Quantcast

Why we DON’T use Birth Control

Yesterday, the popular website, Buzzfeed, gathered 22 of their female employees in an attempt to highlight reasons why the women use birth control. The article does not address particular forms of birth control, nor does it address any concerns associated with the use of birth control. Other articles circulating social media had snippets of reasons that women use birth control. One of the only articles questioning the safety of birth control that I’ve seen in the past few days is older, from last September regarding 14 things the author wishes every woman knew about birth control. I do want to clarify that the article is from a secular, non Catholic point of view, and does not condone the use of birth control “if a woman educates herself and makes that choice.”

As Catholics, we should know and understand that any form of contraception is against our faith teaching. It not only interferes with being open to life but it interferes with our openness to our spouse and to God. We do recognize that article 15 of Humanae Vitae states that a woman may use artificial birth control to control bodily diseases if the woman using them does not implicitly intend to use them as ways to prevent procreation. There are ways to overcome many of the problems artificial birth control aims to “fix”. We encourage you to investigate those options as well.  Ironically, most all of these “pro birth control” articles have been written in response the Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, and most of them address birth control that was never included in the ruling to begin with. Several of us have decided to write a response to these articles, sharing some of the health risks associated with the use of birth control as well as other reasons we opt not to use it. We recognize that these are our Catholic beliefs and we do not wish to force others to follow what we believe. We only wish to educate others on why we do not use birth control.

We do not use birth control…….IMG_311613476892886

“Because observing and charting my fertility is empowering!”

“Because my fertility shouldn’t be treated like a disease and medicated away.”

“For the same reasons I don’t expose myself to formaldehyde, asbestos, arsenic, radon, phosphorus and other such things…. because they are class 1 Carcinogens- poison.”

IMG_312006373595192

“Because it lowers your sex drive. And causes weight gain. And I like having a sex drive.”

“Because I don’t need to turn off my womanhood in order to be a feminist.”

IMG_319118889485867

“Because dying of a blood clot, stroke, or heart attack are not options. Neither is uterine atrophy and the chance of permanent infertility.”

“Because I spend too much time and money on organic, non-GMO and hormone free foods to fill my body with hormonal birth control.”

“Because NaPro doctors can identify health problems like PCOS and endometriosis by looking at my chart…. and then they can HEAL my body.”

IMG_323369730467809

“Because I deserve actual health care and healing, not just a band aid.”

 

20140716_224431

“Because my fertility is my superpower.”

“Because regularly shooting my body up with extra hormones would make it a lot harder to be a reasonable, thoughtful, and logical human being.”

“Because I really don’t think it’s healthy for my body to think it is perpetually pregnant.”

IMG_312184886168434

“Because immediate gratification without consequence is not the highest good.”

“Because having a family is on my bucket list. And infinitely more fun and rewarding than anything else.”

birthcontrol

“Because if I didn’t want to have a baby, I just wouldn’t have sex.”

“Because I like to fix things, not mask the symptoms.”

IMG_322225097498463

“Because I cannot imagine one of my children not existing.”

“Because I don’t want to abort any of my babies, even if they are only a few days old.”

IMG_327518050668753

“Because NaPro fixes my body instead of ignoring potential health threats like birth control does.”

“Because I accept my body the way it is.”

IMG_326038713689622

“Because fertility is not a pathology.”

“Because I am responsible and make mindful decisions, accepting the consequences to every action I make.”

“Because we like our sex environmentally friendly.”

IMG_323362565764441

“Because I don’t need anything to control me, I can control myself.”

“Because I like my water without other people’s estrogen in it.”

“Because it perpetuates the objectification of women as worthless sexual objects, constantly at the disposal of men in our commodity driven culture.”

IMG_319107009877712

“Because the thought of an absent period is far more scary to me than bleeding for 5-7 days each month.”

“Because I love the first little flutters of a baby growing within me.”

“Because a baby in mommy’s tummy makes my older kids so excited.”

“Because I love babies!”

IMG_322218771204518

“Because it is against my Religion.”

“Because I want my husband to actually be involved in our decision to have sex and know that I’m not carrying the weight alone and that he is not just using me for sex.”

 

IMG_326599138781660

“Because the first thing my mom’s oncologist asked her when she was told she had breast cancer was, “Were you on the pill?”

“Because it’s preposterous to complain about large pharmaceutical corporations and hormones in your meat and then pump yourself full of chemicals to take yourself out of the gene pool because they told you you’d have fewer period cramps.”

IMG_312963248562335

“Because of the NFP divorce rate stats (less than 2%).”

IMG_323352320464149

“Because being fertile isn’t a condition that needs to be medicated.”

IMG_311993967192603

“Because siblings are a gift.”

“Because I don’t want my children to ever think I didn’t want them.”

IMG_322427854116860

“Because I love the spontaneity, thrill and joy my family brings to me each day….. something I never had without them.”

“Because nothing in the world smells better than a baby’s head.”

