ALL's "The Pill Kills" day is tomorrow

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The American Life League is holding its 2nd annual protest against the birth control pill tomorrow, June 6. Last year's theme was, "The Pill kills babies." This year's is, "The Pill kills women."...

Participate "by having a presence outside of doctors' offices, pharmacies, Planned Parenthood clinics and other family planning facilities, or even out on the sidewalk at a busy intersection. Wherever it is - help get the word out!" Download the promotional flyer as well as talking points regarding frequently asked questions about the Pill.

ThePillKills.com website lists different ways the Pill is harmful to women:

  • Increases risk of heart disease
  • Increases risk of breast cancer
  • Increases risk of cerebrovascular disease and cervical cancer
  • Increases risk of plaque buildup in arteries
  • Increases risk of raising your blood pressure
  • Increases risk of liver problems
  • The site also includes footnoted tragic examples of women who have been killed for using hormonal contraceptives, such as:

  • Julie Hennessey, a 31-year-old Irish woman, who died of a blood clot after taking the birth control pill, which caused her to develop deep vein thrombosis.

  • Ashley Lewis, a 17-year-old high school junior from St. Louis, MO, who died after developing a blood clot in her lung, because she was wearing the birth control patch for 6 months.
  • Co-sponsors include Human Life International, One More Soul, Pharmacists for Life International, and Women Influencing the Nation, among others.

    "The Pill Kills" t-shirts are also available for purchase on the website.

    Videos from yesterday's "The Pill Kills" press conference at the National Press Club...

    Dr. Lynn Kerr, associate clinical professor from the U of CA, San Francisco:

    Dr. Paul Carpentier, certified by the American Academy of FertilityCare Professionals:

    Marie Hahnenberg, researcher for American Life League:


    Comments:

    Why are you not advocating against the use of other prescription medications? They all have potential side-effects. Most are riskier than the pill.

    To be fair, you should also add the fact that the pill reduces the risk of ovarian cancer

    Posted by: Kate at June 5, 2009 9:57 AM


    INCREASES risk of heart disease, breast cancer, cerebrovascular disease and cervical cancer, plaque buildup in arteries, increased blood pressure, and liver problems, pulmonary emboli, blood clots, stroke...

    ...but REDUCES risk of ovarian cancer.

    Gee. That SO makes a difference, doesn't it?

    Posted by: Cranky Catholic at June 5, 2009 10:01 AM


    The VAST majority of people who take the pill will not have severe complications. Why the focus on it when there are far riskier medications? Unless there is a political motive behind this, why not focus on anti-depressants(they made my friend suicidal) or viagra?

    Posted by: Kate at June 5, 2009 10:21 AM


    Kate, name another medication that 97% of women take that has these types of side effects.

    Posted by: Lauren at June 5, 2009 10:38 AM


    97% of women are not on the pill, but the fact that so many women continue to take it speaks of it safety. A comparable amount(maybe more or less) are on anti-depressants(much riskier). Why are you not speaking out about those?

    Posted by: Kate at June 5, 2009 10:43 AM


    I also might add that the pills associated with a slight increase in the risk of breast cancer are the older ones with higher estrogen levels. Yasmin actually lowers estrogen levels, which is why it is often prescribed for endometriosis.

    Posted by: Kate at June 5, 2009 10:47 AM


    I used to be pro-contraception. I often wondered "Isn't it better than abortion?" It took me some time to change my mind about it. I've taken the pill and the Depo Provera shot. I liked the Depo b/c my period stopped. However, I was suffering from migraine headaches. I no longer take contraception. My headaches have ceased.

    Posted by: heather at June 5, 2009 11:02 AM


    After the birth of my last daughter, the doctor asked "What will it be?" "Do you want an IUD, Depo, Norplant?"

    Posted by: heather at June 5, 2009 11:04 AM


    Anything artificial in some way will probably have some side effects if you put it in your body. It's just the nature of things, and the pill is not unique in this respect.

    However, when people take most prescription meds, they take them to treat some medical problem. When a woman takes the pill, it primarily solves a social problem*: have sex without having a baby. Whereas other meds trade greater health problems for lesser health problems, the pill trades social problems for medical problems.

    Now, you could say the same thing about Viagra. I don't know how the risks of Viagra compare with those of the pill, but it does the same thing when people take it recreationally: trade bad sex for health problems. And if that's a significant tradeoff, then yes, perhaps men shouldn't take Viagra.

    And yes, there are riskier medications. But here's an analogy: Just because there are starving people in Africa doesn't mean it's wrong to feed a merely hungry person in your city. And nobody would hold you responsible for feeding every single person on Earth.

    *Somebody is going to pop in and point out that pregnancy can be dangerous to the mother's health. But I claim that most women who take the pill take it because they don't want to have a baby, not because they're afraid of dying.

    Posted by: Chris at June 5, 2009 11:18 AM


    Luckily there are doctors who don't prescribe the poison pills as I call them. http://www.omsoul.com is a good resource for those who want a doctor that doesn't prescribe contraception.

    Posted by: LizFromNebraska at June 5, 2009 11:19 AM


    I get what you're saying Chris, and I commend you for saying it in a non-hateful and clearly well-thought out manner. The pill is often taken to postpone pregnancy, and there are risk to any medications. Some don't think it is worth it, but for others it is not realistic to have seven children(many women had more before the pill), and they'll risk the minor side effects(more severe ones are extremely rare for young non-smokers).

    Many women take the pill for medical reasons. It has many other benefits. Do those who are against the pill also oppose it in this circumstance?

    Posted by: Kate at June 5, 2009 11:33 AM


    I actually don't know the medical effects of the birth control pill. Even if indeed most women take it or have taken it at some point, I don't know of anyone that has even gotten ill from it.

    That being said, neutering yourself has never seemed like something spiritually healthy.

    I've been arguing the pro-life position for three years now in the middle of an extremely liberal law school with people way smarter than me. Christian or not, I have never lost an argument. I do not need faith to argue my point.

    As for the birth control pill, my future wife and I will never touch it. That comes from my faith, not from science. The pill certainly does kill, but not in a way I can medically prove to others.

    Posted by: Alex at June 5, 2009 11:52 AM


    Kate, the point of the Pill Kills project is exposing the dangers of taking the pill. I really don't think the effects of the pill change with a woman's reason for taking it.

    Posted by: Cranky Catholic at June 5, 2009 12:09 PM


    All medications have dangers. If the pill is used to treat a medical condition why is it any different than any other pill with potential side effects? Chris stated the pill is used for social problems, and that is what makes it different, but in some cases it is used to treat actual medical problems.

    Posted by: Kate at June 5, 2009 12:25 PM


    I don't think the "dangers of taking the pill" need to be exposed. When you go on the pill, you get the talk from your doctor about the risks. Then you make a decision whether the benefit of not getting pregnant is worth those risks. Millions of women answer that question with a "Hell, yes!"

    I think that people who promote the mantra that "the pill kills" just don't like the idea of women having sex without getting pregnant.

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 5, 2009 12:25 PM


    Kate, are you kidding me. I love how you come on here and say "oh thank you for saying things in a non hateful manner" like we're all so cruel.

    We have been nothing but lovely to you until you decided that killing children with DS was something you need to champion. Even then, I'm the only one who's aggressively called you out, and the worst I've said is that you're a bigot.

    Stop playing the victim.

    As for birthcontrol, 97% of women will use hormonal birth control at some point in their reproductive lifspan.

    Posted by: Lauren at June 5, 2009 12:41 PM


    Lauren,
    Can you read well? What part of "I don't care what anyone else does" do you not understand? I said what I'd do. I'm not championing any causes.

    Posted by: kate at June 5, 2009 12:52 PM


    Kate. The fact that you feel it necessary to mention that you would abort a "defective" child with DS at every turn has definitely turned into championing for the cause. You have made many, many disparaging statments against those with disabilities.

    You're disapproval is palpable.

    Posted by: Lauren at June 5, 2009 12:54 PM


    When they were testing artificial male BC, they found that it had some unwanted side effects. Namely, some small amount of testicular shrinkage and headaches. They stopped testing immediately.

    When they were testing female BC (I'm talking about oral contraceptives here) they had women DIE. They DID NOT INVESTIGATE IT.

    Sounds fair, right?

    Jill, I would HIGHLY recommend listening to Janet Smith-or reading the transcript-of her talk about Contraception. It's excellent! I have heard an updated version, which I can't seem to find, but this is quite good, too.

    http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/sexuality/se0002.html

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 5, 2009 2:07 PM


    Kate,

    As the older sister to a disabled child, I can confidently assure you that not only is she quite happy and NOT suffering daily from her "affliction," she brings more JOY into this world than any single person I have EVER met.

    And this is a typical story. Having worked with disabled, particularly DS, children closely all my life, I can assure you that you would only be doing yourself and your child a DISservice in aborting.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 5, 2009 2:13 PM


    Kate,

    The pill causes depression, and frequently enough results in doctors prescribing those dangerous antidepressants to women who take the pill. Furthermore, both of those medications lower the sex drive. Which in some cases results in Viagra. So now we're combating all 3 of those risky medications. All so women can have hassle-free sex.

    Oh, the joy!

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 5, 2009 2:16 PM


    ProChoicer,

    You really think the doctors clarify the risks properly?

    In my experience (which I wish I didn't have) it's more along the lines of, "You're young and healthy. These are side effects mostly for older women and non-smokers. You really only need to worry about headaches, cramping, and weight gain."

    However, when I am prescribed antibiotics, I am given a list of medications they could interfere with and told repeatedly that they could cause my BC to be ineffectual. Although it's been years since I took BC, I'm still reminded.

    Ick.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 5, 2009 2:21 PM


    Alex @ 11:52,

    "I've been arguing the pro-life position for three years now in the middle of an extremely liberal law school with people way smarter than me. Christian or not, I have never lost an argument. I do not need faith to argue my point."

    One more pro-life lawyer. Yay!

    * * * *

    Thanks for bringing up the topic of birth control pill and drug interaction. It's an important consideration because antibiotics are prescribed so freely these days. Wow, here's an example where using hormonal BC could actually increase unwanted pregnancy, therefore, increasing abortion rates

    Posted by: Janet at June 5, 2009 2:43 PM


    Janet,

    Huh. I hadn't considered that.

    You'd think I would have. I feel like someone whose been staring at one of those illusion-pictures and finally got her eyes to relax and see the image. It's kinda surreal.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 5, 2009 3:03 PM


    MaryRose,

    I would definitely trust my doctor's discussion of the risks of birth control more than information put out by a Roman Catholic pro-life group. I believe the American Life League's real objection to the pill is religious and that that is the agenda they are pushing.

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 5, 2009 4:30 PM


    Prochoicer,

    And the pharmaceutical groups' agendas are being pushed just as adamantly. If not more so.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 5, 2009 4:33 PM


    Yes, but at least they have to pass tests based on scientific scrutiny, and my doctor has a code of ethics she has to follow. (I am in a profession with an ethical code myself and I firmly believe that the vast majority of professionals take their obligations seriously.)

    One thing that bothers me about the American Life League is that they are outright admonishing women NOT to take the pill. Right there, that's just a huge red flag for me. It jsut seems so disrespectful and it underscores that they have an agenda.

    The reason I think it is disrespectful is that they do not trust women to weigh the risks and benefits themselves. This group presumes to know the correct decision for me -- that the benefits of the pill are not worth these risks/alleged risks. But lots of women could hear about those risks (even as presented by the American Life League) and conclude that those risks are worth the benefit of preventing pregnancy.

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 5, 2009 4:48 PM


    maybe its because the ALL knows that birth control leads to promiscuous sex and the using of women by MEN? And BC doesn't protect against STDs, either.

    And then there's the drug interactions that negate the "effects" of the pill + the fact that breakthrough ovulation CAN occur, causing a chemical abortion if conception occurs.

    Posted by: LizFromNebraska at June 5, 2009 5:11 PM


    Prochoicer,

    The reason is because the pill flushes fertilized eggs.

    It's abortive.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 5, 2009 5:22 PM


    Also, it only prevents pregnancy as effectively as it claims to if you define pregnancy as implantation, as pro-choice groups and pharmaceutical companies do.

    Embryologists, however, define pregnancy as fertilization of an egg by a sperm. Conception, in other words. Which happens plenty for women who take hormonal BC.

    Hence, it's abortive. It doesn't prevent pregnancy effectively. It just kills the baby before you're aware the baby's there.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 5, 2009 5:24 PM


    See, that's my point. The American Life League's real agenda is to prevent abortion and "promiscuous sex." I don't trust them to advise me on my health as far as I can throw them.

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 5, 2009 6:31 PM


    The speakers, except Marie, don't work for ALL. Last year was "The Pill Kills" because, well, the pill kills babies. That should be enough. This year is one step beyond that, The Pill Kills Babies and Some Women. I've heard countless speeches from MD's about the abortifacient properties of hormonal birth control. Plenty of reading up on the subject too. The pill is the only medication not subject to scrutiny the way all other medications are. Political? Yes.

    Posted by: Keith (no not that one) at June 5, 2009 7:23 PM


    If factual information is being put out, no matter how "inflammatory" some think the title is, it really doesn't matter... because women will have to weight the risks and the benefits and now will have the ability to do so based upon a fuller understanding.

    Believe me, way too many OBs completely gloss over any potential side effects, even for women in high risk groups (smokers, over 35, etc.)

    Oh, and Kate, by the way, why is your life more valuable than my sister in law's?

    Posted by: Elisabeth at June 5, 2009 7:31 PM


    If factual information is being put out, no matter how "inflammatory" some think the title is, it really doesn't matter... because women will have to weight the risks and the benefits and now will have the ability to do so based upon a fuller understanding.

    But that's the question. Is "the Pill Kills" putting out factual information or is the information misleading and deceptive as some feminist groups claim?

    I would be more likely to trust a feminist group than a pro-life group because the feminist group's agenda is based on promoting a woman's best interest based on how she herself defines it. I suspect the Pill Kills campaign is meant to scare women into behaving the way the Catholic Church wants us to behave. I also believe the Pill Kills campaign believes it knows better than women do what our best interest is.

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 5, 2009 8:00 PM


    Seriously? Feminist groups = no agenda? Lol.

    Posted by: Keith (no not that one) at June 5, 2009 8:46 PM


    Keith, I didn't say that a feminist groups have no agenda. I specifically said that feminist groups DO have an agenda. That agenda is to promote a woman's best interest based on how she herself defines it.

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 5, 2009 8:56 PM


    And I'm saying that is ridiculous. Their agenda is "free love", getting women hooked on the pill, lying about the abortifacient properties of hormonal birth control, abortion on demand, pretending their is such a thing as safe sex, telling kids that they have no self control, eugenics, obstructing moral truth, and making tons and tons of money doing it all.

    Posted by: Keith (no not that one) at June 5, 2009 9:04 PM


    Prochoicer, I disagree with you about the intent of feminist groups. For example, Playboy listed a list of ten conservative women who deserved to be hate-f**d and Politico reported on how it was appropriate and the so called "feminist" groups have not spoken out about it.

    Feminist groups are not looking out for the well-being of women. They have a very narrowly focused, extremist agenda that has been proven time and again to, regardless of "possible" positive intent, have a detrimental effect on women, children, families and society.

    Posted by: Elisabeth at June 5, 2009 9:15 PM


    The ORIGINAL Feminists, the ones that fought for the right to vote, were against ABORTION. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton....they were the real feminists. One of them called abortion "child murder".

    Posted by: LizFromNebraska at June 5, 2009 9:19 PM


    Yes, and what of China's forced abortion policy?

    Good point Liz.

    "Guilty? Yes. No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; But oh, thrice guilty is he who drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime."

    -S.B. Anthony

    "When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit."

    -E.C. Stanton

    Posted by: Keith (no not that one) at June 5, 2009 9:37 PM


    Keith, powerful!

    Posted by: heather at June 5, 2009 9:45 PM


    My favorite, obviously not a suffragette, but as far as I'm concerned one of the most courageous women of all time... Mother Teresa: "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."

    Posted by: Elisabeth at June 5, 2009 9:50 PM


    Mother Teresa.....better role model for Catholic women than Nancy Pelosi!

    Posted by: LizFromNebraska at June 5, 2009 10:00 PM


    Elisabeth, In terms of the Playboy piece, it depends on what feminist groups you are talking about. Groups like NOW don't really document daily, routine misogyny as far as I know. Sadly, the Playboy article, while schocking is a pretty routine representation of how prominent women are talked about in some circles. The feminist blogs, however, DO deal with this kind of thing and I read about the Playboy article on a number of feminist blogs.

