Should nuns be on the pill?
December 7th, 2011
06:50 PM ET

Should nuns be on the pill?

Catholic nuns take a vow of chastity, so you might not think that any sister would need to be on birth control.

But oral contraceptive pills have other uses besides preventing pregnancy; in fact, Catholic bioethicists say there is no inherent conflict in nuns (or any other Catholic) taking these very same substances for prescribed, therapeutic reasons, such as for treating heavy menstrual bleeding or endometriosis.

A new article in the journal The Lancet goes one step further. It argues that nuns "should be free to use the contraceptive pill to protect against the hazards of nulliparity” – that is, heightened cancer risk among women who do not bear children.

According to the authors, Australian researchers Kara Britt and Roger Short, there are about 95,000 nuns in the world, and they are paying "a terrible price for their chastity": increased risks of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer.

Women who don't ever get pregnant have more ovulatory menstrual cycles, which have been linked to cancer risk, than those who do get pregnant. Research has shown that women who give birth to a first child at a young age, have more children and breastfeed, lower their risk of breast cancer, as well as endometrial and ovarian cancer. The Lancet piece cites a 1969 study of about 32,000 nuns in the United States from 1900 to 1954, which found that nuns had a higher likelihood of dying from these kinds of cancers than the general population.

But, broken down by age, the death rate for uterine cancer isn’t higher among nuns than females generally until age 70; for ovarian cancer it’s age 80. For ovarian cancer, nuns age 80 and above had a rate of 3 out of 10,000 deaths reported; for uterine cancer, about 13 out of 10,000.

“So the question has to be asked, is it worth the expense (and these drugs are expensive) to treat all at risk populations (in this case nuns) with preventative hormone replacement in order to prevent 13 cancers?” says Sr. Beatrice Hernandez, a Franciscan sister who is also a retired oncologist.

Britt and Short cite two large studies, published in 2010, on the health effects of the oral contraceptive pill, showing it reduces the risk of ovarian and uterine cancers, and does not up the risk of breast cancer. Women who had never taken the pill had a 12% higher mortality rate than those who used it regularly.

Dr. Lisa Flowers, of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Emory University School of Medicine, says this information in the Lancet piece bears further consideration. Women – nuns included – should talk to their doctors about this in relation to their family history of cancer and their medical profile, she said.

“All women should have this conversation with their physicians to see if they would be potential candidates, and if it would be a benefit for them,” she said.

She noted that the population of nuns may not be screened as often for cancers by physicians. If nuns are already at higher risk, they especially may wish to consider the potential benefits of oral contraception – not only for cancer prevention, but also for alleviating premenstrual and menstrual discomforts.

Hernandez doesn't think the data is convincing enough to recommend that all nuns take the pill preventatively. Neither does John Brehany, executive director and ethicist at the Catholic Medical Association. He called the pill “a powerful hormone that tricks a woman’s body into thinking that it’s pregnant,” with side effects that include nausea, breast tenderness, change in appetite and headaches.

Flowers wouldn't go as far as to say that all women (or all nuns) should be on the pill, either. Some women can’t tolerate the side effects, and there are certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, that would make use of oral contraception inappropriate.

Patients typically have a three-month trial of oral contraception to see if it’s right for them, she said.

“We probably need to change our mindset of the oral contraceptive pill, not to think of it only as an effective tool to prevent pregnancy, but also in its ability to protect from cancers and to protect women from some of the discomforts and medical problems that they have associated with menstruation,” she said.

However, there are certain cancer risks with the pill, too. According to the National Cancer Institute, there has been conflicting evidence about whether the pill increases the risk of breast cancer. Several studies found that it raises the risk of liver cancer in low-risk populations; a 2003 study found an increased risk of cervical cancer in women who took the pill for longer periods of time.

And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be hearing evidence Thursday about concerns about a possible increased risk of blood clots in the birth control pill YAZ, compared to other oral contraception.

soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. JP

    Lucifer...what the devil are you saying? Please get your sulphur-smelling rear end back to hell, will you?