IMG_327073514950640

“Because sex isn’t a right, it is a gift.”

“Because the birth control pill is medically classified as a carcinogen!”

“Because my husband loves me and respects and reveres my fertility.”

IMG_327000643765339

“Because I love the way my husband puts his hand on my pregnant belly.”
“Because it is the first “medicine” of its kind to be prescribed to be taken to address a normally functioning process of the human body.”
IMG_326994299832232
“Because no one should control my reproductive health but me.”
“Because if I’m not truly ready for a baby, then I don’t want to use something that might not work 100%.”
IMG_327502840433158
“Because life is a beautiful thing. Always.”
IMG_326202989599046
ETA: We thank each of you for your comments and feedback. This post has been edited to reflect Humanae Vitae’s article 15 regarding the use of artificial birth control for medical purposes. We must point out though that while using artificial birth control for true medical concerns (and these are limited in nature) is approved they must never be used with contraception in mind, only to treat the medical need. In the Catholic faith the use of artificial contraception is not allowed to prevent life. We encourage you to research and to read what the Church truly teaches in regard to this matter. This law applies to Catholics and we understand that not everyone who is reading here is Catholic. We do not wish to force our beliefs on you, however, as a Catholic site who sits fully in line with the Magisterium we will always promote the Truth and the ways of the Catholic faith.

Did you enjoy this article? Sign up now!

About Jeanne

Jeanne is a happily married wife (to Ryan, July 2008) and mama of two beautiful biological children (Maximus 2009 & Caroline 2011). In 2014, Jeanne and Ryan finalized the adoption of Harlei (2012) into their family. As a “Cradle Catholic,” she spent years going through the motions before she actually came to understand and fall in love with our beautiful faith. Now, she enjoys discussing it with others, trying her best to live it.

July 17, 2014 - 2:51 pm

Katie Sciba - because NFP doesn’t interfere with our marriage vows – we love each other exclusively, faithfully, freely, and fruitfully – vows every Catholic makes at his/her wedding. We say “I do” to accepting children.

July 17, 2014 - 3:40 pm

Marissa - I don’t use birth control because Abstinence is 100% Free, 100% Effective, 100% natural, 100% safe, and demands a man not use use me as a sex object!

July 17, 2014 - 4:05 pm

Rebecca Love - Because I respect that every woman should have the right to make that choice for herself, and in my case it makes more medical sense not to.

July 17, 2014 - 4:58 pm

Jason - Dear Jeanne, tha you for a good article giving reasons not to use contraception. I did notice that you said married Catholics cannot use birth control even for medical reasons and that you cited catholic.com which cites Humane Vitae. Catholic.com and Humae Vitae are not saying that birth control cannot be used for medical reasons, in fact Humanae Vitae says in no. 15 that birth control can be used for medical reasons whereas no. 14 says that one cannot terminate a pregnancy through birth control methods.

July 17, 2014 - 5:07 pm

Jamie - ugh! some of these comments are uninformed!
I am a Christian. I am abstinent and am 30, but have been using BC pills since I was 17 because I didn’t have a regular cycle but also because my cramps are so bad they actually make me puke and have caused my body to seize up in a way so that I can’t move! This pain I have dealt with since 12 with my first period! I went off of them for a little bit to see if I no longer needed them, but I still do! The is nothing wrong with using medication to be pain free,healthy and able to live a healthy life!!!

July 17, 2014 - 5:29 pm

Jeanne - Jason, thank you for your comment. I’m trying to find clarification as someone else had questioned me about it. I believe it falls into the principle of double effect. If birth control works as an abortificient because the couple was on it during a fertile time of the month, I cannot see how it would be acceptable to use at all while still sexually active.
Again, I’m looking for clarification, but my understanding is that if a woman is on hormonal birth control for “medical purposes,” it cannot be used as contraception and therefore the couple should abstain.
I do understand that the Church permits the use of birth control for non sexually active women in treating medical conditions, but I think there is a good amount of NaPro information out there that can show that there are other ways to treat those conditions, without the risks.

July 17, 2014 - 5:35 pm

Kelly - Thanks for this awesome post! So many of my friends have tried to convince me that birth control is an acceptable way to deal with my horrible cramps, but that was the reason my mother’s doctor put her on birth control when she was a teen. And guess what? That did cause her to have fertility problems, and even a miscarriage. Because of my mom’s struggle I refuse to rely on a pill. Your fertility is a blessing and the pill robs you of that.

