Here is a good article in the National Catholic Register "Why We Quit Contraception
Two couples tell their ‘conversion’ stories"
I do think that we need to rename Natural Family Planning. To often the idea of artificial contrasted to natural gives a false idea of why contraception is wrong. As if organic contraception would be alright. I would call it Supernatural Family Planning, that is any spacing of births done for serious reasons via periodic abstinence is in response to prayer and a docility to God’s will.
Thank you. It’s always encouraging to hear such stories.
I have always liked JPII’s use of “Fertility Awareness”.
A couple is AWARE when they are fertile or not – and proceeds accordingly.
I agree that the term “Natural Family Planning” is lacking. I don’t think “Supernatural,” however would be any less confusing. “Fertility Awareness” is better, but I wonder if we all couldn’t come up with something even better if we put our heads together. I’ll start thinking.
I agree with the others in preferring the term Fertility Awareness. (My doctor loves NFP users, because they know exactly what’s going on inside, and what should and shouldn’t be happening.) The term Supernatural Family Planning gives me a shiver, because it was the favorite term of a rhymes-with-trick I used to know. He refused to let his exhausted wife keep charts, while he – although both a doctor and a lawyer – sat on his keister at home writing the world’s worst novel (in two doorstop volumes). But that’s a purely personal reaction, and doesn’t reflect on the expression’s usefulness.
It took forever to get MeSH ( Medical Librarian subject headings – used to catalogue hte medical literature_) changed from ‘rhythm’ to ‘Natural Family Planning’ (NFP). We are stuck with this term, at least officially.
Fertility Awareness is actually the name of a form of contraception that uses a barrier method during the fertile times of the cycle. I don’t think we want to go there either – though this might be a way to wean some persons off their contraceptives.
Dr. Rock ( ‘Catholic’ doctor who co-developed the birth control pill) went to his grave believing that the Pill should be acceptable because it simply duplicates ‘natural’ infertility (as in pregnancy, menopause, and the post ovulatory phase of the cycle). Of course, he had no problem finding ‘reasons’ to do hysterectomies on many mothers of large families…..
How about “fertility appreciation.” I think this goes further than awareness (did JPII coin this one as well? If not literally, he at least developed it in his Theology of the Body) Any silly soul can be aware and then (as one poster wrote) use a barrier method. But to truly appreciate the awesome, supernatural and Sacramental meaning of one’s fertility, that is another thing.
Wow, way to defend me Fr. Totton, thanks!
One problem with “fertility awareness” is that there are some groups that use it to mean determining the fertile times – and then using contraception (e.g. a condom) during those times – rather than abstaining during those times (if the couple is trying to avoid procreation). Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a perfect name to be found, and I tend to agree with those who think that trying to switch from NFP to something else at this point would probably be more trouble that it’d be worth.
No doubt you’re right.
I like NFP. It has name recognition. Though I have to admit Supernatural Planning is cool, but I don’t think you looked the acronym SP…to close to SSP…you know that excommunicated group!
And some people like to use “supernatural family planning” to refer to letting God do ALL the planning….
Ha! I like the thinking behind that one Mandamum… but it starts to sound too much like: Supercalafragalisticexpealidocious