K.C. Schnitker

Opinion,

Let’s practice MFP - Moral Family Planning

K.C. Schnitker

August 19, 2013 (Defend Life) - I am an instructor of NFP—Natural Family Planning—but I’d really like to call it “MFP,” Moral Family Planning.

Moral Family Planning is the use of one of the fertility awareness methods (I teach the Ovulation Method); “periodic continence;” to achieve pregnancy; or for a serious reason, to postpone pregnancy. It is also living your married life open to the children God may send; all of these are “moral” family planning.

I think MFP makes proper priorities clear—not that the No. 1 element of family planning should be “natural” so much as it should be “moral.”

It also highlights that if there is a “moral family planning,” there is also an “immoral family planning,” and it prompts the question, “What might that be?”

The sharing of information with couples about this topic by pastors is an absolute moral and practical imperative these days because, as Fr. Daniel McCaffrey of NFP OutReach says, “The battle is nuclear.”

At every turn couples are bombarded, pressured, harassed, terrified, and guilted to contracept. If NFP/MFP instruction is not a priority for pastors, couples are pretty much sitting ducks—practically helpless against the pressure. With basic knowledge about fertility and his support they can stand against it.

Because of this nuclear battle, I’m constantly calling and visiting area priests to introduce myself and offer classes, and asking whether they require a course for engaged couples.

If not, I encourage them to do so, because the use of NFP or MFP truly defends life, promotes life and brings life to marriages, the Church, and society.

It defends life, because it is not at all contraceptive. Most contraceptives—the pill, patch, shot, IUD and ring—act as abortifacients. There are about 10 times more chemical abortions every year than there are surgical abortions. Wherever the contraceptive rate is highest, the surgical abortion rate is the highest.

Combine the surgical and chemical abortion rates, and we have a staggering loss of life.

The contraceptive methods that are not chemical abortifacients—condoms, withdrawal, sterilization, etc.—feed the abortion mills. When a couple sterilizes the ultimate act of love they can share, their fertililty is cut off, and the idea and natural end/purpose of the marital act, the potential child, is cut off.

As a result, life, fertility, conception, pregnancy, babies, children are seen as unwanted: diseases, parasites, too much work, burdens, unwelcome guests in a couple’s “pleasure act.”

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So, life and children are devalued and dehumanized and become a kind of commodity to be disposed of at will.

MFP promotes life. When couples use moral family planning, the potential child and motherhood/fatherhood are always connected to the ultimate act of love they share—the physical renewal of their wedding vows—a source of actual grace for the couple when the vows are renewed honestly: either because they are willing to parent the child should they conceive during the fertile time (about 100 hours) or if they have serious reasons to postpone pregnancy, they are willing to abstain from the marital embrace (sexual intercourse).

The couple who use MFP recognize and respect the unitive/procreative nature of sexuality, and so in a very short time this constant connection changes the way the couple sees children.

Fears are diminished and they begin to see them through the lens of the ultimate act of love they share and as the fruit of their love.

Finally, the use of MFP brings life. Couples who use moral family planning tend to have larger families, not because MFP isn’t effective to postpone pregnancy (it’s 98-99 percent effective), but because they begin to see children as a blessing, and so become open to new life.

Through their practice of self-denial and self-control and willingness to sacrifice out of love for each other and our Lord, they lose their fears of responsibility and even of suffering.

I recently spoke with a priest who told me that because the parish has a school, he doesn’t have time to promote moral family planning. I suggested that if it was not promoted, in ten years he would not have a school.

I could name many parents I have taught whose children attend that parish school. These couples came to me with two, three or four children and were “done,” but wanted to postpone or even avoid pregnancy morally.

Through the use of MFP and how it changes the way couples see children, they now have six or seven, five of whom attend that school.

MFP, as Blessed John Paul II said, facilitates a conversion, and their faith becomes a priority; so much so that they are willing to make the financial sacrifice to send their children to Catholic school.

I am a big fan of MFP! It changed my marriage. After being married 22 years, my husband says his favorite time of day is coming home and kissing me (that’s pretty romantic after 22 years!)

It’s not because I am particularly fabulous; it’s because moral family planning boots lust right out the door, reorients the way the couple see each other, and purifies their intentions, especially sexually.

This is so important, especially for women, who after a while, when lust is the dominant factor in the marital embrace, as happens with the use of contraception, well, we get—headaches, because “Real Women Don’t Like Lust.” 

This is part one of a series on the topic. Check back soon for part two, "Real Women Don't Like Lust."

This article originally appeared in the publication Defend Life and is reprinted with permission.



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A photo of Kim Tucci at 25 weeks gestation Erin Elizabeth Photography
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‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’

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An ultrasound of the five different compartments, each with its own baby, inside Kim's womb.

AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life. 

“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September. 

“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote. 

Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds. 

The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again. 

After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test. 

“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.

The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five. 

“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”

“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.

Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.” 

“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”

“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.” 

“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.” 

“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born. 

The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well. 



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UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react

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GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads. 

The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution. 

“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters. 

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.

“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.

But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it. 

The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”

Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.

“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said. 

While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms. 

“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added. 

Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born. 

“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.

“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.



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Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’

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DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.

“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.

"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.

There have been over 58,000,000 abortions since the 1973 court ruling legalizing abortion in all 50 states, according to National Right to Life.

That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.

“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."

Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.

All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.

Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.

On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”

Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.

At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.

But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.



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