I Shouldn’t Have Waited for the Bishops


Are you like me? Reading the coverage of the HHS mandate for insurance to cover contraception and sterilization and wondering why the bishops are only now speaking out against it when citizens have been forced to pay taxes that fund contraception, sterilization and even abortion for a long time.

“Hey, it’s about time!”

Yes, this mandate is a step in a very wrong direction. It’s great that some bishops have started speaking out though others always have been. But just as soon as I thought about what the bishops are doing, I checked myself because I realize that I have been part of the problem all along. I shouldn’t have waited for the bishops to speak out against the citizenry being forced to fund these immoral things in our society.

Contraception has pervaded our culture for a long time and I’ve done little about it. Sure I’ve argued against it, written about it. I’ve rejected it in my own life. I’ve taught my children why it’s harmful. But – I’ve also accepted that as long as a doctor doesn’t push it on me, it’s none of my business whether he or she dispenses it to other women. That has been my mentality. I realize now with a shudder, that’s not acceptable because that is fundamentally what moral relativism is.

Smack my head!

Over the years of bearing seven children, looking back, I see how the slow creep occurred. I was that clueless frog in the hot water waiting so long I couldn’t jump out when it was too late.

In the 1980?s I was introduced to contraception, and used it.
In the 1990?s I ask for contraception after childbirth, and got it.
In the 2000?s I converted to Catholicism and rejected it personally.

But that is when I should have done more. I should have rejected it — objectively rejected it — not just rejected it “for me. “I’ve been offered, even pushed more than I want to admit at times, to accept contraception, even after I became Catholic and said I was Catholic, and even in Catholic hospitals. Still, I would settle for ultimately having the choice to refuse it. And when I did that, I furthered the message that what I believe is a subjective opinion, not the objective truth.

Of course, I also do still wonder why the bishops are getting so upset just now when the fact is, you can go to many Catholic hospitals across the country and can get contraception. Why wasn’t anyone decrying that? Then it hit me, I think I know why.

News flash: Bishops and pastors don’t frequent OB/GYN offices.

But parents, especially women, do. Women can talk directly to doctors in ways bishops cannot. It is I who should have been decrying this all along. It’s not just unacceptable for the doctor to push it on a Catholic woman, it’s unacceptable for any doctor in any Catholic institution to even make it available, and women have the unique opportunity to say so directly to the doctors they visit. How many do that though?

Think about it. If a doctor is willing to prescribe abortifacient drugs or abortifacient devices, then the doctor is willing to induce abortions. If we wouldn’t let a practicing sex offender examine our children, then why for Heaven’s sake would we let a practicing abortionist deliver them?

Unless I have looked at every doctor along the way for the last 3-4 decades in the face and told them why contraception, sterilization and abortion are immoral, and demanded they stop offering it lest I seek new medical professionals to care for my body and my family, then I really have no foundation for any outrage today at all. Yes, I confess, I’ve walked out of doctor’s offices and ignored the contraception ads hanging on the wall, just glad I did “the right thing.” But I failed. I should have spoke up, right then, right there, directly to the medical professionals.

Mea culpa

I vow to be a more involved patient. Imagine what would happen if every Catholic woman demanded that every doctor in every Catholic hospital cease and desist immediately from dispensing contraception? They’d listen to us. This is the time to help the bishops, ladies.

Will you join me?


About Author

Stacy Trasancos, Ph.D. is a wife and mother raising seven children with her husband in New York. She is a chemist turned homemaker and joyful convert to Catholicism who is currently pursuing an MA in Theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary so that she can communicate the doctrines of the Church more effectively. She is Chief Editor at Ignitum Today and a Senior Editor at Catholic Lane. She writes about all that she is learning at her blog Accepting Abundance.

  • Denise Smith

    Great piece! Don’t stress too much. I didn’t ‘wait for the Bishops’ and it consistently felt like beating your head against a wall because it feels so good when you stop! No matter. It is our duty to do as God leads. We can do no other. Glad to have so many on board. Feels a whole lot like vindication. Now I have more to pass on to my kids; always helps to have something more than ‘because Mom said’. We taught them what the Church taught…but it would have helped to hear it occasionally from the pulpit.

  • fishman

    Is there some kind of a list or registry of OBG’s who don’t prescribe birth control? My wife and I’d love to find one in our are , but they are hard to come by.

  • Kathleen Woodman

    Try this link: http://onemoresoul.com/ You may be able to find a nfp-only doctor in your area.

  • Thank you Kathleen!

  • Thaumatology

    I can understand not having it in Catholic hospitals. I am not sure giving ultimatums to non-Catholic doctors in the private sector does a lot of good.

    Everyone is a sinner. Why are we fixated on the specks in our brothers’ eyes while ignoring the planks in our own?

    Righteousness is a losing proposition, because we don’t have it either… no one has it.