LegalWorks Apostolate - Counsel for a Culture of Life

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

By Sister Clare Hunter

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

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

Marriages: Better with fewer kids, means less divorce.
The divorce rate in America is 50% percent of first marriages; 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce. This is in an era when contraceptives are nearly ubiquitous. I'm not even going to search for stats on infidelity.
Happy Women: A woman would be in control of her body, have better relationships with men, feel better about herself, happier and never used or taken advantage of.
How's that working out ladies? Have you noticed depression and low libido on the list of The Pill's side-effects?
My college friend finally talked about her reasons for taking "The Pill." She had this great boyfriend. Apparently the experiment to abstain worked for her, but not so much for him, so she needed to not get pregnant. She didn't really want to talk about that. Poor kid! We moved quickly onto other topics. I decided just to appeal to her "granola-environmentalist-Whole Foods" side. I couldn't resist, and sheepishly said, "I sure hope you wash down your artificial hormone pill with organic milk!" She snapped her head up, she looked at me with shock, and said, "I never thought of that before!" I was more startled by her illogic than she was by my question. Yeah, most of us do suffer from cognitive dissonance disorder.

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

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

This article has been reprinted here by permission of the author after original publication at Encourage and Teach, published by the Diocese of Arlington.

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