The Hurtful Consequences of Artificial Contraception and Sterilization: Three Personal Testimonies

by Peggy Powell

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Rick and Peggy

In 1971, my husband and I were married. Thinking birth control must be okay because no one had said anything against it during my high school years and I had never heard a homily addressing the issue, I made an appointment with my family doctor. I asked if I needed to be on a stronger birth control pill, since now I would be taking it for the purpose of birth control instead of acne. He prescribed the pill and off I went.

We used contraceptives for the next three years. Our lives became very selfish and self-centered, as they caused us to become very empty and lonely. We thought, “There is more to life than this.” We had a strong yearning to have a baby and thought this was the right time.

A year after stopping the pill I still couldn’t get pregnant! What was wrong! I was having physical problems from taking the pill continually for seven years. The doctor told me that the only way to solve this problem was to have a D&C.

I soon became pregnant and on July 9, 1976, we delivered what we thought was a healthy baby girl. We were so happy and she was so beautiful, but little did we know that Traci Rae was mentally handicapped. Through the years she would need special therapies and programs to help her with all her problems.

Unexpectedly, I became pregnant again and gave birth to our next daughter Trish Kathleen on May 25, 1978. We were very happy, but concerned about Traci as we had no idea what was wrong and she was just in the process of being diagnosed. We were so overwhelmed that we decided not to have any more children. Rick had a vasectomy. Again we did not know what we were doing – everyone was being sterilized and we had all these problems to deal with.

Our problems continued to worsen. I cried out to God in desperation and He answered me. All of a sudden we heard about a small village in Yugoslavia called Medugorje where the Blessed Virgin Mary had been appearing to some children since 1981. We joined a pilgrimage group and arrived in Medugorje on October 19, 1988. We returned home with such peace and joy, for Traci’s problems had started to diminish. Traci was 12 years old, and she could now live a more normal healthy life! We couldn’t thank God enough.

God continued to heal our family and showed us the many wrong paths we had traveled. A friend we had traveled to Medugorje with started sharing with me the evil of contraceptives and sterilization. Her husband had also been sterilized and they were scheduled to have it reversed. We never knew the wrong we had done in using contraceptives and being sterilized until now.

Our marriage had suffered and we began to understand why. Rick and I began to grow spiritually and started counseling to repair the injuries to our marriage. Our relationship grew and our communication deepened. We prayed together and felt led to have the vasectomy reversed. Even though we had confessed these sins and God had forgiven us, we wanted to rectify our error and be open to life if God willed to give us more children.

On July 5, 1991, Rick had the vasectomy reversed. It had been over 12 years since the vasectomy and the surgery was a success. I returned to Medugorje in April 1995, and prior to my leaving we received the most wonderful news – I was pregnant! After returning home the ultrasound showed our baby with her heart beating at 71/2 weeks. The tears streamed from our eyes. God had blessed us again!

On October 22, 1996, Rick(48) and I(43) celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary with our three beautiful daughters: Traci(20), Trish(18), and Maria Faustina(10 months) who was born December 7, 1995! Words cannot express our joy and thanksgiving to Our Lord. We have made a promise to Our Lord that in thanksgiving for all He has done for us, we would share our story in order to help other couples.

Karen and John

Karen and John had three children. After each child was born the doctors cautioned her not to have any more children, especially after the last child was born; because he almost died. Karen is a brittle diabetic and during her pregnancies her diabetes went out of control and she had toxemia. They were so afraid of having relations that they asked for direction. Unfortunately, the advice they received was to go ahead and have a vasectomy.

In 1987, John had the vasectomy. They never felt right about their decision and they knew that the main idea of married life was to be open to new life. They realized that this beautiful gift of life was taken away because of their wrong decision. Karen and John put their trust in God and decided to undo this terrible wrong.

In September of 1991, John had the vasectomy reversed and the next month Karen conceived a child. They felt God was saying that they had done the right thing. Karen had no complications during the pregnancy. The diabetes was under control and she carried the baby to 37 weeks gestation. On June 29, 1992, Hannah was born. She was a very healthy baby girl and the first baby they could take home from the hospital within four days. This was a great blessing since their first three children spent several weeks in intensive care after birth.

On November 30, 1994, Karen had a miscarriage that was a great loss and a test to their faith. But because of their faithfulness, Our Lord blessed them on July 15, 1996, with two healthy babies! Karen gave birth to twin boys named Matthew and Jacob, each weighing over five pounds.

Dennis and Deb

In 1989, Dennis had a vasectomy and a year later his wife Deb regretted their decision and wanted it reversed. Since the price was so high and the percentages given for success were not hopeful, they became discouraged.

After hearing our story of the reversal, Deb was more hopeful. Deb was the baby-sitter for Hannah (story above) who was conceived after a reversal. Her desire became stronger, but her husband was not willing to have the reversal.

Deb went on a pilgrimage to Medugorje and prayed for this intention. Deb’s roommate was also struggling with this, as her husband had also been sterilized. Their lives were very similar in many ways. A priest in Medugorje told Deb that if the opportunity ever arose they should have the vasectomy reversed.

The cost of the reversal was one of the main things holding them back. Deb was praying for the money and they were given over and above the amount needed for the reversal. After receiving the money, Dennis was still not willing to have a reversal.

Deb continued to pray and had a novena of Holy Masses offered for healing in their marriage. They also attended a Healing Mass and were prayed with together for this intention. On October 8, 1996, the 7th day of the novena of Masses, Deb was praying in the chapel before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. She opened a daily scripture meditation booklet titled “One Bread, One Body” by Presentation Ministries. The praise read as follows: “Nine years after his vasectomy, Ralph repented, joined a small Christian community and had his vasectomy reversed.” At that time Deb cried out to the Lord, “What do you want me to do?” She went home and talked with Dennis and explained to him what had happened in the Chapel. Deb felt that God was really speaking to them. Dennis agreed to call and get the information.

Dennis had his vasectomy reversed in late January of 1997. Dennis and Deb were both very happy and excited. Their daughter Elizabeth was born June 14, 1998, followed by a son Peter on May 1, 2000, both healthy and doing fine. As of the current printing Dennis and Deb are expecting again, in October, 2002, and would appreciate your prayers. They have begun arrangements to be foster parents in their community.

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The Hurtful Consequences of Artificial Contraception and Sterilization