Morality of birth control/debate


#1

A friend of mine who isn't Catholic but curious has asked me about the morality of birth control. I gave her the Church's position and why it is wrong. She then asked me about extreme situations (her specific example was the Texas woman who drowned her five children due to postpartum psychosis). She said, "What about those instances? NFP isn't perfect and if you have someone who's mentally unstable, she might not do it correctly, etc" My argument back to her was thus: "First, artifical birth control isn't perfect. It, too, can fail. Further, if a spouse's mental state is such that s/he can't handle NFP charting, marital intimacy should be the furthest thing from the couple's mind - getting the spouse healthy should be the top priority. At that point, IMO, abstinence would be called for." I think I lost her with my argument as she said, "Well, that's just nuts." I told her I'd ask CAF and see what you folks had to say. BTW, sorry if this is in the wrong place. Iwasn't entirely certain where to post it. Thanks for your input and God Bless.


#2

You're one voice against the millions this person has heard throughout a lifetime, insisting that BC is better than the alternative.

What I find to be a much better argument is intimacy. Sex is supposed to be 100% unifying, but ABC makes it a partial rejection. Then I go into how hormonal ABC puts all the physical risk on the women (cancer, blood clots, cardiovascular disease, liver disease) and I set up the case that what kind of man would expect the woman he loves to take that kind of risk when he takes none.

Arguing about crazy people is the last argument I would want to go into because there are never any winners when you're dealing with mental illness.


#3

I think it all goes back to the roots of how the general society views sex.

From a Catholic point of view, sex is twofold in nature - for the good of the spouses and for procreation. They are inseparable. You can't just have the "good of the spouses" part without including the procreation... and we also have to continue to argue that sex is not *merely *for procreation (because this is a misunderstanding that many have about the church's view of sex!) - it also serves a *very *important bonding element between the spouses.
But neither can be separated from the other.


#4

You’re right to ask why this person thinks mentally unstable people should be having sex. Sex is a powerful psychological bonding agent; so much so that it clouds the minds of so many young people that have sex before they’re married. It binds women to physical abusers, men to emotional abusers, etc. So ask why that person thinks a woman who was crazy enough to murder her five children and have no idea why she did it, doesn’t remember doing it, etc. should be involved in a sexual relationship of any kind.


#5

[quote="Irish_Girl_68, post:1, topic:202823"]
A friend of mine who isn't Catholic but curious has asked me about the morality of birth control. I gave her the Church's position and why it is wrong. She then asked me about extreme situations (her specific example was the Texas woman who drowned her five children due to postpartum psychosis). She said, "What about those instances? NFP isn't perfect and if you have someone who's mentally unstable, she might not do it correctly, etc" My argument back to her was thus: "First, artifical birth control isn't perfect. It, too, can fail. Further, if a spouse's mental state is such that s/he can't handle NFP charting, marital intimacy should be the furthest thing from the couple's mind - getting the spouse healthy should be the top priority. At that point, IMO, abstinence would be called for." I think I lost her with my argument as she said, "Well, that's just nuts." I told her I'd ask CAF and see what you folks had to say. BTW, sorry if this is in the wrong place. Iwasn't entirely certain where to post it. Thanks for your input and God Bless.

[/quote]

The sad part is that those poor babies were not NFP "failures"....they were "wanted and planned" children.

Andrea Yates needed mental care, perhaps she needed to be institutionalized away from her children.

I hate thinking about Andrea Yates, I was pregnant, a few weeks from my due date when that crime occured. I still cannot fathom "how" she did it in such a short amount of time.

Has any mom here struggled with trying to put a toddler into a car seat, who didn't want to go in the car seat?

I personally think there was demonic possession..... :( Poor babies, betrayed by their mother like that.


#6

[quote="Irish_Girl_68, post:1, topic:202823"]
A friend of mine who isn't Catholic but curious has asked me about the morality of birth control. I gave her the Church's position and why it is wrong. She then asked me about extreme situations (her specific example was the Texas woman who drowned her five children due to postpartum psychosis). She said, "What about those instances? NFP isn't perfect and if you have someone who's mentally unstable, she might not do it correctly, etc" My argument back to her was thus: "First, artifical birth control isn't perfect. It, too, can fail. Further, if a spouse's mental state is such that s/he can't handle NFP charting, marital intimacy should be the furthest thing from the couple's mind - getting the spouse healthy should be the top priority. At that point, IMO, abstinence would be called for." I think I lost her with my argument as she said, "Well, that's just nuts." I told her I'd ask CAF and see what you folks had to say. BTW, sorry if this is in the wrong place. Iwasn't entirely certain where to post it. Thanks for your input and God Bless.

[/quote]

OK so I had typed a really long response and somehow it disappeared and I lost it. You gave a good response to her by the way, but if the conversation continues here are some things to keep in mind.

First, give her this link to Contraception Why Not from Janet Smith. Lots of good info.
catholiceducation.org/articles/sexuality/se0002.html

Second, you cannot use extreme examples to argue the morality of an action. You could use an extreme example but that would be outside the norm. The morality of an action or something like contraception is not based on extremities or something outside of the norm. Even if it were, it would not change. The example she gave would not change anything. That woman had much bigger issues.

