Category Archives: natural family planning

Wasting Our Treasure on Christ

Shortly after having given birth to my first darling daughter and fourth child, someone suggested that I seek employment working with special needs children.

I hadn’t been soliciting advice or job hunting, but I guess the messenger found it reasonable to imply that we should move beyond baby-making; seeing as we’d finally managed to have that elusive girl-child and that our dream of having a large family had been fulfilled (according to societal standards).

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Pulling Back the Veil and Exposing Your Genuine Fears

facing your fear

As far back as I can remember, heights have posed an unwelcomed challenge. I was the kid who scaled the jungle-gym only to become paralyzed at the summit and tearfully beg for rescue. Ferris wheels are totally off-limits and even today escalators require a mental strategy.

So, I never dreamed of spending my days balancing atop an extension ladder, but the chipped and peeling exterior of our house begged for my attention.

After repainting the easy-to-reach portions, my three-step ladder quickly became insufficient. Lacking the superhero trait of Mr. Fantastic, I had to engage some problem solving skills and a ladder seemed my next best option.

Some Self-Hypnosis

It took a little self-hypnosis of sorts to talk myself up that first ladder, but work awaited and time was fleeting. I let go a little and convinced myself that a fall from a standard ladder couldn’t inflict too much damage.

Now our lovely home was built on a downgrade, so while the front door was a mere three steps from the solid ground, the rear was two-stories above stable earth. That standard ladder only raised my stature to the lower heights of the our home’s backside and painting only half of the house didn’t appear sensible. An extension ladder became unavoidable.

climbing ladder  paint house

Step by step, paint supplies balanced in my right hand as my left hand secured its death grip on the metal side rail, I inched ever higher toward the firmament.

Positioned at the ladder’s apex, I briefly dared to look down, a long, long way down. My previous risk estimations made from atop the standard ladder somehow didn’t ease my mind because from this height surely parts could break that might not be mendable.

Let Go of the Fear

Surrender and prayer were my last and best resorts. “Let go,” I persuaded, “let go of the fear.” Fear constrained me to the ground, but surrender could loose its hold. Reciting a prayer, I offered up my terror and released myself to the care and keeping of my guardian angel.

It’s amazing how fear has the potential to overpower in some cases or to protect in others.

Years ago I read a book by Gavin DeBecker called The Gift of Fear. In it Mr. DeBecker gave real life examples of how people’s natural-born fear mechanism or intuition set off red flags and sirens in the presence of serious dangers.

Those who listened to their internal sense typically avoided entering the danger zone or quickly fled before a perpetrator could inflict harm. Those who over-rationalized away their instinct generally paid a painful price. In those cases, fear was a gift bestowed on the individual, a signal by which they could gauge a circumstance or assess a stranger’s unspoken intent.

Fear Needs to Be Addressed

While teaching Natural Family Planning (NFP), I realized that fear really needs to be addressed.

Often we have lovely, young couples register for our course to fulfill a marriage preparation requirement. Or sometimes they’ve attempted to self-study and feel the need for more instruction.

Patiently they sit through our witness talk and intently they follow along with the training, but sometimes I can detect it in their hesitations and read it in their body language. Some fear that they are not smart enough or vigilant enough to learn and apply the method so as to postpone a pregnancy.

Beneath that is the deeper fear of their procreative powers.

women fear fertility

Outside Forces Are In Control

Quite often the women have been controlling their cycles with hormonal birth control or contraceptive devices. These “outside forces” have led to the perception that fertility, or at least its suppression, is the responsibility of some “thing” not the individual woman.

She may feel relieved of her role in family planning beyond the routine exam and prescription refill. If an unexpected blessing comes along, she can “blame” the little one on a contraceptive failure.

Up to 99% Effective

Truly, the effectiveness rate of NFP methods (also known as Fertility Awareness or FAM) are equal to (up to 99% effective) the best contraceptive rates (though that doesn’t mean they are morally or ethically equal).

A woman has the same chance of conceiving on the pill as she does practicing NFP/FAM. But the couple must practice self-mastery over their sexual desires if their goal is to postpone a pregnancy with a natural method.

Our modern culture has duped couples into believing that sex has only one purpose when in truth it is meant to be both unitive and procreative.

Sometimes people question why birth control is unethical if naturally spacing children is not. Rightly, couples can deem themselves not in a position to welcome a child at a given time, but their plan to avoid the fertile time doesn’t directly frustrate that procreative end.

God designed woman with fertile and infertile phases in her cycles and in choosing to abstain during the fertile time, the couple is simply working within the system God designed.

Ends Don’t Justify Means

A well used analogy goes like this: Two men have families to support. One man gets a legitimate job, works hard and provides his family’s needs. The other man sells illegal drugs, makes fast cash and pays his bills. Both men have fulfilled their role as provider, but clearly their methods are not equal.

The ends don’t make the means ethical.

The culture also pushes the notion that children are a burden to the marriage/family, so fear stems from that thinking. We’re suppose to worry about college tuition, braces and trips to Disney World even before the baby is born. It’s no wonder newlyweds are frightened at the prospect of enlarging their family circle.

Far from true, children bring countless gifts to a family. They create an environment that invites their parents to move beyond their small, self-serving circle. Additionally, when marital trials come (as they always do) parents have a vested interest in working out their differences in order to preserve stability for their children.

Unexpected Pregnancy

Let’s think about the term unexpected pregnancy. If a couple is engaging in the sexual embrace, they risk a pregnancy. It doesn’t matter if they are contracepting or not, sex between a fertile man and a fertile woman (during the fertile time) can result in a child (that’s why the only 100% effective means of avoiding pregnancy is 100% abstinence).

So the term is illogical. Sex produces babies at least some of the time. Couples who practice NFP/FAM understand that and take responsibility for it.

Fear, in the case of our students, isn’t a helpful natural instinct, but an emotion fueled by man-made distortions. Couples need to identify their fear, face its source and than work together to overcome that which is erroneous or misplaced.

Once they manage that task, they are better prepared to ascend the ladder of faith together. In time, some will even learn to surrender their man-made plans, allowing God to expand their limited view of happiness.

 

Follow along with the whole 6 part discussion on rethinking your family planning on www.blessingsinbrelinskyville.com

Your Food Is Organic, Your Family Planning Should Be Too

 birth control comparison

We no longer drink diet soda, eat a growing variety of sweets or chew gum because of artificial sweeteners. My husband switched us to tooth polish without fluoride and soap without antibacterial agents.

Our eggs come free-ranged, our bread whole grain, and our produce organic. Attending home school functions nowadays, we have to be mindful of gluten, nuts and food dyes in whatever we bring to share.