    Feminist blogs are very consistent about calling out sexism against conservative women. As Melissa McEwan (who routinely spoke out against sexist attacks on Sarah Palin during the campaign) explains in the below link -- that's how feminism works. A sexist attack on a woman is wrong even if it is a woman we don't like.

    http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2008/05/how-feminism-works.html

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 5, 2009 10:00 PM


    We've had over 30 years of empirichal research that has shown that the pill does not carry more risk than nearly all other prescription drugs, be they for physical or emotional conditions.

    I have a much bigger question. Why was this group allowed to present their loony case to the National Press Club? Was there a Q&A period afterwards? Can we see a video of that?

    The are also very poor speakers.

    Listen, you can object to the use of the pill. We get it. You can object to federal subsidies that make the pill more affordable to college students and poor women. We get it. You loathe the existence of the pill. Object all you want on moral grounds. But if you are going to object on scientific grounds, please bring some DATA.

    Arguing that x percentage of women who died last year were on the pill is not evidence.

    And the pill is not abortive. Gosh people are either gullible, stupid, or both. Not even Plan B is abortive. Fact.

    See, that's why real physicians take care of women and these duds don't. Physicians are better presenters, too.

    Posted by: Dhalgren at June 5, 2009 10:02 PM


    Feminists like Gloria Steinem have really dumbed American women down. She is a deceived woman. I realize that she still defends her decision to have an abortion, but the truth is this. Gloria, a man used you for sex, and you payed the ultimate price. Abortion! You gave your body to a man, and then you turned your body over to the abortionist. How does abortion empower a woman? I've asked this question several times, and I have NEVER gotten an answer!

    Posted by: heather at June 5, 2009 10:07 PM


    Keith, you are living in la la land as far as feminism is concerned.

    And, um, I have a feeling even the American Life League wouldn't claim that you can get "hooked" on the pill.

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 5, 2009 10:07 PM


    Gloria tries to appear strong and empowered. Actually, she comes off as confused and weak. This is not someone I would look up to. When it comes to Steinem, consider the source.

    Posted by: heather at June 5, 2009 10:09 PM


    Don't you also find it odd that PCers are quick to say that there is no abortion/breast cancer link, yet Gloria battled breast cancer?

    Posted by: heather at June 5, 2009 10:21 PM


    Dhalgren: you don't know how the PILL works, obviously.

    Breakthrough ovulation can occur and if conception happens (and remember,the woman is told she more than likely won't become pregnant on the pill) she wouldn't know she was pregnant. Then a hostile environment is created and the newly conceived child is basically "starved" and is chemically aborted.


    Posted by: LizFromNebraska at June 5, 2009 10:26 PM


    This whole idea that women get "used" for sex trope is another aspect of the idea that YOU know better than the women themselves do what is good for them. It is kind of similar to the idea that women get "lured" into abortion clinics or "led" by evil ale doctors to have abortions.

    In your world, don't women ever just make decisions for themselves? Or do you think women are just too stupid to make what you consider the right decisions?

    Maybe this sounds obnoxious but I am genuinely just weirded out by this whole idea that women who have sex are morons who have gotten "used."

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 5, 2009 10:34 PM


    Dhalgren, I think they have conveniently re-defined what abortion means. Of course, they have neglected to mention that having sex without birth control is far more likely to result in the "death" of a fertilized egg. (If you don't use contraception, lots of eggs get fertilized but don't implant. So you are losing lots of "children" even if you don't realize it.)

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 5, 2009 10:38 PM


    PCer, that's what happens. Men don't want anything that comes easy. Ever hear of the thrill of the chase? Our abortion rate wouldn't be so high if sex outside of marriage really worked.

    Posted by: heather at June 5, 2009 10:39 PM


    I made my husband wait for sex until marriage. I tried the cart before the horse too many times. I bought the lies too. It always ended painfully. I was being stupid. I allowed myself to be used for sex.

    Posted by: heather at June 5, 2009 10:41 PM


    And that is what men say about you if they can "sack you" outside of marriage. Who needs her? Too easy. On to the next conquest.

    Posted by: heather at June 5, 2009 10:43 PM


    I am sorry you had some regrets, Heather, but it doesn't follow that every woman will have the same experience you did.

    And, sure, I have known men who have had that macho attitude of "ha ha, I won because I got her to sleep with me." But I do not accept that a jerk like that gets to define whether the woman was "used" or not. Why does HIS interpretation get to determine that she was somehow the loser of the encounter?

    I started having sex at 19. And when I decided to sleep with someone, it was because I WANTED to sleep with that person. It was fun, it was pleasurable, and I still have good memories of those times. I suppose it is possible that a man could have said afterwards, "I sacked her." But really, why on earth would I want such a person to stick around?

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 5, 2009 10:59 PM


    Heather,

    I do agree that one can't expect a casual sexual encounter to lead to commitment unless there has been some kind of promise made. And even then, marriage isn't guaranteed until you are actually get married. Both men and women need to understand this.

    But not all women are looking for a commitment. I don't think you can say that a woman who has casual sex is being "used" by men. Maybe, she just wants to have casual sex. You may not approve of that, but it doesn't mean she is some kind of dupe.

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 5, 2009 11:03 PM


    Oy, I know I am talking too much. I will shut up. I have to go to bed, but will check this thread tomorrow! Thanks for engaging Heather and again I am sorry you had some negative experiences.

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 5, 2009 11:05 PM


    "Dhalgren, I think they have conveniently re-defined what abortion means. Of course, they have neglected to mention that having sex without birth control is far more likely to result in the "death" of a fertilized egg. (If you don't use contraception, lots of eggs get fertilized but don't implant. So you are losing lots of "children" even if you don't realize it.)"

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 5, 2009 10:38 PM

    You're joking, right??? Lots of eggs get fertilized??? Wow, why aren't we all having octuplets instead of single births? Did you know that only one egg drops per month and that egg does not always get fertilized? Is there a doctor in the house?

    Posted by: Janet at June 5, 2009 11:20 PM


    97% of women are not on the pill, but the fact that so many women continue to take it speaks of it safety. A comparable amount(maybe more or less) are on anti-depressants(much riskier). Why are you not speaking out about those?

    People take medications to fix something that is wrong with their bodies. You weigh the risks of taking the medication against the risks of not taking it. The Pill only exists to disrupt a normally functioning system of a woman's body. That's why jill is not speaking of any other kinds of medication.

    The Pill has wrecked the world. The Pill is the only reason I am pilloried for having five kids, even though I am happily married to a man who earns a good salary, living in an affluent nation (Australia).

    Posted by: Louise at June 5, 2009 11:36 PM


    Sorry, I thought I typed "Jill."

    Posted by: Louise at June 5, 2009 11:37 PM


    Dhalgren, you want "DATA", but offer none yourself. You fail to back up any of your assertions with documentation.

    I give facts--Abortive properties: 30 years of research have led to the indisputable fact that hormonal contraceptives have early abortion as one of their modes of action (read the package insert of your favorite brand of Pill online, e.g., Ortho-Novum-it's there in black and white, undisputed by the manufacturers, listed as altering the endometrial lining).

    Health problems for women: In 2005, the World Health Organization listed oral contraceptives as a Class I carcinogen (the highest level of cancer causing substances, which includes asbestos and radium), known to cause breast, cervix, and liver cancer. Makes you wonder if the prevalence of breast cancer is due to the large #s of unsuspecting women on the Pill, doesn't it?

    For 100% safe, >99% effective (more effective than the Pill), fully scientific, moral spacing of children, there is Natural Family Planning (NFP) (NOT "rhythm"). For more info, check out the Couple to Couple League.

    Posted by: Sylvia at June 5, 2009 11:52 PM


    Heather, congratulations on your fresh start with your husband. I recently heard the saying, "A dumb person doesn't learn from his mistakes. A smart person learns from his mistakes. And a wise person learns from someone else's mistakes." May your smart observations fuel wisdom in others.

    Posted by: Sylvia at June 6, 2009 12:01 AM


    "...lying about the abortifacient properties of hormonal birth control..."

    "And the pill is not abortive. Gosh people are either gullible, stupid, or both. Not even Plan B is abortive. Fact."

    Dhalgren just proved one of my points so I'm obviously not too far out there P.C.

    A Physician's Desk Reference might come in handy. It's really pretty basic stuff.

    Posted by: Keith (no not that one) at June 6, 2009 12:34 AM


    "And, um, I have a feeling even the American Life League wouldn't claim that you can get 'hooked' on the pill."

    Perhaps not in the sense that you can get hooked on crystal meth. Let me rephrase...dependent on the pill to maintain a certain lifestyle.

    Funny, because I hang w/ ALL, and when they say "hooked," my rephrase is implied.

    Moreover, instead of looking out for women by giving information on how to avoid pregnancy (i.e. avoid casual sexual encounters), Planned Parenthood cashes in on the idea that b.c. will keep you "safe," meanwhile, crossing their fingers that you come back for the big money purchase.

    Posted by: Keith (no not that one) at June 6, 2009 12:45 AM


    "...result in the "death" of a fertilized egg..."

    You're right to put "death" in quotes actually, we should be saying "starvation."

    One quick correction for you. There's actually no such thing as a "fertilized egg." The human ovum ceases to exist at fertilization and a newly formed, unique, living entity comes into being. Scientists call the early human embryo a "zygote."

    Posted by: Keith (no not that one) at June 6, 2009 12:55 AM


    Sylvia @ 11:52,

    "Health problems for women: In 2005, the World Health Organization listed oral contraceptives as a Class I carcinogen (the highest level of cancer causing substances, which includes asbestos and radium), known to cause breast, cervix, and liver cancer. Makes you wonder if the prevalence of breast cancer is due to the large #s of unsuspecting women on the Pill, doesn't it?"

    Thanks for your response. The part about cancer is quite an eye-opener. It's good to meet another advocate of NFP.

    Posted by: Janet at June 6, 2009 1:34 AM


    Regardless of why other women use the pill, I can only speak for myself and can very honestly say once again that I use the pill solely for medical reasons and am abstinent. I have to cycle it continuously and without it I would have had multiple blood transfusions from periods (Which I don't get now because of the pill). Periods, coupled with my bleeding disorder, are a lethal combination. So while some may believe the pill kills, the pill has very much saved my life. Some people who are not having sex at all like myself, do in fact take it for medical reasons ONLY. I'm grateful to whomever invented Microgestin, because it is truly helping me to live.

    Posted by: Ash at June 6, 2009 2:15 AM


    Ash,

    Your story is quite a unique one. I have heard one similar in my life.

    I don't know a lot of women who wouldn't understand your stance. Or men, for that matter.

    Though I believe the point of this particular post is to combat the use of hormonal BC as a "contraceptive." Still, good to remind us that there are those occasional cases in which the risks associated with the pill may in fact be worth the health benefits... assuming you're not in fact conceiving while on the pill, which you made clear.

    Prochoicer,

    I would suggest looking into the original drug trials of oral contraceptives. Although they had women taking the contraceptives die during the trials, they chose not to investigate the deaths. This was accepted because it happened out of the country. Now, I'm not saying those deaths were due exclusively to the taking of BC. It is quite possible they had nothing to do with oral contraceptives. However, the way these instances were simply tossed aside without investigation does make me curious as to what exactly was being hidden. What didn't the pharmaceutical companies testing the drug want to hear? What did they expect to hear?

    Furthermore, faulting the ALL for admonishing women who take the pill because of its abortive nature is a bit silly. It's like saying "I don't want to trust my therapist because she doesn't want me to poison my husband." Of course they're going to look out for the well-being of the child, as well as the mother. They're the American Life League.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 6, 2009 3:14 AM


    Wow, lots to respond to. I am not sure I will hit everything but I will try this in a couple of separate comments.

    Janet,

    Well no, of course, I don't mean that lots of eggs get fertilized each month. What I am saying is that, in a given month, intercourse without contraception is more likely to result in the creation of a zygote than intercourse with contraception designed to prevent sperm from meeting egg in the first place. It is not unsusual for the zygote to fail to implant. Therefore, it is more likely for a couple to create a zygote that fails to implant if they are having sex without contraception than if they are having sex with contraception.

    Keith, If I understand correctly, apparently the ALL is saying that women get "hooked" on the pill. Certainly, I would agree that many women rely on the pill to maintain their lifestyles. Of course, you think that's a bad thing, whereas I don't. (Some women like having sex with our husbands, for example.) The word "hooked" implies that women are passive idiots who don't actually affirmatively make decisions but get manipulated by others because they are too stupid to do anything themselves.

    Posted by: Prochoice at June 6, 2009 6:38 AM


    After the birth of my last daughter, the doctor asked "What will it be?" "Do you want an IUD, Depo, Norplant?"
    Posted by: heather at June 5, 2009 11:04 AM

    How crass. Did you ask him if he has a vasectomy?

    Posted by: angel at June 6, 2009 6:39 AM


    Regardless of why other women use the pill, I can only speak for myself and can very honestly say once again that I use the pill solely for medical reasons and am abstinent.

    Nobody objects to this kind of use of The Pill, which here is used to treat a severe medical problem. Even the Church says this is okay, provided a couple abstain from sex at the time when ovulation would normally be likely to happen, because of the abortifacient nature of the Pill.

    Posted by: Louise at June 6, 2009 6:43 AM


    MaryRose,

    You argue that it is appropriate to tell women not to use the pill on the ground that it kills the zygote. But what I am addressing is the focus of THIS year's campaign, which is that women shouldn't use the pill because it kills women. I don't trust their information on health risks to women because I believe they want to get women to stop using the pill for other reasons.

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 6, 2009 6:49 AM


    Some women like having sex with our husbands, for example.

    A great point, if that were the issue here, but it's not. The issue is not the enjoyment of sex, the issue is whether The Pill is harmful to women and whether it's just plain bad to use. I'd suggest that any medication which shuts down an entire (and healthy) system of a woman's body is bad news.

    After the birth of my last daughter, the doctor asked "What will it be?" "Do you want an IUD, Depo, Norplant?"

    It is a sure sign of the insanity of the secularist mentality that only obstetricians and midwives want to put themselves out of business. (Except that I suppose they have abortion to fall back on, don't they?)

    Posted by: Louise at June 6, 2009 6:49 AM


    I don't trust their information on health risks to women because I believe they want to get women to stop using the pill for other reasons.

    Fair enough, but I think the facts will back up their assertion. Of course, those who sell The Pill are not likely to be especially reliable in getting the facts straight.

    I'm interested, why do you think ALL wants women to stop using The Pill? I don't know anything about ALL, but I'd be pretty happy if everyone stopped using all forms of "Birth Control" which, as GK Chesterton pointed out is really No Birth and No Control. Or else, the ony real form of Birth Control is self-control.

    Posted by: Louise at June 6, 2009 6:55 AM


    Prochoice: your statement implies that women who don't take the pill don't like having sex with their husbands. Really, is this what you believe?

    There is lots of evidence out now that not only does the pill harm women physically, it also affects them in ways we could never have considered. It changes the way a woman choses a partner by altering her sense of smell. There is also some evidence that long-time pill users become psychologically affected in a negative way towards pregnancy and childbirth. The current theory being studied is that women on the pill develop a "fear" of pregnancy that borders on disgust.

    Some of the other recent discoveries about the BC pill include:

    1. A study on the role of oral contraceptives in the cause of inflammatory bowel disease, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, found that women who use the pill are one and a half times more likely to develop Crohn's disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC) than women who have not used oral contraceptives.

    The study also suggested that a reduction in the estrogen and progesterone dosages in OCPs over the last two decades has not reduced the relative risk of inflammatory bowel disease in women who use the contraceptive pill.


    2.A team of researchers are Boston University have found that the use of hormonal contraceptives increases the level of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) - a protein produced in the liver that lowers testosterone levels, thereby reducing sexual drive and that this increase was still found in women who had stopped taking the pill for a year.

    3.The study, led by Chang-Woock Lee and Steven Riechman from the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University in College Station, and Mark Newman of the Human Energy Research Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh, found that oral contraceptive use limits muscle gain from strength training in women under 35.

    4. Researchers at the University of Ghent, conducting a long-term study on 1,300 healthy women aged 35 to 55 living in a small town in Belgium, have observed that those women who take oral contraceptives may have more plaque (a hard, fatty deposit) buildup in their arteries.
    The researchers conducted ultrasound examinations of the participants' leg and neck arteries to measure levels of plaque buildup. Every 10 years of oral contraceptive use was correlated with a 20 to 30 percent increase in plaque buildup.