July 17, 2014 - 5:41 pm

Erika - Because the birth control patch gave me a DVT at 17.
Never again will I put my health at risk like that

July 17, 2014 - 5:44 pm

angel - there are a lot f pictures with women saying “because theyre not broken or sick” im defiantly not judging and I understand that women also want control over there bodies that doesn’t include using birth control, yet this was a response to buzzfeed and some of the women from buzzfeed do have medical conditions that need to be regulated by birth control. I am personally on birth control myself, im on depovera, yes there are consequences, but I found what works for me without this I would be sock, some people do not realize that a heavy period does make you sick. I am very supportive of all the women who don’t need birth control, you guys are good examples of women having control over your lives but I would hate for your choice to be taken away, what if you had a medical condition and it could only be helped with birth control, you women made the choice to be on birth control, yet the women who are on birth control made the choice to do so. there is a conflict but we need to accept that some women want this and some women don’t but lets also realize that some women need this and continue to let birth control be a choice for every woman to have. I commend all of you wonderful women

July 17, 2014 - 5:53 pm

Jeanne - Thank you Angel. Would your opinion of Depo change if I told you that a friend of mine got pregnant on it, and that it ended up causing a cancer called choriocarcinoma because her pregnancy was not discovered until it had spread throughout her body? She started having headaches back in July of 2005 and was told that several unexplained periods of bleeding were side effects of the depo. It turns out that she was miscarrying, and that the fetal tissue spread and sat in her lungs and her brain. She had two major brain surgeries a week apart, and then received chemo and radiation to get rid of the rest of the cancer. She ended up having to have a hysterectomy in the Spring of 2006.
In June of 2006, she began having seizures as a result of the surgeries and scar tissue and has basically lost her driver’s license since.
There will always be better options out there over hormonal birth control. Sadly, most doctor offices make lots and lots of money to push certain drugs and they are not honest with their patients about the risks.
Check into NaPro technology for your conditions. I bet you’ll find someone willing to work with you and not give you something to simply cover up your symptoms. Good luck.

On a side note, we do not approve any comments that include foul language or that are simply combative in nature. Thank you.

July 17, 2014 - 6:05 pm

Jason - Just to clarify, although it may be morally licit to take certain forms of birth control for health reasons, I am also generally against doing so because, as your example rightly pointed out, it can mask symptoms and not address the real issue. Some forms of birth control may put a woman in a “principle of double effect” situation but there are many factors needed for this to be the case. For example, if a married Catholic woman who is sexually active was taking an oral form of birth control that prevents ovulation (barring for the moment that although some pills intend to prevent ovulation, they are not always successful in this endeavor) for a morally good reason for the health of the patient (I’ll let moral theologians determine which ones are morally good and licit), and if there was a fertilized egg from one of their unions that was unintentionally aborted then the principle of double effect does apply with no culpability on the part of the couple. It is important to note that in Humanae Vitae, there is no mention that a woman must abstain from sexual relations while taking a pill for medical reasons and there is no Church document that says only non-sexually active women may take it. In fact, in no. 15 the late Holy Father says that one can take a form of birth control that may impede procreation even while knowing this fact. To play devil’s advocate a bit, there may be a symptom the woman is trying to overcome that may be mitigated by taking oral contraception for many years (again, I don’t advocate for this and would suggest against but it is morally licit) and there may not be opportunities to practice NFP even during allegedly infertile periods (I say allegedly because hey, we never know what God can do as in the case with Elizabeth). Pope Paul VI is very clear that once knowingly (I have added the knowingly part since we aren’t always sure right away) pregnant, a person cannot take that oral form of birth control even for medical reasons. Of course, IUDs, Ru-486, and other oral abortifacients are morally prohibited. I’m only speaking of the ones that claim to suppress ovulation. Hope that helps.

July 17, 2014 - 6:32 pm

Alison - I noticed that one of the women featured stated that she doesn’t take birth control because she “loves and respects her husband”. I’m just curious what the reasoning is behind that statement? How does your decision not to take birth control have anything to do with your respect for your husband? I’ve always thought of birth control as a very personal decision, and what I get from that statement is that this woman feels as though her body is at her husband’s disposal. If he wants her to become pregnant, does she feel that is something she has to do? Please clarify, I’m guessing I’ve misunderstood and I am genuinely curious!

July 17, 2014 - 6:38 pm

Martha - NFP is birth control – a method of spacing births.

It’s NOT contraception.

July 17, 2014 - 6:47 pm

Jennifer Roback Morse - Hi everyone, I just discovered this page, and your list, on facebook. I have been publishing a series of short posts about the problems with contraception, over at the Ruth blog. Here is the most recent. I think this crowd will enjoy them!
http://www.ruthblog.org/2014/07/09/did-you-know-the-pill-increases-stroke-risks-as-much-as-smoking/

Dr J
Jennifer Roback Morse recently posted..Did you know? The Pill increases stroke risks as much as smoking.My Profile

July 17, 2014 - 6:51 pm

Jessica - Your statement about not using it for medical purposes is incorrect. The Church has in fact always taught that it is licit to use hormonal therapy, such as that found in BC, for valid medical reasons, even between married couples. This is because the intention is different, as it is aimed toward correcting a medical issue and not towards the prevention of a conception, although that may be an I intended side effect.

I am an NFP user and actually agree that it is usually a bandaid to an underlying issue and not the best way to treat whatever is going on. However, as someone who has a degree in Catholic Theology, I feel an obligation to correct the erroneous statement.

