I’m Catholic, I took the Pill, and my priest said it was OK.




You’ve all heard about the proposed health care plans and what they require of employers and why the Catholic church is mad and yada, yada, yada.  You’ve probably heard a whole heck of a lot from both sides and I’m actually not going to jump on that whole bandwagon right now.  I’m assuming you’ve heard enough and you have your opinion.  And that’s just hunky-dory.


Here’s what I want to say.


I’m Catholic.  I had horrible, debilitating ovarian cysts, and I took the Pill.  And my priest said it was the right thing to do.


That’s right.


Read it again if you need to.


And, lest you think I just have some wonky, progressive, not-very-devout priest, you should know that I do not and that his opinion is shared by the church in general.  Do we, as Catholics, encourage seeking alternate methods and treatments before turning to the Pill?  Absolutely.  But, at the end of the day, the Catholic church does not condemn women who have medical conditions that necessitate treatment… even if such treatment involves hormones commonly prescribed as contraception.


I am weary– WEARY, I tell you– of reading about the “war on women” and how horrible, evil, and woman-hating these Republicans are who are opposed to mandating that organizations like the Catholic church provide free contraception.  Let me tell you why I’m sick of it– I’m sick of it because far too many liberals are hiding behind the argument that the church being opposed to contraception shows a lack of compassion for women.   “They don’t realize that there are women who take the Pill to treat real, legitimate medical conditions!  They’re refusing to provide treatment and relief to these women and that is WRONG.”


Except that’s not true.  The church is not opposed to taking medication (even the Pill) when there’s legitimate need.  In my case, I’m the mother of three who was plagued with chronic, painful ovarian cysts that typically ranged between 7 and 11 centimeters.  I always joked that I could “suck it up” until they got to about 9 cm.  That seemed to be my tipping point.  I couldn’t stand up without doubling over.  I would weep after trying to help my baby into her crib.  My doctor put me on Vicodin, it was so bad.


Which do you think the Catholic church thought was better for me– an ongoing prescription pain killer habit or hormonal treatment through the Pill?  Well, apparently some of these liberal women would be shocked to learn that the church preferred I be lucid and present while I cared for the three precious children I’d already birthed.


Does this shock you?  Are you amazed to learn that, in reality, Catholics recognize that medication is needed for certain circumstances?  That– and don’t fall off your chairs here– there is actually genuine compassion to be found there?


I don’t actually think this information shocks those liberals hiding behind that argument.  It’s just such a HANDY argument.  (Kind of, though not exactly, like the whole rape/incest argument as to why abortion *needs* to be legal.  But I digress… )  It’s so much harder to argue against allowing the Pill when we’re talking about treating “medical conditions.”  You’ll find far fewer people who really want to take a stand against… treating honest-to-goodness health issues that are interfering with women’s abilities to make it through their days.


If you think contraception should be provided to anyone at anytime in any situation, then that’s fine.  That’s your view.  But just be honest and admit that you fully support universal access to the Pill for the purpose of preventing pregnancy.  Stop hiding behind this “medical issue” excuse.  Because that’s what it is!  Smoke and mirrors to distract from the fact that you’re offended that anyone, politician or religious leader, might have an opinion about whether the church should be able to opt out of preventing your pregnancies.






But, as a Catholic woman who has taken the Pill with the blessing of my faith…


I call “bull.”



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10 comments to I’m Catholic, I took the Pill, and my priest said it was OK.

  • mlearley

    I am all for birth control, both for pregnancy prevention and for medical reasons. There is no reason in my opinion to not allow a woman to take birth control to prevent a pregnancy when she knows 1) she doesn’t want kids, 2) can’t afford kids or to take care of them or 3) she has a medical history that would make pregnancy/child birth harmful to her. Just think how over populated our earth would be if we forced women to have babies by not allowing birth control and how many more people might be living in poverty (look at Africa). So to me, this law makes perfect sense to allow every woman access to birth control. Some people complain about their premiums/tax dollars paying for these women to have the pill. Well, I’d rather do that than see the line at wellfare increase where I’m not paying for unwanted children.

    I am a Christian and believe that if God truly wants me to have a child, then He’ll make it happen if I’m on birth control or not. He’s bigger than the pill! Plus, He wouldn’t want His children to be in physical discomfort so why not use it for medical purposes?!?

