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An introduction to Natural Fertility

Awareness
By Robert Colquhoun
PRAYER:
Thanks be to you, our Lord Jesus Christ
For all the benefits which you have given us,
For all the pains and insults which you have borne for us
Most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
May we know you more clearly,
Love you more dearly,
And followyou more nearly,
Day by day. Amen. (St Richard of Chichester).

Introduction
Many people are willing to spend hundreds of hours in preparing for their own wedding
day, but far less time actually preparing for their marriage. The aim of this booklet is to
bring about the success of future marriages.

Many people think that the Church is entirely negative about sex. The understood
mentality is, “If it feels good, then definitely don’t do it.” Few people think that actually
following the ten commandments is actually something that is going to bring them
happiness. But God has placed his clues about human sexuality all around so that our joy
might be complete. When we scrutinise this topic a little closer, there are incredible
discoveries to be made.

God’s plan for love and life is almost a well kept secret these days. Marriage can be
highly romantic. Couples who pray together have a higher sexual satisfaction. God’s first
commandment is the Bible is to have sex. In Genesis 1:28 we read: “Be fruitful and
multiply.” The world does not want you to think about sex, only to dream, crave and
slaver for it. God intended sex to be the marriage vows made flesh. It is possible to say
your wedding vows with your body. These vows a promise to be free (holding nothing
back), total (a true gift), faithful (exclusive and permanent) and fruitful (open to life). The
world looks to thwart these promises, making sex restricted or forced, temporary, disloyal
and sterile. The theology of the Church is not imposed on anyone, but it is the uncovering
of God’s original design. When we realise how generous God has been with us that we
have a lover, it is time to return the favour of generosity. After all, God can never be
outdone in generosity.

Preparation for marriage is not something that happens several months prior to the
wedding. Now is the time to build a happy and successful foundation of marriage. The
beauty of purity and clarity of mind is something that holds good stead for the rest of
one’s life. Trust and self control are things especially needed when both close and far
from your wife. Purity with practice is certainly a challenge. To be ready for the huge gift
of one’s spouse will not leave you empty handed at the Altar, but will help you to come
with a gift to give to Jesus.

Chastity is something caught not taught. Abstinence is the lack of sexual activity. In itself
it is not a virtue, but simply abstaining from action. Some people might be abstinent
because they have chosen to, others because they cannot get a date. It tells us little about
the spiritual state of a person.

Chastity on the other hand is a positive virtue, to be thought only in association with love.
Chastity stems from the latin adjective ‘castus’ which means pure. Chastity is about
living an integrated and well balanced life. It respects the fact that sex is sacred and a
great gift from God. All Christians are called to chastity, whether married, single or
celibate. This great virtue gives us purity in mind, heart and conscience and prepares our
souls for love. Only the chaste man and the chaste woman are capable of true love. This
virtue gives us self control, spiritual strength and is a certain path to happiness.

Marriage is one the greatest images on earth of God’s love. St Paul states how this union
is a mystery how two become one flesh. In the Catholic Church, there are two sacraments
where a person becomes a sacrament. In the Eucharist, Christ becomes a sacrament. In
marriage the will of two people make a sacrament. St Francis de Sales said that marriage
is the greatest form of mortification on earth. But it can be something that will save us
from ourselves. But God soaks couples with dollops of grace in order to live out
marriage. If we are in a state of sin, we do not receive these graces in order to live out
marriage.

Erotic love poetry in the Bible: Song of songs

There is one book in the Bible that St Thomas Aquinas asked to have read to him on his
death bed. That books was the song of songs. One person described such writing as a
book of erotic love poetry – those training to be rabbis in years past were not allowed to
read the material in fear that it might offend their ears.

The book starts with a yearning for an embrace: “O that you would kiss me with the
kisses of your mouth!” (1:1). The writing oozes with scintillating analogies, similes and
cravings as the author is ‘sick with love.’ (2:5). The imagery of love is vivid and alive as
the writer proclaims: “My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag,” (2:9) and “Your hair
is like a flock of goats, moving down the slopes of Gilead.” (4:1). The author’s heart is
ravished (4:9) for the sake of his beloved, whom he also calls a sister and bride. The
author lovingly describes his lover’s anatomy in a litany of praise, “Your neck is like an
ivory tower, your rounded thighs are like jewels.” (7:4, 1). For those who are reluctant to
read the Bible because they perceive it to be boring, this book is the perfect introduction!

OXYTOCIN
Powerful hormones are released in the brains of men and women that produce lasting
bonds with their partner during sexual activity. The most influential hormones are
oxytocin and vasopressin.
Oxytocin is a hormone that is released during childbirth and nursing that causes the
mother to bond with her infant. It is also released during sexual activity and acts like an
emotional superglue between partners (The Female Brain, 2006). Both men and women
have oxytocin and release it during sexual activity. Women are more affected by
Oxytocin and more by vasopressin. Vasopressin enables a man to bond with his partner
and gives him a protective instinct toward his partner and children.

This bonding effect of sex can be compared to duct taping a couple's arms together. If
you can imagine ripping off that tape off, and then using that same tape to apply the tape
to a new person's arm. With switching partners several times, skin and hair left on the
tape reduces the adhesiveness of the tape and it does not stick as easily. The same is true
of sex. Research shows that the ability to bond and produce oxytocin is damaged by the
stress hormones at a break up.

Just like the remains on the duct tape, previous sexual experiences damage the ability to
bond correctly. Oxytocin levels can return to normal if sexual activity is stopped and time
is given for physical and emotional healing. But what if that duct tape was never
removed. the duct tape would begin to feel like a part of the arm and the adhesion would
be strong. When a couple waits until marriage to have sex, oxytocin and vasopressin
increase the biological bond between husband and wife.

SAINT NONNUS AND SAINT PELAGIA


Once upon a time 1500 hundred years ago, there was a Bishop called Nonnus. Despite
the corruption of society all around him, he understood that God was all powerful and on
whom all rested. God has designed life and therefore it was beautiful. One day Bishop
Nonnus was walking down the road with another clergyman. A beautiful woman,
probably a prostitute came walking towards them.

The clergyman turned away his eyes in order not to lust after the woman. He then turned
his eyes towards the Bishop and saw that he was tearful. He realised that Nonnus had not
turned away his gaze, rather he had looked straight at the prostitute. He was somewhat
ruffled and concerned, then he asked him, "Brother Bishop, why did you not turn away
your eyes from this woman?" Nonnus replied, "What a tragedy it is that such beauty
would be sold to the lusts of men." This took the clergyman by complete surprise and
even the woman herself.

Later the woman found Nonnus and due to his loving response, had a conversion to
Christianity. She had an encounter of piercing love in Nonnus' simple, chaste look. This
woman is now known as Saint Pelagia.

‘God’ and ‘Sex’ are the two most popular words that are searched on Google. In essence
we are combining today the two most popular topics on the planet, learning and
understanding what God’s plan is for romantic love: how to invite the author of life into
our love life!
I have never been in a position of practicing natural family planning (NFP). Personal
experience is not a requirement for expertise. I hope to be able to provide some valuable
insights into the theory and practice of NFP today.

