Risks & Consequences
The Staff and Trustees of One More Soul pray that
the joy of this Christmas Season saturates you and your family!
Everybody seems to love Pope Francis, including Time Magazine, which declared him ”Person of the Year” for 2013. Our new Pope is full of surprises, including interviews and off-the-cuff remarks that are sometimes mystifying and a challenge to interpret. Pope Francis has called for an EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY (Synod of Bishops) on “PASTORAL CHALLENGES TO THE FAMILY IN THE CONTEXT OF EVANGELIZATION”. A “Preparatory Document” is available at the Vatican web site.1 This Preparatory Document includes a questionnaire on “the pastoral challenges facing the family today”. AMAZINGLY, Pope Francis has invited all the world’s Catholics to email him answers to these questions, which I (Steve Koob) did. I didn’t save my responses, but here are a few thoughts on those survey questions especially relevant to One More Soul’s mission—encouraging openness to life, discouraging birth control, and promoting Natural Family Planning. All of the questions are from Sec. 7, The Openness of the Married Couple to Life. Nothing could be closer to our mission.
Q. What knowledge do Christians have today of the teachings of Humanae Vitae on responsible parenthood?
A: The average American Catholic has never heard a homily that clearly explains the Catholic Church’s teachings on sexual morality, especially the teachings on marriage from Humanae Vitae. Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of NYC, and at the time President of the USCCB, essentially confirmed this statement in a Wall Street Journal interview by James Taranto.2 Here is an excerpt.
Doesn’t the church have a problem conveying its moral principles to its own flock? “Do we ever!” the archbishop replies with a hearty laugh. “I’m not afraid to admit that we have an internal catechetical challenge—a towering one—in convincing our own people of the moral beauty and coherence of what we teach. That’s a biggie…” For this he faults the church leadership. “We have gotten gun-shy…in speaking with any amount of cogency on chastity and sexual morality.”
Later in this same article, the discussion continues:
Without my [Taranto] having raised the subject, [Cardinal Dolan] adds that the church’s sex-abuse scandal “intensified our laryngitis over speaking about issues of chastity and sexual morality, because we almost thought, ‘I’ll blush if I do.’”
Yet the archbishop says he sees a hunger, especially among young adults, for a more authoritative church voice on sexuality. “They will be quick to say, ‘By the way, we want you to know that we might not be able to obey it….But we want to hear it. And in justice, you as our pastors need to tell us, and you need to challenge us.’” [Emphasis added]
This “hunger” is confirmed by Mary Rice Hasson, JD, and Michele M Hill in “What Catholic Women Think About Faith, Conscience, and Contraception”3. Here is an excerpt.
Fifty-three percent of weekly [Catholic women] Mass-goers who accept parts but not all of Church teaching indicate some openness to learning more about the Church teachings on contraception….While 72% of Catholic women say the weekly Mass homily is their primary source for learning about the faith, just 15% of those who rely on homilies to learn about their faith say they fully accept the Church’s teaching on contraception. [Emphasis added]
I conclude that couples must receive the TRUTH, or they will assume that the Church’s teaching is optional or unimportant.
Q. Are they aware of how morally to evaluate the different methods of family planning?
A: I am confident that most diocesan marriage prep programs address “family planning” by cautioning against the use of unnatural methods and providing at least an introduction to modern methods of Natural Family Planning (NFP). A small but growing number of dioceses expect couples to take a complete course in NFP. The “serious reason” requirement for licit use of NFP might not be emphasized, thus fostering a “Catholic birth control” or “contraceptive mentality” that can poison a couple’s relationship.
Q. Could any insights be suggested in this regard pastorally?
A: I think that couples should be encouraged to accept all the children God wants to send them. Who better than God for this task of eternal consequence? The Church teaches that children are the SUPREME GIFT of marriage. I suspect that these ideas are rarely presented.
Q. What aspects pose the most difficulties in a large majority of couples accepting this [Natural Family Planning] teaching?
