Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Contraception Conundrum

I found this quotation on American Papist:

Contraception is almost five times cheaper as a means of preventing climate change than conventional green technologies, according to research by the London School of Economics.

Everyone who knows me knows that I lean green. We recycle, use reusable grocery bags, garden, use alternate heat sources during the winter, utilize natural remedies, and are setting up a means of capturing rain water for use in and around our home. I've even written here about Church teaching regarding the environment. So my first thought after reading this quotation was this: "at the expense of the environment" I guess isn't an issue?

Let me back up.  A couple of weeks ago, I read this article titled Protecting environment must involve morals, Archbishop Chaput insists.  Read the relevant excerpt here. (If you're not reading American Papist, you really should be).

So this afternoon I decided to take a look out there to see what the environmentalists really do have to say.  After all, the article about Archbishop Chaput states that only one environmentalist reacted passively to the discovery that artificial contraception in the Denver water supply was the cause of bizarre mutations in trout.

Low and behold, I found the Earth Island Institute's website (Earth Island was founded by David Brower, FYI) containing an article discussing the downright frightening effects of BPAs (found in plastics and epoxy resins), livestock hormones and pesticides on our water supplies, along with another form of pollution:

...another major source of water contamination is all the pills we pop. The proportion of healthcare spending in North America devoted to prescription drugs, including estrogen-laced birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy, has risen dramatically in recent decades. In the last five years, prescriptions grew by 12 percent. The human body can absorb only some of the medication, and the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. Discarded medicines often find their way there too.’s not looking like the “answer to pollution is dilution” theory works. After being ingested, excreted, and flushed down the drain, these drugs are not being filtered out by water treatment facilities. What that means is that people could be getting a small dose of thousands of different drugs with every glass of drinking water. The resulting health implications are just beginning to be realized.

(from Pink Water: Plastics, Pesticides, and Pills Are Contaminating Our Drinking Supply By Holly Pyhtila, August 2008; emphasis mine.  To read the article in its entirety, go to, scroll to the bottom of the page and in the search field type "Pink Water".)

As it turns out, birth control pills aren't just affecting some trout in a Denver stream. This problem is affecting all life on earth.


So back to that first quotation from APP.  You know, the one about contraception being cheaper than human carbon emissions?

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