Pope urged to put nuns on the pill

2011-12-08 13:36

kalahari.com

Sydney - The Catholic Church should pay for nuns to go on contraceptive pills to cut the extra cancer risk that comes with a life of celibacy, Australian cancer experts said on Thursday.

The world's 94 790 nuns "pay a terrible price for their chastity" because of the increased risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancers among women who do not get pregnant, have children and breastfeed, they said.

Roger Short, a reproductive biologist at Melbourne University, said it was incumbent on the pope not just to permit nuns to take the pill but be out there lobbying for them to do so.

"He should say something to see that something gets done," the professor said. "It would be expensive for any nunnery to get the pills, and the Catholic Church should be paying for that."

Short and cancer researcher Kara Britt from Monash University in Melbourne recently published a paper in the medical journal The Lancet detailing the extra cancer risk that nuns have borne through the ages.

Downsides

The first reference to their higher mortality came in 1713 from Italian physician Bernadino Ramazzini.

Because nuns do not get pregnant, bear children or breastfeed, they have far more periods over their lifetimes and forego a certain level of protection from breast, ovarian and uterine cancer compared with other women.

Short accepted that the church does not ban the use of the pill for non-contraceptive purposes, but argued that it does not give the encouragement it could.

"I've never met a Catholic priest who has thought that there are health benefits to taking the pill," Short said.

In response, Father Brian Lucas, general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said there was no real need to go from permitting the pill's use to encouraging it.

"That's a false distinction," Lucas said. It was more important to distinguish "between whether it's being used for contraceptive purposes or it's for medical purposes", he said.

Lucas also noted that there were downside health risks from contraceptive pill, such as blood clots. "These are medical issues, not moral issues," he said.
- SAPA
Read more on:    roman catholic church  |  australia  |  health
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Beauty

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The virtual world can be very tempting to escape into but focus on also being present and keeping your feet anchored in reality....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.