The contraceptive mindset is very dangerous. It teaches a person that they can get what they want, when they want it, and not have to deal with the consequences. I would argue that the contraceptive mindset can cripple a society just like a welfare state does. If people get all the benefits of something but don't have to be responsible or work for it, they will be lazy almost every time. This causes people to lose respect for others. If you ask 100 women that you see on the street or in the grocery store, I'm sure they will tell you that men do not need anything else that would cause them to disrespect women.

What all this really comes to is a misunderstanding of the purpose of sex. If person thinks that the purpose of sex to so show someone you love them, there are a lot of other ways to do that. If a person thinks that the purpose of sex is pleasure, they probably are not open to hearing what you have to say anyways. To find the purpose for sex all you have to do is look at the effects(consequences) or outcome of sex. That is a physical and emotional bond as well as LIFE. Now, this person will typically ask you, or accuse you, of thinking that you should only have sex when you want to have a child. This is not true. All you have to do is look at a woman's cycle to see that she is not fertile more often than she is fertile to see that. God planned it that way for a reason. If a couple only has sex when they want to conceive a child, I would bet that they have a pretty unhappy marriage. Sex is actually a renewing of the marital promises when it is a FREE and TOTAL giving of self, which is what the Church teaches sex to be. It cannot be total if you hold back your fertility.

If this person says that because the "outcome of using NFP and contraception is the same, so if NFP is ok then contraception has to be acceptable as well and they are really the same thing", tell them "FINE, USE NFP THEN". And remind that friend, that when contraception is used properly and NFP is used properly, NFP is much more effective.


#7

I agree that when a person isn't able to handle the additional stress of children due to mental illness, that physical intimacy should be the furthest thing from their minds. I have a close family member who's wife was really struggling after baby #3, he said that she couldn't learn NFP because of odd cycles (don't worry I gave out the Creighton suggestion and gave them the website! ;)), but I told them (well, through the person who was asking me about it) that if she cannot handle another child, the only thing that is 100% effective is abstinence. And that at the point they were at, the focus should have been on getting her better, not on sex.


#8

Pharmaceutical birth control can actually do more harm than good when balancing a woman's system especially with things like postpartum depression. Also with things like pharmaceutical birth control, IUDs, morning after pills, Norplant, etc. you have an abotaficient effect - so you could very well be killing a kid each time cycle you have intercourse. In her case it was not a this is better than this issue- it was the husband should have "man'd up" and been a father and had his mentally unstable dangerous to her children wife put in a mental hospital until she could was no longer a danger to herself or others. That is also what DCFS is for if neither of the are fit parents.


#9

Sounds like Andrea Yates.

Birth control would not have helped that woman. There were other mental health issues happening in that woman’s life, and her husband, from news accounts was distant and a bit of a jerk so offered no support. Apparently her defense counsel said “if she had aborted her most recent pregnancy this wouldnt’ have happened”.

its a bit of a tail wagging the dog sort of situation. If the doctors at the hospital had picked up on the warning signs - and they were there from her previous pregnancy, it wouldnt’ have happened. If the nurses had picked up on it, it woudlnt’ have happened. If her husband had raised the alarm it wouldn’t have happened. If her family and close friends had picked up on it it wouldnt’ have happened.

Your friend can’t blame the Church’s position against NFP for Andrea Yate’s shenanigans. And really, what if Andrea Yates had aborted her most recent pregnancy? She kills one child instead of five? Is that evil okay because good might have come of it? What if the post abortion stress syndrome kicked in, and according to the pro-aborts if a woman has mental issues after an abortion, she obviously had them before, and Mrs. Yates had some mental health problems prior to her last pregnancy, so she could have still killed her children.

Obviously when she got married she and her husband wanted children and had them. So really, the whole argument is asinine.

It’d take a lot more than crying kids and no condoms to make a woman do what she did.

But to be honest, I can’t recall if Mrs. Yates was even Catholic, I did hear she attended a church and had a “pastor” supporting her.

However, i was always a bit suspisious of the husband, he seemed too cool, calm and collective, and very, very forgiving, immediately after his wife’s crime. What kind of man can stand so calmly next to his wife the day after she drowns his five kids in the bath?


#10

It’s very strange that your friend thinks artificial birth control is the answer to mental instability and postpartum depression.

Does she know for certain that the Texas woman wasn’t on birth control?? It’s common for Protestants to regulate birth through ABC–even when they want and/or have several children. Most Protestants in America see nothing wrong with ABC.

Your friend’s argument places the “fault” of that horrible incident in Texas on the woman’s baby. Your friend doesn’t phrase it this way, but her argument basically says its the youngest baby’s fault in circumstance such as this because if the mom hadn’t had more that *x*number of children, everyone would be fine. Your friend is ill informed. PPD can happen after the birth of the first child too. Are we as a culture going to "reduce " and “solve” PPD by stopping all pro-creation? No more babies, then–presto, chango!-- no more PPD! One problem solved, numerous more problems created.

Mothers with PPD (or other forms of mental instability) need help and support. Do not confuse giving* contraception* with giving help and support!


#11

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