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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #296 - Contraception: The disturbing return of natural methods (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Tue, 6 Aug 2019 09:32:16 +0300

More than sixty years after the invention of the pill (authorized in France since only the Neuwirth law of 1967), the debate is revived on hormonal contraception and its " misdeeds " according to critics. Many applications are flourishing, praising the so-called natural methods, and the guilt of women is in full swing. ---- For several years, publications have followed one another to explain to women how contraception is dangerous for their health and harmful for the environment. While there is no question of denying the troublesome side effects for some women, it is important to remember the benefits of hormonal contraception, their living conditions and their sexuality. ---- The discovery of the pill marked a revolution in the history of women. It has allowed them to plan their pregnancies, to allow those who do not want a child not to have, to have sex (including before marriage) without fear of pregnancy. Remember that until the 1960s, " mother-girls " (and their children) were extremely stigmatized. Girls and women were reproached for being pregnant, while prohibiting contraception. It was about controlling female sexuality.

The methods of contraception of the time (Ogino, Billings, temperature, withdrawal ...) had a failure rate of more than 25 %. They come back in force, touted by applications but also doctors and associations.

Under the pretext of boasting a healthier and more ecological life (polluted rivers by the urine of women on hormonal contraception), women are put at risk of pregnancy.

The advertised rate of 98 % success of so-called " natural " methods is a lure. It only corresponds to women having a perfect knowledge of their body and does not take into account the events of life that can shift ovulation (stress, mourning, desire, emotional shock, trauma ...). Natural methods also advocate periods of abstinence during which a woman is fertile. This is to ignore the situation of women victims of violence, for whom it is impossible to choose the timing of reports (actually rapes).

These methods are reserved for those who have time to listen to their body (who has time to take its temperature morning and evening, to count its cycle over several months, to check every day its cervical mucus ?). Such methods deprive women of a fulfilling and chosen sexuality.

The purpose here is not to stigmatize women who use these " natural " methods . On the other hand, there is no question of making those who use hormonal contraception feel guilty.

The best contraception is the one we choose, free and enlightened. This is also the right to dispose of one's body without pressure, be it medical or social.

Gaëlle Backer (UCL Saint-Denis)

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