I Shouldn’t Have Waited for the Bishops

Are you like me? Reading the coverage of the HHS mandate for insurance to cover contraception and sterilization and wondering why the bishops are only now speaking out against it when citizens have been forced to pay taxes that fund contraception, sterilization and even abortion for a long time.

“Hey, it’s about time!”

Yes, this mandate is a step in a very wrong direction. It’s great that some bishops have started speaking out though others always have been. But just as soon as I thought about what the bishops are doing, I checked myself because I realize that I have been part of the problem all along. I shouldn’t have waited for the bishops to speak out against the citizenry being forced to fund these immoral things in our society.

Contraception has pervaded our culture for a long time and I’ve done little about it. Sure I’ve argued against it, written about it. I’ve rejected it in my own life. I’ve taught my children why it’s harmful. But – I’ve also accepted that as long as a doctor doesn’t push it on me, it’s none of my business whether he or she dispenses it to other women. That has been my mentality. I realize now with a shudder, that’s not acceptable because that is fundamentally what moral relativism is.

Smack my head!

Over the years of bearing seven children, looking back, I see how the slow creep occurred. I was that clueless frog in the hot water waiting so long I couldn’t jump out when it was too late.

In the 1980?s I was introduced to contraception, and used it.
In the 1990?s I ask for contraception after childbirth, and got it.
In the 2000?s I converted to Catholicism and rejected it personally.

But that is when I should have done more. I should have rejected it — objectively rejected it — not just rejected it “for me. “I’ve been offered, even pushed more than I want to admit at times, to accept contraception, even after I became Catholic and said I was Catholic, and even in Catholic hospitals. Still, I would settle for ultimately having the choice to refuse it. And when I did that, I furthered the message that what I believe is a subjective opinion, not the objective truth.

Of course, I also do still wonder why the bishops are getting so upset just now when the fact is, you can go to many Catholic hospitals across the country and can get contraception. Why wasn’t anyone decrying that? Then it hit me, I think I know why.

News flash: Bishops and pastors don’t frequent OB/GYN offices.

But parents, especially women, do. Women can talk directly to doctors in ways bishops cannot. It is I who should have been decrying this all along. It’s not just unacceptable for the doctor to push it on a Catholic woman, it’s unacceptable for any doctor in any Catholic institution to even make it available, and women have the unique opportunity to say so directly to the doctors they visit. How many do that though?

Think about it. If a doctor is willing to prescribe abortifacient drugs or abortifacient devices, then the doctor is willing to induce abortions. If we wouldn’t let a practicing sex offender examine our children, then why for Heaven’s sake would we let a practicing abortionist deliver them?

Unless I have looked at every doctor along the way for the last 3-4 decades in the face and told them why contraception, sterilization and abortion are immoral, and demanded they stop offering it lest I seek new medical professionals to care for my body and my family, then I really have no foundation for any outrage today at all. Yes, I confess, I’ve walked out of doctor’s offices and ignored the contraception ads hanging on the wall, just glad I did “the right thing.” But I failed. I should have spoke up, right then, right there, directly to the medical professionals.

Mea culpa

I vow to be a more involved patient. Imagine what would happen if every Catholic woman demanded that every doctor in every Catholic hospital cease and desist immediately from dispensing contraception? They’d listen to us. This is the time to help the bishops, ladies.

Will you join me?

Stacy Trasancos is a mother of seven, joyful convert to Catholicism with a Ph.D. in Chemistry and a M.A. in Dogmatic Theology. She is Editor-in-Chief of Catholic Stand and author of Science Was Born of Christianity: The Teaching of Fr. Stanley L. Jaki. She writes from her tiny office in a 100-year-old restored Adirondack mountain lodge that overlooks a small spring-fed lake. More about her here. Find her on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter. Contact her by email