From sensitivities to allergies and everything in between, there’s an increased awareness of how what we put into our bodies affects our well-being. Labels contain ingredient lists, product packaging includes warnings and restaurants highlight low calorie menu items to aid consumers.

Cigarettes and Peanut Buttercigarette-110849_640

Once upon a time, airplanes and eateries had smoking sections and school lunches consisted of peanut butter and jelly on white bread. Today you’d be hard pressed to find even an outdoor event that welcomes tobacco users and whole school buildings are designated as nut-free.

Time and science have taught us a few lessons about toxins and disease, allergies and life threatening reactions. In fact, the government felt so compelled to protect the citizenry from harm that it now regulates sales and distribution of tobacco products (among a host of other things).

With this increased personal awareness and national concern over what is safe and what is not, you have to ask yourself why the Pill, a class 1 carcinogen (in the same category as tobacco, arsenic, and asbestos), would be routinely sold to a substantial percentage of the population without sufficient (if any) warning.

Even more curious is why adolescents, who can’t legally purchase tobacco, are often prescribed the Pill for off-label uses (especially considering there are safer alternatives).

If We’re Gonna Compare Labels

If we’re going to read labels and make educated choices about food, cleaning supplies and beverages, then let’s compare methods of family planning.

barrier birth control

  • Withdrawal is an age-old practice which has a lower effectiveness rate because it is not only difficult to practice, but sperm can be transmitted before full ejaculation. It is generally less physically satisfying to both partners.
  • Barrier methods that include the condom, sponge, cervical cap, diaphragm and spermicide range in effectiveness from 80-88%. Each requires a foreign body/substance to be inserted in the woman’s vagina increasing her risk of allergy or urinary tract infections. Spermicides can increase a woman’s risk of HIV infection. They can also be noisy, messy, costly and some require an initial physician’s visit.
  • Hormonal injections are said to be 97-99% effective, but require a physician’s assistance every 3 months. Studies show women had a more than three-fold risk increase of acquiring chlamydia and gonorrhea. Weight gain, decreased bone density, bleeding and injection site infection are all possible side effects. Injectable hormones have been known to continue effecting a woman’s fertility cycles for months to a year after stopping usage (possibly inhibiting conception in couples who were hoping to achieve a pregnancy).
  • Hormonal Implants are surgically placed under the skin for long term usage and are 99% effectiveness. Known side effects include irregular periods, depression, nervousness, hair loss, weight gain, and infection at the implantation site.
  • Pill claims 92-99% effectiveness. As stated in #3 of the post series, there are two types of the Pill and both are abortifacient. The combination (estrogen/progestin) Pill has three functions: to suppress ovulation, to slow sperm motility through thickened cervical mucus and to prevent implantation of a newly conceived child by depleting the endometrium of glycogen (this last function is abortifacient). Side effects include nausea, increased appetite, headaches, lowered libido, blood clots, death and increased risk of premenopausal birth cancer. Yazmin (Yaz) has been linked to 23 deaths in Canada.
  • IUDs claim 99% effectiveness, but (as I stated in #3 of this post series) it has been a continual source of litigation for its various makers. The non-hormonal variety is abortifacient and the hormonally imbedded IUD is sometimes abortifacient. Problems include bleeding, perforation of the uterus, migration of the device, increase of ectopic pregnancies, cramping, heavier/longer periods, spotting, infection, death and pelvic inflammatory disease leading to infertility. Dalcon Shield, the 1970’s IUD maker, went bankrupt because of law suits and Bayer, the maker of the current, popular Mirena IUD is currently being sued. FDA reports document more than 45,000 adverse events reported, including device expulsion/dislocation and vaginal hemorrhage.
  • Non-hormonal Tubal Blockage Device (aka Essure) claims 99% effectiveness. This device is really interesting because it claims to be non-surgically implanted, but I’m not sure how they reach a woman’s Fallopian tubes and call it non-surgical when lesser invasive, in-office procedures can be billed as surgical. Essure is permanent. Online anecdotes document a numerous problems with the device and its insertion and side effects include rash, bleeding, bloating, the need for hysterectomy and death. Since 2004, 850 Adverse Event Reports have been filed with the FDA.

Collateral Damage

Drop-sided cribs were outlawed after the deaths of a few dozen children, but tens of thousands of documented adverse events and the deaths of (at least) dozens of women (not to mention more than 55 million aborted babies) seem to be acceptable collateral damage.

  • Sterilization (male and female) is 99% effective and meant to be permanent (although there are some successful reversals). Men may experience a granuloma, long term testicular pain and decreased desire. Women are known to suffer regret, cramping, bleeding, increased risk of cervical cancer and Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome.

Total abstinence being the only 100% effective means of avoiding pregnancy, we need to realize that if a couple believes sex doesn’t equate to babies, they’ll want a back-up plan for the times their contraceptives fail. Abortion is that back-up.

While I found plenty of stats claiming that greater access to contraceptives leads to less abortion, it’s hard to square that claim with the more than 55 million abortions (not including those lives terminated by abortifacients) that have been performed since 1973.

Considering the above list of options, one would think that abortion should be rare, but more than 55 million is hardly a miniscule number.

  • Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) is 98% effective, if the user follows proper guidelines. This method is highly effective for women who have given birth in the last 6 months, have not had a menstrual period or noticed the return of fertile cervical mucus and who are feeding from the breast only. Some women practicing LAM have experienced up to 24 months or more of delayed fertility (after birth). There are no side effects caused by the method.
  • Natural Family Planning Methods are 95-99% effective. Sometimes referred to as Fertility Awareness Methods, they range from methods that read only one bodily sign (temperature only or mucus only) to the Symptom-Thermal Method which reads two to three signs (temperature, mucus and cervix). Modern methods of NFP that exhibit the highest rates of effectiveness require couples to abstain from sexual relations during the fertile time of the cycle. There are no side effects caused by the method.

Connecting the Dots

Conversely, when couples connect sex with its procreative potential, the want for abortion declines if not disappears.

Natural methods reveal the power of the female fertility cycle, respect the wholeness of a woman and cause the lovers to become aware of the days when pregnancy is possible.

Why should one partner shoulder the sole burden of responsibility? When both are involved in the decision making and practice, they understand that their mutual actions have direct consequences.women's health

We’ve come to demand honest labeling, safety recalls and regulatory measures for everything from cigarette packs and alcohol to car seats and strollers, so why aren’t we demanding the same in women’s healthcare?

 

Follow along with the whole 6 part discussion on rethinking your family planning on www.blessingsinbrelinskyville.com.

