News & Commentary

Brain tumors and Progestogens

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal found that prolonged use of hormones used in some contraceptives may be associated to the increased risk intracranial meningioma. Meningiomas are tumors that grow from the membranes that surround the brain and the spinal cord. They are slow-growing and mostly benign, but it can cause symptoms requiring surgery. The median age of diagnosis of meningiomas is 65 years.

The authors of the paper conducted a national case-control study involving 108,366 women in France. The purpose of the study was to examine the risk for a common brain tumor with use of progestogens. Women who had intracranial surgery were include in the cases and matched with five controls by age.

The researchers found that the use for one year or more of 150 mg medroxyprogesterone acetate was associated with a 5.6-fold increased risk of intracranial meningioma requiring surgery. The use of cyproterone acetate, medrogestone, and promegestone was also associated with an excess risk of meningioma.

Medroxyprogesterone acetate known as Depo Provera, is used for contraception approximately by 74 million women worldwide. The authors of the study reported that 3 out of 9 meningiomas diagnosed in women who used medroxyprogesterone were younger than 45 and one was observed before the age of 35. The number of attributable meningiomas in young women who use Depro provera may potentially be high.

The researchers reported that “no excess risk of meningioma was associated with the use of progesterone, dydrogesterone, or spironolactone, or the hormonal intrauterine systems”.

“Further studies are also needed to assess the meningioma risk with the use of medroxyprogesterone acetate, which, in this study, was considered at a dose of 150 mg and corresponded to a second line injectable contraceptive that is rarely used in France. Studies from countries with a broader use of this product, which, furthermore, is often administered to vulnerable populations, are urgently needed to gain a better understanding of its dose-response association.”

The Annunciation and Motherhood

The Feast of the Annunciation was moved from March 25th to April 8, 2024, due to Holy Week.

Dr. Robert Walley, Executive Director of MaterCare International (Canada) wrote this article for the Feast of the Annunciation in 2018.

The Feast of the Annunciation (of the Incarnation) has been transferred this Year to April 9th as the usual day of March 25th occurred on Palm Sunday. This commemorates the visit when “the Angel Gabriel declared unto Mary, and she conceived by the Holy Spirit” and became the mother of the Son of God. The Incarnation began when the divine nature of the Son was united but not mixed with human nature in one divine Person, Jesus Christ, Who was both “truly God and truly man”.  Thus began the most intimate relationship between God and a human being, when the Divine embryo was implanted into the womb of a young women and was nourished and nurtured through the zygotic and foetal stages of his first 266 days of earthly life. Pope St John Paul II in his millennium letter, reminded us that we were to celebrate the most important motherhood in human history, “The Father chose a woman for a unique mission in the history of salvation: that of being the Mother of the long awaited Saviour. The Virgin Mother responded with complete openness”.  His mother was with him through many early trials and tribulations, the flight into Egypt when the Holy Family became refugees, the finding in the Temple and was close to Him at their home for 30 years. His mother followed him during his public ministry from Canna, to be with him at His crucifixion and finally to hold His body in her arms.

God wonderfully decided that all human beings, should be conceived by the union of a woman and a man, and should also be nourished and nurtured in their mother’s wombs. Therefore, all our mothers surely have a special share in the mystery of the Incarnation, through their own intimate relationship with God and with all of us.  They also have a special understanding with Jesus Mother, when they too lose their baby, through complications of pregnancy, childbirth or die from disease or malnutrition or are killed during war.

Motherhood has special significance for all Christians but its value however in our modern world has been reduced to a matter of choice.  Each year on March 8th, organizations from around the world come together to celebrate, acknowledge and address issues affecting women. We hear words such as equality, inclusiveness and justice.  But mothers are the missing women from the women’s movement for they are women too. They are not trained, paid, nor pensioned for what they do. They are in many ways the heart and soul of their families and thus are the most important contributors in the support of healthy societies and therefore the environment.  Mothers who have special needs too are dismissed as failures are undervalued by the women’s movement and now it seems in the opinion of one senior Vatican cleric, they pose a threat to the environment.

Last Year the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences commented on an article in the New York Times about people using birth control to stop having children because of “climate change” fear. The Academy suggested that being “pro-life” includes environmentalism. ​ “You cannot call yourself [a] ‘pro-life advocate’ unless you take a stand against ALL threats to life – the catastrophe of climate change, war and the arms trade, an economic system with vast amounts of exclusion and inequality,” the tweet, written by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) employee, said. “You must stand with Pope Francis.”

Archbishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, the Chancellor for the Pontifical Academy for Sciences, at a recent Vatican conference titled “Biological Extinction,” which included world-famous, pro-abortion and pro-contraception population control advocates in attendance stated that the Church’s teaching on reproduction is unclear.  Seemingly wanting to be politically correct he went on to say the following “We know some part but not all of the doctrine of the Church” about fertility and procreation,” “Many times, we don’t know exactly what is the doctrine of the Church – we know some part but not all the doctrine of the Church about the question of the fecundity,” The Archbishop then added that “education” will help women have fewer children, “When you have education, we don’t have children ” “We don’t have seven children. Maybe we have one children. two children. No more.” (LifeSiteNews March 9th 2018)

It would seem that the Chancellor, who holds important offices of the Church needs to improve his knowledge of Church teaching starting with Blessed (Saint to be) Pope Paul VI, then Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict and indeed Pope Francis, before causing further offence and confusion among Catholic mothers.  Having offended mothers directly he indirectly insulted fathers as well, especially this writer whose wife had seven children, who nourished and nurtured them into adulthood and still does as they have their children.

We are told in the book of Genesis by God “Be fruitful and multiply”, and this is the responsibility of parents not population controllers, The Chancellor seems unaware that the population in the western world is falling rapidly e.g. Italy is dying and newborns are not replacing those who die. He should know that over 300,000 mothers die annually in the developing world, in particular in sub-Saharan Africa and 2.6 million children died in the first month of life in 2016 – approximately 7,000 newborn deaths every day as well all because they do not have necessary health care. Fortunately, many governments are trying very hard to reverse these trends, realizing the serious consequences.

On this Feast Day let us pray for all mothers to Our Great Mother, Mary Mother of God and Mary Mother of the Church.

Dr R. L Walley

Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology,

Founder and Executive Director of MaterCare International

What Elon Musk said about Birth Control?

Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of Tesla and SpaceX, has made comments on the past about how abortion and birth control will lead to the “collapse of the civilization”.

In a recent tweet Musk commented that birth control will make you fat, depressed and lead to suicide.

The conversation got started when Ashley St. Clair tweeted

“Doctors hardly, if ever, advise women that it may be their birth control making them depressed or even suicidal, despite documented risk of both on the pill. Instead, doctors prescribe an anti-depressant and tell them this pharmaceutical cocktail will solve their problems.”

Elon Musk, quickly replied: 

Wow, I just searched medical research papers and it turns out that birth control meds triple the risk of suicide!! I never heard that before you posted.”

According to the CDC in the United States almost 30 million women use hormonal contraception. Many young girls are put on potent hormonal steroids pills and patches for painful periods, heavy bleeding, and even for acne.

Mr. Musk tweet got multiple responses including women sharing their own stories. Abby Johnson, a prolife leader and former Planned Parenthood clinic director responded: “Hormonal birth control gave me pseudotumor cerebri, which causes debilitating headaches and if untreated, blindness,” she wrote. “I will have to be on medication for my entire life or otherwise lose my sight.”

In our brochure Health Problems Associated with Hormonal Birth Control four doctors explain how birth control increases the risk of suicide, causes changes in healthy body metabolism, cause heart issues, and increase the risk of breast and other types of cancer.

Our goal is to educate many women, men, and even Musk about the risks of hormonal birth control and safe, healthy, and morally acceptable alternatives. It will be awesome to get Mr. Musk on our list of donors. Do you agree?

Hormonal Contraception and Cervical Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, each year about 13,000 new cases of invasive cervical cancer are diagnosed and more than 4,000 women will die from cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer originates in the lower part of the uterus, the cervix, and can cause abnormal vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, and painful sex.

The World Health Organization states that 99% of cervical cancers are linked to infection with HPV, (human papillomavirus) transmitted through sexual contact. Other risk factors for cervical cancer include smoking, immunodeficiency, and hormonal contraception.

A recent study published in the International Journal of Cancer analyzed the connection between the use of hormonal contraception and the diagnosis of cervical cancer. The cohort study included >20 million person-years, and 3643 incident cervical cancers that occurred in women aged 15 to 49 living in Denmark from 1995 to 2014.

The authors of the study found that the relative risk of ever-users of hormonal birth control was 1.19 compared to women who did not use contraception. Cervical cancer was diagnosed about 19% more often in women who had used birth control at any point compared to women who had never used birth control. In the women who were current or recent users of any hormonal the risk increased to 30%. Longer duration of use was associated with an increased risk of cervical cancer and the risk declined after stopping the use of the artificial hormones.

The use of combined contraceptives( artificial estrogen and progestins) increased the risk of cervical cancer by 40%. Recent use of progestin-only contraceptives was not associated with an increase in cervical cancer.

The authors of the study concluded that their “results indicate that currently available combined contraceptives continue to be positively associated with the risk of cervical cancer, at least among women not vaccinated against HPV. Women wishing to use this method of contraception need to be informed of this risk and encouraged to participate in a cervical screening program, if available. They should also be alert to any symptoms indicative of cervical cancer, and report these promptly to their health care provider. Our findings also reinforce the urgent public health need for global interventions to prevent cervical cancer.”

Complete article Contemporary hormonal contraception and cervical cancer in women of reproductive age – Iversen – 2021 – International Journal of Cancer – Wiley Online Library

Iversen L, Fielding S, Lidegaard Ø, Hannaford PC. Contemporary hormonal contraception and cervical cancer in women of reproductive age. Int J Cancer. 2021 Apr 5. doi: 10.1002/ijc.33585. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33818778.

