Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
July 15th, 2010


It would have been about 1962. I was doing medical transcription in the Medical Records office at Danbury Hospital. Electric typewriters were new then, and if I recall rightly Gloria got the first one in our office. But I remember Gloria best for being the first one I knew who not only got a prescription for the birth control pill but announced it to all!

This year Mothers’ Day marked the 50th anniversary of oral contraceptives. Women did not seem to realize that in welcoming the birth control pill they were toying with the delicate interrelationship of their hormones and deliberately causing their bodies to malfunction. In previous posts I have written about the birth control pill – how it disrupts hormonal harmony and can cause early abortions, the abortion/breast cancer link, the effectiveness of Natural Family Planning, and the role of Planned Parenthood in today’s society. The Pill made it possible for women to land jobs that they might not get if they were likely to become pregnant. It made it possible for teenagers to play around with sex without fear of pregnancy. It launched an epidemic of infertility because women wanted to get pregnant in their later years, when they were naturally less fertile; because having sex with multiple partners often resulted in sexually transmitted disease causing infertility;  because The Pill sometimes disrupted hormones permanently.   Family size was radically altered world-wide.   Actually, The Pill changed the whole fabric of society.

The following documentary  presents a current overview of THE PILL (from Trent  Herbert on Vimeo)



I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. — Psalm 139:14

Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. God blessed them. God
said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. — Genesis 1:28

November 9th, 2009


I’m 86, I just got back from a Natural Family Planning course, and here I am, all excited all over again! I am, perhaps, not in the usual NFP demographic, but I never cease to be amazed at the wonders of the human body and I’ve been writing about the efficacy of NFP for years now.

I am also totally amazed that supposedly intelligent people, all green and natural, with their filtered water, their organic veggies, and their free ranging chickens, are willing to pollute their one and only body rather than – God forbid – abstain from sex every now and then. There is just no end to the variety of non-biological carcinogenic steroids that they are willing to ingest, insert, or apply as rings, things, pills and patches, rather than learn to understand their bodies and behave rationally.

Quite conveniently I have come across an old article of mine with a September, 1993, quote from the British Medical Journal authored by Dr. R.E.J. Ryder, Department of Endocrinology, Dudley Road Hospital in Birmingham, England. In it Dr. Ryder says that the Catholic church offers and approves a method of birth control which is “cheap, effective, without side-effects…and may be the family planning method of choice for the Third World.”   His article provoked “unprecedented debate” in Great Britain and there was “enormous resistance” to its publication.

Dr. Ryder repeated the well-known facts that a woman’s egg has a lifespan of about 24 hours and is fertilizable for only part of that time. The sperm, however, may remain viable from four to seven days. “Thus a woman is potentially fertile for no more than six to eight days of her cycle, probably less in most cases.” Hormonal studies as well as ultrasound studies have confirmed that the clinical observations of changes in cervical mucus and body temperature as taught in Natural Family Planning can accurately identify the time of ovulation. He cited a World Health Organization study of 869 women of proven fertility in five centers (Auckland, Bangalore, Dublin, Manila, and San Miguel, El Salvador) showing that regardless of culture and education 93% of the women —  even those who were illiterate — could recognize the mucus symptoms. “The probability of conception from intercourse outside the period of fertility defined by cervical mucus observation was 0.0004.”

Another study of 19,843 poor women of Calcutta found a failure rate for Natural Family Planning similar to that of the combined contraceptive pill (less than 2%). In closing his article Dr. Ryder wrote: “There is no doubt that it would be more efficient for the ongoing world debate on overpopulation, resources, environment, poverty and health to be conducted against a background of truth rather than fallacy. It is therefore important that the misconception that Catholicism is synonymous with ineffective birth control is laid to rest.”

One has only to Google any contraceptive medication to learn about their myriad complications and side-effects and realize they are all harmful to normal female functioning. (Dr. Herbert Ratner has called it chemical warfare against women!) A woman on the Pill can be a paying customer for 30 years.   Doctor, pharmacist, and drug company all profit all that time. Unfortunately, nature has no lobby.

I went to this NFP meeting because I had heard that nowadays the NFP people have a new “one rule” which makes it easier to determine a woman’s fertile and infertile periods. Yes, there are still charts to keep (at least until you are well acquainted with how your particular body functions), temperatures to take, and mucus and cervical signs to record. The new rule is more about looking at the whole picture rather than any particular bodily indicator. For particulars, two resource sites might be helpful.