For further clarification, this is from the USCCB:
Is there ever a time “contraceptives” may be used for medical reasons?
Catholic teaching does not oppose the use of hormonal medications – such as those found in chemical contraceptives – for legitimate medical purposes, provided there is no contraceptive intent.
But artificial hormones typically treat only the medical symptoms. They do not correct the underlying disease or condition. They also carry the same physical health risks as hormonal contraceptives.
Thankfully, with growing advancements in understanding fertility, knowledgeable gynecologists can often prescribe non-contraceptive drugs and recommend safer and healthier treatments to correct underlying problems or eliminate discomfort.

July 17, 2014 - 6:55 pm

Jessica - Sorry *unintended side effect

July 17, 2014 - 7:56 pm

Martina - Just a reminder that we *do* hold everyone {Catholics, non-Catholics, unbelievers, etc.} to a higher standard of conversation on our corner of the internet. IF your comment was not approved, I invite you to visit our comment guidelines.

Those who have chosen to mock our beliefs or drop f-bombs were obviously not approved.

Sorry, there just isn’t enough time in the day and there are a LOT of websites that will allow you to say absolutely everything that crosses your mind, some of whom have no regard for others or respectful dialogue. We aren’t one of those. :)

http://www.catholicsistas.com/comments/
Martina recently posted..Why we DON’T use Birth ControlMy Profile

July 17, 2014 - 8:01 pm

Jeanne - Jessica, I would imagine that “provided there is no contraceptive intent” means that the birth control will not be used at all in a contraceptive manner. In this case, the only 100% way to assure this doesn’t happen is to refrain from sexual activity while on the pill.
This is why my post says “sexually active” couples.
Perhaps I am misunderstanding something in the teaching?
It seems to me that with your wording, you are basically saying that there are just means to use birth control as long as there is a medically acceptable reason. I would argue that it is a slippery slope.

July 17, 2014 - 8:07 pm

Lulu - Well, darn. I feel terrible that I have to take oral contraceptives to control my crippling acne now. I feel like I will never have a solution if I have to stop birth control. I’ve been to dermatologists and bought expensive products. I don’t know what to do now…my doctor told me it wouldn’t cause cancer! Where are you getting this information? It is scary :( I have used birth control for its…intended purpose… as well even though I am not married and cannot afford children right now. I guess I am just a terrible catholic in general… What’s the use.

July 17, 2014 - 8:26 pm

Michelle Fritz - Hi Alison! I’d like to address your question although I’m not the one in the picture (well, in any of the pictures actually!). Loving and respecting your husband doesn’t mean that your body is at his beck and call or that you allow him to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants with it. Instead, when you love and respect your husband you want them to be a part of the decision making process, meaning you want them to participate in understanding your signs for fertility and then making a decision together whether or not to abstain or go ahead and make love. This is ultimate love and respect to share the intimate details of what’s going on with your body so that together through prayer and communication you can come to an agreement together on what actions to take during your fertile time (or your non fertile time as it may be).

As you can see it doesn’t mean you are bending to your husband’s wants/needs but that you are being completely open to discussing what is good for your marriage at that moment. Taking artificial birth control means that you don’t have to talk about your marriage, like you say, it’s very one sided. But with NFP you continuously discuss and are open to hear what your spouse has to say about either abstaining or not (and potentially making a baby together). It is truly opening yourself up to your spouse. I hope this helps some!
Michelle Fritz recently posted..Mrs. Buttersworth… a Kid’s Best Friend and ConfidantMy Profile

July 17, 2014 - 8:45 pm

Alison - Michelle, thanks for your reply! I come from a pretty liberal background, so when I see something like “I don’t take birth control because I love and respect my husband” my mind automatically assumes the worst. I appreciate you taking the time to explain your point of view to me, it is definitely refreshing to hear from someone with different values and ideals than my own. While I don’t necessarily agree that taking artificial birth control means you don’t have to talk about your marriage, I can see how NFP would open communications between spouses and make it that much easier to talk about what you both want. Thank you!

July 17, 2014 - 8:55 pm

Frenchie - Beliefs may differ, but respect is universal. While it’s fine for women not to use birth control, don’t you think others should respect the women that DO use birth control. Those who choose to use birth control do not insist others use it as well, they simply insist that they have the freedom to choose whether or not they wish to use it. I respect the women who choose to use birth control while I also respect those who choose not to; but that’s what it is: a CHOICE. Just because you believe something, does not mean everyone else has to has well. If your religion says not to use birth control, fantastic! Don’t use birth control. However, not everyone else follows the same religion, and you shouldn’t force them to follow yours.
Frenchie recently posted..Why we DON’T use Birth ControlMy Profile