The topic of human sexuality is of immense importance and interest to many people.
Despite this, there is a great degree of ignorance on the issue. This is partly due to poor
teaching and misinformation over many decades. But we’re here to set the record straight
here today, and not only that- if everyone told 25 people about the simple facts about
natural family planning then the truth and meaning of human sexuality would be
proclaimed and lived by many more people in society. That’s my challenge for you
today!

Natural family planning is one of the hidden gems of the Church. It has the ability to
educate, empower and enhance marriage and family life. That is why couples that use
contraception in their marriage typically have a divorce rate of 40%, while couples from
all denominations who use NFP have a divorce rate of 2%.(1)

There is a wonderful story in the book of Tobit. Tobias prays that he may have nobility in
his marriage because it is based on stable foundations. This is a wondrous bedtime
prayer.

”When the girl's parents left the bedroom and closed the door behind them, Tobias arose
from bed and said to his wife, "My love, get up. Let us pray and beg our Lord to have
mercy on us and to grant us deliverance." She got up, and they started to pray and beg
that deliverance might be theirs. He began with these words: "Blessed are you, O God of
our fathers; praised be your name forever and ever. Let the heavens and all your creation
praise you forever. You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve to be his help and
support; and from these two the human race descended. You said, 'It is not good for the
man to be alone; let us make him a partner like himself.' Now, Lord, you know that I take
this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose. Call down your mercy on
me and on her, and allow us to live together to a happy old age." They said together,
"Amen, amen," (Tobit 8:4-9, NAB).

What is natural family planning?

This talk not supposed to be a full guide of how to use NFP, but an introduction. If you
wish to find out more, I thoroughly recommend you to book a relatively inexpensive
arrangement with an NFP practitioner.

NFP is a method of family planning that is highly reliable, medically safe and
inexpensive. The understanding of how the body works is a great act of self discovery.
NFP understands fertility as not something to be suppressed or manipulated, but as a
normal bodily function. NFP encourages a shared responsibility for fertility between

1 What’s Wrong with Contraception? (Cincinnati, Ohio: The Couple to Couple League International);
Mercedes Arzú Wilson, “The Practice of Natural Family Planning Versus the Use of Artificial Birth
Control: Family, Sexual, and Moral Issues,” Catholic Social Science Review 7 (November 2002).
husband and wife. This normally leads to a deeper level of care and respect in a
relationship. NFP promotes love, respect and communication between husband and wife
and prepares them for further children.

NFP respects the design of the human body, leads to deeper intimacy and encourages self
respect and self worth. In the words of Paul VI, NFP, “favours attention for one’s partner,
helps both parties to drive out selfishness, the enemy of true love, and deepens their sense
of responsibility.” (Humanae Vitae, n.21). NFP couples are less likely to divorce, be
more receptive to children and they renew their wedding vows each time they practice the
marital act. Most strikingly of all, NFP is more effective than any method of
contraception at preventing pregnancy, and is equally as effective as IVF in achieving
pregnancy.

Natural Family Planning involves the woman checking her fertility by observing simple
signs such as changes in cervical mucus and temperature on waking. As a woman can
only conceive for a short time each month, the knowledge of when this phase happens
enables the couple to avoid or achieve pregnancy.

The decision not to use contraception can only be good for the couple who make it.
Respect for the meaning and purpose of marital sex in God’s plan is usually lavishly
rewarded. Couples that use contraception find it harder when they have ‘surprise’
pregnancies. As they have actively tried to stop sex causing conception, they find it
harder to welcome unconditionally the child that has been conceived.

Different Methods of NFP


Two different models of NFP are the ovulation method and symptothermal methods.

Ovulation methods: This method is based on the observation and sensation of cervical
mucus, which becomes clear, wet and stretchy when the woman reaches ovulation. This
is the best indicator of fertility. The Billings method is an example. The Fertilitycare
(Creighton) method is based on the Billings method. A woman records her observations
on a chart, and is taught patterns that show the fertile and infertile times in her cycle.

Symptothermal methods involve the woman taking her temperature every day, as well as
observing cervical mucus and charting her cycle. Instructors of this method may advise
observing other changes in the cervix.

There are some new technologies available for checking fertility. These include
ladycomp, bioself, safe and persona. These are helpful and vary in success rates.

The Creighton (FertilityCare) Model of NFP

The Creighton model is one of the best models of natural fertility management. This
model relies on biological indicators that are signs of human fertility. The model helps
couples to sees precisely on what days it is possible to become pregnant during a
woman’s cycle. This knowledge enhances the ability to achieve or avoid pregnancy. This
model is 99.5% effective for avoiding pregnancy (2). This makes it the most effective
method of avoiding pregnancy, more than the contraceptive bill and barrier
methods. When used to achieve pregnancy, the model is 76% effective in the first cycle
and 98% within 6 months. The model is the most effective way to pinpoint ovulation.

The model can help couples to discover alternative ways of intimacy other than genital
intercourse. Many couples have mentioned a sort of honeymoon effect after short periods
of abstinence. Fertility becomes a shared responsibility between men and women and this
facilitates deeper communication between couples. This leads to a deeper level of care
and respect between couples and a strengthening of their relationship. There are several
markers in the Creighton model that help to show the depth of risk of infertility or
miscarriage. Early treatment is the best option for combating infertility. The method
teaches couples how to care for their fertility, helping them detect and prevent
gynaecological problems.

Overall the Creighton model is highly reliable, medically safe, inexpensive and versatile.
It helps couples to appreciate and value the mystery of fertility and self knowledge. Many
people are coming to realise the significance of protecting and preserving one’s fertility.
It has been reported that around one in six couples have infertility problems in the UK.
As there are no harmful side effects of NFP from any synthetic hormones, normal fertility
is permitted in the way it was designed. A familiarity with the natural rhythms of your
body helps to generate self respect and self worth. As the Creighton model requires no
medical intervention or monitoring, couples themselves learn how to become their own
fertility experts. The model is inexpensive to learn about and certainly substantially
cheaper than forms of contraception. As a method of family planning it is not a method of
contraception.

It is truly astonishing that this model is not well known about in most households in the
country. Many doctors are completely unaware of the model. This is most likely due to
the lack of financial incentives in promoting the model and the large profits made by
other forms of contraception. The government should do more to promote this model in
order to help couples with fertility problems and because it is without doubt the best
method of achieving and avoiding pregnancy. With this in mind, who would want to use
methods that create further complications? The Creighton model has no side effects
whatsoever. By bother damaging your body and fertility when the natural processes are
the best and most effective?

The Creighton model can be adapted to every woman. It is able to be used whether a
woman has regular, irregular or annovulatory cycles, is pre-menopausal, post pill or
breastfeeding. This model can be used for any situation during the reproductive life of a
woman. Women are empowered because they learn so much about their fertility. This
model is founded upon genuine scientific research. The method is easy to use. Biological
markers are observed and tracked. The Creighton model can be combined with
Naprotechnology, a new reproductive science in order to monitor and treat infertility,

2 Creighton Model NaProEducation Technology for avoiding pregnancy: use effectiveness; J Reprod Med
1998; 43: 495-502
miscarriage, irregular cycles, hormone problems, pre-menstrual syndrome, ovarian cysts,
unusual bleeding patterns and heavy painful periods.

Now it is time to give a fuller account of the birds and the bees. At school, they probably
taught you about sparrows and worker bees. But today, I’m going to tell you about the
giant golden eagle and the Queen bee!

