For anyone who might've been interested when MM referred to our NFP Week talk, here is the version we presented at three Masses this past Sunday (2 in Our Town, one down the road with the same priest). The only changes are as follows: A) where MM talks about the expense of a basal thermometer, we pretty much eliminated that sentence and created a smoother seque into the next paragraph because, before the second Mass, Fr. came up to us and asked us not to mention the basal thermometer because there were little kids in Mass (this kinda made us scratch our heads, but we figure it's usually best to humor Fr. --maybe he thinks "basal" means "vaginal," like one of my dear cousins did?); B) at the beginning of the "societal effects" paragraph, I made a little tie-in to Fr.'s homily, saying something like, "Artificial contraception is one of those things Fr. talked about in his homily: a weed that is pretty benign-looking at first but eventually causes all kinds of harm..." and C) I changed the wording of the sentence about the abortifacient qualities of chemical contraception to specifically use the term "abortifacient." For some reason, Fr. really wanted us to do so. Anyway, enjoy (or whatever you do while reading someone else's NFP Week talk)!
IP: Good morning! For those of you that do not know us, I am IP and this is my wife MM (we live in [our town] and attend St. [Whosit’s]). Father [J] has kindly given us permission to speak to you for a few minutes about Natural Family Planning. The American Bishops have deemed this coming week as national NFP week. Some of you may be wondering what natural family planning is:
MM: Natural Family Planning, or NFP, is fertility awareness. Basically, a woman learns about her body and is able to determine when she is fertile and when she is infertile. IP and I teach the Sympto-Thermal method of NFP through an organization called the Couple to Couple League, but there are many other organizations that teach NFP.
NFP is NOT the rhythm method. It is a scientifically proven, completely safe and extremely reliable method for spacing children. Even the World Health Organization has found that NFP is 99% effective.
Fertility awareness through Natural Family Planning is great for women and it is great for marriages. Couples who use NFP have an extremely low divorce rate, around 4%. Couples tend to have stronger, happier marriages after making the switch to NFP. Women learn to understand their bodies. They do not have to pump their bodies full of chemicals, they are more able to tell when something is wrong with their bodies, and they do not have to deal with any unpleasant side effects that contraceptives may cause.
NFP can be used to achieve pregnancy, and is 100% reversible. If a couple has been avoiding a pregnancy and decide that they are being called to have another child, they can change course instantly.
The challenges that come with NFP are few. Most couples using NFP to avoid a pregnancy have to abstain somewhere between 8 and 12 days per cycle.
Natural Family Planning is also easy on the wallet and easy on the environment! There are few costs associated with using NFP. Generally, the costs include a class to learn the method and a basal thermometer. Also, using NFP keeps artificial hormones out of your body and out of our environment.
IP: What about society as a whole? Well, the Church has always known what the advocates of contraception also realize: anything that affects the family as profoundly as contraception affects all of society. The Supreme Court stated in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, a major challenge to Roe vs Wade in 1992, that “people have…made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.” In other words, if a society allows and encourages the use of contraception, that society needs to have legal abortion available BECAUSE of contraceptive failures. Not only is contraception linked to abortion philosophically, but all chemical forms of contraception (the pill, patch, shots, IUDs) cause countless very early abortions by preventing fertilized eggs—brand new humans with souls—from implanting in their mothers’ wombs. If you oppose abortion, it is important that you understand the connection between abortion and contraception. One more great reason to learn, use or support NFP!
MM: We would like to thank you for your time. We would love to chat with you more about Natural Family Planning…answer any questions you may have, hear your stories. We will be around after the Mass. Please come talk to us and pick up more information on Natural Family Planning.