The Catholic Church and Abortion

Church Has Always Condemned Abortion        
By  Fr. William Saunders

The Roman Catholic Church has consistently condemned abortion — the direct and purposeful taking of the life of the unborn child. In principle, Catholic Christians believe that all life is sacred from conception until natural death, and the taking of innocent human life, whether born or unborn, is morally wrong. The Church teaches, “Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being” (“Donum vitae,” 5).

The respect for the sacredness of life in the womb originates in Christianity’s Jewish roots. The ancient Jewish world was much different from the surrounding cultures of Palestine where infanticide, infant sacrifice and abortion were not uncommon, and in some cases prevalent. For the Jewish people of those times and orthodox Jews to this day, all human life has as its author the one God whose creative power produces the child in the mother’s womb and brings it step-by-step to full life. The Old Testament revelation, which the Church inherited and accepted, gives clear evidence that life in the womb was considered as sacred. Moses proclaimed, “When you hearken to the voice of the Lord, your God, all these blessings will come upon you and overwhelm you: May you be blessed in the city, and blessed in the country! Blessed be the fruit of your womb, the produce of your soil and the offspring of your livestock, the issue of your herds and the young of your flocks! Blessed be your grain bin and your kneading bowl! May you be blessed in your coming in and blessed in your going out!” (Dt 28:2-6). The angel told the mother of Sampson, “As for the son you will conceive and bear, no razor shall touch his head, for this boy is to be consecrated to God from the womb” (Jgs 13:5). Job stated, “Did not he who made me in the womb make him? Did not the same one fashion us before our birth?” (Jb 31:15). In Psalm 139:13, we pray, “Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.”

The Old Testament also testifies how God had specially marked individuals for an important role of leadership from the very first moment of their lives: “Beloved of his people, dear to his Maker, dedicated from his mother’s womb, consecrated to the Lord as a prophet, was Samuel, the judge and priest” (Sir 46:13). The prophet Isaiah proclaimed, “Hear me, O coastlands, listen, o distant peoples. The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb He gave me my name. He made of me sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of His arms. He made me a polished arrow; in His quiver He hid me. You are my servant, He said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory. Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly spent my strength, yet my reward is with the Lord, my recompense is with my God. For now the Lord has spoken who formed me as His servant from the womb, that Jacob may be brought back to Him and Israel gathered to Him, and I am made glorious in the sight of the Lord, and my God is now my strength!” (Is 49:1-5). Likewise, the prophet Jeremiah recalled, “The word of the Lord came to me thus: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you” (Jer 1:4-5).

Granted, some later rabbinic interpretations allowed exceptions for abortion, but there was no consistent or prevailing justification. The overriding Jewish teaching upheld the sanctity of the life of the unborn child.

The Greco-Roman world at the time of our Lord and in which Christianity grew permitted abortion and infanticide. In Roman law, the two acts were really not distinguished because an infant did not have legal status until accepted by the pater familias, the head of the family; until accepted, the infant was a non-person who could be destroyed. In some parts of the Roman Empire, abortion and infanticide were so prevalent that reproduction rates were below the zero-growth level. (Sad to say, most European countries face a similar plight today due to contraception and abortion.)

Nevertheless, the Christians upheld the sanctity of the life of the unborn child, not only because of the Old Testament revelation as cited but also because of the mystery of the incarnation. The early Christians, as we still do, believed that Mary had conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and through her, Jesus Christ — second person of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial with the Father, and true God — became also true man. No faithful Christian would ever deny that Jesus was a true person whose life was sacred from the first moment of His conception in the womb of His blessed Mother Mary.

The story of the visitation further attests to the sanctity of life in the womb and the personhood of the unborn child: “Thereupon Mary set out, proceeding in haste into the hill country to a town of Judah, where she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and cried out in a loud voice: ‘Blest are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb. But who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby leapt in my womb for joy. Blest is she who trusted that the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled’” (Lk 1:39-45).

Given the revelation of the Old and New Testaments, with special emphasis on the mystery of the incarnation, the Roman Catholic Church has condemned the practice of abortion. Several examples of teaching which span the first three hundred years of our Church include the following: The “Didache” (“The Teachings of the Twelve Apostles,” c. 80 A.D.) asserted, “You shall not procure abortion. You shall not destroy the newborn child.” The “Epistle of Barnabas” (138) also condemned abortion. Athenagoras (177) in his “A Plea on Behalf of Christians” (a defense against paganism) emphasized that Christians consider as murderers those women who take medicines to procure an abortion; he condemns the killer of children, including those still living in their mother’s womb, “where they are already the object of the care of divine providence.” Tertullian, (197) in his “Apologeticum” likewise asserted, “To prevent birth is anticipated murder; it makes little difference whether one destroys a life already born or does away with it in its nascent stage. The one who will be man is already one.” In the year 300, the Council of Elvira, a local church council in Spain, passed specific legislation condemning abortion (Canon 63).

After the legalization of Christianity in 313, the condemnation against abortion remained. For instance, St. Basil in a letter to Bishop Amphilochius (374) clearly pronounces the Church’s teaching: “A woman who has deliberately destroyed a fetus must pay the penalty for murder” and “Those also who give drugs causing abortions are murderers themselves, as well as those who receive the poison which kills the fetus.”

While many other examples could be offered, the key point is that the Roman Catholic Church from the beginning has consistently upheld the sanctity of the life of the unborn child and condemned the act of direct abortion. To oppose this teaching contradicts the revelation of Sacred Scripture and Christian tradition. As our nation marks the anniversary of the tragic Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, we as Catholic Christians must pray for a change of heart in all citizens and courageously teach and defend the sanctity of human life, particularly that of the defenseless, innocent unborn children.

Source: Rev. William Saunders, “Church Has Always Condemned Abortion.” Arlington Catholic Herald (

The pill could impair emotion regulation in women.

A recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology studied the effect of the use of hormonal oral contraceptives and fear responses in the brain.

Deborah Pirchner, from Frontiers wrote:

Fluctuations in sex hormones influence brain activity of the fear circuitry. A team of researchers in Canada has now examined the effects of oral contraceptive (OC) use on women’s brains. Their findings showed that ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) thickness of women who were using OCs was reduced compared to men, suggesting a mechanism on how OC use could impair emotion regulation in women. Based on this study, this effect appears to be reversible after discontinuing use. More studies on impact and reversibility are needed, the researchers cautioned.

More than 150 million women worldwide use oral contraceptives. Combined OCs (COCs), made up of synthetic hormones, are the most common type. Sex hormones are known to modulate the brain network involved in fear processes.

Now a team of researchers in Canada has investigated current and lasting effects of COC use, as well as the role of body-produced and synthetic sex hormones on fear-related brain regions, the neural circuitry via which fear is processed in the brain.

“In our study, we show that healthy women currently using COCs had a thinner ventromedial prefrontal cortex than men,” said Alexandra Brouillard, a researcher at Université du Québec à Montréal and first author of the study published in Frontiers in Endocrinology. “This part of the prefrontal cortex is thought to sustain emotion regulation, such as decreasing fear signals in the context of a safe situation. Our result may represent a mechanism by which COCs could impair emotion regulation in women.”

Emotion regulation and contraceptives

“When prescribed COCs, girls and women are informed of various physical side effects, for example that the hormones they will be taking will abolish their menstrual cycle and prevent ovulation,” Brouillard explained. However, the effects of sex hormones on brain development, which continues into early adulthood, are rarely addressed. Considering how widespread COC use is, it is important to better understand its current and long-term effects on brain anatomy and emotional regulation, the researchers said.

The team recruited women who were currently using COCs; women who used COCs previously but did not at the time of the study; women who never used any form of hormonal contraception; and men. Comparing these groups allowed the researchers to see if COC use was associate with current or long-term morphologic alterations as well as to detect sex differences, since it is established that women are more susceptible to experience anxiety and stress-related disorders than men.

“As we report reduced cortical thickness of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in COC users compared to men, our result suggests that COCs may confer a risk factor for emotion regulation deficits during their current use,” Brouillard said.

The impacts of COC use, however, may be reversible once intake is discontinued, the researchers said. Given that the vmPFC effect found in current users was not observed in past users, the findings did not support lasting anatomical effects of COC use. This, the researchers wrote, will need to be confirmed in further studies.

Read original article

Download original article (pdf)

Much to learn

There is still much to learn when it comes to women’s brains and how they are impacted by COC use. For example, Brouillard and team are currently investigating the impact of age of onset and duration of use to delve further into the potential lasting effects of COCs. Given that many teenage girls start using COCs during adolescence, a sensitive period in brain development, user age might also impact reversibility.

Pointing to limitations in their study, the scientists said that no causal relationship can be implied between COC use and brain morphology and that generalization of their results to a general population may be limited. The researchers also cautioned that drawing conclusion from anatomical findings to behavioral and psychological impact is not possible at this point.  

“The objective of our work is not to counter the use of COCs, but it is important to be aware that the pill can have an effect on the brain. Our aim is to increase scientific interest in women’s health and raise awareness about early prescription of COCs and brain development, a highly unknown topic,” concluded Brouillard.

Taken from: Contraceptive pills might impair fear-regulating regions in women’s brains – Science & research news | Frontiers (

Clean Love in Courtship

The following excerpt is from Fr. Lovasik book “Clean love and Courtship”. Every Catholic young lady and young man should read in their formative years.



True happiness comes from God. It fills your heart if you live according to God’s plan and His commandments. Unhappiness comes from breaking those commandments by sin. Disobedience is the spirit of Lucifer: “I will not serve”;

“God can’t tell me what to do.”

Since mortal sin is a grievous offense against the law of God, it is the greatest tragedy in the world. The emphasis is on God.

You were made His child and friend in baptism. He gives you His life, the supernatural life through the sacraments, and then in a moment of selfishness you turn your back on Him.

Do not try to make yourself believe that hurting those around you is the only possible evil. God does not agree with that view. When you break God’s law, you hurt God—and yourself!

Sin is called mortal because it causes death to your soul. It is a complete turning from God. If you do not want God in your heart, He will get out. He will not force Himself on you.

And if He leaves you, He takes with Him the supernatural life—which means spiritual death for you, because without God there can be no spiritual life, no happiness either.

