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
soundoff (1,442 Responses)
  1. ringo

    There are plenty of forms of natural family planning that are completely effective: diphtheria, whooping cough, polio, tetanus...

    How about this Valerie – if you're going to go the natural route, do it all the way.

    February 17, 2012 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
    • s. Lutz

      NFP is contraception. It is conra to conception. It avoids (hopefully) conception. it is no more morally correct and a lot less effective than condoms. The Catholic Church has always had a warped view of the truth.

      February 17, 2012 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
      • Momof11

        NFP is to contraception what following a healthy diet to lose weight is to bulemia.
        Not engaging in an act is totally different from doing something to prevent an act from its natural end. And NFP is also used by many to help achieve a desired pregnancy.

        February 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. POV

    Even if 98% of Catholic (or other religious) women use contraception, what business is it for the government to get between the women and their religion?

    February 17, 2012 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Primewonk

      Exactly how does this get between a woman and her religion? Be specific, give examples,, and include citations to actual sources.

      Otherwise, we'll have to assume you are just another fundiot.

      February 17, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • yeahalright

      What are you talking about?

      February 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mr Everyman

    I have friends who practiced her method. They all had more kids than planned. After the extra kid they gave up on her method. Family planning and being open to life is contradictory and unnessarily worriesome. Poverty is not an ideal to be practiced by overpopulation. We need to marshal our resources so we can populate the 26 Earth sized exoplanets just discovered.

    February 17, 2012 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. Chicago mom

    Sorry, but I disagree that contraception denigrates women. The notion that women use contraception only to benefit their male partners without the fear of pregnancy denigrates women, reducing them to objects for men. Many women use contraception because they enjoy having "intimate relations" and enjoy doing so even more without the stress of an unwanted pregnancy hanging over the bedroom. Telling them that they should reject contraceptive use is equivalent to telling them they don't have the right to enjoy intimate relationships in a spontaneous, carefree manner - i.e. a right society has conferred on men since the dawn of history.

    February 17, 2012 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. Rebecca

    Thanks Valerie. Great Article. I believe the vast majority of women are not sufficiently educated about the marvelous wonder of their body-"it remains a value not sufficiently appreciated or understood". Contraception does denigrate women because it doesn't allow us to be who we are, as Valerie stated. With contraception, we are attempting to snuff out an integral part of ourselves that makes us women, namely our fertility. And, the consequences are devastating, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. My husband and I use the Billings Method of NFP, and we are very happy with the method. In eight years of marriage, we have three children, all of them planned with NFP. We've never used contraceptives, and we never will.

    February 17, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
    • ringo

      So you produce good mucous, your cycle is relatively regular, and you can tell your husband "no". Bravo for you. But what does this have to do with the rest of us?

      February 17, 2012 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
    • yeahalright

      It doesn't allow women to be who they are...while you would be willing to not allow other women to be who they are.

      Do you recognize your hypocrisy and just don't care?

      February 17, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. undecided

    I'm not really sure what I think about the whole issue. There are parts of the article that I agreed with and parts that I didn't. Reading the comments, one thing seems clear – both "sides" believe they have been wronged and their rights are being taken away. Again, not sure how I feel about it. But one thing that stands out to me an an observer is the incredible amount of anger, hostility, and down right "meanness" that is coming from many of the pro-pill side. While the conservatives/Catholics/Christians/Santorum lovers believe they are being stripped of an important right as well most of the comments (not all but most) are respectful and logic driven (even if you don't agree with the logic). As someone on the fence this approach makes me think maybe they have something. I'm not qualified to comment on the facts because I haven't looked at the NaPro Technology website or the different methods of NFP. But I just thought I'd comment that it seems like the "conservatives" are actually the more "tolerant" ones even though that's kind of a liberal cornerstone. And I would agree that I didn't see anywhere where Mrs. Pokorny said she wants contraceptives taken away from everyone. I have learned some new things. I didn't realize that the World Health Organization considers the pill a carcinogen. I don't think they can be accused of being swayed by the old guys in Rome. Lots to think about...

    February 16, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry A.

      undecided said:
      "II have learned some new things. I didn't realize that the World Health Organization considers the pill a carcinogen."

      This is a lie. The WHO says that the dosage of progesterone/estrogen in _hormone_replacement_therapy_ is carcinogenic for some cancers, but offers a protective effect against other cancers. The much lower dosage in the birth control pill does not have the same effect and has not been classified as a carcinogen. See

      February 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ThinkingWoman

    I respect the decisions that you make for your own life but I would ask, in return, that you respect the choices *I* make for *MY* life. Do what ever you want with your birth control methods, I don't care, but stop demanding respect for your choices if you are not willing to give that same respect to others.

    February 16, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Stephanie

    At our pre-marriage counseling session in 1974,our white, middle-aged, conservative priest advised us on family planning by telling my husband and me that "the number of children you decide to have is up to you. Children are one of God's greatest gifts, but as parents, you will have the responsibility of caring for them and guiding them to responsible adulthood." He then told us that the size of our family should be our decision and that God gave us a working brain for a reason, and that we should use it to decide for ourselves if we wanted to have children and how many we wanted to have. There is nothing wrong with mandating that birth control (or fertility treatment or cancer treatment or well-baby care, etc) should be offered and that women have the choice to use it (or not). This whole issue has nothing to do with religious freedom...if it bothers you use birth control, then just opt out. But don't deny it to anyone else because of your religious views.

    February 16, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. E

    Valerie, you are absolutely right on everything you said and I wanted to let you know that I appreciated this article very, very much. I pray for all the people who misunderstood and won't listen to the truth you are proclaiming. God bless you and I hope you write more wonderful articles!

    February 16, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Todd

    The woman at our Catholic Church where we were married taught us about NFP- and then proceeded to tell us that 2 of her 4 kids were a result of 'God's will' despite her actively practicing NFP at the time of her conceptions. Or it could have been because it doesn't work well and biology took over. Whichever is more likely...

    Needless to say, we decided to continue using the pill and after our two children were born, we still do. So did my
    sisters, my mom, my grandma (all Catholics). The NFP woman from church told us that anyone who uses birth control was against life and babies. The irony is that my family did Catholic Charities foster care growing up and we had 55 babies in our home over the 15 years we did it.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Skullvodka

    The author thinks that the "rhythm method" is a modern form of contraception. ROTFLMAO! Catholics are so out of touch from reality. I guess they think that god sent himself to earth as a sacrifice to himself, to save us from himself, because adam ate an apple because of a talking snake.......... so it stands to reason.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. trish

    what planet am i on?? i would swear this conversation was from the 1800s. and the thing that bothers me the most is that women drink the juice of these controlling and twisted right wing men

    February 16, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • yeahalright

      "Competing in the olympics denigrates me as a woman because my uterus might fall out."

      February 17, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sharky

    While I accept the argument on the not letting or having government interfere in religion as I do not want religion interfering with government, I reject your failure of an argument about contraception denigrating you as a woman. There is no malignant attached to birth control aside from just preventing pregnancy. Given the serious and non-laughable dire financial situation we are currently in, and also the treatment of babies and children by people that should never had have them, we need birth control more than ever. I am sorry your faith blinds you from reality.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. argee

    Michelle Duggar denigrates me!

    February 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • samantha

      I was thinking of the Duggars often while reading posts. Their 19th child was born way to early and spent weeks in a NICU. The 20th baby was a miscarriage. The cost for the care of the 19th child was extrordinary for the insurance company who insures them and everyone who has insurance through that company helped to pay for the cost of that care.....they had NO choice. Michelle wants to get pregnant again. That is her choice but why do other insurers have to help pay for her choices?

      February 19, 2012 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dani

    I am very excited about this new legislation not only because I hope to benefit from it but because I believe the long-term benefits will far exceed the short-term disadvantages. The #1 disadvantage that I see is that insurance premiums will most likely go up, but in the future I hope to see a decrease in abortions, children in foster care, and the size of families on welfare.

    February 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  16. poseidon

    Contraception encourages the use of women for secks objects. It allows men to cheaply use them for satisfaction because they faces no consequences and can simply walk away. THen, he can default to high sounding language such as "her body, her choice"

    February 16, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • JMAC

      Right. Because in your mind, before birth control, men would never just walk away after using a woman. Well, they did just like they do now. Women before birth control had to deal with a baby, and before condoms maybe had to deal with disease. Now women just have to deal with being angry at a jerk. And perhaps can use their baby-free or disease-free status to become lawyers and doctors and teachers (oh my!) who can help protect other young women from being left in dire situations that jerks like you would have them in.

      February 16, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob

      Only people like you see women as pleasure objects. Women want to enjoy pleasure as well, or do you still believe the "women don't enjoy intercourse AT ALL and they always lie back and think of England when they do" myth?

      February 17, 2012 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  17. PrimeNumber

    1) a widespread plague of divorce
    2)a growing courseness toward women
    3) a wider sense of lawless in society
    4)a general hostility toward children
    Pope Paul VI predicted the above societal changes when he released Humane Vitae in 1968.

    February 16, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |


    February 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • yeahalright

      Look I agree with you completely, but your giant all caps post makes you look like an idiot, a psycho or moron who doesn't realize their caps lock key is on. It's the written equivalent of busting into a library and screaming.

      February 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Brian

    Religious hypo.crit rages that an option of choice that will prevent them from forcing their views on others is an oppression against them on ludicrous grounds. News at 11

    February 16, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Anti-extremist

    When will the religious extremists stop trying to punish those who don't practice their beliefs? By all means you have a right to your opinions but keep your stone age views on contraception to yourself and your body.

    February 16, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Jenn

    Ovulatinig makes me sick. It makes it so i can barely function. The only thing that makes it better is seasonique, which at one point was costing me $50 a pop and i have insurance. I cannot be the only person this happens to and this doesnt happen only to people who have insurance. It is unfair that because i have a valid medical condition that requires treatment from bc, that i have to pay more than if it req treatment from an antibiotic or a painkiller. This isnt about the ones who dont need or want it, its about those who do need it.

