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. Eli

    If there was a god I would pray that morons like this disappear forever.

    March 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  2. miriam

    If part of one's employment/benefits package is healthcare, then it's not actually the Catholic Church's money that's going to pay for contraception. It's the employee's own money, in the form of benefits GIVEN to them.

    March 1, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  3. larissa

    Taking birth control is less denigrating than wearing the scarlet letter "A" (adulterer/sinner) for the rest of ones life.

    A man gets away with not wearing the scarlet "A." Why is the woman always the one forced to feel guilty.

    March 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  4. miriam

    Use contraceptives or don't use it. The mere existence of it does not "denigrate" your womanhood. I love my two kids, but at the same time, I am very, very thankful that I don't have 19 of them.

    March 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  5. JG

    Marriage denigrates me as a man. I think no one should have to be married. I'm pushing that all marriages be voided and nulled, and no future marriages between a man and woman, woman and woman, goat and man, etc.

    March 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  6. Dave

    OK, so the bra-burners all over the US complain that the GOP didn't have a single woman involved in the decision to oppose the HHS mandate, which I can agree with. However, many women have weighed in and oppose the mandate as well, and they are shat upon because now they are not looked at as women, but religious folk. We now have a woman stating her opinion (good job CNN for burying it BTW) and again, it's not looked at as simply a womans perspective. Looks like there's quite a few people who love the S&B method of reasoning.

    March 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  7. Rev. Rick

    Do you know what you call those who practice "natural family planning" methods for birth control?


    March 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Dave

      NFP was three times more effective in preventing pregnancy than artifical contraception.
      A woman should understand her body, not chemically modify it.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • JG

      So that's your decision to make, Dave?

      No, you overzealous ninnies fail to see is that this whole coverage thing is in case women want that option. It's not like Obama is going to show up at your church with the secret service and shove birth control pills down the throat of every woman that looks to be in breeding condition.

      Now, if your "faith" were really that strong, then what are you so afraid of? If you put the option out there, a woman may actually make her own decision for once? Are you afraid that your brainwashing techniques may be brought down by the very thought a woman could possibly have if she considered using birth control?

      You religious ninnies make me sick. Religion should not dictate law. End of story.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Ted

      hey JG, Nobody is limiting a woman's right to contraceptives. Any woman can go to PP and get birth control for next to nothing. What the law is doing is requiring employers to pay for them even though it is against their beliefs. That is the issue. Since when does the government get to tell independent companies what they need to provide in their benefits coverage. if you don't like the benefits provided by the company, then don't work for them. Get a different job.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ Dave – please provide the medical study that proved this, and by the way there needs to be more than one. As a former Catholic, all of the "good catholics" I knew who practiced NFP had families. Big families. There's nothing wrong with large families, if you can afford them, but the ones I knew that had large families struggled to make ends meet, and yet continued to practice NFP and had even more babies. Anecdotal evidence? Perhaps, but the churches stand on birth control is one of the many reasons I left the RCC.

      March 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  8. LawnSausage

    Another example of the ignorant religious nuts thinking that they have to impose their views on the rest of the world. They don't get it. Its not about your religious beliefs. its about your imposition of your beliefs on others who don't share your religious views. Stop imposing, legislating your religion! If you don't like it, don't do it, leave others to their own beliefs. Create a secular, inclusive system. Not a restrictive system based on some religious views. I am so sick of relogions and special interest groups imposing their belief systems on others.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  9. Dante666

    How pathetic – when will the church leadership learn that if you haven't instilled the doctrins by the time a couple reaches the age of consent – then mandating is too late.

    March 1, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  10. Kathleen

    The saddest part about this is, San Antonio has more teen pregnancies than other urban areas. I live here and see that this predominately Catholic population is willing to discourage birth control, and they are very accepting of 14 and 15 yr. old girls giving birth to babies they have no way of supporting. The Church doesn't assist them financially, we tax payers do.

    March 1, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  11. Kim

    I am disgusted. I understand that the pope has deemed that contraception is against the catholic religion, all this article does, while reinforcing the pope's view, is set back the freedom of women by almost 70 years. If someone has a problem with the use of contraception, then they don't need to take advantage of the availability of it. However, if women wants to ensure that they do not bring children that they do not want into this world, they should be allowed to have access to these products. Would the catholics want to see more unwanted children brought into this world? I am Catholic, but I belive bringing unwanted children into this world is one of the greates tragedies that plagues our world today.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  12. sickofit

    celibate old men, I think not. Just old men.

    February 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  13. JFritz

    OMG could this woman be any more stupid. Blindly led by a bunch of celibate old men, she has the nerve to tell women that taking control of their own bodies is "denigrating them." How dare she! Have your babies, lady, and leave the rest of us alone.

    February 29, 2012 at 2:56 am |
  14. Peter

    If you don't like birth control, don't use it. Problem solved.

    February 29, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  15. Phil

    The author has every right to her feelings and opinions. But PLEASE, don't push your opinions or morality on others. The public deserves to have options and choices and not to be limited to the morality or dogma or any particular group.

    February 28, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
  16. GeorgeBos95

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

    Actually, I have no respect for people who twist their interpretation of something simply to condemn it. Use it, don't use it – contraception is your choice. As it is for the rest of us.

    I just wish you could respect our wishes to use it as you claim you aren't being respected simply because it's available.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • JimBeam

      So, if you don't mind me asking, what choice do you make on birth control pills, George?

      February 29, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  17. Jennifer

    No one is forcing people to take the damn pills! they are not a requirement!!! there are such things as Condoms (tho not as effective)

    February 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • JG

      Did you just say condoms are not as effective as birth control pills?

      March 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  18. edge

    "Contraception denigrates me as a woman"

    Yes, how dare we change the view that women are only valuable to society as baby factories.

    At the same time, I really hope god has a plan for overpopulation...

    February 28, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • merridee

      Yeah... war, famine and disease epidemics.

      February 29, 2012 at 2:28 am |
    • MarcB

      @Merridee: Yeah, pretty much. But, you know, birth control is bad, so keep making the cannon fodder and compost material.

      March 1, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  19. Mad Cow

    Birth control prevents abortion.

    Support Planned Parenthood!

    February 28, 2012 at 2:02 am |
  20. ricky

    we need an article from a catholic man that says masturbation denigrates him given it ranks right up there with birth control.

    February 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • AGuest9

      It's also a by-product of marriage.

      February 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
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