NFP is valuable as couples learn the basics of anatomy and physiology. Men who are
virile are constantly fertile as they produce sperm every day. The head of the sperm has
the genetic material and the tail propels the sperm to try to reach the egg. As sperm are
sensitive to heat, male genitalia are located on the outside of the body to help with better
temperature regulation.

Women on the other hand, are infertile for most of the month. There is only a limited
time in an entire month when women are fertile. Despite this, many women resort to all
types of hormones, devices and barriers for the entire month! The main female
reproductive organs are the uterus, tubes and ovaries. The uterus is a thick muscle with a
uterine cavity inside. The hormones, which regulate the menstrual cycle, are produced in
the ovaries. The two fallopian tubes must be open in order for the egg or embryo to pass
through. The cervix is at the bottom of the uterus, just above the vagina. This critical
organ is where cervical mucus is produced. This is the main sign of a woman’s fertility
and must be present for pregnancy to occur. Cervical mucus is similar to nasal mucus.

Most women do not have a textbook cycle of 28 days, with ovulation happening on day
14 of each cycle. Only approximately 13% of women actually ovulate on day 14 of the
cycle. Cycles are usually short (less than 23 days), regular (23-38 days) or long (more
than 38 days). The phases are the same in every phase. The pre-ovulation phase is when
the woman has her menstrual bleed for 3-7 days. This is followed by dry infertile days.
After this, a woman has a number of mucus days (these are fertile) leading up to
ovulation. Once ovulation has occurred, there is a sudden change in mucus production
and the rest of the cycle is usually dry and infertile. The pre-peak phase can vary in
length, but the post peak phase is usually stable and last about 13 or 14 days.
The ovulation cycle also happens every month in the ovaries. At the start of the cycle, an
egg is selected to grow and develop within a follicle and the hormone oestrogen is
produced. The follicle matures until it is ready for the egg to be released at the day of
ovulation. Afterwards, the follicle collapses as it is empty. It then begins to produce the
hormone progesterone. Ovulation happens on only one day each cycle. If there are
multiple ovulations (for example, for non identical twins), these occur in the same 24
hour time period. It is possible to check the day of ovulation by observing changes in the
mucus pattern. The ovulation day (or peak day) is the last day of any mucus that is
stretchy (one inch or more), clear in colour or lubricative (a sensation felt when wiping).
An observational routine and recording system can be taught to women in order to help
them accurately observe throughout the month and pinpoint the day of ovulation.

After ovulation, the egg only survives between 12-24 hours if it is not fertilized. Cervical
mucus keeps sperm alive and acts like a carrier for the sperm to pass through the cervix
and helps to separate out abnormal sperm. Mucus is essential for wholesome fertility.
Good mucus influences how long sperm will last: with it sperm can live for 3-5 days,
without it, the sperm will die within hours. The cervix works is like a biological valve.
For most of the month, there is a thick plug like mucus high in the cervix, but no mucus
visible at the opening of the vagina. During ovulation time, the cervix opens up and there
is a fertile mucus that exists in the cervix that is visible at the opening of the vagina. The
visible mucus indicates fertile days. Fertility is dependant on 3 factors- good sperm, good
eggs and good mucus.

FertilityCare practitioners can instruct couples how to chart patterns. If abnormal charting
patterns exist, practitioners can use Naprotechnology medical doctors to address and treat
problems (such as infertility or reproductive issues). Because early ovulation can occur as
a woman nears the menopause, a woman can get pregnant during her period. Women
who are charting can detect this because they see the mucus much earlier in the cycle
than they normally would. Late ovulation can occur when a woman has acute stress
during the mucus build up.

If couples want to avoid pregnancy, instructions are given on about using the many dry
infertile days in the cycle. If couples desire to achieve pregnancy, they focus intercourse
during the fertile mucus days. So this approach can be used very effectively to avoid,
identify and monitor fertility.

If used to avoid pregnancy, the Creighton Model is 99.5% effective. This is more
effective than both the pill and condoms. (3) If used to achieve pregnancy, effectiveness is
76% for the first attempted cycle, and 98% for 6 attempted cycles. (4) This information is
empowering for couples as they know whether they are fertile or infertile on any given
day. Professional instruction is essential for a proper use of the method. This model,
through its educative and insightful methods, enables couples to begin to appreciate their
fertility and the children that may result from its use. It also enables women and couples
to be active participants in monitoring, preserving and protecting their fertility and
reproductive health for the future.

Comparing NFP with Contraception.

The oral contraceptive pill is a chemical that interferes with normal healthy fertility. Janet
Smith mentions in her CD, ‘Contraception, Why not?’ the history of research into
contraception. It was discovered that an early contraceptive prototype for men physically
shrunk the testes. These tests were stopped immediately. Some tests were performed on
women with some forms of the pill. Several women died in the process, so they just
lowered the dosage and put the drug on the mass market.

3 Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 1998. Effectiveness of Family Planning System, Contraceptive Failure
Rates: Family Planning Perspectives. 1999.
4 For couples with normal fertility. Hilgers TW, Daly KD, Prebil AM, and Hilgers SK. Cummulative
Pregnancy Rates in Patients with Apparently Normal Fertility and Fertility-Focussed Intercourse J. Reprod.
Med. 37:864, 1992
Calling things what they actually are

The pill tricks the female body into thinking that it is pregnant. This is a form of lying
with the body. Its aim is to alter and change the female menstrual cycle. One woman
recently said that if she knew that it would take 5 years for her cycle to return to normal
after using the pill, she would never have taken it in the first place. Confucius said, “If
words lose meaning society will lose itself.” If you buy contraceptives from the
pharmacy, often the receipt will not state exactly what you are purchasing, rather a
euphemism is used. When an X rated “adult” film is paid for in a hotel, it is not normally
shown on the receipt so that you company does not fire you for misuse of expenses. Non
Government Organisations campaign for the promotion of contraception and abortion
under the agenda and pseudo language of reproductive rights and services. There is no
such thing as an ‘unwanted’ pregnancy. A pregnancy is wanted in the language of the
body in the act of sexual intercourse, as there is always a possibility of conception. When
things can’t be called what they actually are, we can lose touch with reality and can know
something is fishy.

Nicole Parker, a fertilitycare practioner says, “When a woman chemically withholds her
fertility in the act of love-making, she psychologically and spiritually makes the act
sterile. Since her fertility is part of the essence of what makes her female, she is
withholding an integral part of her femininity.” It is normal principle of surgery never to
disturb he function of a normal structure except as may be necessary for the effective
treatment of a related disorder.

The Holy See’s charter of the rights of the family in 1983 reiterated the right for families
to decide on the spacing of births and the number of children to be born. This right is
seen in light of the objective moral order that excludes recourse to sterilization,
contraception or abortion. Planned parenthood and the Holy See agree that on the right of
families to decide on the number of children and the spacing of births. So why is there
such divergence on the practice of family planning between these two institutions?

The answer lies not only in objective morality but the use of the method of family
planning. Contraception causes a division between the main purposes of sex, which is
babies and bonding. Such a rupture damages the integrity of the union of two persons and
leaves one open to use rather than love your partner.