    December 7, 2011 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Get a life!

    Stick to the subject. In my experience, people who obsess about abuse, even when it is not under discussion, need watching!

    December 7, 2011 at 22:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Edwin

    What a strange question - should nuns be take a medicine that could help prevent certain illnesses? If a doctor thinks so and the patient (the nun) agrees, this should be a non-issue. If the doctor or the patient disagrees, again a non-issue.

    Why should ANYONE else be involved? So the medicine has another use - so what? I don't care if nuns abstain or not - it's not my business. And it's not my business which medicines they take. It really shouldn't be the church's business, either, whether they take medicine.

    December 7, 2011 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fiona

      My guess is you aren't Catholic. This is about the Vatican. The Pope.

      December 8, 2011 at 00:07 | Report abuse |
  4. Chris

    SHOULD they? No. CAN they? Sure, if their doctor thinks it's necessary. Can we talk about something less sensational now?

    December 7, 2011 at 23:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. WDinDallas

    This is semantics. Nuns take hormone therapy just like other women. It just is not the "pill". This a political piece disguising itself as women's health. It is trash.

    December 7, 2011 at 23:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fiona

      Interesting you should bring that up. My mother took the pill as HRT post menopause.

      December 8, 2011 at 00:05 | Report abuse |
  6. Fiona

    So women should either start having kids as early as they can, and breed often...or be on the pill? Are the childless among us "paying a terrible price" for our lack of progeny? How offensive! The assumption is that women are meant to breed (normal) and not breeding is therefore abnormal. How about weighing the risk of stroke (heightened with oral contraceptives) against the lowered risk of cancer? All of the women I know - and all of the female relatives I have - who have had (or died from) ovarian, uterine or beast cancer...gave birth during their lives...multiple times.

    December 8, 2011 at 00:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      Fiona, the Catholic Church has always been disingenuous about its prohibition against birth control. The higher the birth rate among its faithful, the higher the headcount for Catholicism. It's easy to figure out that connection.

      On the other hand, if we are to be good stewards of the planet, something must be done about the too-high numbers of humans here now who are starving, who don't have clean water and who lack basic necessities on a daily basis. Are you aware that humans now outnumber rats? That's right, there are more human beings than vermin infesting the planet now. We have been fruitful and multiplied, much too far...

      Of course some numbskull will respond to this will say 'unless we keep breeding, people will die out!' We're living in a mass extinction. Likely some form of humans will survive it, or not, *if* it's the Will of the Lord. Overbreeding or not, that's for Him to decide. How can anything *we* do override that? As if. They claim to be Christians. LOL.

      December 8, 2011 at 10:10 | Report abuse |
  7. PleaseUseLogic

    Why is this even an issue? Thanks C.NN. The pills often referred to as "birth control" are mostly used for other health purposes, although often a reproductive health benefit. This is about as much of an issue as Tamoxifen for breast cancer.

    December 8, 2011 at 00:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Lee

    This is an assinine article! CNN is so good at writing them these days. Trying to stir up controversy where there is none so all the anti religious anti catholic bigots can post their dribble on here. The Catholic Church would have no problem whatsoever if a none needed to take the pill for large menstrations or to protect from cancer. Unlike some sects the church has no problem with science (please leave Galileo out of it, most of the scientists of the day ridiculed him as well, and it was 500 years ago). the problem isn't the drug itself but some of it's uses that the church objects to. If you don't like those objections, imhave no problem with you. But CNN writing this article as if it was something scandalous/controversial is a sad attempt to once again bash my faith. If you don't believe in the "sky fairy" i could care less. But at least be as objective as and as open minded as you claim to be. Shame on you CNN your reporting is ignorant and tantamount to spreading lies.