The apostle says: “The wages of sin is death.” (Rom.6, 23.) Breaking God’s law by impurity in company-keeping spells death: death of the soul through the loss of sanctifying grace; death of the peace of conscience through the crushing remorse for sin; death of the delightful consciousness of the possession of unsoiled purity; death of high ideals; death of the lofty esteem and sacred reverence two people formerly had for one another.

Spiritual death of mortal sin brings misery and unhappiness in this world and eternal damnation in the next. Sin and damnation seem to be out of tune with the spirit of our time.

Just because people have stopped talking about sin, do not let yourself be fooled into thinking it must not be so bad. Sin is just as nasty and just as harmful today as it ever was.

Do not excuse your shortcomings on the plea that everybody is doing it. Evil may never be done even if everybody is doing it. Because it is too much trouble to behave yourself, you cannot say it is all right to misbehave.

It is God, not people, who declares what is right and what is wrong; and He is right, and His Church with Him, even though the whole world may call Him wrong.

The misery of the world is due to that selfishness which puts our own pleasure ahead of God’s will.

It is important to remember that three things are necessary for a sin to be mortal:

I. The thing must be very bad, e.g. any deliberate thought, word or deed against the sixth and ninth commandments.

II. It must be done with the full knowledge that it is against God. You must KNOW what you are doing.

III. The wrong must have the full consent of our will. You must really WANT to do it. When one of these three conditions is missing, there is no mortal sin.

The Sixth Commandment

The sixth commandment is: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” It forbids not only adultery, but also all actions which are contrary to the orderly propagation of the human race.

The faculty of sex has been bestowed upon man primarily for the propagation of the race. It is to be used only in the family and not for the benefit of the individual; otherwise it is a grievous crime against nature and a violation of God’s law.

General Principle

 All sexual pleasure outside marriage, alone or with others, that is directly willed or desired, intentionally procured or permitted, is a MORTAL SIN.

Therefore, it is grievously sinful in the unmarried to think, say or do anything with the intention of arousing even the smallest degree of  sensual pleasure.

If, however, this pleasure has arisen and (a) there was no intention of arousing it, (b) and no danger of consenting to it when aroused, it is a VENIAL SIN only if there was at least semi-deliberate consent, otherwise there is NO SIN at all.


 All impure actions that are directly willed, procured or permitted. (Sexual intercourse, intimate, passionate kissing and embracing which form the natural preliminary to intercourse; unnatural acts, such as self-abuse or sexual intimacies with a person of the same sex.)

All other actions performed for the purpose of arousing sexual pleasure. (To kiss improperly or to read a book, to look at pictures, to attend plays or see movies in order to arouse passion.)

All actions which are a near danger of performing an impure action or of consenting to illicit pleasure. (Kissing, reading of a particular type of magazine which generally leads you to lose control of yourself.)

In performing these actions you are practically certain to sin. If you knowingly court such a danger, you are already showing a will to sin. Ordinarily you are obliged under pain of serious sin to avoid such occasions.

If the occasion cannot be avoided, then you must find some means which will strengthen you against the danger.

Some things are practically always near occasions of sin; e.g., the modern burlesque show, obscene literature that portrays adultery or fornication in an attractive manner.


 Impure actions performed without a good and sufficient reason. (Curious and imprudent looks and reading; pondering on dangerous thoughts through idle curiosity unduly prolonged; repeated kisses by lovers, even though they intend no passion; kissing from frivolous motives.)


 Sexual actions performed with a good and sufficient reason. Your thoughts and actions are sinless when you have a good reason for them; you may ignore the sexual stimulation that may accidentally result. (Medical examination, dancing, slightly suggestive motion pictures, generally decent picture magazines, personal cleanliness.)

But sometimes sexual disturbances arising from physical causes, such as fatigue, from some local irritation, from nervousness, are apt to be pro longed and to be a source of very severe temptation.

They become mortally sinful only when you make them perfectly voluntary by deliberately promoting, approving of and enjoying them.

They are not sinful at all if you do what you reasonably can to yourself of any temptation involved in them.

This can be done by a brief, calm act of the will, “I don’t want it”; by saying a little aspiration for grace of a “Hail Mary”; by trying to divert the mind to something else that is interesting or humorous; by making a brief change in external occupation.


 In regard to others, you must always remember the great law of charity by which you are bound not to induce others to sin or to help them to sin, and you must also take reasonable means to prevent their sinning when you can do so.

In such things as kissing, conversation, and choice of entertainment, you cannot simply settle the matter by saying: “It doesn’t bother me; therefore it’s all right.”

For instance, in kissing, a girl should keep in mind that a boy is more responsive physically than she; but if there is some good reason for a decent manifestation of affection, she may presume that he has the proper control of himself, unless he attempts or suggests immodesty.

The Ninth Commandment

The ninth commandment is: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.” It forbids all lustful thoughts and desires.


 To entertain a bad thought willfully for the purpose of enjoying it or to entertain it willfully so that it becomes a near occasion of performing an unchaste action.


 To think about sexually-stimulating things without a sufficient reason.


 To think about sexually-stimulating things with a sufficient reason. He who wishes to keep his body clean must begin by keeping his mind clean. Indulging in morbid erotic thoughts will lead to evil deeds, and may also cause mental disturbances.

Temptation is Not a Sin

Temptation is not a sin; it is an invitation to sin. It is a fight between your duty to obey God’s law and your evil desires. As soon as you decide to give in to your evil desires and you want to disobey God’s commandment, the temptation is over and you have committed a sin. You must know what you are doing and you must want to break a serious commandment of God before a mortal sin can be committed.

The most violent emotional desires and the most pursuing evil imaginations do not constitute sin until your will gives consent. No temptation can harm you as long as you are sincerely seeking to retain the friendship and the love of God.

By turning your will resolutely to God and prudently avoiding occasions of sin, you can enjoy a good conscience peace of mind even in time of temptation.

If doubts should come as to whether you have consented to a temptation or not, remember that if you have the habitual will and determination to resist evil thoughts and if you have prayed, you may elude that deliberate consent was lacking.

Allay scruple or doubt to keep you from receiving Holy Communion.

Abstain only when you can put your hand on the Bible and swear that you are absolutely certain you are guilty of deliberate mortal sin.

Dependent upon the nature of the temptation, your disposition, and the circumstances, all temptation against purity in thought, desire, or act, must be met decisively either by directly opposing them or directly ignoring them. Be prepared to meet temptation:

I. By regular confession and frequent Holy Communion

II. By prayer

III. By self-denial, so that when temptation comes, your will may be strong enough to want good instead of evil

IV. By turning your mind away from bad thoughts becoming busy with other things; By avoiding whatever may lead you into temptation (the suggestive story, the smutty joke, the lewd picture, the suggestive movie or novel, bad companions, questionable places)

V. By fighting against temptations from the very first moment they come up

VI. By loving Jesus and the Blessed Virgin sincerely

Source The Sixth and Ninth Commandments ~ Fr. Lovasik – Catholic Finer Femininity (

Called to be Saints

Whether married, single, religious, or priests, all Saints Day feast reminds us that we are all called to be saints.

1. Bl. Luigi Beltrame Quattrochi and Maria Corsini Quattrochi (d. 1951 and 1965, Italy)

Luigi was a banker, and she was a homemaker, speaker, and writer.

They raised four children, volunteered generously in their community for Catholic and social causes, and lived their faith fervently.

In discernment with guidance from a spiritual director, they decided to take a special vow of abstinence from marital relations after 20 years of marriage. Still, they remained emotionally close, loving, and affectionate to one another.

“they made their family an authentic domestic church, open to life, prayer, witness of the Gospel, the social apostolate, solidarity with the poor, and friendship… Intimately united in love and Christian ideals, they walked together on the path of holiness.”

Cardinal Martin

2. Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin

This quiet watchmaker and energetic lacemaker raised St. Therese of Lisieux and her four other sisters who lived to adulthood (including Servant of God Leonie Martin). Four other children, two sons and two daughters, died in early childhood or infancy.

Guidance from their confessor convinced them to give up the idea of an abstinent, Josephite marriage that Louis had convinced Zelie to adopt for the first nine months of their marriage.

Their devotion to their faith and prayer life, to their family, and to charitable outreach in various forms did not take away from their tenderness and care for each other. 

3.Servants of God Cyprien and Daphrose Rugamba (d. 1994, Rwanda)

Daphrose’s prayers for her unfaithful husband’s conversion bore amazing fruit.

As he was healed from a mysterious, life-threatening disease, her composer and government officer husband received the gift of faith. He turned wholeheartedly back to his wife, asking her forgiveness.

They lived the remaining years of their life together in great affection, serving together in evangelization and charity, until dying along with most of their children on the first night of the Rwandan genocide. 

Source: Nathan and Sarah

New evidence on progestagen-only hormonal contraceptives and breast cancer risk

A group of researchers from Oxford University confirmed that progestin-only birth control, which is promoted as a “safer” and “lower-risk” alternative to combined hormonal contraception, is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

More than nine thousand premenopausal women with incident invasive breast cancer diagnosed were compared with eighteen thousand healthy controls.  The study aimed to assess the relationship between a woman’s recent use of hormonal contraceptives and her subsequent risk of breast cancer.

The authors of the study reported a relative increase of around 20% to 30% in breast cancer risk associated with the current or recent use of either combined oral or progestagen-only contraceptives.

It is important to note that 44% of women with breast cancer and 39% of women without breast cancer had a prescription for a hormonal contraceptive an average of three years before diagnosis. Half of the hormonal contraceptive prescriptions were for progestagen-only contraceptives.

The researchers found that the increased risk of breast cancer was similar regardless of whether the preparation last used was oral combined, oral progestagen-only, injectable progestagen, progestagen implant, or progestagen intrauterine device.

The researchers examined if the increased breast cancer risk remained elevated for women even after they stopped using birth controlThey compared results from previous studies including women in a wider age range. They found that in young women aged 16-20, the 15-year absolute excess risk of breast cancer associated with the use of oral contraceptives was 8 per 100,000 users. In older women, from age 35 to 39, the risk was 265 per 100,000 users.