Rather than giving oneself fully, contraception is a lie with the human body, causing a
step back from the total gift of self and the intimacy of the marital act (sex).
Contraception damages the intimacy between husband and wife, invites selfish behaviour
into the marital act and opens the door to greater infidelity. Christopher West writes that
the real problem behind women’s oppression is the failure of men to treat them properly
and therefore contraception is a sure way to keep women in chains. If a women is
constantly sexually available, for many men, she becomes less attractive.

At a pre-wedding party, a book was laid out for the guests to write down their thoughts
on marriage. Typical to our age, the majority of comments were negative. One guest had
written that marriage is, “Institutionalized prostitution.” Saint Augustine, in his work
against the Manichees (who denied procreation), he said they made the “Bridal chamber a
brothel.”(5) Perhaps this is what can happen when chastity within marriage is totally
ignored.

The Church’s teaching on contraception is greatly misunderstood. This is partly due to


the subtle and profound nature of the teaching. Cherie Blair recently praised
contraception. She said, “Personally, I would prefer it if the Catholic Church took a more
positive attitude towards contraception because I think there’s a lot of difference between
preventing a life coming about and actually extinguishing a life when it has come about.”
It is really necessary to point out that some contraceptives are also abortifacients.

Contraception is not deemed immoral because it is artificial. After all, the Church
approves of many artificial drugs and inventions that man has invented. There has been
no papal pronouncements against the use of paracetamol or vitamin tablets.
Contraception prevents the natural functioning of the body and denies the purpose God
designed the act to have. No method of contraception is 100% effective to date.
Contraception interrupts, sterilizes and works against conception whereas NFP respects
the body as God designed it and works with this plan.

The saints, including early Church fathers were opposed to contraception. St John
Chrysostom regarded marriage as for “companionship and procreation.”(6) St Jerome said
a marital act was lustful unless open for the possibility of procreation.7 St Augustine said
“What food is to the health of man, intercourse is to the health of the race”8 and “the
procreation of children is the first and natural and lawful reason for marriage”9 St Albert
said that “Every act frustrated in it is essential and natural end is vain and evil.10 St
Francis de Sales saw procreation as the “primary and principal end of marriage.”11

At a Catholic marriage, couples make a vow before God and the witnesses that they will
welcome children lovingly from God, and they give themselves completely to their
spouse. Contraception contradicts these vows because the language of the body is not
living these vows in the flesh. Couples that withhold their fertility from each other, leave
sterile acts that have negative influences on marriage. In the book of Acts (chapter 5:1-
11), Ananias and Saphira go through the motions of a giving act but defraud it of its
meaning.

Contraception is not considered wrong by the Church because it is artificial. There is


nothing morally wrong with paracetamol or vitamin tablets. The purpose of medicine is
to help the body work in its proper functions. Contraception does not help the body to
function properly – in fact it does precisely the opposite. Some forms of contraception are

5 Against Faustus, 15.7 CSEL 25:430.


6 Homily 5 on 1 Thess, PG 62:426.
7 On Galatians, 5, PL 26:443.
8 Augustine, The good of marriage 16.18, CSEL 41: 210-211.
9 Adulterous marriages 2.12.12 CSEL 41:396.
10 On the sentences 4.31.27 obj. 3.
11 Introduction to the devout life, chapter 39.
also abortifacients. This means that they cause early induced abortions at the beginning of
a pregnancy. The God given purposes of sex is babies and bonding. Contraception
divides the purposes in two. At a Catholic marriage, couples make a vow before God and
the witnesses that they will welcome children lovingly from God, and they give
themselves completely to their spouse. Contraception contradicts these vows because the
language of the body is not living these vows in the flesh. Couples who withhold their
fertility from each other leave a negative mark on the marriage.

To use an analogy, contraception is like bulimia whereas NFP is like dieting.


Contraception binges on the act and then purges out the effects. NFP abstains at certain
times to avoid the outcome and is far healthier. The end never justifies the means. Using
NFP does not mean you have to have 25 children. Many, including gynaecologists, still
think that NFP is only the rhythm method. This method was not successful at preventing
pregnancy.

Some truths about contraception.

Modern thinking tells us that the use of contraceptives is good and responsible. We are
responsible when we have less children, because they are an environmental liability and
who wants lots of kids anyway- only to be burdened with bills and nappies. 2.4 children
is just fine. And after all, doesn’t contraception lower the abortion rate? So, conventional
secular wisdom states that contraception is safe, ethical and responsible.

Here are some facts about contraception that often overlooked:


• A Some contraceptives are abortifacients.
• B The pill is damaging to the body
• C Contraception is far less reliable than we thought.
• D The pill damages the environment

A
The pill has mechanisms that can cause a woman to have an abortion before she even
knows that she has conceived. Because one of the ways the pill acts is by the thinning of
the uterus. Some doctors do no believe pregnancy begins at fertilization. This has clouded
the issue. Randy Alcorn has written a booklet entitled: Does the birth control pill cause
abortions. This is an excellent read.

B
Let us consider how ‘safe’ the oral contraceptive pill is. The pill affects the blood clotting
ability of the body, leading to a significant increase in risk of heart disease.12 Women on
the pill are up to five times more likely to have a stroke than non pill users and three
times more likely to have a heart attack.(13)

12 Bruce Stadel “Oral Contraceptives and the occurrence of disease” in Contraceptive Steroids:
Pharmacology and Safety, ed A.T. Gregoire and Richard Blye (NY and London: Plenum Press, 1986, p14-
5).
13 (Maureen Gardner, Facts about oral contraceptives, National Institute of Child Health
and Human Development, 1984, p8, p12).
According to PDRhealth.com, the side effects are “Depression, loss of menstrual periods,
migraine, nausea, vomiting, water retention, weight gain, yeast infection…. Chest pain,
coughing up blood, or shortness of breath (indicating a possible blood clot in the lung)…
Crushing chest pain or heaviness (indicating a possible heart attack)… Sudden partial or
complete loss of vision (indicating a possible blood clot in the eye); Breast lumps
(indicating possible breast cancer or fibrocystic breast disease); Severe pain or tenderness
in the stomach (indicating a possible liver tumor)….”

The pill increases the risk of cancer in women of childbearing age. When taking
hormonal contraceptives, “teenagers are especially vulnerable to breast cancer risk
because their breasts are growing,” says the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute.

According to the Medical Association and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great
Britain(14), some versions of the pill increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis by 5 times,
as reported by the British The pill doubles the risk of having a stroke and increases
slightly the risk of cervical cancer.

The birth control pill increases a woman’s chance of having breast cancer, cervical cancer
and liver cancer. Twenty one of twenty three studies of women who took the pill before
their first child showed increased risk of breast cancer. Birth control pills meddle with a
woman’s immune system, making her more likely to contract certain STDs.

The pill can cause more than 150 biological changes in a woman according to the
textbook of contraceptive practice. This can include gallbladder disease, headache,
bleeding irregularities, ectopic pregnancy, yeast infection, changes to the curvature of the
eye, excessive hair growth in unusual places, acne, and partial or complete loss of vision.
(15) There are many effects of the pill that are yet to be fully understood in the way they
damage and upset the delicate yet beautiful aspects of womanhood.

Hormonal contraceptives are not medication but steroids intended to disrupt a normal,
functioning reproductive system. The World Health Organization recognizes estrogen in
combined oral contraceptive pills (COCs) as carcinogenic. Women who took COCs
before age 20 increased their risk of dying from breast cancer by 820%.