    December 8, 2011 at 00:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. jim

    My wife couldn't get her scrip filled where she works(catholic hospital) even though it was for her abnormal periods. I had a vasectomy years ago so it definetly was not for birth control(ok easy on the jokes now), She even had to go to a different hospital to get herself surgically fixed so she wouldn't need the meds which only reduced the frequency of her extremly painful periods. The nuns at the hospital sure want donations for unwed mothers in Guadalupe however, go figure THAT!!

    December 8, 2011 at 00:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dandy

      Religion is full of contradictions. Perhaps this is the natural selection process in action. If you can't or don't bear children you die early? Hey I didn't make the rules – some believe these things are controlled by a higher power.
      I think we have a brain for a purpose and we should utilize it. People who do not utilize their brains seems to do poorly and die young. Go figure.. I sense a connection. 😉

      December 8, 2011 at 01:30 | Report abuse |
    • KC

      @Dandy, I had a very good female doctor who explained to me that childbearing was a matter of "pick your poison". Women who have children early have a higher risk of one type of cancer; women who have them late or not at all have a higher risk of another type.

      December 8, 2011 at 09:30 | Report abuse |
    • FlyGuyInSJ

      There's no contradiction there; we play by our rules. Don't like it? Go somewhere else.

      @Dandy – looks like you're the one not using the old noggin.

      @KC – plus, there is a certain (small) percentage of women who die as a result of complications of pregnancy or childbirth. If everything is factored in, I bet the numbers are pretty close to even. The 1969 study only looked at increased likelihoods of certain cancers, not overall mortality increases. They found that the ages at which these increases happen are the 70s and 80s – the age range in which most people die anyway. Bottom line: use of the pill by nuns might influence what they die of, but would have little or no affect on how long they actually live. The people cited are right to say it's unlikely to be worth the expense, and it's kind of hard to believe the article even got onto CNN. This looks like a "Nothing to see hear, folks" case.

      December 8, 2011 at 12:30 | Report abuse |
  10. moonster

    If the pill or any RX helps a patient I am all for it. Who cares if perhaps it is a group of nuns.

    December 8, 2011 at 00:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. dewed

    Easy solution. If you're a nun, either accept the rules of your religion (including the stupid ones), or lead a normal life free of it.

    Guess what I did?

    December 8, 2011 at 02:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • solex

      That's a closed minded argument. Just because the restrictions in place are because of a choice they made, does that mean they should have to suffer unnecessarily because of dogma they are not violating?

      I wonder if you would be as smug if you were faced with a choice that you were not willing to compromise and that that choice caused pain and suffering through no fault of your own?

      December 8, 2011 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
    • Gave Up Religion For Lent

      I guess you missed this part of the article – "Catholic bioethicists say there is no inherent conflict in nuns (or any other Catholic) taking these very same substances for prescribed, therapeutic reasons, such as for treating heavy menstrual bleeding or endometriosis."

      The church has no problem with this issue. There is no rule against it.

      "Guess what I did?" – no need to guess, clearly you failed reading comprehension.

      December 8, 2011 at 13:21 | Report abuse |
    • Chris R

      This isn't against the rules of the Catholic faith. They are not using the pills to prevent contraception – they are using them for non-contraceptive medical purposes. As such, this should be no more controversial than a nun taking lipitor or coumadin.

      December 8, 2011 at 13:40 | Report abuse |
    • geraldh

      If you read the article CAREFULLY it says Nuns can use the pill for medical problems.

      December 8, 2011 at 16:59 | Report abuse |
    • Teresa

      SUPER AWESOME! I'm thinkin of doing south aiermca and this makes me want to leave next week. What kind of bikes? How long did it take you?

      March 5, 2012 at 20:38 | Report abuse |
  12. Dieyoung

    Have you ever seen the new high explosive Satan-killer rounds made for the 50. caliber sniper rifle and machine gun? You will feel them when the rapture comes.

    December 8, 2011 at 02:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      Non sequeter much?

      December 8, 2011 at 10:02 | Report abuse |
    • sortakinda


      December 8, 2011 at 13:19 | Report abuse |
    • Kenny Jorayta

      Rapture....!Hey you are so ignorant....there is no such thing as rapture...Wake up pal perhaps you had been beguiled.

      December 8, 2011 at 15:42 | Report abuse |
  13. Chas

    Many years ago, my mother-in-law was in a situation where her doctor told her she needed a hysterectomy to correct a life-threatening health problem. Her priest told her she could not get the procedure because it was birth control. Thankfully, after she agonized for a while, she went and got a second opinion – from another priest. He told her, emphatically, to go get the procedure.

    There is no way my mother-in-law can be the only woman who has found herself in this situation. I can't help wondering, tearfully, how many woman listened to their priest, as good Catholics, and eventually dies because of it.

    I have the utmost faith and love for Jesus Christ but just can't say the same for his priests. I become truly sad (and scared!) every time I read that whatever they bind on earth will also be bound in Heaven.

    December 8, 2011 at 03:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anne

      I am Catholic and when I needed a hysterectomy I never thought about asking my priest. I don't think I did anything wrong and having it. I had had a D&C 8 months before that and their were 6 growths removed. As my health progressed an ultrasound showed I had more growths, so had the hysterectomy. I feel if I would have left them go I would eventually had cancer. I don't feel like I did anything wrong, as the good Lord knew I was taking care of my body. When I was in grade school the nuns taught us that our bodies are a temple of the Lord, and we should take care of it. Hence, that is what I did.

      December 8, 2011 at 05:31 | Report abuse |
    • catholic engineer

      The article states; 'The Lancet piece cites a 1969 study of about 32,000 nuns in the United States from 1900 to 1954, which found that nuns had a higher likelihood of dying from these kinds of cancers than the general population." All of the nuns who were my teachers in the '60s have lived well into their 80's and beyond.

      December 8, 2011 at 09:46 | Report abuse |
    • ajk68

      The first priest gave incorrect advice. If a hysterectomy were life-saving, there is no question about its morality. I would be surprised if there are many priests ignorant of this; more likely, it was that particular priest's disagreement with Catholic teaching (interpreting the teaching in too strict a way). On the other hand, he may have been convinced that the "life-saving" description was really a pretext. Priests see lots of that; it makes it hard to sort out in every case.

      December 8, 2011 at 13:18 | Report abuse |
    • 321

      So she just went to another priest until she heard what she wanted to hear? Why is the 2nd priest right and the 1st one wrong?

      Obviously the 1st one is a moron even though he was right by catholic rules but we see this all the time in christianity where people just do what they want based on the suggestion they like the most. Some priests say birth control is ok while others say it isnt, premarital sx is cool because its fun but gay marriage is gross so it should be illegal. Christianity has boiled down to nothing more than opinions, its rules have practically nothing to do with the bible anymore.

      December 8, 2011 at 13:31 | Report abuse |
    • BeYourOwnAdvocate

      You and your mother-in-law should check out the HERS Foundation, it's a women's advocacy group that is fighting against the medical establishment and for informed consent laws in all 50 states. It's at http://www.hersfoundation.org. There is a good chance information was withheld or flat out lies were told by the doctor regarding the "life saving" hysterectomy. I was also told I could be dying of cancer and needed a hysterectomy at the cost of approximately $25,000.00 (very profitable for the hospital) it turned out there was no cancer and hysterectomy/oophorectomy has severe lifelong consequences that women are not being told about. It's time for the medical establishment to be held accountable and for laws to be passed to safeguard women against these barbaric and unnecessary surgeries.

      December 8, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
  14. mmi16

    The world is overpopulated so lets promote procreation.

    December 8, 2011 at 04:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      Sarcasm or typo? Your intent's unclear.

      December 8, 2011 at 07:38 | Report abuse |
  15. J. Davis, TN

    I am a Catholic convert and love the church. However, there are many misguided priests who refuse to use common sense in advising women on marriage, birth control, etc. Everything is black and white to those priests. It makes one wonder how many people have left the Catholic Church because of poor advice from misguided priests. I'm just glad there are some priests, my favorites included, who look at the whole situation. For example, a woman who has already given birth to 10 children should use birth control. There are too many unwanted and abused children in our world already.

    December 8, 2011 at 08:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 321

      They arent misguided, they are following the bible, the bible is black and white. If anyone is misguided its the priests who make exceptions to the rules so people will like them more.

      December 8, 2011 at 13:20 | Report abuse |
    • Rbnlegend101

      It seems very odd to ask an unmarried chaste man for relationship advice.

      December 8, 2011 at 13:25 | Report abuse |
    • Nam Vet

      Priest do no have a good track record on common sense.

      December 8, 2011 at 13:28 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      @321 – the Bible is NOT 'black and white" in the slightest; most priests and other theologians will tell you that as well. Almost all of it is open to interpretation as it's parables and history.

      December 8, 2011 at 13:38 | Report abuse |
    • Iconoclast

      I never felt that any human being had a right, obligation, or even the ability to advise someone else on spiritual matters. The whole idea of a priest or preacher telling me what who or how to worship is abominable to me. The idea that divinity can be taught in college is strange to me, this is all man's invention. And yes the bible is black and white, the pages are white, the letters are black. What the words mean however is certainly up to interpretation and debate. I for one think it's all mythology. You are welcome to your own opinion. It is obvious to me however that health issues must trump religious dogma.

      December 8, 2011 at 13:40 | Report abuse |
    • Dawn

      J. Davis, it makes me incredibly sad to see a Catholic convert so ignorant of or unfaithful to the teachings of the Church they claim to "love." You obviously need to read up on the Church's teaching on family planning, the sacredness of fertility, and NFP. The Church speaks with the voice of Christ and you either submit to all her teachings or none of them mean anything at all. You don't get to "pick and choose" like it's a salad bar. Our Lord's teachings are not always easy to follow, but your advice to "get on birth control" after you've had a bunch of kids is in no way in accord with what we are called to live as Catholics.

      December 8, 2011 at 14:21 | Report abuse |
  16. Grumpyoldlady

    Many hospitals REQUIRE women receiving certain medications – one for severe acne comes to mind – to be on the Pill because the medications can cause birth defects. And yes, they require it even of nuns.

    December 8, 2011 at 09:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. itsagoodthing

    they should be on the pill. their boss has a history of impregnating women without even touching them.

    December 8, 2011 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dalis

      OK, I'm Catholic, and I think that's funny.

      December 8, 2011 at 23:29 | Report abuse |
  18. erich2112x

    It also comes in handy for when father Flanigan sneaks into the convent and tickles them awake for a quickie.

    December 8, 2011 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Iconoclast

      I'm thinkin father Flanigan probably has no interest in nuns. Too old, wrong anatomy.

      December 8, 2011 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
  19. VinoBianco

    Birth control pills should be free to everyone. You'd think those who are prolife would advocate the most for this, eh?

    December 8, 2011 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kace47

      "PRO-LIFE" is a misnomer. "Anti-abortion" is more accurate.

      December 8, 2011 at 13:25 | Report abuse |
    • Anna

      This is getting a bit more stuiecbjve, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like Mixview' that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you're listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of neighbors will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune Social is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

      March 4, 2012 at 08:04 | Report abuse |
  20. The Angels

    The research shows:

    "death rate for uterine cancer isn’t higher among nuns than females generally until age 70; for ovarian cancer it’s age 80. For ovarian cancer, nuns age 80 and above had a rate of 3 out of 10,000 deaths reported; for uterine cancer, about 13 out of 10,000"

    Really? the above statistic warrants nuns to be on the pill? Look at those angelic faces! Such darling faces of humanity!

    Get the sisters good gifts for Christmas not pills!

    December 8, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. SouthernCelt

    Anyone remember Nuns dying from breast, ovarian and uterine cancer 50 years ago before the Pill was created? This is just a scare tactic to sell more drugs.

    December 8, 2011 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. TAK

    Of course nuns don't need the pill. The priests prefer boys.

    December 8, 2011 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. sandalista

    Totally understandable...the Vatican owns the company in Italy that makes the pills. Gotta keep business going.
    The Vatican also owns Beretta, so the nuns will be equipped with handguns pretty soon as well.

    December 8, 2011 at 13:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. steve

    This is news...

    December 8, 2011 at 13:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Kris

    Only if they are being raped by the Priests and we know that's not happening. They only like little boys

    December 8, 2011 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • newsguy

      What a disgusting lowlife

      December 8, 2011 at 19:39 | Report abuse |
    • jo

      Even though you put it bluntly church fathers have disgusted a religion that was started on patience and love. Now church is only filled with opinionated dogmatic eccentrics who possible join the church because of their shortcomings as a proper human being. Any person who belittles other religion and has dogmatic ideas is seriously a retard. The world is so much more that we perceive it to be and science helps us decipher it. Only a self destructive fool will have issues with science.

      December 11, 2011 at 11:28 | Report abuse |
    • Francophone

      Thank you Nancy. Of course the birth rsrpeeents all the other aspects that I have suggested. And the midnight mass is an important ritual that helps us remember. Perhaps I need to add observing important rituals

      March 5, 2012 at 22:07 | Report abuse |
  26. Beth

    To this day, and certainly years ago when The Pill was first medically available, the Catholic Church was front and center in the fight against it. In fact, the only reason there is or was a break in the cycle of pills taken at all, rather than going on taking them every day, was to pacify the Catholics who insisted that women have "natural" periods. Even though it was against best medical practice. How many women had back alley abortions or unwanted children because of their intransigence? To this day many women erroneously believe that not having a period every month is a bad thing, when science shows the opposite.

    Should they, who denied these benefits to so many others, now benefit themselves? Only if they get out of the business entirely of apportioning medical advice and services based on their faith. Otherwise, live within the rules of your faith and take the consequences.

    It is time we removed religion from all medical decision making. Period. And for all religions. Leave private citizens to invoke their chosen faith as they wish and make their decisions for themselves, not for others.

    December 8, 2011 at 13:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Fuyuko

    Get with the 21rst century, Rome. The pill has other uses for some women than just birth control. Evening out an uneven period, helping some women with mood control, etc. While it caused too many side effects for me, it is ridiculous that meds for women are once more under scrutiny by the Catholics.

    December 8, 2011 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dalis

      Under scrutiny? Absolutely! Sounds like you should have adopted this stance as well. Just because Big Pharma says pop this pill doesn't mean you have to swallow.

      December 8, 2011 at 23:33 | Report abuse |
  28. ipmutt

    More hard hitting journalism from mainstream media

    December 8, 2011 at 13:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. sortakinda

    Wow. This must REALLY be a slow news day. What about masochists? Should they be allowed to take aspirins?

    December 8, 2011 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. FoxyRabbit

    Uhmm, isn't the catholic church against birth control pills? The last I checked, it was.
    And just because the pill "lowers" the chances of getting cancer, you have to keep in mind of all the side effcts of the pill. Blood clots, heart attck, etc.
    So, what's the point? They don't need the pill.

    December 8, 2011 at 13:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • FoxyRabbit

      In addition, why take birth control to help with menstral cramps and things like that? ISn't that what midol and all the other over the counter drugs are for....

      December 8, 2011 at 13:30 | Report abuse |
    • fsninja

      FoxyRabbit, the pill doesn't just alleviate cramps, which OTC painkillers could do. The pill is effective at reducing the heaviness and duration of the period and can prevent or stop endometriosis, which can be extremely painful throughout the month if untreated. For some people, that can make a huge difference in their quality of life.

      December 8, 2011 at 20:43 | Report abuse |
  31. however

    Unbelievable! These adult women are protected by HIPAA laws. There is no reason for anyone to discuss or debate decisions people make with their healthcare providers.

    December 8, 2011 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. amcruz02

    What a pagan religion. To stay untouched or bear yourself from having kids from a pagan religion. Read your bible nuns. Mary was only a virgin when she carried Jesus, but her and Joseph had kids together. She wasn't a virgin her whole life.

    They need to read the bible more carefully and leave the pagan life.

    December 8, 2011 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • harold melton

      Most people of many religions do not know or realize the fact she was not a virgin always. She should not be called virgin Mary.

      December 8, 2011 at 19:23 | Report abuse |
    • dalis

      @amcruz02 So, what have you got against pagans? 😉

      December 8, 2011 at 23:35 | Report abuse |
  33. m

    If they're banging, absolutely!

    December 8, 2011 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. MrSnow

    A beautiful nun is still a tragic waste.

    December 8, 2011 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. BeYourOwnAdvocate

    According to http://www.cancer.org – the American Cancer Society......use of oral contraceptives increases the risk of breast cancer. If nuns chose to take birth control pills they would INCREASE their risk of breast cancer not decrease it. The media should stick to the FACTS when they report on a story – not touchy feely emotions about religion. The decision to remain childless and the decision to use birth control pills increases the risk of breast cancer – that's a fact.

    December 8, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. dg in montana

    This is the most stupid article I've ever read! REEEally????

    December 8, 2011 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. newsreader

    These two so-called ‘scientists’ are real losers. The only way they could publish a ‘scientific’ paper if they target the Catholic Church. And they call themselves scientists? Disgusting!

    Just a couple of things that these two losers conveniently forget:

    It has been widely known, and many studies were made and published about the lifestyle of nuns, because on average the have a significantly higher life expectancy than the rest of society, plus they seem to be significantly healthier and lead a more qualitative and productive life in their old age.

    Side effects, for example, of Yaz and Yasmin (Is this good for the nuns?)
    According to two studies published in the British Medical Journal, women who take the birth control pills Yaz, Yasmin or Ocella are twice as likely to suffer blood clots as women using another popular birth control pill. This increased blood clots risk could lead to a number of other serious and potentially fatal conditions, including heart attack, pulmonary embolism or stroke.

    December 8, 2011 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Jose M. Pulido

    Yes, they should be on the pill because there is a lot of promiscuity going on anyway between monks, priests and nuns.

    December 8, 2011 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. northern light

    The female body has evolved over time to have offspring .
    Women including nuns who voluntarily choose not to have have children are not fulfilling one of the most basic elements of being a human being .... ....by not creating children and thereby withdrawing themselves from the human gene pool.

    December 8, 2011 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jo

      Good one. I think not having children may be actually a sin.

      December 11, 2011 at 11:21 | Report abuse |
  40. Phrank

    I guess with nuns being on the pill we can rule another imaculate conception.....

    December 9, 2011 at 00:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Che

    Nuns wear wedding gold bands claiming the are married to Jesus.
    For sure Jesus must be worn-out for piping all these nuns. Whew!

    December 9, 2011 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Zara

    Should you be making that decision? This thread is pathetic.

    December 9, 2011 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. larry5

    Having a nun on the pill is less embarrassing than having a pregnant nun. On thing in their favor is that the priests spend most of their time chasing little boys and probably ignore the nuns.

    December 10, 2011 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. jo

    Ha Ha Ha. The hypocricy of the Church. The many sins of church, Jesus is really crying.

    December 11, 2011 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. kayjulia

    Much ado about nothing...... who cares? The article is a waste of time and effort. Whether or not Nuns take birth control or not is none of our business and we can't make it available to them or make them take it only the roman catholic church can do that and even that is none of our business because the nuns know all this. Pointless fluff that's all this article is about to get people curious about what nuns do or don't do ..... Like I said a waste of time.

    December 11, 2011 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
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    Unbeknown to most people, especially Catholics, is beneath the beautiful churches and monastaries lie buried, the skeletons of babies aborted by nuns raped and abused by Catholic priest.

    September 18, 2012 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
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