Monday, July 22, 2013
Natural Family Planning is Good News for Women!
My husband and I taught NFP at Providence Hospital in Washiington, D.C. for about fifteen years. We met many couples who were having fertility problems and were looking for help to achieve a pregnancy. We were thrilled when they did. One client told me the fertility specialist asked her where she "learned to chart like that." Another couple who came to our class ended up training to be teachers themselves. He was a D.C. minister and told his wife if they came and got an anti-baby message they were outa there. (Must have heard about Margaret Sanger's plan to eliminate blacks.) They came up to us after class and said they were sold when we introduced ourselves, said we had five children, and emphasized that NFP was about "planning to HAVE families."
Most people assume they are as fertile as rabbits,
but a couple who hasn't had a baby doesn't know whether they are fertile or not. Those who think they can turn their fertility off and on like a faucet are often in for a big shock when the woman stops the pill or has her IUD removed and then can't get pregnant. Note that most birth control methods hurt the woman! I challenge men to read their partners the insert in the pill packet or depo, etc. with all the health risks and contraindications and then say, "Take this, Darling, because I love you." (Uh...who does that man really love?) A woman is not defective when she's fertile; she is a normal, healthy woman. Birth control methods, especially hormonal birth control can turn her into an unhealthy, damaged woman! Check out the risks here and here.
Our fertility is a gift of our good God. Look at the unhappy women in the Bible who couldn't get pregnant. And then read the prophecy that says, "For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!'" (Luke 23:29) We're there and it is a sad day indeed when people think their babies are a curse instead of arrows in the quiver of the huntsmen. What hunter would go out with one or two arrows if he could help it?
So, all you smart folks out there, rejoice and celebrate this week when we encourage men and women to learn about a woman's periodic fertility that lets her know how fearfully wonderfully she is made for God's plan for the family. A couple can use that information to plan a pregnancy or, for a serious reason, to postpone a pregnancy. (I was happy to understand my fertile signs when I had cancer at 39 and was on chemo because the chemicals attack the fastest growing cells and I did not want to put a baby at risk.)
Here's my suggestion for a great way to celebrate this week. Read Pope Paul the VI's wonderful encyclical Humane Vitae. It sure opened my eyes. He was a prophet who predicted how the contraceptive culture would devalue women. Look around!