Can contraception make America better?

Posted By on August 27, 2011

Carolyn Moynihan chimes in on the birth control issue with this excellent piece:

Forty years ago modern contraception was sold to women as part of a liberation package: at last they would be in control of their fertility and their lives. The pill was their passport to fewer children, economic independence and, as it soon appeared, the kind of sexual freedom that previously only men had enjoyed.

Already, however, governments had bought the pill for another reason: as a means of thinning the ranks of the poor. To reduce the burden of supporting them the United States government, for example, has funded birth control for those on welfare or near the poverty line ever since 1972.

Today, both agendas are incomplete; if anything, they are more formidable than ever. Millions of women the world over are raising children on their own; countless others have endured an abortion, suffered a sexually transmitted disease, lost their fertility, developed cancer. Birthrates have plunged — although not as much as desired among the target populations — but welfare spending continues to grow as states replace fathers and breadwinners in an increasing number of homes….

Rather than doing their research among their pals in the birth control industrial complex (the “science and existing literature”), Drs Obama, Pelosi and Sibelius should have got out into Middle America and confronted the damage that contraceptive culture has already done. They should have interviewed some of the women stalled in uncommitted relationships and feeling they must risk the birth of a child anyway before it is too late, or trying a second or third gamble in the sexual market; the women who must be asking themselves, “Is this all?”

Will a “free” script for the pill or an IUD treatment make them feel better? Not likely.

Liberation? What liberation?

Read the full piece at THIS LINK.

About The Author

Mrs. Chancey is the mother of 12 children, all of whom keep the household bubbling with life, learning, and levity. Jennie co-founded LAF in 2002 with Lydia Sherman and has been delighted to hear from women all over the world who enjoy their femininity and love to cultivate womanly virtues.

Comments

13 Responses to “Can contraception make America better?”

  1. SusanneT says:

    When people talk of ‘modern contraception’ they always mean women’s contraception (the pill etc). The purpose of which for unmarried women is to allow those who want to to behave more like men by treating sex casually and being more promiscuous and generally to give men access to commitment free sex – without even the inconvenience of a condom.

    Even if you accept that pre marital sex is morally okay, I can’t see how either empowers other than a few women. 

    It’s more difficult in marriage after all even a committed  couple may mutually want to limit their family or space pregnancies and as someone who entered a Catholic marriage where artificial BC was always out of the question I can say that although it is relatively easy when you are looking forward to having a family, after children being forced to rely solely on natural means, in the context of the Church’s wider teaching on sexuality can be very hard on your relationship. 

    My personal view (although my husband would disagree on principle) is that contraception has it’s place in marriage but that the only after you have a family. I also believe that the only acceptable method is for the husband to use a condom. I don’t think women should be taking drugs to cure themselves of the ‘illness’ of fertility. 

    In summary I think we all, especially women would be better off without contraception, with the sole exception of those couples, who for legitimate reasons wish to limit their family but for whom NFP threatens their relationship. 

  2. Thanks for the comments, Susanne. I think you simply point out why couples need to discuss the issue of children long before they commit to marriage. Those Christians who do not want to have any children should not marry, as God has clearly stated that He created marriage because He “desires godly offspring” (Malachi 2:15). For a Christian couple to ignore God’s teachings on children and marry only for companionship or financial stability (neither bad in and of themselves) is to fail to recognize God’s lordship over marriage and its purposes. There are definitely times in marriage for abstinence, such as when a woman is recovering from childbirth or when either spouse is ill and needs to recuperate. As we lay down our lives for one another, we are not going to be selfish and demand sexual “rights.” Instead, we are going to “nourish and cherish” one another.

