The Head of a Catholic Nonprofit Explains: "Why My Employees Don't Want Free Birth Control" (Even if Sandra Fluke Does)

Steven Mosher
Population Research Institute
Weekly Briefing
5 March 2012
Reproduced with Permission

In violation of the First Amendment, President Obama has ordered all Catholic nonprofits to provide their employees with so-called "modern methods of birth control." Even the openly abortifacient Morning After Pill is supposed to be included. It is "preventative health care," he claims, and must be "free" for the asking.

We at Population Research Institute reject this unlawful "mandate." Not only does it violate our deeply held religious beliefs, it also violates our mission: to protect and defend innocent unborn life.

You see, the pill - along with all its injectable and implantable counterparts - is abortifacient.

Most American women don't know that the pill they swallow with their morning orange juice can cause early-term abortions. They don't know that, while on the pill, they (1) may still ovulate, (2) may still conceive a child, and (3) may then abort that child. This is one of the ways that the pill works.

This hard truth would probably give even Sandra Fluke pause - remember, she is the law school student who whined last week to Barbara Boxer that Georgetown University won't give her "free" birth control - if she knew about it. She probably doesn't.

Our employees are informed about the abortifacient action of the pill, and they want nothing to do with it.

Odds are that PRI's employees also grasp something else that Sandra Fluke doesn't: That the powerful, steroid-based drugs that she is so eager to ingest may negatively impact her health. Not that this ignorance is her fault. How many American women have had the downside of contraception explained to them?

"The pill is not a warm little fuzzy harmless object," Dr. Rebecca Peck notes, "but causes significant harm to women. As a practicing physician, I see the fallout every day - young women with blood clots in their legs, strokes, early breast cancer, HPV, and cervical cancer. But women aren't told. Informed consent provisions are simply ignored."

We at PRI helped to get Norplant taken off the market some years ago, after thousands of women became ill after having the drug-laden capsules implanted under their skin. How many women know this? How many women know that there are currently a number of class action lawsuits going forward in the U.S. against various contraceptives because of the harm they have caused women?

We prosecute athletes for using steroids, we warn elderly ladies about the dangers of Hormone Replacement Therapy, and then we deceive young women like Sandra Fluke into thinking that taking megadoses of powerful, steroid-based drugs to chemically disable their reproductive systems is completely harmless. How could it be?

Of course, the master deceiver in this ongoing drama is President Obama himself, who claims against all reason that birth control is simply "preventative care."

Really? Every day, doctors across the U.S. perform true preventative care, examining patients for diseases of the reproductive system. They perform pap smears looking for cervical cancer, perform breast exams looking for breast cancer, refer for mammograms, order colonoscopies looking for colon cancer, and give immunizations to prevent pneumonia and influenza.

These time-tested measures are totally different than surgically sterilizing someone, or prescribing a pill to prevent a child from being conceived or developing. Is fertility a disease? Is pregnancy a disease state? Or is the gestation of a child a normal physiological process of the human body? As Peck and Norris have convincingly argued, birth control simply does not qualify as preventative care.1

Ever the politician, President Obama is now trying to have it both ways. On the one hand, he has not only promised the Sandra Flukes of the world that they can have all the drugs and devices they want for "free," he is now also trying to convince upset Catholics that their Catholic health care and educational institutions like Georgetown won't have to pay for them either. "I have ordered the health insurance companies to cover the cost," he airily assures us.

Of course, the insurance companies will carry out this mandate by simply passing the cost through to their policyholders, including PRI. The result is that not only PRI but all Catholics and Christians will wind up paying extra insurance premiums for things that they find morally objectionable.

Such an uncompromising compromise leads me to seriously wonder whether the current occupant of the White House thinks that we are all idiots. More likely, he believes that most Americans don't pay that much attention to his misdeeds, and that those that do don't matter because we won't vote for him anyway. Political calculations are never very far from the surface where Scary Barry is concerned.

A real compromise would remove free birth control, sterilizations and other abortifacient drugs from the preventative care mandate completely. Of course, American women would have the same access to them that they have always had. They would just not be "free," they would not be part of "preventative care," and Catholics would not have to pay for them.

There is a final reason that PRI employees are not interested in "free" birth control. It has to do with a cheap, easy and healthy method of family planning that involves no powerful, steroid-based drugs or invasive procedures, and is, in fact, promoted by the Catholic Church. Modern methods of Natural Family Planning or NFP - such as Dr Fehring's Marquette method, or Dr. Hilgers' Creighton method, or Dr. Billings' method - have no unhealthy consequences at all. Instead, they empower women, strengthen marriages, and allow couples to express their sexuality in the natural way that nature, and nature's God, intended.

All it requires is a little self-control for a few days a month.

At this point, the President's circle probably dissolves into mocking laughter. It is simply inconceivable to them that anyone could or would practice self-control in matters of sex.

But what human activities don't require at least a modicum of self control? Most of us voluntarily abstain from food from time to time, whether we do it for spiritual reasons (it is Lent, after all), or because we don't like how we look. We work hard to quit smoking and admire those who succeed. We put warning labels on food packages and danger signs on cigarette packages. (Maybe we should put pictures of stroke victims on the covers of birth control pills?) And even those of us who fail in diets and workout regimens admire those who succeed, or at least we pretend to.

Even Barack Obama's beloved condoms and birth control pills require a certain amount of self-control. How many condoms fall victim to overeager fumbling? How many pills languish in their packets, forgotten in the lust of the moment. Such failures explain why contraception invariably leads to abortion.

We at PRI understand that, despite taking a few days off each month, happily married couples who practice NFP have more and better sex than singles - in lifelong monogamous relationships that are both open to Love and Life and free from disease. These are lessons that Sandra Fluke, along with all students at Catholic universities, need to be taught. In Fluke's case, maybe one of her Catholic professors could also mention to her that she shouldn't expect others to pay for her recreational sex.