Surprised? If you are, then perhaps it's due to the implicitness of the American Medical Association and the mass media.
It turns out that the pill is lucrative business for lots of docs and pharmaceutical companies. And loads of environmentalists see people as the primary problem and the pill as the panacea to the people problem, so they don't want to malign the pill, in case those fertile people stop using it and start spreading their hordes across the pristine wilderness. The truth of the matter is we're destroying our pristine wilderness every time we pop one of those hormone pills! You see, our water treatment facilities don't clean out the hormones that get into the water supply from 15 million American women on the pill. It is pretty darned gross when you think about it, but the birth control pills my neighbors are taking is leaching into the water I'm drinking, as well as the water my boys are drinking. There have even been studies done on the effects of estrogen in the water supply and our food chain and how that may be causing increases in ADHD in boys and early onset of puberty in girls. I wrote about here.
It's time to educate ourselves on the detrimental aspects of the pill, both for our bodies and our environments. We can't rely on our doctors to tell us about it. In fact, despite my disdain for the pill, I've had docs try to push it on me for everything from regulating my cycle when I was a teenager to clearing my acne when I was a busy mom of three! The first time it was pushed on me I actually read the insert (I think a nurse gave it to me) with all the dire warnings about blood clots and stroke and every imaginable horror including death and I decided some irregular periods weren't so bad after all. My second experience was shortly after the birth of my third child and I purposefully chose a Catholic ob/gyn who advertised in our parish bulletin, hoping to avoid the discussion of birth control pills. She claimed to have a "holistic" view of my health and told me that she was concerned about my very minor bout of acne and wanted to clear it up for my by putting me on some hormonal pills. She never even mentioned the contraceptive aspect, although I think she recommended I stop nursing my 4 month old so that I could take care of my acne.
Maybe some folks are actually starting to wake up to the damages we've been doing to ourselves. Even a Planned Parenthood director in Alberta, Canada has taken notice.
The lone voice in this craziness has always been the Catholic Church. The Church has long been stigmatized as "behind the times" and her celibate priesthood unable to understand the demands of family life. I find it stunningly beautiful that the most remarkable document ever written about birth control was written by a celibate pope named Paul VI. In 1968, in the height of the furor over the pill, he penned the much-maligned and despised, yet simple and straight-forward letter to his flock known as Humanae Vitae. In it, Pope Paul VI implores doctors and nurses to defend life and continue to research in the field of human reproduction.
Likewise we hold in the highest esteem those doctors and members of the nursing profession who, in the exercise of their calling, endeavor to fulfill the demands of their Christian vocation before any merely human interest. Let them therefore continue constant in their resolution always to support those lines of action which accord with faith and with right reason. And let them strive to win agreement and support for these policies among their professional colleagues. Moreover, they should regard it as an essential part of their skill to make themselves fully proficient in this difficult field of medical knowledge. For then, when married couples ask for their advice, they may be in a position to give them right counsel and to point them in the proper direction. Married couples have a right to expect this much from them.
Now more than ever we need faithful Christian men and women in the field of medicine. We need educated men and women who see human beings as the pinnacle of God's creation and who strive to help all human beings become living tabernacles of their Creator.
For more information about the harmful effects of the pill and the efficacy and beauty of Natural Family Planning, here are some links to read:
How the Pill and Other Contraceptives Work
Oral Contraceptives and Cancer Risk
The Pill: How Does it Work and is it Safe?
Natural Family Planning FAQs