The authors concluded that the current or recent use of progestagen-only contraceptives is associated with a slight increase in breast cancer risk, similar to the risk associated with the use of combined hormonal contraceptives. The risk is estimated to be smaller in women who use it at younger age rather than at older ages.

Over the Counter Birth Control

The first OTC contraceptive, Opill, is on the way to shelves near you without age restrictions.

On July 13, 2023, the Federal Drug Administration approved the first over-the-counter hormonal birth control. The decision will allow American women and girls to obtain potent hormonal contraceptives/abortifacients as quickly as they buy vitamins and aspirin.

Here’s why it matters:

Opill also known as the “mini-pill” is manufactured by the Irish company Perrigo.

The mini-pill contains a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone called progestin. According to the prescription label, progestin-only oral contraceptives such as Opill tablets, prevent conception by various mechanisms of action. The mini-pill may suppress ovulation in approximately half of the cycles. Some users may experience thickening of the cervical mucus to inhibit sperm penetration. Also, the mini-pill lowers the midcycle LH and FSH peaks, slowing the movement of the ovum through the fallopian tubes, and altering the endometrium. If fertilization occurs and an egg is fertilized, the mini-pill will prevent the newly conceived human being from implanting within the endometrium.

“Opill over the counter may prevent conception or implantation.”

Opill use can be associated with ectopic pregnancy. “The incidence of ectopic pregnancies for progestin-only oral contraceptive users is 5 per 1000 woman-years. Up to 10% of pregnancies reported in clinical studies of progestin-only oral contraceptive users are extrauterine.”

The FDA emphasizes that Opill contains a single synthetic hormone and generally carries fewer side effects than combination hormone pills that contain progestin and synthetic estrogen. What women probably do not know is that the mini-pill still comes with many side effects, including headache, dizziness, nausea, increased appetite, abdominal pain, cramps and bloating, fatigue, vaginal discharge, dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), nervousness, backache, breast discomfort, and acne. The use of progestin has been associated with an increased risk of depression, breast cancer, cervical cancer, and brain cancer.

Making Opill over the counter put women at unnecessary health risks. Opill causes changes in menstrual bleeding, including bleeding and spotting between menstrual periods, and ovarian cysts. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove a cyst on the ovary. Opill also contains FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine) which may cause allergic reactions (including bronchial asthma). Although the overall incidence of FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine) sensitivity in the general population is low, it is frequently seen in patients who also have aspirin sensitivity.

The label of Opill states, “These are not all the possible side effects of Opill. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.” Women deserve better than easy access to a potent steroid with many dangerous side effects. Women need more education and guidance from doctors, NP, nurses, and health advocates no less.

It is interesting that the manufacturer Perrigo says Opill could be an “important new option for the estimated 15 million U.S. women who currently use no birth control or less effective methods, such as condoms. They are a fifth of women who are child-bearing age.” A big lucrative business!

What can you do?

  1. Pray the Novena of Healing from Contraception with us from March 17 to March 25.
  2. Order some materials to help us educate women about the effects of hormonal contraception and the safe, healthy, and morally acceptable alternatives.
  3. Donate to our ministry to help our mission of fostering God’s plan of love, chastity, marriage, and children.


Divorce and Contraception

A recent study published in the Journal for Divorce and Remarriage examined the connection between the use of birth control and marriage dissolution. Also, the authors of the study analyzed the influence of the use of methods of Natural Family Planning on divorce. The sample size was a total of 5,403 ever-married women from the National Survey of Family Growth in the years 2015 to 2019. Statistic analysis of divorce was calculated for the family planning variables (ever-use vs. never-use). The study also examined the influence of family planning methods relative to other known factors involved with divorce such as income, education level, etc.

The results of the study indicated that the use of contraception was associated with increased odds of divorce, from 30% to 200%, whereas ever-use of NFP was associated with a 31% lower probability. Users of hormonal oral contraceptives (the combined pill or mini pill) divorced at a rate 54% above the study average. Sterilization was the birth control method that had the highest probability of divorce. Women who had a tubal ligation divorced at a rate 78% above the study average and the probability of divorce doubled in men with vasectomies. Condom use was associated with 67% above the average divorce rate. 

In contrast, users of methods of Natural Family Planning were 31% less likely to divorce than the study average. Other risk factors such as poverty level and education levels did not meaningfully influence the probability of divorce.

The authors of the study concluded that “ever-married women who have ever used NFP have lower odds of divorce, whereas those who have ever used most the common contraceptives have higher odds of divorce. More research is needed to understand how and why choices in family planning affect the stability of marriage.”

Anthropological and Methodical Differences of Natural Family Planning and Fertility Awareness–based Methods

In an article published by Linacre Quarterly in February 2021, the authors analyzed the differences between the terms natural family planning (NFP) and fertility awareness-based methods (FABM) in the scientific terminology and in the practical language of health policy. The article mostly concentrates on the World Health Organization’s definition of FAMB which includes recognizing the fertility cycle and using barrier methods to avoid a pregnancy.

Anthropological and methodological differences between NFP and FABM are presented. The authors of the article concluded that NFP can be used to avoid or achieve a pregnancy and it respects fertility. NFP users are open to the possibility of maternity. NFP is open to life and love.

In contrast, the use of contraception and FAMB does not require self-control, fertility may be suppressed, and the dignity of the individual may not be taken into account as the other person may be used for sexual gratification.

Birth Control and Infertility

According to the World Health Organization birth control is used by more than 800 million women around the globe. Beyond contraception, hormonal birth control is used for the treatment of many gynecological and medical conditions. The Guttmacher Institute reports that the average U.S. woman uses contraceptives for 30 years to attain her family planning goal of two children. But what happens when a couple starts efforts to have children or expand their family? Does birth control affect the women’s body’s ability to conceive and carry to full term? 

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported that about one in six persons in adulthood has experienced infertility at least once in their life. Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive within one year, or not being able to carry a pregnancy to term. Infertility may occur in a couple’s first attempts to bring a child into the world, or as secondary infertility when they have successfully given birth before, but are not able to carry to term again.

Does the use of hormonal contraception contribute to the burden of infertility? Popular sources throughout the internet give assurance that most birth control does not affect future fertility. However, sources have indicated otherwise. Why do some couples struggle to get pregnant after stopping birth control? We have more questions than answers.

Pregnancy depends on many factors. A hormonal balance of estrogen and progesterone are among the most important factors. Oral contraceptive pills are a combination of synthetic estrogen or progestin. In a woman using hormonal contraception, her pituitary gland is unable to release follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone affecting the development of the uterine lining, cervical mucus production, and the development of healthy eggs. Prolonged use of birth control pills is associated with temporary impairment to the ovulatory event. This negative impact on hormonal balance could prevent future pregnancies. It will take time to heal. Once a woman stops taking the pill, regularizing the menstrual cycle may take almost three to six months, depending on the age and the woman’s individual response to artificial hormones. 

Some negative effects of the use of hormonal birth control are related to menstrual bleeding. After a woman stops the pill she can experience extremely heavy blood flow, significantly less blood flow, or no flow at all. This irregularity of the menstrual cycle can cause temporary difficulty in conception. One explanation for menstrual irregularity is the fact that long-term use of combined oral contraceptive pills is associated with adverse endometrial growth. Embryo implantation depends on endometrial thickness. A thinner endometrium after using the pill for more than five years can make it difficult to achieve and carry a pregnancy to term. 

The use of oral contraceptives also impairs the production of cervical mucus. The presence of cervical mucus is essential to achieve pregnancy, indeed pregnancy cannot occur without the presence of healthy cervical mucus. A study published in the Journal of Women’s Health reported that the women who had recently stopped oral contraceptives had lower mucus quality for the first two cycles.

Another issue after stopping birth control is the nutritional deficiencies caused by artificial hormones.  Birth control causes nutritional deficiencies due to its impact on liver function. The low nutrient status after contraception has been associated not only with fertility problems but also with low nutrient status in the fetus. The pill has been associated with a number of nutrient deficiencies including vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin b12, folic acid, vitamin C, and zinc. After stopping the use of hormonal birth control the level of vitamin D drops.  Also, a recent review reported that birth control pills may exacerbate Insulin Resistance. This condition increases inflammation and contributes to infertility experienced by women, especially if they suffer from PCOS. Insulin resistance can lead to pregnancy loss due to inadequate nutrition and support of the growing embryo.

In sporadic cases, infertility is permanent which may be due to some pre-existing conditions as well. Therefore, women who stop using contraception need to give time to the body to heal and get adequate nutrition. A consultation with health care provider is recommended to evaluate the status of the hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficiencies, and restoration of the fertility cycle.


Effect of long-term combined oral contraceptive pill use on endometrial thickness – PubMed (

Characteristics of the menstrual cycle after discontinuation of oral contraceptives

The Impact of Combined Hormonal Birth Control on Insulin Sensitivity and Inflammation – FACTS (

The Unintended Consequences of Contraception

The Unintended Consequences of Contraception (

By Eric Pavlat    

Pop culture, schools, and the media all tell you that artificial birth control is a wonderful development of modernity. Explaining why they’re wrong and the official Church teaching is correct can be a painful matter. The teaching itself is a difficult one, but if you support contraception, I invite you to rethink your position.

Some find Church arguments against contraception confusing. Simply put, artificial birth control separates two aspects of sex that God wished never to be separated: the unitive, which brings two people together; and the procreative, which brings new life into the world (see Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae).

Of course, that won’t satisfy those of a less philosophical and more pragmatic bent. Happily, there are plenty of practical reasons why the Church’s teaching is preferable.

First, some studies suggest that couples who choose natural methods of spacing births (natural family planning, or NFP) instead of artificial means experience a divorce rate as low as 2 percent, compared to 50 percent for the general population. NFP, in which husband and wife cooperate, actually has the effect of strengthening the marital bond.

Additionally, sexual intimacy within the sacrament of marriage is improved with NFP. Devices such as condoms block that perfect union between a husband and wife, while the pill actually changes the wife’s body chemistry and can reduce her desire for sexual intimacy. Neither of these outcomes falls within God’s plan for husband and wife.