I was particularly intrigued by the wonders of cervical mucus. Who would have known? It turns out that there are various kinds of cervical mucus at various times during a woman’s cycle, some dense and unwelcoming, but there is a “slippery and stretchy mucus,” resembling raw egg white, in which the sperm can live for 2 to 3 days while waiting for a fertilized egg to arrive. Microscopically, it forms string-like channels and provides transport (‘swimming lanes’) for sperm cells. It produces a “wet, lubricative sensation at the vulva.”

I have read that the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa’s order) have been able to teach effective natural birth control in India relying primarily on the mucus factor. As I recall, the instruction went something like this: Moisture makes babies grow; dryness prevents growth. (I don’t remember the exact words, but you get the idea.)  There has been  no more ardent advocate for natural family planning than Mother Teresa.

Who would think I would one  day write a blog post on the marvels of mucus?  Swimming channels for sperm in women’s cervical mucus!  How much more accommodating could we get?

Surely, we are fearfully and wonderfully made!


One of the most demanding things for me is travelling everywhere – and with publicity. I have said to Jesus that if I don’t go to heaven for anything else, I will be going to heaven for all the travelling with all the publicity, because it has purified me and sacrificed me and made me really ready to go to heaven. – Mother Teresa

August 2nd, 2008


Dear Holy Father,

Because I love you, I have to tell you the truth. You are a voice crying in the wilderness! You are sitting there on your papal throne, making pronouncements and writing encyclicals, but apparently you don’t know where it’s at. You are using all the wrong words. You are saying all the wrong things. You are wasting your breath and ink. Nobody is listening, least of all Catholics.

Take, for instance, the recent poll that said over 90% of Catholic couples in the United States practice birth control using contraceptive practices forbidden by their church. According to “America’s Most Quoted Catholic Magazine,” many good Catholics have thoughtfully and prayerfully decided in favor of using the Pill and it is time that the Church stopped telling them they are not good Catholics. The Church has to listen to the people, according to the magazine, and the people, good people, are pro-Pill. (Well, I know a few who aren’t, but they are hung up on living “naturally” and I don’t know if that’s very realistic.)

To get back to the Pill, popping the Pill is what you might call a grass-roots Catholic movement. The people are saying, “The pill is easy; the pill is safe; we can’t take a chance on having more babies.” And what are you saying? You are still talking openness to life and self-discipline. Do you know how long it has been since I’ve read anything in favor of self-discipline? Now that’s really obsolete. Self-realization is the important thing. What you have to do is get in touch with your inner self and do what feels right. No more pronouncements from on high. It’s look into yourself, be yourself, do your thing, form your own conscience.

Now I will grant you that in forming your own conscience it is very easy to rationalize so that what you want to do becomes what is right. Just as an example, I have known of people who were very much anti-abortion because it is killing a human being, taking an innocent life. Until– UNTIL– it was their own unmarried daughter who was pregnant. .THEN there was another side to abortion. It was the easy way out. It spared them social embarrassment and the bother of a baby. People are like that, you know. They think something is wrong until it is more convenient to think it is right. Then they switch. You could take a lesson from your people.

To get back to the Pill again. More and more of late we are hearing medical warnings against it. It causes blood clots and strokes and fifty other side effects. It changes your whole body metabolism. You should not take it if you are over forty, or have migraines, or if you smoke, etc., etc. People are beginning to turn away from the Pill so it’s really too late for you to start being for it. Maybe when you opposed it as being unnatural, you were wiser than you knew. The I.U.D.’s have also caused problems. The upcoming thing now is sterilization.

It is not too late for you to come out in favor of sterilization. I realize that your predecessors felt that individuals are not free to mutilate their God-given bodies and render them unfit for natural functions. But surely you can see that it is so much easier to have a little operation and be done with it. Then married couples can have sex whenever they want to and never worry about babies. Not to mention unmarried couples. And we could sterilize the retarded and other people who are not fit to propagate. We could have one big happy love-in, with no kids as a result. No need to try to educate people to act responsibly and consider the consequences of their acts. There won’t be any consequences. (Perhaps an increase in sexually transmitted diseases, but we’ll find better drugs for those.)

It puzzles me a little that folks should so easily part with their freedom to have children when they hang on so grimly to their other freedoms. Do you suppose sex will lose something if there is no possibility of it accomplishing what it was designed for? I mean it is obvious, even to me, that the main purpose of sex is the propagation of the human race. I get this weird picture of a world full of sterile zombies, endlessly going through the actions of sex with never a chance of achieving its goal!

