With all the contraception fuss going on right now there isn't much talk about the alternatives. Natural Family Planning has come a long way since the old "rhythm method" and is now very successfully used to achieve and prevent pregnancy. At a recent Catholic biomedical conference I counted FIVE different methods of NFP that people were talking about. The science and technology behind it is really improving. And it is 100% chemical and carcinogen free!
NFP is about learning to read the signs your body is giving you about your/her fertility. That knowledge is power! It isn't so much about saying "no" as saying "not now". It's success does depend on your determination and self-restraint.
It's not restraint as in putting the brakes on the train at the last minute. If you are using NFP to avoid pregnancy you know well in advance when you are in a waiting part of the cycle and you don't put the train on the tracks until conditions are favorable. This is a good time to take up a distracting hobby.
But what about artificial birth control? Estrogen-progestogen oral contraceptives are known human carcinogens. Scroll down on this page to "birth control" and check out all the warnings on the kinds listed. If loading all those chemicals into your body doesn't scare you, check out the possible impact on our water supply from oral contraceptives passed through urine.
I am no expert on all this, my point is just that maybe my "crunchy" friends, who will pay $4 for an organic apple might want to know about NFP as an option to artificial birth control.
NFP has been preached to the Catholics (although not very much lately) and many of them have not listened. Maybe it is time to take the message outside the Church. I think there are many within my own Catholic church who would probably receive the information better if they heard it in the checkout line of the health food store than if they heard it from the pulpit.