Being Open to Life: An Uphill Battle

Today is the 37th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae. This encyclical reinforced the Church's constant teaching that it is always intrinsically wrong to use contraception to prevent the transmission of human life. Additionally, it continued the Church's constant teaching against abortion and sterilization.

"Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary.

Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation?whether as an end or as a means."

-Humanae Vitae 14

Unfortunately, statistics show that 97% of Catholics use artificial contraception. If you are one of the 3% who is trying to live Church teaching and trying to find a doctor who shares your values, it can be an uphill battle. In Allegheny county, which is 69.8% Catholic, there are only 4 doctors (that I have found) who do not prescribe, perform, or refer for contraception, sterilization, abortion, or in vitro fertilization. That's right, there are only 4 physicians who live out the Church teaching on sexuality and life issues in a county that is almost 70% Catholic. That seems a little ridiculous to me. Of those 4, 2 are pediatricians, 1 is an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor), and 1 specializes in occupational/preventive medicine. None of them do gynecology work, not even the preventive medicine doctor. I called and asked. So, if you are a practicing Catholic woman in Allegheny county, you need to go elsewhere to find a gynecologist who shares your values.

The bulk of the reason for this lies in the lack of demand for these doctors among Catholics. Why, though, are there so few Catholics practicing this tenant of the faith? Part of the problem lies in misinformation supplied by doctors. My gynecologist told me that "Natural Family Planning is an ineffective method of contraception." However, when used properly (the same standard used to measure artificial methods of spacing children), natural family planning is 99% effective in spacing children. She wasn't talking about the rhythym method either. She spoke of the indicators and charting. However, I think the root cause is more than misinformation from doctors. If people were really interested, they could go to books to get the right information about effectiveness. The root causes are people don't know what the Church teaches, why She teaches what She does, or just don't care.

The first two problems are related; they are caused by poor catechesis, priests who lack a spine and don't want to "drive people away", and bishops who don't shepherd the flock. Personally, although I grew up Catholic, I didn't understand the Church's teaching until college. I remember learning there was a Church rule against birth control. I didn't have the impression that that the rule was still followed or "enforced". I never even knew that natural family planning existed, nor did I know that there were requirements for its use to be just. I think I had a pretty typical experience in this regard. I grew up in your average parish, attended Mass on Sunday and all Holy Days of Obligation, went to Catholic school and CCD during public high school. It was only through an orthodox Newman center that is very effective at catechesis that I learned the Church's teaching on sexuality and Her reason for it. Why didn't my parents, who are supposed to be my primary catechists, mention it? Why did I not learn this in catechism class? Why had I never heard about it in a homily? The first time I ever heard the Church's teaching on contraception mentioned in a homily, I was in Denver and Mass was being celebrated by Archbishop Chaput. He is very much the exception to the rule, though. In my experience, there are very few priests who have the spine to talk about such a controversial issue in a Sunday homily. Where are the bishops? Why are more bishops not talking about it? Why are the bishops not encouraging their priests to talk about the issue?

The causes of the third problem, apathy, are different, but related. We live in a society of materialism and relativism. BMW's are more important than babies, profits more important than people. There is a lack of respect for Truth. "Whatever you want to believe is good enough for you as long as it doesn't affect me." seems to be the prevalent attitude. How can we progress to a society where people are more important than things if we don't have a standard, if we don't respect Truth? It is as Chesterton said in Orthodoxy:

"Akin to these is the false theory of progress, which maintains that we alter the test instead of trying to pass the test. We often hear it said, for instance, 'What is right in one age is wrong in another.' This is quite reasonable, if it means that there is a fixed aim, and that certain methods attain at certain times and not at other times. If women, say, desire to be elegant, it may be that they are improved at one time by growing fatter and at another time by growing thinner. But you cannot say that they are improved by ceasing to wish to be elegant and beginning to wish to be oblong. If the standard changes, how can there be improvement, which implies a standard?"

