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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Good News for Women, Couples, and Families: Natural Family Planning!

I never apologize for the Catholic Church's teaching on human life and love. The Church's condemnation of artificial birth control is morally correct and a life-affirming doctrine. NFP is not "Catholic birth control," but a way of life that respects and honors the "word" of love spoken between a man and woman. And the proof of God's blessing is evident in the outcome.

Those who practice contraception have high rates of divorce; 96% of NFP couples stay together. Contracepting couples also have higher rates of suicide, breast cancer, and sexual dysfunction. When you defy the natural law, results are rarely positive.

Chemical contraceptives are poison; most are also abortifacient. Not only do they damage women, but "endocrine disrupting chemicals" (EDCs) which are also used in fertilizers, pesticides, etc.) have a broader impact on the population and the environment. Many of the articles on EDCs don't mention hormonal birth control (It's not politically correct.), but the Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood's research arm, acknowledged as early as 1997 that birth control drugs fit into that class of chemicals:

Perhaps the best-known man-made endocrine disrupters are synthetic hormonal drugs, such as birth control pills and diethylstilbestrol (DES); dioxin, a by-product of waste incineration and industrial processes (e.g., the production of some pesticides and the bleaching of paper pulp); and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which once were widely used in the United States in electrical equipment, adhesives and plasticizers. Other synthetic compounds that disrupt hormone activity are alkyphenols and phthalates, which are widely used in industrial and household products, and some pesticides, fungicides and insecticides.
Wow! Don't you love the thought of swallowing drugs in the same class as those used to kill bugs, bleach paper, kill fungus, and come from waste incineration? The American Chemistry Council defines a endocrine disruptors this way:
An endocrine disruptor is a substance that alters the function of the endocrine system and consequently causes adverse health effects in an intact organism. It is generally understood that the definition of endocrine disruption encompasses both the endocrine mechanism of action and adverse health effects. 
Here's a detailed analysis (2009) from the Endocrine Society that indicates exactly how pervasive and devastating the "adverse health effects" of these chemicals are. They affect both men and women and contribute to a host of medical problems including: diabetes, obesity, thyroid dysfunction,  prostate cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), early ovarian failure, testicular germ cell cancer, etc., and, of course, breast canver. Women who willingly take these drugs often have no idea they are increasing their risk of major health problems.

But a healthy lifestyle isn't the only benefit of NFP. Couples who embrace the NFP mindset of respecting their fertility and their capacity to give life have higher marital satisfaction. It makes sense doesn't it because couples are communicating about something central to their lives. Contraception women often say they feel used and taken for granted. Women using NFP describe feeling respected and enjoying intimacy withtheir spouses. No surprise there! Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding and the NFP pudding is a sweet one made of selflessness and respect. And the long-term marriages and happy families among NFP users are living proof that following God's recipe is best!

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