 

Pope Francis Said What? On Rabbits and Responsible Parenthood

I’m taking a brief detour from my post series on birth control to address the recent comments made by our Holy Father.
Drifting down the aisle at Sam’s Club, my brood and I were busy absorbing all the sights as we awaited our pizza. Having just persuaded the seven of them (the baby was in the cart) to leave the books behind, we were absent-mindedly milling about when a man halted our parade. The stranger (an apparent nursery rhyme aficionado) began reciting, “There was an old lady who lived in a shoe, had so many children she didn’t know what to do” Seeing as my children were quite well-behaved (thankfully they generally are in public), I was baffled as to the reason for this unwarranted serenade.



Pope Francis’ recent rabbit comment has been splashed across the headlines. There are accusations, questions, criticisms and explanations. Admittedly, as a mama of a big brood who has endured more than a couple of comments (plus the aforementioned serenade) and as a teacher of Natural Family Planning with boots on the ground in the ministry, his comments touched a nerve. I cannot claim to know his motivations on the matter, but I am going to offer some balance to the statements he made.


On his trip home from Manila, Pope Francis stated,
“Some think that — excuse the language — that in order to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits. No. Responsible parenthood. This is clear and that is why in the Church there are marriage groups, there are experts in this matter, there are pastors, one can search; and I know so many ways that are licit and that have helped this.”

Certainly, his choice of the term rabbit must have been a simple oversight, but it still was one that could be called unsettling. Although it is probably more disturbing to families who’ve already experienced the judgment and ridicule of a society that equates a child to a burden or an environmental hazard. He is correct that not all couples are obliged to produce as many children as they are physically able to; however, that also does not mean that God is not calling some couples to total surrender.


Consider Pope Francis’ prior comments shared on the Feast of the Holy Family. “In a world often marked by egoism, a large family is a school of solidarity and of mission that’s of benefit to the entire society. Every family is a cell of society, but large families are richer and more vital cells.” These words seem to provide a counterbalance to the notion that responsible parenthood means simply that less children should be received.


Pope Francis also pointed the faithful toward the guidance of “experts” in this matter which reminded me of an instruction I’d come across during adoration some months ago. At the time I sprawled the comments in the back of my pocket calendar because they seemed necessary for me to keep close at hand. The book was Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence by Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure and here’s his expert opinion: 
“If you are the father or mother of a family, you ought to conform your will to God’s with regard to the number or sex of the children He pleases to give you. When men were animated by the spirit of faith they regarded a large family as a gift of God and a blessing from heaven and considered God more than themselves as the father of their children.” He went on to say, “Never be afraid of relying too much on Him, but rather seek always to increase your trust more and more, for this is the most pleasing homage you can pay Him and it will be the measure of the graces you will receive. Little or much will be given you according as you have expected little or much.”

If Pope Francis issues us in the direction of our pastors as experts in the matter, there could be a difference in the direction we receive. The pope warned a mother, who was expecting her eighth child to be delivered by cesearean section, that she was tempting God, but Fr. Saint-Jure seems to instruct that we should never be afraid to rely too much on God. That leaves room for one to wonder what exactly makes someone an expert in guiding a couple in their family planning.
As an NFP teacher, I concur that there are licit means of postponing a child, but we must be clear that licit does not mean required. When we began teaching NFP a decade ago, we encouraged couples to prayerfully discern each cycle whether or not they had a serious reason to postpone a pregnancy. Later, the word serious was changed to a just reason (the change being attributed to a better translation) and now we have discarded both of those terms and replaced them with responsible parenthood.
I think the argument could be made in either direction as to whether in our age/culture the words (serious, just, responsible parenthood) bear the same weight and express the same meaning. But the more important point is that couples need to ask God (continually) to align their will with His, not the other way around. Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure says,
“He (God) promises solemnly to give them not only life everlasting but a hundredfold all things they deny themselves to please Him in this life (Matt 19:24). He further promises to ease the burden of His cross so as to lighten it; for He not only says that His yoke is sweet but adds that His burden is light (Matt 11:30). If then we do not experience the sweetness of Christ’s yoke not the lightness of the burden of the cross, it must be because we have not yet made the denial of our will and completely given up own human outlook so as to consider things in the light of faith.
Interestingly, Pope Francis said, “Another curious thing in relation to this is that for the most poor people, a child is a treasure. It is true that you have to be prudent here too, but for them a child is a treasure. Some would say ‘God knows how to help me’ and perhaps some of them are not prudent, this is true. Responsible paternity, but let us also look at the generosity of that father and mother who see a treasure in every child.” He seems to acknowledge that some, but clearly not all, recognize a child as a treasure and he mentions the generosity of parents who see children as a treasure.
Of course, we should acknowledge the audiences he was considering when these comments were made. Because an impoverished, third world parent, who has no means of providing for a child’s basic needs, is not at all the same as the parent, who lives in a modern subdivision and eats five meals a day. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to use a broad brush in applying this idea of what exactly is responsible parenthood. Additionally, there is a real danger in one group discerning what is best for another (thinking of China’s one-child policy).
Clearly, his comments could use a bit more clarification, but I suppose it is a good that he has once again spurred a conversation about what the Church actually teaches. The large family is not by default more faithful, but neither is the small family automatically more responsible. There are licit means for planning a family, but there can be illicit intentions for doing so. We must all learn to listen. Not to the noisy banter of the media or even of those who might wish to serenade us with their opinions, we must listen to the small voice Who knows what is truly best for us, His children.

“It is very different from the serenity of spirit to be found in parents who are surrounded by a rich abundance of young lives. The joy that comes from the plentiful blessings of God breaks out in a thousand different ways and there is no fear that it will end. The brows of these fathers and mothers may be burdened with cares, but there is never a trace of that inner shadow that betrays anxiety of conscience or fear of an irreparable return to loneliness, Their youth never seems to fade away, as long as the sweet fragrance of a crib remains in the home, as long as the walls of the house echo to the silvery voices of children and grandchildren.

“Their heavy labors multiplied many times over, their redoubled sacrifices and their renunciation of costly amusements are generously rewarded even here below by the inexhaustible treasury of affection and tender hopes that dwell in their hearts without ever tiring them or bothering them.” Pope Pius XII

Knowledge Is Power: How Doctors and Big Pharma Profit From Ignorance Part 3 of 6


Cramming the pillow I’d brought from home a little more to my left, I attempted to placate the cramp that was forming in my back. After years of slumbering on a waterbed, this rock hard hospital bed felt like a torture rack. There I was trying to create a bit of comfort and counting down the minutes until I could scoop up my newest bundle and check-out when my midwife slid a chair beside me.
Having just given birth to my fourth child several hours prior, I figured she was stopping in to assess my rate of recovery since I’d made it clear that I wouldn’t stay a minute longer than the required twenty-four hours. She made a bit of small talk and then she looked me straight in the eyes and asked what kind of birth control prescription I wanted to take home with me so, “I wouldn’t have to do this again in nine months.”

