Opinion: Why I’m a Catholic for contraception
Karalen Morthole says, "Catholic bishops have taken a stance that violates the basic rights that affect millions of Catholics."
February 15th, 2012
02:58 PM ET

Opinion: Why I’m a Catholic for contraception

Editor's Note: Karalen L. Morthole is a senior majoring in political science at Catholic University of America.

An opposing view can be read here.

By Karalen L. Morthole, Special to CNN

(CNN) - I have been a Catholic my whole life. Baptized as a baby and confirmed in the seventh grade, I attended weekly catechism classes and received a Jesuit education. Never once did the opinion of the church on a person's use of contraceptives surface.

In high school, I was prescribed birth control to balance my hormones. I suffered from terrible mood swings that had negative effects on my relationship with my family and got me into trouble with teachers. I also experienced menstrual cramps so painful as to be debilitating; sometimes, they left me unable to move.

My mother, a devout Catholic, had no problem with my taking birth control, because she recognized the dramatic effects this simple medication had on my life. Birth control gave me a new, healthy and balanced way to live. As a 22-year-old woman, I am able to think more rationally because of birth control.

Read the full post on CNN's Belief blog

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Filed under: Health • Religion • What we think • Who we are • Women
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. WCCT

    Hey Catholics, why did God create contraceptives?

    March 3, 2012 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. Don Damiano

    Catholics for Contraception? The Church doesn't have an "opinion", it's a part of its Moral Teaching. If you are Catholic and disagree with the Church's teaching, you are not being a faithful Catholic – you are protesting the Church on its authoritative teachings.

    There's a religion for that already. Protestantism.

    February 22, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmacdonald

      The Catholic church requires you to
      1. Not use contraception. 2. accept that women serving at the altar are as disgusting as pedophiles
      3. wants to control the lives and health of your non Catholic sisters 4. Not discuss, but accept their control and degradation

      Why are you supporting this church , which hates people like yourself ( female )? There are many christian churches who would welcome you.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • JG

        No no, women are WORSE than pedophiles in the clergy in Catholics' opinions, because they actually ALLOW pedophiles to remain in the clergy.

        March 4, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jennifer

    Oh, on "factually incorrect information." You can easily find the information on the carcinogenic, arterial, cardiac, neurological, hormonal, and psychiatric side effects of contraceptives simply by visiting your local dispenser (pharmacist) and you can read it for yourself.

    February 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • WCCT

      You sound like zero fun.

      March 3, 2012 at 3:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Pat

    Did I miss something? I don't believe the President said that every woman HAD to use contraceptives, just that they needed to be covered by their insurance plans. If you don't want to take, you don't have to. It's not my place to judge if a woman chooses to use birth control of have an abortion, it is a personal choice, and each woman must live with her decision. I believe Christ said "Judge not, lest ye be judged".

    February 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • KMAG

      Pat for President!

      March 2, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alycia

    I would read this testimony from your president at CUA: http://blog.cardinalnewmansociety.org/2012/02/16/cua-president-garvey-testifies-accuses-hhs-of-political-agenda/#comment-7975

    February 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Artfulskeptic

      A religion is nothing more that a group of beliefs for which there is no empirical evidence. To suggest that the CUA president's opinion carries extra weight because he clings to an set of beliefs for which there is no evidence is absurd.

      February 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anne

    It sounds like you are a Catholic for hormonal medical treatment not contraception. Contraception means (against life). Are you? If not you are not a Catholic for contraception.

    February 17, 2012 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Alycia

      Thanks for pointing this out before I got to it Anne. Yes, I think Karalen should probably talk to someone about her use of the pill, if it has turned more into a contraceptive especially. The pill is also a level one carcinogian according to the World Health Organization, another reason to avoid it.

      February 17, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
      • Mark Glomski

        Everything is a carcinogen. Don't believe everything you read from the WHO. Religion is poison.

        February 18, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Artfulskeptic

        The WHO also classifies Sunshine as a level 1 carcinogen. So everyone should avoid going outside! It's like taking the pill!

        February 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • WCCT

        The Pill doesn't cause cancer. God causes cancer. Or is God just responsible for good things?

        March 3, 2012 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Artfulskeptic

      Some women take the pill to avoid excessive bleeding pain, etc, but according to the bible and Catholic dogma, female reproductive issues are God's punishment of women for the fact of being women. So why should the church be forced to pay to prevent women from suffering God's vengeance?

      February 19, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Anne

    Just wondering if you have looked into NaPro Technology (www.naprotechnology.com). You can find a dr who specialized in bioidenticals. I'm just saying because I had many of the same problems and a simple bioidentical progesterone helped me. My regular ob didn't know anything about it bc she didn't have the training. It's changed my LIFE and I don't have any of the side effects associated with the pill and my fertility is preserved. I feel for ya!

