The Contraception Trap

I came across this blog a couple of days ago and I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!

by Jennifer Fulwiler

Earlier this week, the Washington Post ran a story about efforts within the Church to modernize the image of Natural Family Planning. Religion writer Michelle Boorstein interviewed Ashley McGuire, Dr. Janet Smith, me, and a few other folks to get a feel for how modern Catholic women view NFP. (I wrote a clarification of some of my quotes from the article here.)

Not surprisingly, the piece has generated a lot of discussion. Cassie Murdoch of Jezebel picked it up, and spoke for many secular feminists when she basically rolled her eyes at the entire idea. Her main takeaway seemed to be that it’s futile to even have this kind of discussion, since everyone knows that it’s crazy to oppose contraception. She wrote:

Modernizing the Catholic Church has never been an easy task, and there’s certainly an argument to be made that a better way to modernize it would be to reverse or modify its anti-contraception stance rather than worrying about the pictures it uses on it’s brochures.

She quotes McGuire saying that Natural Family Planning allows women to live freely, and remarks:

Ahh, yes, knowing your body and living freely, two things which the Catholic Church has been freely promoting since back in the days of, ohhh, never.

The Catholic understanding of human sexuality oppresses women, but contraception encourages them to know their bodies and live freely. This is certainly a thought that is widely accepted in our culture as being true. But is it true? Let’s take a closer look.

The day before the Washington Post piece ran, the New York Times had an op-ed by a woman who talked about how much easier it used to be to get an abortion. Susan Heath wrote:

It’s 1978, five years after Roe v. Wade. I’m 38, I have four sons — the oldest is 17, the youngest is turning 12. I’m at school, getting a B.A., and I’m loving it.

I’m about two and a half months pregnant.

I don’t want this child. [...]

So I’m on my way to Planned Parenthood to have a legal abortion. My husband drives me there — this is a serious matter for both of us, but we absolutely agree it’s my decision to make. We have been conscientiously using contraception and it’s failed us this time.

The six words she writes next speak a thousand words about contraception and women’s freedom. She says of her situation:

I’m pregnant but I’m not trapped.

Interesting. So, in other words, if it weren’t for abortion, she would be trapped.

Even those who are in favor of abortion have to admit that this is a sad situation. . . .

Read more HERE.

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