    5. A new study has shown that women are at 100% greater risk of heart attack and stroke with the ‘low-dose” pill, especially for those women with pre-existing medical conditions. A group of researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and the Université de Sherbrooke have examined the cases of contraceptive-related complications in women between 1980 and 2002.

    6. Dr. Chris Kahlenborn, M.D. demonstrated that a woman who takes birth control pills before her first child is born has at least a 40 percent increased risk of developing breast cancer and a woman who has taken the pill for four or more years prior to the birth of her first child has a 72 percent risk factor in developing breast cancer.

    A European study, which looked at 103,000 women aged between 30 and 49 in Norway and Sweden found the risk of developing breast cancer rose by 26% for women who had taken the pill over those who had never used it. Moreover, women who had used the pill for long periods of time increased their risk of breast cancer by 58%. The study also found that women over 45 still using the pill had an increased risk of 144%.

    7. A study by British scientists suggests that taking the Pill can change a woman’s taste in men — to those who are genetically less compatible.

    The research found that the Pill can alter the type of male scent that women find most attractive, which may in turn affect the kind of men they choose as partners. It suggests that the popular form of contraception — used by a quarter of British women aged between 16 and 50 — could have implications for fertility and relationship breakdowns.


    I could go on, but this is tiring. I think you get my point.

    Posted by: angel at June 6, 2009 7:02 AM


    The point has been made that most women use the pill in order to have sex without risk of procreation, which you would classify as a social reason rather than a medical reason. Accepting that analysis for the sake of argument, I guess I would have to say, "So what?" The woman has decided that certain risks are worthwhile in order to have sex without fear of pregnancy. I am sure the ALL disapproves but the point is the woman has made a reasonable cost-benefit analysis.

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 6, 2009 7:05 AM


    Angel says: "Prochoice: your statement implies that women who don't take the pill don't like having sex with their husbands. Really, is this what you believe?"

    Nope! But many women are not going to enjoy having sex with their husbands if they are worried about the risk of pregnancy. So those women take the pill, or other contraception, so that they can have sex with their husbands without that fear.

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 6, 2009 7:08 AM


    Louise, excellent points! You are AWESOME!


    Prochoicer: sticking your head in the sand mentality is . You don't trust researchers who are trying to assess the risks of a medication whose trials were fraudulent and whose push onto the market largely untested were ideology-driven?
    What about the billions of dollars the pharmacueticals have at stake and their blatant ignorance and lack of concern over the effects of this potent drug. It seems nothing is done until significant numbers of women die, as in the case of the patch.
    And we have no idea how many millions of women have had their fertility adversely affected due to pill exposure. How many women go on the pill and it permanently shuts down their fertility? What are the effects on women who now start taking the pill at age 13 and on this drug for 20 or 30 years?

    Posted by: angel at June 6, 2009 7:14 AM


    Accepting that analysis for the sake of argument, I guess I would have to say, "So what?" The woman has decided that certain risks are worthwhile in order to have sex without fear of pregnancy.

    A woman would rather risk death than avoid pregnancy? Now I know the world is nuts.

    I am sure the ALL disapproves but the point is the woman has made a reasonable cost-benefit analysis.

    Probably depends on your definition of "reasonable."

    Posted by: Louise at June 6, 2009 7:17 AM


    I meant: "A woman would rather risk death to avoid pregnancy?

    Posted by: Louise at June 6, 2009 7:18 AM


    Louise says: "I'm interested, why do you think ALL wants women to stop using The Pill? I don't know anything about ALL, but I'd be pretty happy if everyone stopped using all forms of "Birth Control" which, as GK Chesterton pointed out is really No Birth and No Control. Or else, the ony real form of Birth Control is self-control."

    I am not sure I understand what you are asking, but I think that ALL probably shares your views, as they are Roman Catholic organization. They have also outright said the following at this link:

    "Is the pill safe?

    No! If you are not using the pill, don't start. If you are on the pill now, take out the patient package insert that should be with the pills and read it . . .

    What is my best option?

    Some people may try to convince you that the pill is totally without risk. Don't believe it!

    Don't depend on the pill. It could be harmful to you. It could also kill your baby-without you knowing it.

    If you're single, abstinence is always your best choice. It isn't always easy, but it always works. By abstaining from sex, you eliminate the possibility of pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.

    If you are married, be faithful to your spouse, trusting in the Lord and His will.

    Be good to your self. Don't take the pill."

    http://www.all.org/article.php?id=10126

    I am pretty sure they are against ALL birth control (except possibly abstinence and the rhythm method). For religious reasons, they think that even married women should not use any contraception. They are trying to impose that religious views on non-religious women by making secular arguments.

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 6, 2009 7:23 AM


    I'm just trying to work out why women would rather risk death than risk pregnancy. How can the possibility of death (admittedly a fairly low risk) make it possible to enjoy sex? Just to avoid pregnancy! Unreal.

    Angel, any day an angel says I'm "awesome" is a good day. Thanks. :)

    Posted by: Louise at June 6, 2009 7:26 AM


    I said: "I am sure the ALL disapproves but the point is the woman has made a reasonable cost-benefit analysis."

    Louise said "Probably depends on your definition of "reasonable.""

    YES!!! YES!!! This is my point!!!!! This gets to the heart of what I am trying to say!!!!! (Prochoicer gets excited!)

    See, these anti-contraception groups think THEIR definition of a reasonable decision is the right one. They want define the reasonableness for the woman. They want to impose THEIR views of the women's best interest on her.

    THAT'S exactly what I am objecting to!

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 6, 2009 7:28 AM


    Don't be absurd, Prochoicer. Yes, there are religious reasons not to use any form of contraception and I have noted above that all forms of contracetion have a deleterious effect on the common good.

    However, nobody is seeking to impose their values onto you. They are not using "secular" arguments, they are using arguments from natural law i.e. from that natural sense of right and wrong which any human being can reason to. I know a non-religious couple who never used artificial contraception, because they used their natural reason and sense of right and wrong to determine that it would be a bad thing for their relationship.

    There is nothing wrong either with people objecting to artificial contraception, since I have already demonstrated how its effect is opposed to the common good, nor is there anything wrong with religious people using even their religious sense of right and wrong participating in the public sphere. At least, not in a democracy. I'd check that anti-religious stance of yours if I were you - it won't hold up to close scrutiny.

    The purpose of my question was to get you to articulate what you thought ALL's motives were and why that might be objectionable from your POV.

    Posted by: Louise at June 6, 2009 7:34 AM


    They want define the reasonableness for the woman. They want to impose THEIR views of the women's best interest on her.

    THAT'S exactly what I am objecting to!

    I may argue my POV fairly robustly, but I really do understand what you're saying here. So now you just have to show me why it's reasonable for a woman to prefer the (fairly small) probability of death over the somewhat great probability of pregnancy. Given that the sex organs are part of the reproductive system of the body, why should a woman be happier at the possibility of death? How does this enable her to enjoy sex more? Is she simply in denial about the possibility of death? Does it not bother her that her husband is not equally risking death to enjoy fertility-free sex?

    Also, I think you are mistaken about ALL. What makes you think they are imposing their views on women and not just putting forward their POV? IOW, why is it okay for secularists to put forward their POV - everywhere! - and not okay fr ALL and Catholics etc to do the same?

    This strikes me as a double standard and it displeases me greatly.

    Posted by: Louise at June 6, 2009 7:41 AM


    I think I hate contraception even more than I hate abortion.

    Posted by: Louise at June 6, 2009 7:42 AM


    Nope! But many women are not going to enjoy having sex with their husbands if they are worried about the risk of pregnancy. So those women take the pill, or other contraception, so that they can have sex with their husbands without that fear.
    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 6, 2009 7:08 AM

    So how then, has BC liberated women? In order to be "free" she feels she must take a pill with substantial risks not only to her health but to the very way she chooses her husband. It seems that one gain of "freedom" has been achieved at the expense of another.

    Posted by: angel at June 6, 2009 7:44 AM


    so sorry I have to leave just when this is getting interesting....
    try to check in later,
    Godspeed Louise!

    Posted by: angel at June 6, 2009 7:46 AM


    Well, it's late where I am, so I have to go to bed anyway. Goodnight, angel.

    Posted by: Louise at June 6, 2009 7:50 AM


    I think ALL's motives are to get women to stop using contraception for reasons rooted in Roman Catholic belief, such as the belief that contraception will lead to greater promiscuity and adultery, and a belief which you (Louise) alluded to that contraception interferes with the unity between spouses. There is also the anti-abortion stance combined with a belief that the pill is an abortifacient. What I am saying is that I am suspicious of the ALL's claims of concern for women's health because I think they are primarily motivated by these other beliefs.

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 6, 2009 7:52 AM


    Louise,

    I think we are all pretty robust here -- and this IS interesting! As a former pill user, I am happy to answer your questions!

    "So now you just have to show me why it's reasonable for a woman to prefer the (fairly small) probability of death over the somewhat great probability of pregnancy. Given that the sex organs are part of the reproductive system of the body, why should a woman be happier at the possibility of death? How does this enable her to enjoy sex more? Is she simply in denial about the possibility of death? Does it not bother her that her husband is not equally risking death to enjoy fertility-free sex?"

    I certainly read the package insert describing the risks of the pill and discussed the health risks with my doctor when I was on the pill. I was certainly aware that the pill carries some risk of death.

    To my mind, I risk death doing all sorts of things that are part of living an active and joyful life. I risk death when I drive my car (and have indeed come close to death doing so!), play ice hockey, walk around the city, use a chainsaw, etc. etc. etc.

    Now I know that if I have regular sex with my boyfriend (back then) or husband (now) without using some sort of contraception, there is a very high risk that I will be frequently pregnant. In fact, it is quite certain (absent a fertility problem) that I will be frequently pregnant. I do not want to be frequently pregnant. Because I do not want to be frequently pregnant, I would be worried every time I had sex that I would get pregnant when I don't want to be pregnant. I also do not want to be abstinent. I enjoy sex and it is an important part of my relationship with my spouse. When I was single, having sex was an important part of growing up, learning about life, and having a relationship with my boyfriend.

    Is it fair that my boyfriend (then) or husband (now) would not bear the same risks of pregnancy or death as I do? I am not sure that one can think of biology as fair or unfair. It just is. I don't think that means that women are losers who have been taken advantage of whenever we have sex. It just means there is more that goes into our decision.

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 6, 2009 8:12 AM


    Louise, I know you are sleeping! I have to do some errands myself.

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 6, 2009 8:24 AM


    Louise,

    Last comment. I will acknowledge that you are correct that ALL is not imposing their views in the sense of forcing them on anyone (as far as I know -- although I don't know what their legislative or political agenda may be). I do think they are "imposing" their views in the sense of saying, "We know better than women what risks they should or shouldn't take." I also think they are engaging in some fear mongering. But strictly speaking, they are not forcing anyone to do anything. Point taken!

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 6, 2009 8:32 AM


    Pcer, I had to o to bed last night. Pcer, I used to say the SAME THINGS YOU DID! One day my mother's friend, a good Christian woman, preached to me about sex before marriage. She was blunt about the repercussions when it came to fornication. My exact thought was this "Where does this old fashoined fuddy duddy get off telling me what the deal is?" I argued the point that she was being "Old fashioned." She and I are great friends today. She lives in Florida, but the woman was right!

    Posted by: heather at June 6, 2009 8:36 AM


    Sylvia, thank you. I had to learn from the school of hard knocks. Yes. I used to think the same way PCer did. I did so at a great cost to myself. I'm lucky to have escaped STD's, but I didn't escape heartache. Also, PCer, sex before marriage damages a woman's self esteem. Men get hurt too. Please rethink what you are doing. You will never be respected with sex before marriage.

    Posted by: heather at June 6, 2009 8:44 AM


    Pcer, just as someone told me, I am now obligated to tell you. It took me a while to turn my thinking around.

    Posted by: heather at June 6, 2009 8:49 AM


    I appreciate the motivation Heather. I should clarify that I am not currently having sex before marriage. (I am married and have been for a long time.) But I did have premarital sex back in the day.

    Self esteem and respect are awfully subjective things, though, aren't they? I think a lot can go into whether a person has self-esteem and self-respect.

    It has never occurred to me to tie my self-esteem to what I do sexually. Growing up, I was not embarrassed to be the last of my friends to kiss someone or lose my virginity, or to say no to a boy. I staunchly believed it was my choice, so why should I feel bad about being a virgin? By the same token, I was also not embarrassed when I lost my virginity on the first date with my boyfriend. It was something we both wanted to do and I have never once felt bad about it or any of my premarital sexual activity. To this day, I have never once felt bad about how I have conducted my sex life. Not once. I don't think I am a freak of nature, but I do think it is unusual for women in our culture to trust their own decision making ability, especially when it comes to sex.

    Now, sure, I understand that there is a strain in our culture by which women in particular are supposed to be terribly ashamed if they have sex before marriage. I am not sure why I was never affected by that mentality. It was just that I tied my self-esteem to schoolwork and sports, and I always believed that I was competent to make my own decisions. I think the solution to respect and self-esteem issues is to promote a culture of respect for women's competence and intelligence.

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 6, 2009 10:08 AM


    PCer, I'm glad you are married. I only say what I say, because today's young women need to know. They aren't being taught. I believed in the lies of feminists. Take birth control, and have a good time. I don't think about my regrets every day, but there were a few men who I really liked, and I/we ruined the relationship by hopping into bed. I would have happily married one of them, but he didn't want me. Fornication ruins everything! You are quite nice to talk to. It's going to be a beautiful day here today, so I am going to enjoy the sun. We'll pick up later. Hope you have a good one.:]

    Posted by: heather at June 6, 2009 11:22 AM


    You too! We can agree on one thing -- sunshine is good and should be enjoyed!

    Posted by: Prochoicer at June 6, 2009 12:08 PM


    I think the point needs to be made that anyone on hormonal b.c., in a marital relationship or not, is probably getting pregnant on occasion.

    According to the Physician's Desk Reference, 3% of women on the pill report implanted pregnancies. So obviously ovulation occurs with a fair amount of frequency because we have to remember the other two mechanisms by which b.c. operates.

    The difference between b.c. users and those who do not use b.c. is so substantial that it is an undeniable fact that b.c. users are directly responsible for the death of the early human embryo, i.e. a chemical abortion.

    "The minimal endometrial thickness required to maintain a pregnancy ranges from 5 to 13mm,[13] whereas the average endometrial thickness in women on the Pill is only 1.1 mm."

    This particular fact may account for how it has been effective with cases like Ash referred to earlier.

    But how this information makes one more comfortable with enjoying sex, either within a marital relationship or not, is beyond me.

    Of course, many women (and men) are unaware of these facts, hence, ALL educational outreach programs designed to inform the public of every risk associated with the pill.

    Furthermore, arguing that ALL cannot use secular arguments because they subscribe to a particular religious belief is absurd.

    It's like saying, because abortion is a grave sin against God, you cannot also say that it is a human rights violation of the greatest degree.

    Or that because abortion is a sin against God that you cannot also say that it is detrimental to a woman's mental health and often physically scaring, i.e. future ectopic pregnancies, infertility, etc.

    Posted by: Keith (no not that one) at June 6, 2009 12:13 PM


    "We can agree on one thing -- sunshine is good and should be enjoyed! "

    Sorry, but I'm going to have to be the wet blanket here and say that I simply can not agree with this statement about the sun. If it were socially acceptable, I would carry around one of those sun blocking umbrellas that you always see women in like the 30s sporting.

    Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at June 6, 2009 12:31 PM


    Prochoicer,

    If you had read my post in its entirety, you would have seen 2 primary reasons against BC. One is the shoddy manner in which the pharmaceutical companies approached the testing of oral contraceptives, not researching the deaths that occurred in women in the trial.

    That, to me, is highly suspicious and enough in and of itself to discourage the taking of the pill.

    And as for the zygote that dies of failure to implant in a woman who doesn't take the pill, it's considered miscarriage, as there was no intentionally hostile environment created by the woman. When a woman sets out to make her uterus barren and hostile, it is an entirely different thing altogether than a woman unknowingly miscarrying due to a zygote's failure to implant in a non-hostile environment. There's a huge difference.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 6, 2009 1:37 PM


    Women can take the pill uninterrupted for 3 months before having a period. No period, no ovulation. Hence, not abortive.

    The birth control prevents hypothetical eggs from being fertilized. If that qualifies as 'killing' then yes, you have a point.