    That said, having a large family is a LOT of work! I know. I am expecting my tenth. Each pregnancy has been welcome and joyful. Our older children are eager to meet each new sibling. But parenting functions best with the support of the extended family and the church. A lot of young mothers who are struggling have in-laws who are indifferent or openly hostile about their decision to have lots of children. Or they are in churches that focus on “programs” that keep kids occupied on Sundays but do nothing to truly support young parents in their parenting throughout the rest of the week. I know there’s a shortage of Titus 2 women, because I hear from young moms all the time who want to know where to find them! But in times like these, we have to be willing to humble ourselves and ask for help and counsel when we are struggling. My mother wrote a blog post about this very thing recently. She is an older Titus 2 lady who has found that young women will not come to her for help for fear of looking “weak” or incapable. This is folly. We are all weak and need each other. The answer to thriving while parenting a large family is to seek these older ladies (usually the quiet grandmothers at the back of the church) and ask them for their wisdom. They are the hidden treasures that need to be sought out. And when we find them, we can pour our questions into their ears and show them how much we still need them.

    The answer to difficulty in child-rearing isn’t to stop having children; it’s to seek the help and support we need and to maintain a very vibrant, honest, open relationship with our spouse (don’t keep your struggles to yourself; your husband needs to know exactly what is giving you difficulty so you can work through these things together). Hard work, yes, but worth it all.

  3. SusanneT says:

    Thanks – I agree with so much of what you say. Yes openness to children is a fundamental part of marriage and unless a couple accept this I do not think they should marry. Also I agree that help and support is SO important and that a reluctance to seek help (from wherever it may come) is not a reason to restrict the size of your family.

    Maybe where we differ is that, to me, if after having children a couple decides (for whatever personal reasons) to limit the size of their family or space pregnancies, then I see no reason why (if the husband agrees to abstain when required) they should not use NFP, or if he prefers (and the wife has no religious objection) he should not use a condom (an option not open to us as my husband is a Catholic). As long as if at any time the husband chooses not to follow this course his wife willingly submits to his wishes.

    To me that last part is crucial and not open to debate, and it is a measure of the indoctrination of feminism that even in this forum I feel conspicuous saying it. There is a fundamental difference between men and women when it comes to reproduction, whilst a man can choose whether or not to have intercourse and take steps to determine whether it is likely to be fertile a woman simply cannot. If she is intimate, she must leave it to God whether or not she conceives and in marriage she has no right to deny her husband for contraceptive purposes.

    For a woman to use contraception in any form, is totally un-acceptable in my view. It is un-doubtably the slippery slope to “choice” and is fundamentally un-feminine. I recommend this post on a Catholic blog I found very helpful http://www.conversiondiary.com/2007/06/contraception-and-womans-self-image.html which helps outline some of the evils of a contraceptive mentality, but it is this choice point which is paramount, we do not have one and must never go down that route. That’s one reason the Pill is so evil.

    For the record, my husband and I entered our marriage entirely open to children and gladly welcomed our three and lamented the loss of two more (thankfully early on in pregnancy) over the first 5 years of marriage. However like many couples we do now feel the need to stop (or at least pause) and by mutual consent have been practicing NFP for the last 18 months.

  4. Susanne, thanks for the thoughtful comments. This is definitely a matter for prayer and discussion between spouses and not an area where anyone is trying to pass laws to force couples not to use contraception. God’s Word has many laws that apply in the civil sphere, but this is definitely not one of them, as the state has no authority to legislate in this area. However, on the flip side of that coin, the state also has no legal right to compel me to pay for another couple’s contraceptive use (as given in the new “health care” bill). God lays out His plans for marriage and parenting and gives humans the choice to accept or reject them. But He doesn’t empower the state to compel anyone to accept them. I never cease to be amazed by feminists who feel threatened by what we advocate here (which involves no coercion whatsoever) yet who are perfectly willing to lobby the state to force me to pay for their lifestyle choices (state-funded day care, “free” contraceptives, etc.) with my tax dollars.

    I personally believe we (and our nation) are blessed when we walk in God’s ways. History bears this out. With so many people running whole-hog into socialistic statism, we cannot expect blessing as a nation or a culture. But Christian families who love the Lord and strive to follow His will (which none of us will ever do perfectly, being sinners) can look to God’s promises for our well-being with confidence. Seeking to share those blessings by warning others away from hormonal contraceptives and abortifacients is therefore not “oppressive” but simply a gracious invitation. We invite women to choose life, to affirm God’s purposes for marriage, and to love their children. The choice is up to them.

