Opinion: Contraception denigrates me as a woman
Pokorny: "Should I so easily accept... that I need to alter a part of myself that’s working properly in order to be free or fulfilled?"
February 15th, 2012
04:22 PM ET

Opinion: Contraception denigrates me as a woman

Editor’s Note: Valerie Pokorny is actively involved in marriage preparation programs, natural family planning instruction and chastity education in the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Texas. 

An opposing view can be read here.

By Valerie Pokorny, Special to CNN

(CNN) - In the face of the Health and Human Services mandate to provide contraception coverage, I stand with my fellow Catholics hoping our religious freedom will be respected.

But more importantly, I stand as a woman hoping who I am will be respected.

Four times a year, I walk into a room of Catholic moms and their middle school or high school daughters to help them see why being a woman matters, as part of the Archdiocese of San Antonio’s Mother-Daughter Programs on the Gift of Femininity.

I tell them it’s no accident that they are women, that women are equal to men in personal dignity, and that men and women are different by design. Those differences are meant to work together for the benefit of each individual, but also for the benefit of the world around them. I tell them there’s such a thing as the genius of women - and that the world needs them to cherish this in themselves and strive to live it out to the fullest because it is good. The world would be impoverished without it.

To make it more practical, I pass out a few popular magazines straight from the checkout lane. I ask them to tag several examples of “girl genius.” They eagerly start flipping through the pages. After a few minutes, I ask each group to share the examples they found.

Then I ask if they ran into any obstacles in looking for those examples of girl genius. 'Yes,' they respond. The view of women in these magazines is often focused on appearances and overtly sexualized. They sense the pressure to conform to standards that lower the bar for both men and women alike.

They see glimpses of women being valued for their skill, their intelligence, their abilities, the positive contributions they make to the world around them, often including motherhood. But those glimpses are overshadowed by racy headlines and flashy displays of the latest trends in personal care, sexual techniques, or celebrity gossip.

All acknowledge that the values society sets for woman don’t always measure up to the fullness of her personal dignity. They separate, reduce, commoditize, selectively ignore, and sometimes outright reject certain aspects of woman, subjecting her to powerful pressure to conform.

Indeed, throughout history woman has been at a sore disadvantage in terms of having the freedom to thrive and contribute her many, varied gifts to society.

This is why I find the case made by our current administration in regard to the Health and Human Services mandate so difficult to swallow.

The Obama administration’s primary talking point on this issue is that “Every woman should be in control of the decisions that affect her own health.”

I agree. 100 percent.

But from there, the defense sounds like slick advertising for the contraceptive industry: To be a healthy woman, you need contraception. All the successful women use it. You can’t live without it.

Should I so easily accept the implication that I need to alter a part of myself that’s working properly in order to be free or fulfilled? I find this premise tremendously offensive. To me, this exerts pressure tantamount to that felt by women who purge after eating to attain or maintain a particular body image. It encourages women to think that their value is somehow intrinsically tied to how sexually available and desirable they are.

I thought the whole moral obligation to fulfill a husband’s sexual needs was a thing of the past... but alas, it’s been repackaged for a new secular generation. Women are still evaluated heavily on the basis of their uninhibited sexual availability, which contraception ensures precisely by severing women from their fertility.  (When a woman uses “contraception” for medical reasons other than preventing a pregnancy it's not technically contraception, and the Catholic Church doesn't necessarily prohibit these uses.)

My fertility is not a disease. It does not need to be repressed, manipulated, or rejected. It ought to be accepted and respected accordingly, by individuals and by society as a whole. And if that means exercising a bit of self control now and then, well, that’s a hell of a lot more dignified than saying, “Eh, we got this pill that makes self control unnecessary. I want pleasure now. Let’s get it on!”

Which begs the further question: Why do we tend to treat woman as if she is always fertile? It seems to me informed fertility awareness would be a game-changer for many women, helping them to understand and care for their overall reproductive health instead of feeling a need to simply control their fertility. Modern fertility-awareness-based methods (many of which fall under the umbrella term Natural Family Planning, or NFP) empower both women and men with accurate knowledge about a woman’s individual, unique reproductive cycle based on observable fertility signs, such as basal body temperature and changes in cervical mucus, that tell them when ovulation occurs.

I’ve found most people write off NFP because they think it’s outdated, ineffective, or only works for women with regular cycles. Frankly, I don’t think they understand what modern NFP entails. The so-called rhythm, or calendar, approach is to today’s NFP like the Model T is to today’s automobile industry: First formalized in the 1930s, it was based on the scientific knowledge available in its day, but we’ve come a long way since then.

Even secular sources are wising up to the benefits of modern fertility-awareness-based methods, which can not only be effective at avoiding pregnancy, but can even help to diagnose and treat causes of infertility. I urge skeptics to research specific modern methods such as the Sympto-Thermal Method, the Creighton Model, or the Marquette Model (which incorporates a fertility monitor.)

I’m all for the progress of woman. Let’s just make sure in promoting her progress, we don’t reject something that is inherently part of her in the first place.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Valerie Pokorny.

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Filed under: Health • Religion • What we think • Women
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  1. Oakleys

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    August 5, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. cactuslili

    I agree with you, Samantha! So many of these right to lifers don't give a damn about the hundreds of thousands of unwanted children who need our help. Why does the caring about life stop after birth??

    November 15, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Janice

    One more thing....
    Although this case was about an employer health insurance plan covering birth control, I actually think that birth control should be available for everyone across the globe. We as a society already pay for people's poor decisions. How about a 14 year old boy that gunned down a man about a 5 minute walk from my house? He is the son of someone. What about women who are raped across the globe, some of whom are very young? These are harsh realities. Access to birth control is a global need IMO. Access to healthcare is also a need, that here in the US, there is a faction that seems be living in the dark ages and makes us the laughing stock of the developed world. I can't even believe we are having this conversation.

    March 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Janice

    There are a LOT of people who have children and no NOT think of the consequences. So many children are abused, neglected, treated like crap, made to feel like they have to parent their parents, born into families that one or both parent's have addictions, personality disorders, in poverty, etc. Do the people who are against birth control care? How about the people who are against abortion? Do they care about children being born into the hands of abusive parents, poverty, alcoholic families, etc. The access to metal health care for these individuals erodes, while people want to take away women's right's to choose. This is a recipe for disaster. Also, what about basic maternity coverage? Most plans do not even cover that! Nor do they cover issues with reproductive health.There seems to be much broader issues to spend time on that will benefit children that are LIVING AMONG YOU RIGHT NOW.

    March 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • samantha

      Actually Janice, most insurance plans DO cover maternity/birth....which has been part of the discussion. The largest part of most insurance premium money goes towards maternity/birth. Many of us have debated the question about why we who cannot have children, or do not want to have children, pay for those who want children/are having children (?). For instance, if my insurance company (through my employer) did not cover maternity/birth, my insurance premiums would be much lower, as would my employer's part of the coverage. If it were possible for insurance companies to actually make a choice between supplying birthcontrol OR providing for maternity/birth......guess which they would choose?

      March 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Janice

        I suppose that it true. I paid for my own plan recently, as I have been self employed in the last few years. It did not cover maternity, but I figured since the likelyhood of getting pregnant was about nil, I opted for this plan. They did continue to raise my rates over the period of 2 years, to which I could no longer afford it, so I am now uninsured. I do agree with you. I notice that some people who are angry about birth control being covered, say that they as taxpayers do not want to pay for someone else's birth control, which, is a moot point in this case, because it was about an employer paid plan. In addition, some of the people on the other side were saying that the rates would go up. When I called to find out why my rates had gone up, since I never went to the doctor, they told me that they assess the hospitals in the area and if their fees go up, than they raise their rates. I am sure there are plenty of reason's insurance company rates go up, including many fraudulent reasons. I think if employers and insurance companies can decide which services they would like to cover and which they would like not to cover, I think they would end up opting out of a lot of healthcare coverage. It is a slippery slope.

        March 17, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. samantha

    Moses, You can't kill something that doesn't exist. With condoms/BCPs, it prevents the egg & the sperm from getting together. The best you (in reality) can say is... people who prevent pregnancy are guilty of reckless abandonment....which is something that could also be said of people who are practicing NFP and only have intimacy during the "safe" time. I know you look at this in a different way, but it isn't different. Whether it is a safe time for the NFP way, or when using condoms or BCPs, it still comes down to reckless abandoment. It is intimacy without the connection of egg and sperm. Basically in the eyes of the catholic church, intimacy should only happen when procreation is the goal. Everything else is supposedly frivolous /fun. Personally, I think intimacy without the fear of pregnancy is so much more intimate on several levels. Just as the JWitness has to pay for blood transusions for others when they believe receiving blood is a sin, just as insurance pays for Viagra....when most men who use Viagra are over 50 y/o and not looking to procreate, just as we all pay for things we don't believe in, I can not and will not feel sorry for people contributing to the use of contraception. Also, the compromise made by Obama was that the church did not have to provide contraception to those who work for them. So, suck it up and get on with your life.....leave the rest of us to get on with ours. By the way, you never addressed the other points I brought up about the NFP study......I was hoping you had the names of other studies i could look into that were nation wide, that included questions that went beyond just being married, that included the feelings of men and that had a variety of cultures strongly represented.

