MANILA, July 13, 2011?The liberating elements that set apart Natural Family Planning (NFP) from artificial means are normally taken for granted, said Willy Jose, an NFP teacher accredited by the World Organization Ovulation Method Billings (WOOMB).
What are normally overlooked about NFP are its “‘side-effects’. Yes, side-effects,” said Jose, who?together with his wife?is part of the Pro-life Ministry of Couples for Christ.
“These side-effects, however, are beneficial?most especially for the woman: the freedom from the compulsion to indulge, the enhanced communication and mutual respect [between her and her husband] borne out of love, and the healthy body untainted by chemicals.”
Quoting Theology of the Body speaker Christopher West, who was in Manila recently for a series of talks, Jose remarked that “lust sees the body as something, love respects the body as someone. Lust sacrifices others for oneself, love sacrifices oneself for others. Lust sees fertility as a burden/obstacle, love rejoices in the mystery of fertility.”
He pointed out that NFP rejoices in the gift of life, adding that it “is a way of life rather than just a ‘method’ for practicing couples.”
Failure due to user or due to method?
As for claims made by some population control advocates that the poor or unschooled learning natural family planning is an unrealistic expectation, Jose remarked that the highly educated can be even more difficult to teach “because of their overconfidence.”
In fact, the unschooled are in the best position to learn and master NFP, if the findings of field trials on Billings Ovulation Method (BOM) practice in China are to be considered.
In these trials that involved approximately 1,000 peasants, laborers and “intellectuals” as subjects, it was found that most failure cases occurred among the subjects who achieved the most advanced formal education, according to the evaluation of Pharmacology professor Shao Zhen Qian, who presented his findings at a 2000 Congress organized by the Centre for Study and Research in the Natural Regulation of Fertility in Italy.
“They all felt sorry and admitted that since they considered the method was simple and easy to master, they had paid less attention to the teaching course and had not strictly followed the rules. The consequence was use-related failures,” stated the results of the BOM field trials, which are posted in the WOOMB website.
In contrast, “the illiterate women were generally very attentive to BOM teaching and rigidly stuck to the rules, and failures were very rare.”
The study noted that “due to its high efficacy, low expenditure and extreme safety incomparable [to] any other contraceptives methods, BOM is well accepted by the Chinese couple of different cultural and [economic] backgrounds.”
Among the conclusions drawn from the trials was that “the BOM is simple and easy to comprehend; almost all the women, including the illiterate, can successfully learn the method and identify their own mucus symptoms.” (Diana Uichanco)