    February 16, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Catholic

    The Catholic Church made contraception a no-no for one reason and one reason only: they wanted to grow the Catholic Church. That is a fact. No birth control = lots more Catholic babies. What the author doesn't seem to get is that NFP *IS* birth control! It's just another method. Some methods use pills. Some methods use intrauterine devices. NFP uses other devices – thermometers, fertility-monitor sticks, etc. But the end result is the same – you're controlling births. (Or at least trying to.) So, the author herself is breaking the rules of the Catholic Church. In light of the reason why the Catholic Church made birth control a no-no in the first place, that the author teaches a method of birth control to Catholics and is preachy about it is laughable.

    February 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen M.

      NFP is a form of birth control which is approved by the Catholic Church. The author undoubtedly knows this. What you may not know is that the reason NFP is approved is bc it still has an element of being open to life. Medical or chemical birth control changes your hormones in such a way that essentially makes you infertile. Of course the other problem with medical birth control is that many of them work in such a way that cause a fertilized egg to pass through the system and causes a miscarriage, this is an intentional rejection of life. The Catholic Church rejects those forms of birth control due to the lack of openness and rejection of life, not to populate populate, populate and take over the world.

      February 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • michael

        ...Jen, I've always been fascinated (and bewildered) by the argument you've offered, which boils down to little more than "the Catholic Church favors NFP because it's less effective – err, I mean, it's open to life." Substantively, what makes NFP more moral than barrier methods, such as the condom, or the diaphragm, aside from the fact that those have a higher success rate in practice?

        February 16, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Catholic Engineer

      The difference between artificial contraception and natural methods is this: natural methods work with the woman's natural reproductive cycle (hopefully with the male's cooperation !) in controlling conception. Artificial means are a deliberate frustration of a natural process. Read Humane Vitae.

      February 16, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • yeahalright

        And putting a prosthetic leg on a person who's leg was lost to the natural process of gangrene isn't natural either. Heck a bridge you drive over isn't natural. What's your point besides it's not natural?

        February 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • natalie

      It is interesting to me that you....YOU, know the answer as to why the Catholic Church said birth control was a no-no. I can tell you all the other reasons you should consider. As a 46 yo Catholic mom of four, I will tell you that I have never used birth control. I have however, been free from any chemical or birth control worries and I have a relationship with my husband that is far beyond what I could imagine...and what I see others have. We have the right to come to conclusions, but that does not make them "right". The Catholic Church teaches that having a loving relationship with a man and including Christ in your relationship is a wonderful thing. Furthermore, we understand that children benefit from brothers and sisters and clearly do not benefit from being the center of our universe. Furthermore, we chose not to deny the negative aspects, (medical, physical and spiritual )of the pill. I am always amazed at how we can justify...just to make us feel better. BTW....I did not plan to have my fourth child...what a blessing he is to my life. If for nothing else, if I had been on birth control, I promise he would not be here. God must have had a plan. It really doesn't matter if you "think" you understand us. All that matters is that we are the happy ones.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  23. EatYouAlive

    Just tax churches, there we go, plenty of funding!

    February 16, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  24. TonyKo

    This is a silly argument: because my coverage includes treatment for, say, diabetes doesn't mean that the someone is telling me I NEED that treatment, and can't live without it. It is saying IF I need it, it is available to me. The argument in the article is either deliberately disingenuous or horrifically foolish. And yes, media do give all kinds of messages about being female or male–and they operate along both fault lines–both conservative messages and progressive messages. The difference tends to be that progressive messages tend to emphasize choice, and don't dictate (as do conservative messages) what one MUST do or be to be moral. The whole "political correctness" foolishness obfuscates this simple difference between progressive and conservative–the difference between "you may" and "you must."

    February 16, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Patti

    Valerie's perspective degenerates women. Every woman deserves the right to have access to birth control (and to use it or not). If your a woman who's doesn't believe in birth control don't take it and keep your pie hole shut and quit trying to impose your beliefs on others.

    February 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Eileen Gray

    Lady, you don't serve as a very good example for Catholic education insofar as your complete lack of reading comprehension. Your entire argument – and consequent bashing of the Obama administration – is based on a seemingly willful misunderstanding of the HHS mandate regarding the required AVAILABILITY of contraception. If contraception demeans you as a woman...DON'T USE IT. Most especially, stop depicting this administration as a bunch of jack-booted storm troopers breaking into homes and high schools to thrust The Pill down chaste throats. Your distortions border on the immoral...and that's putting it kindly.

    February 16, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Holly Grigg-Spall

    I'm really intrigued by this post. I feel we share a lot of view points on this issue but that perhaps there are some big ways in which our ideas differ. Please check out my blog on this:


    I'd actually like to conduct an interview.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Lee

    I find this article to be shocking and borderline irresponsible. The author surely knows, having written this piece, that being an American woman affords her a myriad choices about how to live her life and how to express her opinion; and that many of those choices were gained by standing on the backs of the women who preceded us. There are a million reasons why a woman may choose to use contraception and a million more reasons to choose against contraception; frankly, I stand in judgment of none of them. Thank God we have the choice when so many women did not and do not. Thank God we live in a country where women can work and vote and parent or not and marry or not. Thank God we are women who can choose. Practicing restraint is to be commended, but forced restraint is imprisonment. Ms. Pokorny, I beg you not to advocate for taking that choice away from women who need and want it. Please don't take it from our daughters who are depending on us to ensure this world will give them choices.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • S. Lutz

      You are absolutely right. It is irresponsibe and disgraceful. The Catholic Church denigrates women and has done so for centuries. Period! Who cares how you prevent pregnancy. The result is the same. God has no opinion about any of this garbage, I am sure. It has nothing to do with Christianity and everything to do with misogyny.

      February 17, 2012 at 5:32 am | Report abuse |
  29. JohnnyAce

    wait so....this girl gets loads blown into her everytime she's with a guy?

    February 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  30. SophieCat

    Hey Valerie when you go into the classrooms four times a year you share with those young girls the story of the Magdalene Sisters, right? The ones who were forced to work in the Catholic church-run laundries for years and years and years? The young girls whose femininity was SO celebrated that they were locked-up for years and years by the Catholic Church?

    It's a VERY important part of your history, Valerie. It's a VERY important story of how the Catholic church values women.

    I certainly hope you are telling the story of the Magdalene Sisters. I tell that story to young girls all the time. All the time.

    ALL the time, Valerie.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Devout Christian

    "To be a healthy woman, you need contraception." NO ONE IS SAYING THIS!! They are saying "To be a healthy woman, you need ACCESS to contraception." VERY DIFFERENT THINGS!!

    February 16, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anti-extremist


      February 16, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Danceby

    Did the Lord tell MR. TD JAKES to pick MS. Houston, and remake Sparkle!!
    Some are making MS. Houston a Joke! Boosting their personal fame and name ( Black People should boycott the movie). Enough!! of slick, people misusing us, and misguiding us. TD Jakes who this film belong to, did not begin 10 years ago (that's PR talk). When the remake of Sparkle film began MR. Jakes and them knew. MS. Houston was struggling with addiction. This was about the time Clyde Davis too got her to make the last LP she recorded a little over a year ago. No one helped her but instead put her in a situation of pressure. Public light, to benefit there ego's Both MR. Davis and Bishop TD Jakes. How do a man of God produce a secular movie ( SPARKLE) who SONY, picture bank rolled MR. Jakes with a 40 million dollar deal. Make a movie about a drug addicted singer, who die due to drug use. Serlect Whitney Houston as a lead in that movie. Now every one wants her last works; they blind sided her. To get her to perform WHEN SHE WAS NOT WELL!. As JESUS would say Vipers!!! And John of the Bible too would declare. What about the addicted people in TD Jakes Church, He manage for JESUS CHRIST how do you explain, the above choice. Did the Lord tell MR. TD JAKES to Pick MS. Houston and remake Sparkle!!

    February 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  33. jj

    The beauty of choice is that one can choose birth control and abortion or not choose it. So why would anybody be against choice?

    February 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Rick in Denver

    Amazing article, Valerie. The fact it appears on CNN and is now bombarded with hateful comments gives a modern application to Matthew 7:6.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • durundal

      ....and the meek shall fall to their knees, whilst the priest goes 'Aaaaaaaaah'! My fictional quotes are more interesting than yours

      February 16, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Laughing

        Love it! 🙂

        February 16, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimbob

      Niiice... just call everyone that disagrees with you a dog. How Xtian of you. How 'bout the rest of the SOM? You hypocrite, white-washed sepulchre.

      February 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Russ

    This as has been said many times in these comments........but I must repeat, so what.......what's your point. No one is forcing you to do anything. No one is out to change anyone's religious beliefs. Insurance companies offer birth control. That's it. They aren't tying you down and shoving pills down your throat or holding down your husband to put on a condom. Why is this so hard to understrand????? What's worse is you idiots try to force your damn religion on me. It is the biggest farce on this earth. God? What God? He obviously doesn't give a crap about most of you fanatics. My life is far better than most of you and I'm an atheist. Good thing is........when it's all over you'll be laying in the dirt right beside me, not up in heaven or down in hell where most of you belong......you'll be buried right beside me!!! hahahahahahahahahaha

    February 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  36. jimtanker

    They're not forcing Catholics to do jack. They are ensuring that employers provide adequate healthcare for ALL employees. What do you zealots not understand?

    February 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • durundal

      what they do not understand is that religion has no place in health and human services sector – drag religion kicking and screaming out of its game of playing at being a business and there will be no further problem

      February 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Robert

    "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."

    Where is this stated at except for this article?

    February 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimtanker

      It’s not. She’s just another right wing whacko who has watched too much Bill O’riely and Glenn Beck.

