Friday, July 13, 2007

The Top 3 Reasons...

why I'm questioning birth control:

1) The longer I'm a mother, the more I appreciate God's design for my body. I've realized that every time I interfere with this design, I'm taking a risk. "Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial."

Let's take breastfeeding as an example. In countries where women not only have more children, but also breastfeed them for longer than we typically do, their breast cancer rate is less than half of that in the US.

Or how about endometriosis? This afflicts one in ten women in the US, thousands of whom will have a hysterectomy because of it. Yet pregnancy and breastfeeding keep it in remission. If, as in times past, women had babies sooner rather than later and then spent the bulk of their fertile years nursing and birthing more children, would this disease be as common as it is?

God didn't design a woman to have 450 periods in her lifetime. Each period she has increases her risks for breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers. This argument, incidentally, has become popular among makers of the Pill. But of course, hormonal birth control has risks of its own.

2) I've become wary of attitudes which consider children a burden rather than a blessing. In Scripture, procreation is celebrated, lauded-- treated with reverence and joy! The Hebrews hung out in ancient Egypt, but they didn't bring back their birth control practices. You don't see Boaz saying, "Let me get that raise, Ruth, and then we can add a nursery to the house." Blek. No, you hear, "Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them" (Psalm 127).

Even Protestants eschewed birth control until the early twentieth century. Whereas I used to wonder why the Catholic Church was so opposed, I've now decided that the greater question is not why birth control should be prohibited-- but, rather, why it would be permitted.

3) My eggs have seen better days. Forty may be the new thirty, but no one's told my ovaries. If I were to put off conception through artificial means only to be unable to conceive when it's more convenient, I'd regret it.

So those three reasons are one side of the coin, but what about the other? What's stopping me from just going the Duggar way? This weekend, I'll explain.

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