    March 17, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • CMoses

      samantha, first of all you CAN kill something that IS there, and ever since BCPs contained progestin versus estrogen, part of their effectiveness has been due to the unsuitability of the wall of the uterus for accepting a fertilized egg. That's why the product information for the pill in the Physicians’ Desk Reference says, “Although the primary mechanism of action is inhibition of ovulation, other alterations include changes in the cervical mucus, which increase the difficulty of sperm entry into the uterus and changes in the endometrium which reduce the likelihood of implantation.” Nobody debates about unfertilized eggs.

      Likewise, hormonal IUDs, also covered under the mandate, use progestin to thicken the cervical mucus and make the uterus unable to accept an egg. Copper IUDs try to block the sperm and irritate the walls to similarly make them unsuitable for implantation.

      Secondly, you completely misrepresent the Catholic Church's teaching on intercourse. The Church has no problem with intimacy between a man and a woman during ANY of the stages of her fertility, whether it is in an effort to procreate, or in an effort not to but still enjoy intimacy and the close bond it helps foster, so long as the couple is open to the posibility of life that exists in any such activity. That means if they happen to hit the extremely small chance of getting pregnant, that they don't seek and abortion but accept the life that they have helped create.

      Thirdly, the compromise made by Obama fell short on many counts. It does not exempt religious colleges and universities. It does exempt private employers who have a religious objection, either. In addition, it's provisions are still so narrow that a religious charity would only qualify if they had a specified religious mission, eployed mostly people of the same belief, and ministered to people of the same belief. Catholic hospitals certainly employ a wide range of non-Catholics, and all Catholic missionary work, whether hospital, shelter, soup kitchen, orphanage, or other, ministers to EVERYONE in need, not just Catholics. Conversion is not a prerequisite of being helped and served, you just have to be in need.

      Finally, if you still have doubts about the effectiveness of NFP, I found you a very useful list of 18 different studies conducted between the early 70s to the late 90s across a broud range of countries from the US, UK, Australia, Indonesia, Kora, China, and others. Some had sample sizes of over 3,000 participants, and all have a failure rate between 0% – 2.8%. I'm sure you can do your own research as to how the English feel about women versus how the Chinese feel about women.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        Actually, I don't think I argued strongly against NFP effectiveness....My argument was/is with the words "correct use", which means it only has to be a little bit incorrect for it to fail. Others have argued strong against it's ineffectual use....As far as the Obama compromise, I don't agree that private companies (nonreligious) have the right to dictate anything according to the owners/management's religious beliefs. If it is secular it is under secular policies. I will agree to some extent that religious colleges might have a valid argument, unless they accept federal funds/grants....if they make it clear before a student enrolls, their insurance will not cover certain programs. I could argue in support of this. What i want/wanted from you is a broad spectrum of people in a study that correlates NFP/Artificial BC/Divorce rates based on wider variety of questions that include men, women, all religions/no religion/happy vs unhappy marriages with no divorce, incident of domestic abuse, financial well being/problems, incident % of cheating. Staying married does not mean much if the marriage is a burden and someone is unhappy in that marriage. I would have to go back and look at certain posts, but it seems to me that some NFP believers, also believe condoms are like abortion...because it blocks the sperm & the egg from intimacy....I guess from the spermicide, it kills the sperm, not a fertilized egg. There is a chance with BCPs a fertilized egg might be prevented from growing, but it is a small chance. There is also a small chance the egg will be fertilized and make it to full term. However, each possibility is small. For those who choose BCP, getting pregnant tends to be more devasting. I would and could go back to my same arguments of so many unwanted children, but you already know them. I would be more prone to accept "pro life" if it actually meant more than "pro birth". it doesn't. I believe that all people who believe life begins at conception, start taking care of all those unwanted babies. If you want the federal government to stop telling you what to do, than religious organizations/people need to stop taking government funds....and donate more personal money & time to the causes of their organization(s). This includes colleges who accept federal funds/grants. Any religious organization that does not want to abide by federal/state regulations should not accept monies from the government. Any family on welfare and who do not believe in artificial BC cannot argue against governement policies in support of artificial BC and still receive welfare funds. It is simple, choose what you want, but don't play it both ways. I would think that every religious organization would decline federal funds on the basis that the government did not follow that religion's guidelines ( on several levels).....refuse the money to make a sincere religious statement. Otherwise, the protestations are more hypocritical than sincere, cause it would seem, money talks louder than religious values. Take government funds away from religous organizations and the protestations of government interference would then be hold sincere and rightous value.

        March 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Janice

        Samantha... Your statement/position is so eloquent and right on in my book. Thank you for saying it so well.

        March 17, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • CMoses

        How can you possibly argue that a private employer isn’t free to decide how he or she compensates their employees??? The problem is that our system has become dependent upon employer sponsored plans, so the employer has to choose a plan, or a small range of plans, that covers the needs of all of his or her employees. Why is that still the model, and why is that becoming the legal requirement? Employers shouldn’t be responsible for health insurance any more than they are responsible for car insurance. I don’t have to have the car insurance that my employer picks for me; I get to pick my own. Why can’t I pick my own health insurance, based on my needs and my beliefs, completely separate from my employer? By making employer provided healthcare the norm, the administration has backed itself into a corner.

        As for the NFP studies, you are building a extremely broad list of requirements that makes such a study impossible, seemingly on purpose. If many NFP studies show that American spouses are happy with their communication, feel that their husbands are supportive of the program, and end up with a divorce rate that is 25-100 times lower than their non-NFP CATHOLIC counterparts, what more are you looking for? How would looking at data from a society with higher levels of domestic abuse and oppression of women give you a better picture. The divorce rates are going to be lower across the board because the woman lacks the legal right to divorce her husband, much less the financial ability to support herself afterwards? Be here in the US we have "no fault" divorces which make it pretty easy for everyone. If NFP is so repressive that it sends women’s rights back to the dark ages, how come American women using it have such a high rating for the satisfaction in their marriages? These women live in American society, talk to other women in whatever social outlets they have, and still feel that their marriages are doing better than average. If divorce is any indication, they are 25-100 times more satisfied with their marriages than even other Catholics. Don't discount that.

        March 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        Not all employers do offer health insurance. One of the draws an employer can offer to find employees who might choose to work for them will be to offer employer/employee paid insurance. For the employee to consider the insurance, the coverage offered will count big. In many areas there is a shortage of healthcare providers and nurses are at the top of the list. Many hospitals who didn't offer big/bigger wages, offered improved health care provisions.....it made a positive difference in finding qualified employees.

        I have been asking for studies, especially in the USA that says there is overall more satisfaction in NFP unions.....Please name at least one study.

        March 18, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        As i thought, all three are religious, one of them especially almost radical in their talk about stem cells ect. I will check out the other you gave me, probably tomorrow. What I have found in the secular talk of NFP is there is a vast difference in the reliability of NFP compared to the Catholic info. familydoctor.org NFP is 90-98% reliable. Americanpregnancy,org "When fertility awareness is used correctly and consistantly, it may reach effectiveness rates around 90%. Typical use has a failure rate of 25%". I read another article which is strictly an opinion article written by a women who tried to practice NFP but became pregnant twice during the nursing of babies. She spoke of the reality of the intensness of raising four children, she and her husband not being able to have intimacy when they were "in the mood" and how this added to their lack of closeness and eventually a divorce. She spoke of getting pregnant on her honeymoon.....and the second pregnancy while nursing her first baby. This is an opinion piece, but to me it represents some very real issues. that are NOT written up honestly and openly by the catholic church or any religious organization that believes in strict adherence to NPF. It comes down to "God's will" and to bad so sad if "God's will" interferes with human feelings. Humans must be selfish if they are not happy. I guess there is something to be said for "suffering" being "God's will" and some who feel comfort in that...... To me that is a religious control issue, man made.

        March 21, 2012 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. anothermuse

    An awful lot of words, of which none of them seem to explain why making sure contraception is covered in health plans is a bad thing. There is no mandate to use it, there has been, as far as I can tell, no uproar from anyone if you choose not to use it. Why is this an issue. If moral objectors don't wish their plans to cover it, that is the real argument...Just seems pretty bizarre how much talk this issue has created

    March 14, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. foodie

    Your choice is something you believe in. You are helping people understand their choices. Good for you. You forget other situations. People of a childbearing age who have a disease which can make pregnancy risky, and it then taking medication that can be dangerous or deadly for a baby. These people should use natural family planning? I already have children, and would face risks having more. Should I do natural family planning? Possibly risk myself if I became pregnant, but with my underlying condition, and requiring I stop necessary medication? It seems that I would be putting the importance of my respect for my fertility above the needs of my husband and my 3 children.

    March 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. AD

    "When a woman uses “contraception” for medical reasons other than preventing a pregnancy it's not technically contraception, and the Catholic Church doesn't necessarily prohibit these uses." This is what I find offensive. I have used oral contraceptives for years for medical reasons that have nothing to do with birth control. But if I worked at a Catholic hospital (even though I'm not Catholic) then they would want the right to decide if my medication was necessarily prohibited? How is that not INSANE?

    March 13, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Eileen

      It is not morally offensive for you to use hormone therapy to treat a disease. But why should the Church pay for BC to sterilize your marriage? Buy the stuff yourself at Walmart, it's not that much money.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shane Wegner

        Birth control is included in health care beause it is 10,000 times cheaper than raising an unwanted baby to age 18. "Hoping people buy what they need at Wal*Mart" isn't an effective national health strategy.

