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How about a little self-control?

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wow. Brendan McPhillips (“Contraception not to blame,” Sept. 3) who are you? Obviously not someone who is able to “take into account the natural rhythms [of a woman’s reproductive cycle] to regulate birth without offending the moral principles” of the Catholic church and natural law.

I happen to be the pregnant wife a Notre Dame graduate student – happily married two years, current employee of Notre Dame and excited to stay at home and raise my family (whether we are blessed with one child or fifteen). I have lived by the Catholic teachings on sexuality, contraception and moral behavior outlined in Humane Vitae. I can tell you that both Pope Pius VI and Professor Emeritus Rice are correct in their assessment of contraception and abortion. What it comes down to is self control and the sincere love of one’s spouse by refusing to make another person the object of one’s sexual passions. If you want to “be smart about” and “protect yourself” from sexual difficulties, don’t have sex outside of marriage and marry someone who does the same. It’s kind of impossible to get an STD from a virgin. And in marriage an “unplanned pregnancy” doesn’t necessarily mean an unwanted pregnancy.

Using contraception promotes selfish behavior, which stems from the lack of self-control. It gives an excuse to satisfy one’s sexual appetites at the expense of another. And it causes harm. Emotional (“he broke up with me after we had sex!”), physical (a myriad of health problems are associated with the Pill, including breast cancer), spiritual (from turning your back on the church’s teachings) – need I go on?

Some contraceptives are also abortifacants – which means they also cause the murder of an unborn child. In fact, there is an undeniable connection between contraception and abortion. Brendan McPhillips, you ridicule what you know not. And you argue from a position of authority you do not possess. I am sorry that attending a Catholic university hasn’t opened your eyes to the beauty and grace of God’s plan for sexuality.

Natural Family Planning (that thing that takes into account a woman’s natural reproductive rhythms) is an absolutely effective and moral use of common sense and self-control. I know because I have studied it and practiced it. But, moreover, I trust those sent to lead me in matters of faith.

I think the real issue for you is not even about contraception – but your desire to act out your base passions without condemnation. In case you didn’t realize, that is hedonism (aka: treating people as objects for your personal use). And it is exactly what Pope Pius VI predicted.

Ashley Kreager

Holy Cross College

Sept. 3