Women sick of pills, NFP group claims

As Brazil's government announces a program to subsidise contraceptive pills, an Australian Natural Family Planning group says that a growing number of women are sick of taking hormones that "play havoc with their body".

According to an Australian bishops' conference statement, a growing number of women who are sick of taking contraceptive hormones, which "play havoc" with their bodies, are turning to natural family planning methods.

"We see women every day who are sick of taking pills or using devices which alter the state of their body," Natural Family Planning Program executive officer Cheryl Curnow said.

She said that recent publicity surrounding a new contraceptive pill which prevented women from menstruating highlighted the need for natural alternatives to fertility regulation.

"Many women no longer wish to take a pill which prevents them from ovulating or even goes so far as to stop their period. They understand that the natural cycle of their body is an intimate part of what it is to be a woman."

Ms Curnow said natural methods of fertility awareness to either avoid or achieve pregnancy helped empower women to regulate their fertility without being dependent on body-altering pharmaceutical pills or devices.

The statement says recent German study reported in the medical journal Human Reproduction found that the sympto-thermal method of family planning is just as effective as the pill.

'More and more women are discovering Natural Family Planning (NFP) is highly effective but without the need for any hormones, injections or intra-uterine devices," Ms Curnow said.

"NFP gives women back control of their bodies, it enhances their relationship and it is easy to stop and start."

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has introduced a $A70 plan to subsidise birth control pills in Latin America's largest country.

He said the program would give the poor the same right as the wealthy to have the number of children they want.

The initiative comes just two weeks after Pope Benedict's visit to Brazil, when he urged Catholics to maintain traditional family values.

In another story, Australian company Choicez Media has announced that its major sex education DVD and curriculum programs including Its Your Choice, have been placed in every New Zealand Catholic secondary school.

According Choicez National Directors Jonathan and Karen Doyle, current post-graduate students at Melbourne's John Paul II Institute were excited about the outcome.

"The New Zealand Catholic Bishops' Conference agreed to make the programs available to schools," a statement says.

Women turning to natural, effective method of fertility regulation (ACBC Media Release, 29/5/07)
Brazil to subsidise contraception
Australian media company big hit in NZ Catholic schools (Choicez Media Release, 29/5/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
World Organisation of Ovulation Method Billings

Billings method pioneer dead at 89 (CathNews, 3/4/07)
Natural family planning as good as pill, study finds (CathNews, 23/2/07)
Public servant defends funding for Church pregnancy advice (CathNews, 18/2/05)
New President for Natural Family Planning Council (CathNews, 16/11/04)

30 May 2007