July 17, 2014 - 9:31 pm

Michelle Fritz - Thank you Alison! I agree with you that many couples who use BC do indeed talk to each other but with NFP it lends itself to the necessity of talking about those times. Thank you for your comments and for being open-minded to hearing my perspective too. I think that is the best way to learn and have open communication. I appreciate your comments so much! :)
Michelle Fritz recently posted..Mrs. Buttersworth… a Kid’s Best Friend and ConfidantMy Profile

July 17, 2014 - 9:46 pm

Jeanne - Frenchie, I’m wondering which comment in particular is not respectful in your opinion? Honest question. If you are talking about the ones that mention self control, perhaps I should remind you and plenty of others upset by this post that the post that it responds to basically says that “as women we should be able to do whatever we want with our bodies whenever we want to.”
Show me an example of a pro birth control post that is out there that doesn’t say that lack of birth control restricts a woman from “enjoying sex” or “being able to do what she wants.”
Our purpose here is to show that sex has a much greater purpose and meaning than simply enjoyment.
Most of us embrace the procreation aspect of it because we want large families, but those are only some of the reasons we refrain from birth control. The other reasons, as we have shared, have to do with the dangers associated with use of birth control.
None of us have said that we disrespect women for using birth control. But I think many of us can say that we are sick of it being shoved down our throats as of late (since the Hobby Lobby ruling, specifically) over a misunderstanding of the ruling to begin with. Every time I turn on my newsfeed I am met with how women are now supposedly being denied their “right” to birth control because of it. That is absolutely not the case.
This post was to counter the reasons all of those women flaunt for using their birth control with the reasons that we do not.

July 17, 2014 - 10:05 pm

Jen - This is AWESOME! I want to see a post about what your husbands and other guys say, too! It’d be just as powerful!

July 17, 2014 - 10:07 pm

Jennifer - Because men respect me for waiting for marriage. A male neighbor stopped a guy from trying to hook up for a bootie call. “Naw man, she’s not like that…she is the type of girl you have a relationship with and have meet your mama.” I never said I was waiting for marriage, but that self respect was what my neighbor say.

July 17, 2014 - 10:09 pm

Jennifer - Because men respect me for waiting for marriage. A male neighbor stopped a guy from trying to hook up for a bootie call. “Naw man, she’s not like that…she is the type of girl you have a relationship with and have meet your mama.” I never said I was waiting for marriage, but that self respect was what my neighbor saw.

July 17, 2014 - 10:25 pm

Jason carrier - I have no say in what my wife does with her body because it’s her body. I’m okay with that. I don’t feel the need to tell her what she should or shouldn’t do and even if I felt the need to express that to her it doesn’t change the fact that it’s her body. Why do people think they should have more control on what a woman chooses to do with her own body than that woman has? You are free to do what you want with your own body. You should just worry about that and stop trying to tell other women what they should do. It’s none of your business.

July 17, 2014 - 10:39 pm

Michelle Fritz - Hi Jason, if you read through the article again you will see that we are not telling anyone what to choose for her body… only WHY we choose not to use birth control. Much like the Buzzfeed article that told why those women DO use artificial birth control this is just an attempt to show why this group of women do not. It’s an attempt to show the opposite side of the argument- which is equally as valid as those who use birth control and want to share with the world why they choose to.
Michelle Fritz recently posted..Mrs. Buttersworth… a Kid’s Best Friend and ConfidantMy Profile

July 17, 2014 - 10:42 pm

Ed - I’m glad you included the bit about the estrogen in the water. As a man, it disgusts me to think that I may be consuming what other people have peed out because it does not break down.

I wish that one of them had also been “Because I don’t want it to interfere with my ability to be naturally attracted to the best mate” since birth control prevent women from properly interpreting the pheromones of men, which their bodies can use to discern whose immune system is more complementary to their own.

July 17, 2014 - 11:04 pm

Katrina - Jason, I don’t think that any woman involved in this post is telling anyone what to do, but rather they are expressing their reasons for the choice that they made.

Also, I do understand that you do not want to tell your wife what to do and I would agree that you shouldn’t. However, I would also say that as her husband you have a duty to share your opinions, hopes, fears, feelings and emotions with her, especially in the area of intimacy. As a married couple, decisions should never be made without the input of your spouse.

July 17, 2014 - 11:21 pm

Meg - Although I truly understand the church’s teaching, I am one of those rare women who has actually been granted an “official exemption” by our Pastor to use hormone birth control…why? Because I have genetically high cholesterol (since first measured when I was an 80 lb 13 yr old) that has only responded to Statin Drug therapy. My cholesterol is well over 400 uncontrolled and definitely could lead to cardiac issues and early death! Not wanting my 6 and 3 yr old to loose me at the age of 35, and not wanting to subject a surprisingly conceived child to horrific birth defects/death from the statin drugs, we use hormone birth control with bi-monthly ultrasound monitoring to make sure there are no surprises!

July 17, 2014 - 11:38 pm

Lady - If modern women were truly feminists, and wanted to exert their own control over their bodies, then they wouldn’t deny their body its natural function.