Huh? was my first thought. Sure, I’d taken the pill for the first two years of my marriage (and suffered the daily nausea and monthly weep-fest), but in the previous eight years (prior to the baby I’d literally just delivered) I had only practiced Fertility Awareness (and successfully so, I might add). Clearly, this fact was documented in my chart and seeing as she and only one other midwife were my primary caregivers it seemed unlikely she was clueless to my choice. Mind you, she hadn’t saddled up to my bedside to chat about my thoughts/desires on family planning options. No, she was there to hawk a prescription and she was using fear to get the job done.
Looking back now it seems easy enough, I should have told her to go bugger off, but something was happening behind the scenes to which she was not privy. My faith was still in its elementary stage and my marriage was undergoing an intense trial (we were actually in counseling at the time), but I hadn’t shared that fact with my caregivers. It was like she was my temptress in the desert, come to offer me promises during my weakest hour if only I’d bow down to her plans. There I lie, sore from having just pushed a 7pound-something human out of a normally tiny space, thoughts swirling with the knowledge of the current state of my marriage and suddenly, illogically terrified that before there was time for mama-birth-amnesia to set-in I’d be back in this very hospital grunting and groaning baby number five into the world.
Planning to breastfeed, I suggested that the Lactation Amenorrhea Method (LAM) had certainly worked well for me in the past (extending my postpartum infertility for more than six months each time). I also inquired how this drug might affect my newborn. No worries she told me, staying the course on her mission to get me contracepting, she’d just write a low level prescription for a progestin only pill. I stammered and stuttered and ultimately caved under the pressure.
Rolling my van up to the drug store drive-through a week later, everything inside of me was screaming NO, but I stuffed those thoughts and handed the sheet of paper to the girl behind the counter. During what seemed like an extra long wait time, I ran over the options in my head again. Then in what I can only chalk up to the grace of God, the pharmacist returned to tell me that they were out of those pills. She returned the white sheet of paper and informed me I’d have to try back in a few days. I never returned.
Comparatively speaking, I should count myself as lucky because a number of my girlfriends faced more egregious treatment during their postpartum visits. One friend’s doctor found it hard to take no for an answer, so he tried five times in the course of one conversation to strong-arm persuade her to allow him to insert an IUD. But the prize for un-professionalism goes to the doctor who upon being told no, threw the woman’s chart in her lap and said, “I’ll see you back here in nine months” as he stormed out of the exam room. I guess the free lunches and pharmaceutical kick backs must be pretty awesome for these obstetricians to want to dissuade a repeat customer?
“Knowledge is Power” was a theme song lyric in one of my favorite childhood programs. Indeed, knowledge is a powerful tool and with it we can make right choices. Unfortunately, there’s not much education going on in the gynecologist’s office. And I’d even boldly assert that women are intentional misinformed just as I was on the day my midwife undermined my beliefs and used fear-mongering to pass off a prescription.
Let’s do a little fact checking. 
The Pill utilizes synthetic estrogen/progestins to trick the pituitary gland into producing less Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Luteinizing Hormone in an to attempt to suppress ovulation. However, studies show there is a 2-8% chance of breakthrough ovulation in any given cycle while on the Pill, so it has two other built-in functions. The back-up measures of the Pill cause a thickening of the cervical mucus (to slow sperm motility) and a depletion of glycogen in the endometrium or lining of the uterus. This last mode of operation is abortifacient because it prevents a fertilized egg from being able to implant, thus forcing an early abortion.
The mini-pill, or progestin only pill, that my midwife was offering relies predominantly on the abortifacient mechanism of creating an inhospitable environment for implantation should a new life have been formed after a breakthrough ovulation. Sadly, I didn’t know this fact at the time and it wasn’t advertised to me. Additionally, the package inserts for the Pill offer a laundry list of possible side effects- from weight gain and decrease libido to blood clots and heart disease.
The IUD, an abortifacient device, that my friend’s doc was so eager to implant in her just vacated uterus has a high rate of effectiveness, so long as you don’t mind the possibility of headaches, acne, breast tenderness, irregular bleeding, mood changes, weight gain, ovarian cysts, cramping, pelvic infection, inflammation of the endometrium, perforation of the uterus, endometrial or cervical cancer  and high blood pressure.
A popular form of birth control in the 1970’s, Dalcon Shieldwas forced to remove its IUD from the market and declare bankruptcy after paying out millions of dollars in malpractice suits. You might assume the new Paraguard and Mirena IUDS are an improvement, but lawsuits filed against Bayer,  Mirena’s maker, tell a different story (well it’s really the same old story of harm done to women).
That LAM plan that I mentioned to my midwife has no negative side effects on the body and it is completely free. She may have snubbed her nose at my suggestion, but over the course of my mothering years it (along with the Sympto-thermal method of Natural Family Planning) has proven successful again and again. In fact, with my last three children I enjoyed a delay in my fertility (meaning no periods) for twelve to fourteen months beyond childbirth!
I suppose to be fair, I have to admit that I am not a reader of hearts so I do not know for certain the motives of these physicians. However, if their pledge is to first do no harm than their actions don’t support that position. In each of the three anecdotes I relayed (and I have LOTS more), my friends and I had not been contracepting before our pregnancies, we were not seeking birth control and we all expressed a hesitancy toward if not an out-right refusal of the unsolicited prescriptions.
Considering that birth control carries mild to serious risks and unpleasant side effects, women who opt in will require at least an annual (if not biannual) visit to their doctor. And if she suffers from depression, infection, cysts, etc. as a result of the birth control than she’ll need even more trips to the doc. Clearly, there is money to be made by both the birth control manufacturers and the doctors.
So what’s a woman to do? Well, like I said, knowledge is power and an informed woman has the power to make better choices. There are safe, effective means of postponing pregnancy. They require
education and little more. In fact, poor women in India, trained by sisters in Mother Teresa’s religious order, enjoy a 99.4% effectiveness rate in practicing a method of NFP according the World Health Organization. That should make you wonder why the Gates Foundation and our government are so persistent in their desire to export birth control drugs/devices to poor nations if the same end could be achieved through simple education alone.
In parts 1 and 2 of this post series, I discussed the necessity for women to reclaim their wholeness and  recognize their inherent feminine genius. We considered the intricate and readable dance of the female fertility cycle and now we see how mis-education/no education leaves women vulnerable to a healthcare system which too often places financial gain above all else. But good news lies ahead because once we unmask deceptions, review the science and evaluate the options, we women are then truly free to make wise decisions that respect our whole selves: body, mind and spirit.

