Dear Catholic Church,

I understand. You don’t want to be forced to do something you feel is immoral: provide coverage for contraceptives. I’m a Catholic, too. So since I’ve listened to your point of view, I’m sure you’d be willing to listen to mine, yes?

The Church’s stand on contraceptives is flawed…for so many reasons. Not all contraceptives are used for contraception; sometimes they are a medical necessity. I was a virgin when I went on The Pill; my mother, the most fervent Catholic I know, took me to the doctor and said, “Don’t leave without a prescription.” My problem was brutally heavy periods that left me anemic and once sent me into shock. But my mother was no stranger to The Pill. She took it after my sister died at birth and my mother then suffered three miscarriages in a row. Some things are too much to endure.

Second, the very idea that women shouldn’t be allowed to plan when they get pregnant is repugnant, and attributable at least in part to the fact that there are no women in the Church’s hierarchy. How can a group comprised entirely of men possibly understand what it is like to be a woman? You tell me that you know what is best for me spiritually; but here on Earth, at least, my body and my soul are bound together. I would never tell a man what to do with his body, so what gives you the right to tell me what to do with mine?

Moreover, by concentrating solely on our gynecological possibilities, you reduce women to Easy-Bake Ovens. Because we CAN have children, we MUST. That’s like saying that every man should be a football player because men have superior upper-body strength. It doesn’t matter if you’d rather not play football, or you’re not especially suited to it. Motherhood is a calling, just like the priesthood. Not everyone is cut out for it (as any trip to WalMart will show you, in graphic detail), and not everyone is good at it. To press women to do something they perhaps ought not to do is cruel not only to them, but to any children they might bear.

Which brings me to the next point: The United States isn’t the world. To deny contraceptives to poor women, especially in Third World countries, is tantamount to savagery. Is it truly more moral, holier, kinder to allow a child to be born and die in misery, of malnutrition or disease, rather than prevent the pregnancy altogether? Add to this the fact that pregnancy is a dangerous condition — it can and does still kill women. Why does new life have more worth than an established life?

And if pregnancy is all that we are good for, then what does menopause turn us into?

No contraceptive can undo God’s will. If He wants a particular soul to come to Earth, He will make it so. To think that mere humans have any power against Him is ridiculous. God gave us the tools to plan our families for a reason: Life should be lived with intention. Only then can we give our best to all facets of it.

Catholic Church, you are wrong.