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Orwell and Contraception

I n 1954, four years after George Orwell’s premature death from tuberculosis, his friend Christopher Hollis recalled: “One of the most interesting and deepest of Orwell’s beliefs was his belief in the profound evil of contraception.” Near the end of his life, Orwell expressed the view that . . . . Continue Reading »

Children of Desire

My sister and I were preschoolers in the 1980s. Once upon an afternoon, our mother instructed us: If ever she were unable to pick us up and had to send another grownup in her stead, she would impart to that grownup a “secret word.” If ever a grownup approached us, neighbor or stranger, claiming . . . . Continue Reading »

Humanae Vitae

To hear some people talk, one would get the impression that the prohibition against artificial contraception came out of the blue. But even a brief review of history reveals a strong and consistent ban on all such activities from the earliest days of the Church to the twentieth century, with . . . . Continue Reading »

Marriage with Benefits

As the debates surrounding contraception have pressed further into the public view, so has a curiosity about natural family planning. Roman roulette played according to the calendar-based “rhythm method” used to be the only game in town, but medical ­advances have brought new, more-reliable methods for those seeking to plan pregnancy without the usual barriers, pills, and rings. With new methods has come new interest, not just from the rare Catholic couple attentive to the Church’s teaching but from organically minded couples looking to further “green” their lifestyle, and from Protestant Christians reconsidering their faith or family size. Continue Reading »

Bitter Pill

Introduction Economists and other social scientists have written extensively about the impact that contraception has had on modern sexual relationships. Almost without exception, the academic establishment makes the claim that contraceptive technology is a social good. By contrast, the Catholic . . . . Continue Reading »

Sex, Naturally

When I entered medical school at the University of Minnesota in 1984 I did not know that fifteen years later, as an academic family physician, I would be fully committed to promoting an understanding of human sexuality and procreation radically at odds with the prevailing views and practices of our . . . . Continue Reading »

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