Dr. Carl Djerassi, one of the inventors of the original birth control pill, has just come out with a prediction that by 2050 we will no longer need contraceptives. Everyone will freeze their eggs and sperm and then be permanently sterilized young, so they can have as much sex as they want without any fear of pregnancy. Any babies born will be routinely conceived in vitro: test tube babies. Goodbye worries. Welcome brave new world.
“The separation between sex and reproduction will be 100 percent,” said Djerassi, 91. Sex will be purely recreational, is the idea, free of messy ties to love or family or babies. We aren’t that far from that situation already. Djerassi’s vision is the logical continuation of contraceptives, an extension of the already sometimes violent and radical attempt to disconnect sex from its natural power to bring forth life.
Maybe by then we’ll have also extended this battle against our biology by managing to conquer the human desire to eat in similar way. We’ll hook up our stomachs to a temporary evacuation tube, eat as much of whatever we want, all day long if that’s what we want to do. We will neither get fat or sick, nor gain any nourishment, from what we eat. To get needed nutrients, we’ll just pop the right pill.
Maybe these scenarios appeal to some people. They don’t to me. Natural Womanhood’s goal is to change the course of the future by offering a better route. Like Marty McFly in Back to the Future, we want to keep that copy of Gray’s Sports Almanac out of Biff’s hands.
Happily, it’s simply not necessary to fulfill Djerassi’s nightmarish prediction for our future to finally stop worrying about unplanned pregnancy. That’s a piece of key information he’s missing. One crucial fact in particular stands between us and his dystopia.
Three reasons Djerassi’s future is a just bad dream
1. It’s already possible to have sex with neither contraceptives nor fear of pregnancy.
This dire prediction of the final separation from sex and reproduction only seems inevitable if we continue to pretend that the mechanics of pregnancy are still a deep, dark mystery like in the Middle Ages. If all we know is that sex causes pregnancy, we proceed as if the only way we can have any control over it is to simply destroy the body parts or suppress the functions that allow it to happen. But fortunately science has advanced well beyond that point. We can lay down our arms in this battle against our fertility.
Suppressing normal body functions or damaging body parts to prevent pregnancy is now obsolete technology. Right now, people around the world are taking advantage of more advanced knowledge in women’s health science and technology to avoid or achieve pregnancy both naturally and harmlessly. It may sound like sci-fi when you’re used to counting on contraceptives, but these methods have been around for quite a while already.
Science has figured out how the female body works and how pregnancy occurs with great precision. All-natural methods of birth control, called Fertility Awareness or Natural Family Planning, function simply with the systematic charting of a women’s cycles. Once you are trained in reading the signs of your body, which new technology and apps allow you to do almost effortlessly, you can know exactly which days you can or can’t get pregnant. With knowledge, you can avoid pregnancy as effectively as with contraceptives. These methods use the full factual knowledge available to us all and are in use around the world with great success and satisfaction.
2. Our bodies aren’t broken and don’t need to be “fixed.”
We are beginning to see clearly the long-term results of the experiment of hormonal contraceptives begun on women 50 years ago. Contraceptives may have brought us greater sexual freedom, but also a vast array of side effects, risk of death from blood clots and stroke, greatly increased rates of cancer and infertility and astronomically higher rates of divorce. Male and female fertilization likewise unnecessarily damage the body and can come with serious, well-documented risks.
Today, with understanding, we can cooperate with our fertility, in harmony with nature. We can preserve and respect our natural bodies. These advances make surgeries, synthetic hormones and foreign devices things of the past. We no longer have to put up with health risks or side effects of contraceptives any more in order to avoid pregnancy.
3. We need to keep sex connected to reproduction
The disconnection of sex and reproduction ability is another major social experiment with deep consequences, some of which we already observe. It comes with a loss of responsibility about sex, the hopeless search for intimacy in sexual pleasures rather than in building a family, and a loss of pleasure that comes with misuse.
That reproduction is and should be connected to sex and to love is nature’s way of trying to keep both parents together for the sake of children. It’s a good thing. The way to find true happiness is not doing what you feel like doing all the time and avoiding the consequences at all costs. It’s making peace with reality, with our humanity. It’s just not necessary to take up arms against our bodies and against nature.
Changing the Future
Far before 2050, Natural Womanhood intends to make it common knowledge that we don’t need to resort to violence against our bodies just to avoid pregnancy (or achieve it). Our intention is that general knowledge will catch up soon with the state of scientific advances. But don’t expect that information to come from contraceptives manufacturers or most doctors. We are trying with all our might, working against the clock to change the course of our messed up future.
Or like Holden Caulfield, the catcher in the rye, we’re stopping innocents about to walk off the cliff. We are here now, trying to wave the crowds into this path less traveled, and make it the path more traveled. Instead of extending the battle against our biology with further manipulation and destruction of the natural order, discover the benefits of making friends with your fertility.