        March 13, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        Considering that most of the men who use Viagra are over 50 y/o, it is safe to say they are NOT using Viagra for the purpose of procreation. Let them go to Walmart to get their Viagra. Right now Medicare, Medicaid & Insurance pays for it. If they need to have their fun with the help of Viagra.....and we all know there is no other use for men to use Viagra.....they should pay for it out of their own pockets.

        March 13, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Newmoon2

    Welcome back to the Dark Ages, ladies. I thought we were past having to fight for basic health and reproductive services... but clearly, I was mistaken. The ability to choose when to have a child is fundamental to equality. Societies which support pregnancy planning have lower poverty rates and healthier children. Access to contraceptives is the key.

    March 13, 2012 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Marie

      "Welcome back to the Dark Ages, ladies. I thought we were past having to fight for basic health and reproductive services... but clearly, I was mistaken. The ability to choose when to have a child is fundamental to equality. Societies which support pregnancy planning have lower poverty rates and healthier children. Access to contraceptives is the key."

      These are statements are deeply misogynistic and racist. The ability to thwart the natural functioning of my healthy female reproductive system has nothing to do with my equality. All humans are equal, period – it is not access to contraception that makes it so. In addition, underdeveloped societies who have had “pregnancy planning” forced upon them by racist progressives are stagnating and the developed world those racist progressives call home is committing demographic suicide. Population growth is prosperity. Population decline is poverty.

      March 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sarah M

        You're kidding, right? High rates of population growth are directly linked to poverty and lower quality of life. "Family planning allows women to delay childbearing so they can complete their education, participate in the labour force while acquiring skills and experience. Improving the health, education and prospects of women and adolescent girls acts as an economic stimulus for countries, and has strong intergeneration benefits." See more here: http://www.unfpa.org/public/home/factsheets/pid/3856

        March 14, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Marie

        Sarah M
        “You're kidding, right? High rates of population growth are directly linked to poverty and lower quality of life.”

        I’m not kidding. Poverty – which the World Bank defines as “pronounced deprivation in well-being” – is not caused by too many people or too few resources. It’s caused by the lack of infrastructure to support that well being. Infrastructure built and maintained by people. The World Bank also found that urbanization – more people in less space – has an important role in poverty reduction (Check out their study “Urban Poverty: A Global View“).

        "Family planning allows women to delay childbearing so they can complete their education, participate in the labour force while acquiring skills and experience….”

        So? That assumes one’s value as a human being is determined by education and participation in the labour force. It’s not. From the moment of our conception all human beings have equal human dignity. I don’t need a degree, or a job, or to be rendered barren by chemicals in order to be equal to any other human being – I simply have to be.

        March 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sarah M

        You didn't even click the link, did you?

        March 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Marie

        Sarah M
        "You didn't even click the link, did you?"

        You mean the link you provided to the United Nations Population Fund, an organization founded because of the provably wrong predictions of Paul Erlich and whose continued existence depends on tricking people like you into believing population is the problem when it’s obviously the solution?

        Nope. But just to be fair, here I go.


        Yup, utterly self-serving codswallop without a single reference to a non-biased source. I could fisk the entire thing but this isn’t really the place for it. Also, it fails to convince me of the original argument that I require access to artificial contraception in order to be fully human.

        March 14, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sarah M

        You are clearly only taking sources that slant to your biased, so I'll guess I'll stop fighting to prove the economic understanding that every sociology, anthropology, or economics teacher ever taught me, and that was in my conservative Catholic School. Nobody said you "require access to artificial contraception in order to be fully human." You are implying that the use of contraception takes that humanity away from the rest of us. And nobody has any right to tell anyone else what forms of birth control they should have affordable access to.

        March 14, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • SheilaLynne

        How stupid. Birth control saves lives, expecially in under-developed countries. NO ONE is making any one take it. No one is trying to make you feel bad if you don't. Why does it bother anyone that it is covered through insurance unless they want to control someone else. When was the last time you complained about any other medicine that is covered through insurance??

        March 15, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        Some want to say that BCPs are not medication.....of course the same people argue that Viagra is medication. It doesn't matter that Viagra is primarily used by men over 50 years old....that fact is beside the poiint. Why is it beside the point you ask? Cause the Catholic Church says so! Why does the catholic Church say so you ask? BCPs are basically used for birth control in the "wisdom" of the Catholic Church....BCPs prevent procreation. On the other hand (haha), Viagra promotes procreation.....even though it is used primarily by the OLDer men......most of whom do not want to procreate......they just want a little rise in their life ...when they want a rise in their life . Boys will be boys.......from puberty to death.....or the big heart attack from Viagra.

        March 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • steve

        "Population growth is prosperity. Population decline is poverty."

        You're an idiot. There are already way too many people on this planet, more than it can support as is, and over half of them are lazy parasites. We need a population decline to thin the numbers. Do us a favor and take the pills, so you don't breed anyone as dumb as you with your dinosaur-like value system and beliefs.

        March 15, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Marie

        “There are already way too many people on this planet”
        By whose definition? Malthus, who falsely predicted that the world would run out of food in 1890? Erlich, who falsely predicted in 1968 that hundreds of millions world wide would die because of famine in the 70s? Or the UN Fund for Population Activities, an organization which would cease to exist if it admitted the truth, that there are NOT too many people on the planet?

        How do you define too many people, Steve?

        “more than it can support as is”
        Again, why do you assume this is a problem of population instead of a problem of infrastructure? And why do you ignore the clear correlation between increased population and increased prosperity for the whole of human history?

        “and over half of them are lazy parasites. We need a population decline to thin the numbers”
        That’s rather harsh. How do you define lazy parasites? And how did you determine that half of the people of the world are subhuman creatures worthy of being culled from the species? And exactly how do you plan to go about doing that Steve? Is robbing the Third World of their future prosperity enough for you or do you agree with Malthus that we should let crime and disease run amok among the poor as well? Or perhaps you had something even more… pro-active in mind?

        March 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. normal person

    This author spouts the typical nonsensical catholic psycho babble. Catholics are the worst in regard to respecting women.

    March 12, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. j

    The author seems to overlook the fact that hormonal contraception is not just used for pregnancy prevention. Also, NFP might be fine if you want a baby because if you have an accident it's okay by you. But what if you just don't want one ever? Assuming that all women should want and have babies is, in fact, incredibly denigrating to this particular woman who has no interest in breeding.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rebecca

      The method effectiveness of NFP is 99%–equivalent to the method effectiveness of the birth control pill, condoms, and IUDs. Here is some more information comparing the effectiveness of various methods of birth control: http://ccli.org/nfp/effectiveness/compare-methods.php.
      Please check your facts before you make assumptions about the effectiveness of Natural Family Planning. A couple using NFP to avoid pregnancy can be just as certain that they will not have children as a couple that uses the birth control pill, and this method can be used throughout all phases of a woman's life.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • j

        and NFP works for relieving the pain of endometriosis, correcting the imbalance of PCOS, and lowers cancer risks how? It reduces the risks of STDs how? It prevents you from being impregnated by a rapist how?

        March 14, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jo

    Well, I'll tell ya, I haven't read all the posts thoroughly, and maybe somebody has already mentioned it, but it seems to me that all these lovely thoughts this blogger is presenting (and many really are valid and lovely) kind of go "down the drain" when a woman's husband simply rapes her at will. Need I say more?

    March 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Layla

    Insurance is never free unless it is Medicaid, I pay for many things I never benefit from directly and may not agree with through my insurance, if insurance is started to be picked apart at every pretext and every contingency we are in big trouble it will end up covering nothing as someone somewhere could and would object to every single thing it does pay for, drives me crazy that mine covers vasectomies and tubal ligations but not help to get pregnant! I have a good friend and colleague that has fought that for years and will never win that argument because it is in the best interests of the insurance provider to have fewer members on their plan! This is precisely why religion cannot be brought into the discussion and I am a religious person but recognize it must remain separate from this issue.

    March 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sarah M

    I would rather respect my future children than my fertility, and I do that by using birth control. Why would I take the 24% chance of having a child this year when I'm not financially ready, when I can use birth control and reduce that chance to less than 1%? I think being able to choose when I am able to raise a future child – male or female – is a far better way to respect my fertility.

    March 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rebecca

      NFP is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy–equal to the method effectiveness of the birth control pill, condoms, and IUDs. Here is more information comparing the effectiveness of various methods of birth control: http://ccli.org/nfp/effectiveness/compare-methods.php.
      A couple using Natural Family Planning can be just as certain as a couple using the pill that they can avoid an unplanned pregnancy.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sarah M

        You are comparing perfect-use rates, which don't apply to most women. Please use more than one source before copy and pasting one website to everyone's comments.

        March 13, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        There are way to many "accidents' that prove otherwise!

        March 13, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • JustMyWords

        If used perfectly, yes, NFP has the potential to be quite effectively. In the real world, NFP is very seldom used perfectly, and has a much lower effective rate than the one you like to quote. All of which is beside the point. Why should you get to decide for someone else what form of contraceptive is most suitable for them?

        March 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rebecca

      The user effectiveness of NFP is 98.2% (see the ccli.org website) and the user effectiveness of the BCP, according to Planned Parenthood's website, is 91%.

      March 14, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rebecca

        My point is not to tell other people what forms of contraception (or lack thereof) to use. However, when people believe things that have been proven untrue (for example, the common misconception that NFP does not work), it does nothing to help them make an informed decision.