    • I, obviously, believe that He is bigger than pills. (How could I not? I DID get pregnant while on the Pill.) The issue, to me, is not even about women having access to birth control– it’s about mandating that a religious institution go completely against their beliefs. But, like I said, I’m not really going to argue with anyone about their stance on that situation (it would take too long ;)), but I do ask that people address the REAL issue– which you have! And I thank you for that. :)

  • Love, Love, Love this post!

    Thank you for talking about the REAL issue. I to, was once on the pill to treat a medical condition. Unfortunately, for me, the pill almost killed me. i do think that it can be one of those drugs that is used as a band aid instead of truly treating the cause of the condition. But I was never chastised by my Priest for being on it when a doctor required it.

    Now, I go to an excellent Catholic, NFP OB and he has been such a blessing. He takes literally 45 minutes with almost every patient, listens to whats really going on, admits when he doesn’t know the answers and he works hard to figure out the root of the problem. He says that he will prescribe the pill when it’s medically necessary; but, he has only prescribed it once in 30 years of practice.

    It really bothers me that the media stays focused on the medical issue instead of seeing this for what it is, a religious freedom issue.

    Thanks, for speaking the TRUTH:)

    • I am so glad that you were able to find an OB who was able to treat you as a WHOLE person and who obviously does an exceptional job of diagnosis/treatment. That’s wonderful! I dragged my feet something fierce, but I will admit that the low dose I was on did resolve my issues when nothing else had. (That’s not to say there isn’t anything else out there that might… but I never found it! :()

      • i had a big problem with cysts as well. It turned out my hormones were really out of whack, my doc prescribed some medicine that I had to take for a few months and it rebalanced everything. I just wanted to point that there are other options out there for those out there that don’t feel comfortable taking the pill, can’t take it, or it doesn’t work for them. Just because your doctor only gives you one option doesn’t mean that it’s the best option for you:)

        I hope I didn’t come off judgemental. I don’t have a problem with someone taking the pill for medical reasons. I just feel like too often it’s over prescribed for things, ya know? I think if it’s truly the best option then by all means use it:)

  • Marci

    The bigger issue really is forcing religious institutions to pay for something that goes against their collective beliefs, regardless of if everyone adheres to it or not. (Reminds me of some of the Supreme Court justices asking if we can force everyone to buy broccoli because it’s healthy for us. If the government determined that something in pork was so healthy it needed to be eaten in every cafeteria, would they force Jewish and Muslim organizations to serve it? I doubt they would…at least in the case of the latter. Silly and unlikely example, of course, yet still a matter of religious liberty.) I also have no doubt that it’s a straw man argument when people constantly talk about the Catholic church being against using hormone therapy for medical conditions. Of course they want to treat medical conditions. Good grief, this “debate” is so frustrating to me because it really isn’t about contraception, it’s about religious freedom.

    • This is EXACTLY the issue, Marci, and that’s what I wish more people would acknowledge. This is not about oppressing women. And I am so very, very tired of reading that “medical condition” argument– that’s not, and never has been, the issue. Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

  • Kathy

    Wow. I wish more people would take the right stand on issues instead of what works for them and their cause. There are people out there that can make any idea into a debate that will cause people to jump on their bandwagon. I am not for Obama care and mandates of what medicine to take or not take. I am foremost a Christian woman who answers first to God. I wish Americans would stop giving their choices in life to the government. We need to make choices based on our own beliefs and not the beliefs that others have pushed on us. I don’t want America to become a place where I have to look at a list of acceptable foods to feed my child because the government has decided what is best for them. I want American freedoms and am very afraid my children may not know them as adults. Sorry for the rant, but I am so concerned that we are approaching a day when I will not be allowed to make the choices that I feel will benefit my God and my family without great persecution.

    • It is a very real concern, Kathy… we are coming to a point where the assumption is that we are unable to think for and/or take care of ourselves in any capacity. And I agree that that’s a very scary spot to be.

  • I’m confused about who these people are that do not have access to birth control? Though I am not currently I used the Pill for 13 or so years expressly to prevent pregnancy (though it sure helped my ridiculous cramps)…and even more shocking I’ve only been married for 6 years most of which I’ve been off the pill.) EVERY SINGLE MONTH I PAID out of my own tiny little paycheck for that prescription. Now I’d be happy to take it free from any source willing to give it, but even when I made minimum wage Planned Parenthood was going to charge me…a lot. SO who are these people that have no access that need the Catholic Church to provide it for free? I don’t understand this argument at all. If the Catholic Church is opposed to providing a prescription and you want one, go to the bazillion other choices you have and pay for it like any other consumer must. I think this whole argument is a waste of brain power.

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