This past weekend I was reading posts in a Facebook group when I came across a girl stating that she was elated to have learned that she is not pregnant. Her story was sympathetic at first, she’d experienced several miscarriages and so she did not want to try to conceive right now. She explained that she has been a “nervous wreck worrying myself to death” over the thought of becoming pregnant. Then she stated “I’m a christian, & my husband & I don’t believe in Birth Control. so we just use the pull out method to try to prevent. I know that isnt 100%. but it has been effective for us.” and this did not sit right with me. I attempted to reason with her, stating that pulling out IS using birth control, so she should simply get herself something truly reliable so that each month isn’t torture for her. This was when I was accused of attacking her faith just to push my agenda on her. She stated “Bringing something up. I obviously already know isnt attemping to do anything but push your beliefs on someone else…I’m aware its a form of BC. hense why I said WE USE THE P.O MEHTOD TO (PREVENT) We dont believe in condoms , NOR do we believe in other things.” We went back and forth a bit. I tried to get her to realize that what she was saying basically boiled down to “I don’t believe in birth control, so I use birth control.”. It wasn’t about attacking her religion, it was about getting her to see that if she can be OK with using this form of birth control, perhaps she could find something else that would help ease her mind more and thus take away some unneeded stress so she could heal. I was floored when I read what she wrote next.
“Thats kind of offensive. I clearly stated above we dont do that.. So why even bring that up? Thats kind of rude.. My reglion is taken very seriously. and while that may be true, denying your husband your body is also a sin.” It doesn’t shock me at all that she found my words rude. I was using logic and she was using faith. What did shock me was that she was choosing to emotionally torture herself each month because she cannot deny her husband access to her body. My initial reaction was, do people really believe this crap? I didn’t have to wait long for a response. Before I could even post my reply another woman chimed in and said “the pull out method is considered a form of birth control, how ever this is her life and she follows in her husbands foot steps as she should being a Christian woman.” . Well there you go. Don’t dare save yourself agony by having a partner who respects that you are trying to heal from multiple miscarriages, God said it is your job to serve your man. All I could do was shake my head and think, I’ve never been so thankful to be an Atheist.
All the while I was engaging another side of the conversation, presented by a Mormon who was getting her birth control information from the Catholic church. She wrote ” On a separate note, my husband and I practice something nicknamed the mucus method. You can call a local catholic church and ask about natural family planning classes. (you don’t have to be Catholic to take the classes. I’m Mormon and they were all really nice to me) But they say it’s 99% effective. Just in case you were looking for something in addition to the pull out method to ease your mind.”
As some of you know from reading my “A Uterus from Nothing” series, I have learned a lot about what you need to do to get pregnant. Tracking cervical mucus is a popular method of trying to determine ovulation “naturally” and though it can be very accurate for women with regular cycles it is not fool proof and certainly not a reliable form of birth control. The believer tried to justify that if you know when you are ovulating you know when not to have sex . This would be fine except that sperm can live in the body for several days, so unless you can predict which day your cervical mucus WILL be it’s strongest, you are putting yourself at risk for an unwanted pregnancy. On top of that, not all women are able to detect the changes in cervical mucus because their body just doesn’t produce the excess amount that is considered “normal”. Outside factors can also effect the amount of cervical mucus you produce, these may be things you’d never think of like common feminine products (soaps, douches, deodorizing spray)… one month can be different from another so while you are thinking it is a “safe day” you are really ovulating and potentially creating a life. So even though she was right that this would be more acceptable as far as not technically being birth control, she was not right that it is a truly effective way to put your mind at ease. All the believer had to say was “My goodness, don’t you like to argue. All of this is covered in the class. No further comment.”. Once again, I explained that it is not about arguing but simply about providing accurate information. Of course there are “natural” methods out there, but by utilizing what science gave us, such as pills and IUDs, you are able to give yourself a real chance to NOT have an unplanned, unwanted child and I will never understand what is so wrong with that.
Shortly after that statement I was kicked out of the group. I am hoping that I made an impact, but somehow I think my words fell on deaf ears. Just remember that we have real options out there and that there is nothing wrong with not wanting to conceive. Your obligation should not be to pull out for God, but rather should be to always make the responsible choice… especially when it involves another life.