I hear that Russia is encouraging mothers to have more children and the same is true of Japan. I guess the birth rate fell off too much. Malthus said long ago that if an effective method of birth control was ever found, populations would decline because people were too selfish to have babies if they had a choice. So what’s wrong with a little selfish? We only live once and babies are expensive, time-consuming, and a real drag. I read once that babies make adults out of parents. Whoever wrote it seemed to think that babies helped the parents to grow up as much as the parents helped the babies grow up. But you have to admit that the things babies do for parents are very intangible–-so intangible, in fact, that you have to experience them to believe it. And everyone knows you an get a lot more tangible things without babies.

Holy Father, I seem to be rambling a bit. Just thinking out loud. But I hope I’ve given you something to think about. While you’re at it, you might let up on priestly celibacy. Obviously the world thinks that that is too much to expect from anybody. When a priest breaks his vows and swings a little or gets married, he becomes a real hero and is praised by the media for being true to himself. Being a renegade priest is one of the best ways to get on talk shows. Years ago he would have been considered a man without honor, whose promises are worth nothing. Things are different nowadays, Holy Father, and all those things like honor and integrity, chastity and fidelity, self-control and Christian heroism are really old hat.

Marriage is another example. People are still getting married “till death do us part” but these are just promises to be jettisoned when the going gets stormy. People are weak, Holy Father, and you have to meet them where they are. Stop trying to raise them to saintly heights. As Ann Landers would say, “Wake up and smell the coffee.”

I’m sure you mean well, Holy Father, but you have to stop insisting that Catholic doctrine is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The fact is that things change, and more people would pay attention to you if you said what they want to hear. Really, if you stopped paying so much attention to Holy Scripture and the ten commandments and the church fathers, you’d get a much better press

With love, from your devoted follower,


P.S. You can talk all you want about Love. Love is very “in” nowadays.  Just make sure it is Love without Sacrifice.


For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son…….. John 3: 16

June 21st, 2008


Women are complaining of a “shocking gender inequity” because some insurance companies that will cover Viagra for men will not cover birth control pills for women. After all, they say, thirty years of buying The Pill will cost a women close to $5000. According to the ACLU, women of reproductive age pay 68% more than men in out-of-pocket health care costs.

The men have something broken that they want fixed. The women, on the other hand, have something fixed that they want broken. They want their fertility destroyed. The men want a medicine. The women want a drug that does nothing at all to promote wellness and has many harmful effects. Women who would not consider polluting the environment are willing to pollute the “ecosystem” of their own bodies in such as fashion that every cell of every organ is affected. With good reason Dr. Herbert Ratner has called birth control pills “chemical warfare against women.” Obviously he has a different perspective than the women clamoring for The Pill. Why? Read the rest of this entry »

April 7th, 2008


It seems to be a little known fact that one of the best ways to reduce a woman’s risk of having breast cancer in her later years is to have a baby while she is young. There are many factors that are reputedly related to the development of breast cancer, including family history, obesity, hormone therapy, birth control pills, alcohol consumption, radiation, and amount of exercise, but among these nulliparity is a very important one.

Nulliparity? You haven’t heard of it? Surely you don’t have that! In layman’s terms, nulliparity simply means that you have never borne a child. Having a full-term baby at an early age turns out to be one of the best cancer preventives. Now at last we can understand something that has long been noted: that nuns have a higher breast cancer incidence than the rest of the female population.
Read the rest of this entry »

March 30th, 2008


Whatever has happened to libido? Lately it seems to be much sought after. Pill manufacturers and porn producers rake in billions of dollars catering to those looking for a “turn on” or “enhancement.” Time was – and not that long ago – that men were able to get it on, women were able to conceive, and babies were produced one after another. It may just be that no one talked about arousal difficulties back then. But maybe things actually worked better than they do now.

In women, some libido loss has been attributed to hormonal imbalance. Low libido is reportedly a major side-effect of the high estrogen birth control pill. Pills containing both estrogen and progesterone have been shown to double the incidence of depressive symptoms. It’s hard to be perky when you’re depressed. Millions of women taking these pills not only suffer themselves but urinate measurable quantities of these hormones into the public water supply. But, according to George Harden, a board member of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, “If you’re killing mosquitoes to save people from the West Nile virus, you can count on environmentalists to lay down in front of the vapor truck, claiming some potential side-effect that might result from the spray. But if birth control deforms fish – backed by the proof of an EPA study – and threatens the drinking supply, mum will be the word.”
Read the rest of this entry »