      February 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • durundal

      its a mutation of the correlation between income/success and reproduction – i.e. the more successful couples tend to reproduce less and wait longer to have kids. Talk about cherry picking facts and twisting reality to make a point

      February 16, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • yeahalright

      I know! She invents a complete fiction. No one has said this besides her.

      February 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  38. maggie

    "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."

    Valery should not be counseling anyone unless or until she is fully informed. No one is telling any woman they have to do anything with respect to contraception. These devices however, in addition to preventing many unwanted pregnancies (and the abortions her church abhors) are also used as a less riskier and very effective treatment for women's health problems that have nothing to do with contraception. That it would 'denigrate" her to take it is her choice. That it would denigrate the rest of the female population because of what her church thinks is a whole nother matter. We already know that that dog doesn't hunt.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Janet


    There are many, many people with great writing skills who would love to have a platform like Valerie has to express his or her views.
    Please stop making a market for this fluff. This woman is merely espousing her religious beliefs and I don't care.
    And I have no interest in encouraging our young women to use NFP. After all, it's worked so well in third-world countries.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  40. ooga booga

    ", I stand with my fellow Catholics hoping our religious freedom will be respected."

    you do realize the difference between offering and forcing?

    i'm wondering how many of your fellow cathodipsh1ts use contraception...im guessing a pretty good number.

    how about just opting not to use it and allow those who wish to, to use it. you know, tolerance for your fellow man...or woman in this case

    February 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Magz

    I think everyone needs a quick insurance lesson, and maybe this will help demonstrate how pointless the Catholic argument is about not wanting to fund others' use of birth control. Let's say Insurance Company A offers 50 different policies, some which cover birth control and some that don't. Anyone who has a policy with Company A is giving their money to that company, which puts everyone's money together in a fund to pay claims. In other words, it doesn't matter what coverage you have under your plan, if the company offers it under ANY plan, your premiums are "subsidizing" that coverage for others. Even without the new required coverage for birth control, Catholics are already helping insurance companies pay for birth control to those who choose to use it. Sorry to burst your Catholic bubble...

    February 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  42. YY

    Bully for you. don't use it. Now get out of my face and stop making my decisions for me! Honor me by allowing me to make my own decisions.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Jennifer

    This article is hypocritical. First the author laments that wanting to have s.ex without having a baby is somehow undignified, and diminishes 'the genius of women'. Then she says, hey, I've got this great method with which you can have s.ex without having a baby. Try it. The real crux of the main argument, which she happily skates right on past, is that some methods of birth control interfere with fertilized ova. Cond.oms, diaphragms, and cervical caps, of course, don't, and there's some question about non-hormonal IUDS, so it seems to me that she, and other Catholics who use NFP for religious reasons, are truly saying that somehow, god thinks it's OK to slyly time your s.ex around a woman's fertility, thereby thwarting his intention that all s.ex should be for procreation, but not OK to scoop up that s.perm before it can make it to the ova. Seriously? What ever happened to 'the spirit of [god's] law' vs. the letter of it? Does the author, and do her bishops and cardinal and the pope, really feel that using a contraception method like modern NFP, which uses exacting, advanced science, to allow people to have plenty of s.ex SHEERLY FOR PLEASURE, AND WITHOUT HAVING BABIES, is acceptable to god? This is the kind of illogic that utterly undermines any credibitlity the church might have.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  44. The Logical Truth

    This is a reply to Chris: "C-ism" strays very far from "JCs" actual teachings. He never said birth control was inmoral. Most of the "C-isms" dogma wasnt taken from JC or the holy book itself

    February 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Logical Truth

      CNN it is a fact that the Catholic church came up with most of their practices themselves over time thru individual opinions and mandates of popes and priests. Please stop blocking my comment and the truth. You are making me feel persecuted like Martin Luther

      February 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Logical Truth

        The Catholic church has a long history of corruption CNN. This is a fact. Popes used to start wars and have people assassinated. Bribes were endemic.

        February 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Logical Truth

      Does everyone see how I had to abbreviate my words and split up my comment so it would post? CNN as a news organization should promote free speech not block it. They arent Fox news. I want to hear from the people, do you think my comment is offensive or inappropriate?

      February 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • durundal

        oh please they are not censoring – its an algorithm in place that picks up the presence of certain words and combinations to try to stop posters from being offensive to one another. I D I O T, not everything is a conspiracy theory....Get it now?

        February 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      I think that Doc Vestibule posted about why Catholics (or the ones who follow the Pope) believe contraception is not good. I think he posted before me. I read it and for those people who believe those bible verses are true, then they should not have to pay for it. I just dont like it that the govent is infringing on peoples beliefs. If I were catholic & was against contrac, then I wouldnt feel right paying for it.

      February 16, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Logical Truth

        I can somewhat understand not paying for it but some Catholics want to make it illegal or very hard to get which isnt right. Also do you realize an impoverished kid costs us a lot more money than birth control?

        February 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • yeahalright

      You sound like a megalomaniacal psychopath. Nobody's censoring your posts. You are not important enough. You don't have some world shattering truth that cnn is trying to stop you from getting out. Their profanity filter can't tell the difference between, say, consti.tution and ti.t, and so on. Stupid? Yes. Censoring some grand idea of yours? No. So get over yourself.

      February 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Kris

    While I dont agree with areas of Valerie's article, I can see her point about not forcing a Catholic to pay for contraception. If Valerie is a business owner and it is against her beliefs (which based on her article I believe she is) why should she have to pay for it. The govnt wouldnt make a Jewish person pay for their employees to have pork dinner once a week. Also, the argument about 98% of Catholics use contraception may be correct, but what about those 2%? If it is really against their religion- then they should not be forced to pay for something that is against their religion.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • YY

      When I go to a store i see lots of cloths I wouldn't be caught dead in. I don't buy those cloths. I don't demand that the store stop selling them. When I go to a restaurant, there are lots of things on the menu that i don't like or can't eat because of allergies. I don't eat those things. I eat what i do like and can eat. Its time for the Catholic Church to trust their flock to be good Catholics. They have an individual responsiblity to not use contraception. The Church has neither the power nor the legal right to enforce their doctrine on non-Catholics. And, lastly, they were given the option of having separate policies to offer their catholic employees but the church said no. i guess that's because they don't trust their flock to not use contraception. But that ain't the countries problem. That's the church's problem.

      February 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • ringo

      Well I'm Jewish, and I could care less about what my employees have for dinner. Just because I can't eat pork doesn't mean I would make that decision for someone else.
      I would rather that the pork be raised humanely, but I'll solve that by paying a decent wage, so people can afford to buy meat that wasn't factory-farmed. Maybe the Church can take a lesson from this.

      February 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  46. D

    You're offended you are given an option? Don't take it if you don't want to...quit trying to remove the option for others. That's what really offensive...those of you who think since you don't like something, it shouldn't be available to anyone.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Lori

    Personally, I think NFP is GREAT for anyone who doesn't want to go the route of hormonal or barrier methods, or has issues with latex. If you choose that, wonderful. If someone else, let's say a single mom, working full time, dating, who doesn't have the bandwidth to monitor her cycles because she's oh you know RUNNING her universe singlehandedly, then she deserves access to affordable contraception via her insurance. And without insurance, it ain't cheap.
    I think NFP is a dodge though on the issue of preventing pregnancy. The point of the edict is to ensure that Catholic women do NO family planning. NFP doesn't fit with this technically.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Nebi

    Birth control pills do more than just prevent birth. they ease cramps (which are debilitating for so me), the reduce acne, they control your hormones, they cure PMS (and not the kind you normally joke about) Real PMA lasts about two weeks and can be very severe, disrupting daily life. The bill doesn’t force anyone to take the pill, it simply gives women who may need access to medication they may require to live a normal life.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  49. jimtanker

    “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.

    Wow is this woman wacked out. She needs to wake up and join the real world.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nebi


      February 16, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • A

      I agree with my body my choice. I am glad that I have those options; otherwise, I might have children that I do not desire. Too bad she does't advocate that not all women actually want to procreate. Too many people frown upon those who choose to remain childless.

      February 16, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  50. A Catholic

    Based on most of these comments, when on God's green earth did the availability of contraception become so hard for women? If you want it, go to a doctor and go get it.....and pay for it yourself! Everyone acts like contraception for women is in such short supply and is so expensive. Since when did women become so inept at finding it. It is already available. How much money do we already give Planned Parenthood to pass it out?
    Don't infringe on my right not to pay for the crap! You want it; you pay for it. Tell Obama to leave me out of it.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie Song

      Poor women cannot afford it and they have the right to it. If poor women have a dozen kids you scream at them for that. If they are trying to do family planning, they should be able to. If you can't feed your children, you can hardly afford contraceptive. And in these days of massive unemployment, you should have more understanding.

      February 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • A Catholic

        You must have missed the Planned Parenthood thought in my originial post. They pass it out like candy. There is already an option for poor women.
        Again, I do not want to infringe on someone's choice of using it. Just don't infringe on my choice not to pay for it. Sounds fair to me.

        February 16, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • jimtanker

        You just want to ensure that it is harder for people to get birth control. This isnt about stomping on peoples religions freedoms and you know it. It is about giving everyone the same opportunity. If this offends your religious sensabilities then oh well, get over it.

        February 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Primewonk

        @ A Catholic – I don't want my money used for Catholics to get statins. If god wants you to die from Hypercholesterolemia, fine. Otherwise, pay for it yourself. I don't want to pay for Baptists to use Januvia. If god wants them to die from AODM, so be it. Otherwise, pay for it yourself.

        February 16, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Busy

        "You must have missed the Planned Parenthood thought in my originial post. They pass it out like candy. There is already an option for poor women.
        Again, I do not want to infringe on someone's choice of using it. Just don't infringe on my choice not to pay for it. Sounds fair to me."