        March 14, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sarah M

        Well as long as we're fighting over sources, this is what the packet on the back of birth control pills reads:
        "Failure fates of birth control during one year of use:
        Oral Contraceptives: <1% (Perfect use) to 3% (Typical), IUD: <1 – 2%, Cervical Cap: 20- 40%, Condom alone: 14%, Periodic abstinence (NFP): 25% , Withdrawl: 19% , No method: 85%"

        March 14, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rebecca

        When you find stats that say NFP has a failure rate of 25%, they are including all forms of natural planning planning, including proven ineffective methods such as the calendar rhythm method, which are very outdated. The figure I gave (98.2%) refers to a single method of NFP, called the sympto-thermal method, which is one of three methods (S-T, Billings, and Creighton) which are commonly used today, and is very effective.

        March 14, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sarah M

        Sure, once again, great perfect use rates. But the sympto-thermal method is also extremely difficult to use, since it basically means perfecting every OTHER periodic abstinence method. You can hardly expect every woman to rely on something that requires daily temperature readings among other things, and months of strictly routined prep work for accurate results!

        March 14, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rebecca

        Once again, I was not quoting a "perfect user" rate (99%), but the user effectiveness (98.2%), which takes into account when couples do not follow the method perfectly. As someone who has experience using multiple methods of NFP, I don't find it any more complicated than taking a pill at the same time every day. My point in providing the information on NFP is simply to make people aware that it is an effective and reliable method, because there are so many misconceptions out there.

        March 14, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Juliusz

        We did not understand your sencod paragraph in any respect. What does one mean by that? It is an interesting topic personally so I want to understand everything you need to say. We were not able to find many other articles during my search although My business is not very computer literate so which is why. I hope to see you updating more frequently.

        November 17, 2012 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. mg

    I don't agree with everything the Catholic church says, but it is great that they are researching and exploring more natrual methods of family planning. I didn't use BCP because I try to live and organic life with as few Rx medications as possible for general health reasons (not because of religious reasons). I think it's interesting that the church is letting me know that we as women can slow down, understand their bodies, and seek alternatives to Rx medications. Poppoing a pill may not always be the answer. I'm not saying BCPs are wrong nor would I stop anyone from purchasing them, but the church is somewhat progressive in giving people 'non-medicated' alternatives. As our society becomes more aware of organic foods and clean living, I see a benefit to the church putting resources into offer this option.

    Also, the church is not 'stopping' anyone else from using BCP or getting an abortion. They just don't feel that it is right to pay for something that goes agains their religious doctrine. This doesn't hurt anyone in the secular world. If you don't believe in the Catholic church, you most likely wouldn't want to work for one of their schools, churches, or hospitals anyway.

    March 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shane Wegner

      Choosing a birth control pill is not "a hell of a lot less dignified" than "self control", they are two different ways to achieve the same goal. Also, Catholics get drawn in to responsibility for birth control whether they like it or not because of our shared responsibilities to unwanted babies. If an uncared-for baby gets dropped off at a hospital doorstep, are Catholics volunteering to all the costs from age zero to eighteen for every unplanned baby? No, they still want the government to pay that. Because the government ultimately has the responsibility to pay for every unplanned for or under-cared for baby, they have the right to define the much cheaper preventive care as part of complete medical care.

      March 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shane Wegner

      To spell it out even more clearly, it DOES spill over into the secular world. Every time a Catholic (or anyone) else has an unwanted baby they can't care for in part because they didn't have access to contraceptives, the costs spill over into the secular world and we have to foot the bills. So we in the secular world do get a say when it comes to birth control.

      March 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  16. laura

    The mandate to provide birth control doesn't mean she has to take it. It simply means that women have more choices. Just because it's offered, doesn't mean you have to use it. That's like telling the grocery store that you're a vegan so they shouldn't be offering meat products because "meat denigrates me as a vegan". It's not all about you, sweetie. Other women have a right and the need to choose for themselves.

    March 10, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • mg

      Your logic is flawed because the grocery store doesn't 'pay' for your groceries. The government is asking the Catholic church to pay for something that goes against their core beliefs. If a grocery store owner is vegan, he/she has a right to sell vegan food only.

      March 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • laura

        Tell me how the Catholic church is being forced to pay for this? Women pay for their insurance same as they pay for anything else. It's not costing the church anything.

        March 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Marie

        "Tell me how the Catholic church is being forced to pay for this? Women pay for their insurance same as they pay for anything else. It's not costing the church anything."

        Because that is what the mandate says? And that is how employer-based medical insurance works? The insurance paid for by the employer must include totally free, no co-pay abortifacient drugs. So the Church is paying. For abortifacient drugs. With no opt-out. They can’t buy a plan that does not include abortifacient drugs, because that is against the law now. They cannot self-insure their employees without including abortifacient drugs, because that is against the law now. They can’t even just stop buying insurance for their employees and instead give them a raise to cover the cost of buying their own, because that is against the law now.

        Hope that cleared it up for you.

        March 14, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Fladabosco

    Typical of a religious person or a church to say 'you can't do A but you can do B which is just like A.' It's like giving up meat for lent then eating fake meat products hoping you can enjoy the meaty taste. It makes no sense at all.

    The real issue here is whether Catholic companies that engage in business rather than just preaching have to follow the same rules as everyone else. And they should.

    What if my religion didn't believe in paying taxes. How long would that last?

    March 10, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  18. amyer

    I'm confused. Isn't the "Natural Planning Method" birth control? Is it not contraception, i.e an attempt to stop conception. Is this not an attempt of control? Whether it's my diaphram or your lack of coitus from days 12-15, we both are on birth control.

    March 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • lili

      amyer, you are so right. I have pointed that out, too, and no one answers. It IS birth control, no matter what you want to call it. You are preventing pregnancy by abstinence. If you choose that method of birth control, right on. Just let the rest of us have the choice to choose our method.

      March 9, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        The problem with some posters has been the inability to come back with viable answers to things we've asked. I put some new info regarding BCPs and their health benefits to a poster. Basically new studies done over the past 20+ years have proven that the use of BCPs for 5 yearshas reduced the risk of ovarian and uterine cancers by 50% and reduced colonic/rectal cancers by 20%. There is a whole slew of info on the internet all about these studies. The negative risks of BCPs are well known and small, especially compared to the health benefits. I don't expect the anti BCP people to accept these health benefits yet,,,,,but I foresee insurance companies loving these new study results. I think as more data is made public, even the Pope might find the beneficial uses of BCPs something he can accept in the future.

        March 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        Also, these anti-cancer benefits last a lifetime no matter how early a woman uses BCPs and a woman who is perimenopausal will recive the same benefits if this is the time she begins BCPs. The negative risks of BCPs go away when the BCP is no longer used.

        March 9, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • s

      The reasoning probably that it does not involve something directly stopping pregnancy like a condom or pill. I find the Catholic theology convoluted.For example Catholics state the natural order was messed up when Adam and Eve sinned, but the natural order is what we are expected to follow, but the natural order is flawed based on their own theology. Convoluted

      March 9, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • CMoses

      NFP methods work within God's design, is respectful of a woman's body's natural function, and promotes communication, participation, and mutual respect between the couple. Artificial contraception superimposes human timelines and desires on top of God's design, manipulates and controls the woman's body, and operates independant from any communication or shared values.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        Who told you there was no communication or poor communication between a man & woman who uses the pill? A good mutual intimate relationship needs good communication with or without birthcontrol. Your "jargon" sounds more like brain washing than reality......

        March 10, 2012 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        Moses, I cannot believe you could say all that with a straight face....!

        March 10, 2012 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
      • CMoses

        samantha, the insults aren't conducive to a healthy debate. I've had trouble getting CNN to accept my longer postings, so I'm sorry if the brevity of the last one didn't satisfy you. Many peopl have been challenging the different between using BCP versus using NFP to prevent pregnancy, am I'm just trying to explain the Catholic teaching regarding the difference. I can hardly expect someone who doesn't understand or appreciate the Catholic definition of marriage to understand how contraception violates that definition, though.

        March 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        Moses, what you said sounds like propaganda. The BCP is NOT responsible for poor communication. And I was actually shocked to hear this "bull stuff". If you feel insulted by what I said....it doesn't change my feeling. How can you believe it unless you are not thinking your own thoughts or questioning the thoughts of those who said it first. There are many of us in long term relationships because we mastered our abilities to communicate. Are we perfect in this communication? Of course not, no one is. However when it comes to being intimate, I am selfish. I want to be able to suggest and direct as much as he wants to suggest & direct. We both love using all five senses....maybe not always at the same time......This shared caring and respect comes out of love and communication.....not a BCP! I used BCPs before I was finally able to have my hysterectomy. The fact that the way you do things you have what you have does not mean that the rest of us don't have it just as good .....and maybe even better.

        March 10, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pwik

        And then there are teenagers.

        March 14, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
      • Patrick

        Your comment supposes that there is a design created by god, not everyone goes by your god's design just so you know. That is also their choice to make.

        March 16, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        Mose's reply also suggests there is no communication or shared values between a woman and her man if she uses BCPs or other contraceptives. Those thoughts are so far from reality, one has to wonder the kind of indoctrination Moses has been subject to. It certainly isn't reality.

