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Argumentative Essay Artificial Contraceptives Artificial Contraceptive should be eliminated. This is my argument. Why you ask? Well, although my viewpoint sounds a little radical, I have come up with several reasons why natural is better. Funk and Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia defines with birth control as any method used to prevent pregnancy from occurring. Methods available today range from permanent procedures such as surgical sterilization to temporary methods that must be with each act of intercourse. Sterilization, for example, has an effectiveness range from 99.5-99.9%. Yet, we must keep in mind that this operation can be rather expensive, costing up to $2,500. In addition, complications like infections or blood clots may occur (Planned Parenthood, pg. 3). Moreover, sometimes people later regret not being able to have children. Another form of birth control is the intrauterine device or IUD. IUD’s are tiny metal or plastic loops or coils that are placed in the uterus. They have an effectiveness of 95-99%(Funk & Wagnall’s, pg.98). A physician must insert IUD’s, but they can remain there until it is desired to be removed for a pregnancy. Although they sound ideal, some women have experienced uterine cramps and increased menstrual flow when using an IUD. (Billings, pg.63) in fact, some devices increase the risk of pelvic infection(Funk & Wagnall’s, pg.98). Further, in Perry and Dawson’s book, Nightmare, they proclaim the dangers of IUDs. They focus, especially, on the Dalkon Shield IUD; an IUD described as “the safest and most satisfying form of contraception.” In their book, Perry and Dawson state that “more than 12,000 women have filed damage suits for complications ranging from debilitating pain and severe bleeding to perforated uteri, unplanned pregnancies, spontaneous miscarriages, and septic abortions(Perry & Dawson, pg. 1). Yet, another method of birth control is the oral contraceptive, better known as “the pill”. Oral contraceptives are chemicals that work by altering a woman’s normal hormonal patterns so that ovulation does not occur(Funk & Wagnall’s, pg.98). The pill is nearly 100% effective when taken according to directions. More recently, however, “Oxford University researchers showed an association between oral contraceptives and an increased risk of blood clots affecting the veins and arteries to the legs, lungs, and brain”(Billings, pg.164). In addition, the estimated risk of heart attack is 2.8 times higher in Pill-users than on non-users(Rosenfield, pg.96). Moreover, studies from the World Health Organization states, “the risk of death increases markedly among women over the age of 35, especially if they are also smokers, are overweight, or have diabetes, and have used the pill for a long time” (Billings. Pg. 172). Lastly, former chairman of the ob-gyn department at John Hopkins, Dr. Allan Barnes, stated that “The risks of birth control pills far outweighed their benefits”(Perry & Dawson, pg. 24-25). On the other hand, barrier methods like the use of condoms and diaphragms are inexpensive and have no side effects. In fact, they have an effectiveness range from 86-97%(Funk & Wagnall’s, pg. 98). But, I must also add, they provide a false sense of security. Often, sexually active people who tend to relay on condoms and diaphragms become a little irresponsible. They feel secure against pregnancy. Nevertheless, this is when trouble arises. For instance, youngsters, being told that condoms and diaphragms are safe, are many times lured to believing that it is okay to have sex. Yes, condoms and diaphragms do provide protection, but many times they are forgotten to be used, especially when sexual intercourse is spontaneous. In short, if artificial contraceptives were not available, youngsters as well as adults would not be forced to take sexual intercourse as a highly responsible act. This would, most likely, decrease the amount of youngsters taking part in premarital sex. As a result, there would be least teenage pregnancies. Now that I have started the pros and cons to artificial contraceptives, one question may remain I your head: “ How does she plan to prevent pregnancy?” The answer or solution is natural. The reasons so many problems arise with artificially prevent life. Life is something that happens naturally. Therefore, if life is desired to be prevented, it should be prevented naturally as well. Naturally family planning is becoming more and more popular. This is because as dissatisfaction with contraceptives drugs and devices grows, so grows the number of women seeking a fertility control method that is natural-that does not interfere with the body’s normal processes(Billings, pg. 185). We