Now that we see the darkness of our society, it is time for each of us to be the "light of the world". (cf. Matthew 5:14) It is time for each of us to confront these problems, to raise awareness and understanding of Church teaching which will lead to demand for pro-life doctors. Each of us can aid in the solution of these problems. After learning the Church teaching ourselves, we can catechize our friends and family and dispel the misconceptions among those we meet. Parents can take responsibility for catechesis of their children. We can also support those who are open to life and have larger than average families who get criticized by society at large. Additionally, it is important for us to encourage our priests to speak out about the issue. Many times, unfortunately, the Sunday homily is the average Catholic's only catechesis for the week. It is important that moral issues which affect daily life, such as this one, are covered. We can also confront our bishops and ask them to shepherd their flock, both by speaking out about Church teaching themselves and encouraging their priests to do the same. I'm not talking about lip service, heresy, or wishy washy statements, either, but real catechesis and real Truth. We can live in such a way that shows we live the value that people are more important than things by sharing our time, talent, and treasure with those less fortunate than ourselves. We need to walk the walk AND talk the talk. Our lives and our lips need to speak the unadulterated, uncompromising Truth. The Truth, which this world is starving for, is the only answer to these problems. As Pope John Paul II said:

"If you want peace, work for justice; if you want justice, defend life; if you want life, embrace the Truth, the Truth revealed by God."

[BTW, July 24-30 is Natural Family PLanning Awareness Week. – Funky]

Comments 28

  1. edey wrote:


    do you have a question? or am i supposed to give my feedback on what i think the couple should do?

    Posted 03 Aug 2005 at 4:24 am
  2. Funky Dung wrote:

    I suspect you intend some sarcasm with that suggestion, but I’ll treat it as serious.

    Living together would be considered a near occasion of sin. Also, couples that cohabitate prior to marriage automatically have grounds for anulling their marriage. That doesn’t mean they’d get one instantly if they asked for one, though. It’d just be easier. If I remember, I’ll try to find more details about this. I’m sure it’s somewhere in canon law.

    Posted 02 Aug 2005 at 10:19 pm
  3. John wrote:

    Here’s a thought:

    If a couple are truly committed to one another, but don’t want to have children yet. Move in together, but sleep in different rooms is finances allow it, or at least in different beds. When they want children, get married and push the beds together.

    Posted 02 Aug 2005 at 10:14 pm
  4. edey wrote:

    In addition to Funky’s comments, it should also be mentioned that:

    1 NFP differs from birth control in that you can actually use it to ACHIEVE pregnancy as well as aviod.

    2 The Church teaches that there is a two fold purpose of sexual intercourse, procreation and the unity of the couple. If one of these ends is intentionally, actively removed, there is a problem. Even if you use absolutely no family planning methods, you aren’t going to conceive a child EVERY time you have intercourse. The Church doesn’t teach that every single act has to achieve pregnancy, but that every single act needs to be OPEN to life. Does that distinction make sense?

    3 NFP has plenty of “practical” benefits over birth control. NFP couples have lower divorce rates due to the increased communication. Also, NFP is the ONLY method that involves both people. It is more effective than barrier methods and as effective as chemical methods without messing with a woman’s hormones. I know people who use it for that reason alone. Additionally, the couple learns about the woman’s body and can tell when she’s geting sick, when something is wrong with her cycle, etc.

    You say that it’s immoral to have sex other than to produce children… unless you use your particular means.

    Where did I say this, btw?

    Posted 02 Aug 2005 at 4:04 pm
  5. Funky Dung wrote:


    Am I a bourgeois hypocrite?
    Is Jerry?

    What would you call the 97% of Catholics who claim to follow Church teachings, but conveniently ignore them when it doesn’t suit their agenda? Proletariat hypocrites?

    If you actually read Theology of the Body and other works that explain Catholic sexual ethics, you’ll find that NFP shouldn’t be used like a contraceptive. Ideally, couples should prayerfully consider each cycle whether or not they ought to have children. The Church stresses that one should not apply NFP as one would condom or pill use. Under most ordinary circumstances, couples should not be avoiding conception.

    Put more succeinctly, NFP can be part of a contraceptive mentality and therefore be illicit. Objectivley, it is licit, but under certain circumstances, it can become illicit. Artificial contraception is objectively illicit.