Norplants (rods implanted under the skin) fell from grace when the side effects –
depression, excessive bleeding, weight gain and strokes – became known. The intra-
uterine device had been linked to pelvic inflammatory disease and might interfere with
implantation, causing early abortions. The progestins in all forms of hormonal
contraception, taken daily or long term, cause changes in the uterine lining, including
“atrophy.” The popular Ortho Evra patch has been linked to 23 deaths of healthy young
women from fatal blood clots, heart attacks and strokes. I could go on, and on, and on
and ariston.

14 Guardian 6th March 2009.


15 Contem. Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 1988; 19: 315-26.
There’s one group of people who definitely do not want women to find out about the
extent of damage that the pill does to a woman’s body and fertility. Given one pill called
Ortho Tri-Cyclen recorded $715 million in sales in 2003, it is patently obvious that the
pharmaceutical industry does not want the public to know how dangerous the pill is.
After all, it would dent their profits!

RESEARCH SHOWS HOW PILL AGES CERVIX


Research by Professor Erik Odeblad shows that the pill ages a woman's cervix twice as
quickly. In other words, a 24-year-old woman who has been on the Pill since she was 12
(as is not uncommon) and is now married and wants to have children may be shocked to
find that she has the cervix of a 36-year-old woman!

Prof. Erik Odeblad is Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Medical Biophysics, University of


Umeå, Sweden, and he has done a lot of research (16) into the cervix and he has described
the progressive aging of the cervix, ascending squamous metaplasia with diminution of
crypt bearing areas, with use of the oral contraceptive pill.

Professor Erik Odeblad said: "Complications arising from the use of the Pill are very
frequent. Infertility after its use for 7-15 years is a very serious problem. S crypts are very
sensitive to normal and cyclical stimulation by natural oestrogens, and the Pill causes
atrophy of these crypts. Fertility is impaired since the movement of sperm cells up the
canal is reduced. Treatment is difficult." He also wrote: "After 3 to 15 months of
contraceptive pill use, there is a greater loss of the S crypt cells than can be replaced ... A
pregnancy rejuvenates the cervix by 2-3 years, but for each year the Pill is taken, the
cervix ages by an extra year."

Science points towards the beauty of faith. There are medical signs of the beauty of
God’s plan. This is perhaps some of the most compelling evidence I have ever seen for
the clear beauty of the Church’s teaching on sexual ethics.

The British Medical Journal (17) reported on the efficacy of Natural Family Planning.
According to the World Health Organisation, 93% of women everywhere can identify
with the symptoms of NFP, which distinguish between the fertile and the infertile stages
of the menstrual cycle. Pregnancy rates depend on the motivation of couples. A study of
19,843 poor women in Indai had a pregnancy rate approaching zero. NFP is cheap,
effective and without side effects. (BMJ 1993;307:723-726 (18 September), "Natural
family planning": effective birth control supported by the Catholic Church).

Condom use is also linked to risk of Preeclampsia. Women who are not exposed to a
partner’s sperm prior to pregnancy because the couple used condoms risk this problem.
When the uterus is repeatedly exposed to sperm, a woman’s immune system gets used to
this “foreign” genetic material. Women can have an immune reaction if they do not have
prior exposure.

16 http://www.billings-ovulation-method.org.au/act/cervix/ageing.shtml
17 http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/307/6906/723
Preeclampsia affects about 7% of pregnant women. Women who used barrier methods
who had been having sex with their partners for less than 4 months prior to getting
pregnant had a 6.5 fold increased risk of getting preeclampsia (18), compared with those
who did not use barrier methods and who had been in a sexual relationship for more than
12 months.

Jesus said in the Gospel that in marriage the two become on flesh (Mark 10:6-9).
Hormones from the man can be detected in a woman’s blood stream within hours of
intercourse (Archives of sexual behaviour, Volume 31, Number 3, pp 289-293, by G.G.
Gallup Jr: R.L. Burch; S.M. Patek).

According to Reuters in London (2002),(19) hormones in semen have been shown to make
women feel good. Women whose partners don’t use condoms are less likely to feel down.
Hormones in semen may help to ease female depression. Scientists at the State University
of New York suspect that the mood altering hormones are absorbed through the vagina
and make women feel good.

Sperm is good for a woman’s body. This is another argument against the use of condoms
and cervical caps. Man’s seminal fluid has at least two dozen ingredients, such as
estrogens, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, testosterone, transforming
growth beta-factor, and several different prostaglandins. During intercourse, the woman's
body absorbs these. Researchers have shown how they help the health of the woman, help
mature her uterus and even protect the mammary gland from cancer. A woman’s body
becomes used to the man’s sperm. A man’s semen offers protection against preeclampsia.
This is the third leading cause of woman dying during childbirth. The journal of the
American medical association is more than twice as common in women who use barrier
methods of contraception.

C
The Guttmacher Institute (research arm of planned parenthood) which states no
correlation between better access to contraception and lower abortion rates. The British
medical journal showed in 10 studies worldwide that widespread availability of
contraception and abortion made no appreciable difference to pregnancy or abortion
rates.20 Even Alfred Kinsey, a lynchpin of the sexual revolution, realised that “At the risk
of sounding repetitious, I would remind the group that we have found the highest
frequency of induced abortion in the group which, in general, most frequently used
contraceptives.”21

Last year, there was a 17.4% pregnancy rate for condom users over a 12 month period.
But that includes pregnancies for women in their late 30s and 40s- teenagers are another
story. 23.2% who rely on condoms will become pregnant in a year.

18 http://www.medkb.com/Uwe/Forum.aspx/aids/2598/Condom-Use-Linked-to-Risk-of-Preeclampsia
19 http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/706504/posts
20 A Glasier, ‘Emergency Contraception’, BMJ, 333:560–561.
21 Mary S. Calderone, ed. Abortion in the United States: A conference sponsored by the PPFa and the New
York Academy of Medicine, Arden House (New York, Harper and Row, 1958), p157.
Condom failure rates for STDs are worse. An article in the journal of sexually transmitted
diseases by Fitch and al. said that none of the studies they showed any STD risk
reduction for condom users, not even for those who always used condoms.

D
The Environmental Lobby

The contraceptive pill is a major cause of male infertility in the West and is also polluting
the environment. According to a recent document by the international federation of
Catholic Doctors, “an essential issue that is becoming increasingly urgent is the presence
of hormones in drinking water, mainly caused by the pill. We have to take notice of the
fact that over the last fifty years spermatozoa levels in men have dropped by 50%.The pill
also causes metabolic changes, psychiatric disturbances and disturbances in sexual
behaviour. The possibility of malformations in children during or after use of the pill
should also be taken into consideration.”(22)

According to Pedro Jose Maria Simon Castellvi, President of the International Federation
of Catholic Medical Associations, the Pill "has for some years had devastating effects on
the environment by releasing tonnes of hormones into nature through female urine".

The environment lobby has yet to fully realise the damage that Oral contraceptives may
be doing to our ecosystem. Many still subscribe to the anachronistic message that humans
are bad for the planet. The macabre myth of overpopulation has very clearly
been discredited, in fact, many Western nations are rapidly making the transition to a
predominantly elderly population. The unintended consequences of synthetic, anabolic,
carcinogenic, nonbiodegradable sex steroids drugs are still being studied (A.K.A. the pill,
oral contraceptives or hormones). It surely can’t be too difficult to convince some
environmentalists of the beauty and benefits of natural family planning. It’s natural and in
harmony with your body and soul, after all. Pope Benedict has called for a human
ecology, meant in the right way. But First, we might need to remind them about the myth
of overpopulation.

