Tuesday, November 2, 2010

From a TPC Reader: Oral Contraceptives

A guest writer for TPC, Matt, has sent this nice article about Oral Contraceptives.


Oral Contraceptives: The Universal Enemy

It has become apparent that conservative and moderate Catholics will never resolve their differing views on sexuality and contraception. While conservative Catholics point out the bible states that acceptable sexual acts must both promote union and be a procreative act, moderate Catholics have taken a far more utilitarian view of sexuality. They instead argue that family planning is an essential part of life today with responsible couples opting to act in compliance with life’s biological rhythms to avoid unintended pregnancy. This group instead feels the act of sex does not have a strictly procreative function. However, both groups of Catholics should be in agreement that decidedly unnatural forms of contraception are a sin and contradict the bible’s assurance that, “Children are a blessing (Psalm 127:3) to be cherished and cared for when given.”

Nevertheless, many couples have recently opted for more convenient forms of contraception to control family size. Even more disturbing, unmarried, young couples have also seized these forms of birth control to satisfy their desires. Worse still, countless young, single people engage in sex freely because an explosion of modern contraceptives apparently makes it safe. However, the entire notion of unnatural birth control methods, like the ones countless young people today turn to, perverts the very notion of children and the family itself.

Indeed, couples viewing sex as a legitimate shared activity before marriage fail to live life for the glory of God. Children, for sexually active, unmarried couples, become viewed as a potential burden rather than a sacred gift. Again, the act of sex becomes deplorable when seen simply as a mere form of entertainment. Without proper thought to its gravity and implications, sex becomes a base act better suited to animals. In this way, the entire bond of a relationship is corrupted, with carnal pleasure replacing deeper, worthy forms of connection.

Mutual spousal respect can also become subordinate to the selfish pleasure derived from irresponsible sex. Especially for women, who bear the burden of most premarital sex consequences, this disrespect is evident. Viewing each other as sexual objects, a couple’s view of each other becomes distorted through irresponsible sex. This is then manifested in the willingness to compromise partner safety through destructive contraceptive methods. Without the sanctity of marriage, this unconscionable decision is made easier. Again, it is these readily-available, socially-acceptable forms of contraception that enable this trend to take root.

This mutual disrespect can be seen in society today as dangerous forms of contraception are carelessly endorsed everywhere, from the mainstream media to schools. One of the most physically dangerous of these birth control options, oral contraceptives, is also the most popular form of contraception. Young women are given prescriptions by their doctors, regardless of their marital status and the pills are affordable for most. Indeed, the temptation for young people to succumb to media and societal pressure, become sexually active and turn to these drugs is easy. Women need only take a pill each day to find cheap emotional fulfillment and engage in all the pregnancy-free sex they can want. Unfortunately, certain side effects are common.

Because oral contraceptives literally alter women’s hormones, their dangerous side effects should come as little surprise. However, most users are shocked when they learn of the inherent risks one need take to engage in reckless sex with these drugs. In addition, these hormone-altering methods, while effective at preventing pregnancy, can falsely imply complete protection to any and all outcomes of casual sex, including sexually transmitted disease. Although schools have fulfilled their minimal obligation and warned students about the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, this incomplete education might simply have prompted more confused young women to turn to this drug as a safeguard, not fully understanding its intended purpose.

Indeed, oral contraceptive misconceptions are easily understood when one examines the deceptive marketing manufacturers use to lure young people to their products. Bayer, the manufacturer of several popular oral contraceptives, creates multimillion-dollar ad campaigns yearly, declaring their birth control pills total quality-of-life improvement options. According to such advertisements, these drugs treat everything from acne to premenstrual depression. However, the FDA of the U.S. recently requested that Bayer remove misleading television commercials, citing the fact that none of those claims have been conclusively proven. Even more condemning for this drug manufacturer, in 2009 the FDA cited the corporation for failing to follow the correct quality control procedures at a plant that manufactures hormone ingredients.

Despite these revelations about this particular contraceptive, the worst side effect of this drug remains the violent physical effects it can have on women. Continuously-emerging complaints against these contraceptives, exemplified by pending Yaz lawsuits, indicate that the safety of such birth control options is far from guaranteed. Users of this particular product have seen serious and sometimes fatal side effects including heart attack, stroke, blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, and gallbladder disease. Even if women learn of these dangers and discontinue their use of these dangerous contraceptive drugs, permanent side effects like the possibility of infertility are possible. Originally introduced in the 1960’s, some argue these oral contraceptives might actually have led to the elevated cancer incidences for women in the U.S.

Although easily embraced by young people wishing to become sexually active as harmless and a “safe alternative,” these drugs literally disrupt all important aspects of life including faith, children, marriage and health. Unfortunately, contraception is a viral trend in America that will continue to be spread because of its profitability. Oral contraceptives are the most widely-utilized contraceptive on the market and because of their success in this country other nations will undoubtedly adopt this dangerous method of cheating nature and God as well. Whatever one’s particular feelings towards sexuality and ethical living, the discussion of oral contraceptives extends beyond a mere debate in biblical semantics and instead resides in the serious discussion of marriage, mortal sin and obeying the word of God.

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