A: Abstinence is difficult for many couples using NFP to prevent conception. God’s clever design of woman makes abstinence during her fertile time especially difficult because peak fertility and peak libido typically coincide. Couples do not marry to continue the abstinence of their courtship.
Q. What differences are seen in this regard between the Church’s teaching and civic education [government promoted]?
A: Our government requires that virtually all health care plans provide FREE access to contraception, abortion and sterilization, in stark contrast to Church teaching on the intrinsic evil (never permitted under any circumstances) of these practices.
Q. How can a more open attitude towards having children be fostered?
A: In Called to Give Life,4 Jason Adams makes this profound statement: “Once I worried about what I would have to give up in having children; now I know that there is nothing I would not give up for my children.”5 Helping couples realize this common feeling would encourage additional children. Also, a quote from Hasson and Hill6 is illuminating:
Church-going Catholic women display greater openness to children than the average American. For Catholic women, the “ideal” number of children averages 3.5 (higher than the American ideal of two or fewer).
And if money were not a factor, the Catholic ideal would jump to 4.0.
Q. How can an increase in births be promoted?
A: Assuring that the majority of parish activities are family-friendly, including the Mass, would bring families together for mutual support and parish encouragement. The cost of Catholic education is a huge family financial burden, making homeschooling a necessity for many large families. Creative funding—such as the Diocese of Wichita’s extraordinary stewardship model7—would make a Catholic education available to all Catholic children.
One More Soul’s mission obviously supports the implied desire of Pope Francis to confront the Culture of Death with more life—the lives of children, especially from good Catholic families. The Church and society need strong functional families that can serve as “signs of contradiction” to the culturally approved realities of co-habitation, birth control, out-of-wedlock pregnancies, and consequent abortion.
One More Soul needs your HELP! We’d love it if you…
- Go to Mass and pray for us as often as possible. The Mass is the “source and summit of our faith”.
- Purchase our great resources—like “First Comes Love”—and distribute them in your families, parishes, schools, and clubs of all kinds.
- Give “Called to Give Life” to priests and deacons.
- Make a tax-deductible donation to One More Soul, dated by December 31st. A generous anonymous donor has pledged $10,000 for matching. Your gift will be doubled!
Steve Koob and all the Staff, Trustees and those we serve for Jesus and His Church.
1. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/documents/ rc_synod_doc_20131105_iii-assemblea-sinodo-vescovi_en.html
2. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527023 03816504577311800821270184.html
3. http://www.eppc.org/docLib/20120828_Catholicwomen and contraception.pdf
4. Jason Adams, Called to Give Life, A Primer on the Blessings of Children and the Harm of Contraception, Second Edition, One More Soul, 2013, p90.
5. Jason Adams, Faithful Fertility, Discerning Just and Serious Reasons for Postponing Pregnancy, One More Soul, 2013, p11.
6. See Ref 3.
7. http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/catholic-education-stewardship-thriving-in-wichita o coming celebrations, in you serve.
Study is 9 months old, but still no warnings from cancer establishment
Contact: Karen Malec, Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, 847-421-4000
MEDIA ADVISORY, Jan. 6 /Christian Newswire/ — Less than two months since the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force issued new guidelines recommending against routine mammograms for women in their forties, a second breast cancer scandal involving a U.S. government panel of experts has come to light which has implications for healthcare reform.
An April 2009 study by Jessica Dolle et al. of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center examining the relationship between oral contraceptives (OCs) and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in women under age 45 contained an admission from U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) researcher Louise Brinton and her colleagues (including Janet Daling) that abortion raises breast cancer risk by 40%. 
Additionally, Dolle’s team showed that women who start OCs before age 18 multiply their risk of TNBC by 3.7 times and recent users of OCs within the last one to five years multiply their risk by 4.2 times. TNBC is an aggressive form of breast cancer associated with high mortality. (more…)
ScienceDaily (Dec. 22, 2009) — Nearly half of women using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), commonly known as the birth control shot, will experience high bone mineral density (BMD) loss in the hip or lower spine within two years of beginning the contraceptive, according to researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
The study, reported in the January 2010 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was the first to show that women on DMPA who smoke, have low levels of calcium intake and never gave birth are at the highest risk for BMD loss. The researchers also found that high risk women continued to experience significant losses in BMD during the third year of DMPA use, especially in the hip — the most common facture site in elderly women.