        Obviously this poster has never tried to get help from a planned parenthood. There are so many people who cannot afford their own contraception and gynecological exams or other forms of medical attention that planned parenthood offers that even with an appointment, the wait typically takes hours. That kind of time constraint is frankly not always an option for everyone, especially single mothers working multiple jobs just to put food on the table and a roof over their family's heads.

        February 16, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • A Catholic

      Wow, the reading comprehension levels are at an all time low. Jim, tell me the groups of women who don't have birth control choices? It is already available. You also told me that if it offends my religious sensabilities, I should get over it. When the government takes your freedom, I'll recommend that you get over it.
      BTW, looking at the Bill of Rights, I didn't see a right to contraception. Must have over looked that. What about the right for every family to have a t.v. or computer. Maybe the right to food. What else do other people owe me?

      February 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • huh?

        Actually basic human rights covers food, computer (information), etc. It doesn't need to be in the "Bill of Rights" And are you sure you want to say you'll tell people to "get over it" when their freedom to use contraception (something people like Santorum threaten to do away with all together) is taken away? That's so...stupid.

        February 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Timbuck2

      You pay for Viagra-for me to have pleasure even when the body says no!

      February 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • yeahalright

      Hey I don't want to have to pay extra so the various churches in this country can get off without paying anything. I don't want to pay for guantanamo bay. I don't want to have to pay for military bases in a million other countries. I don't want to have to pay for the post office. But I still have to. So deal.

      February 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  51. USMC

    My wife and I are Catholic. Five years ago she was diagnosed with A plastic anemia at 25. It is a rare bone marrow failure disease, where her immune system has attacked her bone marrow and it affects its ability to produce blood cells. 2 years after she was diagnosed we got married at her childhood Catholic Church. She has to be on birth control, no questions asked. She doesn’t have enough platelets to clot and she can bleed to death. She cannot get pregnant either; it will kill her and the child. We had one of her ovaries removed and frozen. She just had a bone marrow transplant and if grafts we can transplant part or the entire ovary back in and possibly conceive naturally. I could care less what Rome thinks of our health issues. That is our choice, not theirs. That is the fundamental argument for this decision, choice. Our choice not yours or thiers. Not your “slick advertising” Op Ed about what it means to you to be a woman. Jesus taught us to live by example not by edict. I guarantee you; he is more concerned with the opulence and decadence of the palace we built in Rome for a few coddled old men. The same men who think they can bend the word of God to further their earthly interests. Apostates!!!!

    February 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Logical Truth

      Exactly! Jesus was opposed to wealth and decadence and the elite ruling religion.

      February 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stopcomplaining

      But surely you know that the church does not care if she bleeds to death, that is the point. In fact the death of a woman overjoys them.

      February 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie Song

      Amen. And I hope your wife thrives and that you both have a beautiful life together.

      February 16, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimtanker

      I guess that you'll just have to accept the consequences for your decision and burn in HeII for all eternity.

      February 16, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I would not be so foolish as to "guarantee" what you cannot deliver upon. Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church you belong to and it is He whom you disobey. Evil may never be done to bring about a good. If you love Christ you will follow His Commandments. Your vitriol against the true shepherds of the Church betrays you more than you realize. May God bless you both and bring you both to a love of the Church and her teachings.

      February 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Primewonk

        So Chris, can you point me to the section of your bible where it talks about the optimal treatment of aplastic anemia? Or even better, could you have one of these bishops or pope write down what god tells them is the optimal treatment plan?

        February 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mike Houston

        Man, Chris!!! You have really swallowed the Koolaide haven't you?? Jim Jones would have loved you, and you him.
        I pity you...

        February 16, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • JamieB

        It is not against Catholic teaching to take oral contraceptive pills for the purpose of treating a medical condition, but only if they are being used for the purpose of birth control.

        February 16, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Houston

      Here's to you and your wife, USMC. I wish you both all the best. Don't know about you, but I'd
      seriously consider separating myself from that church. Judging from some of the comments
      here, it seems they don't much care about the well being of you and your family.

      February 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  52. gailzilla

    Do you know what most people who practice NFP are called? Parents.....

    February 16, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Logical Truth


      February 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Southern Catholic

        The Logical Truth... you are concerned for the ability for the extremely impoverished of the world and their ability to control fertility for family planning purposes? Are you aware that a little lady in Calcutta India taught NFP to the poorest of the poor with nearly 100% effectiveness as a means of controlling against unwanted pregnancies? Are you aware that unlike birth control drugs which cost money to manufacture, transport, and administer, NFP is possible using only those gifts that God gave to women? There are no special tools required, there are no pills to take, just basic observations. NFP works, and works very well (over 99% accuracy, as someone else has already stated), which is more accurate than most birth control pills. Further, NFP doesn't make women moody, gain weight, or any number of other potential side effects that many birth control drugs cause.

        February 16, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Logical Truth

        Southern Catholic, I am not saying that NFP should not be a option, I am saying it should be one of many contraceptive options. What about condoms, do you believe in the use of condoms, because unlike other forms of birth control they prevent STDs as well which cost the world a lot in treatment

        February 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Primewonk

        @ Southern Catholic – why are women even allowed to use this NFP. It does the same thing as using a barrier. Yo're just thumbing your nose at your god.

        February 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard M

      That's because they're...actually open to life, Gail. People drawn to NFP aren't looking for a way to remain childless.

      But NFP methods are highly effective – up to 99%, by reputable measures – if practiced properly. And the benefits in terms of understanding your fertility are immeasurable, especially because it requires both the husband and the wife to be involved, fully.

      February 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Logical Truth

        Richard, NFP may work for married couples and older couples here in the West. But what about teenagers, do you think they would realistically follow the precise and time sensitive process of NFP? do you think they shouldnt have other contraception? What about the poor and uneducated in underdeveloped countries, do you think that they would be able to have the resources to plan and follow NFP? The world is becoming overpopulated. Our resources and social nets are being strained, humans should focus on responsible reproduction so we can leave a good stable world for future generations not an overpopulated one where everyone is a t war for resources

        February 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Primewonk

        NFP is simply another form of birth control. Catholics believe se.x is for procreation. Using NFP is just thumbing your nose at your god.

        February 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Richard M

        Hello Primewonk – no, it's not the same as artificial birth control. The difference is that the couples practicing it – if they are doing it properly – are genuinely open to life; that a pregnancy is a not a "failure" or a disaster or something to be disposed of.

        February 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lori

      AWESOME! Indeed indeed.

      February 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Mike

    Who wants to volunteer to check the cervical mucus?

    February 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  54. jrksun

    O-PINION... no right or wrong and don't give me that morality crap.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Reason

    Where, in the article, did Valerie say she thinks contraception should be taken away from other people? Can someone give me a line? If not, stop using this straw man.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ugh

      Can we please stop using the term "straw man"? It's getting tiresome.

      February 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • realtalker1

      Reason, you don't have to say the words to make the point. She didn't say it should be taken away from other women but if it denegrates her as a woman then it stands to reason (something you should know a thing or 2 about) that she believes it denegrates all women. The tone of the article and the points she makes expresses her negative view on contraceptives. If it were an issue on the ballot in her state, do you really think she'd cast her vote to prevent banning it?

      February 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • yeahalright

      Here's your strawman, straight from the article:

      "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."

      Completely. Made. Up.

      February 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  56. doc in Canada

    Watching Americans debate freedom is sometimes a bit comical. It seems that the freedom that is most desired is the the freedom to take other people's freedom away. We've got our hypocrites north of the border but yours seem just a bit louder. Good luck

    February 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      I'm glad someone finally said it. Thank you for your observation. It is spot on. 🙂

      February 16, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Logical Truth

      docinCanada, unfortunately America isnt the land of Freedom. It is the land of opportunity but not freedom. By the way, I visited Toronto and Niagara a few years ago. I had a blast and everyone was so friendly. Kudos to you Canadians being a freedom loving people. Most Americans once were as well and I would still like to believe most of us are but we are letting our freedoms get trampled on over and over again.

      February 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie Song

      Oh please. What nonsense. What all umpty-gazillion of Americans? You've got everybody in the u.s pegged? Right.

      February 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • CosmoChick

        No, not all of you, but doc was just reacting to what he's reading here... and if the comments on here are a snapshot of how some people in your country think, then noting is certain amount of hypocrisy is not completely wrong. the US proudly stands for freedom, and yet the article itself is saying "contraception bad, denigrates women". how is that freedom again?

        Also, i would like to point out that he said "sometimes" therefore meaning "not always" and "not all of you".

        February 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • doc in Canada

        You are correct Leslie. This debate has at leasst 2 sides therefore at least 2 groups. Clearly the debate about what freedom means is culturally andl geographically dependent. In your " heartland" being an Atheist or a Jew might not be the same as if you lived in New York. The perspective from up North where there truly is a separation between Church and State, is that many Americans see themselves as living in a Christian nation separates Church and state. Religion plays a very influential role is your country and the restrictions that one religion places on its members should not be placed on all. In the end there is not a great difference between Canadians and Democrats.

        February 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Houston

      OK, canuk doc. I agree. Canadian hypocrites are better hypocrites than U.S hypocrites. In fact Canadians
      may be better at hypocrisy than anyone else anywhere. Here's to you (and all the other unsung heroes of
      the universe).