    P.S. Be careful with that chip on your shoulder; it might give you bursitis. 😉

    Posted 02 Aug 2005 at 3:50 pm
  6. edey wrote:


    Jerry is probably better infomed about requirements to become certified. However, being able to perform a d&c (or any other “abortion related procedure”) doesn’t mean you have to use it for that purpose. For example, your wife’s case. D&C isn’t necesarily an abortion, it’s ensuring she is healthy by ensuring the remains of a MISCARRIED baby don’t stay inside her for a period of time that would damage her body. I would hope they would know any procedure that has licit applications, but only use those procedures for the licit applications as opposed to abortion. There are some abortion procedures that I couldn’t imagine having licit ends (I could be wrong, though) like D&X (aka partial birth abortion). I would hope that performance of those wasn’t required material.

    Posted 02 Aug 2005 at 3:39 pm
  7. John wrote:

    I’ve not had internet access for a long while is why I’ve not been posting.

    I take offense at anyone who condemns birth control and praises “natural family planning”. You say that it’s immoral to have sex other than to produce children… unless you use your particular means.

    It’s not theology, it’s a concession made by the church to attract bourgeois hypocrites.

    Posted 02 Aug 2005 at 3:20 am
  8. john wrote:

    well then, I’m glad you’ve cleared up which one of us is holier.

    Posted 26 Jul 2005 at 4:30 pm
  9. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    Hi Edey:

    Thank you for this thoughtful post. I’d ask you to consider this problem (i.e., bald and ubiquitous unfaithfulness to the Church’s teaching among Catholics) from the perspective of a would-be convert. For the past half-dozen weeks, my family (of 7) has attended mass at this beautiful parish two blocks from our home. During the Eucharist, we just kneel there quietly and reverently as EVERYONE ELSE around us goes up to receive the host. Now I cannot say WHO among the EVERYONE around us is not in a state of grace and therefore not worthy to receive communion. But I know that 45 minutes on a Saturday afternoon is not enough time for all 1300-1500 people (avg. combined Sat/Sun mass attendance) to have confessed and received absolution for their grave sins. I also know that I commit grave sins nearly every week, tho’ contraception is no longer regularly among them.

    The thing is that we desire more than anything to receive, to eat and to drink, the object of our adoration, and would gladly jump through any hoop (obedience, confession, &c.) to do so. But since we are not yet received into the RCC, we cannot. Communion is objectively closed for us. But most of our fellow parishoners don’t give their worthiness (which must surely be in doubt by any ordinary reading of Church teaching) to receive the Lord a second thought. Something stinks here.

    This is the quandary. Let’s say one is convinced that the RCC is the One True, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and is therefore the right place to be for anyone who wishes to follow Christ. But at the same time, one looks at the common practice, the “public theology” of the RCC and sees, as you suggest, the Priests will never or only rarely speak toward contraception or other controversial issues, that folks can get “complete” Catholic catechesis and yet fail to understand the Church’s teaching, much less the theology behind such teaching, much less still that obedience is not optional. Finally, consider the risks to the faith of my children. Are they more or less likely to persevere in their faith in the RCC vis-a-vis an (otherwise) orthodox Evangelical church? From what I’ve seen and heard so far, much less likely. In short, it seems that the One True Church presents a greater risk (statistically speaking) of Hell to its members, than any of many schismatic churches.

    God forbid that I would ask the RCC to open itself to me and my agenda on my terms. That is not at all what I’m asking. Rather I’m saying that the time is long past for the RCC to start kicking some holy ass in its own living room… and this might begin by believing what you purport to believe, teaching what you believe, and living what you teach.

    Impaled on the horns of this dilemma.

    Posted 26 Jul 2005 at 4:35 pm
  10. Jerry wrote:


    Perhaps we could ask around for good parishes (either Roman or Byzantine Catholic) in your area. Where are you, precisely?

    The situation you raise is quite pertinent, but there is more hope than you realize. There are often isolated orthodox families in liberal or lukewarm parishes. The Internet and good publishing houses like Ignatius can be excellent for helping “domestic churches” (i.e., families) form in a proper way. Lay associations like Communion and Liberation or Opus Dei may help as well. You may consider Googling them and seeing what’s going on. I cannot say whether one or the other would be good for you or your family, but investigation can’t hurt.

