Humanae Vitae and Natural Family Planning

Carolyn Kerr RGN SCM

Dear Sir,

I have read with interest the letters referring to “Humanae Vitae” in the August edition of the CMQ.

I was particularly interested in the letter from Dr James Flood which highlights the gap between the teaching of our Church and the knowledge of the laity. This is an important point, but unfortunately access to teaching has been difficult to establish when over the years there has been so much hostility, prejudice and misunderstandings. It becomes disheartening to constantly have negative responses. However there is increasing interest in different aspects of natural health care these days and natural fertility is becoming more accepted, and is more reliable now.

There are several voluntary organisations which teach natural fertility and contacts can be found on the website.

Within the NFPTA / Natural Family Planning Teachers Association there is a very good website, set up by Dr Olive Duddy, our senior tutor. The Fertility Guide pages explain clearly the knowledge that relates to human procreation. Maybe these would be useful web sites to show patients who, if interested, would then be able to make their own research and follow up with tuition if they so wish.

An attempt is then made to find a qualified teacher who lives near the client... An on line course to train as a teacher is also on offer........... more teachers are needed.

Once a woman / couple understands her / their natural fertility, and puts it into practice in a positive way, the philosophy of “Humanae Vitae” usually follows. Of course, it takes motivation and mutual support for the couple to learn, it can’t be imposed on them. I have no response for people who do not want to know, presumably they have their concerns, and they are free to make other choices.

Through Life Fertility Care and NaPro technology there are also some practitioners available to help women who suffer from frequent miscarriage or have difficulty conceiving... all within the ethical guidelines of our Church.

It takes about 3 – 4 hours to teach NFP effectively, and apart from the cost of a BBT thermometer is a financial bargain compared to other methods of Family Planning. Anyone who has good will can train as a teacher and with all the demands on a doctors’ time, perhaps we can help to reduce the work load of our medics. There is the added advantage that clients who make their own enquiries are more likely to be motivated and take ownership of their fertility. Once taught and understood, it is education for life.

I believe this can also develop closer relationships within marriage, leading to more family stability. (This is supported by divorce rate statistics.) Is it too naïve to suggest and hope the knock on effect could ultimately reduce stress levels in the world of medicine , and society as a whole... food for thought.

I hope this information might be of interest.

Kind Regards

Carolyn Kerr RGN SCM