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My Take: Contraception denigrates me as a woman
February 16th, 2012
12:13 PM ET

My Take: Contraception denigrates me as a woman

Editor’s Note: Valerie Pokorny is actively involved in marriage preparation programs, natural family planning instruction and chastity education in the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Texas.

By Valerie Pokorny, Special to CNN

(CNN) – In the face of the Health and Human Services mandate to provide contraception coverage, I stand with my fellow Catholics hoping our religious freedom will be respected.

But more importantly, I stand as a woman hoping who I am will be respected.

Four times a year, I walk into a room of Catholic moms and their middle school or high school daughters to help them see why being a woman matters, as part of the Archdiocese of San Antonio’s Mother-Daughter Programs on the Gift of Femininity.

Read the full story here from CNN's In America Blog.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Content Partner • Opinion

soundoff (435 Responses)
  1. ricky

    my catholic parents used the pill.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  2. JeramieH

    You're right, we need more STDs floating around the population. Because birth control is only effective at stopping pregnancies and has no other useful function.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  3. G. Carvalho

    I noticed some ill will toward Catholics in several comments. What has been largely ignored is the relevant fact that nations with Catholic majorities have clearly opted for small-sized families, giving top priority to the education and welfare of their children, while effectively contributing tho defuse the population bomb (by 2050 our planet will have to feed 10 billion people). Indeed, in predominantly Catholic Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain, total fertility rates are well below replacement level (2.1 children born/woman), thanks to universal access to basic education and family planning, factors usually prodded by fast urbanization. This trend, allow me to repeat, has been set by countries with Catholic majorities. They are not among the nations that actively promote overcrowding and demographic explosion, whose catastrophic consequences can been easily seen throughout the developing world.

    February 27, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  4. LordEarlGray

    This lady is full of it and obviously swallows everything her church says hook, line, and sinker. Using birth control has no effect on your femininity. What bushwa.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • ricky

      i think she is probably a convert due to marriage. they are always the worst.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  5. notatall

    If the law forced all women to take birth control, that is one thing. The law only mandates that birth control be offered to women in the health care provided to them. Once again it is women who are cast as ignorant: not being given the opportunity to choose what is right for them and their bodies. The ability to be provided care as all other US citizens is freedom. It is separation of church and state. I am beginning to think, some of these religious leaders need to move to Iran or Afghanistan and buddy up to those who denounce women's freedoms and choices. Women who don't want to use the service can choose not to use it, so why can't women who choose to use the service have the same right?

    February 27, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  6. Mad5cience

    Catholic church denigrates you as a woman...otherwise we would have female priests and male priests allowed the sacrament of marriage. The current system attracts men who have serious issues with healthy relationships with grown women...the facts are on the table.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  7. America 1st

    If you don't want to use contraceptive, don't - that's your choice. DO NOT ask others to support your kids, your divorces (yep those RCs do get divorced), or the annulments that after a decade of so-called sanctified marriage suddenly declare the kids ba$tards. If the rc doesn't want to be ruled by laws, then stop being a business.

    February 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  8. Nicole

    You are a fool. No one is telling you to use contraception. Go ahead and have 40 kids for all I care and be barefoot and pregnant. Just don't tell me to do the same thing and believe the same thing. This article made me embarrassed for you.

    February 26, 2012 at 4:33 am |
  9. Keith

    Will somebody PLEASE get the Catholic Church out of my bedroom!!!!!

    February 25, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That's right Keith. We don't need any witnesses.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You know Keith, we've never really talked about the nastiest things I can do.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  10. Keith

    This is an assault on my neurons. Hi Valerie, nobody's forcing you to use contraception. You're religious views are being respected. Please ask your church to stop imposing the arbitrary views of an old MAN sitting in ROME upon WOMEN of differing faiths. The Catholic Church has no right to impose its belief system upon Protestant women, or any other women.

    February 25, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  11. The Watcher

    The author's use of the word "ME" says it all. It is HER choice and HER beliefs that dictate her use of contraceptives. The facts bear out that abstinence does not work, never has worked, and is a false argument. If you chose to abstain, you are chosing to use a form of contraception, period. If you keep an aspirin between your knees, you are chosing a form of contraception. In any case, it is a choice being made to not conceive, period. What a bunch of religious self righteous crap.

    February 25, 2012 at 7:50 am |
  12. leonid7

    I challenge anyone to try and find II Contraceptions 3:16 in their bible.

