For a new grassroots organization of nationwide university students, opposition to contraception springs from the desire for better health, a cleaner environment and happier human relationships.
Marc Barnes, president of 1Flesh.org, told EWTN News on July 26 that the group was motivated by a “desire to spread the truth about contraception.”
“We’re not secretly Catholic,” he said, explaining that rather than trying to promote a “subliminal Catholicism,” the group was motivated by the scientific evidence showing that artificial contraception is “detrimental” to the human person.
These detriments include negative effects on women’s health, the environment, human relationships and sexual satisfaction, he said.
To raise awareness about these problems, Barnes helped start 1Flesh.org, which was launched on June 28 and is run largely by medical students from universities across the country.
The website explains that 1Flesh hopes to “start a revolution” among a generation that wants something more than a world filled with sexual boredom and dissatisfaction, diseases and divorce.
“We want awesome marriages and mind-blowing sex lives,” the website proclaims. “We want women and men to be respected and loved for who they are, to the very depths of their being.”
“We want sex free from fear, love free from use, and a world of people who love and respect their own bodies,” it explains. “In short, we want sexy back. In fact, we demand it.”
The 1Flesh website features videos and blog posts with facts about contraception, as well as the testimonies of those who found better alternatives to birth control.
One video explains that 14 percent of women on the pill are using it to treat problems like acne, PMS, ovarian cysts and heavy bleeding. Most of these problems stem from hormonal imbalances, the video explains, but the pill does nothing to correct this balance, instead creating an artificial cycle that relieves the symptoms but not the underlying problem.
Other videos reference evidence suggesting that contraceptive use can decrease an individual’s sex drive and contribute to sexual dissatisfaction. They also point to the disruptive effects suffered by various fish species in the U.S. from the high levels of artificial estrogens released from contraceptives into the water.
In addition, the website reveals statistics showing that contraception has failed to effectively block unplanned pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases and explains that the oral contraceptive pill has been classified by the World Health Organization as a Class 1 carcinogen, raising the risk of breast cancer and other forms of cancer.
As an alternative to artificial contraception, the website suggests the Creighton Model Fertiltycare System, a natural method of family planning that helps a woman understand her own body and the physical symptoms of her fertility.
Natural, inexpensive and side-effect free, the Creighton model is 99.5 percent effective at preventing pregnancy and can also be used to help treat difficulties such as PMS and post-partum depression.
Barnes believes that while there is a desire for something better than contraception, proponents of natural family planning have not been able to effectively present it as “clear positive alternative.”
“There’s just a lack of knowledge,” he said, explaining that even those who are dissatisfied with contraception do not realize that they actually have another option.
Part of the problem, he said, is the huge financial push “to obscure the reality of contraception.”
Hormonal contraception is “a huge industry,” he observed.
Furthermore, the Guttmacher Institute – which is the former research arm of Planned Parenthood – insists on combining outdated methods such as the “calendar method” with new scientifically-advanced methods such as the Creighton model, resulting in studies indicating a misleadingly low rate of effectiveness.
“In academia, there’s this neglect of what these things actually are,” Barnes explained, and this results in people being misled about the effectiveness of natural family planning methods.
In addition, he said, a society that dislikes dieting and exercise is hesitant to embrace a model of natural family planning because “it does involve some sacrifice.”
“We don’t like lifestyle change,” he explained.
But despite the cultural resistance, Barnes believes that people will embrace natural methods of family planning if they realize the myriad problems created by artificial birth control.
“It’s just contrary to our natures,” he said.