Saturday, February 11, 2012

Some Responses

I've got a couple of responses to things people have said over the web.

Strange, but not too horrible~ someone posed the question that if Catholic believe that contraception interferes with life than are we allowed to sterilize our animals. 

As far as I know, we can sterilize our animals.  The reason is that they are animals not people.  The morals posed on a person's fertility are different than those about how we treat our animals.  A person has dominion over their pet and therefore can decide what's in the best interest of that pet.

I have read on a website, however, that in Mexico they don't neuter their pets "because it's a Catholic thing."  There has been nothing, as far as I know, saying that you can't spay your animal.  So I'm guessing that this is one of those cultural things not a teaching.

There are only two religious groups that I have found that speak about this: Islam and Orthodox Judaism.  In some Islamic circles it is okay to sterilize your animal for the greater good.  In Orthodox Judaism, you cannot sterilize yourself or your animal unless it is your pet to prevent animal cruelty. 

Another thing I've read recently from Catholic bloggers is the benefit of Napro Technology on helping fertility problems in loo of the pill.  This is true I'm sure in fertility cases, but as far as my understand of things it does not help in instances where the pill is used for a condition outside of fertility that fertility exacerbates. 

Acne, for example, is not something that Napro treats.  You can, however, find alternative treatments to hormone therapy (the pill) or you can for a short time use the pill to bring your hormones under control and then wean yourself off. 

Other conditions like anemia, sometimes the pill is the only correction for the problem.  With anemia, a blood disorder not a fertility issue, you have low iron.  The treatments for anemia vary depending on the severity.  For less severe cases, you simply supplement your diet with iron and have a diet with iron rich foods.  For more severe cases, these treatments don't work.  And when you have any kind of blood loss such as that associated with menstruation, you hemorrhage.  And I mean hemorrhage to the point where your periods link up together and you may end up developing an aneurism.  I've spoke about this before.  The pill thus becomes the only way to avoid death.  I know of no other way other than permanent sterilization or menopause.  Perhaps there is research being done to help women with this condition, but I haven't seen any other treatments other than temporary or permanent sterility. 

I'm only mentioning this because a lot of people push Napro technology as a way to free people from using the pill, when in some cases Napro technology, which addresses fertility conditions, isn't applicable.  My mother didn't have any fertility issues that I'm aware of.  She had a blood disorder, which again is different.

And it really doesn't work too well for men who are for all intensive purposes are sterile.  Men are either one of two ways: always fertile or always sterile (to varying degrees).  If your seamen doesn't contain sperm, Napro technology won't help you with that either since it's focus is on women's fertility.  You can't produce something that's not there. 

So while I think Napro technology is great for women with PCOS or other fertility disorders at avoiding hormonal replacement therapies, it can't help other conditions which the pill treats.

But that's not at issue with the HHS mandate.  Everyone I've talked to has said that the Church (normally) covers prescription pill use for conditions like anemia, for which there are no other known treatments.  The only qualm the Church has is covering prescription pills used for fertility.  So women who really do need the pill can get it like they can penicillin.  And as someone pointed out the HHS mandate isn't forcing insurance companies to cover for free things like Tylenol, which treat a medical condition, or toothpaste, which prevent a medical condition.  I think until all basic drug coverage is universally and unilaterally free, it's really suspect that a woman can get birth control pills free without so much as a co-pay.

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