        March 16, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • CMoses

        I was simply responding to amyer's question regarding the difference between the two. NFP flat out requires communication between the couple. It is 100% necessary because the couple must observe periods of abstinance and must be on the same page as to why they are doing it. The man MUST respect both the woman and the woman's body. There's no other way around it.

        I did not say that contraception means that there isn't any communication between the couple, I'm just stating that the same kind of communication is not required. A couple on the pill does not have to discuss what's going on in the owman's body. The man is not required to know much.

        You can bash my statements all you want, but the simple fact is that couples who practice NFP have a divorce rate reported as low as 0.2%. For those with poor eye sight, there is a decimal in front of the 2. For all of the cynics and sceptics out there, the highest I've seen is 4%. If that's not a sign of positive communication and shared values in a marriage, I don't know what is.

        But I'm sure you'll just call it brainwashing.

        March 16, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        I read the study by Family of Americas Foundation. It was a "nonrandom" study that consisted of a questionaire returned by 505 women. 91 % were Catholic, 92% white. Since the Catholic Church doesn't believe in divorce, of course the numbers will be lower. If a women believes that artificial contraception is against "God's will' and divorce is against "God's will", divorce will be at a very low rate. The people in the study were basically chosen to prove a point and we all could conduct "those kinds" of studies. If it was actually a random study, done nationally, with thousands of couples.....the results would probably be totally different. Also, the study doesn't talk about unhappily married people, cheating in the marriage, grave financial problems, domestic abuse or ANY negatives for that matter. Sorry Moses, I am not impressed with your statistics.

        March 17, 2012 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
      • Cherylibby@yahoo.c

        "I can hardly expect someone who doesn't understand or appreciate the Catholic definition of marriage to understand how contraception violates that definition, though."

        Exactly! Yet you seem to expect people who are not Catholic, as well as those who are Catholic and fully understand the Church's reasoning but don't agree with it because they can see how convoluted and contradictory it is, to live by Catholic rules. This is no different from a religion denying girls access to education or participation in government because of their beliefs (notice I don't name any single religion here, all the major ones have been guilty of this!)

        March 17, 2012 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
      • CMoses

        Actually, samantha, most studies put the Catholic divorce rate at about 21%, on par with Lutherans, agnostics, and athiests, so you can't dismiss the results because the respondants were Catholic. You find me a group of 500 athiests practicing NFP and we'll see if they have similar results.

        Cherylibby, I don't expect non-Catholics to life by Catholic beliefs. We just want non-Catholics to stop trying to mandate that we live by theirs. It's against my religion to kill unborn babies, and this all started when the government tried to tell us we had to pay for it. They are trying to make this into a denial of women's health issue, but it's not.

        March 17, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        Moses, if you read my post, you would have read the part about the feelings of the women towards NFP being "God's will" according to the Catholic church. Since divorce is also unacceptable to "God's will" according to the catholic church, there would automatically be a low divorce rate amongst the people who followed the Catholic teachings more strickly than many . So I didn't just dismiss the study because the majority were catholic.

        March 17, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
      • Cheryl

        Cmoses, no one is telling you that you can"t practice your religion. You're still free to practice your chosen method of contraception, you just don't get to decide which methods of contraception other couples use.

        March 18, 2012 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
      • CMoses

        I'm not trying to decide which methods they use, just which methods I have to help pay for.

        March 20, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  19. Kevin

    I think the key gap in the author's reasoning is that she conflates "every woman should have access to contraception" as "every woman should use contraception."
    She argues against the latter, which is reasonable, as it's a ridiculous statement for many reasons. However I don't think anybody supports that statement, which means the author is either confused or forming a deliberate strawman against which she can argue.

    March 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Redding

      Absolutely right on the money. She's not stupid, she's being disingenuous and it's a strawman.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  20. fedupwu

    I usually find when a person have to say I am a good christian, or let you know the christian way is the way to be they are usually the most rigid, close minded, holier than though people I see. They believe they are right and anything else is wrong, When Jesus died on the cross he didn't put you so called christians in charge. So stop telling the rest of us how to run or lives and live your own.

    March 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eileen

      It is you that is telling Christians what we must do. The president is mandating that the Chrisian Church provides contraception, sterilization, and abortion services through insurance. The Catholics are the most affected because they have hospitals, schools, soup kitchens, etc with their own access to private insurance. They are not stopping you from getting contraception; so stop saying the Catholics are pushing their beliefs on you. This is a First Amendment abuse by the government and it should be clear to you that we are losing our rights...we, meaning you and me!

      March 13, 2012 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
      • Redding

        Oh, a First Amendment abuse?! I think the Catholic Church would still be able to complain as loudly as they like even if insurane covering BC is mandated. First amendment. Would be hilarious if it weren't so sad.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • cactuslili

        Eileen, then the Catholic church should stop accepting sums like $1.2 billion from the Obama administration if they really want us to take them seriously.

        November 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  21. samantha

    David, By your logic, I'll go to another point I made somewhere eles. To get pregnant is a choice. If we pay into the "choice" for a woman to get pregnant, we should also pay into the "choice" for a woman not to get pregnant. By your reasoning, if someone wants to get pregnant, she'll find a way to pay for it. Same for Viagra. There is one purpose for a man to use Viagra.....yet insurance pays for it. If a man wants to procreate....it is his choice and he should pay for his own Viagra. if a man just wants to have fun.....that too is his choice and he should pay for Viagra. Maybe....to use your words....he should give up his coffee at Star Bucks.......or better still, just accept what his God gave to him......a let down so to speak!

    March 8, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unbeliever

      I completely agree. I don't really get much of the debate. Everyone wants to make it over women's health and the ability to get birth control. Why is it we choose to make the pill the free medication they get? What about cancer or diabetes meds? I think that birth control as well as meds like viagra should not be subsidized by the government.

      March 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        Pregnancy is NOT an illness, it is a condition of choice, so why are we paying for prenatal care and childbirth? If women want to get pregnant, they'll find a way to pay for the pregnancy.....IF....we stop paying for prenatal care & pregnancy, I'll stop arguing insurance covered BCPs....I wish you would drop the "free" part. Insurance is not free to any of us paying into it. Also, BCPs are cost effective for insurance compainies.....much cheaper than prenatal care/childbirth. The insurance likes what is cost effective. The pope says Viagra is okay for men to use because it helps them procreate.......Catholic women are not arguing against Viagra and they want us to help pay for the coverage of prenatal care & childbirth. If it is about choice....we should not be paying for prenatal care, childbiirth, BCPs and Viagra. The exception for BCPs is if they are used because of disease. Pregnancy is a condition, BCP for contraception is a condition and the lack of male inflation is a condition.......No diseases involved.........I can accept this. we don't pay to support any of this through insurance premiums.

        March 9, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Cherylibby@yahoo.c

        BCP are not the only "free" medical services to be covered under the Affordable Care Act. It also covers other preventive care measures such as annual physicals, including an annual gynecological visit for women; variouscancer screenings; obesity screenings; prenatal screenings; and other steps to keep people healthier.

        March 17, 2012 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
      • samantha


        March 17, 2012 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Pwik

      Please join us here in the real world where women in abusive relationships, abused teenagers and crime victims all don't get pregnant by choice. Where the ability to control fertility is the greatest engine of human progress toward sustainable lives. It's fine if you don't want to use birth control. But that a Catholic hospital, for example, should be able to say that its staff does not have a right to get medications under their health insurance policy is intruding on personal privacy. I should not have to reveal anything about my medical situation to anyone but my doctor. Ever.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  22. Jim

    2 Timothy 2:12 "I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet." – God

    How's that for denigrating?

    March 8, 2012 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
    • samantha

      Oh Boy...! Priests & Pastors still preach it. Basically it is the same as women & children should be seen & not heard.

      March 8, 2012 at 5:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Stella

      I am not sure how, if at all, your point was proven? I am not sure you even understand why most women are up in arms about this. Yes, as a woman you should be able to choose NFP as your contraceptive of choice. You can jump and down or stand on your head if you think that may prevent pregnancy. However, that's just it, CHOICE. What you're advocating is the removal of said CHOICE and that's just plain wrong.
      You speak of a freedom of religion, well, my religion is one that believes that self-determination is the holiest of holies, and you legislating that my employer be able to prevent me from making a choice, a determination, that affects my health, my fertility, well, then YOU are infringing on MY right of freedom of religion..

      March 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • David

        Your religious employer doesn't want to stop you from having a choice, they're just don't want to have to pay for all your choices. You're not being prevented from making that choice, unless you believe that it's impossible to make that choice unless it's free. Don't go to Starbucks in the morning, and pay for your pills instead. That's the real choice!

        March 8, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Patrick

        Or your heart medication for that matter. I don't want to pay for anyone to unnaturally extend their life. Children with diseases also, I don't want any of my insurance's money pool to pay for someone else medication.

        March 8, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        We don't want to pay for all your choices either. Why should we have to pay through our insurance premiums for YOUR prenatal care & your birthing? Why should we have to pay for men's Viagra? Why should JWitnesses have to pay for blood when it is a sin to receive blood? Why should we pay for high risk moms to be who knowingly get pregnant? Why should non religious affiliated tax payers have any of their tax monies go to religious affiliations? Why should those of us who do not have children have to pay school taxes? I could go on and on about what the majority of us do to help the minority of people who don't believe in helping out through their insurances premiums with birthcontrol as their religious affiliations receive so many benefits from the rest of us.......and government funds to their religious affiliations from taxes we pay into. Your life is easier because of us. Your children's lives are better because of us. By the way there is no Star Bucks in my small town. Most people here can barely make ends meet.......