Pontiffs throughout the 20th century have endorsed NFP as a moral method of spacing births. The Couple to Couple League is a wonderful place to start for those preparing for marriage, or for those who may want to “start over” and need guidance on the method.

Of course, the real problems with artificial birth control are hidden and emerge from a single fact: Contraceptives eliminate from sex the “risk” of pregnancy. This is a dramatic technological shift, and it has had terrible consequences for our society.

Perhaps the most obvious effect has been an increase in promiscuity. Adults and teenagers, freed from the “consequences” of sex, began having casual sexual encounters in numbers unseen before. Once sex was detached from pregnancy, it moved into the realm of a leisure activity, a cultural pastime to enjoy whether married or not.

Not only that, but contraceptives put pregnancy in the same category as a disease to be prevented (as recently noted by Sen. Barack Obama). Within a few years, this view became so prevalent that when women were “stricken” with pregnancy, they needed a cure. Welcome to 1973 and abortion on demand, thanks to Roe v. Wade.

The social connection between public acceptance of birth control and public acceptance of abortion is inescapable; it’s virtually impossible to find a group that supports abortion that doesn’t also support artificial birth control. If birth control is an issue of privacy, so is abortion; if birth control is a way for the poor to have fewer children, so is abortion. Abortion advocates use the same arguments to favor abortion as they do for contraceptives. That alone should give pause.

But there’s another grave side-effect of the contraception revolution: Since pregnancy was considered a “disease,” and children were the result of pregnancy, they came to be seen considered undesirable and inconvenient — an impediment to life’s goals. After all, if children were so wonderful, why were so many people going out of their way to avoid having them? While life goals used to center around raising a family, the introduction of artificial birth control shifted the focus to the career as the summit of satisfaction. Money, material goods, and comfort became more important than the family. (On a purely pragmatic level, one can see this mentality’s economic fruit — or, rather, lack of fruit — in Japan and other industrialized nations.)

And so, the divorce rate rose. The argument that one can have actions without consequences — that careers and personal satisfaction came before families — led to such legislation as “no-fault” divorce, first signed into law in the mid-1970s.

The Church has herself paid the price for contraception, as a final and often neglected result of the decline of families has been the parallel collapse in religious vocations. Once people started having fewer children, it became more important for each child to marry and produce grandchildren. As this went on, of course, fewer families encouraged religious vocations, and fewer children felt called to them. Thus, America encounters a tragic shortage of priests, sisters, and brothers at a time when we need them most.

Promiscuity, abortion, the destruction of the family, the decline in religious vocations — these are the rotten fruits of artificial contraception. If one supports contraception, these are the effects he or she is promoting, whether intentionally or not.


Eric Pavlat is a board member of Democrats for Life of Maryland, Inc., and a columnist and blogger for

Printed with permission from Inside Catholic.

The School of Joseph

By Leonard J. DeLorenzo

Article originally publised in COLUMBIA a magazine of the Knights of Columbus.

The School of Joseph |


The Holy Family, c. 1660-70 (detail), Bartolome Esteban Murillo / Bridgeman Images
The Holy Family, c. 1660-70 (detail), Bartolomé Esteban Murillo / Bridgeman Images

JESUS TELLS of a nobleman who entrusts his servants with gold, or talents, before leaving on a journey. When the man returns and sees what two of his servants have gained with the riches, he says to each, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy” (Mt 25:21, 23).

While considering this parable, we can think of St. Joseph. He was entrusted with much, and God rewarded his faithfulness by entrusting him with even more. Because St. Joseph was faithful as the spouse of the Blessed Virgin, the earthly father to the Son of God, and the head of the Holy Family, he has been entrusted by God with the protection of the whole Church.

The names, titles and honors recited in the Litany of St. Joseph help us discover the good and faithful servant whom God the Father entrusted with his own Son. As “husband of the Mother of God” and “faithful guardian of Christ,” he stands as a “pillar of family life” and shines as an “example to parents.” He is invoked as the “hope of the sick,” “patron of the dying” and “comfort of the troubled.” He offers guidance as “model of workers” and power as “terror of evil spirits.” Born with our own weak and sinful nature, Joseph is the man who practices giving himself to God as “obedient and loyal,” “prudent and brave.”

The Litany of St. Joseph leads us down a path of contemplation. To contemplate Joseph requires that we contemplate the mysteries of God, because Joseph, who utters not a word in Scripture, is directed by and responsive to the Word who tells of our salvation. Joseph not only displays for us what obedience to God’s Word looks like, but also reflects to us the wisdom of God’s ways. In this way, Joseph is a gift to all Christians who call upon him.

The task, of course, is to actually call upon him. St. Joseph never cries out for attention; rather, he waits patiently for those who need him to seek his aid. This is who Joseph has been from the beginning: the man who waits — attentive and ready. He hears what is needed, heeds the complexities of all circumstances, and acts in accordance with the Lord’s will. As St. Teresa of Á;vila confessed: “To other saints, our Lord seems to have given grace to succor men in some special necessity; but to this glorious saint, I know by experience, he has given the power to help us in all.”

For what do we need help? As husbands we need help to honor and reverence the wives to whom we have vowed ourselves. Fathers need help to guard, teach and strengthen the children entrusted to us. Workers need help to labor with dignity, care and purpose. The Son of God himself experienced a father’s love in Joseph, witnessed a husband’s devotion in Joseph’s love for Mary, and grew in skill and competence in Joseph’s own workshop. The servant who helped raise the Son of God to manhood is the same one whom Jesus gives to us to help us become who we are called to be.

In order to grow as disciples and become ever more capable of God’s call in our lives, we would do well to turn to the intercession of St. Joseph, especially through his litany. As a concrete commitment, consider setting aside time each day for a month to pray the Litany of St. Joseph and to reflect on one of his names, titles or honors. Keep a journal in which to write a short thought or insight at the end of your periods of prayer. By praying in this way — and by developing this habit of prayer and reflection — we stand to grow as Joseph himself grew in obedience to the Lord, becoming a man after God’s own heart.


LEONARD J. DELORENZO, Ph.D. , works in the McGrath Institute for Church Life and teaches theology at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., where he is a member of the Knights of Columbus. He is the author of Model of Faith: Praying the Litany of Saint Joseph (OSV, 2021).

Motherhood and a Younger-Looking Brain

A new article published in the journal Trens in Cognitive Sciences analyzed brain changes in mothers and the long-term effects of motherhood on cognitive reserve.

Mothers experience long-lasting cognitive adaptations that can be present throughout their lives. The ongoing environmental complexity of motherhood, with new responsibilities and increased cognitive load increases and adapts as the child grows.

The authors of the study summarize that exposure to a more complex environment during long periods of time is beneficial for the brains of mothers in humans and animals. These findings suggest that the surge in complex environments in motherhood may result in increased cognitive reserve in late life.

The authors of the study conclude that the neurodevelopmental period of “matrescence” (becoming a mother) is associated with better cognitive performance and “younger-looking” brains later in life.

New study reaffirms: Abortion has no positive effect on women’s psyche

(IFN) A new study on the effects of abortion on women’s health finds, among other things, that there is no scientific evidence that abortion protects or improves women’s mental health. The study thus questions in part the current German legislation on abortion.

For more than 12 months, the interdisciplinary team of researchers examined 13 internationally frequently cited studies on abortion and women’s health for their validity and messages.

They concluded that a substantial proportion of methodologically well-done international studies agree that abortion is associated with an increased risk of mental health problems or exacerbates preexisting problems. For example, abortion is statistically associated with an increased risk of suicide and suicide attempts, addiction, alcohol and drug abuse, depression, and anxiety. Multiple abortions increase the risk.

Nevertheless, the study notes that, due to methodological problems, there is no scientifically valid method to reliably exclude or prove a direct causal link between an abortion and later psychological consequences:

“One would have to assign, as for example in a drug trial, a group of women with completely equal preconditions and randomly assigned them either to an ‘abortion group’ or to a ‘birth group’ after an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy, without the woman or the physician knowing who was assigned to which group. In this case, the design of this randomized controlled double-blind study is completely unusable and must also be rejected on ethical grounds,” explains ethicist and co-author of the study Susanne Kummer.

However, no scientific evidence could be provided for the hypothesis that abortion has a positive effect on a woman’s psyche. The study also found that abortion has no therapeutic effect in reducing psychological risks compared to women who give birth after an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy.

This in part calls into question the medical indication for abortion in Germany and Austria, among other countries. In these countries, abortion has been exempt from punishment for almost 50 years now in order to avert a supposed “serious harm to the mental health of the pregnant woman.” But if “abortion has been shown to have no positive effect on a woman’s psyche and thus offers no protective factor for mental health–something that reputable studies agree on–the scientific basis for this legal construct is lacking,” the researchers conclude.

Instead, they call for better education of women about adoption options and protection of special at-risk groups, such as women with pre-existing mental health conditions or women who have had multiple abortions. 

The study will be published in “IMABE Studies” series of the Institute of Medical Anthropology and Bioethics (IMABE) in spring 2023.

Editor’s note: This article was published by International Family News and is reprinted with permission.

The blessings from children

“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Mathew 19:14

Abortion-Inducing “Period Pills” Come to the U.S.

Abortion-Inducing “Period Pills” Come to the U.S. – C-Fam

By Rebecca Oas, Ph.D. | February 10, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 10 (C-Fam) Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal right to abortion, activists have been looking for ways to ensure abortion remains available, even if illegal in some states.  One strategy—“missed period pills”—is unfamiliar to many in the U.S. but is widely used in Bangladesh as the result of a legal loophole.

“Menstrual regulation,” as it is known in Bangladesh, employs the same procedures as a surgical or chemical first-trimester abortion.  While abortion is legally restricted, “menstrual regulation” has been part of Bangladesh’s family planning program since 1979, and was later expanded to include the use of pills.  The stated intention is to restore a woman’s menstrual cycle, ensuring that she is not pregnant.  If she was pregnant, the child is aborted, but it is not legally considered an abortion as no pregnancy test was done first.