Follow along with the whole 6 part discussion on rethinking your family planning. 
(1)Reclaiming Womanhood: Why It’s Time to Rethink Your Birth Control Plan
(2)Demystified: How the Female Fertility Cycle Works;    
(4)If Your Food Is Organic Your Family Planning Should Be Too: The Nitty Gritty of Birth Control
(5)Pulling Back the Veil and Exposing Your Genuine Fears
(6)Now That You Know the Facts on Birth Control, What’s the Next Step? 
 

Demystified: How the Female Fertility Cycle Works Part 2 of 6

Springtime in my fourth grade year, they lined us up, boys on one side, girls on the other. The boys got shuffled off into one classroom, while we girls got ushered into another. Giddy and curious, we whispered and fidgeted while the teacher set-up her materials. That was the day I first heard about periods. By the end of the lesson, I knew enough to utilize a maxi-pad and understood the general gist of the fact that my body could one day grow a baby.
Over the years, my knowledge pool would grow (I’d graduate to tampons, discover Motrin for cramps and get myself put on contraceptives). But aside from the basic facts of menstruation and the understanding that I was fertile, the extent of my education hadn’t increased far beyond that fourth grade lesson. No worries though, my annual trips to the gynecologist were enough to leave me feeling confident that I had it all under control.

Married young, I suffered through our first few years together with daily bouts of nausea and monthly crying jags (okay, my poor hubby suffered too, having to contend with my nauseated, weeping self). We were in our early twenties and unready for children, so I swallowed my daily pill and accepted the unpleasant consequences. Finally, my husband had watched enough of my misery, so he suggested that I stop the pill. Eagerly, I abandoned that plastic wheel of synthetic hormones and secretly I hoped for a pregnancy.
Erratic, sporadic cycles of varying lengths followed my choice to ditch birth control. Clueless, I made an appointment with a doctor. In her office, I explained my reasons for coming off of the pill, shared that I was now only menstruating every few months and begged her help. She explained the pill could regulate my cycle problems, but I said I wasn’t interested in going back on birth control. So, she handed me a blank temperature chart with the simple instructions to take my temperature by mouth every morning, record the data and return in a few months. That was it. I left scratching my head.
Unfortunately, too many woman are left with the same rudimentary education that I had when it comes to their fertility and more often than not they, too, are receiving inadequate (if not downright erroneous) instruction from their doctor. For part 2 of this post series, we need to be educated about the female fertility cycle.
To define the term, a cycle begins on the first day of a woman’s menstruation and it ends on the day before the next menstruation starts. It consists of three phases. Phase I begins with menstruation and ends with the onset of signs of fertility. This phase is generally infertile, meaning it is unlikely that intercourse in this phase will result in a pregnancy. Phase II begins with the onset of the fertile signs and is thus fertile so intercourse during this phase can result in conception. Phase III is again infertile and it is determined to begin after measured bodily signs confirm that ovulation has completed.
Note that an ovulated egg is only fertile for approximately 24 hours, but Phase II generally ranges from seven to ten days. The reason for the discrepancy is because the female body produces fluids that aim to extend the life of sperm. Simply, those fluids allow the female body to store and nurture her partner’s sperm for up to five days after they have engaged in intercourse.
Fascinating really when you consider that under a microscope cervical mucus either displays a block pattern or a channel pattern. The block pattern (which is produced by infertile mucus) looks a bit like a brick wall and it creates a barrier against incoming sperm. In opposition, fertile mucus looks like open channels which corral the sperm (the channels actually filter out abnormally shaped-ones) and allow them unfettered passage toward the fallopian tubes.
Every women experiences the three phases in any given cycle, but the length of those phases is not necessarily static therefore individual women have individual cycle lengths. Hormones drive the dance of the female fertile cycle and in doing so those hormones cause readable changes in the woman’s body. I now know that the chart that doctor handed me was meant to record my basal body temperature, my temperature upon waking (at the same time each day and before eating, drinking or exercising).
Woman can assess their state of fertile/non-fertile by watching for progression in their cervical mucus, becoming familiar with the changes in position and firmness of their cervix and by confirming a sustained shift in their basal body temperature. With this information, a woman can determine, with a high rate of effectiveness (99%*), where she is in her cycle on any given day and apply that information to either achieve or postpone pregnancy.
To give an analogy and illustrate the changes, a woman’s cervical mucus follows a pattern similar to the pattern you see when you have a cold. Just as nasal mucus changes from not there to dry and sticky to wet and runny, so too cervical mucus morphs from state to state as its role changes from prohibiting the migration of sperm to facilitating the migration (although unlike nasal fluids, normal cervical mucus is a sign of health). And like a new flower bud starts out firm and tight, so is the cervical o’s hard and closed during the infertile phases. Then continuing like the bud, the cervix softens and widens in the hopes of allowing sperm to enter during the fertile time.
If she is seeking to avoid a conception, then the couple simply do not engage in sexual relations during the fertile phase. There’s no need for third party input, devices or prescription drugs, the couple need only choose to shelf or redirect their sexual desires for a time. Practicing periodic abstinence does nothing to harm or control the cycle. On the contrary, the ultimate green family planning, couples who work with the cycle never introduce chemicals into the body or the environment (because the woman on hormonal birth control deposits chemicals into the environment each time she flushes the toilet.) And then there’s the advantage of the “honeymoon effect” which we’ll talk about later in this post series.
When that doctor told me that the pill would fix my cycle irregularities, she was being dishonest. Hormonal birth control doesn’t correct the cycle, it only creates a bogus cycle. My problems would have been masked, not fixed. Sadly, many women buy this logic and unknowingly cover up a health problem. Unfortunately, once the pill taker finally decides she wants to conceive she may find that the timing wasn’t what she’d hoped for because there’s an underlying issue that she must now correct. That was my story, it took us more than a year each time when we were trying (in earnest) to conceive our oldest two children.
In part 1, I covered how woman needs to reclaim her wholeness. Society has fractured woman into a collection of parts and in doing so it has allowed men to say in effect, I want you darling, but not your fill-in-the-blank. From hair dye and false lashes to Botox and boob jobs, whole industries cater to our obsession to be something more or less or different than what nature would have us to be. I had a friend whose husband preferred blondes, so she spent years coloring her brunette locks to suit his taste. Finally, the day dawned when she realized she wasn’t a blonde and she didn’t necessarily care to be anymore. She informed her husband his blonde days were over. Thankfully, his love for her was more than “root” deep.
If a woman has to suppress her natural hormones and thwart her essence as a life-bearer in order to satisfy her partner than he is not honoring her dignity. He is picking and choosing among her attributes, saying, “I’ll take you, minus your fertility.” Whether consciously or not, he is rejecting a part of her.
Often women in our Natural Family Planning (NFP) classes come to this epiphany and it can be painful. We taught a doctor and his wife in one of our classes. I remember her turning to him midway through and asking if he’d known that the hormonal patch she’d been on had serious risks. He answered yes and she wanted to know why he allowed her to jeopardize her health when clearly there was no reason for it. He shrugged.
When women learn to read their cycles, they often report a renewed sense of self-worth. They see themselves as not only whole, but purposeful and they feel rightly entitled to be treated that way.
A healthy function of the female body, fertility can’t be separated out while still maintaining the balance of the whole. If you amputated your foot, some part of you would always be missing. You might learn to compensate for the absent appendage, but the fact would remain that some part of you was gone. Women often can’t place their finger on it, but they sense this. Not surprisingly, couples who practice a method of NFP have only a 5% rate of divorce by comparison to the 50% rate in the population at large. Clearly, when couples treat one another with dignity and respect, honoring the wholeness of each person, their relationship is positively effected.
*A 2007 German study which focused on a form of the Symptom-Thermal Method confirmed a method effectiveness rate (rate based on perfect use of the method) of 99.6% and a user effectiveness rate (rate which includes incorrect and correct application of the method and its rules during the study period) of 98.2%.