Modern feminism chooses to deny the female body its natural function and delays or ends life. If women really wanted to be pro-women, they would retain their pregnancies and see them through as a way to celebrate their unique function in the world.

As it is now, denying a woman’s body its function and purpose only serves to further empower men to objectify and use female sexuality and creates a culture of objectification. Men are able to physically gratify themselves fully while women have to deny themselves in order to maintain this status quo. Men have no need to be responsible or attached to any one particular woman because the natural end product of sex is avoided. This “freed” sexuality empowers them to abuse their own sexuality.

Ultimately modern sexuality denies womanhood as it superficially fulfills manhood. It’s a broken system and is made possible by birth control which is ironically, the choice many women take to feel in control of their sexuality.

July 18, 2014 - 12:39 am

Em - I don’t understand the ‘love and respect my husband’ one. Please explain.

July 18, 2014 - 1:14 am

Ali - Coming from a biased point of view as I am not Catholic nor on the pill for any reason, and I don’t hold a solid view on either pro- or anti-pill, I noticed some overlap between this article and Buzzfeed’s concerning birth control. One reason along the lines of “no one should control my reproductive health but me” appears in both articles. I think that highlights the right to choose, each for herself, whether to be on birth control or not. I love that, the ability to choose and decide what’s right for yourself, even if another woman has decided something else is right for herself. I will be taking all that is published here, as well as proper research, doctor considerations, and Buzzfeed’s employee’s points of view when I do make the decision about whether or not the pill is for me.

July 18, 2014 - 1:29 am

Mary - Lulu – I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had such a hard time finding a solution for your acne!! I’ve had some difficult medical issues, too, and I understand how tough it can be to not find a great solution. As I understand it, if you are unmarried and not sexually active, there’s no problem taking artificial birth control to address another medical issue. It definitely would be wise (as with any medicine you are prescribed) to investigate the potential side effects and risks (I’m sorry, I don’t have links at hand to the cancer risks with the Pill and such).
As for using it for being a bad Catholic because you’ve used birth control for its “intended purpose”, that doesn’t make you a bad Catholic, it makes you human. All of us make mistakes and are sinful. The Church isn’t a pedestal to show off the saints, it’s a hospital for us sinners!! One beauty of the Church is that we have Reconciliation. You can go and confess your mis-steps and be forgiven of your sins, and go on to strive to avoid sin in the future! One thing that may help your decisions is to remember that even pills intended to prevent ovulation generally have a “back-up” method of preventing implantation if you do still ovulate and that egg is fertilized. That means it can cause a very early abortion. I actually also took the Pill for a few years before I was married, and that knowledge helped to strengthen my resolve to stay chaste with my boyfriend at the time – I could not stand the thought of possibly aborting a baby just for the short-lived pleasure of uncommitted sex!

July 18, 2014 - 1:40 am

Mary - Martha – Technically you’re right, NFP is a form of birth control. However, I think the “un-voiced” key word is “artificial”. In this post, the Buzzfeed post, and in general usage, birth control is usually understood to refer to “artificial birth control” such as the pill, IUD, condoms, etc, and not to natural spacing of children using NFP.

July 18, 2014 - 1:47 am

Lorraine Shelstad - This is a great article and you have done a wonderful job in making it relevant and interesting to read, as well. I want to point out a small typo though – ‘does not condone the use of birth control’. Do you mean ‘condemn’? ‘condone’ means ‘approve of’, I believe.
I wanted to post the article on my Facebook page but I hesitate to do so with the above ‘typo’ thanks.
Frenchie; I think that Jeanne is giving the reasons why it is unhealthy to use artificial contraceptives and suggesting safer ways. I don’t see that she is being disrespectful at all of those who use artificial contraceptives.

July 18, 2014 - 7:36 am

Erin - ~”Because NFP families come in all sizes!”
NFP is so freeing! My daughter was “planned” but only about 30 minutes prior to existing. ;) I don’t know of ANY artificial means that would afford such freedom.

July 18, 2014 - 8:51 am

Monica - Jeanne, I am not going to go into a long theological debate with you but as someone who has a degree in Catholic theology who has studied this in depth, and actually uses birth control due to horrific hormonal symptoms, I can safely assert that you are misunderstanding what Jessica is saying. As I am currently the vocation of the single life, I can’t not personally attest to what decisions I will make if and when God graces me with the married life but I can say after much studying and close conversations with religious men and women, I do not feel as a practing, God loving Catholic, there is anything morally wrong with my use of artificial hormones. I am also striving in the Church that point out that what you do and say is hurtful to women who do not have an alternative. I quite literally could not function without it during my period. Endometriosis and others diseases are painful enough without people who claim to love God putting down their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I understand who the majority is with whom you are speaking against, but please remember the minority in the future. It comes off a lot like hate speech when you are incorrectly citing Church documents and poking holes in anyone’s defense of why birth control may be helpful in licit ways approved by the Church. Just offering my two cents as a child of God, Catholic theologian, and woman who uses birth control for medical reasons outside of my control.

