A couple of weeks ago Izzy was bemoaning the fact that her monthly period had found her - again. Only this time two weeks earlier than she had expected it. Which was all the more annoying because the time before, that she had waited almost 40 days for her period to show up. So I told her that her body was just trying to make up for the last
time and that pretty soon it would have things all figured out. That didn't really comfort Izzy, who had planned to wear a pretty yellow dress to go out that day but then opted for black pants as a safer option.
So I asked her, "Iz, would you like to try tampons this time?"
With exasperation in her voice she said, "Mom, I'm just trying to get used to dealing with all of this first!!" and we both laughed. I sympathized.
In a few weeks Izzy will be 14. Apparently, according to the FDA, next year she will be a "woman" and old enough to go out and purchase "emergency "contraception by herself without the assistance of a physician, and without my input.
To put this in perspective, the little girl who needs my help and guidance in navigating the intricacies of managing her menstrual cycles and figuring out when or if to use tampons will be able to purchase and use powerful hormones on her own in 13 months.
I was complaining about this stridently a few months ago on the Huffington Post. "But think of all the poor girls who don't have mothers to guide them!" they said. "Those girls need protection from pregnancy!"
So because some girls don't have parental guidance available to them, we have to make ALL girls susceptible to the pressure and temptations of having potent medications available to them - for the good of all?
Since common sense seems to be missing from the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services, I've tried to talk to my own daughter about this straight from the heart, about using her head.
And this is basically what I told her:
God designed the intimacy of the sex act for the pleasure of the man and woman and equally for the conception of children. When you have sex you are saying to that other person with your body, I am completely yours and you are completely mine! You can’t say that at 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 years of age. You can’t really say that until you are married.
And yes, I know that when you are in love with a young man it feels as if this will be forever and you may feel as if you want to give that part of yourself to him, but unless you are married you don’t have any promises before God and witnesses of a life together and your sexuality isn’t yours to give and his isn’t yours to take. And further, if you aren’t ready to be a mom you’re not ready to have sex. Because of that total self-giving is that the love is so great between the man and a woman that it might actually present itself as a child. And maybe with that idea, in sexual intercourse the couple is in a complete act of total self-donation, birth control is a lie and abortion really is murder.
Keep out of circumstances that might put you in a difficult situation. Don’t be in private places alone with a young man, keep control of your senses (drinking and drugs) dress appropriately, and don’t get started with kissing, French kissing, petting. In 1 Corinthians 6:18 St. Paul in his epistle tells us to flee fornication (sex before marriage) That means run away, stay away, not get up as close to the line as you possibly can without falling over. In this way you protect your heart, you protect your body, maybe you are protecting a young man’s error in judgment, and possibly your yet to be conceived children.
But if you do fail – make it right. Get to confession and tell the priest your sins and listen to the spiritual words and advice they give you. Get the graces of the sacrament to help you stand for what you believe and the life that you want to live in Christ. And last but not least - You need to come to your Dad and me no matter what - because no one loves you and has as much interest in helping you as we do.
...not even the FDA.
Copyright 2013 Elena LaVictoire
About the Author
Elena LaVictoire is a graduate of Baker College and a retired medical transcriptionist. She is married and homeschooled six children. Elena is a public speaker on the topics of marriage, homeschooling, and confirmation preparation. She was also a contributing author to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. Elena practices and performs with her flute and records with the Peace Together Choir. She blogs at MyDomesticChurch.com.