*Disclaimer: I am away on a cruise and may not have access to update/edit this post or moderate comments. Please be charitable!*
I’ll be honest—sometimes evangelizing others is a struggle. Sometimes evangelizing myself is an even bigger struggle. “NFP and no birth control” can be one of the hardest issues to cheerlead. I’ve no objection to the spiritual and moral rationale, mind you. But when it comes to the practicalities, and what Saint John Paul II calls “lived experience” in Love and Responsibility (writing as Karol Wojtyla), I find sometimes we’re not as great as we could be.
Issue: Whenever someone writes about how NaPro solutions are better than the Pill for medical reasons, they neglect the following:
– One NaPro solution for a common problem the Pill abates involves multiple, more invasive (and likely more costly) treatments. For example, endometriosis and PCOS can be resolved through laparoscopic surgeries. While effective, (though if problematic uterine lining comes back, you have to have more) they’re still much more involved than taking a pill…
– Those listings of NaPro and pro-life, non-prescribing doctors—some states don’t have any. Or they’re a really far drive. When you tell random women on the Internet they can just go online to such-and-such a site to find a doctor near her, she thinks it will be a reasonable drive. Most women cannot drive 3+ hours for a doctor’s appointment. (Ex. I found one in my new state. One. And no, she does not take my insurance.)
– It can be such a fight with insurance companies to get your very legitimate treatment covered—why pricey laparoscopic surgery when the Pill is so much cheaper. I mean, I suppose you write off the co-pay on your taxes, but that up front cost hurts the budget now. If your works-with-your-faith doctor even takes your insurance, that is.
Issue: Some of the arguments are focused on the negative, and if a woman is relying on the Pill because she sees pregnancy as a negative, snark is not going to help sway her.
- “The Pill’s a carcinogen.” Yes, but in the hardened mind, every medication carries risk or side effects, and not being pregnant is worth it to many women.
- “Who wants to be chained to a Pill every day at the exact time?” No one, but isn’t it also “chaining” to have to take a temperature just so and discern consistency of mucus and potentially use a monitor, too?
- The Pill (and every other non-permanent option) is not effective. Meet my “Pill baby!” Ok. I see your Pill baby and raise you a Clear Blue Baby, a Billings baby, and a Creighton baby. Believe me, I –and many of my friends–have heard of far more NFP babies when TTA (trying to avoid) than from women who used other means over the same course of time.
When it comes to this most intimate aspect of their being, women want confidence, assurance, and in many cases, certainty. I’ve been through this with my non-Catholic friends. They can’t be reached until we meet them where they’re at and can address all their questions.
How can we do better? That comes Thursday!