Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Highest Compliment

This weekend I went to Cleveland with my husband to present some research I had done a couple years ago. I was required to do this as part of my training to become a certified NFP teacher. It went much better than expected and the group seemed generally impressed by my findings. The best compliment I received? That I presented a compassionate report of each side.

Our presentation was historical: The 1920s Debate on Birth Control

I compared and contrasted the National Council of Catholic Women with Margaret Sanger. After looking through archives of primary sources and reading many books my whole paper comes down to one main point, which was basically the only point I had time to discuss in the 10 minutes I was given.

Freedom v. Control
The point isn't as straightforward as it may seem since the two movements defined them in drastically different ways. I always find it amazing how one word can mean so many things. Life is certainly confusing and we are all just trying to do our best with what we have and what we know. I think that is still the case today and why there is so much compassion that is needed.

In the 1920s up to present day I believe everyone on both sides have been looking for the same solution - happy and healthy family life We want the freedom to make intimate family decisions so that we can create the best life possible. The problem doesn't arise until we look at the means of getting there. What is right - the freedom to take a pill every day or the freedom to work with a woman's cycle to space the birth of children? In the end, we have to remember that no matter what side, we all have the same goal.


  1. Oh, what an interesting talk. I'd love to hear more about your research! And I agree that that is a wonderful compliment. Compassion and Christian charity are so important, both in and of themselves and in presenting the truth to those who have been blinded to it.

  2. It is hard to condense three months of full time research into a blog or 10 minute presentation. But to give a little more info - I researched at the Catholic University of America archives and learned a lot about a person you never hear about - Sarah Laughlin. She is not to be confused with the singer, and was a spy on the American Birth Control League. She was my inspiration because she felt compassion and empathy toward this group that she attended meetings with and knew women were trying to do the right thing but were being misled. I tried to look at both sides in the same way because I thought she had a very valid point.