In the U.S., there are already efforts by the government to ensure that abortion pills can be obtained in local pharmacies, and overseas groups advertise illegal abortion pills to U.S. women by mail.  In many ways, those selling “period pills” are no different, as the drugs are the same, and the legal peculiarities of Bangladesh and other countries that allow “menstrual regulation,” like Cuba, do not apply in the U.S.

However, proponents of so-called “period pills” are trying to appeal to an audience that is uncomfortable with abortion for moral reasons.  A website promoting the pills quotes women’s reasons to prefer this method to a standard abortion following a pregnancy test. “It would be easier on my emotional well-being to not know I was actually pregnant,” one woman said.  Another said, “I wouldn’t feel I am a bad person.”

In an interview on U.S. public radio, promoters of “period pills” waved away modern medical knowledge about fertilization and pregnancy and talked about ancient concepts like quickening, the point at which a pregnant woman can first feel the unborn child move.  “A lot of people that I talked with talked about how pregnancy isn’t just a bodily reality, it’s a state of mind,” said Abby Wendle, who produces a podcast for National Public Radio.  “It’s a desire to have a baby and be a parent.”

While a missed period does not always mean a pregnancy, “period pills” are marketed for one purpose: the intentional destruction of an unborn life, if one is present.  The website promoting the pills warns that if they fail to work and the pregnancy continues, “there may be a risk to the developing embryo.”  They warn that women should only use them if they “would have an abortion if the period pills did not work.”  While the website claims that “serious side effects are rare” for women using the pills, they are not nonexistent, and the expected results include cramping and bleeding.

From a legal perspective, using pills to induce a period in the absence of a confirmed pregnancy test may not meet some definitions of abortion, although pro-life lawmakers will need to take these issues into account when writing legislation to protect unborn life.  For people on both sides of the abortion issue in the U.S., “period pills” represent a relatively new area within the larger debate, and an important example of how practices developed internationally are increasingly relevant in the U.S. since the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Most abortion used for birth control

(Life Issues Institute) It’s true that many women use abortion for birth control.

Yet the percentage of women who sacrifice their own children to maintain a lifestyle shocked even me.

An analysis of state abortion statistics by Charlotte Lozier Institute revealed an appalling, widespread practice of women using abortion as a means of birth control.

Not all states keep current statistics on abortion, so they looked at the eight states that do. These states account for approximately 13% of all abortions done.

Charlotte Lozier’s research looked at the reasons why women have abortions. What we normally call the “hard case exceptions” have been broken down like this:

  • Rape and incest, 0.3%
  • Risk to the woman’s life or a major bodily function, 0.2%
  • Other physical health concerns, 2.5%
  • Abnormality in the unborn baby, 1.3%

The total percentage of abortions involving the “hard cases” or “common exceptions” made up only 4.3% of all abortions done.

The remaining 95.7% fell under the category of “elective and unspecified reasons.”

Charlotte Lozier Institute concluded that over 95% of all abortions committed are done for birth control.

When the vast majority of women use abortion as a means of birth control, it is logical that they would experience more than one abortion during their reproductive years. Let’s look at the number of repeat abortions – that is, women having more than one abortion.

Pew Research released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on abortions done in 2020, the latest data available. The information shows:

  • 58% of women had their first abortion
  • 24% had their second abortion
  • 10% experienced their third abortion
  • 8% had their fourth or more abortion

Human carnage is likely to worsen. Both New York and California have passed legislation mandating free abortions. And there’s more.

Recently New York City’s mayor Eric Adams announced the city would give free chemical abortion pills to accommodate the deaths of 10,000 unborn babies each year. Distribution sites include the Bronx, Brooklyn, Harlem and Queens.

The Department of Justice recently determined that it would allow the US Postal Service to mail the dangerous abortion pills into any state regardless of whether or not they prohibit the use of the pills.

We’re battling an organized, well-funded effort to use abortion as birth control and erase all stigma associated with the killing of our most vulnerable citizens.

An evil was unleashed on America with the reversal of Roe v. Wade. The forces against us are strong, but we will NOT give up. We will NOT back down. In the immediate wake of the Roe ruling in 1973, they told us to give up, that we couldn’t win – BUT WE DID!

Now our opponents are using that same tired old attempt of intimidation and fear. But as long as babies are brutally killed by abortion, as long as their parents are left in the devastating emotional wake of grief and shame, we will be there to help and restore, to turn back the culture of death and nurture a culture of life.

Editor’s note: Bradley Mattes is president of the Life Issues Institute. This article first appeared on the Life Issues Institute website.

Birth control increases rates of depression in teens with ADHD

A recent Sweeden study shows that teens and young adults with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) may have an even higher risk of developing depression when using hormonal contraception. The study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and used a large-scale population record. It compared 29,767 girls and young women with ADHD aged 15 to 24 years and 763,146 peers without an ADHD diagnosis. The authors of the study determined if those women used hormonal birth control (HBC). 

The results reported by the authors of the study showed that women with ADHD who used HBC had a 5 times higher risk of depression compared with non-ADHD women who were not using birth control. Also, it is significant that the risk was 6 times higher risk in comparison with non-ADHD women who were on oral combined HBC. The risk of developing depression when using non-oral HC was similarly moderately increased in both groups.

More research is needed to determine the exact mechanism behind the increased risk of depression in HBC users with a diagnosis of ADHD. The authors suggest that “hypothetically, the increased sensitivity to oral HBC in women with ADHD may be due to fluctuating hormonal levels following oral intake or during the pill-free interval. There is a considerable lack of studies on how women with ADHD respond to hormonal fluctuations, but there are several reports on how progesterone (or synthetic progestogen) fluctuations affect mood in women.”

The authors of the study concluded that “information on risks with HCs as well as potential benefits with user-independent long-acting reversible contraception needs to be an integrated part of the shared decision making and contraception counseling for young women with ADHD”. A large prospective cohort study already demonstrated that adolescent users of LARC such as the patch and the levonorgestrel intrauterine system had a higher risk of subsequent use of antidepressants and a first diagnosis of depression.

Young ladies deserve better and safer alternatives to hormonal birth control and LARCs. The fertility cycle is part of a young lady’s development and should not be suppressed by dangerous artificial hormones. Teaching adolescents and young ladies to chart their cycles can protect them not only from depression but also from a host of side effects. Fertility education gives young women tools to learn more about their developing bodies, and monitor symptoms to look for real solutions in health care. Fertility education programs that foster chastity and purity can prevent many unwanted pregnancies.

Natural Family Planning is NOT Contraception 

Matt Fradd is the creator and host of the Pints With Aquinas. He talks with Jason Evers about potentially underselling the difficulty of Natural Family Planning in Marriage, and the clear difference between NFP and Contraceptives, in principle and intent.

Emergency Contraception and Tubal Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is defined as a pregnancy that occurs outside of the uterus. The most common site of ectopic pregnancy is the fallopian tube. In the United States, it’s estimated that one in every 50 pregnancies is tubal pregnancy,

Levonorgestrel (LNG), is advertised as emergency contraception (EC). It has been available over the counter in the United States since 2006 and without an age limit since 2013.

Levonorgestrel a type of progestin. works by several mechanisms, including delayed tubal transport of the ovum. A study published in the Journal of Pathology revealed the increased risk of tubal pregnancy following the failure of levonorgestrel (LNG)-induced emergency contraception. The occurrence of tubal pregnancy was attributed to reduced ciliary motility in the fallopian tubes in response to Levonorgestrel.

Most tubal ectopic pregnancies can be detected and treated but in some cases, an unstable patient is a medical emergency that requires prompt surgical intervention. Women need to know about the risk involved in over-the-counter hormonal emergency contraception since tubal pregnancy is the leading cause of maternal mortality in the first trimester of pregnancy and accounts for almost 5% of maternal deaths.

Finally: A Homily Against Contraception

Steven W. Mosher

Finally: A Homily Against Contraception – PRI (

I had an extraordinary experience a few weeks ago while attending Mass at Sacred Heart Parish in Winchester, Virginia.  No, it wasn’t a mystical experience, but it struck me with almost the force of one.  For the first time in 31 years as a Catholic, I heard a priest preach—clearly and confidently—against contraception at Sunday Mass.

Now over the decades I have known many pro-life priests, chief among them Father Paul Marx, OSB, speak forthrightly about the truth and beauty of human sexuality.  They defended Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s prophetic encyclical of 1968, that was widely criticized by the modernists within the Church.  They vigorously taught, following Saint Pope John Paul himself, the perennial teaching of the church that preventing conception through artificial means was a sin.

But these talks were all given at Catholic pro-life meetings and conferences, where the vast majority of those present were already predisposed to listen.  The choir, in other words.  I had never before heard—at an ordinary Sunday Mass attended by ordinary Catholics—a clear and definitive exposition of the Church’s teaching in this area.  Occasional homilies against abortion, yes.  Homilies contra contraception, never.

But there I was, sitting in the second pew on the right at Sacred Heart, when Father Stephen Vaccaro, the young Parochial Vicar of Sacred Heart Parish in Winchester, Virginia, strode to the ambo.  The day’s reading concerned the Parable of the “Fool” who sought to store up his treasure on earth and died that very night.  On this “seemingly harsh, often overlooked, but crucially important teaching about the Christian life” Fr. Vaccaro promised a “two-point meditation … First, how this should drive us to an examination of our own lives. Second, a very practical suggestion for married couples.

Neither I, nor anyone in the congregation, had any idea what this “practical suggestion for married couples” would turn out to be.

“In our Gospel,” Father Vaccaro began, “our Lord tells the parable of the rich man who, after achieving worldly success and comfort, settles back to enjoy his labor, only to be reprimanded by God and then dying.  I’m sure many of us don’t see anything wrong with what this man did, as some here are retired and many hope one day to be retired.  What’s wrong with enjoying the fruits of your labor, resting after a life of work?

“But Jesus’ shows harshness in how He speaks of the man, with the words, ‘You fool!’  What is He rebuking here?  That the rich man, and so many of us, are practical atheists.  That may sound harsh.  But notice what the man does not do. Never does he thank God, consider using his bounty to help the poor, or dedicate his newfound free time for prayer that God was so good and generous to him.  Rather, he says he will commit his life to comfort. No thought is given to God, just to this world.