    "I think the point needs to be made that anyone on hormonal b.c., in a marital relationship or not, is probably getting pregnant on occasion."

    As the partner of a Family Planning OBGYN, I just have to speak-up when I read such falsehoods. Falsehoods so out there that we only call them "loony."

    Doctors do not deny that there are serious risks of heart disease and stroke for women who both smoke and take the pill. But to claim that the pill accelerates aging and/or attrition of a woman's circulatory system is not based on any study I am aware of.

    The most cited study on pill safety is this one.

    The American Life League clearly has a problem with contraception of all kinds. I have no objection to their objection, per se. But they focus their criticism of contraception on the pill and its users. We're supposed to believe that the slogan 'The Pill Kills' means that the pill kills its users (women). But in a subtle double-meaning the campaign also accuses women who use the pill of killing fetuses, by repeating the falsehood that eggs are occasionally fertilized in women to take the pill daily. It is a misleading and dangerous message. And organizations like PP, NAF, ACOG, and PRCH have to work every day to debunk such myths and misconceptions.

    Posted by: Dhalgren at June 6, 2009 3:23 PM


    "We can agree on one thing -- sunshine is good and should be enjoyed! "

    Sorry, but I'm going to have to be the wet blanket here and say that I simply can not agree with this statement about the sun. If it were socially acceptable, I would carry around one of those sun blocking umbrellas that you always see women in like the 30s sporting.
    Posted by: Bobby Bambino at June 6, 2009 12:31 PM


    LOL! It never fails -- I am always given a hard time when I use mine (in front of the local PP)! But after I had a basal cell carcinoma removed, I have to protect myself!

    Posted by: Eileen #2 at June 6, 2009 3:47 PM


    Dhalgren, I can prove you wrong with one question.

    How effective is Hormonal Birth Control at preventing pregnancy?

    Posted by: Keith (no not that one) at June 6, 2009 5:06 PM


    According to the statistics I know, 99.0% That does not mean that pregnancies occur more than 1% and get 'flushed' out. A woman does not test positive until an egg implants and divides, kids.

    Posted by: Dhalgren at June 6, 2009 5:22 PM


    In fact, if taken daily around the same time of day, as directed, the pill is 99.7% effective.

    Posted by: Dhalgren at June 6, 2009 5:24 PM


    Dhalgren,

    You're missing an important point about the pill. At times, breakthrough ovulation occurs even on the pill and results in the creation of a zygote. This is likely to have happened for virtually every woman who has taken the pill. That zygote has a unique DNA signature, as well as life.

    However, PP and the makers of oral contraceptives define pregnancy not as conception, but as implantation. Therefore, they are able to make claims about how often the pill prevents pregnancy based on faulty statistics.

    Embryologists, on the other hand, define pregnancy as the fertilization of the egg by sperm. By an embryologist's definition, countless thousands of children are aborted by unknowing women regularly.

    And based on YOUR definition of pregnant, some women go their entire lives without ever being pregnant despite the fact that they give birth and raise children. It is unusual but not unheard of for a woman's Hcg levels NEVER to read as a positive pregnancy on any pregnancy test on the market.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 6, 2009 6:03 PM


    Dhalgren,

    I have asked this question of numerous posters in the past, and have yet to get an answer. Perhaps you will not disappoint me.

    At conception, a zygote has life. It also has a unique DNA signature. Therefore, scientifically speaking, at conception, we are talking about a living human being.

    So what exactly is it that restricts this living human being from being privileged to the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? All people are humans, but not all humans are people?

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 6, 2009 6:10 PM


    We are indeed dealing with different definitions. I rely on what is called the 'clinical definition of pregnancy,' which requires that the fetal cells implant. Abortion is the removal of cells that have implanted or a fetus. Abortion is really a medically induced miscarriage. A zygote has no chance of growing if it does not attach to the uterine wall.

    While breakthrough ovulation can occur when the pill is not taken regularly or is compromised by drug interactions, implantation is still prevented by the pill's hormone dosage. The way doctors see it, if the zygote or cells did not implant, there was no abortion, because there was no clinically-defined pregnancy. Same with Plan B. It prevents implantation, and scientifically speaking, it not classified as an abortion pill. RU-486 medically removes implanted cells, and is the abortion pill.

    IUD's are 99.9% effective because they prevent implantation. If the loss of zygotes is your concern, a lot more criticism could be directed at IUD's, since they do nothing to stop ovulation. But considering their very low rate of use compared to the pill, I can see why an anti-IUD campaign wouldn't be worth it.

    Doctors are scientists. They decided a very long time ago that pregnancy should be defined when a woman's body is nurturing cells that become a fetus and eventually a independent human. The reason most US states legally allow abortion up to 22 weeks (the end of second trimester) is because it is generally agreed that a fetus could not survive outside the womb in the event of delivery at 22 weeks (one US baby recently put a dent in that conventional wisdom). Nevertheless, these are globally-accepted clinical definitions.

    Embryologists are not at-odds with OBGYNs. They study human life beginning with conception. Abortionists do not deny that abortion is the termination of a human life. The way they see it, it is the termination of a fetus that was unable to survive outside the womb since it was less than 22 weeks old. And I am sure most or all of them would argue that a fetus that cannot survive outside the womb does not have the same rights as defined by our mainly secular founders.

    This is not an easy issue, obviously. But doctors in Europe, Asia, and the Americas have documented attempts by women to terminate their pregnancies over the last 4,500 years (as far back as ancient Egypt, where a recipe for an abortive cocktail was found). And they concluded around the 1890s, that if nothing can be done to stop the demand, then at least medicine can be used to ensure that it occurs in a safe manner, either using drugs or surgery.

    With an estimated 1/3 of American women having an abortion in their lifetimes, it seems clear to doctors that termination services should be a fundamental part of women's healthcare. In fact some doctors, including the late Dr. Tiller, argued that no country can call itself civilized if it does not legally protect a full range of family planning services - from sex and STD education, to birth control, to termination services.

    Posted by: Dhalgren at June 6, 2009 7:13 PM


    Dhalgren,

    So, if a woman is going to kill her child anyway (a faulty argument in itself, but ok), it's necessary to assist her in doing so with minimal risk to her?

    You'll forgive me for disagreeing.

    As for the IUD, I don't support it. I refer as a general rule to hormonal contraceptives when I am attempting to educate those I speak to about birth control.

    If we are allowing the mass murdering of human life that can't survive on its own, based solely on the fact that it's an inconvenience to those it relies on, why not make it consistent and start pulling the plug on everyone who relies on some form of life support for survival?

    Heck, why stop there? A 4 year old's chances at survival are greatly diminished with the absence of guardians. As a group, they rely on the presence of a provider. If they can't support themselves, should they really share in our constitutional rights?

    A "medically induced miscarriage" is an awfully pretty definition for baby killing, considering that miscarriage is by definition unintentional.

    Additionally, I would caution you against using a positive pregnancy test as a definition of pregnancy in the future. It's a poor definition. At with least the clinical definition, which is in fact outdated, you have some substance for backing up your definition.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 6, 2009 7:27 PM


    Prochoicer,

    If you had read my post in its entirety, you would have seen 2 primary reasons against BC. One is the shoddy manner in which the pharmaceutical companies approached the testing of oral contraceptives, not researching the deaths that occurred in women in the trial.

    That, to me, is highly suspicious and enough in and of itself to discourage the taking of the pill.

    And as for the zygote that dies of failure to implant in a woman who doesn't take the pill, it's considered miscarriage, as there was no intentionally hostile environment created by the woman. When a woman sets out to make her uterus barren and hostile, it is an entirely different thing altogether than a woman unknowingly miscarrying due to a zygote's failure to implant in a non-hostile environment. There's a huge difference.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 6, 2009 1:37 PM

    Thank you for your explanation!

    * * * *
    Dhalgren,

    "We are indeed dealing with different definitions. I rely on what is called the 'clinical definition of pregnancy,' which requires that the fetal cells implant. Abortion is the removal of cells that have implanted or a fetus. Abortion is really a medically induced miscarriage. A zygote has no chance of growing if it does not attach to the uterine wall."

    Your "clinical definition of pregnancy" (implantation) was created by the abortion industry in the post Roe v. Wade era and has no basis in real science.

    Posted by: Janet at June 6, 2009 7:44 PM


    Where to start?

    "We are indeed dealing with different definitions. I rely on what is called the 'clinical definition of pregnancy,' which requires that the fetal cells implant."

    Your definition was created by the ACOG in response to the overwhelming evidence that hormonal birth control acts as an abortifacient. It was a wholly political move to obstruct the truth from the pro-life majority. Pregnancy has always been defined as "with child." Saying pregnancy begins at implantation is like saying childhood begins at feeding time. An infant sleeping in a dark room alone is no less human than one that happens to be breastfeeding.

    "Abortion is the removal of cells that have implanted or a fetus."

    Abortion is the intentional destruction of a human life in order to serve some conflicting interest. Usually, unwantedness. I encourage you to go back and study some basic human embryology. Most abortions take place between 8-12 weeks. Heartbeat anyone? Detectable brain waves anyone? Removal of cells, that's a good one.

    "Abortion is really a medically induced miscarriage. A zygote has no chance of growing if it does not attach to the uterine wall."

    And you have no chance of survival if I put you on the moon, under water, or naked on the north pole. An infant has no chance of survival if it is not attached to a breast or bottle at some point by someone else. A two year old has no chance of survival if someone is not watching to make sure they don't run out into the street. Human persons?

    "While breakthrough ovulation can occur when the pill is not taken regularly or is compromised by drug interactions, implantation is still prevented by the pill's hormone dosage."

    Now you're getting it. Most studies put the numbers of what are called "chemical abortions" at many times the rate of "surgical abortions." So b.c. is responsible for more human deaths than abortionists.

    "The way doctors see it, if the zygote or cells did not implant, there was no abortion, because there was no clinically-defined pregnancy."

    You mean the way anti-life doctors see it?

    "IUD's are 99.9% effective because they prevent implantation."

    Ok, so now you admit that breakthrough ovulation and fertilization occurs, but is stopped by a chemical agent.

    "The reason most US states legally allow abortion up to 22 weeks (the end of second trimester) is because it is generally agreed that a fetus could not survive outside the womb in the event of delivery at 22 weeks (one US baby recently put a dent in that conventional wisdom). Nevertheless, these are globally-accepted clinical definitions."

    So when medicine advances over the next few decade and babies are able to survive at, let's say, 11 weeks, are we going to be wrong then or are we wrong now about humanity of the preborn?

    "Abortionists do not deny that abortion is the termination of a human life."

    I've been noticing that new tactic. Looks like the scientific truth is overwhelming them.

    "as defined by our mainly secular founders."

    Listen, I can listen to most of your pro-choice rhetoric, but this is simply delusional.

    "safe manner, either using drugs or surgery."

    It was safe before it was decriminalized. Planned Parenthood said in 1960 that 90% of illegal abortions took place in medical offices by licensed physicians.

    "Back-alley abortions" are largely a myth. Sure some women used coat hangers. You think these women using cow drugs, handguns, or baseball bats today don't know where to get an abortion? There were 50k illegal abortions before Roe. 1.3 million today.

    You think we should decriminalize burglary because it's dangerous too? Sure, it's bad for everyone, the burglar, the home owner, etc., but if we made it legal, no one would get shot.

    Posted by: Keith (no not that one) at June 6, 2009 8:32 PM


    As a teacher of natural fertility regulation I have many problems with the pill.
    The most obvious for me is that it damages fertility, in many cases permanently.
    And too many of the women I see who were on the pill and now want to get pregnant and can't bewail the fact that no-one told them there could be problems.
    I don't think doctors prescribing the pill give women the full picture because they believe what the pill company rep tells them and they don't research the matter for themselves.
    The pill company's agenda is primarily to make money.
    Oh, and by the way, women can have sex and avoid pregnancy by using natural methods and having enough respect for themselves to have sex with men who respect them and are not just using them.

    Posted by: Bernadette Davies at June 6, 2009 8:51 PM


    Keith,

    Well-written.

    The comment about our "mainly secular founders" did make me chuckle.

    And the bit about how "doctors" see it was interesting as well, considering that doctors are more and more commonly pro-life nowadays as opposed to pro-choice.

    Which really to some extent proves the point in and of itself. When those better educated on the scientific facts regarding human life (and the protection thereof) are, primarily, against abortion, it does raise somewhat of a red flag.

    All-in-all, well-written.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 6, 2009 8:52 PM


    Bernadette,

    Thank you for bringing that up! Another point against BC.

    That, and the evidence indicating that testosterone levels may never be what they once were in women who have taken the pill in the past.

    And the increased rates of depression, the lowered libido, and the laziness that it encourages.

    Is it really asking so much to encourage women to learn about how their bodies work, rather than just swallowing a pill to "fix" the "problem" (that is to say, the perfectly working reproductive system).

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 6, 2009 9:01 PM


    some really great posts here by Bernadette Davies and Mary Rose.
    Wonderful.
    It has also been my experience as a NFP teacher that some women on the pill have their fertility damaged.
    I feel that these women have not allowed their bodies to function the way they were meant to. In addition delaying childbearing for years and years also has an adverse affect.


    ...having enough respect for themselves to have sex with men who respect them and are not just using them.
    Posted by: Bernadette Davies at June 6, 2009 8:51 PM

    well said.

    Posted by: angel at June 6, 2009 9:05 PM


    It was safe before it was decriminalized. Planned Parenthood said in 1960 that 90% of illegal abortions took place in medical offices by licensed physicians.

    That is correct. In New York City, roughly between 1946 and 1972, a woman had to get a signed document from a doctor that an abortion was necessary for the sake of her mental well-being. Or abortions were done in secret, in after-hours, undocumented procedures. Who knows how many Hollywood actresses and other celebrities had secret abortions in the 20th century?

    Which raises a key point about people who want to criminalize abortion / ban birth control / erect the Ten Commandments in front of City Hall, etc. They seem to be working toward the goal of having their government reflect their church and/or religious beliefs, of for no other reason to feel better about themselves. In other words, they would feel better about their government, if it reflected their ideology. Ten Commandments on city hall's lawn affirms their belief that the USA is a Cristian nation, and was founded by men who believed in Jesus Christ (I ask, what church did Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson attend? - they were humanists who acknowledged god but never worshiped or prayed).

    It seems that at least one state in the US will criminalize abortion before 2020. But my question is this - is it only to make the residents of that state feel better about themselves? Let's say South Dakota bans the practice sometime in the next decade. Wouldn't the fact that abortions are still happening in Illinois or Iowa bother the residents of SD? Or is the fact that it is banned in their state be enough?

    New York State has passed a law that officially legalizes abortion up to week 22 no matter what the Federal government or other states do. Are we going to have a wave of Christian suicide bombers if and when some states ban terminations?

    In Ireland, abortion is still illegal. But there are doctors who practice for cash. And women who can afford to fly to London get abortions there. If Ireland were SD, would this irk the residents, or would they feel good knowing that no documented abortions are happening within their state? Is this why the resurgence of 'states rights' is so popular. You're willing to concede the rest of the world....just as long as your state is pure and free of that particular immorality.

    Posted by: Dhalgren at June 6, 2009 9:16 PM


    Dhalgren,

    You mistake fighting for the life of the unborn for fighting for a religious belief or to "feel better about [our]selves"... Scientifically speaking, pro-life activists are fighting for the life of children.

    As for fighting for a moral belief, laws are almost all moral restrictions. Why is murder illegal? Why is rape illegal? Because it is immoral to cause that sort of harm to another individual.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 6, 2009 9:26 PM


    Jill,

    Are you familiar with these abortion counters?

    I'm aghast.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 6, 2009 9:34 PM


    http://www.prolife.org.nz/count.htm#blogger

    Forgot to add the link.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 6, 2009 9:34 PM


    "necessary for the sake of her mental well-being."

    You mean like Tiller's records were showing? Mental health = "unable to attend a rock concert"

    "They seem to be working toward the goal of having their government reflect their church and/or religious beliefs..."

    Listen, most pro-lifers are Christians, but believing that equality is based on our common human nature is a completely valid and secular belief to have. Much the same way that you would argue that people are equal and have a right to life despite our differences; race, gender, nationality, or religion, I would argue that equality and the right to life is not based on race, gender, nationality, religion, age, IQ, cognitive abilities, size, or degree of dependency.

    Besides, most abortion advocates subscribe to some sort of spiritual, religious, or philosophical belief system. It's not a matter of religion vs. non-religion. It's a matter of Christianity vs. Humanism, or Christianity vs. Atheism, or Christianity vs. Secularism, or Christianity vs. Liberal Christianity. Everyone is trying to impose their particular belief system on each other.