    From someone with quite a bit of experience with lukewarm parishes: A lukewarm parish is not going to help inform people of unpopular truths, but generally it doesn’t do much to discourage or dissuade Catholics who have educated themselves about unpopular doctrines and dogmas, especially on sexuality and the family.

    Posted 26 Jul 2005 at 5:10 pm
  11. edey wrote:

    Untitled document I agree with you, Steve. There is a very big problem with people receiving Communion who are not in a state of grace. I think, though, that goes back to the problems I discussed in the post. People don't know the teaching (yes, it says it in the back of the missal, but who reads that?), people don't know WHY the Church teaches it, or people don't care. People may not even know what are the three requirements for a sin to be mortal (1 grave matter, 2 knowledge of the gravity, 3 full consent of the will).

    I have found, though, that in places where priests talk about Confession and make the Sacrament available, there is always a line.

    This goes back to the same issues I was discussing, though, poor catechesis including parents who forget that they are the children's primary catechists, priests without a spine, and bishops who don't want to sheperd. These, I believe, are root causes of MANY problems in the Church and society at large, not just about family planning.

    However, I would strongly encourage you to enter the RCC (you can enter at Easter, which I do admit is far away) despite its failures for two reasons (in addition to the obvious being the Fullness of the Truth): 1) you can receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ which is something it sounds like you very much desire and 2) to be a light in the darkness. We need people like you to demand the Sacraments, to live the Church teaching. Be a light in the darkness. Live the Truth. Catechize your children properly. Evangelize your neighbors.

    One thing you may want to consider is finding a group of orthodox Catholics to join for support. If there isn't one around you, make one! There may not be many where you live, but I'd bet you aren't the only one. By looking at the website of your parish, you are about an hour from NYC. There are some very good orders based out of the city, and I know one has associates. There are also Youth2000 retreats in the city if your children are in middle school or older. You are not very far from Parsippany, which is the home of St Peter, a parish with a perpetual Adoration chapel. There are resources around you. Take advantage of them. If you are in the diocese of Patterson, I've met your bishop. I don't know that much about him, but he seemed very interested in the state of the youth and how to improve things for the youth when I spoke to him. He seemed like a good man. I don't know how orthodox he is (he could be very orthodox or not at all–I really have no clue), but he seems to honestly care.

    Posted 26 Jul 2005 at 5:18 pm
  12. edey wrote:


    i really did not mean to come off as “holier than thou”. i’m sorry if i did. what particularly did you find offensive? the Truth or the way i said it? i can apologize for the latter, but not the former.

    this may surprise you, but i was very much in your shoes when i arrived at college.

    Posted 26 Jul 2005 at 5:26 pm
  13. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    Edey, yes Morristown not far from Parsippany NJ, where we lived (rented) for a couple years before buying a house in Morristown.

    Jerry, I appreciate the input, but you should be careful here. It sounds dangerously Protestant to suggest “shopping around” for a parish that is “to my liking.” We’d very much like to be part of an Eastern Rite Catholic parish, but the problem is: we’d have to drive very far (Newark or East Orange) to do that. And then what would we be doing? We’d be doing no more than the mindless Evangelical drones that drive 20 miles to go the Whiz-bang Megachurch with a big Parking Lot and location convenient to the freeway: atomized religious trappings slathered liberally upon atomized exurbian life–no community, no love of place, the black monolith of personal autonomy and actualization. That’s the problem and not the solution: a failure to love the PLACE (in all its particularity) where God has put me, viz., two blocks from Assumption Parish. They may be SOBs, but their our SOBs. 😉 (To be fair, I don’t want to characterize Assumption as “liberal” or lukewarm… I don’t know enough about ’em yet.) I value (as a transcendant good) buying eggs and cucumbers produced as close to home as possible. The same goes for Word and Sacrament…. only more so.

    Now it is certainly our hope that we will (eventually) find and join the inner sanctum of radically orthodox, non-contracepting wing-nuts within the parish. And also we’re doing a Catholic Homeschool Co-op this year, so this should be a chance to meet other hardcore faithful Catholics. (Homeschooling attracts all types but usually the hardest core of whatever type attracted ;-))

    The funny thing is that I left the Evangelical church because (among other things) I got tired of doing the dissident thing. And now it would appear that in joining the RCC, nothing will have changed. At least here, the rear guard action is one that cannot be officially frowned upon by the clergy…


    Posted 26 Jul 2005 at 7:00 pm
  14. Paul M. Martin wrote:

    What about the uncompromising truth that the earth is a finite sphere, and if we don’t learn to control the population of our species, we will eat ourselves out of our house and home here?

