by Marianna Bartholomew
As youngest of seven children, I thank God I ever saw light of day.
Joyful memories abound: riding brothers' shoulders and chasing softballs in our Chicago suburban yard; baiting fishhooks and tent camping in Colorado and Canada on summer vacations. Growing up with a strong sense of self, my outdoorsy nature also delighted in femininity and ballet, reading and writing, as I tried to excel in school and prepare for a fulfilling career and vocation.
What has this to do with President Barack Obama's contraception mandate? Any history lover knows cultures through the ages revered chastity as an ideal that strongly knit families and society. Does our president's mandate support this ideal - or promote health?
As birth control proliferated and premarital sex trended upward through the 20th and 21st centuries, family life frayed. America's divorce rates tripled in the decades following the 1950s. New morality requires "safe sex," a phrase eerily reflective of George Orwell's "Newspeak" from his novel 1984, where Big Brother constructs terms contradicting reality, but pointing to a certain desired end.
Labeling out-of-wedlock sex "safe" is doublespeak, a boldfaced lie. Birth control failure rates still hover as high as 20%, reports the American Pregnancy Association. Implanted devices can accidentally expel, cause pelvic inflammatory disease or puncture the uterus. Unwanted pregnancies lead to abortions, as do birth control pills that make uterine walls hostile to embryos seeking to implant. A 2011 study at New York's Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, found oral contraceptives lower levels of essential vitamins and minerals, contributing to "many chronic disease processes including cardiovascular disease, cancer, cataracts and aging."
Certain rates of cancer decrease, while other cancers are caused, by taking oral birth control, asserts the World Health Organization. A 2011 study out of Toronto showed higher rates of prostate cancer wherever estrogen is released into water supplies through oral contraceptive use. Birth control pills nearly double stroke risk, reported a 2009 Medlink Neurology article. On the product site of Ortho Tri-Cyclen® Lo (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiolone), a lengthy list of other side effects includes increased blood pressure and heart disease. Contraindications for using the pill involve smokers, headache sufferers, and those who have family history of cerebral vascular or coronary artery disease. Although drug-to-drug reactions occur, admits product information, no "formal" study on these reactions has been conducted on this drug. Doctors and patients are blindly gauging risks.
Contraception is perilous. Even if side effects were minimal, a contraceptive mentality short circuits happiness. Pressures to have sex outside of marriage burgeon with contraceptive use. While young men and women should be developing healthy communications skills and discovering new talents and facets of their personalities, they are hurtling into sexual license. Even young teens feel a sense of duty to provide physical "benefits" to dates and friends....