Overpopulation

The overpopulation myth has been around for quite a long time. It has never been true.
Malthus recommended killing the poor to save resources for the rich. He blamed medical
advances for causing a surplus of humanity.

Malthus said, "All the children born, beyond what would be required to keep up the
population to this level, must necessarily perish, unless room be made for them by the
deaths of grown persons. . . To act consistently therefore, we should facilitate, instead of
foolishly and vainly endeavouring to impede, the operations of nature in producing this
mortality; and if we dread the too frequent visitation of the horrid form of famine, we
should sedulously encourage the other forms of destruction, which we compel nature to
use. Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor, we should encourage contrary

22 http://frblin.club.fr/fiamc/04texts/ehmann/HumanaeEng04R.pdf
habits. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the
houses, and court the return of the plague. In the country, we should build our villages
near stagnant pools, and particularly encourage settlements in all marshy and
unwholesome situations.”(23)

Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University wrote the population bomb in 1968, perpetuating the
myth that human reproduction has doomed us all. Ehrlich predicted famines the decade
after publication of his book:

"The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines—
hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs
embarked upon now."(24)

The United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) receives hundreds of
millions of dollars every year to reduce the number of people in developing nations.

Jacqueline Kasun in her book, The war against population, successfully debunks the
population myth with considerable style. She shows the economics and ideology of
population control that has been generated. Mark Steyn has argued, once populations lose
the primal instinct to reproduce, they also lose the will to defend themselves, create
wealth and generally improve society.

The biologist Francis P. Felice has shown that all the people in the world could be put
into the state of Texas, forming one giant city with a population density less than that of
many existing cities, and leaving the rest of the world empty. Each man, woman and
child in the 1984 world population could be given more than 1,500 square feet of land
space in such a city (the average home in the US ranges between 1400 and 1800 square
feet). If one third of the space of this city were devoted to parks and one third to industry,
each family could still occupy a single story dwelling of average U.S. size.

In a similar vein, R.L. Sassone has calculated that there would be standing room for the
entire population of the world within one quarter of the area of Jacksonville, Florida. (25)

So if overpopulation is not happening, then what about the scourge of AIDS, surely we
need contraception in order to combat that deadly disease? Why doesn’t the Catholic
Church help with this issue?

AIDS, Condoms and the Catholic Church

Pope Benedict has recently been quoted, talking about the HIV/AIDS issue onboard the
plane travelling on his apostolic visit to Cameroon. He said that, “The problem of
HIV/AIDS cannot be overcome with mere slogans. If the soul is lacking, if Africans do

23 Malthus, Book IV, Chap. V – Essay on the Principle of Population.


24 Paul R Ehrlich, The Population Bomb (New York: Ballantine Books, 1968).
25 Kasun, War against population, p38.
not help one another, the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the
contrary, we risk worsening the problem.” He suggested that the humanisation of
sexuality and true friendship would help bring solutions and help to those who suffer.

Jon Snow claimed on channel 4 news (UK) that the Pope by this policy had “condemned
many Africans to death.” This assertion is total nonsense. The Catholic Church provides
25% of the total care given to HIV/AIDS victims, placing itself among the leading
advocates in the field. The effectiveness of typical condom use is around 80%. If
someone had a gun pointed at your head in a game of Russian roulette and said that if one
of the bullets was real you would have a 20% chance of exposing yourself to serious
injury, would you still want to play? Condoms do not provide total protection against this
deadly disease. In fact, they lull many into a false sense of security. There is considerable
risk of slippage or breakage with condom use.

HIV/AIDS dramatically reverses the role of sex as an activity that brings the gift of life to
one that ends up killing you. When sex is understood and lived as a gift between a man
and woman in an exclusive, fully committed relationship the probably of contracting
HIV/AIDS declines dramatically. Promoting monogamy and abstinence is good because
people are capable of living this life and it will stop the disease dead in its tracks.

It is ideologically flawed to promote condoms in countries where there is serious


malnutrition and even starvation. Rather than sending food, clean water, help with
education and agriculture, why should be have the patronizing arrogance to bombard
them with latex? You can’t eat condoms. Many young men in Africa refuse to wear
condoms due to personal taste. A key way to support development in Africa is by
concentrating on simple goods rather than ideology.

A study commissioned by UNAIDS concluded, "Prevention campaigns relying primarily


on the use of condoms have not been responsible for turning around any generalized
epidemic." Researchers at the Harvard AIDS Prevention Research Project recently
reminded us that in every African country in which HIV infections have declined, this
decline has been associated with a decrease in multiple partners and often premarital sex
as well. This is not true of use of condoms. Moreover, it was found, according to the
Journal of International Development, that "the promotion of condoms at an early stage
proved to be counter-productive in Botswana , whereas the lack of condom promotion
during the 1980s and early 1990s contributed to the relative success of behaviour change
strategies in Uganda."

According to G.K. Chesterton, “Bad ideas kill.” The promotion of so called ‘safe’ sex
when there is a deadly and uncontrollable virus around is a lie that has the potential to
kill. It is undeniable that the promotion of condoms goes hand in hand with encouraging
promiscuity. Condoms symbolise value free sex where consequences are discarded for
the sake of pleasure and use. In Adams City High School in Colorado it was noted that
“In the three years since this high school became one of the first to hand out condoms, the
birth rate has soared to 31% above the national average of 58.1 births per 1,000 students
annually.”26

Cardinal William Napier of South Africa has spoken about HIV/AIDS in Africa,
exposing the reality of the situation. He said, “If the media could show us one example of
when condoms have actually succeeded in arresting the rate of infection let alone turning
it around then we could have a debate about whether condoms are the answer.” We do
have one example of a success story against HIV/AIDS in Africa. This is from Uganda,
where a clear message from the government encouraged people to change their behaviour
to dramatic effect. It decreased the rate of infection from 29% to 6%.

Botswana was a country that decided to heavily promote condoms. It went from a
country with one of the lowest rates of HIV/AIDS to one of the highest. In 2001, 38% of
pregnant women were HIV positive. A member of the Botswana parliament said its
people had a stark choice, “Abstain or die.”

There is also a lot to be learnt comparing the Philippines with Thailand. Both south-east
Asian countries have a similar population size. In 1991, the WHO predicted that by 1999,
both countries would have between 60-90,000 deaths from HIV/AIDS per annum.
Thailand promoted a 100% condom use programme. By August 2003, there were
125,000 deaths from HIV/AIDS in Thailand. In the Philippines, an abstinence message
was strongly promoted. In September 2003, there were 260 deaths from HIV/AIDS.27
This is a startling miscalculation and shows the effectiveness of abstinence education.

If we are to learn anything from these accounts, it is that chastity education can help to
eradicate HIV/AIDS and the ideal of one partner for life is a fulfilling and
accomplishable aim. The promotion of contraception promotes an increase in sexual
activity. The Catholic Church promotes chastity, monogamy, fidelity and responsibility –
these are sure ways to help end the scourge of this terrible disease.