    There’s no biblical injunction to help bring on the Apocalypse.

    The phrase “pro-life” covers thoughtlessness and is a product of the age of the sound bite. Pro what life? If we care about the children of our children’s children, and not just the families that we can physcially embrace in the short span of our lifetimes, then being “pro life” means controling our population.

    One way or another it will be controled… All kinds of populations through history have damaged local environments to the point they were untenable. Well the earth has become one local environment, and population growth is the driving factor behind every form of environmental degradation.

    If God had meant us to think he’d have given us brains – and whaddya know?

    Posted 26 Jul 2005 at 7:36 pm
  15. Jerry wrote:


    I’m telling you to look at different Catholic parishes. Not different denominations, but CATHOLIC parishes. The Vatican encourages people to stay with their local parish, but to go “where they are fed”, or words to that effect. Therefore, if there is a significantly better parish nearby, go to that.

    I say this to you since you are thinking of entering the Church; once you commit to a parish, I wouldn’t advise more bouncing around, but insofar as you’re debating whether to enter the Church, you should be aware of your options. Quite frankly, not joining the Church at all due to considerations of community (understandably enough) rather than objective truth strikes me as the more Protestant way of thinking. 🙂

    A parish to one’s liking is not the same thing as whatever Protestant church-hopping upsets you. Does the Church in question teach the Catholic faith? This is much more objective.

    Likewise, why not go drive to a Byzantine Church? It’s a different spiritual style and culture. If that is how you connect with God, consider it, and of course you can still go to a local R.C. church when needed. My wife is Ukrainian Greek Catholic, and we do this! This depends on many particular constraints with time and family, of course, but it is a prima facie legitimate option.

    Posted 26 Jul 2005 at 7:42 pm
  16. Funky Dung wrote:


    Ever notice that the countries breeding like rabbits aren’t dominated by Catholics or Christians of any stripe? Those cultures are reproducing prodigiously are usually doing so for the wrong reasons, just as our culture prevents life for the wrong reasons. There is such thing as responsibility in fertility and the Church teaches that.

    On a side note, if you collected all of the Westerners who’ve aborted for population control reasons, my guess is that they’d fit in a small classroom. I disagree with population control reasoning in support of abortion, but at least I can respect it as a reasonable and defensible position. The sad fact is that most abortions are performed for far less altruistic reasons. Likewise, most people who contracept do so for selfish reasons, not for the sake of humanity and Mother Earth.

    Posted 26 Jul 2005 at 7:53 pm
  17. edey wrote:

    I agree with you that we need to preserve the environment; I disagree that population is the problem. There are two ways to decrease the overall impact of the population on the environment assuming total impact = population times impact per person. One school of thought is that we should decrease the number of people and maintain a constant impact per person. I am not of this school. I think this school tends to continue the consumerism, materialism, and greed that are so prevalent in society. It is for the complacent. “Just have less kids, so we don’t need to change our lifestyle.”

    The other school, which I support, is of the opinion that we could decrease the impact PER PERSON on the environment. Interestingly enough, some of the most environmentally efficient people I know come from larger families. Many people don’t like this school, though, because it forces lifestyle changes. We might have to bike, walk, or take public transportation more frequently. We might have to have less “stuff” since all the things we have require energy to produce. We might have to recycle. Agriculture has a very large impact on the environment, and meat takes a lot of land to produce compared to grains. Maybe we could eat a little less meat. Maybe we could get second hand clothes or use what our older siblings had. Maybe we could try to buy more raw ingredients instead of processed food. Maybe we could try to buy things with post-consumer recycled content. There are many ways that each of us could decrease the impact we have on the environment. If we each did our part, there wouldn’t be such a perceived “need” to decrease population. That would require sacrifice and fighting materialism, though.

