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.
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.”