    February 25, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • notatall

      LOL! Agree!

      February 27, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  13. Jean

    Hey Val,

    Then don't use it.

    February 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  14. lili

    Achepotle, to whom are you referring?? The author of the article,or the woman Naija who commented before you? Either way, do you have to be so crass? At any rate, everyone in this country has the right to express their views, but they don't have the right to impose them on others.

    February 24, 2012 at 4:35 am |
    • rajah

      "everyone in this country has the right to express their views, but they don't have the right to impose them on others."

      Oh, so President Obama doesn't have the right to impose his views that contraception, the morning after pill, and abortion are OK on business owners whose religious beliefs oppose such things, by making those business owners pay for insurance that provides them to their employees?

      That seems to be what your logic is saying, anyway.And that's what this is about: not having to provide something to people when doing so would force you to violate the tenets of your faith.

      March 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
  15. lili

    I'm sick of the Catholics and other Christian religions criticizing President Obama and making him out to be pro-abortion. Just because one is pro-choice does not mean they support abortions. It means they support choice. His administration has doled out $1.5 billion in the past two years to Catholic programs. What if he'd said the Catholic Church must agree with his views in order to get that money? No, the church has a choice, and they should respect everyone else's choices, too. If they don't like his administration, quit taking all that money. It could go a long way in Planned Parenthood.

    February 24, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Josh

      Your logic cuts both ways: Pro-Life people are pro-choice too...they just want the fetus to have the choice to have life or not. On a balance of the Mom's right to terminate a fetus vs. burdening the mother for another 4-6months with an unwanted pregnancy (which was 99.9% of the time entirely within her control to prevent on the front end), pro-life people simply choose in favor of the fetus.

      February 25, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • lili

      To Josh, Fine. Let those women who want to go the extra distance choose to do so. Just don't tell every other woman they have to make the same choice. And really, I hope to your God that some day science can transfer unwanted fetuses from women to the bodies of men who fight for their unborn lives. Then YOU can go the extra distance for every single unwanted fetus. Until then, stay out of the female uterus, and make sure ALL men use birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Then maybe it wouldn't always be 99% of the women's fault. It's always 50-50, Josh. Women don't get
      pregnant by themselves. Since men will most likely never be able to carry and nurture a fetus, and you're pro-life for the fetus, why don't you volunteer to take in all those unwanted babies after they're born so they can live? Just stop telling pro-choice women what to do with their bodies.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  16. Bob B

    If contraception denigrates you as a woman, don't use it. If another woman doesn't believe it denigrates her as a woman, let her take it.

    Let God make the final decision on which of you is right. Or maybe He doesn't really care. After all, I've never seen anything in the Bible where He says contraception is wrong, that just seems to be something dreamed up by white European men in the Vatican.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Theresa

      Well said!

      February 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  17. lili

    SPA Knight – "Why would anyone who can have children not want them?" Are you kidding me?? Frankly, it's none of your business if a couple wants or doesn't want children. Why don't you go down to a local welfare clinic and see how many people shouldn't have had children! Some of them didn't want them, or worse, wanted them to stay on the welfare system; they don't know how to properly care for them; and the children suffer...which often causes our society to suffer as a whole. Lots of couples don't want children for myriad reasons, which, again, are none of your business. If a bunch of people got together and came up with a doctrine that said you couldn't have children, even if you were married, wouldn't you claim your right to procreate? Well, let the other side have their rights, too.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  18. El Flaco

    If you don't want to use contraceptives, then no one in America would compel you to take them.

    I feel the same way about neckties. They are ridiculous looking and men look like idiots wearing them.

    February 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  19. serdich

    as a Catholic your hope for respect should be set to low..

    February 23, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  20. Kateslate

    Churches are churches. Businesses are businesses. If you are a church conducting business, you must follow the rules that all businesses must follow.

    February 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • lili

      Kateslate, you're so right. Under the Obama administration, the Dept. of Health and Human Services gives more millions of dollars to Catholic charities than any other administration. But the church is not supposed to use that money to push their doctrine on anyone they're helping. If you don't like that, all you Catholics, don't accept the millions you're getting. So the church should not be crying about health insurance programs, separate from them, providing birth control.

      February 23, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Bart

      The Catholic church is a business. They simply want more customers. This is simple.

      February 27, 2012 at 6:19 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.