    If this isn't true, tell me, do you think we should have any laws? And if so, which ones? Should murder be illegal? I mean, a Satanist might tell you that murder is just a religious belief and that you shouldn't impose your beliefs on them.

    "Wouldn't the fact that abortions are still happening in Illinois or Iowa bother the residents of SD? Or is the fact that it is banned in their state be enough?"

    I'll be honest. If my state banned abortion, I would move somewhere else and try and change their laws. I think the perfect solution is a Federal Constitutional Personhood Amendment granting legal rights to all persons regardless of age. Then it would bother me that it was happening in other countries, and I would probably move there. :)

    "New York State has passed a law that officially legalizes abortion up to week 22 no matter what the Federal government or other states do. Are we going to have a wave of Christian suicide bombers if and when some states ban terminations?"

    Two things. First, after a Federal Constitutional Amendment, that law would be invalid. It's like saying one of the states could have kept slavery legal. It just wouldn't happen.

    Second, Christian suicide bombers? Really? Have you ever heard of a Christian suicide bomber? You know, pro-lifers think suicide is immoral also. If abortion is recriminalized will we have a wave of pro-choice suicide bombers? Probably not.

    I'm Irish. ;) Love them.

    Posted by: Keith (no not that one) at June 6, 2009 9:48 PM


    Keith,

    I knew I liked you.
    Irish Catholic, myself.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 6, 2009 9:55 PM


    It is a sure sign of the insanity of the secularist mentality that only obstetricians and midwives want to put themselves out of business. (Except that I suppose they have abortion to fall back on, don't they?)


    Posted by: Louise at June 6, 2009 6:49 AM--------------------------------------------------------------------- yes Louise and angel. I delivered all 3 of my kids at a hospital that also commits abortion. I began to talk to women who aborted there. One woman was a co-worker of mine. She was very pregnant! She left work for about 3 weeks, and she came back with a flat stomach. She told us all "I miscarried." It didn't add up, and the truth came out in time. She'd had an abortion at Metrohealth Medical Center.

    Posted by: heather at June 6, 2009 10:59 PM


    I guess that would make them a PC hospital. Someone recently told me "They've been doing abortions for 30 years."

    Posted by: heather at June 6, 2009 11:01 PM


    Sorry, Anonymous was me! (different 'puter).
    Louise

    Posted by: Louise at June 7, 2009 3:18 AM


    Louise,

    I'm inclined to agree with you, but I'm going to take it a step further.

    The pill, and other hormonal birth control, has managed to turn the biggest gift we can receive into the biggest burden we could be stuck with. That is to say, children have been re-labeled as a burden, a problem, an issue.

    Although coming in second in my opinion is the lazy attitude which the pill has encouraged women to take about understanding their bodies. Do you know how few grown women actually have a clear grasp of how their bodies work? It's extremely frustrating, actually!

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 7, 2009 3:47 AM


    That is to say, children have been re-labeled as a burden, a problem, an issue.

    Agreed, MaryRose. I did not state it explicitly but your point is implicit in my comment, I think.

    E.g. When people ask, I inform them that I have five kids. The derision I receive, either mild or severe, is the consequence of the almost universal view that children are a terrible burden, not a blessing, and that a woman must therefore be mad to have more than a couple.

    I think Bernie and others would be able to get me the facts, but I'm pretty sure the evidence everywhere is that access to contraceptives leads inevitably to a rise in abortion. This is because contraception creates, or at least exacerbates, the idea that some children are unwanted.

    Posted by: Louise at June 7, 2009 3:56 AM


    PCer, I'm genuinely happy that things have worked out well for you and hope you will have a long and happy marriage. This is my hope for all marriages, including ours.

    I do think you have got off rather lightly regarding the fornication, however. Your boyfriend, I'm glad to see, became your husband and that's the best outcome from such a situation. Some of us were not that fortunate. I wish I had known when I was young that love, marriage, sex and procreation are part of a whole and are meant to be integrated.

    Let us look at some things we can know from basic reason. The main foundation of marriage, I hope we can all agree, is the mutual and free consent of the man and woman concerned. So that, in an ideal world, where people keep their word, the simple exchange of promises to be bound in marriage until death, would be enough to create a marriage. This was once the basis even of Christian marriage, I think. However, this is not a perfect world and people do not always keep their word. Of course there are no guarantees in anything, but suppose a society discovers over time that a large number of people desert their new spouse, because they were only after sex and not commitment after all. That society might say, "this common situation is unjust and must be remedied." Enter the need for a public exchange of promises. Further protection might be afforded in the way of legal protection, particularly regarding future children of the union etc. Now, we all know that these days many people desert even their legally married spouse, so why bother? Well, with no-fault divorce it is a bit pointless really, but before that, the law was able to exact some form of compensation for the deserted spouse. When people desert a spouse (I am not speaking of severe situations such as Domestic Violence, however, so we can keep that out of the equation for now) they are throwing someone away like a piece of garbage. Divorce and abortion are pretty much the ultimate in a throw-away society. Throwing away a human being! How vile! Incidentally, I first got that idea from the ancient Greek work for divorce, which is ekballo, "to throw out/away."

    So, I would say that fornication is really ripping someone off. You are getting something very special without any real commitment. Most people who fornicate do not, as a fact, marry the person they lose their virginity with.

    Posted by: Louise at June 7, 2009 4:18 AM


    A woman does not test positive until an egg implants and divides, kids.

    I'd drop the patronising crap, Dhalgren, you are discussing things with intelligent people who know their stuff. They may disagree with you, but they're not dumb. You won't persuade anyone here with that kind of attitude.

    Posted by: Louise at June 7, 2009 4:21 AM


    Louise, great and informative post! Couldn't have said it better!:]

    Posted by: heather at June 7, 2009 7:21 AM


    When people ask, I inform them that I have five kids. The derision I receive, either mild or severe, is the consequence of the almost universal view that children are a terrible burden, not a blessing, and that a woman must therefore be mad to have more than a couple.

    I think people also look down on women who have more than 1.7 children as simply stupid. The attitude is "how could you be so stupid as to get pregnant FIVE friggin times!?"
    There's much tolerance for women who want no children or one child but not much for women who want the "choice" of a larger family.
    Having said that, from my experience with various women's organizations, many many women want more that just two children. Sometimes it's their partners who don't care for children and who sometimes threaten to leave.
    So much for choice and "reproductive freedom"!

    Louise: congrats on your five children and an interesting blog. :)

    Posted by: angel at June 7, 2009 8:12 AM


    Most people who fornicate do not, as a fact, marry the person they lose their virginity with.
    Posted by: Louise at June 7, 2009 4:18 AM

    yes I agree very much with this and it's borne out by social science research.

    I read somewhere too about a prof in a US university who started polling his undergrad classes about this.
    The men stated that they had NO intention of marrying the woman they were currently sleeping and or living with.
    The women on the other hand had a very different perspective. They viewed the living together/sleeping arrangement as a precursor to marriage.
    Of course, who do you think was the most disappointed in the end?

    Multiply this scenario many times and you have men who become accustomed to objectifying women and women who are cynical of men.

    I believe some social scientists refer to this behaviour as practicing for divorce.

    Of course you will find that every liberal commenter on Jill's blog will maintain that they are the exception and that yes they lived together happily ever after, after sleeping around. So we must be wrong, I guess.

    Posted by: angel at June 7, 2009 8:21 AM


    angel, great point. I did know one girl who married a man after sleeping with him on the first date. They became pregnant a month later, and their marriage only lasted for 5 years. This is usually not the norm.

    Posted by: heather at June 7, 2009 8:25 AM


    ....I don't think they would have married had she not become pregnant though.

    Posted by: heather at June 7, 2009 8:26 AM


    I've also heard..There is no need for marriage when people can have sex without it.

    Posted by: heather at June 7, 2009 8:28 AM


    I've also heard..There is no need for marriage when people can have sex without it.
    Posted by: heather at June 7, 2009 8:28 AM

    you know the saying with regard to this:
    why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free

    Posted by: angel at June 7, 2009 8:34 AM


    angel, why yes! LOL!

    Posted by: heather at June 7, 2009 8:52 AM


    I have to ask ALL where they stand on zygotes lost by couple who are trying to have children. Couples trying to get pregnant lose zygotes all the time - much much more than couples on the pill.

    So where's the outrage over these killers? If anything, regular pill use reduces zygote loss!

    Also fewer than 10% of women on the pill insist that their partner wear a condom. I wish it was higher, but that too would lower the incidence of egg fertilization even more.

    Posted by: Dhalgren at June 7, 2009 12:18 PM


    dhalgren: old scenario that doesn't make sense and is irrelevant to the debate.

    Posted by: angel at June 7, 2009 12:28 PM


    Dhalgren,

    I've already addressed this. You're running in circles. Since you failed to catch it last time, let me recap.

    Miscarriage is an unintentional loss of a child, due to no fault of the couple. Compare this to hormonal contraceptives, which intentionally (by the woman) create a barren and hostile environment in the womb for a child. Hormonal contraceptives PURPOSELY starve babies.

    Big difference between a miscarriage due to an unfortunate failure to implant versus taking hormones to starve and flush the zygote.

    That's akin to comparing the 3rd world child who starves because his mother can't provide despite her attempts to the 1st world child who starves because his mother just doesn't care for him.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 7, 2009 1:59 PM


    maryrose, on another thread (regarding murder rates of abortion providers as compared to other professions) you said 'dead is dead' and the reasons for the death were immaterial. here you are saying that the number of unimplanted zygotes is not the problem, but that it's wrong because the woman is preventing implantation "PURPOSELY." saying that the woman's intent is the problem, rather than the absolute number of zygotes that are being killed, sounds related to support for hate-crime style thought policing. I want to be clear here so I'm hoping you can shed some light. which is the higher priority: preventing zygotes (unique individuals) from being created only to die, or ensuring that women have the intention to allow implantation (even if that means a greater total number of dead babies)?

    I can follow the argument on both sides, but I wanted to be absolutely clear about the pro-life position, because if the intent is really what is important then I think that contradicts the 'dead is dead' assertion, and also leaves open some interesting questions about intent-based legislation (ie. hate crimes, ie. thought police).

    I posed this question to maryrose because it seemed like she was invested in this line of thought, but I am interested in anyone's opinion.

    Posted by: wendy at June 7, 2009 4:23 PM


    Wendy,

    First of all, I'd like you to direct me to that quote, as I believe you're quoting Mary and not me. I'm MaryRose. Had it been me, I would be more inclined to phrase it 'murder is murder,' as on that thread (if I'm not mistaken), we were discussing the murder of abortion providers vs. murders of those in other professions.

    The common pro-life line of thinking, and certainly my own, is that the emphasis lies on intent, yes. A woman who intends to get pregnant is open to the concept of life, and certainly is not intentionally starving her progeny. Conversely, a woman who uses hormonal contraceptives is irresponsibly creating life without the intention to care for that life.

    Just as we don't convict for accidental deaths with no intent to harm, we don't fault a woman who loses a child to miscarriage. It is no less tragic, but it is also not foreseeable.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 7, 2009 4:38 PM


    Correction: it's no less tragic for the unborn child. It doesn't, however, do the same sort of damage to the mother as hormonal contraceptives.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 7, 2009 6:39 PM


    Wendy, Dhalgren,

    The loss of early human beings to spontaneous miscarriage is a tragedy and a huge problem that we as pro-lifers should be addressing simply because, if we don't, I'm not sure anyone else will look into it. The reason being, pro-abortion-choicers don't see any tragedy at all. In fact, many women would say they were relieved that the early embryo failed to implant.

    Saying we don't care about spontaneous miscarriage is like saying we don't care about kids with cancer. It's simply not true. We care deeply for all human beings born or preborn. Many of us have taken up causes related to unintentional disease and death. Some haven't. That's okay too. We are all only one person and some have chosen to focus on the intentional and direct taking of human life.

    Intent is important. Our laws should reflect that. Just like no one is prosecuted when their child dies of cancer, so too, no one should be prosecuted when their child dies from miscarriage.

    Posted by: Keith (no not that one) at June 7, 2009 8:55 PM


    MaryRose, I'm Irish Protestant. Shouldn't we be fighting? :)

    Posted by: Keith (no not that one) at June 7, 2009 8:56 PM


    Keith(no not that one),
    Thank you for your thoughtful post about miscarriage. There are some that comment here that have had one. I have had two. My first was heart breaking and compounded by the fact that my Dr. could have cared less. She treated me rudely and told me I would pass a plum sized clot. I delivered that baby into my hand. I was 10 weeks along.

    My next miscarriage went a little better as I had a prolife doctor and nurse who held me and cried with me and said they were so sorry for my loss.

    I am sure it has to go along with the proabort mind set. After all, if it's not a baby that is aborted, it can't be a baby that is miscarried!!

    Posted by: Carla at June 7, 2009 9:03 PM


    Mary Rose, that's true. I used to be a client of PP. I asked them how the Depo worked. The NP told me "You won't ovulate, so you won't get pregnant."....It sounded good to me. I never knew that breakthrough ovulation could occur. And I became pregnant with my son on the pill. I only took it for about 3 months.

    Posted by: heather at June 7, 2009 9:12 PM


    When I read 'Aborting America' by DR. Bernard Nathanson, I believe one of the first issues he addressed was the bc pill. He said that "The pill kills children."

    Posted by: heather at June 7, 2009 9:19 PM


    The same reason I am in favor of birth control as a pro-lifer is the same reason I tell pro-choicers abortion is murder and in no way on par with masturbation: a fertilized egg alone, just like a sperm alone, or an egg alone, is never going to become a human being. It just cannot, and will not. Only an implanted zygote has set on its path to humanity, and I think pro-lifers saying that the pill is an abortificent is tantamount to pro-choicers saying that masturbation is murder. But almost everyone here knows this about me. Pro-lifers and pro-choicers alike, say what you please. My conclusions are my own. I think if a woman wants to have sex, then fine, if she feels she's not at a point in her life that she would actively desire to be pregnant, she should be given every option to avoid that pregnancy. Personally, I can't take the moodiness that comes with hormonal birth control-female hormones don't agree with me (I was also INSANE and sick as a dog when I was pregnant with my daughter, had no problem when I was pregnant with my son) so I opted for a tubal ligation after my son was born and am planning to adopt later in life when we're stable enough to do so. Answer if you like, but everyone knows where I stand, and after much research, I'm not moving.

    Posted by: xalisae at June 7, 2009 10:39 PM


    xalaxie, I understand your thinking. I do. Case in point. There is a seedy street on the west side of town here. The women are out there prostituting. This is where I just don't know. Wouldn't it be better for these women to be on protection than to always be at the abortion clinic? I'd personally like to see them all have tubal ligations. It's a well known crack neighborhood. It's a tough call, because these women won't stop!!!

    Posted by: heather at June 7, 2009 10:55 PM


    Well, this, for some reason, seems to be where the struggle for "reproductive choice" ends with many feminists/pro-choicers. I've talked to them about it, and none will answer me. Doctors charging too much for TL's? So what. PP won't do them? Why should they? They do abortions, don't they? Doctors won't give a TL to a woman who has decided she never wants kids, or has enough at one or two, or the doctor decides it's a lawsuit liability? Where are the cries of "KEEP YOUR LAWS OFF MY BODY!!!!@#!@!!!"? Apparently, if it's just a TL, it's fine for someone else to make a woman's

    Posted by: xalisae at June 7, 2009 11:55 PM


    Well, this, for some reason, seems to be where the struggle for "reproductive choice" ends with many feminists/pro-choicers. I've talked to them about it, and none will answer me. Doctors charging too much for TL's? So what. PP won't do them? Why should they? They do abortions, don't they? Doctors won't give a TL to a woman who has decided she never wants kids, or has enough at one or two, or the doctor decides she's too young and it's a lawsuit liability? Where are the cries of "KEEP YOUR LAWS OFF MY BODY!!!!@#!@!!!"? Apparently, if it's just a TL, it's fine for someone else to make a woman's reproductive choice for her. But Obama help you if you want to say she can't have an abortion!