July 18, 2014 - 9:51 am

Amy Luttell - Jeanne, in Angels defense….I saw the “f” and thought it was symbolic of a bad word, too, but then realized it was a typo. Should have been “of”. Thanks for this awesome project and post!

July 18, 2014 - 9:51 am

Michelle Fritz - Hi Em, if you notice above I responded also to Alison who had a similar question about that one. I hope it helps you understand what MY take is on that one anyway! Thanks for asking for clarification!
Michelle Fritz recently posted..Mrs. Buttersworth… a Kid’s Best Friend and ConfidantMy Profile

July 18, 2014 - 10:02 am

Michelle Fritz - For those who have not seen their comments posted, we have very strict commenting rules and as such we only will post comments that follow these rules. We also hold ourselves to a high standard when we interact with those who comment here. If you’d like to read our rules we welcome you to do so but please know if your comments are rude, attacking, baiting, or in any way degrading we will not post them. We try our best to always use our manners in responding, we ask that you do as well.

Please be patient as we go through comments to approve them as they come in. We are not opposed to open dialogue with those who disagree with our adherence to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, but we must insist that the dialogue be one that is respectful. Thank you!

If you’d like to view our rules for commenting, you can do so here: http://www.catholicsistas.com/comments/
Michelle Fritz recently posted..Mrs. Buttersworth… a Kid’s Best Friend and ConfidantMy Profile

July 18, 2014 - 10:14 am

Cait - Jeanne, Jessica is actually correct. According to the principle of double effect. Hormon therapy (aka birth control) can be used. Please review section 15 of humane vitae.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

In fact it does not state that the married couple would have to abstain from sex, which you would think they would be very clear about if this was necessary. Catholic women can continue to use NFP while using hbc for therapeutic means in order to prevent a miscarriage and continue to respect the spirit of NFP and openness to life. In fact some NFP instructors and teachers have addressed how to do this.

I understand being passionate about life and respectful of our sexuality. But we must be careful not to go beyond what is actually taught by the church. Catholic women that are truly faced with these medical necessities are already suffering physically and do not additional burden of indefinite abstinence while treating debilitating diseases.

July 18, 2014 - 10:28 am

Alli - Overall, this is a beautiful article celebrating the choice to respect our (amazing, beautiful) fertility. Some of the statements are troubling, though. For example, “Because I want my husband to actually be involved in our decision to have sex and know that I’m not carrying the weight alone and that he is not just using me for sex”.

Please let that sink in.

Decisions of whether or not to have sex should always be mutual, respectful, and with regard to both spouse’s desires and consequences (and those of the couple as a unit). This is a dangerous statement, implying that if a couple decides that its not the right time for a baby, his or her sexual desire is just “using the other for sex”. This is a gross concept which does not fall in place with Biblical teachings. Sexual decisions should always be mutual and mutually beneficial.

July 18, 2014 - 11:27 am

Jeannie - I am a Catholic mother of five wonderful children. I find issue with two things in your article.
One: It is NOT true that “any form of contraception, even for “medical purposes” between a sexually active couple is never permitted”. There are many reasons and situations in which even Catholics may – if they choose – use birth control.
Two: God gave each of us free will and we must each choose for ourselves. It is presumptuous of us to deny other humans the free will that God gives us.
Jeannie recently posted..The Revolution of John XXIII: The Second Vatican Council (Review)My Profile

July 18, 2014 - 11:52 am

Momofmany - My husband (who became Cathoic prior to our engagement) have explicitly practiced only NFP. We have 10 children (2 miscarried angels in Heaven). Even throughout our micscarriages, what helped with the pain of our loss was knowing we completely & totally give our fertility to our Creator. We believe that lovemaking i zzz a gift whereby we co-create,so-to-speak,with God in bringing forth tiny infant souls. We would NOT reject God’s plan. I know not everyone believes this way. I just know we have always experienced God’s immense love and have been blessed beyond measure. I hope & pray for everyone to ask God’s will be made known to them as they seek to live out His plan in thier lives. By all means we do not judge others, we only are sharing and live as an example of what we know & feel God has chosen. God bless.

July 18, 2014 - 12:09 pm

Sarah - What about the Catechism #2370? We can’t go just by Humanae Vitae – although that is important as well. In this section in the catechism, it is stated that “every action, which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil.” This seems pretty clear that, even if the intention is for a medical purpose, the end cannot justify that means.

July 18, 2014 - 1:33 pm

Anabelle Hazard @Written By the Finger of God - …because have you seen the alarming torts cases involving birth control?
http://catholicstand.com/meet-the-darlings-of-class-action-lawsuits/

July 18, 2014 - 1:38 pm

Jason - Sarah, that quote you gave from the Catechism is actually from Humanae Vitae 14. The CCC is quoting HV and that quote is saying that using a form of birth control for the purpose of rendering procreation impossible is evil. However, HV 15 says that it is morally licit to use a form of birth control (usually oral/hormonal types, never abortafacients) for medical purposes, so long as addressing the medical condition is the primary reason for using birth control. If a woman is married and having sexual relations with her husband and needs this hormonal therapy, the Church does not forbid marital relations while taking the pill. In fact, Pope Paul IV says that a person can use artificial birth control for medicinal purposes even though it can be foreknown that this will impede procreation.