        March 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allie

      What Bible are you reading, Jim? Mine (NIV) says, 2 Timothy 2:12 "If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us."

      March 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • samantha

      I believe this is supposed to be 1 Timothy 2:12........

      March 9, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Shelby

    Valerie, for a seemingly smart women I think you are really misunderstanding the issue. No one has ever ever said that every woman must use birth control, rather that every women should have access to it. I'm trying really hard to understand your point about contraception denigrating you as a woman, but I really don't understand that. Contraception is the single most positive influence on women's health GLOBALLY, and in this day and age I can not believe we as women are arguing about it, let alone debating it at all. No one is forcing anyone to use birth control. But some would like to force you NOT to use it, and those are the ones who are denigrating women.

    March 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karina

      I couldn't agree more.

      It's an issue of CHOICE. That's it.

      March 8, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Panacea

    Natural Family Planning only prevents pregnancy about 60-70% of the time. That's a pretty high failure rate.

    Condoms and the pill: effective 99% of the time. There's really no comparison for women who seek to control the number and spacing of their children, and there are legitimate health interests to do so, as kylee so aptly illustrates.

    March 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • palad

      And yet abstinence is 100 percent effective, so why should contraception be the chosen method to get public funding?

      March 8, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • Molly

        If abstinence is 100% then how did Jesus happen?
        Also I'm pretty sure in some states abstinence only programs do get state funding.

        March 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        Preachers, teachers & parents have tried to teach their congregations/class rooms/children abstinance almost forever. It doesn't work.....humans are going to be humans and it doesn't matter the age once one reaches hormonal maturity. You feel one way regarding abstinance and millions feel differently. This is reality. Reality is also 500,000 children in our fostercare system and millions more children in our medicare/medicaid system.....and hundreds of thousands of children walking the streets in our cities because they ran away or were thrown out of their home. America and Americans are NOT taking care of their living children. Until we all as individuals and as a country are able to take care of the children we do have, we will need to encourage and teach abstinance AND birthcontrol of every method. We wil also have to accept abortion as a choice for others even if not for ourselves. Prolife has to mean more than probirth. Unfortunately in our country it does not and America's children are suffering for it.

        March 8, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Angel

        I agree with Palad ... Abstinence is 100% effective ... If you need birth control that bad then you have to pay for it just like everything else... If you cant afford it and need it for medical issues then that when you gain assistance!

        and as I can recall... Mary (the mother of Jesus) was a virgin!
        please get your story together

        March 8, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Patrick

        "Mary was a virgin" and "abstinence is 100% effective" are two conflicting statements. While both can be false, both cannot be logically true.

        March 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        If God wanted every man to be able to do "it", every man would be able to do "it". Viagra wouldn't be needed. Viagra is covered by insurance. Viagra has no medical purpose for men except to allow him to enjoy his "ups". The men & women who cannot afford birthcontrol are all to often the ones having children, whom they cannot afford to raise.....so we are raising them with medicadaid & welfare. BCPs & other birthcontrol devices are much cheaper than prenatal care & birthing. Again, those of us who cannot have children or do not want children are paying into insurances that allow others to have their coverage through insurance at an affordable premium. If we didn't have to pay into this part of insurance, our premiums would be much less and those who want children would be paying a heck of a lot more. J.Witnesses believe it is a sin to receive someone elses blood, yet they pay through their insurance the blood other people receive. They cannot opt out of what they consider a sin. I will say it again,afew people who consider someaspectofbirthcontrol a sin an d whine cause they have to pay for it are selfish, self centered and self rightous. They believe their church should be able to take money from the government without the government telling them what to do with tax payer monies.....many tax payers who are not catholic
        paying into these government funds. They want prenatal/birthing coverage at a premium they can afford, no matter who has to pay into it, yet they want to govern insurance coverage over all others who do not believe what they do. You can whine all you want......we see you for all that you are

        March 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • David

        Abstine nce ALWAYS works in preventing pregnancy. It is impossible (outside of J-man...just in case someone wants to get sna rky), to have a kid if you are ab stinent. However, abstin ence-only education DOESN'T always work, and those two things should not be confused.

        March 8, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Patrick

        There are about a dozen virgin births in history, in case anyone wants to get snarky.

        March 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • David

        But the reason that abstine nce-education doesn't always work isn't because abstin ence is bad, it's because people don't have any self-discipline, not just about this issue, but about everything. Ours is the Just Do It culture, and the entire culture thinks that waiting for pleasure is ridiculous.

        March 8, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • Patrick

        I think it is simply because abstinence, once you are of a certain age, is unnatural.

        March 8, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        David, If "pleasure" with the lack of selfcontrol were the "only" reason......There is more than one way to take care of things. But I suppose if we were judging, especially judging the men, some of you would term the deed as wrong because of reckless adandoment!

        March 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • David

        So, of course abstinence-only education, as an educational model, doesn't work, because people have no practice at absta ining from ANYTHING, much less something difficult like s e x.

        March 8, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • David

        I absolutely despise CNN's ridiculous comment moderation system. You can never figure out what it is they're trying to prevent people from saying.

        March 8, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        David, We are not talking "public" funding.....We are talking insurance funding. We all pay big bucks into this funding. A big part of all our insurance premiums goes into paying for prenatal & childbirth. It is a choice for woman to get pregnant, so I believe my insurance premiums should not have to help pay for that choice. If we continue to have to help pay for a woman to have children, then we should also help pay for women NOT to have children, which is also a choice

        March 8, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • CMoses

      Actually, @Panacea, the STM method of NFP was proven have a failure rate of only 0.4% back in 2007. The lead author was Petra Frank-Herrmann, assistant professor and managing director of the natural fertility section in the Department of Gynaecological Endocrinology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. It was a longitudinal study of 1599 women spanning twenty years, from 1985 to 2005, and was published in February 21, 2007 issue of Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction Today. Should be easy enough to Google for you.

      March 9, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      I'm a parent, but by all that is sacerd, those people send me into a blind, incoherent fugue, and they deserve to be collectively dope-slapped and berated by a platoon of Army drill instructors for about six days.Even at the university, I have had parents approach me, and it blows me away. Fortunately, I can simply say FERPA and they go away, but the fact that these students are so mired in their Daddy will fix it prolonged adolescence makes me want to shake them.

      November 17, 2012 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  25. abcdef

    what a dumb s l u t

    March 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Jon

    It only denigrates you if its forced on you. It is not.

    March 7, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  27. larryag

    she iis ridiculous , the Catholic church pays her to say this mess

    March 7, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  28. ryan

    Because Natural Family Planning, doesn't necessarily work – thats why

    You may reduce the odds depending on time of the cycle, but it isn't any sort of assurance

    This belief you hold, is from men, who wish to control when and how you reproduce. It was the reproduction of women, frequently, that had them caring for children, many children, far more often than they were advancing their economic/political/social interests. The more religious a society, the less equality their women have.

    This woman is sadly mixing up her right to do something versus some kind of obligation that she thinks will be mandated she take it, if it is available. Like alcohol or cigarettes, just because it is something you think is bad and it is available, doesn't mean you have to use it.

    March 7, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • samantha

      I think two very strong reasons to support the use of BCPs/condoms etc are NUMBER ONE": Rush Limbaugh...NUMBER TWO: Snookie confirmed she is pregnant.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • CMoses

      I'm going out on a limb, but I'd guess Snookie was not using NFP. I'm guessing she was on BCP and used a condom and slept with half the male cast.

      March 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        LOL.....I am guessing neither of the first two. Will not venture on the last part of your statement......WAY too much info even for the imagination!

        March 7, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  29. E Presley

    Why in the world did this article ever see any form of print?! Absolutely inane conclusion built completely from a false premise.

    March 7, 2012 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
  30. jill otey

    All we want is equal access to a unfettered LIFE. You choose the life you want. I want to be able to choose the same, and my daughters. Sorry. YOur view of contraception as FORCED upon you is laughable. Laughable.

    March 6, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      So you're saying it's absolutely impossible for you to have an unfettered life if your employer doesn't pay your contraception? That you're otherwise forced to have s e x and bear children? That there is NOTHING you can do to avoid having children when you don't want to have children, unless your employer pays for your contraception?

      That's the most 'unempowered' political position I've ever heard. It's also saying that you have such a terrible job, you can't afford the $50/month it costs to buy it.

      Here's a suggestion: Get a better job! If your employer is paying you such a junk wage, you don't want to work for them anyway. You're not a sla ve, who is required to work for some lousy employer!

      March 8, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • lili

        David, where do you live that just quitting a job and getting another is so easy to do these days? And what if someone likes their job but just wants to propose that the insurance company they pay into covers something they want? Like some others have said, most of us pay a lot for choices others make, like pregnancy, childbirth, child care, lung cancer treatment due to smoking too much, alcoholism due to drinking too much, etc.

        March 11, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Molly

    Weak argument for an indefensible position. You are fee to practice your religion; don't force it on the rest of us.

    March 6, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyla


      March 6, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • queenbee10

      The biggest problem with the authors point of view is that while having insurance companies pay for contraceptives would still allow people like her to not do it if it offended them, the failure of insurance companies to NOT pay for contraceptives deprive others of a different opinion of ANY choice.