Dr. Joseph Roetzer wrote in his book, National Conception Regulation,that among the thousands of patients he worked with he found a method effectiveness of 99.8% and a user effectiveness of 99.2%.
There are several methods of Natural Family Planning or Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM) and you can learn more about them through home study or by attending classes. There are also a number of reliable apps and devices on the market that make the recording and charting of your fertility signs as easy as the push of a button. But ultimately, the greatest success of any NFP/FAM method comes from proper and adequate education.

Follow along with the whole 6 part discussion on rethinking your family planning. 
(1)Reclaiming Womanhood: Why It’s Time to Rethink Your Birth Control Plan
(3)Knowledge Is Power: How Doctors and Big Pharma Profit from Ignorance;  
(4)If Your Food Is Organic Your Family Planning Should Be Too: The Nitty Gritty of Birth Control
(5)Pulling Back the Veil and Exposing Your Genuine Fears
 
(6)Now That You Know the Facts on Birth Control, What’s the Next Step? 

Reclaiming Womanhood: Why It’s Time to Rethink Your Birth Control Plan Part 1 of 6

The Virgins by Gustav Klimt 1913
 It’s happening again, article after article appearing in my news feed. The theme is the same, although each has a slightly different slant to offer. Just as last year, I pour over each one, nodding all the while as my eyes scan the screen. The topic is birth control and each post does a good job at lifting the veil and sparking interest. However, I’m usually left thinking that there are a few more dots to be connected if the author’s aim is to cast a wide net.
What I mean is, there is so (SO) much more to this subject than simply deciding whether or not to swallow a pill or allow a doctor to insert some device inside of you. Yes, yes we need to shout from the rooftops the truth about the indisputable physical harms being perpetrated against our sisters, but that’s not where we need to start.
Here’s my intention, I want to begin a conversation and continue it for a while. I want to offer a few thoughts/facts for you to ponder and then let you walk away to digest it. I hope you’ll come back with questions because I’m going to try to cover a few more bases (than I’ve seen covered recently) by the end of this blog post series.
Now, before we even consider birth control, we must identify what makes a woman truly unique and reflect on why that matters.
Recall that God created woman because He said that it was not good for man to be alone. Understand that. God is complete all by Himself, but this man Adam (that He made in His image) was INcomplete by himself. Therefore, God goes about creating all manner of creatures to keep Adam company, but not one can fill his aching. Only when God forms woman does Adam finally rejoice, “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” Let that sink in, I mean really try to picture that in your mind. There was Adam milling around, feeling alone. He had everything it would seem, except no good thing or living creature was enough to banish his longing (not even man’s best friend). Then the day dawned when he woke up to find Eve and in that instant he found his missing piece.
Of course, while equals, male and female are far from the same. Woman, in all of her fullness and beauty, possessesthe power to accept, nurture and grow life. From youth, her bodyknows the steps to the mysterious dance that will carry her through the cycles of a lifetime. Only the female body builds up fertile ground each month in anticipation of fostering a wholly new life. She can contain her offspring like a tiny bud holds tight its treasure until the appointed time.
Her strength allows her to endure torments, discomforts, pains and deprivations just as the soldier valiantly sacrifices to protect his innocent charges. And when her hidden vessel breaks open, moving her to push forth the person she has cradled within, woman has a storehouse of reserves at her fingertips: vigor, focus, endurance, power, vulnerability, clarity and intuition. Delicate and fragile or just as readily jagged and rough, she’s an intricate weave of contradictions and complements.
She doesn’t stop there either. Woman’s breasts sustain her child, providing nutrition and immunity. She’ll read her child’s cues and anticipate his desires before he ever utters a word. Her presence forever imprinted on his heart, it will affect all of his future relationships.
Woman’s motherhood isn’t restricted by her ability to give birth. Her feminine genius, as St. John Paul II coined it, shines through no matter what her vocation. Woman is always the life-bearer. Whether or not she is able to nestle another person inside of her womb, she always contains “room for another.” A reader of people, with an instinctual ability to recognize the unspoken needs of others, she inclines toward the roles of teacher, caregiver, confidant and counselor.
All that man will ever know about life-giving, he must learn from woman. However, no matter how much he might study her role, man is forever relegated to the “outside” on this matter. I’ve been blessed to have birthed all but one of my children with the support of midwives. While there are some perfectly good male obstetricians out there, ask any women who has birthed with a midwife and she can confirm that men can never truly relate to mothering in the same way that another woman can. For that matter, ask any mother and she’ll concur that a husband can never truly grasp the connection between a mother and her child.
Our culture has, thankfully, come a long way toward recognizing the role of women in the world, but it’s still got a long way to go. It took me three decades to grasp who I was because I’d conformed my self-image to society’s ill-shaped mold of womanhood. The modern view fractures females into a collection of disjointed parts. We’ve got good hair, sweet temperaments, smooth skin, perky breasts and tight thighs or unmanageable kink, bitchy moods, oily pores, sagging boobs and fat legs.
Woman” has disappeared and in her place stands an airbrushed, photo-shopped, lighting enhanced caricature of pseudo femininity. For this reason, before we can hope to enlighten a woman about the care and keeping of her fertility, she must rediscover and reclaim her genius.
My favorite part about teaching couples Natural Family Planning is the epiphany moment. Not every woman makes it there, but most do. I see it in her glassy eyes or hear it in her eager questions. Sometimes a woman will take me aside and share her story about a doctor who pressured her to make choices she wanted to refuse or her frustration over having felt inadequate for so long. However it manifests, it is the moment from which point all else will extend, her tipping point. Her broken pieces, like the images of a shattering mirror on rewind, begin to fuse back together. Once her eyes have opened to her own inherent dignity and wholeness, then she’s disposed to digest truth and eager to stake her claim over her own body.
So before this conversation continues, I invite you, dear reader, to reflect on the role of womanas designed by God, undistorted by worldliness. Focus, not the phony, self-aggrandizing mottoes of roaring, bra-burners or booty shaking celebrities, but on the feminine genius (the life-bearing mission) that characterizes womanhood.
Next time, let’s consider the 
(2) Demystified: How the Female Cycle ReallyWorks;