    February 16, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LP

    Your mother is not a "devout" Catholic if she has no problem with you using birth control (mood swings are not life threatening), as she is not following the teachings of the faith that she professes. She is a "non-practicing" Catholic. We have plenty of those, and that is why this country is in the shape it is in. If you want TO BE a Catholic, then educate yourself in the faith. Humanae Vitae would be a good place for you to start!

    February 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • maggie

      I really do hate to bust your bubble but 98% of Catholic women use contraceptives or have used them. They also have daughters and granddaughters who use them. If your idea of being Catholic is to adhere to 17th century catholic teachings by a bunch of old guys in red hats, then there are very few of you "real" catholics. On the subject of piety, doesn't it make you wonder why such good Catholics took decades to come to terms with the fact that priests were molesting boys all over the world yet when it comes to womens health, these old guys were on it in just a few minutes time? Signed, recovering catholic

      February 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Heather

        Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but the statistic that 98% catholics use birth control is vastly misleading. Check out this article (there are several about this "statistic" that have been coming out recently

        February 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kleb

        @Heather: seriously? glennbeck.com?

        February 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • figureitout2

        kleb-why, because he uses his reasoning skills?

        98% is a fallacy: nuns, old women, devout married women, devout, faithful single (and chaste) young women-none of them use it. Yes, that number is very very off. 98% of the people I know don't use it. How's that for a stat?!

        February 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      How about all those pedophile priests? Were they devout Catholics? And what about the Catholic leaders who turned their heads on the problem? Are they devout catholics?

      February 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • maggie

        Apparently so, Robert. so long as they don't "sin" with contraceptives, they are Catholics. Disgusting.

        February 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Anne

        Robert, no they are not. If you had listened to the apology from the Pope himself you would know how abhorrent the Catholic hierarchy believed the conduct of those priests and the bishops that covered it up was. But lets remember that pedophiles are not just in the Catholic church, they are in every walks of life. I bet there are many many liberals that abuse children too. As a result though, many innocent priests (some dear friends of ours) have been spit on in public. To this day a priest cannot initiate an innocent hug as a greeting after mass to a child even in the presence of their parents. ALL are treated as molesters now, even the many innocent ones. How would you like to be spit on simply because you shared something in common with these molesters (a gender rather than a faith). But this has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

        February 17, 2012 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
      • bratsack

        I'm sure the hundreds of children abused by the priests are satisfied with an apology from the pope. Whew! Thank God, everything is ok now that he said they were sorry. Give me a friggin break. Get your head out of the pope's ass and think for yourself.

        February 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Fireman Lopez

        Wow, what does that have to do with anything. Also remember you're more likely to have your kid molested at public school than by a priest.

        But you're right, let's jut dig up the dirt we can on the bad guys who were hiding in the church that Christ established.

        February 29, 2012 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
      • WCCT

        What is the Pope supposed to do? Laugh it off? Of course he apologized!

        March 3, 2012 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Whit

      Just dirt on your holier than thou shoe, huh?

      February 17, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fireman Lopez

      PREACH IT!!!

      AVE MARIA!

      February 29, 2012 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  9. Carl

    Yow were not prescribed contraception. You were taking a medication to regulate your hormones. Do not make the mistake that someone taking a medication medically necessary is the same as someone taking the very same medication for the express purpose of makeing their body function improperly.

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

      And Carl the man knows all about this does he? The fact that she was implementing an off label use of a drug does not make the drug any less contraceptive. And, since the drug itself is banned by this freakin church and/or it is working awfully hard to make it difficult for its female employees to obtain, does it really matter what she is using it for if she can't get to it?

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

      Conraceptives are marketed as "womens health." Fact is, they are still abortafacients and therefore a woman still has the moral obligation if she is Catholic, to learn NFP WHILE using contraception (for health reasons) because the hormones that override (and in all reality, merely mask symptoms of problems that create more and serious ones, including cancers) still seek to destroy a new conception. Next point however, none of the aforementioned would need to be considered because if Ob/Gyns knew or where honest about not knowing the DANGERS of not testing hormone levels once they start their patients on these high dose bandaids. As a Critical Care Nurse, I see the effects of all these hormone overdoses "prescribed" by the "doctor." Please, take a look at NaPro Technology. For the true love, of women. And yourself! Since your prostate and fertility are affected as well!

      February 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • Artfulskeptic

        Wow! Fake credentials and factually incorrect information. Jenninfer has just been inducted into the Liars for Jesus club! ™

        February 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |