Nuns Birth Control – Should nuns be taking birth control pills to reduce their risk of getting certain cancers? The subject has raised a lot of controversy, especially in the Church. Usually they take the vow at a young age to never have children.
When women don’t have children they more menstrual cycles and more cycles mean more risk for cancer, according to the study authors.
In 1713, Italian physician Bernadino Ramazzini noted that nuns had an extremely high incidence of that “accursed pest”, breast cancer. Today, the world’s 94,790 nuns still face a greatly increased risk of breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers.
The authors said the nearly 95,000 nuns worldwide “pay a terrible price for their chastity,” because they face a greater risk for breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers.
“If the Catholic Church could make the oral contraceptive pill freely available to all its nuns, it would reduce the risk of those accursed pests, cancer of the ovary and uterus, and give nuns’ plight the recognition it deserves,” study authors Dr. Kara Britt of Monash University and Professor Roger Short of the University of Melbourne in Australia, said in a written statement.
The problem is the Catholic church condemned all forms of contraception in 1968 under Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae. The author suggests that now nuns should be exempt from ban to help their health.
“A nun goes to a doctor for her medical care, and if that medical care requires a certain kind of medicine then that medicine is prescribed,” Sister Mary Ann Walsh of the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops told ABC News.
“There are risks with the pill just as there are risks with doing nothing with regard to uterine and ovarian cancer,” Walsh said. “A nun’s decision needs to be worked out between the nun and her doctor.”