July 18, 2014 - 1:50 pm

Cait - Okay, so what are they referring to in humane vitae than? It seems pretty straight forward. I mean it’s titled “lawful therapeutic means” and there is no mention of stipulations. Kind of a pretty big whoopsies on JP2’s end. On the other hand the quote from the catechism is pretty vague. Honestly my understanding is this is speaking about foreplay and finishing what you started. :-) Also the cannon lawyers, bishops, oh yeah and JP2 (again) that wrote our Catechism pull directly from encyclicals so there shouldn’t be a conflict, right?
…….So does that mean that any woman who has gone through menopause can no longer have sex? What about a hysterectomy? Why can’t you use NFP in conjunction???? It seems that is the perfect solution for someone with a real medical necessity. I’m not talking about acne, I’m talking about uncontrollable bleeding that necessitates blood transfusions. I’m not talking about cramps, I’m talking about constant pain that requires going on disability and not being able to work or take care of your children. The hormones that are used for birth control are not in and of themselves evil, it is there usage that is evil. If the usage is not intended as a birth control, but to treat a disease it is not evil anymore than using cytotec to induce labor is the same thing and using cytotec to have an abortion. Not the same thing. Using NFP in conjunction continues to respect sex for what it is and acknowledges it’s dual purpose of unitive and procreative even while taking hbc. I have a feeling this wouldn’t even be an issue if we were talking about a heart medicine that lowers sperm count to almost zero.

July 18, 2014 - 2:53 pm

Amanda - Cait—I hope I am not misinterpreting your comment but you cannot use NFP in conjunction with HBC. HBC messes with your bodies natural rhythms in which case it is hard to determine what may be the underlying cause of the pain/bleeding/etc. I have been using NFP to avoid and achieve pregnancy and to help figure out my possible PCOS and bad cramping. NaPro technology has completely changed my life!

I also want to point out to those who question the “love and respect my husband” comment that when a couple gets married in the Church their vows include that they will give themselves “freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully, lovingly accepting children from God.” So when I vowed to my husband that I would love him FREELY and TOTALLY that includes that I give ALL of myself, INCLUDING my fertility. If I withhold my fertility from him, how am I giving him all of me? This is part of the reason couples who use NFP properly have a divorce rate of less than 2%.

July 19, 2014 - 8:31 am

Update | Grove is Green - […] really like this article that was recently published if you want more reasons to not use the pill (http://www.catholicsistas.com/2014/07/17/dont-use-birth-control/) – there are plenty articles out there since it is a rather controversial subject. However, I […]

July 22, 2014 - 3:16 pm

Ladies who don't use contraception have had it with ... - The Raw Story | SecuritySlags - Blog NetworkSecuritySlags – Blog Network - […] linked a website called Catholic Sistas3 (yes, that s their name) who decided to respond with Why we DON T use Birth Control4 […]

July 24, 2014 - 1:20 am

NFP and the Single Girl | Peace, Joy, Pancakes - […] to BuzzFeed’s post, the web site Catholic Sistas decided to ask its contributors to share their reasons “why we don’t use birth control.” In the original version of the article, which has since been edited to reflect corrections received […]

July 25, 2014 - 2:44 am

7QTF: NFP Week | Proverbial Girlfriend - […] Perfect post for this week when comparing NFP with artificial contraception. Catholic Sistas on why we DON’T use birth control. […]

July 25, 2014 - 4:36 pm

Women’s Reproductive Health & Feminism: The Truth in the Lies | Fiat - […] Embracing our fertility and its natural function is an opportunity to have the freedom, control and empowerment our feminine hearts long for. When you doubt this, look to Our Lady, the founder of authentic feminism, for an example of what empowered womanhood really looks like. […]

August 20, 2014 - 10:01 am

NFP and the Single Girl - […] to BuzzFeed’s post, the web site Catholic Sistas decided to ask its contributors to share their reasons “why we don’t use birth control.” In the original version of the article, which has since been edited to reflect corrections received […]

August 20, 2014 - 10:31 am

I am Woman! - NWA Gossip Girl's Blog - […] saw an article from BuzzFeed about why some of their staff take birth control. Then I saw another article that “responded” to the BuzzFeed post on why members of this particular blog do not […]

August 25, 2014 - 2:07 pm

How Natural Family Planning Shaped My View of Sex | mojeinfo - […] conversations on women’s rights and women’s health made clear, women’s decision to use or not use birth control is a deeply personal one dependent on many factors. But when we do family plan, we […]

H o b n o b
F r i e n d s