      Ergo–you can always say no to what is on offer but you cannot say YES if it is not available.

      March 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        BUT, the "discussion" isn't just about choice, it is about some who feel they should not have to have their insurance premiums pay into the choice they don't believe in. The problem with their "problem" is that they still believe the rest of us should pay into their choices no matter if our religous beliefs are different than theirs. They don't want to pay for BCPs, but we should help pay for their babies. They believe Viagra is ok for men cause then men can then naturally procreate.....so we should pay for Viagra. It is a twisted way of using their narrow minded, selfish and self rightous religious views.

        March 6, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • somedude

        I do not want my insurance company to cover cancer patients because my faith says it is god'd will to have them perish.
        i do not want my tax money to subsidize the catholic church – via their income tax exemption – because my faith says it is a cult.
        i do not want my tax money to go to Israel nor Afghanistan because my faith says only US citizens go to heaven.

        unless catholic hospitals start restricting their employment to catholics they should offer allow the insurance companies to cover those that do not share the same believes.
        otherwise each of us should be given the chance to allocate their insurance premium and their tax money to the exact causes they believe in.

        March 7, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        I am with you somedude. However, when you have a group of people who believe the way this author believes, your feelings do not count....just theirs. They are the "Godly" people, living according to their twist of what their God wants....you are not "up there" near God with your feelings. If they answer our concerns at all (most of the time they don't) they are a combination of condesending and selfish and self rightous "people".

        March 7, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • David

        That's a completely false argument, since the conclusion of this policy isn't that contraception becomes UNAVAILABLE, it's that it's just won't be FREE – you will have to pay for it instead of your employer. Contraception is still out there for you or anyone to get, and it's pretty inexpensive.

        By your logic, insurance companies should cover everything a person could possibly want for anything. If you don't want it, you don't need to make that choice, but it should be potentially paid for. Insurance companies would go broke overnight by that logic, and yet, it's the logical conclusion of what you're advocating. What about supplements? There are supplements on the market that have a ton of lab and animal work done on them that show they're better at preventing disease than many drugs, and with fewer side effects. Yet, insurance companies don't cover those. But, people buy them anyway, because they value the health benefits more than the expense. Somehow, people find the money to pay for what is valuable to them.

        March 8, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        AND david, If you read from the posters who believe in abstinnace and NFP, they don't work for a catholic affiliation, they are against any insurance they pay into helping to pay for birthcontrol......because they consider it a sin.

        March 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • lili

        David, I have a solution for those of you who are so concerned about insurances paying for birth control. The government gives billions, yes billions, of dollars to the Catholic organizations. That's all taxpayer money. I don't recall saying they could give my tax dollars to the Catholic religion's organizations, but that's the way it goes. Haven't you read the comments by people who don't wish to have their insurance premiums go up to help cover costs for other people's pregnancies and children? Or for people who willingly smoke themselves into lung cancer? I have moral objections to how a lot of people end up getting so ill that they become a drain on insurance companies. But we don't get to pick and choose all the time. Otherwise I would specify that my tax dollars go to provide birth control options instead of Catholic organizations. Trying to prevent coverage of something because you don't morally agree with it is a shallow argument when we have taxation and insurance premiums going to cover lots of objectionable things. And why are the Catholics and other Christian churches so against birth control when there are too many unwanted children already? Let them help take care of those millions of children instead of moralizing over other people's choices.

        March 8, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Mike

    Frankly, I don't want my insurance dollars to pay for YOUR pregnancy, prenatal care, birthing, and potential medical complications in the infant, and I don't want to do it the 7-12 times that devout catholics tend to get pregnant. I'd much rather pay for birth control (it's not all about you, baby. Keep your fertility systems going, I'll use a condom) – that's much cheaper. Also, what right do you have to impose your religious views on me, if I happen to work as a doctor or nurse at one of your religious affiliated hospitals, or if I were a patient who came to the hospital because there is no other choice (that's how health plans usually work)? If Catholics don't like paying for all preventive services, including birth control, then they should get out of secular businesses (like hospitals) that hire and serve a diverse population. Stop trying to make us in your image.

    Now, in truth, I don't care if you have a lot of kids, but I just made the statement above to reveal the fallacious arguments offered by the religious right.

    March 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • samantha

      Many of us have made many of the same points you have Mike......Not once did any of the prolife/natural birth control people answer our points. In don kinda differ in one point from you...There are so many Catholic women using BCPs, having tubal ligations and men having vasectomies that Catholic families no longer tend to be as large as before. However the Mormans are the ones having large families....19 kids and counting. When it was pointed out that those of us who can't have kids or do not want to have kids help those who want kids do pay their insurance premiums...... They just ignore that point. When it was pointed out that JWitnesses believe it is a sin to receive blood, but help through their insurance to pay for others to receive blood, that point was ignored. They know one mantra...."BOO HOO HOO...We should not have to help pay for someone's BCPs when we believe it is a sin". But you know, it is OK to be selfish and selfright....cause God is on their side....(cough cough)

      March 6, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • JDB

        Thank you for pointing out that your freedom involves the right to spend other people's money.

        March 11, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • lili

      Thank you, Mike for your thoughtful, well reasoned comment. Several of us have made your same argument and the Catholics never seem to have an answer for that. They are so self-righteous and selfish when it comes to having babies, as if they are doing their god and the rest of us a big favor. As you pointed out, they expect the rest of us to cover them in their decisions, but don't want to cover us in our choices. How hypocritical.

      March 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • David


      First of all, pregnancy isn't a disease that requires "prevention". Also, unless you work for a Catholic organization, you don't even have any standing to say that you don't want to pay for anyone else's pregnancy. It doesn't even apply to you, because you're not paying for the author's pregnancy – you both are in totally different systems. Third, if you're so adamant about not paying for pregnancies, then choose an insurance policy that doesn't cover them, and you're good to go. You have a choice.

      Also, just an aside, condoms aren't covered by this program, so you and everyone else will still have to pay to use one, regardless of your religious affiliation or employment.

      March 8, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        David, I've worked for two different catholic hospitals and both carried national insurance programs.....Blue Cross to be exact. There are very few employer/emplyee insurance programs that do not carry prenatal/childbirth coverage. I've worked all over the USA and not one of my insurances deleted that part of care. If the Catholic church did not receive federal & state funds, I would agree that they shouldn't have to pay into birthcontrol......But the Catholic church gets millions from tax payers {many, many noncatholic taxpers) every year, so they should abide by federal/state policies.

        March 8, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • lili

        Thank you for clarifying that point. I, too, worked for a Catholic hospital for many years and its employees paid into insurance, Blue Cross, that covered childbirth and infant care. I know, because it helped pay for my children's births.

        March 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • CMoses

        samantha, I assure you that none of the tax dollars the Catholic Church receives go towards our utility bills, bingo prizes, or to subsidize our Friday night fish fries. Tax money is given to various Catholic charities to minister to the needs of the homeless, the poor, and the 500,000 unwanted kids you keep telling us about. The US government recognizes that value of religious charities (Catholic and otherwise) and how effectively (and economically) they help meet the social needs of our society.

        March 9, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        New studies have come out regarding birth control pills. Women who are using BCPs for 5 years or longer, up to the age of menopause have a 50% reduction in ovarian & uterine cances and a 20% reduction in colonic/rectal cancers. Regardless of whether the pill is taken at an early age (just post menstration) or during perimenopausal years, the benefits of BCP use lasts a life time. Yes, there is still a slight risk of breast cancer and blood clots during the use of BCPs, but those risks go away after BCPs are stopped. There is also a slight risk of cervical cancer during the use of BCPs, but with regular pap smears that can be taken care of before cervical changes become cancerous. The reduction of risks for these other cancers are so great that for most women, the use of BCPs for five years or more has greater benefits than the small risks of other problems. Ovarian cancer is almost impossible to detect in early stanges and it almost always kills once it is finally detected. There is a lot of info available on the internet from studies done over the last two+ decades in England & the USA. Although the anti BCP people will not believe or accept these findings now.....I have a feeling as more data becomes public, even the Pope might change his feelings about BCPs and acceptance of insurance coverage for cancer prevention in a woman's life, will become the norm.

        March 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        CMoses....Again I'll say, If the catholic church takes tax payers monies...the Catholic church should abide by government policies& regulations. By the way....NEVER did I accuse anyone of bingo/french fries etc on tax payers dollars or drinking Star Bucks coffee. It has been other posters of accusing us of "sleeping around", drinking Star Bucks coffee, etc. I am going to write another post to you after I post this one....But it is really to everyone. It is new info

        March 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • David

        Look Samantha, my wife is an OB/GYN. I'm very well aware about the benefits of BCP beyond simple birth control. And, I think the Catholic Church is generally wrong about their insistence against it. But, we have always had conscience clauses for religious groups in this country, and the fact that this law was drafted without one I find part of a very disturbing trend. Eventually, I think the Catholic church will come around on this topic, but I don't believe the gov't has any right to force their hand. BCPs are so readily available elsewhere, and at such low cost, that this isn't some right-to-access issue for the employees of religious organizations. The Catholic Church just doesn't want to have to pay for it, and I think that's OK. It's not throwing the entire gender of women into the gutter by saying you have to pay the $50/month for it. What did women do before this law? They paid for it. Or they got a job where it was covered. Now, the only difference would be that all employers would pay for, EXCEPT religious organizations. That means, pretty much every woman would get it covered for them. Are you so upset that you have to pay $50/month? Get a different job. Nobody is making you work for a religious employer.