      February 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  57. CosmoChick

    My opinion on the article and some of the comments is:

    1. I disagree with this statement in the article: "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." No one is saying you must USE contraception, it's saying let's make it available for those who want it

    2. I don't understand the comments that say that once you get contraception, it gives you free reign to go have s.ex with everyone and anyone... does allowing you to have a gun mean that you are more likely to go kill everyone that crosses your path? no, we are still in control of our emotions and senses. However, i'm sure THERE ARE some people who think that the pill is the solution to s.ex inhibition, but that is about the value system they were taught growing up

    3. However, the point i do find very interesting is those who are against contraception who say "why must i pay for those who want it"? I mean, I don't think that adding contraception to the list of things available will actually make a huge difference in each individual's financial contribution, but i still think that is interesting and worth debating.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • doc in Canada

      Who pays for contraception? It is the same people who pay for smokers who get lung cancer, accident victims who don't wear seatbelts, people who drink and eat themselves to olbesity and ill health. We have a collective responsibility for our fellow citizens. The people who pay for contraception are also the same people who care for unwanted children through their taxes. It would be nice if the U.S. really stood for tolerance and freedom

      February 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • CosmoChick

        i agree with you. but that's the thing tho. those who have the opposite view (i'm assuming, generally republicans) say "i won't pay for your contraception, i won't contribute to health insurance for those who kill themselves smoking or those in accidents with no seatbelts".

        it's the big vs small government thing right?
        1. republicans: small government, stop the spending on useless things and have each person get themselves out of their own mess. you want to kill yourself smoking? pay for your own cancer treatment. you want to use contraception? pay for your own
        2. democrats: government responsible for guiding its people: funding social programs, education, and offering a certain amount of public healthcare where we all contribute and we all benefit.

        i see the value in no2, but others call me communist for thinking that way.

        February 16, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      Great points. I also think the author views contraception as a hall pass to be a turbo s1ut, which is not the case (most of the time). Then again, there are turbo s1uts that don't use contraception either!

      February 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • yeahalright

        mmmmm, turbo s!uts

        February 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  58. bff

    The author see's this bill as saying ...
    "To be a healthy woman, you need contraception. All the successful women use it. You can’t live without it."
    I don't see that. I see it saying ...
    "If anyone needs it or wants it.it is available.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Amelia

    Thanks you!! I agree with this article 100% I am a Catholic Woman who practices NFP and proud of it! Contraception is demeaning to women everywhere!

    February 16, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Logical Truth

      Amelia as I told Valerie: I respect your opinion albeit it is misguided. You champion women's rights yet your Catholic church has been one of the most egregious offenders of suppressing women's rights throughout history. You say, that contraception promotion leads women to a "moral obligation to fulfill a husband’s s_xual needs" When you say this you are devaluing a women's s_xuality. For years, the Catholic church and society in general has tried to make women as_xual beings. If women are in control and embrace their s_xuality then that threatened the power of men and the status quo back then. We are all s_xual beings, and recognizing women's s_xuality empowers women not the opposite. Our s_xuality is a gift and it is not wrong to embrace it even if it is for pleasure and bonding and not for procreation. By the way, the world is becoming overpopulated and people having a lot of kids is putting a strain on resources and social safety nets. I know the bible says to "be fruitful and procreate", that made sense 2000 years ago when many people didnt live to see their 40s and the population of the world was much much smaller but that mantra doesnt make sense today. As humans we all have a responsibility of responsible procreation so we can leave a stable good world to future generations.

      So tell me how does contraception demeaning to women? and Why do you speak for all Women?

      February 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Annette Albright

        I know she isn't talking for me. I agree that the world is over populated as it is and to depend on NFP as a way to get pregant or not get pregnant, well, don't see that working very well. Especially is abusive relationships or rapes or incest. Or even in underdeveloped countries were the majority of people have no education, i.e. read or write much less education concerning a womans reproductive system. I also don't think that trying to teach this to teenagers, the vast majority of them, is the answer either. As far as I am concerned, she can live her life the way she choses but don't tell me what I can or can't do and definately don't imply you are talking for me and my beliefs.

        February 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Reason

        Anette, I think the solution for women being abuse and raped is to get them out of the situation and to put our efforts there, not tell them to just pop a pill. Women deserve better.

        February 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Logical Truth

        Amelia, why havent you responded with your explanation of your views? I am interested in hearing them

        February 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Logical Truth

        Reason, what do you mean by "get them out of the situation?" it is not like they want to be there or have a choice in the matter. Your view is 100% illogical. Rape has unfortunately always happened and will continue to happen.

        February 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Primewonk

        Reason wrote, " I think the solution for women being abuse and raped is to get them out of the situation and to put our efforts there, not tell them to just pop a pill. Women deserve better."

        In some parts of the world, Catholics are still taught that there is no such thing as spousal rape, because a wife must submit to her husband. Heck as recently as 1993 in North Carolina you could rape your wife all you wanted because there was no legal concept of spousal rape.

        Your "church" was wrong then. Your "church" is wrong now.

        February 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      No, it's not demeaning to "women everywhere". Over HERE, where I am, it's empowering. I can express myself s xually without worrying about what day of the month it is or that I might get pregnant. Not every love making session should result in a pregnancy. I personally think it's wonderful that I can say who what where and when!

      Oh, and just want to throw out that according to Guttmacher -98 percent of Catholic women do or have used contraception. I guess there are a LOT of bad Catholics out there. You must have earned a ticket straight to heaven young lady! Bravo!

      February 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Logical Truth

        Exactly, why are so many ultra-religious people hypocrites? I guess they believe in "do as I say, not as I do"

        February 16, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Reason

        That stat is non practicing, non church going Catholics but thanks for playing.

        February 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • LOL

        Reason – please provide a source for your claim. Otherwise you can't know that loevel of detail.

        February 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Doc Vestibule

    Why do Catholics oppose birth control?
    The condemnation of birth control stems from their belief that God wants humans to spew forth as many cro/tch critters as possible in order to populate heaven and to "be fruitful and multiply" (gen 1:28).
    To purposely countermand God's command to breed like rabits is to lie to the Holy Spirit in the same way that Ananias and Saphira did in Acts 5 : 1-11 when they held back a portion of their gift to God. God's slaying of that couple is one of the few instances of divine wrath in the New Testament.
    They also belive that many forms of birth control, like IUDs and the pill, are actually forms of abortion and therefore consti.tute murder.
    There is also a heavy emphasis on self-denial as a path to righteousness amongst Catholics, this stemming from Matthew 16:24 in which Jesus says "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
    For Catholics in terrible marriages, God allows separation (and therefore lifelong abstinance) but not divorce.
    It was the apostle Paul's opinion that it was far better to be single and abstinent, but marry if you can't control your loins.
    "To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion." (1 Corinthians 7:8-9)
    There is also the old fear of witches and warlocks and their ungodly potions which God condemns in Gal. 5:20 and Apoc. 9:21. Today's sorcerers are pharmaceutical biochemists.
    But most of all, the scripture cited by Catholics in regards to contraception is Genesis 38:9.
    In that uplifting story, God commanded a fellow named Onan to impregnate his sister in law.
    They repeatedly got jiggy, but Onan kept pulling out at the critical moment. For this transgression, God killed him.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hey!

      God wrote a book with me.
      He commanded me to show you that we no longer live in a time of discrimination against women.

      Don't believe me? Have faith in this comment, or you'll burn in hell forever.

      February 16, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  61. ron

    Bravo Valerie. I was shocked to see an article like this on CNN. Cudos to CNN for posting another side.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  62. really LOLing

    I laugh because the same folks who scream "stay out of my bedroom" and "don't worry about my choices" are extremely comfortable making others pay for things they are "choosing". To truly "stay out of your bedroom", please tell President Obama to not make me, or my church pay for it. Simple, isn't it? That way, you have your freedoms, I have mine. As to Valerie's post, my strong belief is that simply making abortion illegal won't reduce it...men treating women with respect, and not as a convenient "sem-en depository" will go a long way in reducing the need for abortion. For those who think the Pill is no big deal, tell that to my cousin's young daughter, who lost her mother because of a blood clot which was caused by "the Pill". The dangers we demand women go through so us men can have a little...we are such w-usses...

    February 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Proving you wrong

      Nah, I actually paid for my abortion in cash, from my own pocket. I don't use the pill anymore but when I did I paid for it out of.... wait for it...my own pocket! Oh, and now I use condoms and spermicide and I – GASP! – pay for it out of my own pocket! Sorry to knock you off that soapbox. Hope it didn't hurt.

      February 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • really LOLing

        No problem with you doing it...but your president wants to force that by law...if he hadn't done that, a lot of this would be moot, don't you think?

        February 16, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Primewonk

      Again, your church is exempt. And it isn't paying for anything. It's the businesses that your church runs – as businesses – that need to follow the same rules as all businesses.

      28 states already have this rule. Why haven't all these bishops gone all godsquad on these states?

      February 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Doc Vestibule

    A good Catholic woman would not be commenting on such things.
    Ephesians 5:22 teaches us wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
    Don't forget that it is your duty as a woman to remain silent and do as he commands.
    As I Timothy 2:11-14 reminds us, "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."
    Those women who still choose to argue in spite of the Lord's commands will find that God will treat them like he did the daughters of Zion in Isaiah 3:18 and take away all their jewelery,fine clothes, makeup, and mirrors. He'll make them bald and rotten smelling before killing all of the men they care about.

    "Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die" Ecclesiasticus, 25:19

    February 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer


      And you wonder why some people have issues with the church.

      February 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hilarity

      I never thought I would read such an old-fashioned, simple-minded, bible driven and convoluted article.
      Women deserve equal rights.
      Women deserve equal power.
      Women deserve equal respect.

      "...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."

      Dear Author: The purpose of birth control is to empower women with CHOICE, so that they can have every option to live their lives as they choose. The quoted section displays your complete misinterpretation and opinion of an empowering legislation.

      Power comes with options.

      February 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rosy

      You know, maybe if Adam was performing his role properly as a husband should be, Eve wouldn't have been tempted.

      February 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  64. W0ofie

    The authors opinions and choices are germane to her personal experience and no farther. If someone wants to emulate her that is her choice.

