Faye: Marie-Claire, thanks for coming back. Today we’re going to talk about a few things that are a bit controversial but I think are definitely worth discussing.
I’ve heard some pro-lifers says that some birth control pills are abortifacients. Others have said that the science isn’t definitive yet. Does 1Flesh take a position on that debate? What do you believe the science demonstrates?
Marie-Claire: 1Flesh has made a huge effort in the last year to make sure what we present to the public are solid facts. We try not to get into debates. That being said, birth control pills can be (not absolutely or always) abortive. Without going into the science of it all, I’ll give a very simplistic explanation: Birth control is effective at preventing conception, in part, by creating a hostile environment for sperm. However, sperm can beat the odds and reach a woman’s eggs (conception). This hostile environment for sperm also, consequently, creates a hostile environment for a fertilized egg to implant in. If the fertilized egg (baby) cannot implant in a woman’s uterus, it dies. What is most troubling about this, especial for pro-life woman and couples, is that this can all take place without a woman’s knowledge. A woman or couple on birth control could have (again not absolutely or always) at one point in time (or many points in time) been carrying a child and would not have know that their birth control was killing their baby.
Faye: How can NFP help couples struggling with infertility? It sometimes seems that IVF is the only option.
Marie-Claire: Natural family planning effectively identifies fertile and infertile periods of a woman’s cycle. Many couples use this information to avoid becoming pregnant. The same information, however, can help couples achieve pregnancy, especially those struggling with infertility. Natural Procreative Technology, also known as Naprotechnology, provides a specific example. This practice of medicine uses a woman’s fertility charts used in natural family planning to diagnosis and treat health problems that may cause infertility. When couples struggle getting pregnant, it can be just as or more frustrating than trying to avoid pregnancy. In these instances, a women’s fertility or lack of fertility appears as the enemy. Just as fighting the body, however, in order to avoid pregnancy can be harmful, fighting the body in order to become pregnant can create more damage.
Many doctors and the infertility industry in general place woman on many [expensive] “treatments” in order to achieve pregnancy but ignore the reason behind the infertility. It would be healthier for doctors to identify the root cause of a couple’s infertility and treat their condition[s]. This is how natural family planning to achieve pregnancy works. It allows couples to achieve pregnancy naturally while also improving their overall health and fertility. This also keeps the health problem[s] causing infertility from developing to a potentially life threatening problem or permanent infertility. Additionally, natural family planning, when used to treat infertility, results in lower birth defects and fewer miscarriages than other “treatments.” It is also significantly more affordable.
Faye:When I first learned of Naprotechnology, I thought it was revolutionary. I actually know some people for whom it has worked wonders. They’re either expecting or have already had their “Napro” babies. It’s so exciting.
So “Bring Sexy Back” is a tagline 1Flesh uses in its promotional materials. Why was it chosen?
Marie-Claire: We chose “bring sexy back” because we believe embracing a women’s natural fertility cycle is sexy. Sex doesn’t need all these add-ons and pressures. Natural sex is sexy. Additionally, natural family planning has no consequences on a person’s sex drive, hormonal levels, or sexual pleasure. 1Flesh believes that a person’s sexuality should not be hindered in order to meet a man or woman’s needs. If a couple is not in the position to have children, they should not have to compromise their bodies, and therefore the fullness of sex, in order to postpone pregnancy.
By promoting effective, natural methods of family planning, 1Flesh wishes to empower women to understand and work with their own fertility in way that includes their natural, healthy sexuality — and that’s bringing sexy back.
Faye: I’ve been really impressed by 1Flesh’s materials and social media marketing. Everything 1Flesh produces is engaging, modern and even comical. I’m guessing this was intentional. How and why did you choose this look and feel for your campaign?
Marie-Claire: We chose a modern feel because it’s a modern topic. Women don’t need things to be sugar coated or dressed up in flowers.
Additionally, we chose a humorous feel because we want to invite people to consider the benefits of natural methods outside of the contentious debates regarding contraception. It’s true, unfortunately, that the topic of women’s health is one of the best ways to start a bitter argument. We don’t want to be a part of that. Women deserve the best options regarding their health and sexuality. They also deserve to discuss their options in peace without judgment. We are not trying to divide “contraception users” against “natural family planning users.” We want to present to the public, what we and many doctors, woman, and couples believe is a better, effective, and healthy option in postponing pregnancy. Humor happens to be a great unifier.
Faye: 1Flesh has clubs on a number of university and college campuses. Youth are open to considering this option? How are young people responding to your campaign?
Marie-Claire: Young people are responding very positively to natural methods. There are 3 main reasons that I can identify off the top of my head as to why youth are open to natural methods as an option for family planning.
First, over the last 10 years there has been on emphasize on “green” living: limiting waste, eating organic foods, holistic approaches to medicine, etc. Natural family planning is the “green” option in family planning.
Second, women are starting to wise up to their rights as women. We shouldn’t have to change are bodies in drastic ways in order to postpone pregnancy. We deserve better options. Natural family planning respects women and their bodies.
Third, college age students have grown up with the “contraception culture” and the “hook-up culture” long enough to see their peers struggle with their options. Many men and women notice the negatives of contraction but see it as a necessary evil in order to avoid pregnancy. Natural family planning is the effective and positive alternative.
Thanks so much, Marie-Claire, for joining us for a few days at ProWomanProLife. We’ve really enjoyed chatting with you.by