Archive for the ‘compassion’ Tag

answer teen pregnancy with compassion, not pills

The FDA has made the Plan B emergency contraceptive pill available to all women ages 15 and over without a prescription or parental consent.  Prior to this ruling, anyone under age 17 needed a prescription to obtain this drug.  Proponents of the legislation argue that all women should have timely access to emergency contraception, regardless of age.  Thankfully, the Department of Justice filed an appeal against the ruling late on Wednesday.  Reactions to the appeal were mixed, but perhaps one of the most disappointing headlines I read this morning was, “Women’s groups decry appeal on morning-after pill.”

To be honest, I just spent hours working on an article to post here. I unpacked this issue from a scientific and medical perspective—is this pill an abortifacient? Is this pill safe for young girls? Armed with my facts and my arguments, I presented the article to my faithful editor (read: husband) and he lovingly told me that he thought I had missed the mark. Annoyed, I hung up the phone and sat down at the computer. I prayed. And I realized that he is right.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter what science says about this pill.  What matters is that we are treating pregnancy like the common cold.  We are saying to our young women that pregnancy, like cold symptoms, can be treated with a quick trip to CVS.  Even worse, we are saying to our young women that we will not be there for them when they need guidance.

When I was in college, I was an intern at Catholic Charities Pregnancy Plus Medical in Tampa. I met with women daily, gave free pregnancy tests, and talked through next steps with the women once the results were in.  I was 19 years old, single, no children.  What did I possibly have to offer these women?  I had no pregnancy advice, no relationship advice. I had no words about overcoming addiction or abuse. The only thing I could offer was compassion and a shoulder to cry on. My youngest client that summer was 15 years old, and all I remember is that she just needed someone to talk to, someone to reassure her that everything was going to be ok when her pregnancy test came back positive.

This ruling robs us of the ability to support the young women who find themselves in these difficult situations. If a young girl is sexually active and her birth control fails, she can go to CVS and pick up a pill and end her pregnancy.  Did she abort an already conceived child?  Perhaps.  Is this pill safe?  Will this affect her fertility in the future?  We don’t know the answers to any of these questions. We can speculate, but we don’t know.

What we do know is that God calls us to reach out to one another in love. Our call, our purpose, is to love one another.

He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Matthew 25: 31-40

Bob Rice

Catholic speaker, musician, author, teacher

domestic diva, M.D.

my mother raised the perfect housewife...then I went to med school

Faithfully Flawed

The Spiritual Evolution of a Faulty Catholic

Contemplative Homeschool

Helping the whole family grow in intimacy with Christ

The Elephant Project

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