California’s secret Weapon

by Sheila St. John
Fall 2022

I love you, California, you’re the greatest state of all. I love you in the winter, summer, spring and in the fall. I love your fertile valleys; your dear mountains I adore. I love your grand old ocean and I love her rugged shore. 

Perhaps my affection for our beautiful state was destined, as I am the only one of my family who is a native Californian (the seven of us—both of my parents and my four siblings—were born in seven different states). In contrast with my birth family, my husband, children, grandchildren, and my great grandchildren, are all native Californians. I have dedicated the past thirty years now to the California Association of Natural Family Planning. I think it is safe to say, I am invested in California

And so it is with profound sadness that I witness the progressive disregard for the dignity of human life—from voters alienating children from their parents by denying parental notification prior to performing abortions on minors, to the issues identified in Dr. Delgado’s article in this edition, including, but not limited to, the current aggressive efforts to promote California abortion services nationally.

It brings new meaning to this line from the chorus of our state song— “And I know when I die I shall breathe my last sigh for my sunny California”. Only substitute the word “for” with “in”…for all those vulnerable babies in the womb whose only visit to California will be their last.

What a “coincidence” that this same state that is hell bent on becoming a destination for the destruction of life, is also the only state in the country to have a statewide organization entirely dedicated to the education and promotion of the value and dignity of our fertility! We have a secret weapon in the battle to build a Culture of Life in California!

Our individual CANFP members make a profound difference, personally within their families, and some professionally as well—through advocating for/teaching NFP, practicing restorative reproductive medicine, or perhaps preaching and teaching.

Of course, every state has dedicated NFP advocates who are building a culture of life, person by person, family by family.

What makes us unique here in California, then? What is our secret weapon? Our secret weapon is—our collaborative community effort. No matter how tireless and amazing the individuals are, those efforts are magnified and multiplied when united in mission!

CANFP is our secret weapon! Unlike other states, through CANFP we are united in educating the larger community on the relational, spiritual, social, economic, ecological, and the physical and psychological health benefits of NFP so that couples, physicians, clergy and all people of good will may understand fertility as a normal, healthy, life-giving process. Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, reports there are 9.2 million women of reproductive age (15-49) in California. Or, as Guttmacher refers to these women on their website: “potential pool of abortion patients”.

We have our work cut out for us here in California, and we have only just begun. How many of those 9.2 million women have even heard of NFP, let alone CANFP? Let our secret weapon, be a secret no more! Let us each consider how we might contribute to this collaboration that is CANFP, combining our gifts, talents and passion, to accomplish a truly magnificent thing: every woman and man, whether single or married, respecting nature’s gift of fertility and procreation; cherishing every child, whether born or unborn.

The foundation has been established. The time is now, to mobilize the troops, in this battle for our state. CANFP: together, promoting sex that is 100% natural, sustainable and life-giving.

About The Author

Sheila St. John
Sheila St. John is the Executive Director of the California Association of Natural Family Planning, coordinating the non-profit’s education and advocacy efforts throughout the state. Initially attracted to NFP as a healthy, effective method for planning families, drug, device and surgery free, her passion for NFP has grown over the last 42 years as she has journeyed with the over 900 couples she has personally instructed in its use, and been privileged to witness its role in overcoming infertility, women’s health, and the transformation that occurs in lives of men, women, and families, when we embrace God’s design for love and life.


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