Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 15 October |
Saint of the Day: St. Teresa of Avila
Aleteia logo
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

The Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly

Gido

Kathy Schiffer - published on 07/24/14


Humanae Vitae” (On the Regulation of Birth). The encyclical reiterated the constant Catholic teaching that artificial contraception distorts the nature and purpose of sex.

Ethical Consequences – The Pill as Abortifacient. If you’re pro-life, as I am, you believe that deliberately killing a child in the womb is a grave wrong. But one of the ways that the birth control pill works is just that. The use of combined oral contraceptives atrophies the uterine lining, preventing the proliferation of vascular tissue needed for a newly-conceived embryo to implant. The inability to implant and access nutrition from the mother results in the death of the week-old human embryo.

Health Consequences – Link to Breast Cancer. As the Pill increasingly became the method of choice for women choosing to delay or avoid pregnancy, researchers began to identify a problem:  women who used hormonal contraceptives began to show higher than average rates of breast cancer, and possibly increases in other cancers, as well. Whereas feminists had originally hailed the Pill as an “equalizer” that gave them the same sexual freedom enjoyed by men, this new development caused many of them to denounce oral contraceptives as a male invention designed to facilitate male sexual freedom at the cost of health risks to women.

Environmental Consequences – Where Are the Macho Fish? In our environmentally-conscious society, it is perhaps this last complex of problems that will have the greatest impact on consumer attitudes toward the Pill. The estrogen consumed by women in the form of contraceptive pills, patches and rings doesn’t just disappear. Estrogen is excreted in urine and enters rivers and groundwater wherever sewage ends up. It is non-biodegradable so water treatment plants are powerless to remove it from water (including our drinking water). Fish and wildlife ingest estrogen in the water. The phenomenon of ambiguously-sexed fish is widespread and well-reported. Like the canary in the mine, these genetically impaired fish in waters contaminated with estrogen sound an alarm to environmentalists.

Social Consequences – Do You Love Me? In the days before the oral contraceptive, a couple understood fertility to be an integral part of their identity. Reaching that depth of love in which the man and woman choose to devote their lives to one another, they decide to marry. With confidence in the spouse’s life-long love and commitment, the woman freely enters into a one-flesh union with her beloved; and should God choose, this physical symbol of love and unity may result in the ultimate gift of self: the embodiment of love in the creation of another person.  

But without this depth of commitment, many women now engage in sex just to “hold onto” the man, or simply for physical pleasure. But we are created for authentic love, and there will always be that nagging question after nonmarital sex: Does he really love me?

Kathy Schifferis a freelance writer and speaker, and her blog Seasons of Grace can be found on the Catholic Portal at Patheos.  

  • 1
  • 2
Tags:
ContraceptionEnvironmentTechnology
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Larry Peterson
This is the only officially recognized Marian apparition in the U...
2
Philip Kosloski
A scientist describes the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima
3
NIGHTBIRDE
Cerith Gardiner
Nightbirde finds inspiration in Joan of Arc
4
AVENIDO BROTHERS
Agnès Pinard Legry
Three brothers ordained priests on the same day in the Philippine...
5
Cerith Gardiner
Archbishop gives little girl a beautiful response about why God a...
6
POPE JOHN JOHN XXIII
Philip Kosloski
Vatican II’s primary goal, according to St. John XXIII
7
GETAFE
Dolors Massot
Two sisters become nuns at the same time in Spain
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.