Contraception and the rejection of God

Contraception is wrong because it is a denial of God. Here is what John Paul Said about
the issue:

"At the origin of every human person there is a creative act of God. No man comes into
existence by chance; he is always the object of God's creative love. From this
fundamental truth of faith and reason it follows that the procreative capacity, inscribed in
human sexuality is - in its deepest truth - a cooperation with God's creative power. And it
also follows that man and woman are not arbiters, are not the masters of this same
capacity, called as they are, in it and through it, to be participants in God's creative
decision. When, therefore, through contraception, married couples remove from the
exercise of their conjugal sexuality its potential procreative capacity, they claim a power
which belongs solely to God: the power to decide in a final analysis the coming into
existence of a human person. They assume the qualification of not being co-operators in

26 USA Today, May 19th, 1992.


27 http://www.hli.org/condom_facts_thailand_philippines_aids_rates.html.
God's creative power, but the ultimate depositaries of the source of human life. In this
perspective, contraception is to be judged objectively so profoundly unlawful, as never to
be, for any reason, justified. To think or to say the contrary is equal to maintaining that in
human life, situations may arise in which it is lawful not to recognize God as God."28

The rejection of Contraception, according to JP2,


●“is equivalent to refusing God himself the obedience of our intelligence.” (November
12, 1988), “equivalent to denying the Catholic concept of revelation.” (April 10, 1986).
●To hold out for exceptions on contraception is as if God’s grace were not sufficient is a
form of atheism (September 17, 1983).
●“What is being questioned by rejecting that teaching… is the very idea of the holiness
of God.” (November 12, 1988)

Responsible Parenthood

Paul VI in Humanae Vitae called for responsible parenthood. Some people claim that
they have “unwanted pregnancies.” There is no such thing. In the language of the body,
every pregnancy is wanted when sexual intercourse occurs.

A baby is the physical embodiment of a couple’s love. For couples, their love is so
strong, that after 9 months, they gave it a name. The gift of sexual love and procreation
and the ability to co-create an eternal, immortal soul is something the angels do not
possess. To be able to co-create somebody that was not there before is truly incredible.
But, as Spiderman knows, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Fertility is not a disease that needs to be suppressed or feared. It is a normal aspect of


health which ought to be understood, treasured and respected by men and women. It is
good to be fertile, normal and healthy. At present, many have been lied to about what
‘reproductive health’ actually means. This phrase has been used to promote poor choices
that are destructive personally and culturally. Such practices as sterilisation, artificial
reproduction, contraception, cohabitation, pre marital sex are part of the culture of death
and encourage single parenthood, divorce, abortion, homosexuality, family domestic
violence and social disintegration.

But amidst this bad news there is a quiet counter cultural revolution going on. There are
good doctors who are involved in family planning, infertility treatment and
gynaecological health care. Dr Phil Boyle is one such doctor in Ireland, advocating the
use of fertility care and Naprotechnology as part of this clear and healthy vision of the
human person. I recently went to a talk where Dr Phil told me of an extreme case. A
woman experienced 6 miscarriages and came for treatment. But with the use of
Naprotechnology, she was able to conceive at 40 years old and have a child! This is a
mini miracle of moral medicine! This reminded me of the book of Tobit where Sarah has
seven husbands but they all died on the wedding night. Tobias prays and is helped by an
Angel and they live happily ever after.

28 L'Osservatore Romano, Oct. 10, 1983.


Boyle stated that the future of NFP might be with the pre treatment of couples. This can
solve problems before you even knew they existed. You can successfully chart a
woman’s cycle to find out the details of fertility and to avoid any problems. This type of
medicine is far better than IVF which is an immoral and daunting experience I wouldn’t
want even my worst enemy to go through.

These new methods are a work of love, inspired by God and involve good science and
medicine fostering a climate of truth and beauty for couples. This is empowering couples
to embrace the theology of the body.

Humanae Vitae (n.24) called for men of science to develop means of fertility regulation
in line with the moral law. Professor Thomas Hilger and Billings were able to do
precisely that. Naprotechnology is a new reproductive science that has developed with
precision and considerable accuracy. The journal of reproductive medicine (June ’98)
reported that a 5 study composite showed the Creighton model was 96.8% effective at
avoiding pregnancy. Having said this, it is possible to practice NFP with a contraceptive
mentality.

Naprotechnology is successful both at avoiding and achieving pregnancy. It has an


average success rate of 50% for infertile couples. Even couples that failed IVF have a 20-
30% chance of success and it treats recurrent miscarriages with an 80% success. However
it cannot help couples who have past the menopause, have their tubes blocked or are not
able to produce sperm. But, it can help some couples where IVF cannot help.

Naprotechnology restores the link between love and life. There is a direct link between
contraception and unplanned pregnancies, STDs and abortion. Contraception attempts to
sever the link between love and life. It involves a subconscious mental shift in favour of
abortion. The modern scientific mentality tries to tell us, “Let’s do it, because we can.”
But the essence of life is a mystery which cannot be measured scientifically. This
mystery must be treated with reverence. Although we can manipulate human life, we
cannot create life purely by ourselves because we are always co-creators with God.

Infertility is set to be a huge issue in the coming decades in Britain. 1 in 6 couples are
likely to have fertility problems. IVF is an expensive, immoral, damaging and dangerous
procedure that hurts a lot. Some things in life cannot be delegated to a third party. Playing
God by creating and destroying embryos is tampering with human life and is a
horrendous crime. Such immoral practice has left 2 million embryos dead in the UK
alone. Every person that has been involved with IVF will have to give an account of their
responsibility for the destruction of human life. If you have blood on your hands at the
end of your life when you go to meet the creator you must explain this. God knows us
even before we are born. In Jeremiah 1:5 it states: “"Before I formed you in the womb I
knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” A child is the fruit of love not
the labour of love.

Father Frank Pavone once stated that the quest for ethical medical practice is in fact a
spiritual battle between life and death. Christ gave us his body that others might live.
Abortion supporters cling to their bodies that others might die. Abortion teaches one to
sacrifice the other person that I might live. But Jesus’ life was given up in self giving, life
giving love. Einstein said that there were two ways to live your life- either nothing is a
miracle or everything is a miracle. St Paul is more inclined to favour the latter proposition
because God “by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all
that we ask or think,” (Ephesians 3:20). For this we should give God glory to all
generations for ever and ever. The safe and ethical transition from generation to
generation will help us to keep singing his praises so that he might find faith on earth
when he comes again.

In his Letter to Artists John Paul II wrote, “All men and women are entrusted with the
task of crafting their own life. In a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a
masterpiece.” You may not be a fine artist or performer, but you are the artist of your
soul, working under a great Master. With this great Master, you can co-create to bring
more souls into the world.

The promotion of natural family planning

In the diocese of LaCrosse in Wisconsin, a team marketed NFP in 2003. They developed
and released radio adverts, newspaper adverts, four billboards, and other publicity stunts.
Their slogan was simple: “99% effective. 100% natural. Your body knows.” Their basic
but very well planned campaign yielded a 500% increase in the number of calls, and a
marked increase in the number of couples receiving NFP instruction.

Here are some suggestions of how to promote NFP in your area (on top of telling the 25
people about this method).