    The vast majority of women view access to contraception as a fundamental right.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Nathan

    Really funny that this author is pretending that birth control is being shoved down her throat.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      Exactly! One side is saying "I believe in X, you believe in Y. That's fine, just allow me to believe in X." The OTHER side says "I believe in Y, you should ALSO believe in Y so I'll take away everything that allows you to believe any other way to ensure only Y is on the table" It's ridiculous and the fact that the "Y" side doesn't see their almost comical hypocrisy is actually a little frightening.

      February 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Lets Make the World A Better Place

    Ok, can a CNN moderator please tell me why my comments are not posting? I am an avid CNN consumer who keeps my comments intellectual and add to the discussion.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      Check your words S-ex and the like cannot be spelled out.

      February 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Logical Truth

        Valerie. I respect your opinion albeit it is misguided. You champion women's rights yet your Catholic church has been one of the most egregious offenders of suppressing women's rights throughout history. You say, that contraception promotion leads women to a "moral obligation to fulfill a husband’s s_xual needs" When you say this you are devaluing a women's s_xuality. For years, the Catholic church and society in general has tried to make women as_xual beings. If women are in control and embrace their s_xuality then that threatened the power of men and the status quo back then. We are all s_xual beings, and recognizing women's s_xuality empowers women not the opposite. Our s_xuality is a gift and it is not wrong to embrace it even if it is for pleasure and bonding and not for procreation. By the way, the world is becoming overpopulated and people having a lot of kids is putting a strain on resources and social safety nets. I know the bible says to "be fruitful and procreate", that made sense 2000 years ago when many people didnt live to see their 40s and the population of the world was much much smaller but that mantra doesnt make sense today. As humans we all have a responsibility of responsible procreation so we can leave a stable good world to future generations.

        February 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Logical Truth

        Thanks I got it in. Why can the author spell it out though and we cant? This is CNN right not FOX news

        February 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • LOL

        I know. Makes no sense. Glad I told you how to get around it though – I completely agree with your comment!

        February 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Primewonk

        Pretty sad that you can type murder, pestilance, fundamentalism, ignorance, etc., but in an article about se.x, you can't type se.x. Of course, since this also a consti.tutional issue, we can't type consti.tution. They must as.sume we are idiots.

        February 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  67. LOL

    "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."

    You mean like rejecting the notion that she can choose for herself to have an abortion, take contraception, etc.?! Stay the eff out of my bedroom and my uterus!!!

    February 16, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Lets Make the World A Better Place

    Can I not copy and paste my comment?

    February 16, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  69. LOL

    Here, I fixed the opening line for you. It reads how it really should:

    In the face of the WHINING FROM THE CATHOLIC CHURCH to NOT provide contraception coverage, I stand with my fellow WOMEN hoping our REPRODUCTIVE freedom will be respected.

    Don't like abortion? Don't get one. Don't like contraception? Don't use it. That's YOUR CHOICE. When YOUR choice impedes on mine, you can F off. I'm tired of people complaining that they need to protect religious freedom while trying to shove their archaeic and assinine beliefs down my throat. Hypocrites.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  70. PK

    Sorry Valerie, I'm not buying it. If I were you I would be asking my grandmother and great grandmother about the children's homes where unwanted babies and children were sent until they were of legal age and for some the next step was prison. I would be asking them about the back room abortion clinics where women and babies died because all the so called natural methods taught by the Catholic church failed. I would be asking them about the homes that pregnant teens were, probably still are, hid in until a baby was born and put up for adoption or sent to one of these children's homes. Sorry, but I realized the hypocrisy of the Catholic church a long time ago when I was still in Catholic grade school. Stop forcing your religious views on others.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  71. momoya

    Before I read this article I would have never thought it would be a good thing to force some women to use contraceptives. Maybe this piece should be a litmus test; anybody who thinks it makes sense shouldn't have children.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL


      February 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reason

      I've heard that line of reasoning before. Where did I hear it? Where did I hear it? Oh yes, Hitler.

      February 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • LOL

        HA HA!!! OMG, a Hitler reference. Oh FFS.

        February 16, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • momoya


        I'm not saying that we should force contraception on anyone. The author wants to TAKE AWAY contraception from women who would choose it. We have millions dying on this planet. Do you get that? Do you get that we have 7billion on this planet and we can't sustain more than 5 billion? Monoculture crops and oil based fertilizers are killing our soil all around the globe. It's unsustainable.

        We don't have to limit our birth rates, but overpopulation doesn't work. Nature is very effective at taking care of overpopulation; I wonder what form that correction will take? I bet that you and I both will live to see it. Horror on a scale you've never considered.

        February 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Reason

        LOL, pretty sure Hitler had ideas on who should and should not procreate, did he not?

        February 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  72. LOL

    Is this a joke? I hope the author ends up having 7 children she can't support.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reason

      Nevermind, just saw this post. I think you said enough here to let everyone know how we should value the intellect behind your posts. Very classy!

      February 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      Says the guy who compares people's opinions to that of Hitlers. Comical. @@

      February 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Dear LOL,

      As the aunt of these children that you hope the author has, I hope she has as many children as God blesses her and her husband with. I know that however many children she has, they will grow up knowing they are loved and that their lives have a purpose. And if for some reason she has trouble supporting them, I will gladly help her out. Please, if you don't agree with her opinion, at least be respectful of who she is as a person. She's not disrespecting you.

      February 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      She is ABSOLUTELY disrespecting me. Did you even READ the article? I'm a woman. I use contraception. The ENTIRE article is disrespectful to the women who choose that method. If you really are a relative of hers (which I doubt) then I understand why you can't see that.

      February 17, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      If you need an example of what I'm talking about (and I believe you do) I'll help you out –

      "...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!”

      The author is disrespecting those that use the pill by implying they no longer exhibit self control and are basically over s-xed women ready to hump the furniture! It's ridiculous and insulting.

      February 17, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  73. The Logical Truth

    I tried posting it again but it already says I said that, but I dont see it. CNN moderators, my comment wasnt offensive in any way, can you tell me why I dont see it please?

    February 16, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  74. The Logical Truth

    why is cnn not posting my comment, I posted it twice but I dont see it.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  75. SDG

    Bravo Zulu, Valerie. Keep up the good work.

    February 16, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  76. Money money monnnneeeyy!

    Why isn't anyone talking about the drug companies who make multi billion dollars each year off your pills, patches and the like? Why not get them to pay for it? It's clearly not against their "values".

    February 16, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  77. Reason

    I am ASTOUNDED at so many people's lack of trust in a woman's ability to be self controlled and abstinent. Do we really think that little of our fellow sisters? And that's respect?

    February 16, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      You are so right! I love how we all assume that birth control is the root of all evil. That once it's more accessible all of a sudden there goes society. First, society has been shot for a very long time. And second, women are not unable to make wise decisions for themselves. Just because they decide to use birth control does not mean they'll go wild and sleep with everyone. It simply means, if they're using it to actually refrain from getting pregnant, that they aren't going to be bringing children into the world that they aren't ready to take care of. To me, that's a pretty good decision to make.

      And no one is forcing anyone to do anything, it's simply and finally being allowed as an option. It's called progress, people.

      February 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Reason

        So glad you can read my mind... but your mind reading skills need some "progress". Did I say people would go stark raving wild? NO. But to assume a woman cannot be abstinent says something about her virtue of self control does it not? By the way, I'm about to cook lunch, can you "assume" what I'm cooking?

        February 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nathan

        If a girl is abstinent, then this whole argument doesn't really apply to her does it? Good for her, she doesn't have to worry about getting pregnant. But if a girl should choose not to be abstinent, then of course she should have the choice of taking birth control if she wants to.

        February 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Primewonk

      So, you want women to be abstinent to make your god happy?

      February 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Reason

        No God is completely self sufficient and stays in a perfect state of happiness. It is because it is in the girls best interest.

        February 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      First of all, i was AGREEING with you.

      I wasn't assuming YOU felt women wouldn't know how to handle themselves, i was talking about all the others that have talked about how evil birth control is.

      Good job at missing the point entirely. Enjoy your lunch!

      February 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Reason

        I will thank you. One of the first cordial comments on here. =)

        February 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  78. realtalker1

    I know she is against it but for the sake of the next generation I beg this author to use contraception. This is mind bogglingly stupid. Contraception doesn't dengrade women. It enables them. It allows them to enjoy themselves without fear of pregnancy and allows them to pursue a career if they want to without fear of having to suddenly step out of that career. It prevents abortion and it doesn't just benefit women. It allows couples to plan their future rather than change course suddenly and unexpectedly and it enables them to prepare financially for raising a child and prevent having children if they can't afford them. Lack of contraception is a large contributer to dependancy on the gov't. Yet those who want to get rid of it want to also get rid of gov't programs that benefit those who are effected the most. Their solution? Abstinence. Yeah, that'll solve the problem. lol.

    February 16, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Reason

      It enables them to act without self control. It enables them to be used by men. It enables them to be at risk of many cancers, blood clot, heart attack and stroke. LIBERATION!!!

      February 16, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
      • realtalker1

        Reason, sure prescription drugs come with risks. They are ussually few and far between and the person taking them is aware of those risks and make the empowered choice to take them anyway. As for the self control issues? What on earth do you mean? No one is encouraging anyone to participate in irresponsible behavior and contraceptives don't give you a liscense to do any such thing. Your decisions are your decisions. God gave us free will didn't he? And how does this enable women to be used by men? If a woman doesn't want to and a man makes her it's called rape. Last I checked that was not allowed in our society. If it's not a case of rape then that would make it consensual. Who's being used in those cases?

        February 16, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
      • Reason

        I'm not talking about rape. You don't know any men that tell women what they want to hear just to get in their pants. And its MUCH easier to do when she's on the pill and won't get pregnant. It makes her AVAILABLE to be used.

        February 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Primewonk

        How does a woman using birth control cause her to lose self-control? Is it because she might decide to have s.ex when she wants, and enjoy it?

        Seems like you are just as repressive as the rnoronic ldiotic nannybot filter on CNN that prevents you from even typing s.ex.