    (sorry for double post. My son's on my lap and he decided I was finished before I did. :P )

    Posted by: xalisae at June 7, 2009 11:58 PM


    And at the same time, Heather, I think the example you used is quite a bit farther out there than I can accept. Prostitutes? What about women who want to have sex with their husbands but feel like they can't adequately support another child at this point in their lives? I think I should be able to share that with my husband without having to worry so much about another baby when I'm at the end of my rope as it is worrying about the two that I have already, moving, finding a new place to live, getting back into school, getting a part time job, and taking care of the domestic work I already have. And, I don't think I'm a bad person for wanting that, either. I'd never have an abortion. If anything that unbelievable did happen, and I did become pregnant again, I'd be more than happy to try and juggle my life to accomodate that new little one, and I would love that new little boy or girl with all my heart. But if I don't have to, I'd like to avoid the stress of keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table.

    Posted by: xalisae at June 8, 2009 12:15 AM


    xalaxie, you are right. I used the prostitutes, yes they are everywhere, because this is where I struggle with the question. If a woman sells sex for drugs, she's not worried about pregnancy. She will head down to the abortion clinic. I used to know a woman named Kathy. She was struggling with a crack addiction. She'd had 9 abortions and 4 live births. Her 4 kids were adopted out by the state. She's probably in her mid 40s by now, and I haven't seen her in 5 years. I think about her from time to time. I often wonder if bc would have been better. Better yet, a TL??

    Posted by: heather at June 8, 2009 7:35 AM


    I would encourage women to learn how their bodies work.
    Honestly, teaching people the functions of their own bodies is such a hassle, you'd think it was pulling teeth.
    The problem with encouraging TL is that it just increases the myth that children are a burden and a problem, rather than our greatest blessing. I'm not saying it shouldn't have more insurance coverage. I'm just torn about actually encouraging it. Not to mention which, it's less reversible than hormonal contraceptives, at least in most cases.

    I don't know. I'm like a petulant child, stomping her feet and saying, "Why can't you all just be responsible for once?!"

    It *does* seem like teaching NFP in HS classes, rather than teaching how to put a condom on a banana, would do some good...

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 8, 2009 7:39 AM


    And, xalisae,

    I do need to point out, a human without air will never survive. A child without food will never become an adult. When we talk about a zygote that hasn't implanted and is flushed due to HC, we're talking about a child whose mother has starved him/her. No, he'll never become a teenager. But only because he won't live that long; only because he will starve to death. How sad!

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 8, 2009 7:44 AM


    Xalisae,

    I also meant to add a standing ovation for your decision to adopt. Good for you!

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 8, 2009 7:47 AM


    Xalaxie, yes. A standing O to you for adoption!!

    Posted by: heather at June 8, 2009 8:19 AM


    Mary Rose, good morning to you. Maybe you can help with my question. What do you think we ought to do with prostitutes? I heard that there was a program where tubal ligations were offered to them for free. Some women jumped at the chance. I must admit, I'm a little divided on the BC issue for reasons like these. Perhaps you could give me some direction.:]

    Posted by: heather at June 8, 2009 8:35 AM


    If prostitutes met Jesus they would be done prostituting. He is the answer.

    Posted by: Carla at June 8, 2009 8:38 AM


    Carla, that's so true. These street drugs are all the work of Satan too. Carla, I have put it off long enough. I'm planning to get to all of my e-mails today! You will be hearing from me.

    Posted by: heather at June 8, 2009 8:43 AM


    Yay, email from Heather!!
    I have heard of programs where prostitutes are shown the love of Christ and offered help to get out of the "biz." The problem is not the prostitutes. It is the johns and the pimps that prey on vulnerable women and girls.

    Posted by: Carla at June 8, 2009 8:48 AM


    MaryRose, I KNOW how my body works with respect to my reproduction and reproductive organs. However, I also know how my brain works, and because I have my brain full of thoughts, ideas, goals, and various other things besides either spending the rest of my life doing nothing but child rearing or having my bodily functions dictate to me when, where, and how I will have sex with my husband rather than my wants, needs, and desires.

    I'm all for loving and nurturing growing life and even the prospect of that life, but you are taking it to an extreme that is just ludicrous. A woman has ZERO control over whether or not a fertilized egg is flushed naturally from her body, whether or not she is on birth control, and thinking of every menstrual cycle as a lamentable passing of a loved one is verging on the insane, and I refuse to bend my body to that belief. This is so far beyond anything even remotely resembling the potentiality argument it's incredible. An egg without sex is also a wasted life, if you want to go that far, and you should be mandating that I have my TL reversed and procreate every time I am able if you honestly believe that. This isn't a germinating seed being ripped from its developing roots to die, as would be comparable to REAL abortion, this is more like you demanding that everyone who has a seed should be forced to put it in the ground to germinate, whether that seed was due to be planted or not. If what you all make such a HUGE deal about was an actual issue, birth control would be 100% effective, and nobody on birth control would ever, ever, EVER become pregnant.

    Posted by: xalisae at June 8, 2009 9:12 AM


    AND,

    "The problem with encouraging TL is that it just increases the myth that children are a burden and a problem, rather than our greatest blessing."

    I just find that downright INSULTING. As if, because I have a TL, I think of my beloved children and any that might happen to come into being at any time in the future as a burden and a problem...that is just rude to even insinuate. I have my TL because I love the children I already have and want the best possible life for them that I have a TL, and it doesn't mean that if I did somehow become pregnant, if my procedure fails sometime in the future, that I wouldn't love and care for that baby just as much, and want everything for him or her that I do for my daughter and son I have now. Do I think they are a burden? No, and that is preposterous. Do I think that my husband and I should be absolutely certain we can provide for another baby before we have another and take every RESPONSIBLE step to ensure that we can before we do while still making sure our relationship has all the benefits possible to both of us and is as fulfilling as we both require in the meantime? You bet.

    Posted by: xalisae at June 8, 2009 9:20 AM


    *and because I have my brain full of thoughts, etc...I can use things like birth control.

    Ugh. My grammar suffers when I get agitated.

    Posted by: xalisae at June 8, 2009 9:43 AM


    I

    Posted by: Lyssie at June 8, 2009 12:08 PM


    Xalisae,

    I think you misunderstood me.

    What I was trying to say was that TLs being pushed in drs offices make women as a whole feel as though there is something wrong with having children. After I had my FIRST, I was asked by the dr if it was going to be the pill, the shot, the iud, or a TL. I kid you not. How does that show women that there is value in childbearing?

    I'm not saying that every woman who gets a tubal is saying that children are a burden. I am saying that as a culture, when we push and promote everything except families, we encourage women to believe that children are holding them back in some way. There are many many different respects in which we do this, but BC is one of the most obvious ones.

    As for knowing your body but not wanting to let that dictate when you have sex, I think you would be surprised at how it, in fact, strengthens a relationship. We don't assert our willpower often enough in this country. I suppose it's a result of financial security to some extent.

    My husband and I were each other's firsts. That said, we were sexually active before marriage. We actually lived together first. And I realize now that the attitude I portrayed during those years when we used hormonal contraceptives created the issues we ran into when we started using NFP. He felt...not so much like he *deserved* sex all the time, but like he *needed* it. He didn't pressure me, but I felt the need to give in, anyway. We talked a lot about it, and we realized that we hadn't exerted our wills almost at all since that first time (we *had* insisted on waiting until we were both 18, at least). Whenever either of us felt like it, we had sex.

    There is something beautiful and freeing in saying "Not tonight. We could get pregnant" and knowing that you both absolutely respect the other for his/herself and not for their body.

    I'm not saying this is the only way, but having used condoms and having used the pill, I can honestly say that in my opinion, it is by far the best way.

    Please understand that my intent is not to insult, and I wasn't trying to tell you that you were treating children as a burden. I was trying to express the impact on a larger scale.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 8, 2009 2:15 PM


    Heather,

    Prostitution is a problem, and in a perfect world, of course, it wouldn't be.

    The only answer I can honestly bring to you is this: it seems like saying 'prostitutes should get TLs' is treating them as bodies without any unique personality. This is a group of people who need that less than just about any other group I can think of. Everyone deserves to have their humanity addressed.

    I think the best that we can do for prostitutes is to support charities and groups that work to get them out of their 'lot in life'... and perhaps, to do some sidewalk ministry, although I would encourage anyone considering sidewalk ministry to educate themselves on a few things: 1.The area & group they're ministering to, and the dangers involved 2.The Bible and 3.Patience and the virtue of seeing everyone as an individual person.

    I hope that made sense...

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 8, 2009 2:21 PM


    I've talked to many, MANY pc'ers who have told me that they were outrightly refused a TL by healthcare providers. If I had heard that they were pushed before, I wouldn't have brought it up as a point. As far as other means of BC after having given birth, that's just routine, becuase it's hard on a woman's body to get pregnant soon after giving birth. If you felt it wasn't a concern of yours, or that you were perfectly comfortable taking the abstinence route, then that kind of offer can be ignored, but keep in mind the doctor is just trying to look out for their patient, and I'm certain most other people probably don't want to worry about becoming pregnant so soon after having a baby AND wouldn't mind enjoying their partner physically again after ditching a giant pregnant belly.

    "Whenever either of us felt like it, we had sex." Personally, I don't find anything wrong with that, and I enjoy the freedom of not having to worry about pregnancy. Also, no offense, but "Not tonight, we might get pregnant." sounds more like an excuse to me than anything. I have no problem telling my husband I'd rather not, at any time, for any reason, including just, "Nah. I don't feel like it." Just as I enjoy the freedom I have to partake in such things whenever I like without worry because of BC, I also have the freedom to say no whenever I like as well, no excuses necessary. Sometimes I just like to enjoy his company. And I know that if I say no for a reason of MY choosing rather than a biological excuse, any compliance is attributed to respect for me directly, no extenuating circumstances required.

    Willpower in a new/unstable relationship would be key, especially about stuff like this. However, I don't understand the need within a long-term and stable arrangement like a marriage. I believe in moderation, for certain, but unnecessary self-denial doesn't really make much sense to me.

    You might have a point about encouraging BC over families. I'm a poor person to consult about such matters, because I've absolutely never been the kind of person to let anyone else's opinion shape my world in any way, otherwise I wouldn't have my daughter right now. I think this is more a need to foster independent thinking skills in our daughters than to condemn BC. Just as women inclined to abort shouldn't believe the hype about babies ruining lives, women who prefer to have many children shouldn't swallow the hype of BC being a necessity, because it just isn't for some people. I don't want anyone saying I CAN'T have BC, but at the same time, I fully understand that nobody should ever tell anyone else they absolutely MUST USE BC.

    Sorry if this doesn't make much sense, I'm practically delirious from lack of sleep. Summer Break has our family on a topsy-turvey schedule of craziness. >_

    Posted by: xalisae at June 8, 2009 2:50 PM


    Xalisae,

    I know what you mean about being delirious over sleep! I was up at 4 this morning and haven't gotten a chance to rest yet... Ugh.

    "Not tonight, we might get pregnant," has never been an excuse for us. I do tell my husband when I don't feel like it. And he has no interest, quite honestly, when I'm not into it. But the fact of the matter is, it's really nice to occasionally exert willpower over desire with your partner. It's nice sometimes to cuddle and enjoy each other's presence when you *want* sex without actually having sex. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true.

    Of course, I will openly admit to the fact that I also have faith-based reasons for choosing NFP.

    The other problem with a TL is its permanence. It works for you, but for us (for example), we have a son and are pregnant with our second, and we intend to have more. Between pregnancies, though, we use NFP. TLs wouldn't work in this scenario, and hormonal BC wouldn't be morally responsible. So that leaves condoms and NFP.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 8, 2009 5:07 PM


    Mary Rose, wishing you a safe pregnancy! Congratulations!

    Posted by: heather at June 8, 2009 7:21 PM


    Heather,
    Thanks! =)
    Hope your day's going well.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 8, 2009 7:24 PM


    I just find that downright INSULTING. As if, because I have a TL, I think of my beloved children and any that might happen to come into being at any time in the future as a burden and a problem...that is just rude to even insinuate.

    Xalisae,

    The problem is that you are only considering your own reactions. Nobody is trying to say that *you* will think your children are a burden, but the overall effect of sterilisations in the populace is the same as that of contraception - the overall attitude becomes anti-child. we are looking at the effect of these things on the common good.

    Angel, re the whole "you're so dumb getting pregnant five times" thing - some choices are more equal than others.

    Indeed, as far as Feminism goes, some women are more equal than others.

    Also, it is true that many women would like to have had more children, but their husbands didn't want to OR they did not feel generally supported enough by society. So indeed, so much for "choice."

    Posted by: Louise at June 8, 2009 8:33 PM


    I cannot believe there are people commenting here who cannot see the moral difference between natural miscarriage and abortion. In fact, I find it so hard to believe, I just think it's a ploy.

    Many women treat their miscarriages as a fairly private thing and that's obviously fine, but one of my firends had a miscarriage and on the baby's due date, we all went to Mass with my friend and her family in solidarity with their grief.

    Can't get much more pro-life than that.

    Posted by: Louise at June 8, 2009 8:37 PM


    Louise,

    Beautiful point about "choice." My husband and I decided to get pregnant when our son was 8mos old. The first reaction I got when we started to tell people? "How did you let that happen?" This was from a good friend. It floored me, and my husband (bless him) responded with a bit of a snarky comment, "Well, I put my..." which changed her attitude quickly. But it did affect the way I approached telling friends and family after that...

    This is the sort of choice we get: You get to space your families out (2-3 years minimum, 10 years maximum), 2 children (3 max) per household, and NARAL help you if you choose to do it any differently.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 8, 2009 8:44 PM


    Mary Rose, I became pregnant back to back as well. Same reaction! It was not intentional, but abortion was not an option for me. My girlfriend has 5, and she is subjected to rude questions all the time.

    Posted by: heather at June 8, 2009 9:09 PM


    What I was trying to say was that TLs being pushed in drs offices make women as a whole feel as though there is something wrong with having children. After I had my FIRST, I was asked by the dr if it was going to be the pill, the shot, the iud, or a TL. I kid you not. How does that show women that there is value in childbearing?

    While I disagree with that doctor's bedside manner, he or she was trying to make a point about the value of child 'spacing.' Studies have shown that having children two years apart instead of one have less chance of developmental, physical, or mental health problems. I don't think the doctor was trying to end your reproductive life, but rather help you plan for your next child with a healthy 'space' in-between the births.

    Doctors should never assume when a women is 'finished' producing children. They just need to offer the best advice to produce the healthiest children possible, while keeping women healthy, too.

    Posted by: Dhalgren at June 8, 2009 9:54 PM


    Dhalgren,

    I have chosen, intentionally, to space my children 18 mos apart. Would you call me less of a parent for my decision?

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 8, 2009 10:21 PM


    And Dhalgren,

    Although I would agree that most doctors would mean it in the way you described (mine included), in this case I was seeing a different dr than my usual OB, and the undertone was quite clearly, "You're done now. Find a final solution."

    But I realize that in this *particular* case, the dr was being extreme.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 8, 2009 10:25 PM


    Being the oldest of 6 in AR was kinda hard, too. And when my youngest siblings came along, it was typical for people to assume that I was their mother, rather than my mom, which to me was kind of presumptuous and insulting. And then to clarify and say that yes, they all belong to my parents, yes, we're all from the same marriage, we got mostly amazement, but every once in awhile was a snub, not that it bothered us. But it's always been easy for me to say, "Oh, no, I don't do that kind of thing." and move on. We liked our large family, and to hell with anyone else. I absolutely ADORE large families, and if we ever obtain the means to support one, I might like to have one eventually. But I also like my small family, and think it's just right at this time in my life FOR ME, and I find this anti-birth control movement disturbing, because it really would take away my rights, and I'm NOT killing anyone.

    There is a profound difference between a miscarriage and an abortion, but if you can't possibly even KNOW you are pregnant if it is the passage of a fertilized egg, it's a purely hypothetical pregnancy, and I'm not going to mourn hypotheticals or all I'd ever do was mourn.

    Posted by: xalisae at June 8, 2009 10:42 PM


    Xalisae,

    See, the difference between abortion and miscarriage is that abortion is a result of an intentional action by the mother. This is why I define hormonal BC as abortive.

    I have no problem with your TL. In fact, I have no problem with TLs being offered on health insurance. I would far rather that than hormonal BC. However, I worry that the shift would encourage the idea that children are burdens, as I've stated. Again, as a cultural thing.

    I took the pill for 2 years, and I mourn those 'hypothetical' pregnancies. Mostly because I'm quite certain I aborted at least one without knowledge of it. Not so hypothetical. And while they may be hypothetical in a *way* to me, I'm certain they were all too real to those babies. And, to God.

    I wasn't aware of the fact that breakthrough ovulation could result in the starvation and flushing of a zygote. I wish I had been, but I also wonder if, in my arrogance, I would have continued to take the pill. I was young and quite foolish.