On Discerning the difference between true and false intimacy

True intimacy in a relationship does not necessarily need to express itself physically. The
building up of trust and friendship prior to physical intimacy helps us to discern whether
a relationship is healthy and right. Feelings have their importance, but if relied on too
heavily can lead one astray. If you are in a relationship that takes you away from friends
and family a lot – such exclusivity in a partner is not always healthy. Secrecy in a
relationship can lead to serious problems. A recent advert on the tube states: “Can a
forbidden love ever stay secret?” The most important question to ask is ‘Is this
relationship leading us both closer to God?’

The problem with fast developing, overly intimate relationships is that they tend to be
like cheap champagne: they fizzle out. By revealing too much of ourselves early on,
especially physically, we compromise on our true worth. The book of Song of Songs tells
us not to arouse or “Stir up love before its own time” (Song of Songs 3:5). A love that is
patient and kind has a lifetime to develop two into one. According to one writer, “There
are many ways of expressing your affection toward the person you love without
excessive physical contact. Many of these alternatives can be more creative, exciting and
romantic. They demonstrate true love and concern for the other person’s best interest.
The recognition that you love someone enough not to want to compromise their
standards, or put their spiritual walk in jeopardy, demonstrates more love than anything
else I can think of.”(29)
Later on, a false intimacy is one that refuses to allow union of spouses. Josh Harris
identifies that deepening intimacy without defining a level of commitment is dangerous.
He says, “It’s like going mountain climbing with a partner who isn’t sure that she wants
the responsibility of holding your rope.”(30)

Rather than two becoming one, two remain two. Marriage is always a step of faith,
combining commitment and intimacy. Cohabitation is a seedbed for false intimacy and
commitment, leading to potentially lethal marital problems. Contraceptives and pre-
nuptial agreements create barriers in a relationship which prevent true union of the
spouses in heart, mind and soul. These compromise on intimacy because they create
distance and distrust in a relationship. They both emphasize individuality above
communality. Being exposed in intimacy, true love only happens when we hold nothing
back from those we love most. The total, fruitful and faithful nature of love then is able to
bring forth its harvest.

29 Josh Mcdowell, Why Wait? What you need to know about the teen sexuality crisis.
Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 1987, p358.
30 Josh Harris, I kissed dating goodbye, multnomah books, Oregon, 1997, p32.
Natural Family Planning Resources

Free NFP Manual at http://www.nfpandmore.org/

The Fertility Care Centre London http://www.fertilitycarecentre.co.uk/


Promotes the Creighton method of NFP - 02074370892

Billings ovulation method: http://www.boma-usa.org/


This is a simple, scientific method of NFP, in use for over 50 years.

NFP Outreach: http://nfpoutreach.org/


Useful NFP information

One more soul: http://www.omsoul.com/


Non profit organization committed to spreading the news about the blessings of children
and the harms of contraception.

Pope Paul VI institute http://www.popepaulvi.com/


Promoting morally and professionally acceptable reproductive health services.

Family of the Americas: http://www.familyplanning.net


Useful organization promoting family life and NFP

Couple to couple league http://www.ccli.org


Building healthy marriages through NFP since 1971.

www.woomb.org Billings observation method of Natural Family Planning

www.billingsnaomi.org National Association of Ovulation Method Instructors (Billings).

www.lifefertility.org.uk LIFE FertilityCare program (UK).


http://28daysonthepill.com/ - ‘Super Size me’ version of the pill
LIFE health centre 01512280353

www.linacre.org
Linacre centre for healthcare ethics.
Good counsel network- 02077231760 info@goodcounselnetwork.freeserve.co.uk

Books, CDs and Leaflets:


The art of Natural Family Planning by John and Sheila Kippley, (Couple to Couple
League, Cincinnati, 1989).
The Pill: Are you sure it’s for you? By Alexandra Pope and Jane Bennet (ORION, 2009)
Does the birth control pill cause abortions? By Randy Alcorn, 1997.
Why NFP? Practicing Chastity within Marriage by Jason Evert, CD available from
www.catholic.com
Donum Vitae, Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith, Pope John Paul II.
Evangelium Vitae, Encyclical Letter, Pope John Paul II.
Contraception: Why not? A CD by Janet Smith.
Contraception Natural Family Planning
Similarities:
Enable couples to have sexual intercourse while reducing prospect of pregnancy
Differences
Violation of nature Self-Mastery
Physical

1. Chemical ones and IUD are abortifacients 1. No bad physical side effects
2. Most attack a woman’s health; involve ingestion of 2. Extremely reliable for preventing pregnancy
synthetic hormones 3. Used with ecological breastfeeding, promotes
a. Severe side effects important bonding; breastfeeding also reduces
i. Cysts chances of breast cancer
ii. Migraines 4. Deprives woman of sexual intercourse when
iii. Strokes hormones produce greatest sexual desire
b. Common side effects
i. Irritability
ii. Increased propensity to
depression
iii. Weight gain
iv. Reduced Sexual Desire
2. Greater incidence of sexually transmitted diseases
(because of greater sexual activity outside of
marriage)
3. Unreliable for preventing pregnancy
4. Deprives women of hormones that produce sexual
desire

Social
1. Leads to sex outside of marriage 1. Difficult for unmarried to use
2. Increased number of abortions 2. Upon learning NFP sexually activity teenagers often
3. Increased number of single parents stop being sexually active
a. Greater poverty for women and children 3. Upon learning NFP cohabiting couples generally
2. Increased number of children not being cared for by either split or marry
two parents 4. Costs nothing to use
a. More crime
b. More addiction
c. More depression
3. Expensive
Relational
1. Premature Sexual Activity: heartbreak; loss of trust; 1. Very few NFP marriages end in divorce
loss of self-esteem; STDs 2. Accept “surprise” pregnancies
2. Bad preparation for marriage 3. Better Communication
a. Cohabitation 4. Greater mutual respect
b. Lose critical faculty 5. Greater trust
c. Avoid having crucial conversations 6. Abstinence can be good for couple
d. Marry rather than split up and start all over a. Fosters virtue of self-mastery and
2. Resent “accidental” pregnancies generosity
3. Leads to divorce b. Promotes self-esteem
a. Did not choose spouse carefully c. Creates courtship period to be followed by
b. Don’t experience bonding of non- honeymoon
contraceptive sex d. For those who were chaste before
c. Fewer children and later in marriage marriage, recalls joy of courtship
i. Less reason to stay together e. Couples become better lovers: sexual act
ii. Don’t acquire virtues becomes more the result of choice than of
developed through parenting an urgent need
4. More Adultery 2. More tranquil household: good example to teenage
5. Sometimes become materialistic: value material well- children
being over more children 3. Become less materialistic and more open to new life
Spiritual
1. Treat fertility as a defect 1. Respect the truth of sexuality and the language of the
2. Shut God out of creative arena body
3. Resent Church for outdated teaching 2. Become cooperators and co-creators with God
3. Appreciate wisdom of Church
Learn about the beauty and splendour of God’s plan for love and life.

•The talk gives a detailed explanation of the basics of NFP. Learn about a method that is
safe, inexpensive and reliable.
•The theological and biological difference between contraception and NFP will be
explained.
•The divorce rate of couples who use NFP is around 2%, compared to 40% among
contraceptive users.
•Further information is given on the damage that some forms of contraception do to the
body.