Homosexuals Have Gifts to Offer: Why that Headline Isn’t Newsworthy

On first read I couldn’t quite figure out what it was about the headline that bothered me so much. Homosexuals Have Gifts and Qualities to Offer the Christian Community was the highlighted statement being used to draw readers into the newly released documents coming out of the Catholic Church’s Synod on the Family. Of course, as one could imagine a firestorm has been lit on social media and I wasn’t really planning to jump in. But once I recognized just what had me so unnerved by that title, I decided weighing in on the matter was worth the risk of getting singed.
Homosexuals, that’s the word that has me uneasy. Because why must we identify a group of people by their sexual preference? I mean, it goes without saying (or at least it should) that every person has gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community. Yes, Bob, who may happen to be attracted to Larry, can sing in the choir or minister to the home-bound just as well as Joe, who’s married to Linda. So what does homosexuality or heterosexuality have to do with it? Nothing. Well, nothing insomuch as every person is created in the image of God and he has the ability to reflect that image (or not).
In truth, a Christian church which is not welcoming to all people has ceased to be genuinelyChristian. Last Sunday’s gospel reading (Matthew 22:1-14) was a fitting reminder that God invites all of us, good and bad alike, to join His celebration.
Of course, there was a catch in that gospel parable of the wedding feast. When the host’s A-listers RSVP’d “No, thanks, we’ve got other plans”, he sent his servants to invite everyone they happened to find milling about in the streets. The catch was that everyone who came had to leave their street clothes at the door and don the provided wedding garments. Those new duds symbolized the putting on of Christ and repentance from sin.
Now in the gospel parable, the host specifically instructed his servants to invite the good and the bad alike. He knew they all had gifts and qualities to offer. But the catch meant those bad guests had to make a change in order to avoid being cast outside. Of special note was the fact that the errant guest had ample chance to correct his mistake, but he chose to cling to his old ways and that is why he was escorted to the curb.
What bugs me about the headline is that it labels one group of sinners as though the rest of the Christian community is sinless or perhaps less sinful. The headline could just as easily read “Adulterers or Fornicators or Drunks or Liars or Thieves or Murderers Have Gifts and Qualities to Offer”- because they do. And newsflash everybody,those sinners (all of us) are already offering those gifts in our Christian communities. So why the headline if nothing has really changed?
Before I tell you my opinion of why, I first think we need to own up to some realities.
Firstly, a person who has same-sex attractions is not a sinner because of his/her feelings. Feelings don’t equal sin and thank goodness because I’d be in deeper trouble if they did. It takes acting on those attractions (feelings) or willfully entertaining the thoughts of them to commit a sin.
Secondly, if Joe the choir guy is cheating on his wife then he is an adulterer and his sin is just as grievous as Bob’s should Bob be acting on his homosexual attractions. Yeah, and this applies to Joe’s porn habit, too.
Thirdly, as a teacher of Natural Family Planning (and a repentant sinner myself – who is still a work in progress), I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The majority of couples presenting for marriage in the Catholic Church are either already living together and/or are engaging in premarital sex. And nearly all of them will sterilize their sexual unions during part or throughout their married lives.
Huh? What’s the connection, you’re wondering. Well, the real issue here is sin and man’s propensity for it and enslavement to it. All those couples signed up for Pre-Cana who are cohabiting and/or engaging in sexual relations outside of the bonds of marriage, they are just as guilty as an adulterous Joe or a homosexually active Bob.
Focusing on sexual sin here, we need to acknowledge that homosexual acts are no more sinful than all of the other acts which violate the marriage covenant. Real love, true, Christ-like love has requirements just like the wedding feast did. In order for any sexual act to be rightly ordered according to God’s natural law it must be both unitive and potentially procreative. So, the homosexual act never has any chance of meeting those ends; therefore, it is a sin. But sex outside of the sacrament of marriage is also a violation of the requirements because the union, while physically present, isn’t sacramentally (or really even mentally) present. Sexual intimacy (given freely, faithfully and fruitfully) within a sacramental marriage is the physical expression of the marriage covenant made between one man, one woman and God. It is a reenactment, so to speak, of the vows and promises made to and before God. Couples who are sacramentally united, but who willfully choose to unnaturally thwart the procreative ends of the marital embrace, are also culpable of violating the requirements of sincere, Christ-like love.
How come then that headlines didn’t point out the gifts those sinners bring to the church? Is it because we’ve already recognized their potential and welcomed it, but we are only just now coming to the realization that homosexuals present no greater challenge than do every other type of sinner sitting in the pews? I think we have to concede that it was nothing more than a provocative label meant to incite more discussion, for the better or the worse.
I think the real point that needs to be made is that we are all sinners and we should all be striving to break our self-imposed chains. That label in the headline seems more like a proud proclamation of one particular sin. We are all invited guests (every lying, cheating, stealing, fornicating, in-law hating, drunken, drug addicted, gluttonous, vain, prideful one of us), but we have to strip off our worldliness (our brokenness) and put on the garment of Christ.
Indeed, if the sinner wasn’t welcomed, the Church would be a vacant building and the Body of Christ would be missing Its hands and feet. But if the sinner passes through the Church doors unchanged (happily clinging to his label/sin), then heaven could end up with one less invited guest in attendance.