        February 16, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Doc Vestibule

        " You don't know any men that tell women what they want to hear just to get in their pants. And its MUCH easier to do when she's on the pill and won't get pregnant. It makes her AVAILABLE to be used."

        Contraception cannot and does not make a woman "avaiable to be used".
        Only the individual herself can do that.
        Unless she's wearing a sign that says "ON THE PILL", how are unscrupulous men any more or less likely to try and talk their way into her pants?

        February 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nathan

        "Reason" sounds like you grew up alienated from society, you're quite blind to how people function in reality. Your comments are the most degrading to women I've read yet! Apparently you think women have no will power or decision making abilities and hop into bed with anyone as long as they won't get babies from it! Unbelievable!

        February 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • realtalker1

      Reason, you cannot be serious. I know a lot more women who use men than vise versa. Maybe for other reasons but still. That doesn't even register with me as a valid point against birth control.

      February 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Reason


    February 16, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Agree

      Maybe these people DO need contraceptives. These comments are showing much virtue in the areas of self control and reason. Thanks for not populating our world with your descendants. Valerie and the rest of us will create the people who will run the future of this country. Sterilize yourselves out of existence.

      February 16, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  80. Nonny Mouse

    So.... how does the availability of contraception to those who want it, hurt you?

    This isn't one of those "My religious liberty is being repressed if I can't force everyone to be just like me" issues, is it?

    February 16, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Reason

      Because if I pay for it and I'm Catholic it is a sin for ME to materially cooperate in another taking the pill. We are NOT talking about access. We are talking about finance.

      February 16, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
      • NutGrinder

        Well do your sins, and then ask god for forgiveness.... isn't that how your religion works?

        February 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Reason

        Religion works to make people better people. Which means sinning less and less. No I won't sin intentionally on this matter. We will take the penalty. Then women still have to pay for their own contraceptives. The point is govt cannot MAKE me do something I believe to be wrong.

        February 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doc Vestibule

      So employers who are Jehovah's Witnesses can refuse to pay for blood transfusions, right?
      Employers who are Christian Scientists can decide to opt out of paying for any kind of medical care whatsoever for their employees since prayer can do anything a doctor can and more.

      February 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Doc Oc

        If those were the employee benefits, I as an individual would most likely choose to not work there. However, if I were Jehovah's Witness or a Christian Scientist, then I probably would have no problem with the lack of that coverage, respectively.
        Either way, this is a flawed analogy because one is about coverage for situations of life and death and the other is about not getting pregnant.

        February 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  81. dani

    I agree with this article in that you can be a healthy, fine, attractive, productive woman without contraception. I agree that often the contraception debate comes down often to advertisements and cheapening ourselves for the sake of ease. However, I believe that all women should have the ability to make an informed choice. I like your article and how you politely state this is your choice, and I support it. That choice doesn't work for me, but I think we need more voices like yours that make the debate less polarized (and insane, and disrespectful).

    February 16, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • dan

      While I principally disagree with you, I appreciate your respectful comment and desire for a less spiteful debate!

      February 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Michael

    I really appreciate this article.This article points to the type of women it would like to see more of.

    February 16, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Woops! That is ...it would be good to see more of. You get the point!

      February 16, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  83. Ashera

    Every woman has the right to choose what and how they want to live. Maybe, this is hard for other's to comprehend, but, it is their HUMAN RIGHT! Dictatorship from either a religious order, government, or individual, is wrong! Females, are an individual free thinking Human Being. You have the right for your decision, as every other female out their. But, please do not dictate!

    February 16, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • david

      You are absolutely right Ashera....and if you want pills pay for them! I don't feel i should help do that.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Susan

    Yes! I am a woman, and my fertility is how I'm made. Why should I have to change an intrinsic part of who I am?! How insulting to say I must suppress my biology to be successful or worthwhile. If pregnancy absolutely must be avoided, modern NFP is just as effective as contraceptives, without the side effects, and with the added bonus of informing the woman of her general reproductive health.

    February 16, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Nathan

      Why are you pretending that someone is forcing you to "suppress your biology" in order to be successful or worthwhile?! That isn't the case! If you don't want to take birth control then don't! Generally it isn't common knowledge when someone is on the pill, so why do you and this author pretend like there's a glass ceiling for someone not on birth control?

      February 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  85. R

    if use of contraception was not good for human beings, do you have guts to make this statement to people of China and India – "don't use contraceptives!"
    You've got to be living in a fantasy world!

    February 16, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Southern Catholic

      Mother Theresa did... with great success!

      February 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      Uhhhhhhhh ... China has FORCED ABORTIONS. I think something SHOULD be said to them!

      February 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • D


      February 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  86. worried

    What makes you think that just because contraceptives are available that the woman that are against it will take it? Oh! Your worried that if its available they won't come to your mother-daughter programs anymore...I see.

    February 16, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  87. Muldoon in Ohio

    Spoken like a true NFP natural family planning specialist. In a perfect world where everyone is respected and honored in the true Christian tradition, and everyone followed Christ's teachings, AND all couples were properly trained to use NFP, your words would be golden. God bless you, but we do not yet live in such a world, and never will – it is God's plan.

    February 16, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  88. brenda

    You are totally right that women should have the choice and the education to make the decisions that are best for THEM. Which is why they should be allowed to CHOOSE to use contraception and NO ONE has the right to tell any woman she can't choose. The bottom line is that every woman should be offered every option. We live in a HUGE country with an exorbitant amount of different kinds of people living very different realities. There are people who would not and/or do not make good parents and if they have the foresight to know this it is their choice how they prevent bringing unwanted children into this world. No one is saying ALL women MUST take contraceptives, that would denigrate women. At some point in time global population control will be necessary if people continue to reproduce at this rate. There isn't enough land to grow the food needed. This just creates a whole new set problems.

    February 16, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  89. Binoy

    I know a very educated couple in India who have 15 chilren, not a joke, all between the ages of 30 and 2. Needless to say, the couple is strongly religious, I am not sure what justice is being done to attention to the 15 children, hopefully the children when they grow up to be adults will be more responsible !

    February 16, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      Which of the 15 would you choose not to be alive today? Wow... your arrogance is amazing.

      February 16, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  90. JoeCamel

    Valerie Pokorny, you're an idiot. Having access to birth control doesn't denigrate anyone. The "rhythm method" of birth control is not a new idea, the problem is it's less than 50% effective, so who is going to take care of all those unwanted children? The catholic church? So that they can become mindless drones like you that believe the earth is 6000 years old, and women were created from Adams rib, now that's denigrating!

    February 16, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Christina

      Research NFP – it is nearly as effective as the pill and is NOT the rhythm method. Even more so because it can be used to both AVOID and ACHIEVE pregnancy. It can also help diagnose underlying medical problems and actually TREAT those problems, unlike so-called "modern medicine" of simply giving a woman the pill to mask her symptoms.

      And all this without polluting the environment or destroying a woman's body.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
      • R

        Are you married? Did you use other methods including condoms and did you still get pregnant. We've gone thru this and this is very painful. I'm saying this from experience.
        Moreover, I've 5 brothers and sisters and I know it first hand too – as a parent you can not do justice to your job of parenting if you've more than 2-3 children – period.

        February 16, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
      • JoeCamel

        Christina, I assume you can use google. From Wiki. Calender based contraception "Various systems are known as the Knaus–Ogino Method, rhythm method, and Standard Days Method" NFP "There are three main types of NFP: the symptoms-based methods, the calendar-based methods, and the breastfeeding "
        They both use Calendar based methods, which are not reliable, and no where near as effective as the pill.

        February 16, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
      • Reason

        R, condoms are less effective than NFP. You have other effective options if you don't want to pop a carcinogen in your mouth everyday.

        February 16, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • MarlboroMan

      Haha! Joe, I think you are confusing Catolics and fundamentalists.
      That being said, you say yourself that there are different methods of NFP including symptom-based. This is not the "rhythm method" you are referring to.

      February 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  91. JusDav

    If you have a problem with contraceptives, ah.... DONT USE THEM. Pretty easy. Exercise your RIGHT TO CHOOSE.
    I know it may be quite a foreign concept for you.. being catholic and all. They pretty much tell you how to think, so you do not have much in the way of practice in thinking for yourself, but give it a try... kind of cool to make your own choices.

    I am an EX catholic. currently (and for the rest of my life) a non believer. Much more thinking for myself now-a-days.


    February 16, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  92. Choose.for.myself

    First of all, I would like to point out that I don't use "the pill" or other daily means of contraceptive as I feel it is unnatural to take something on a daily regiment. With that said, it is my choice and I passionately love that it is my choice. It's my body afterall. I am not Catholic and therefore do not have some moral obligation of being barefood & pregnant. Valerie, I love that your teaching young woman to see themselves in a positive light, and that women are equal to men and play a vital role in society. However, when it comes to the idea that contraceptives are needed to became a "successful woman" I don't by it. I've never felt that message nor pressured. I agree with the Obama administration that contraceptives should be more readily available for woman who would like to use them, or even learn more about them; although I don't know as I would go so far as to say that the current administration is pushing this on woman.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  93. Guest

    If you're catholic and don't want to use contraception, then don't. But please don't try to force your religious beliefs on the rest of society through politics and laws. They're not all catholic.

    If the catholic church really believed what they are saying about the reasons they are against birth control and abortions, priests and nuns would be allowed to marry and have children.

    And yes, if you're wondering, I am catholic, a member of the most hypocritical religion there is. A real "old mens club".

    February 16, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • R

      Totally agree – don't try to impose your way on others. It'll be like Taliban – here's how Allah wants you to act and if you don't act that way, they've every right to force you or even kill you.

      February 16, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Reason

      There's no FORCING. If you want to use it be my guest. The people FORCING people to do something are the administration FORCING catholic employers to pay for it.

