Monday, September 26, 2005

Baby-making

The trend in modern though is one of possession of children in lieu of recognizing them as a gift from God. In his recent appearance on EWTN Live Fr. Frank Pavone was faced with a caller who expressed her grief due to the fact that she was barren. This woman is now quite elderly and a widow with no children. Yes, children are always seen as a great blessing, and enduring old age without children must be difficult, however grief hardly seems like the appropriate response. The emotion of grief is more about over loss of something or someone, not over something that could have been.

With that story as an introduction, I will change the topic a little bit to talk about this general attitude of disassociation between sex and children. The trend of contraception enables couples to experience sex without children. On the other hand, technology such as in-vitro fertilization enables couples demand fertility from their bodies in a completely unnatural way: divorced from the sexual union.

The Telegraph of London featured an article about the growing trend in IVF due to the fact that women simply don't want to have sex, yet they desire a child. Just as legalized abortion has devastated the lives of hundreds of millions of women, men and family world wide as well as contributed to many other social ills, this article shows some of the nasty effects of IVF on the lives of couples and families. Of course, the effects may never fully explain why IVF is wrong, however they do help make the case stronger.

In her post on this article, Dawn Eden says the following:

"[Dr.] Cannon explains that her patients are commuter couples who don't have time for sex, but it's hard to believe that there aren't problems in the marriages as well. After all, if a spouse really want to have sex, he or she will forgo the extra trip to the gym."

There more than just a few problems with the attitude that Dr. Cannon explains, and Eden hits the nail on the head in suggesting that there must be marital problems as well. First, if couples do not have time to have sex with one another, how on earth will they have time for caring for a child!? Next, if they are so consumed with work, an exterior social life or "gym time" to make time for sex, how can they say their commitment is rightly ordered to begin with?

It seems that these couples have forgotten that the sexual union is an integral part of their marital life. It enables them to express love for one another as well as to open up the doors for accepting the gift of a child.

Dr. Cannon suggests that couples have sex two or three times per week in order to achieve pregnancy. While it will be immensely helpful for couples to engage in the conjugal act two to three times a week in order to strengthen their marital relationships, this is only part of the equation. In order to achieve pregnancy, those unions must take place during the fertile time. This is one of the purposes of natural family planning.

Eden observes the healthy Catholic family as an example of success in marital life:

"I look at the observant-Catholic married couples I know, and say what you will, no doctor warns them that they're missing out on sex. And I don't just mean that from the number of little ones they bring to Mass. You can tell from their affection for one another."


Resources:
Couple to Couple League provides instructions on Natural Family Planning.
Elizabeth Ministry helps women who are enduring the joys and sufferings of the child-bearing years.
The Silent No More Awareness Campaign is a campaign to bring women and men to reconciliation and healing after abortion while exposing the devastation it brings to their lives through public witness.

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