    Posted 26 Jul 2005 at 7:54 pm
  18. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    What a crocking load of bovine excrement, Paul. It ain’t the 60s anymore. Eugenicists have been driven out of the high school social studies text business for quite some time.

    Demographic implosion is already upon Western Europe and Japan (the former quickly becoming an Islamic state). The only thing staving off this fate in America is the “mindless dark dolts” (by your apparent accounting) invading our borders. One could hope they’ll not be infected by this WASPy, urbane, eugenics crap. But alas, America has proven particularly efficient in standardizing and exporting abject stupidity. Demographers now believe that the earth’s population will peak around 2030 at about 7 billion and then go into absolute decline. That’s when the big one drops.

    The problem isn’t mouths to feed, but not enough hands for work. It’s selfish, brainless, son-a-bitches padding their fat sorry asses in front of 100+ cable channels, driving luxury SUVs, promoting unsustainability in every aspect of life… and all the while complaining that kids’re too damn expensive, and worrying that big daddy government might not be able to take care of them when they’re old. Contracept your way into oblivion if you like, but don’t go ’round thinking that 2 million years of human evolution (and thus human nature) can be so easily dismissed with Malthusian claptrap about “overpopulation”.

    If God wanted us to reproduce, he’d’ve given us weenies and noonies in roughly equal measure… Well, whaddya know?


    Posted 26 Jul 2005 at 10:18 pm
  19. Amy wrote:

    A more practical question for the author… Edey, have you found a gyno in any of the surrounding counties who shares your views? I’m on a bit of a top-secret search for one north of the city.
    Thanks for writing about this topic 🙂

    Posted 27 Jul 2005 at 1:55 am
  20. alicia wrote:

    speaking here as a member of the health care chaos in the USA. It is d–n near impossible to get into (let alone graduate from) any women’s health oriented program (from CNM to OB/Gyn) with orthodox catholic values intact. And if one does manage to successfully negotiate a hostile system, then there is the issue of trying to find a place to practice.
    The Catholic hospitals don’t support us. They’d rather hire providers without asking them uncomfortable questions or requiring them to follow the directives for Catholic Health care.
    I am mad as H–l about it but I don’t know what to do.

    Posted 27 Jul 2005 at 2:27 am
  21. edey wrote:


    I found a guy south of the city in Washington county:

    Bruce K Maskarinec DO Specialty: Family Practice w/ Obstetrics
    Phone: (724) 947-2280 NFP Model: CrM/PPVI
    Hickory , PA 15340

    I called his office and the secretary said he does gyn work.

    This next guy is in Beaver, which is west of the city, but I don’t know if he does gyn work:

    Paul Hoover MD Specialty: Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
    Phone: (724) 728-2077 NFP Model: CrM/PPVI
    Beaver , PA 15009

    Physical medicine? I’m not sure if he would do gyn work. You could call, though.

    You can search your own zip code, though.

    Posted 27 Jul 2005 at 3:17 am
  22. edey wrote:


    I am actually not sure what to tell you since I’m not in the medical field, but here are the thoughts that came to mind.

    1. Start your own practice. No one can tell you what to do in your own practice. Hopefully there is more demand where you live than there is apparently around here.

    2. Get together with a few like-minded physicians/nurses/midwives and open a practice together. This might make the most sense since you could pool your client bases. Plus, a doctor-midwife combination would potentially reach a very wide audience.

    Do you NEED to work with a hospital system? I’m sure there are benefits, but is it necessary?

    Keep on being the light. It’s tough, but remember Christ didn’t promise us the easy way; He said “take up your cross”.

    Posted 27 Jul 2005 at 3:28 am
  23. Jerry wrote:

    Amy and Erin:

    I met Dr. Hoover and his wife when they spoke about NFP to the St. Luke Society at the Pitt School of Medicine. They’re both great.

    I doubt that Dr. Hoover would do any OB or GYN work; his NFP training, from what he told me, is more endocrinological than gynecological per se.

    If you contact People Concerned for the Unborn Child (, they may be able to help you.