DMPA is an injected contraceptive administered to patients every three months. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, more than two million American women use DMPA, including approximately 400,000 teens. DMPA is relatively inexpensive compared with some other forms of birth control, has a low failure rate and doesn’t need to be administered daily, which contributes to the contraceptive’s popularity. (more…)
According to the Guttmacher Institute, in 2002 the birth control pill was used by over 11 million women in the US. Over 24 million women used other methods of birth control, and almost 14 million of these were either sterilized or living with a sterilized man. Other widely used methods of birth control included condoms (nearly 7 million women), contraceptive injections (over 2 million), withdrawal (1.5 million), and the IUD (0.8 million).1
Many in the pro-life movement are reluctant to make a connection between contraception and abortion. They insist that these are two very different acts–that there is all the difference in the world between contraception, which prevents a life from coming to be and abortion, which takes a life that has already begun.
With some contraceptives there is not only a link with abortion, there is an identity. Some contraceptives are abortifacients; they work by causing early term abortions. The IUD seems to prevent a fertilized egg–a new little human being- from implanting in the uterine wall. The pill does not always stop ovulation, but sometimes prevents implantation of the growing embryo. And, of course, the new RU-486 pill works altogether by aborting a new fetus, a new baby. Although some in the pro-life movement occasionally speak out against the contraceptives that are abortifacients, most generally steer clear of the issue of contraception. (more…)
How could abortion cause breast cancer?
At the beginning of pregnancy there are great increases in certain hormone levels (eg estrogen, progesterone, and hCG) that support pregnancy. In response to these changes, breast cells divide and mature into cells able to produce milk. Abortion causes an abrupt fall in hormone levels, leaving the breast cells in an immature state. These immature cells can more easily become cancer cells.
Has this been proven? (more…)
For the past year, One More Soul has been privileged to work with Dr. Chris Kahlenborn in publishing his new book: Breast Cancer, Its Link to Abortion and the Birth Control Pill . This book is the culmination of seven years the author spent reviewing and analyzing more than 500 research studies and related works. It is very timely because of the breast cancer epidemic, which currently threatens every woman.
In the concluding chapter of Dr. Kahlenborn’s book, he summarizes his conclusions and provides recommendations for action. The substance of that chapter is presented here, modified slightly to improve readability as a separate article. (more…)
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. (more…)
Contraception poses a challenge to those who respect life. It may not be immediately obvious that there is any connection between contraception and abortion, but on further examination, a relationship between the two becomes apparent. Ignoring the issue of contraception leads to a lost opportunity to respect life to the fullest degree. There are at least three connections between contraception and abortion to consider:
1. Many contraceptives can directly cause early abortions.
2. Contraceptive use creates a perceived need for abortion as a “back-up.”
3. Contraceptive use causes a devaluation of human life.
We’ll explore each of these ideas in the sections that follow. (more…)
There are several reasons why we believe that the use of contraception harms everyone involved. The first reason is that the use of contraception leads to abortion. Several “contraceptives” are in fact abortifacients. That is, they cause early abortions. All oral contraceptives, Norplant, Depo-Provera, and IUDs cause abortions before a woman even knows she’s pregnant. According to Dr. Bogomir Kuhar, in Infant Homicides Through Contraceptives, these forms of birth control take an estimated 8.1 to 12.75 million lives each year in the US alone. Contraceptives also cause abortions through their failures. All contraceptives fail, some quite often. Even surgical sterilization has a failure rate. Each “failure” results in a new human life, a new baby, an actual woman facing an unplanned and often unwanted pregnancy. These pregnancies are at risk for abortion. (more…)