Burning with the Fire of Truth: Are We Pro-life or Just Pro-birth? The Contraception Debate

While house hunting, we happened upon a sweet southern lady. She would turn out to be the previous owner of our current abode, a fine gentlewoman full of spunk and hospitality. Proudly, she pointed out what she considered to be a pivotal selling point. In her melodic drawl, she advised, “Y’all can burn in the country!” Spying the numerous blackened patches and charred stumps that dotted the grounds, it was clear she practiced what she pitched. Deed transferred, we’d come to appreciate the necessity for yard waste disposal with the abundance of flower and fauna spread across our yardage.
A few years later, the deep gully in our chicken yard had amassed an ample amount of logs and limbs, dragged down from our neighbor’s lot by fierce spring rains. Added to that was the dry, weathered Fraser fir from Christmas past and all the twisted, rotting scraps the kids had freed from my azalea bushes. Seeing as the weather was the right balance of early fall temperatures combined with still summer air, I set about to preparing a controlled bonfire.
Carefully, I built two piles as my helpers stretched the long, green hose from the nearest spigot. Once all safety precautions had been enabled, I stuck the match and set the blaze. It would surely have done Mrs. Wade proud to see those flames dancing hot and steady. There’s something about a bonfire that excites the heart. Maybe its the inviting warmth that calls you closer or maybe its the hypnotic tongues of fire lapping up the oxygen. My brood and I fed and monitored that burn until the sun started its descent. Then, as the smells of supper wafted out from the kitchen, I decided it was time to enlist Smokey’s advice (to prevent forest fires) so I pointed the hose squarely at the center of the flames.
A good bit of time passed with me standing guard, hose in hand. Enough water had met its target so that a small swift river was flowing down the gulley and all appearances of smoke had ceased. The wood looked thoroughly saturated in my estimation; therefore, I called it a day and headed inside.
Satisfied that I’d accomplished my day’s task of rendering most of our yard waste to ash and properly extinguishing any resultant threat, I peacefully laid my head down that night. You might imagine my shock at what I discovered the next morning. Smoke and heat were wafting from my pile which was also substantially smaller than when I’d left it. Apparently, my fire woman skills were lacking as I’d failed to snuff out the source of the fire.
The crew and I participated in the 41st annual March for Life in Washington, DC earlier this month. Coverage of the event is always minimal at best so any mention of it calls my attention. Scrolling on social media I was intrigued by an article debating the tactics of Michael Voris of The Vortex at the March. Brendan Malone, on TheLeading Edge, alleged that Mr. Voris was creating divisions among pro-lifers at the event because while interviewing attendees he asked whether or not they supported contraception. It seems many were accepting and saw no dilemma in their stance.
While I won’t weigh in either way on Mr. Voris’ tactics, I must agree with the point he was trying hard to make. According to Guttmacher statsapproximately 68-72% of Catholic women contracept. Certainly, Catholics are not the only pro-lifers, but that statistic is similar to the population at large.
Well, everyone knows that access to affordable, convenient contraception reduces the need for abortion, right? I mean pro-lifers need to target their attention on the bigger problem at large which is simply the aborting of the unborn, agreed? I mean these are two separate battles, aren’t they?
Consider that according to Guttmacher, “Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant.” Only, 8% have never used contraceptives. Get that? More than half of women seeking to dispose of their unborn babes had been attempting to frustrate their conception in the first place (i.e. thought they couldn’t get pregnant because they were using contraceptives).
What Mr. Voris was trying to expose, I believe, was the ember that fuels the raging firestorm of abortion.
I’ve written about contraception before (you can read more HERE and HERE), but undoubtedly the topic is far from exhausted. As the interviewer unveiled at the March, many pro-lifers are soaking the blaze with good efforts and righteous confrontation, but until we target the interior ignitor we will never fully succeed in the fight.
Going back to those stats it is clear that contraception does not reduce abortions, indeed it actually leads to more abortions.
Firstly, it is important to remember that hormonal contraceptives like the Pill and devices like the IUD are, in and of themselves, abortifacients. That means they can and do abort newly conceived children before their mothers even know of their creation. So, to begin with, contraceptives abort babies. Just because no one has discovered their conception doesn’t nullify their killing.
“In summary, according to multiple references throughout the Physician’s Desk Reference, which articulate the research findings of all the birth control pill manufacturers, there are not one but three mechanisms of birth control pills: 1)inhibiting ovulation, 2)thickening cervical mucus, and 3) thinning and shriveling the lining of the uterus to the point that it is unable or less able to facilitate the implantation of the newly-fertilized egg. The first two mechanisms are contraceptive. The third is abortive.”Additionally, the mini-pill, the IUD and

the drug RU-486 have abortion as the primary operation.

Alcorn, Randy. Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?(Eternal Perspective Ministries: 2007)
Secondly, contraceptives delude couples into thinking sex and procreation are not necessarily connected events. Men hear that a woman’s fertility is a feature they can opt out of; and women are sold the idea that their healthy, functioning bodies are in need of medical intervention. A child is nothing more than choice. This distorted notion is the oxygen feeding this inferno. When a man and woman view sexual intercourse as nothing more than a pleasurable activity void of long-term effects, they don’t bother to consider or plan for the future or a different outcome. The unexpected child is then viewed as a threat and a failure, a problem to be remedied.
The medical community has done a fantastic job at convincing the populous that it has the remedy for most of what ails us. (Unfortunately, they have incorrectly taught women that fertility is an ailment when instead it is a healthy, function of the female body.) Indeed it has done its job so well that now people sue their doctor when his promises of health and vitality fall flat. Remembering that more than half of those seeking abortion were depending on contraception to avoid the “problem” of a child in the first place, it is easy to see the “need” for a back-up plan. And the medical community has filled the need by offering abortions. Not only is abortion the back-up to contraceptive failures, it is the extended money maker.
Oh, but my doctor doesn’t “do” abortions, you argue. Well, if your doctor wrote a prescription for your “sister’s” contraceptive then he/she is complicit in abortion- via the abortifacient components of the contraceptives or her decision to procure a back-up abortion.
By further extension, if patients have been promised sex without procreative consequences, they certainly aren’t interested in the unexpected blessing of a child with special needs. No worries, the medical community is happy to weed out those pesky, needy children whose parents bothered to consider allowing the unplanned pregnancy to continue.
Like the hot burning ember contained in the core of my bonfire, so is contraception to the pro-life fight. Sex divorced of procreation is, simply and honestly, a lie. True, there are ethical means by which to postpone pregnancy, but couples who choose to practice periodic abstinence understand that sex is the means to the procreative powers.
If the pro-life movement doesn’t acknowledge that contraception leads directly to abortion, then it will never succeed in extinguishing the wildfire. We didn’t begin this tragedy with 54 million dead babies on the abortionist’s floor (that is in America alone, not counting those babes aborted through contraceptive means), we began it with the erroneous belief that conception was separate from sex. If we hope to end this holocaust, we need to train our nozzle of energy, time and resources at the central igniter, as well as the burn pile.