Caring vs. Enabling

Question

I read your answer to the questions about whether or not you are lecturing. It’s quite clear that you believe that sex before marriage is a dangerous thing. I get it loud and clear. It may even be so for some people. I believe that education about abstinence should continue but, in combination with safe sex education.
Thing is, a lot of teens and adults like myself have come to the conclusion that a legal marriage is a piece of paper and not really necessary.

There are plenty of people who are happy with their non-marital sex lives or even multiple sex partners. The fact of the matter is, that with all the education that your organization attempts to give to these teens about abstinence, some will choose to have sex. Would it not be best to inform those who are choosing to have sexual intercourse about what their options for pregnancy/sti protection? Including information on sti testing.

Your so called experts consider premarital sex to be dangerous but, there are a suprising number of mariages that end in divorce and a large number of marriages involve some form of infidelity. Married people are no more safe from stis than the rest of us. A man could contract an sti from a partner outside of marriage and pass it on to his wife. I knew a good Christian married couple who died that way because the husband made a mistake and contracted HIV. Life is risky.

Wouldn’t it be better to let teens and even married adults know about condoms, how they protect and when they don’t? What about letting them know about getting their partners tested before engaging in sexual intercourse?

You can’t stop couples from cheating on their partner and you can’t stop teens from having sex. You can inform them and reduce the likelihood of something terrible happening.

I just read a question about a 16 year old girl who had an abortion and was looking into methods of birth control to try and avoid having another unwanted pregnancy. In the reply there was the assumption that the abortion was traumatic. We do not know this. Some women will go on to regret their abortion and view it as a traumatic experience- others will not be so sorry.

Studies have shown that when taken correctly birth control pills are 99% effective. The risk is about 1 in 100. If she were to use condoms in combination with the pill, her risk would be even less so. Do the math and it’s something like 3 in 10,000.

Speaking for myself, I’m well informed about pregnancy protection and am willing to take that small risk of having to have another nontraumatic and mildly risky abortion. Besides, if it’s really all about protecting yourself and staying healthy, shouldn’t you be suggesting abortion to unwed teenagers? The womans body is safer during an abortion than while giving birth. Postpartum depression can be dangerous too! That sounds outrageous and it’s supposed to be, get my point?

It is true that plenty of information is readily available to teens through reliable internet resources like planned parenthood’s website but, oddly enough, they are asking your organization. If your organization truly cares about the people involved in these situations, would it not be your responsibility to help regardless?

Answer

It is precisely because we do truly care about the people that come to us that we feel an obligation to help. You propose the only way to help those that come to us is to enable them to continue the behavior they are writing us about. We take our responsibility more seriously than that. In good conscience, our experts cannot advise multiple partners, or sex outside of a monogamous lifetime relationship. Does this mean we can “stop” people from having sex outside of marriage? Of course not! It is neither our role to stop it, nor to enable it. Our experts provide accurate information about fertility and sexuality that empowers people to be free of the need for barriers, drugs or devices in their intimate relationships. If one is educated about one’s fertility, and in a monogamous, committed relationship, one has no need for such intrusions.

You correctly note the high divorce rate. Does it occur to you that the very behaviors you defend are contributing to the failure of marriage? It does not take an expert to deduce that beginning a marriage with 1) a history of multiple partners, 2) terminated pregnancies, and 3) contagious STD’s with negative implications for future fertility does NOT enhance the chances for a successful marriage.

You compare the safety of abortion to birth. Most births result in a healthy mom and child. No abortion can make the same claim.

You are a little puzzled that people are coming to us for answers that might challenge them. Do you suppose they could be seeking better options than the ones they are being offered elsewhere?

Thank you for visitng our website and reading our Expert responses!

Answered By:

CANFP
CANFP unites under one umbrella all those who use, teach, and advocate for NFP, and our members are our strongest resource: the physicians who provide authentic women’s healthcare, the Practitioners and Certified Teachers of all the natural methods instructing couples in its use, the couples who use NFP and reflect its values in their families and communities, the clergy providing the spiritual formation and context, and the churches, dioceses, hospitals, and profile organizations who collaborate in providing access to these services throughout the state.

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