“Whether we like to admit it, so many of us, for so much of our lives, and in so many parts of our lives, live as if this world is all there is. … We store up treasure in this world.  We live as if our choices don’t really matter to God, because He’s merciful whether we repent or not.  We don’t live as if we will render an account for how we live.  To put it another way: we live to retire well in this world, we don’t live every day as if we want to be in Heaven.

“How do I know this?  Well, look around the world. We check the stock market every day, our retirement accounts every day, but don’t visit the Blessed Sacrament every day, don’t pray every day. … We don’t live for Heaven.

“This is what Jesus was pointing out, as a loving warning.  Basically, if we don’t remember where we are going, the journey always becomes confused and the things necessary to get there get ignored.  In short, we are fools!

“But Jesus goes on to point out an amazing irony: it is only by remembering our Home of Heaven that we will ever truly value this world, live a truly awesome life.  If this world is all there is, nothing really matters, so do what you want because everything is ultimately meaningless.  But if Heaven is real, is waiting for us, and is tied to how we live now, each moment in this life is infused with eternal meaning. We have every reason to bring God into every moment.

“This is why Jesus spoke so starkly. If we, Christians, are no different from unbelievers, then we are fools. We have squandered our lives calling things treasure that are trash and ignored the things that matter to God.  So, here’s the examination: the things that keep you up at night, the way you spend your time, the motivation of why you work or study, what occupies your schedule? That will show you your treasure.  Is it the treasure of earth?  If so, Jesus invites you to repent and convert, to live differently.  If Heaven and the things of God are not our only motivation and end, our joy and inspiration, and clearly so, then we are fools.
“Second, related to this first point that our lives must be focused on what matters to God, I present a thought for married couples.  I preface by saying this one might sting or make people uncomfortable.  But I am following Christ.

“This week is Natural Family Planning Awareness week, where the Church calls all married couples to remember what is stated in Scripture, defined by the Church, inspired by the Holy Spirit: any use of artificial contraception within sexual intimacy is a grave sin, and that authentic marital love requires avoiding all such means in order to remain in the state of Grace.  Maybe this is not a widely known truth, but if known, it is not widely followed.

“We tell ourselves that the world knows more about sexual morality than the Church.  Well, today Christ lovingly says to this idea: ‘You fools!’ Marital intimacy is meant to be a total gift of self, an incarnation of your wedding vows. Contraception is a conscious choice to follow earthly wisdom, reject God’s plan, and hold something back in expressing love, thus rotting marital love from within.

“If you have ever contracepted or willfully been sterilized, and have not Confessed this, you must do so.  If you are now contracepting, the Lord is calling you to stop, repent, and trust in Him.

“Yes, this will be a sacrifice.  But remember Jesus said every part of marriage, even marital intimacy, is to be modeled on the Cross. It is to be focused on Heaven, holiness, and sacrifice.  If married couples want to build treasure in Heaven and abandon foolishness, then embrace Natural Family Planning.

“I end with this quote from Pope Saint John Paul II: ‘What really matters in life is that we are loved by Christ and that we love Him in return. In comparison to the love of Jesus, everything else is secondary. And, without the love of Jesus, everything is useless.’”

As I listened to this young priest, clearly and without hesitation, state the perennial teaching of the Church, I was deeply touched.  God created humanity in a great act of love, and he expects us to love him in return, in part by following the first commandment given to our first parents, to be fruitful and multiply.”

Or as I said to Father Vaccaro himself after Mass, “Souls will be created and babies will live because of your words today, Father.  Thank you for your courage in speaking the Truth.”

This article first appeared in Steven’s blog on on Monday, August 29.

Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author, most recently, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Pandemics (Regnery Press).

Birth control pills and blood clots in obese women

A paper published in the journal ESC Heart Failure reported that obese women who use combined oral contraceptives have a 24-fold increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) compared to non-obese women who do not use the drugs.

The authors of the study reported in the abstract of the paper: “Obesity and estrogen-containing contraceptive products are well-known independent cardiovascular risk factors. However, a significant number of obese women continue to receive prescriptions of hormonal products that contain estrogens for their contraception.”

Obese women already had an increased risk of VTE compared to non-obese women. Using combined hormonal contraception presents a greater risk (between 12 and 24 times) to develop VTE. VTE is defined as a blood clot in a vein. There are two potentially fatal conditions: deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

The author of the study Professor Giuseppe Rosano concluded, “Obese women taking contraceptives should be viewed as an ‘at risk’ population, and as such, they should receive advice to change their lifestyle, avoiding other cardiovascular risk factors, as a form of primary prevention. This indication should be extended to young women, as data show that combined oral contraceptives should be avoided in obese women of any age”.

The only love that satisfies free, total, faithful, fruitful

By Fr. Patrick J. Fiorillo

The only love that satisfies: free, total, faithful, fruitful — Pure in Heart America

(Homily delivered at St. Paul Parish – Cambridge, MA, October 14th, 2018)

Today the Church honors a man whom many consider to be a modern-day prophet.  Fifty years ago, just as the sexual revolution was in full swing, he predicted that four things would happen in society if the Church’s teachings on marital love were not embraced:

1.      A general lowering of moral standards.

2.      A rise in marital infidelity.

3.      A lessening of respect for women by men.

4.      A coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments.

This man is Pope Paul VI, and he was canonized a saint earlier today in Rome by Pope Francis.  These four predictions, which Paul VI made in his famous encyclical Humanae vitae, have not only come true, but they came true sooner and to a far greater extent than anyone, including Paul VI himself, would have ever imagined.  If you find yourself skeptical of the claim that these predications have come true, look no further than the $12 billion pornography industry, which is based primarily on the objectification and exploitation of women.

            At Humanae vitae’s release in 1968, it was met with scorn and ridicule.  Today it seems pathetically antiquated to most people and laughable to the world that the Church actually still maintains her teaching against the use of artificial contraception.  So what relevance, if any, do the teachings of Humanae vitae have for us today – 50 years later – on its author’s canonization?

            The encyclical’s fundamental goal is not to impose a moral norm, but rather to provide a total vision of the human person and an answer to the question, “What do certain actions mean?”  By asking that very question, we have already delved into controversial philosophical territory.  The dominant philosophy in our present culture is nominalism, which maintains that things do not carry an objective, intrinsic existence; the meaning of things only comes from what our minds assign to them.  To the nominalist, I am free to assign meaning to things as I please, because nothing carries an objective existence or meaning outside of my mind. 

But this doesn’t work in Catholic theology.  We believe in a God who, though invisible, really exists.  And through divine revelation, we can know objective truths about God in such a way that our knowledge of him is not simply a product of my thoughts or feelings, or imagination.  A Christian must be rooted in a metaphysical understanding of reality.  In the Aristotelian tradition of realism inherited and perfected by Saint Thomas Aquinas, things have real existence in themselves and carry objective meaning that I am not free to assign on my own.

            Therefore, marital love carries a specific meaning that is discoverable by philosophy and confirmed by revelation.  Marital love is the exclusive and total giving of self between husband and wife.  The marital act is a particular physical expression of that, through which spouses speak their wedding vows to each other with their body.  This is why we say that a couple consummates their vows; instead of verbalizing the words they first declared to one another at the altar on their wedding day, the spouses speak those words to one another through their bodies.  This is completely distinct from animals.  Human love is a free act, proceeding from the intellect and the will, involving both body and soul.  It would therefore be contradictory to the very inner meaning of marital love if a couple were to say to one another, “I give myself to you totally and freely: everything that I have and all that I am… except my fertility, except my potential to be a parent with you.”  Spousal love, which by its very nature involves total self-giving, admits of no exceptions.

            The Church does not teach that couples must have as many children as physically possible, nor is the Church interested in imposing arbitrary restrictions on people’s private lives.  The teachings of the Church, reiterated in Humanae vitae, exist to give spouses the freedom to give of themselves fully to each other so that they can experience the full depths of marital love.  The sexual revolution promised freedom and liberation.  But it was a radicalization of the good feminist movement of the earlier 20th century.  So instead of new freedom, it has brought about the enslavement of men and women to their passions and the further degradation of women.  Again, if you question that claim, look no further than the $12 billion pornography industry.

            I recommend Humanae vitae for everyone to read because we are all suffering the effects of a culture that has rejected its teachings outright.  While it is the most controversial encyclical of modern times, it is also one of the shortest encyclicals.  The beauty of its simple and succinct message is that it applies to everyone, both married and unmarried.  Humanae vitae teaches everyone that because we are made out of love we are made for love: love that is free – not simply acting upon passions but fully human and intelligent; we are made for love that is total – that seeks the good of the other and holds nothing back; love that is faithful and love that bears fruit in the lives of others.  These are Paul VI’s four characteristics of authentic human love.  It’s the only love that satisfies: free, total, faithful, and fruitful.

            All of what I’ve said thus far belongs to natural law and does not require Christian faith to believe.  Nonetheless, it is affirmed and deepened by divine revelation.  We only need to look at the person of Jesus Christ, who is love incarnate.  Jesus Christ is mystically married to the Church.  And this mystical marriage was consummated on the cross; it was at that moment when Christ gave himself freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully for his beloved bride, holding nothing backThat is perfect love.  That is the love we are called to imitate.

            Sound impossible?  Well, it is – on merely human terms.  Like the rich young man in today’s Gospel, we too can be tempted to walk away from Jesus’s invitation to enter upon the path of perfection.  It is certainly discouraging when most people around us see this path as impossible and unreasonable.  But Jesus’s invitation is not an invitation to impose new rules on one’s life.  It is an invitation to respond to grace that is freely offered to us, to follow Christ in faith and hope, and to entrust every little part of our lives to his plan of loving goodness.

Pope Saint Paul VI, pray for us.

Making birth control pills over-the-counter 

On November 18, 2022, the FDA advisers will meet to review the application for making available the hormonal contraceptive “Opill” over-the-counter (OTC).