        March 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        I did not know until the last year or two how much money the Catholic church received from us tax payers....I don't think very many Americans do know this. Had i known this many years ago, I would be fighting against my tax dollars going to the Catholic Church or any religious organization. With all the negativity the Catholic Church has received in the last few years, I will bet that a growing protest against our tax dollars going to the Cathic Church will become very strong. there are a lot of us noncatholics who resent our tax dollars going to an orgaization that wants to take our tax dollars, but receive special dispensation. With our economy going through a rough time, money going to any religous organization, but especially the Catholic Church because it is such a large orgaization and a large amount of our taxes, will become a prime topic and target for cutbacks.

        March 10, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • lili

        Exactly, Samantha. I have posted the $1.5 billion that the Catholic Church has rec'd over the past two years under the Obama administration and how hypocritical it is for the church to then cry that President Obama is trampling on their religious rights...no one supporting the Church responds to that. I'm with you. I don't believe in the Catholic Church, nor do I wish to support any church, so I don't particularly want my tax dollars going to finance them. But we're supposed to agree to that, yet they don't want their employees' insurance companies covering birth control pills? Fine, then I say I would rather have my tax dollars go to providing birth control for men and women.

        March 11, 2012 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
      • CMoses

        samantha, it's no different than when the Susan G. Komen charity changed it's rules and decided that they couldn't give money to PP anymore because of the rule change. When you change the rules, knowing that it affects one of the biggest recipients of your funding, it's pretty much intentional. The US Government and the Catholic Church have been assisting one another for charitable purposes for a long, long time. Once this administration leaves, it will go back to doing so again. Whether or not that's in a year or five years is yet to be determined, but it's pretty foolish for them to give that much money to an organization as old and as large as the catholic Church for so many decades, then change the rules and act surprised and self-righteous when the Catholic Church balks.

        March 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • lili

        Under the Obama administration, the Catholic Church has received more money than under any other administration, to the tune of $1.5 billion over the past two years.

        March 11, 2012 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
      • Cheryl

        Condoms aren't covered because you do not need a doctor visit and a prescription to buy one.

        March 17, 2012 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
    • CMoses

      samantha, it's no different than when the Susan G. Komen charity changed it's rules and decided that they couldn't give money to PP anymore because of the rule change. When you change the rules, knowing that it affects one of the biggest recipients of your funding, it's pretty much intentional. The US Government and the Catholic Church have been assisting one another for charitable purposes for a long, long time. Once this administration leaves, it will go back to doing so again. Whether or not that's in a year or five years is yet to be determined, but it's pretty foolish for them to give that much money to an organization as old and as large as the catholic Church for so many decades, then change the rules and act surprised and self-righteous when the Catholic Church fights back.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  33. kylee

    Well written opinion but there is no simple way to speak for all the women in the US who use birth control. I am a married woman and not currently using birth control but I have in the past. My reasons were mainly for my personal health and the health of my children. I am a diabetic and diabetic pregnancies are very risky for mother and child. They have to be planned months before the moment of conception as I learned sadly when I lost my first child after four months of pregnancy. After the miscarriage I was depressed for 8 months and then my husband and I decided to try again. With the help of weekly visits to the doctor, we delivered a healthy baby girl. After the delivery I was immediately put back on birth control. Why? My body was exhausted from the pregnancy and needed months to recover. I wasn't fully recovered even a year later. Another reason was that I was breast feeding my child and my body did not have the resources to feed her and carry another baby at the same time. I wanted to be a good parent and I believe that it is good to focus on one baby before immediately adding another to the family. If I had become pregnant, I would have stopped breast feeding and focused on the new baby but that was not the best scenario in my mind. Plus I live in Minnesota and juggling two babies around in the winter is not my idea of happiness. After three years I stopped the birth control and now I am open to a new baby whenever it decides to come along. I have a handle on my health and I am confident that I would have a healthy pregnancy. The bottom line is that birth control is a personal decision that affects the health of the entire family. It is not always for financial reasons and I believe that it should be a private decision for a woman. There are countless reasons why birth control is an essential part of a reproductive aged woman's healthcare, and they are different for each woman. One person cannot speak for all and that is why birth control should be covered under any insurance healthcare plan.

    March 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Courtney

      Well said. I cannot understand what people do not get about this issue. My mom was told by her doctor after I was born that she should not get pregnant again, and prescribed the pill. I find it very odd that some people don't understand women's health as it relates to pregnancy.

      March 7, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  34. The Woof

    First I must say that on points she is right, right about being proud to be a woman but she should have said proud to be an individual. That's where it starts, proud to be a unique individual who can over come and accomplish anything as borne witness by so many others in the past. Second, from a religious point even God gives each and everone of us the right of choice, that is what free will is about, the right to choose. Anyone who claims to be Christian no matter what faith merely need to read the Bible to see how God feels on a subject. If Ms. Pokorny would read the Bible more instead of listening to a priest who is no closer to God then she is maybe she'll revisit some of the points she has written in this article.

    March 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Erin

    Articles like this quickly remind me why I am proud of the word "FORMER" in front of my "Catholic" status. I'm glad that this author chooses to use NFP – that's great for her.. but it's HER choice. She gets to CHOOSE it. Why not allow other women the same choice.. to use birth control or not, depending on what is best for their current situation?

    That's the problem I have with Catholicism as a whole.. everything is based on what MEN think is best for you, and if you don't go along with it – you're not a good Catholic. I've come to realize that i'm very much OK and Proud of not being a "good" Catholic.. it shows that I use common sense and logic instead of make believe and unproven theories.

    March 5, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tonya

      So sad for you Erin. I wish you the best.

      March 5, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mojojuju

        Condescend much, Tonya? Sheesh.

        March 6, 2012 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
      • Patrick

        Good for you, Erin. You are an inspiration to many.

        March 6, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        Tonya on the other hand, is the posterchild of "bliss" .....

        March 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • markd

      As a catholic I also feel as Erin does. It is a women's choice to use birth control or not. If a catholic women feels birth control it is wrong then she can make the choice. It should not be decided by a persons employer which is what the church is to their employees. I know of friends who were using NFP in recent years and now have kids. Not exactly a science if current users can't make it work. Sure it may be the eduction behind it but isn't that part of the problem?

      March 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Liz M

    So, Ms. Pokorny, what is right for you is right for everyone else? At least in your way of thinking.

    March 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  37. HaveCompassion

    The choice to use contraception is a personal choice. If medicare can cover viagra, why not have insurance companies cover birth control?

    I always said that should I become pregnant before I was ready to become a mother I would choose life and adoption, but that it would be my choice. I chose to protect myself as much as I could from having to make that decision by using contraception. I am still very much pro-choice. There are not only physical, but emotional, psychological and financial burdens that come with both a wanted and unwanted pregnancy.

    I used to volunteer as a walker on the days that abortions were performed. A walker is someone who walks a patient from their car to the clinic or from the clinic to their car. It is someone to stand beside them against the onslaught of hateful (not compassionate) words being hurled at them by protesters. I was told on more than one occasion that there was a special place in Hell just for me ( I hope it's on the lake of fire and brimstone.... always wanted beach front property).. I also often sat with the women in the waiting room if they were alone.

    The majority of the women I saw and who opened up to me were not young unmarried women. They were not promiscuous. Most of the women I met were married and happy in their marriage. Some of these woman had just recently given birth only to realize they had become pregnant again. Some were in their 40s and thought their child bearing years had ended only to find out it was not pre-menopause but pregnancy. Some were concerned about the cost of raising another child because they were already living paycheck to paycheck.

    Be careful of the stereotypes you attach to people. It is true that you do not know anything until you walk a mile in their shoes. It is a personal choice that a person (with their partner if involved) must make for themselves.

    March 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • samantha

      You do Have Compassion. Thankyou for a great post and your great heart. I look forward to sharing some "beachfront property" down the road a ways........................

      March 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • samantha

      You do have compassion. Thank you for writing a great post and having a great heart. Maybe we'll meet on our beach front property down the road aways................................

      March 5, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thankful

      Thank you for doing this. I can't say it enough. I was incredibly grateful for the "walkers" when I had an abortion 10 years ago. I was 20 years old, went out of town to have it done so I was in a strange city, and scared to death, even though my boyfriend was with me the whole time – not of the abortion itself, but of the protesters. I had to schedule it for a Saturday, even though I knew it was more likely that there would be protesters because it was a weekend. It was an incredibly difficult decision, but I haven't ever regretted it, I'm not haunted by it. So to those "walkers" who were there for me in Cleveland, and really to all of them out there – those of us already in a tough position REALLY appreciate it.

      March 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • samantha

        Many years ago, when my cousin was about your age, she had an abortion. About ten years after her abortion, we were having a discussion about her husband's vasectomy. I asked her if she had any regrets about her abortion and she said..."Not for even a second". She said because of the abortion, she could finish college, where, by the way... she met her husband, whom she adores and he adores her. She went on to say that she & her husband have two wonderful children...who have two parents that love them. Her life is good and has been good even now, some 20 years after I asked her the question and 30 years after her abortion. Do not sit in judgement posters by another's life. Take care of your own because that is what counts.....and if you really take care of your life, you won't have time to judge another's life!

        March 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
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