      February 16, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
      • Primewonk

        Again, your church is exempt. Businesses should not be exempt. Why is this so hard for you to understand?

        February 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert Molleda

      It's amazing how the message just doesn't get through. Catholics aren't saying that contraceptives should be banned from all society. They are protecting their RIGHT to choose not to directly or indirectly fund contraception coverage. They are not asking for a wholesale ban on the sale of contraceptives, are they? One can be for or against contraception, but please let's all get our facts straight, shall we???

      February 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fellow Catholic

      What a joke you are, you should be ashamed of yourself. You are the t ype of "catholic" who tears the church down and someday you just might burn in hell, think about that!

      February 16, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Tare

    That's an awfully big word coming from someone with such a small mind.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  95. rockysfan

    That's all fine and dandy for you. However, keep your backward religious opinions off MY BODY. You only have rights to your body, dearie, no one else. When you and the rest of the right wing and religious fanatics get that picture, I'll stop fighting for reproductive rights. Until then, your barking up the wrong tree. Oh, BTW, don't see either of those groups offering to adopt those unwanted babies you all are intent on forcing women to have. Last time I looked they did that in the south during slavery.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • rocky

      No one is trying to force their views on your body. Simply requesting not to pay for those choices you wish to make and that they do not agree with on a moral ground.

      February 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Katy

    At first, I thought this was going to be a religious article about how a woman has no right to alter her body with contraceptives. I was surprised to learn that your position was less about contraceptives being right or wrong and more about women's view of their own fertility and understanding the cycles of their own bodies to avoid pregnancy naturally. Definitely something to think about.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • GettingStarted

      Exactly. Since there is no logical reason to force a right wing political belief on the majority of Americans, the author must skirt the subject to an entirely different (although thoughtful) point.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • seraphim0

      Question: If you are avoiding pregnancy "naturally," what is the difference between avoiding it that way and taking a pill? The end GOAL is the same: not to get pregnant. The method is inconsequential. The idea behind moral punishment is the principle of intent. If I INTEND to not get pregnant and still have intercourse, the method does not matter. Same as if I intend to hurt someone.

      By making it a matter of not using a pill and avoiding pregnancy "naturally" is a strawman argument. And, I might add, one that is EXTREMELY hypocritical. The author needs to re-examine her religion and it's prohibitions.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
      • cherubim0

        The difference is that one involves chemical manipulation and no degree of control required and the other uses the cycles naturally established by the woman's fertility and required periods of self-control.

        February 16, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  97. FUS Angel

    I am SO grateful to have found this article. I agree wholeheartedly with EVERYTHING that you are saying Valerie. It is heartbreaking to see so many women believing that they have to alter the natural functions of their bodies through the use of harsh chemicals, just for the sake of feeling "in control". Pregnancy is a beautiful gift, but on those occasions when it is more prudent to wait to have a child, there are MUCH healthier ways to do so that are just as effective, NFP being one such method.
    In brief response to the comment about being barefoot, pregnant, and a Dugger fan, I would just like to throw out there that the Dugger family is made up of individuals who are mentally and physically healthy. The children respect their parents, behave responsibly, and they all show a genuine, self-sacrificing love for each other. Do I think it would be nice if more families could make the same claim? Heck yes.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Bohemer

      Me to, agreed..Except for one glaring disparity – go and preach your gospel to the like minded ones, as opposed to being impertinent and pushing it on those disagreeing or viewing such reasoning with contempt. It's also called religious freedom!

      February 16, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • mountainwoman

      I also agree with your comments re Valerie's article. It occurs to me, in a time when many are concerned about GMO foods, chemical poisoning of air, water and soil, and choosing holistic medicines, organic and local foods, etc. that some women might also want to extend this umbrella of concern over their own bodies and their personal reproductive health maintenance. We have choices beyond chemicals. Education explaining holistic health options should be made available to men and women.This option is available to all and is not exclusively Catholic teaching. It is simply a more holistic and natural option, among many, for those seeking choices. Incidentally, I am a practicing Catholic, and a woman blessed with seven children. Thanks be to God.

      February 16, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  98. durundal

    My god, is this kook really trying to elevate 'natural family planning' in the face of medicine? Lets see, 75% versus 99.9%
    hmmm, let me think real hard, do I really care what the space pope thinks anyway? Heck, lets covet the seed and watch as the government run orphanages pop up all across the us- isnt doing gods work great? Sure glad that I can continue to bury my head in the sand say that its a good thing if I dont have the choice to take the pill or do what I want with my own body. Are people really that s t u p i d and desperate to rationalize their own vulnerabilities?

    February 16, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • turioff

      Let me ask you this, durundal, do you see any point in organic farming in the face of the effectivity of pesticides and growth hormones?

      February 16, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Guest

    Dont you think your husband molesting your kids is more denigrating?

    February 16, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Reason

      My husband and I use periodic abstinence and he doesn't molest our kids. Are you saying if a man don't have an "outlet" he will molest kids? Would that be true for you? Sick...don't come near my kids!

      February 16, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  100. Jennifer

    I think it is important to realize that this is something that many people have been waiting for for quite some time. If you're going to make a law that everyone should have health insurance, then okay, good. But then what happens when your health insurance doesn't cover what you need, like birth control? That was the situation with where I work. That was something that was strictly paid for out of pocket. But now, and might I add, FINALLY, this is something that can be covered by the insurance I'm already paying for.

    For the record, I'm a lesbian and don't need birth control for contraceptive reasons, but regardless of my lifestyle, I can't help but still feel like we see this medicine as ONLY for birth control. It has many other beneficial uses folks.

    February 16, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • pntherpaw86

      So true jennifer! But I'm sure there will be plenty of people who would disparage your opinion as soon as they read you're a lesbian, because clearly you're choosing to live that way and are a poison in our society. What a crazy world we live in, don't you agree? I'm so happy that you now have access to the health care you and your doctor feel is best for you without interference from your employer!

      February 16, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Good points. I have to say that as a woman it has never felt to me that contraception was intended to make fertility a disease. If you look at this historically, non-natural methods of birth control have always been in demand by women who wanted some control over their lives and bodies. These methods haven't been forced on women; to the contrary–for at least a century, women have asked for, demanded and acquired–legally or illegally if necessary–the means of birth control and family planning, to the great resistance of religious, political and medical authorities.

      February 16, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      So true Jennifer....not only that but when the Church gives me money to financially support all the kids that might come from not using the pill then I will be off them. This article shows how women are so smart then send Women back a couple hundred years.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Christina

      Interesting that the ONLY thing offered without a any cost is birth control. Why not actual medicine that will SAVE peoples lives? Do diabetics get their medicine for free? Epileptics? Why not all medicine?

      And since Birth Control breaks a working bodily function, why not offer other drugs that break the body? We could offer bulimics free drugs to induce vomiting. Or acid to those who don't want brains.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
      • Primewonk

        Why do folks think this makes birth control free? The cost will be put in your premiums. You really think drug companies will give it away for free? Do you really think insurance companies will just eat the costs?

        The rule simply says that insurance companies can't charge a co-pay or a deductible. And trust me, those costs will be passed on to your premiums.

        February 16, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
      • Silly

        Oh Primewonk. You and your logic. Clearly, making the gigantic leap from covering BC to covering acid for people who don't want brains and ipecac for bulimics is the winning argument here. Christina has a stellar point. (read that with an insane amount of sarcasm please) I love when people completely digress from the debate at hand by using the "slippery slope" defense. We're talking about BC. Stay on point. If you can't make a good point, keep quiet. To me, this is the equivalent of "Look! There's Elvis!" and then running off from the conversation when someone looks where they were pointing.

        February 17, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Other Reasons

      I'm in the same boat as you. There is no chance I will reproduce, but I need "birth control" for other medical reasons. Every month, I receive an EOB rejecting coverage of this medication.

      In addition, when I first transitioned from my parents' health coverage to my own, I had to wait four months to be approved for coverage. Each month, I would apply. Then my application would be lost in the shuffle for a number of weeks, and I'd receive a denial of coverage along with a request that I attest to the date of my last period. Though I cannot get pregnant and pay for my birth control out of pocket, because I have the innate potential to get pregnant, I was repeatedly denied coverage until they were able to process my application in a shorter time than a full menstrual cycle.

      February 16, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Reason

      You do NOT need to pill to treat ANY gyn isuues. You have other options without bad side effects. NaPro Technology was developed out of Creighton Medical School. If you doctor does not know it then they did not do specialized training BEYOND normal ob/gyn residency. Incidentally it also has higher rates of helping infertile couples conceive than IVF. Find a specialist in your area...


      February 16, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Rosy

      But what happens when providing contraceptives goes against you religious beliefs? What happens when it violates the Church side of State and Church?

      Remember the Catholic Church doesn't oppose Birth Control when it's used to medical reasons or to help regulate a woman's cycle so that she can get pregnant, just when it's used as a contraception. To a faithful Catholic the pill = abortion = murder = going to hell. There is nothing more stressful to a believer than thinking they know they're going to hell.

      Unfortunately, it's that very reasoning that this author and other anti-birth control users use to scare teenage girls. One of these girls she speaks with is going to think she's going to go to hell if she uses a condom or the pill when she has s_x for the first time, and in turn will end up getting pregnant or a disease.

      I'm with the Church in teaching alternative methods. I think ALL METHODS of birth control need to be taught. Because I grew up Catholic I actually do have a understanding of my body that a lot of people my age don't have, and it's only made me realize how important it is to be careful with my s_x life. How important it is to know when I'm fertile. When my boyfriend needs to wear a rubber.

      All that aside though, my first statement still stands, forcing the Church to pay for something that is against their ultimate existence is violation of Separation of Church and State. If you want birth control, don't work for the Catholic Church. Of course, I can't imagine people who are opposed the the Church's views would want to work for them anyway.

      February 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
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