Dr Kara Britt and Prof Roger Short, from Melbourne University, are urging the Catholic Church to make the pill freely available to their nuns. This is not because the nuns are at risk of getting pregnant, but like other women who do not give birth, they are more at risk of developing some forms of cancer. Taking the contraceptive pill greatly reduces the risk of cancer of the breast, ovary and uterus for these women. Unfortunately, the Catholic Church has taken a strong stand against all forms of contraception since the Humanae Vitae was published in 1968. However, the same document does state that medicine with contraceptive effects can be taken for the purpose of combating disease. So watch this space. Will the Catholic Church buy the contraceptive pill for almost 95,000 nuns each month, thus providing funds for the people producing contraceptive pills, or will it let the nuns take their chances with developing cancer?
What could be more romantic on Valentine’s Day than a free condom? Well, lots of things, but last year the Department of Health (DoH) in the Philippines started the practice of handing out free condoms on Valentine’s Day. This was done as part of a campaign to stop the increase of HIV/AIDS in the country. A battle ensued between them and the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), during which the DoH sent a basket of condoms to the CBCP to be blessed by the bishops as a conciliatory gesture. This year the DoH plan on handing them out again and the CBCP again have asked them not to, as it promotes casual sex outside of marriage. Of course, good Catholics don’t use condoms within a marriage either.