    Posted 27 Jul 2005 at 4:37 pm
  24. Tracy wrote:

    Fortunately here in Northern VA outside of Washington DC we have a great prolife OB/GYN practice with 2 offices. They have been incredibly helpful and we are at such peace going there. We suffered a miscarriage in Dec and now I am 5 mos preg with a little girl who has severe complications and will probably not live very long after being born. Every time we see these dr’s we feel the emphasis that is put on our baby’s life. It is beautiful.

    We hope more Dr’s start practices like this throughout the country.

    Posted 27 Jul 2005 at 5:21 pm
  25. Elena wrote:

    Great article! and good choice for the Christian Carnival.

    Posted 27 Jul 2005 at 7:08 pm
  26. Amy wrote:

    Edey, thanks for the info 🙂
    I’ve tried searching omsoul before & come up with pretty much nothing… there were a few listings near me but when I actually tried to find current info I came up with nothing. Might be time to concentrate DH’s job search south of the city.
    Jerry, thanks for the tip about PCUC. I hadn’t thought of them before but you’re right… they might have some info.

    Posted 28 Jul 2005 at 12:37 am
  27. Steve Nicoloso wrote:

    Our ob-gyn here in NJ (who’s delivered our last three) seems to respect our values, tho’ I doubt he personally agrees with him. My wife’s refused the “genetic tests” and he doesn’t ask anymore. He is illiterate in NFP.

    But I do have one question: Can an ObGyn get “certified” (or whatever the medical profession calls it) without having performed abortions or abortion-related procedures? Does it depend on the University or Hospital that they come from? Reason I ask is that various techniques do have (presumably) licit and potentially life-saving applications. My wife had to have a D&C to remove… well… a miscarried fetus… or whatever was left after a miscarriage. Wouldn’t any garden variety ObGyn (however devoutly prolife) need to be able to do this procedure?


    Posted 30 Jul 2005 at 5:53 am
  28. Br. Joshua wrote:

    FertilityCare and NaProTechnology are the “trademarks” as it were of Dr. Tom Hilgers’ and the Pope Paul VI Institute’s gynecological care. As far as I’ve heard, they have trained quite a few OB/GYNs who seem to fly below the radar (thanks to our hostile hierarchy – Funky can post on that another time). The following somewhat local (Pittsburgh area) docs are taken from their service website (, where others for other states can be found. Hope it’s helpful, and feedback is appreciated.

    Steubenville FertilityCare Services
    Bloomingdale, OH 43910
    Features NaProTECHNOLOGY®
    Phone: 740-944-1337

    FertilityCare Center of the Greater Pittsburgh Region
    Avella, PA 15312
    Features NaProTECHNOLOGY®
    Phone: 724-747-2470 Fax: 724-587-5954

    FertilityCare Services of Westmoreland and Allegheny Counties
    Harrison City, PA 15636
    Features NaProTECHNOLOGY®
    Phone: 724-744-2061 Fax: n/a

    Posted 04 Feb 2006 at 10:08 pm

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  1. From Ales Rarus - A Rare Bird, A Strange Duck, One Funky Blog » Fruitful Multiplication and Care of God’s Creation on 22 Apr 2006 at 11:47 am

    […] Fruitful Multiplication and Care of God’s Creation By Edey Earlier, Funky explored Pius XII’s comments on family size. However, one thing that seems to come up frequently when discussing the idea of having large families is how to reconcile a large family with preserving the earth for future generations and caring for God’s creation. As I have said in the past, I think the problem lies in the impact per person rather than the number of people. If total impact on the environment = (number of people) * (impact per person), then by reducing the impact per person significantly enough, the environment can sustain more people. As Earth day fast approaches, I found it a fitting time to suggest 10 simple ways that each of us can help decrease the impact per person: […]

  2. From Welcome Post-Gazette Readers! :) | Pennsylvania @ Ales Rarus on 21 Sep 2006 at 2:03 pm

    […] There are some good folks who deserve to take the credit with me – perhaps even away from me. Jerry Nora writes most of the stem cells posts. As a med school student and bioethics hobbyist, he's more qualified than I to argue effectively on such topics. The posts about labor practices were written by Lightwave, a professional computer geek who has an MBA. The reflection on Humanae Vitae was written by edey, a gentle soul with a bleeding heart wrapped in brutal honesty, who was once upon a time was fiercely pro-choice. […]

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