The following comes from a Feb. 6 stoy on the Catholic News Agency website.
Women medical experts, theologians and writers joined voices in rejecting a Los Angeles Times editorial by a prominent birth control advocate who criticized Catholic morality and claimed that nuns should take birth control for their health.
Marie Hilliard, director of bioethics and public policy at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, says hormonal contraceptives pose “substantial threats” to all women, including myocardial infarction, cerebral-vascular accidents, deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
If the pill is so beneficial, she asked, “why are not all of us being prescribed them by our physicians, regardless of one’s sexual behavior?”
“It is because there are documented risks by the National Cancer Institute that call for a prudential use of such hormones,” she told CNA Jan. 5.
Florida-based medical doctor Rebecca Peck also rejected the proposal, saying that Catholic physicians, patients and religious sisters “should not be told to prescribe or use the Pill under the guise of ‘preventative care’ or ‘good’ medicine.”
“It simply is not true.”
In a Jan. 30 commentary in the Los Angeles Times, Malcom Potts contended that Catholic teaching on the immorality of contraception is based on “misunderstandings and theological errors.”
He said that the use of the contraceptive pill has health benefits including a reduced risk of ovarian and uterine cancer and poses “no change” in breast cancer risk.
Potts, an obstetrician, reproductive scientist and professor of public health at the University of California-Berkeley, is also an abortion rights advocate who was the International Planned Parenthood Federation’s first director of health.
He suggested that Pope Francis should “reverse” Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical on contraception, Humanae Vitae. Commenting on the Little Sisters of the Poor’s resistance to government mandates to provide contraceptives in their health care plan, he said the nuns would reduce their cancer risk by taking contraceptives.
Hilliard countered Potts by citing the National Cancer Institute, the U.S. government’s main agency for cancer research. The institute said that the risks of endometrial and ovarian cancer appear to be reduced by oral contraceptives, but the risks of breast, cervical and liver cancer appear to be increased. Breast cancer risk was highest for women who started using oral contraception as teenagers.
Peck, who practices medicine in Ormond Beach and serves as assistant clinical professor at Florida State University’s Daytona Beach Regional Campus, said Potts was right to note the reduction in endometrial and ovarian cancers.
However, this is “only a half-truth.” These cancers are “relatively rare,” she explained, with a 1 in 39 lifetime risk for endometrial cancer and a 1 in 72 lifetime risk of ovarian cancer.
In contrast, breast cancer is the “most common female cancer” with a lifetime risk of 1 in 8….
To read the original story, click here.
Potts, an obstetrician, reproductive scientist, professor of public health at the University of California-Berkeley, and activist for legal abortions says Catholic teaching on the IMMORALITY of contraception is based on “misunderstandings and THEOLOGICAL errors”.
I thought he was a “scientist”? So why is he so confident about his knowledge of faith and morals so much so that he even instructs the Roman Pontiff to change Church teaching on contraception? Oh, right, Potts is clergy member in the false Religion of Science. As such, his religion has its own views on morals.
As a scientist and a Catholic scientist to boot, I have always wondered why we don’t appreciate studying Gods creation rather than make improvements based on transient and questionable secular dogma. Evolution sounds like a good explanation. I like gravity too. If that’s how God made the physical world…well, physical, then so be it. It’s our job to show our love by trying to understand it. But the notion of prescribing drugs for life….like my physician is pushing the cholesterol drugs a lot. But why? This doped up future may offset risks but without decades of knowledge of the effects we…proceed anyways? That doesn’t sound scientific.
Also, physicians are NOT scientists. They are not real doctors. They are physicians. Practitioners who rarely generate new knowledge in their fields.
Tracy, scientist do not have competence or authority in issues of morality to any greater extent than any lay person.
Wow, YFC, thanks for the clarification :(
that anonymous post was mine.
So I guess God made a critical mistake when he created a woman’s reproductive system. Maybe, this is why He created brilliant men like Malcolm Potts to fix the “mistake”. He then created brilliant politicians to pass laws mandating the implementation of the solution to the “mistake”. Next, he created brilliant judges to validate the mandating of solution for the “mistake”. Finally he created brilliant IRS agents to enforce the solution of the “mistake” onto we reluctant and ignorant mortals.
You’d think that the Little Sisters of the Poor would embrace one of God’s greatest gift to women: The Sacrament of Contraception!
More proof that the Baby Haters will say and do anything to prevent births! We now live in a society that coddles criminals and kills babies.
Gee whiz, another liberal rag misrepresenting the Church. I’m shocked, shocked!!
Truth of the matter is the laity have already decided this one and the decision was to reject the teaching. Yes, there some theological errors in Humanae Vitae, but there are also some well reasoned admonitions about the sanctity of sex and married love. But the rude truth is this: if you want to know who your parish is using the Church approved Natural Family Planning, just count the children……the higher the child count, the more likely it is they are using NFP.
There is almost no need for Pope Francis to overturn the birth control prohibition containted in Humanae Vitae…….the laity have already done it for him.
Probably true in most cases. Except my wife and I which were blessed with a child later in life. After trying and physicians said it was unlikely. Then another. And another. We’re old parents of only three. Open to life. Always have been. But using your formula…I only recommend proceeding with caution and not judgement. False accusations are also sins and commandment breakers.
That aside, I think the same thing.
There are no theological errors in “Humanae Vitae”.
good cause quit making things up.
Contraception is a mortal sin.
Those who contracept may not receive Holy Communion without repentance and Confession with the firm purpose to sin no more.
Jesus did not set up the Catholic Church as a Democracy whereby everyone can vote on what is or is not a sin.
It would be better for the Church to be smaller but Holy.
good cause, you said, “there some theological errors in Humanae Vitae”.
I sure would love it if you backed up your bold claim. But since you have demonstrated over and over again here on CCD that you are a “drive by” commenter, I really don’t expect you to return to the scene of the crime.
It’s not over yet. The March for Life gets “younger” and bigger every year. The laity will forever be deciding this one (the contraception issue) and each of us has today to help make sure that the choice made is the right one.
I know countless families who, since the beginning of marriage, have been completely open to life, Good Cause. That is they didn’t use NFP. They entered marriage with the purpose of having as many offspring as God chose to give them. They took fruitfulness as their vocation, not seeking self-fulfillment in outside causes that would distract them from their primary duty before God – their family. They view their jobs as the means to facilitate what God has called them to do – namely raise a God loving Catholic family.
The only reason I learned NFP was to GET pregnant. And that didn’t even work for a long time.
God love you, Proteiso1, I hear you. But conclusion jumping seems to abound as I’ve had Traditional Catholics eye my husband and I like we MUST have been using the pill or something to avoid kids. Why? My children are very evenly spaced because every time I wanted to get pregnant I HAD to go to the doctor – except for the last one. He was a miracle.
But conclusions are in the eye of the Beholder.
Ann, thank you for your thought felt remarks.
I can only imagine that for infertile married couples of today, the cross of infertility is made even that much heavier, as a result of living among so many people who assume that most people embrace destroying their own fertility.