypocritical considering the point of this thread was to promote the natural unimpeded course of sex (procreation) by removing contraception.

    Posted by: ferlingmule at May 24, 2006 3:32 PM


    Thank you for talking about a such a misunderstood topic. I just spoke with a woman yesterday who took Plan B thinking it was in no way able to cause an early abortion.

    did you read the rest of the comment thread? there isn't any clinical evidence that emergency contraception prevents implanation. there _is_ evidence that it doesn't.

    Posted by: spacebaby at May 24, 2006 5:52 PM


    "Wouldn't not having sex if you don't want to become pregnant be real responsibility?"

    not that the consensual sexual activities of other adults are any of your business, but i'll answer your question anyway. sexual intimacy as an expression of closeness and love is an important and vital part of my life, not to mention my emotional well-being. i don't believe that sex is just about procreation, and when i have it, i don't do it because i want a baby.

    i have sex because it makes me feel close to the person i love. i don't feel that i owe you or the world a childbirth every year because you attach all sorts of moral and religious significance to sex. i'm not you and you're not me, and i don't believe the same things you do.

    Posted by: spacebaby at May 24, 2006 5:58 PM


    Dear Jill -- I would normally not delve into your personal life, but you seem to want to get very close into my own life, i.e. legislating laws to ban abortion and contraception.

    My question: I see you are married but have only three children -- if you have not used contraception, but had sex of the normal American average of 3 times per week, that is amazing! Unless you have only been married for 3-5 years -- so, how long have you been married?

    Do you claim to have achieved this small family size through the "rhythm method"? And, if so, isn't planning intercourse during non-fertile times denying God's procreative plan just as much as using a condom? Please explain to me how a normally fertile woman getting married at age 25 can avoid having 10 children by the time she is 40? Or will God make sure that doens't happen to "true believers"? Also, I was wondering if continuing to breastfeed to take advantage of the fact that it suppresses ovulation (and thus is contraceptive) would also be contrary to God's will? Thank you.

    Posted by: amy at May 25, 2006 9:13 AM


    Jill,

    Your right! Most forms of Birth Control cause CHEMICAL ABORTIONS. We need to teach people about NFP.

    Natural Family Planning is the knowledge of a couples fertility. It is a knowledge base about a couples ability to conceive a child.

    The application of this knowledge in a particular marriage is called responsible parenthood. The couple either decides to try to achieve a pregnancy or to avoid by timing their use of the privileges of marriage according to the knowledge of their mutual fertility. (The man, if healthy, is fertile all the time. The woman, if healthy, is fertile about three or four days a month.)

    Responsible parenthood differs from contraception in two ways: 1. There is no alteration of the bodies of either the husband or wife and this is a huge difference. 2. When the couple uses the privileges of marriage, they are not holding back at all or refusing to give everything they are, physically and spiritually. If they are infertile at the time, this is the result of the way God created them. They are giving themselves totally to one another AS THEY ARE AT THAT MOMENT. No one could require more. Further, God never asked couples to use the privileges of marriage at any particular time. That decision is completely theirs. So, in the marital act during an infertile period, husband and wife who are applying the knowledge of their fertility (NFP) responsibly (responsible parenthood) are giving everything they are at that moment to one another.

    The intention is also different. The NFP couple realizes that in every marital union there is a chance (perhaps remote) of conceiving a child and they accept this possibility. The contracepting couple (even if only with condoms) has a positive intention against conception.

    An example might help: I want some money from a bank. It makes a huge difference whether I go to the bank and draw the money out from a checking account or whether I approach a teller with a gun and "withdraw" $100. Either way, I get the $100, but one act is radically different from the other.

    Posted by: Mike at May 26, 2006 10:10 PM


    Jill,

    Forget Planned Parenthood! We need to get chastity education in our schools.

    Please post this because it is by far THE BEST CHASITY TALK EVER! It's JASON & CRYSTALINA EVERT speaking live to High School Students. Listen to this talk. It is loaded with information. Here is the link...

    http://www.pureloveclub.com/seminars/index.php?id=3

    Mike

    -------

    Listen to Jason and Crystalina's chastity talk:
    (Rated PG-13, for high-school-level content on health and behavior issues. Jr. High presentation also available.)

    Catholic High School talk
    MP3 format
    RealAudio format

    Public High School talk
    MP3 format
    RealAudio format

    Before using RealAudio format, download free player.

    Posted by: Mike at May 27, 2006 2:02 PM


    The important question for humans is: Are you an animal or a human created in the image and likeness of God? If you are an animal, you can have sex for the pleasure of it and prevent the natural result or kill the result without any moral problem. If you are a human created in the image of God, then sex becomes a loving, sacred act to be shared between a married man and woman joined in the sacrament of marriage, the purpose of which to create life: children. For believers the goal is to enter heaven when we die. For non-believers there is no goal besides self-gratification and pleasure-seeking in all forms. For believers this is sin. If you have had an abortion, seek forgiveness from God before death.

    Posted by: Gianna at August 17, 2006 9:41 AM