  5. SusanneT says:

    I entirely agree with your sentiments, but I do feel that the issue of contraception (as opposed to birth control / family planning in general) is one where ( like dress, modesty, homemaking and submission ) there is a clear difference between the sexes for reasons which are both physical and moral.

  6. Can you elaborate on this, Susanne? I think you lost me — probably brain fog on my part!

  7. SusanneT says:

    Sorry Jennie – I think my post 2 above covers the issues. Given the purpose of this site is to celebrate femininity I think we are entitled to discuss whether the use of contraception by women and all that flows from it is compatible with Christian femininity.

    I hesitate to say it (because I realise that many women have little choice they are pressured into using contraception by their husbands) but in an ideal world I do not believe that it is.

  8. Hi again! I have no objection to discussing this topic at all on LAF (that’s why we post on it!), so I’m still a little lost here on your comments. Where I was confused was when you wrote, “[T]here is a clear difference between the sexes for reasons which are both physical and moral.” I didn’t understand what you meant by that and was just asking for clarification. Sorry about that!

  9. SusanneT says:

    Jennie – My thinking Firstly I question whether it is in itself feminine to alter your body (with hormonal BC) to make yourself unable to fulfil your intended role as a mother by suppressing ovulation or rendering your uterus hostile to a potential foetus, simply in order to have sex free of it’s intended consequence.

    Secondly by using BC the woman is saying I’m going to have intercourse, but I don’t want to let nature take it’s course – I’m going to choose. Not to conceive (arguably morally okay – allowing a diaphragm or hormone which suppresses ovulation only), or if I do, not to carry the baby (clearly not okay). Maybe this is fine if you follow the feminist “right to choose” line, but otherwise it’s the slippery slope to ‘morning after’ contraception and abortion. Sex is undoubtedly an important part of marriage, but if a couple wish to control their fertility (most do) there are alternatives (male contraception or NFP).

    Finally physical gratification should not be an end in itself, for either sex, but ‘sexual reserve’ is natural to fertile women (for good reasons) and part of Christian femininity is that for women the physical side is secondary to love and commitment to our husbands and our vocation as mothers. I accept that many women show their commitment by agreeing to use BC, but my personal view is that whenever a woman has sex she should be entirely open to conception, even if as couple they may agree, and her husband may take steps, to prevent it.

    Hope that is clearer ?

  10. Thank you, Susanne! That is all perfectly clear, and I agree with you that closing ourselves off to conception completely changes a huge part of God’s gift to us as women. It’s not that you have to conceive to be a woman — obviously that is not the point. But to say, “No way. My body, my choice” is to flip on its head the God-ordained nature of “be fruitful and multiply” and “your wife shall be like a fruitful vine.” It says, “I am all for the procreative act; I just don’t want any fruit from it.”

  11. SusanneT says:

    So so well put ! Of course you don’t have to conceive to be feminine, or even be able to concieve, but my own moral position is that it is wrong to be sexually active, to have intercourse full stop without being open to conceiving on every occasion.

  12. C. Equality says:

    According to Webster (and anyone who isn’t in denial)…
    Contraception is – deliberate prevention of conception or impregnation. Isn’t that what a condom does?
    So, what you’re saying is that women have a right to enjoying sex that doesn’t involve impregnation? And isn’t promoting sexual freedom a very FEMINIST thing to do?
    I’m sorry, but I thought this was a anti-feminist website.

  13. I’m afraid you’ve lost me here. We don’t promote condom usage at all. Women do have a God-given right to enjoy sex, but that has absolutely nothing to do with feminism’s version of “sexual freedom.” Our freedom involves no fear of disease or exploitation, because it is enjoyed within the bonds of a committed marriage relationship where both partners mutually satisfy one another in accordance with God’s design. And, yes, pregnancy can and does happen, but that isn’t the sole reason God created sex. We enjoy it whether or not a baby is the end result. 😉

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