    Why do I discuss HBC so much? Because it isn't discussed enough. Not honestly and openly. It took me 2 years to figure out what it did! And then, I was just lucky enough to catch an article about it. Otherwise, who knows? I could have been on BC for much much longer...

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 8, 2009 10:54 PM


    But that is being disingenuous. A person taking birth control's goal is not to knowingly pass a fertilized egg, it's to keep the egg from being released in the first place. So, on that point I agree, intention makes all the difference, and I just don't see the intention you are talking about being there.

    Posted by: xalisae at June 9, 2009 12:43 AM


    Xalisae,

    Unfortunately, I feel like most women don't understand that breakthrough fertilization can occur and result in the flushing of that baby. It doesn't make the child any less dead, though. It doesn't undo the fact that the woman took a pill to make her womb barren.

    Do I fault most women for this? No. I feel like they don't usually understand. Do think they should know, and do I think they should make different decisions? Absolutely. That's why I talk about it. I'm all about getting the information out. You disagree, what am I going to do? I'm not going to come across the monitor and stop you. Go ahead and do what you're going to do. But at least KNOW what you're doing.

    That's probably my biggest regret about my past: not researching what I was doing thoroughly enough.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 9, 2009 1:02 AM


    Well, this is nothing new. I disagree with many other pro-lifers on the point of where a life starts and must be protected...I just think that since so many are passed naturally anyway, there is no active/knowing/willing life ending going on, and breakthrough ovulation is rare anyway, trying to stop a practice like hormonal birth control is unrealistic and trivial. Just like pro-choicers cite rape as a reason for abortion, when rape is a rare case in the first place, I don't think breakthrough ovulation is a reason to end BC and qualify it as murder.

    How can you starve someone to death that has never been fed, and doesn't have a mouth even if you wanted to feed them? I just don't see your argument. I'm sorry I don't, but this, to me, is just taking things too far, and unfortunately I feel it does a great disservice to the pro-life cause. But I can't change your view anymore than you can change mine, and no more than either of us can will every pro-choice person into being pro-life.

    Have a good night, I'm off to kill moths. I wish I did't have to, I hate to kill anything, I'm just unreasonably phobic of such creatures and I have things to do in the rooms in which they've taken up residence. Wish me luck. ;_;

    Posted by: xalisae at June 9, 2009 2:01 AM


    Xalisae,

    I just killed one that was landing on my arm. I was sad to do it, but it's quite difficult to move them.

    Your arguments don't go without validation, and I'm not seeking to legally qualify BC as murder. I do disagree with you, but understand your stance. And honestly, although I feel that it *needs* to be recognized and discussed, I also feel that it's much more important to address the issue of abortion itself.

    Out of curiosity, have you read John Paul II's Theology of the Body?

    I've enjoyed debating this with you. I hope that we are able to continue discussing other such subjects in the future.

    Have a lovely night/morning, and good luck getting your work done.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 9, 2009 2:12 AM


    AH! I love Theology of the Body, but I meant to refer to Pope Urban (X?)'s Humanae Vitae. Darnit.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 9, 2009 2:17 AM


    DARNIT! Bedtime! Pope PAUL VI's Humanae Vitae.

    I'm so late I'm getting all bungled up!

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 9, 2009 2:18 AM


    Thank you for the recommendation, MaryRose. I'm reading it now, and I have to say that I already at the very least enjoy the obvious amount of thought this man has given to these matters.

    Posted by: xalisae at June 9, 2009 7:57 AM


    Oops. Anonymous above was me.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 9, 2009 2:24 PM


    But that is being disingenuous. A person taking birth control's goal is not to knowingly pass a fertilized egg, it's to keep the egg from being released in the first place. So, on that point I agree, intention makes all the difference, and I just don't see the intention you are talking about being there.

    Not all women believe the baby they're aborting is a baby, but that doesn't mean the act isn't objectively wrong.

    To take the Pill is objectively to risk the death of another human being, though small, and one's own child, at that. This is objectively wrong.

    If a woman knows that the Pill carries a significant risk of killing a zygote, then she is also culpable if it happens. If she doesn't know, then she is not culpable. In either case, her actions are responsible for any death that occurs. As opposed to a natural miscarriage, which is unfortunate, but nobody is to blame.

    I don't see the relevance of a zygote not having a mouth. Do zygotes not grow? How can they grow if they are not "fed"?

    Posted by: Louise at June 9, 2009 8:21 PM


    Xalisae, if I were not sufficiently an independent thinker I would not have five children by choice.

    Independent thinking has little to do with the kind of thing I am speaking of. The common good is objectively damaged with the widespread use of contraception. That is an objective reality which is merely *illustrated* by the personal examples I have cited. The objective reality is that so many people in the West are content enough with abortion on demand largely due to the reinforcement of the idea of children as burdens by widespread use of contraception.

    Posted by: Louise at June 9, 2009 8:26 PM


    Xalisae,
    I'm curious about your reactions once you've finished reading Humanae Vitae. I'd love to discuss it with you!

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 9, 2009 9:43 PM


    Doctors should never assume when a women is 'finished' producing children. They just need to offer the best advice to produce the healthiest children possible, while keeping women healthy, too.

    Of course, the main thing children need is a mother and father who are married, because this is by far the thing which best helps children to be healthy. I wonder how many doctors are keen to pass on this kind of advice to post-partem women.

    Doctors, I submit, are selective in very interesting ways when it comes to handing out advice.

    Posted by: Louise at June 10, 2009 12:16 AM


    Xalisae, if I were not sufficiently an independent thinker I would not have five children by choice.

    Very good...maybe you will be able to see my point, then. Just as I do not fault YOU for YOUR family size, nor do I fault my mother for deciding 6 was the number she needed at minimum, so also should eitehr of you not fault me for deciding that 2 biological children is my limit, and acting accordingly. Can you understand that what is good for you might not be acceptable for me, and vice versa? I can, hence my support of birth control.

    I don't see the relevance of a zygote not having a mouth. Do zygotes not grow? How can they grow if they are not "fed"?

    Posted by: Louise at June 9, 2009 8:21 PM

    My point is, how can they be fed if there is no means to deliver sustinance to them? A zygote which fails to implant for any reason-if you want to choose to take it as far as to see it as a death, personally, I cannot-would be akin to a person starving to death that has no mouth, no means to be fed. It is not my fault they have no mouth, because nobody can will another person to have or not have a mouth, it simply is so or is not. Not to mention, I would have to have some form of psychic powers to even know of that "person's" existence in the first place, which is absurd all around. No, I do not have magical powers that allow me to dictate how precisely someone else's body is formed, nor do I have zygote radar that allows to me instantly know when one of my eggs has been fertilized. The premise you are operating on is verging on the insane.

    Posted by: xalisae at June 10, 2009 1:15 AM


    Xalisae,

    Honestly, I've thought we've debated quite pleasantly for the most part, but is it necessary to insult Louise's sanity?

    Just because she doesn't KNOW a zygote is formed doesn't dictate whether or not that zygote has formed, and has life.

    And I don't believe anyone here is faulting you for choosing to stop at two. No one is saying you should be having 4 or 6 or 10.

    I'm curious, did you ever do the research into the original drug trials of "the pill"?

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/pill/peopleevents/e_puertorico.html

    "Although three women died while participating in the trials, no investigation was conducted to see if the Pill had caused the young women's deaths."

    I think this should probably be explored, don't you agree?

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 10, 2009 4:44 PM


    Can you understand that what is good for you might not be acceptable for me, and vice versa? I can, hence my support of birth control.

    It's none of my business how many children other people have. I also would have no idea that you use contraception, except that you ventured to mention it. I think there are serious issues with using the Pill etc not least of which is that wherever contraception is used, abortion rates go up, not down. As a prolifer, that should give you some reason to reconsider your support for contraception.

    Given that women can use NFP to space their children at the same rate of success as The Pill, I am not advocating that you or anyone else have more babies than you can cope with.

    As for zygotes being "fed". They are "fed" if they implant, otherwise not. I think that's the point.

    Posted by: Louise at June 10, 2009 8:17 PM


    Well, I'm sorry about the "insanity" thing, but scientifically, I think the premise itself is a bit much, to say the least.

    "Given that women can use NFP to space their children at the same rate of success as The Pill, I am not advocating that you or anyone else have more babies than you can cope with."

    No, but you are suggesting I and my husband tailor our needs, wants, and desires to my biological clock when, because of the various forms of birth control out there, that isn't necessary. Some would argue it's better for one's health to do nothing but exercise, grow your own food, and stop eating meat. However, because you can take care of yourself within your own schedule, and help your diet out with things like vitamins, advanced healthcare, etc., living like that isn't NECESSARY to be healthy. Personally, I enjoy modern science and medicine, and if it helps me live my life more comfortably, and more within the confines of what I want, then by all means I'm going to take advantage of that within reason.

    However, you're right about us all doing our own things within our own lives. As long as none of you are actively advocating something like making birth control illegal, I'm fine with whatever it is you have to say. However, calling the pill an abortificent in tandem with the fact that we are all here on this blog because we would like to see abortion outlawed...that gives me a lot of cause for concern on my part.

    (I have used hormonal BC in the past. I don't anymore, because now I'm permanently infertile because of a tubal ligation, but I still want it available to other people who feel the need for it. Especially my mom who takes it even though her tubes are tied as well, because she has endometriosis)

    Posted by: xalisae at June 11, 2009 1:35 AM


    calling the pill an abortificent in tandem with the fact that we are all here on this blog because we would like to see abortion outlawed...that gives me a lot of cause for concern on my part.

    First off, nobody would be opposed to the Pill being prescribed for endometriosis, if it's the best medication for endometriosis etc.

    Secondly the Pill ought to be illegal, because it *is* abortifacient, even the instructions say as much. It cannot be made illegal at the present time without a serious threat being made to the common good. If people tried to make the pill and other contraceptives illegal, blood would run in the streets, in spite of the fact that most people believe they are nice as pie. I don't believe most people are nice as pie when the right buttons are pushed, so I don't advocate the pushing of those buttons.

    You haven't answered my objections regarding the deleterious effect on the common good of the use of contraceptives.

    NFP is certainly possible and probably no more difficult to handle than any other aspect of our sexuality. Unless of course, you mean to try to suggest that most married couples using contraception are having sex more often than once or twice a week.

    Posted by: Louise at June 11, 2009 2:38 AM


    Louise: Unless of course, you mean to try to suggest that most married couples using contraception are having sex more often than once or twice a week.

    But don't you see, it's about the freedom to be able to have sex whenever.

    Honestly, the freedom to do what you 'want' whenever you want is so overrated. We lose sight of what we really want, by focusing too much on the tangible.

    Xalisae,

    Waiting to hear back on your thoughts about those shoddy trials. We're still using those drugs in HBC. Doesn't raise a red flag? Nothing?

    As for calling the bill abortificant, it creates a state in your uterus which flushes human life from the womb. How is that not abortificant? Not intentional on the part of most women (again, this is why we have to talk about it!) but no less abortive.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 11, 2009 4:26 AM


    *pill

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 11, 2009 4:35 AM


    "Secondly the Pill ought to be illegal, because it *is* abortifacient, even the instructions say as much. It cannot be made illegal at the present time without a serious threat being made to the common good."

    According to your definition. My sources say otherwise. "Both the American Fertility Society and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology consider conception to occur at the time of implantation. According to their definition, IUDs, OCs, and Norplant are clearly not abortifacient." I'm sorry, but to me, you kinda have to be pregnant before an abortion can occur. I defy you to try and create policy that will run peoples' lives based on your supposition that someone could potentially become pregnant. It's asinine. What next? Illegal sex based on menstrual cycles? Give me a break.

    I don't believe that the usage of contraceptives is some sort of terrible thing that is destroying society. Sorry, but my morals are not related to how many children I desire to have in my lifetime. I'm not going to attempt to blame the shameful state of many peoples' moral compasses on a pill, or surgery, or IUD. I believe in individuals being responsible for their individual actions or lack thereof. Birth control is not mind control, believe it or not. Maybe you let YOUR reproduction have that much influence over your entire life, I do not.

    "NFP is certainly possible and probably no more difficult to handle than any other aspect of our sexuality. Unless of course, you mean to try to suggest that most married couples using contraception are having sex more often than once or twice a week."

    How's this for "handling": I don't have to do a freaking thing. I can get it on whenever I want, no questions asked, no pill/device/thermometers needed, and IT'S GREAT. I like not having to handle anything, not having to worry about what time of the month it is, where the condoms are, if we have any left, did I take my pill today, whatever. He's my husband, for goodness sake, I should be allowed to! I swear, you people were having a tantrum at us before we were married, and now we're married and you STILL are? I'm sorry, should I have to check MY watch or YOURS before I have sex with my husband?! And not that it's anyone's business, but fyi, yeah, my husband and I have sex WAY more than twice a week. What of it?

    Posted by: xalisae at June 11, 2009 6:26 AM


    "Honestly, the freedom to do what you 'want' whenever you want is so overrated. We lose sight of what we really want, by focusing too much on the tangible."

    I enjoy the freedom to do what I want whenever I want (within reason, of course). That's why I love America so much. As a matter of fact, I think America could stand to be a little MORE free about some things. As long as you remember that you should seek moderation in all things, I've found you tend to stay ok on your perspective. You just have to remember that YOUR moderation is not necessarily that guy over there's idea of moderation. But unless you're doing whatever it is you're trying to moderate together, you should be fine on your own, and even if it is joint activity, there's always compromise.

    "Waiting to hear back on your thoughts about those shoddy trials. We're still using those drugs in HBC. Doesn't raise a red flag? Nothing?"

    And in that respect, birth control is no different than just about any other pharmaceutical on the market today. Have you seen ANY medication adverts lately? The dangers go on for miles. But, I still think people should have the right to take the chance if they want to. Back to that freedom thing again...I also think that things like seatbelt laws aren't right, either. If people are willing to take the chance on something that isn't going to hurt anyone but themselves, they should be allowed to do it.

    Posted by: xalisae at June 11, 2009 6:38 AM


    Xalisae,

    We're not talking about a list of side effects or dangers. We're talking about 3 dead women with absolutely 0 investigation into their deaths. We're talking about a man who was willing to put the pill on the market as 100% effective despite crippling side effects. Thank goodness his female counterpart had some sense.

    How can women KNOW what they're taking a chance on when there wasn't an investigation? We don't know why those women died. It could've been nothing to do with the pill, and it could've been completely to do with the pill.

    Read the article. We're talking about PBS, not some conservatively-biased group. We're talking about the straight facts here, and no clinical trials nowadays would be remotely sufficient the way they were conducted with the pill.

    Clearly, you're not convinced that there's any merit in self-control, so I'm not going to try to argue that. I don't care what you do or do not with your TL and your husband so enjoy.

    As for not believing that society's moral corruptness has anything to do with HBC, how about the objectification of women that stemmed directly from the widespread availability of sex whenever we want? How about the attitude nowadays that our bodies are reduced to functioning machines? How about the lowered value of children? How about the higher and higher numbers of sexually active teens? How about the spreading of STDs? The attitude that one night stands are perfectly normal? The expectation that college is a period of time for sexual experimentation? The complete lack of knowledge among women about how their own bodies work? All of these either are or have implications of the moral corrupting of society. And all of them stem in one way or another from the widespread use of HBC. That took me, 5 minutes, maybe?

    Your definition of pregnancy is outdated. Don't drink the Kool Aid. Pregnancy isn't actually defined by The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. It is, in reality, defined by Our Creator. And if you think ANY human life is insignificant to Him, I would encourage you to re-read any one of the gospels.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 11, 2009 1:58 PM


    absolutely *no investigation. Pardon my typo there.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 11, 2009 2:00 PM


    Right with you on all that MaryRose.

    How's this for "handling": I don't have to do a freaking thing.

    What rubbish! I wasn't speaking of merely physical things, there are all sorts of things we have to handle sexually - emotions, for example.

    I can get it on whenever I want, no questions asked, no pill/device/thermometers needed, and IT'S GREAT.

    Good for you - knock yourself out.

    He's my husband, for goodness sake, I should be allowed to!

    I never said you weren't *allowed* to have sex with your husband.

    I swear, you people were having a tantrum at us before we were married, and now we're married and you STILL are?

    For the last time, Xalisae, this is not about you and your precious sex organs, it's about the common good. MaryRose asks all the right questions. I'd be delighted if you would comment on those instead of giving us the gory details of your completely unintersting (to me) sex life. Ta.