know that nature has provided various indications that ovulation is occurring or has occurred. These indications have been researched, and many different methods of natural birth control have been devised. Among them are the Rhythm Method, the Basal Body Temperature Method, the Sympto-Thermal Method, and the Ovulation Method(Billings, pg. 186). Of all the main candidates, my personal choice is the Ovulation or Billings Method. This is because it is suitable for everyone. The Ovulation Method can be used by all women at all phases-whether her menstrual cycles are regular or irregular, during adolescence, coming off the pill, when breast feeding or approaching the menopause(Billings, pg. 14). The Billings Ovulation Method was developed by Melbourne physician Dr. Evelyn Billings together with her husband, Dr. john Billings. In her book, Billings describes that the basis of the method is awareness of the mucus at the vaginal opening. Basically, the mucus can indicate whether you are fertile or infertile by its sensation and appearance(Billings, pg. 12). When the mucus indicates possible fertility, it is necessary to postpone sexual intercourse if a pregnancy is not desired. For most couples, this means that up to half the days of a typical cycle are available for intercourse. In general, days available for intercourse are scattered throughout the cycle, so that abstinence is not required for lengthy periods in any cycle. In longer cycles, a greater portion of the cycle is available(Billings, pg. 12). Billings also states that like other methods, it is susceptible to the human factor, but couples who are motivated to make it work will find it safe, reliable and simple to use. As a matter of fact, preliminaries findings indicate an effectiveness of about 99%. This means that among 100 couples who follow the method guidelines for a year, an average of one pregnancy can be expected to occur. This with the effectiveness of artificial contraceptives methods including the pill and IUDs(Billings, pg. 13). As also mentioned in her book, the method requires a high level of motivation and cooperation. Yet, unlike other contraceptives, the method causes not side effects or changes in the natural body processes. With this method no equipment is necessary, making it inexpensive. In addition, a bonus to the method is the “sense of wonder and deep satisfaction that comes from tuning in to the natural rhythms of your own body”(Billings, pg. 15). often, artificial contraceptive advocators agree that natural family planning is not reliable. Part of their argument is that it never worked in the past centuries. In addition, they state that the number of children per household has decreased from 10-15 to 2-3 in the past fifty years(Billings, pg. 53). Yet the reason for the decrease is that children in the past were needed to help out the family, for example to work in the fields. On the other hand, today children represent a great economic cost to parents. A cost, which in turn, is one of the most common reasons couples choose to use contraceptives in the first place(Billings, pg. 54). In addition, the Ovulation Method is so reliable that many women have discovered the significance of the mucus themselves, and have used it as a sign of their fertility or infertility even without the scientific verification of the method that is available today(Billings, pg. 13). “For instance, it is known that at least three African tribal groups (the Taita, Kamba, and Luo) have used the mucus produced by the cervix as a marker of fertility for generations past. [In addition], an elder of an Australian Aboriginal tribe, Nirangi, recently described how young girls of his tribe were taken away to a sacred place by the older women and taught about the mucus. [Also], in western societies, it is not unusaul to hear of an individual woman who has discovered for herself the message of the mucus”(Billings, pg. 14). In sum, if artificial contraceptives were eliminated, we would be forced to relay on natural family planning. In doing so, sexual intercourse would become for everyone as an act of high responsibility. Moreover, if this method was well taught and adopted by everyone, it is possible that we might even decrease the number of unwanted and aborted children. Works Cited Billings, Evelyn. 1st Ed. The Billings Method. Random House: New York, 1980. Perry, Susana and Jim Dawson. 1st Ed. Women and The Dalkon Shield. New York: Macmillan, 1985. Rosenfield, Albert. Responsible Parenthood, The Child's Psyche Through the Six-Year Pregnancy. 1st Ed. Holt, Rinehart and Winston: New York, 1980. Funk and Wagnall’s. Contraceptives. 30 vols. Raintree Milwaukee: WI, 1997. 3. Word Count: 1494

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