    Posted by: Louise at June 11, 2009 11:39 PM


    Great article. This sentence told me all I needed to know, however:

    "At the time, most women relied on sterilization or abortion to limit their family size, and the Pill was a welcome alternative."

    The pill > abortion. If neither of you can see that YOU ARE BEING COUNTER PRODUCTIVE TO OUR MOVEMENT THROUGH YOUR OPPOSITION TO BIRTH CONTROL, whatever. Once abortion itself is outlawed, don't expect me to be marching with you any longer.

    Not to mention, the rest of the point you bring up is entirely moot. It's like comparing bloodletting to a transfusion. The pill in use today is LOW DOSE, of a completely different type, and women are well aware of the risks involved.

    But now, I want to shift the focus to a very important cause. There are dangerous medical treatments being used today without peoples' full knowledge, and they sometimes even kill people! And all this just so they can try to avoid the effects of a disease thousands of people are living with that don't seek treatment. "Even though many people are aware of the terrible side effects, such as nausea, weakness and loss of hair, how many really understand that the drugs used for chemotherapy are toxins, deadly poisons that kill all your cells, not just cancer? According to one doctor regarding my mother's case, it is not uncommon for patients to die from chemotherapy." LET'S STOP CHEMOTHERAPY!! Oh, wait, there's no more effective alternative, and thousands upon thousands of people will die if we do? Can't we just take their temperature, teach them to live their lives around the cancer, and pray it gets cured instead? Ha.

    "Clearly, you're not convinced that there's any merit in self-control, so I'm not going to try to argue that. I don't care what you do or do not with your TL and your husband so enjoy."

    Self-discipline and self-control are paramount in a civilized society. I'm a republican, leaning libertarian, and as such I feel that more responsibility should rest with individuals concerning their actions with less emphasis on legislation, and that philosophy has a cornerstone of self-control. I'm pro-life for that reason, as well. Sex is a weighty decision for many reasons, and I never said it wasn't, but not everyone is going to treat it in such a manner, WITH OR WITHOUT CONTRACEPTION. Contraception isn't causing these problems, it is exactly a lack of self-control, reason, logic, and direction. But getting rid of the pill isn't going to magically bring these things about. Proper instruction from a young age, fostering self-respect in our youth, and teaching young people to reject a culture that views sex as inconsequential is what is going to do it, and you spending all your time attacking a red herring isn't helping.

    I think I have quite a bit. It's not as though I avoid my other obligations and do nothing but have sex with my husband. Your perspective is skewed. And my problem is that, if it wasn't a TL and it was the pill instead, you WOULD have an objection to it, and I don't think anyone should have any say in anyone's chosen method of conception prevention. This is where you cross the line from wanting to save babies and get into wanting to control other peoples' sex lives based on YOUR religious values and beliefs, and I have a HUGE problem with that.

    "As for not believing that society's moral corruptness has anything to do with HBC, how about the objectification of women that stemmed directly from the widespread availability of sex whenever we want? How about the attitude nowadays that our bodies are reduced to functioning machines? How about the lowered value of children? How about the higher and higher numbers of sexually active teens? How about the spreading of STDs? The attitude that one night stands are perfectly normal? The expectation that college is a period of time for sexual experimentation? The complete lack of knowledge among women about how their own bodies work?"

    Oh yes, because none of these things existed before birth control. These things happened a lot, it's just that nobody talked about them openly. But then again, there's a lot of other things that happened back before birth control that I'm in no particular rush to get back to...like "a woman's place is in the home" mentality of the 40's and 50's. "Look pretty, don't talk to much, and make sure you lack a vocal opinion on anything substantial. This, that, and the other thing are 'woman's work', so get started."

    Not to mention, as I said before, it is BIRTH control, not MIND control. The decline of the family and lack of guidance is MORE to blame for these things than some pill. Go protest suburbia if you really want to make a difference. Stop letting public schools and friends raise kids, and let them start getting instruction, direction, and discipline from their parents. But, it's a lot easier to shift blame than look at the failings of primarily christian parents, isn't it? (the divorce rate is higher among Christians than atheists. Did you know that? So much for "self-control")

    "Your definition of pregnancy is outdated. Don't drink the Kool Aid. Pregnancy isn't actually defined by The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. It is, in reality, defined by Our Creator. And if you think ANY human life is insignificant to Him, I would encourage you to re-read any one of the gospels."

    I'm sorry, I didn't realize God had updated the definition of pregnancy. I'll be sure to correct my biology notes. But again, the issue here is not whether or not human life is important, it is what is a human life. I'm taking into consideration that 55% (!!!) of zygotes never implant into the uterine wall. If mourning those "lives", and demanding that every single one does implant itself is not sheer and utter lunacy, I have no clue what it is. But if you think that "God" holds any significance to me, you're barking up the wrong tree, and I think the heart of this argument is now vastly apparent. This isn't about saving women, or protecting babies-no, not THIS part of the fight-this is about restricting the rights of others based on church doctrine/personal moral preference, and I'll have no part of it.

    Posted by: xalisae at June 12, 2009 1:38 AM


    "What rubbish! I wasn't speaking of merely physical things, there are all sorts of things we have to handle sexually - emotions, for example."

    Yes, because I'm sure the 60% or so of contraceptive-using couples have a really hard time with the emotional readiness involved in having sex on a regular basis within their spouses/significant others. Just because their schedules or desired frequency of intimacy might conflict with YOUR chosen method of birth control doesn't mean that their feeble little minds are not adequately equipped to handle the complexity of such a relationship dynamic.

    "Good for you - knock yourself out."

    Ok, so, you have no problem with contraceptive use...wait...

    "I never said you weren't *allowed* to have sex with your husband."

    No, I just better be ready to pump out a baby every time we do, right? Or restrict myself to only the times allowed by NFP, regardless of our schedules or any other extenuating circumstances?


    "I'd be delighted if you would comment on those instead of giving us the gory details of your completely unintersting (to me) sex life. Ta."

    Already did, and by the way, YOU are the one who initially brought up frequency, because of course nobody but a crazed sex maniac could possibly enjoy sex with their spouse more than (GASP!) 2 times a week!!!

    Posted by: xalisae at June 12, 2009 1:47 AM


    Yes, because I'm sure the 60% or so of contraceptive-using couples have a really hard time with the emotional readiness involved in having sex on a regular basis within their spouses/significant others.

    The very high divorce rate suggests rather strongly that contraception does not in any sense help people with their emotional issues. It suggests, in fact, that most married people have trouble with this area of their lives. I'm sure you'd agree that most people would not divorce if the sex was good, or that the sex would be good if there were other significant problems.

    No, I just better be ready to pump out a baby every time we do, right? Or restrict myself to only the times allowed by NFP, regardless of our schedules or any other extenuating circumstances?

    Self-control is a virtue in every aspect of our lives, I cannot see why it's such a problem for others to exercise it with sex.

    Ok, so, you have no problem with contraceptive use...wait...

    Of course I have a problem with it, but I'm tired of discussing your inability to control yourself.

    I cannot find the place where you discussed the effect of the pill on the common good. Can you help me there please?

    I don't care how often people are having sex, it's just that, given the various vicissitudes of (married) life, it seems likely that most couples most of the time will not be having sex.

    Most married men complain they don't have sex often enough and in most cases they or their wives will be using contraception.

    This is why I'm not interested in discussing your sex life per se.

    Why is it that people who have trouble with Church teaching on any area of morality, but especially sex, Always resort to personal insults? Always. It's like you don't have a coherent argument.

    Posted by: Louise at June 12, 2009 7:21 AM


    Sorry, I have just now discovered that you have since addressed (poorly) the effects of contraception upon the common good in a post you wrote after mine.

    If neither of you can see that YOU ARE BEING COUNTER PRODUCTIVE TO OUR MOVEMENT THROUGH YOUR OPPOSITION TO BIRTH CONTROL, whatever.

    Given that the abortion rate always increases where contraception is readily available in a society, I should think you would see in part where our concerns lie and it ought to concern you too.

    LET'S STOP CHEMOTHERAPY!! Cancer is a disease. Pregnancy is not.

    I'm taking into consideration that 55% (!!!) of zygotes never implant into the uterine wall.

    1. Where do you get that figure from?

    2. Let us suppose that your figure is correct and that it only applies to zygotes which are naturally miscarried and not the result of the Pill or anything else artificial. A natural death is sad and lamentable, whether there is anyone to lament it or not. Even if a woman does not know she has miscarried as with a very early miscarriage, the death is still a tragedy.

    Unless, of course, a fertilised ovum is not a human being at its earliest stage of development.

    (Cue debate about when life begins...)

    Natural deaths, even in very large quantities do not make murder, intentional killing, or neglect causing manslaughter etc morally licit.

    Posted by: Louise at June 12, 2009 7:34 AM


    Xalisae, I do not think you're a bad person, although your personal attacks on me were bad. I just think you were wrong to use artificial contraception.

    Posted by: Louise at June 12, 2009 7:35 AM


    Actually, if you want to get down to brass tacks here, one of the main reasons people cite for divorce is infidelity. Contracepting couple or not, one would think if someone was getting enough at home, they wouldn't go out for it, now would they? I think you're making this out to be a lot more complicated than it actually is. Married men complain about not having sex enough = infidelity one of the top reasons for divorce = divorce rate is high. Seems to me the answer to this problem isn't LESS sex at home. "I'm sure you'd agree that most people would not divorce if the sex was good..." Yeah, I don't see your point with that one though. How would having LESS sex (which I suppose in your mind is equal to having self-control?) fix this problem? If anything, I would think the answer would be to have more sex, and use communication skills (which is the primary reason for divorce, lack of communication) to express to one another the things that are pleasing or displeasing about one's sexual relationship, which would improve the sexual relationship, and perhaps the relationship overall.

    Choosing to have sex or not with a partner isn't a reflection of one's capcity to control themselves (and I find it insulting that you continue to mock my "lack of self-control" over and over again because of some ridiculous corellation in your mind between the two, hence the attitude of this conversation changing, just in case you were wondering). There's no difference to me in choosing to have sex with my husband as a means to enjoy each other's company and feel close to one another as it would be to go see a movie together, or hold hands and cuddle on the couch. The stigma you have attached to sex is not MY shortcoming, it's YOURS. Or better yet, let me use this anology: to go out for ice cream with him. It's good to do a bit, but not too often because ice cream isn't good for you. However, if you have fat free frozen yogurt instead, you might be able to partake a little more frequently. Sex with contraception is like choosing frozen yogurt instead of regular ice cream. It's still good, and wonderful, and special, but you don't have to worry about other circumstances as much, and I don't see why you have such a problem with people making life easier and better for themselves, but whatever. If you want to think that your choice to live with certain things that aren't necessary to live with any longer due to advancements of medicine and science makes you better than other people, whatever, I don't really care about your opinion. Just please leave it out of the pro-life debate until we get the bigger job done. Once that's out of the way, you can have it.

    "Given that the abortion rate always increases where contraception is readily available in a society, I should think you would see in part where our concerns lie and it ought to concern you too."

    Ok, way to ignore the bit before that that flat-out said WOMEN WERE GETTNG ABORTIONS BECAUSE THEY DID'T HAVE CONTRACEPTION. Top reasons cited for abortion according to Guttmacher is IMPROPER or INCONSISTENT USE of contraceptives. If your goal was really to stop abortions and not just prevent women from having sex without getting pregnant, you'd be making a stink about, protesting, and all that other jazz about people using contraceptives properly, not just trying to get rid of them altogether.

    "I cannot find the place where you discussed the effect of the pill on the common good. Can you help me there please?" Yeah, but let me break it down for you: IT DOESN'T AFFECT THE COMMON GOOD. PERIOD. You can't lay blame on people's behavior with a piece of latex or a pill! People make their own decisions in life! You CHOOSE to let an established religion make your life choices for you. Some people CHOOSE to let different religions do that for them. Some people CHOOSE not to let anything get in the way of their good time, no religion necessary. Some people CHOOSE to do the right thing, regardless of their lack of religious influence in their lives. PILLS, CONDOMS, ETC. ARE NOT MAKING THESE PEOPLE DO THESE THINGS OR NOT DO THESE THINGS. UGH.

    "Why is it that people who have trouble with Church teaching on any area of morality, but especially sex, Always resort to personal insults? Always." Because you guys prance up with a sense of moral superiority and condescention right off the bat, and ohmygoodness, but some people find that insulting! Whodathunkit?

    "Cancer is a disease. Pregnancy is not." Cancer is just a rapid cell duplication, a natural function of one's body. Who is to say those cells aren't duplicating like that for a perfectly good reason? Stopping cancer is like preventing pregnancy in that we are manipulating natural functions of our bodies for the benefit of our quality of life.

    The initial figure I used is not exact, and other numbers I've seen have varied anywhere from 30% to 60% according to wikipedia (BECAUSE YOU CAN'T EVEN TELL WHEN IT HAPPENS, MOST OF THE TIME). As far as I'm concerned, you'd like to legislate hypotheticals to the point it's not even the least bit reasonable. But in the process of rechecking my figures, I found out something else that was REALLY REALLY INTERESTING!

    The lactational amenorrhea method works primarily by preventing ovulation, but is also known to cause luteal phase defect (LPD). LPD is believed to interfere with the implantation of embryos.[25]
    Fertility awareness methods are known to work by preventing fertilization. It has been speculated they have a secondary effect of creating embryos incapable of implanting (due to aged gametes at the time of fertilization),[26] although age of gametes at the time of fertilization has been shown to have no effect on miscarriage rates,[27] low birth weight, or preterm delivery.[28]


    So guess what? Your precious NFP methods CAN (not necessarily DO, JUST LIKE THE PILL) cause the SAME THING TO HAPPEN. So when are you going to start protesting NFP?

    Posted by: xalisae at June 12, 2009 9:32 AM


    Xalisae,

    If you don't see the effect on the common good of the pill, well, you CLEARLY DID NOT read Humanae Vitae, in which it's pretty clearly laid out how the pill creates the lowering moral standards. Beyond that, you're a bit blind.

    Just compare how rapidly everything I mentioned before began deteriorating when the pill became widely available.

    Louise and I have both been fairly pleasant. You've just turned this into a fight rather than a discussion, so I'm out. I have no tolerance for the blame game, especially in situations where the other individual gets so in a huff that they refuse to recognize ANY merit in the other argument, when it CLEARLY merits some consideration.

    Goodnight.

    Posted by: MaryRose at June 12, 2009 11:24 PM


    Well, as much as I appreciate the righteous indignation, and thumb-biting at my refusal to agree with everything the pope says, you still didn't answer my question. When are you going to start protesting NFP? It accomplishes the same thing as oral contraceptives, only not as effectively. Is it just a sin to use EFFECTIVE birth control? If it makes you feel better, I'll start putting pinholes in any condoms I come across to adhere to church doctrine.

    Posted by: xalisae at June 13, 2009 3:33 PM


    Ok, way to ignore the bit before that that flat-out said WOMEN WERE GETTNG ABORTIONS BECAUSE THEY DID'T HAVE CONTRACEPTION.

    I did not ignore it, it is irrelevant because I was talking about an increase in abortion, I did not claim there wasaa no abortion prior to the Pill.

    Also, I'm not interested in what people hoped the Pill would do (ie lower the rate of abortion) - I am interested in the fact that it has increased the rate.

    Finally, I don't have a problem with sex; I have a problem with contraception.

    I've had enough too: you obviously cannot cope with a debate on this topic.

    Posted by: Louise at June 14, 2009 4:04 AM


    "...it is irrelevant because I was talking about an increase in abortion, I did not claim there wasaa no abortion prior to the Pill."

    It's irrelevant because you don't like to hear it, apparently. It's a sample population that was getting abortions BECAUSE they had no contraception. It's not like abortions happening before the pill is a totally unrelated occurance. And I also told you that the abortion rate according to Guttmacher isn't BECAUSE of the pill, as a matter of fact it is a lack of it. If you really cared about actually stopping abortions and not just keeping people from having sex on their schedules without procreating you'd be using this opportunity to spread the information about the improper use or lack thereof of contraception, and not trying to just get rid of contraception all together.

    And even though you don't like it, NFP IS CONTRACEPTION. It can have the same effects the pill can have, and if you've used it in your lifetime, you haven't done anything any differently than anyone using oral contraceptives biologically. You may have been having sex less often, but guess what, the frequency someone has sex doesn't make them a good or bad person. It just means they have sex less or more on average than other people.

    Posted by: xalisae at June 14, 2009 7:10 AM