Opill is a progestin-only oral contraceptive, with the active ingredient norgestrel. It has been available with a prescription in the U.S. since 1973.

A partner at the law firm Goodwin who specializes in the FDA’s regulation of drugs and biologics said that two advisory committees will consider switching the drug from prescription to over-the-counter and weigh how the drug itself is used.

If the application to make Opill OTC is approved, all women in the United States will be able to purchase Opill without health provider oversight. This includes teenagers, who will be able to purchase this drug without parental knowledge.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ACOG, “the potential toxicity of the medication and whether the medication can benefit consumers without endangering their safety” is the principal factor the FDA considers to make OTC a medication. Progestin-only contraceptives are often advertised as being “safer” than contraceptives that contain estrogen, but they are associated with many health risks. Total synthetic progestins have been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, increased risk of clinical depression, and increased risk of ectopic pregnancy

The Food and Drug Administration is receiving comments on the proposal before November 3.  Follow this link to make your voice heard:

Leave a comment on the petition. It is important to protect women from dangerous synthetic steroids.

Family Planning Programs Are Not Always What They Seem

Katarina Carranco

Family Planning Programs Are Not Always What They Seem (

Four months ago, the world was stunned by the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The decision overturned Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 ruling that had effectively legalized the horrific procedure of abortion throughout the land. The Dobbs decision now makes it possible to save thousands of lives – lives of babies and mothers alike – as efforts on the state and local level gain momentum to put it into practice.

Already, numerous States are crafting legislation to make it more difficult to get an abortion, or even to outlaw the procedure altogether. And while at least 66 clinics across 15 states have closed down or stopped offering abortions, not everyone is happy.

That’s right – today the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) “activists” are not happy, and they’re working 24/7 to engineer ways to bypass these new “restrictions.” In fact, the same activists are working worldwide to prevent any influence that Dobbs might have in Europe and beyond.

Previous chapters in the elites’ worldwide effort to eliminate the “excess population” have always begun with efforts to increase access to contraception and abortion. These efforts always bear the same shopworn banner of “women’s rights,” “women’s health” and “climate activism.”

Close up of a girl hands buying contraceptive pills and pharmacist explaining in a pharmacy

Money certainly talks, and it is no secret that money plays a central role in attempts to eliminate the “overflow” population as well – one innocent life at a time. Not surprisingly funding is a primary component in their next strategy, too.

And what is that, you may ask?

Meet The Killer Calculator

Introducing the next chapter in the population control agenda: the Family Planning Investment Impact Calculator. This project, or, better yet, this tool, has been created by the Guttmacher Institute, and it is designed to have a powerful impact worldwide.

According to Dr. Herminia Palacio, President and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute, this interactive, web-based tool “will provide stakeholders with evidence-based estimates of the health benefits they can expect from investments in family planning services.”

The Family Planning Investment Impact Calculator produces data and graphs presenting the following information:

  • The number of women and couples who would receive modern contraceptive care
  • The number of unintended pregnancies, unplanned births, and unsafe abortions averted by increased contraceptive use
  • The number of women’s and girls’ lives that would be saved
  • Cost savings that would be achieved

“Investment Calculator”? That’s right. It all boils down to dollars and cents. Capitalizing on the self-indulgent culture spawned by the sexual revolution sixty years ago, The Guttmacher Institute is pandering to “instant gratification” when it comes to sex – and selling it as “transparency.”

Here’s how it works: when prospective stakeholders (another euphemism; that means “donors”) can directly and transparently see the impact that their donation will produce based on the program’s calculations, they are more likely to donate. The success of the Guttmacher “calculator” rests on the assumption that donations from stakeholders will cover the full cost of contraceptive care—both service delivery costs, and associated programs and systems costs.

The main goal of this “tool” is clear. It is designed to generate worldwide funding for international access to contraceptives because such funding is indispensable to the effort to control the sexual and reproductive health for women and girls by medicinally sterilizing them.

Realizing that they face increasing opposition in their battle to provide legal abortions, the SRHR activists have realized that contraception is their primary weapon in their campaign to “empower” women and girls.

And here’s more news! Grasping at any available pretext, SRHR activists have now claimed that contraception is a fundamental solution to fighting climate change as well.

“Fewer Babies Means Better Weather – May Start Trend!”

“Funding sexual and reproductive health care is not only the right and sensible thing to do for the health of women and girls—it’s also a smart investment that leads to significant savings in the long run,” Palacio said.

“Savings” only for the survivors, of course. “There’s just enough of me, but waaaay too many of you,” as P.J. O’Rourke once put it.

P.J. was a satirist, but, for the Guttmacher Institute, the campaign for fewer humans is grim.

Indeed, the notion goes hand in hand with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals include Family Planning as a critical component of the SDG agenda, which promises to “end poverty, hunger, AIDS, and discrimination against women and girls.”

In commenting about the tool, Rachel Murro, Senior Research Assistant for the Guttmacher Institute, says “[it] is an important resource to equip advocates, policymakers, and donors with a strong business case for investing in these essential services.”

We should not confuse this idea of “family planning” with any desire to protect and prosper families and children. For the Guttmacher Institute, its Family Planning Investment Impact Calculator is designed for “stakeholders” – that is, donors. It’s a business, and it’s about finance, not families.

That’s right. Financiers, including governments as well as businesses, can use the calculator to see how much their investments will aid in “health benefits” in the countries or regions of their choice. The Guttmacher Institute makes no effort to hide what they mean by “health benefits.” These “benefits” essentially come down to increased use of contraceptives and fewer babies.

So the phrase “family planning” is but a euphemism for “contraception,” which even the notorious secular Internet resource Wikipedia makes clear.

Abortion activists always complain that there are not enough abortions per year to meet “full equity” in each country per year, so they have to sell their contraception campaign as the next best tool to “invest in family planning.” This moves them closer to the cynical and destructive national “development goals” as described by global organizations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

Do not let warm words like “family planning” lead you to believe otherwise, because “family planning” programs are not always what they seem.

Birth Control and Thyroid Issues

The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system and has a crucial role in women’s health. The gland located in the lower part of the neck produces triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones are critical for normal metabolism, growth, brain development, energy production, temperature control, and reproduction. When the gland is underactive, it does not produce enough thyroid hormones. This condition is known as Hypothyroidism.

A large epidemiological study published in the British Medical Journal evaluated the association between the use of birth control pills and thyroid abnormal function.

The team of investigators analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted in the USA from 2007 to 2012. More than 7000 health records were analyzed. The authors of the study included women who reported the use of birth control pills in a reproductive health questionnaire, and also reported thyroid medication use or had thyroid function laboratory test values.

Women who had ever taken birth control pills had a higher prevalence of hypothyroidism, compared to women who never used hormonal oral contraceptives. Further statistical analysis of confounding variables (such as age, race, education, body mass index, smoking status, alcohol use, history of thyroid disease, current thyroid disease, first menstrual age, pregnancy history, menopause status, and history of hormone replacement use) was performed using multivariate logistic regression. The analysis demonstrated a significant association between hypothyroidism and a history of taking birth control pills for more than 10 years.

The authors of the study concluded that a “long history of using birth control pills was strongly associated with hypothyroidism, especially for more than 10 years.”


Assisted Reproductive Technology and Natural Law

A recent article published in the Linacre Quarterly describes how seven years of working as an embryologist revealed IVF’s disordered approach to patient care. It articulates the social, legal, ethical, and medical issues with artificial reproductive technologies.


This article is a case study illuminating the experience of a cradle Catholic who pursued a career in the field of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) as a laboratory director and embryologist. Twenty years after leaving the field, the observations leading to the crisis of conscience are further amplified by the reports of social, legal, ethical, and medical consequences of the technology. These consequences are explored in detail and can serve as a mini-review of the published scientific literature describing the obstetrical complications, peri-natal outcomes, and the long-term health effects on the offspring. This paper provides the documented evidence that can be used by the religious and medical community for shepherding the flock. The disordered approach to patient care is evidenced by five serious consequences resulting from the use of the technology. These include multiple pregnancy and selective reduction, abandoned and discarded embryos, adverse health effects to the women and children, legal and ethical problems, and human experimentation. An explanation for the adverse consequences can be found by exploring and applying the principles of Natural Law. Natural Law, as embraced by the Catholic Church, can be used as a starting point for conversion of heart for many who struggle with the immorality of ART. Deterring use of the technology coupled with increased motivation by scientist and health professionals to pursue restorative approaches within a moral framework offer our best solution to the treatment of infertility. Natural Law and the consequences of violating it provide evidence that science and medicine should not be practiced in a vacuum void of ethical and moral boundaries grounded in divine Wisdom.

Fertility Appreciation Works!

Undergirding Abstinence Within a Sexuality Education Program

Hanna Klaus, Nora Dennehy, and Jean Turnbull
Presented at Teen Pregnancy Prevention Conference
Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA
October 21, 2001
Reproduced with Permission

The efficacy of the Teen STAR Program, a proactive educational program in human sexuality to undergird virginity andÚor facilitate a return to chastity has been reported previously. The 1999-2001 cohorts are similar to previously reported cohorts. The 8-month program joins experiential learning of fertility signs to a developmental didactic curriculum plus regular teacher-student interaction. Our U.S. study population from 5 sites consisted of 822 males aged 12-17 years; 71 were sexually active, 42 virgins (5.5%) transitioned to sexual activity, while 39 (35%) discontinued activity. Of 496 females aged 12-16 years 16 (3.2%) were sexually active, before the program, 14 (2.9%) transitioned while 16 (53%) discontinued activity. The rate of discontinuation was approximately double of that among the general population: 53 vs. 26 % for females, 49 vs. 27% for males.

Responses were stratified by early, middle and late adolescence and tabulated by virginÚnon-virgin status. Both virgins and non-virgins identified chastity, the consequences of sex: unwanted pregnancy and STD’s, and selfÐknowledge as the most important thing(s) they learned and remembered about the program. A previously validated Likert scale measured behavioral parameters: speaking about the program with parents, with friends, greater control of emotions, greater empathy with others, overall helpfulness of the program and reasons for maintaining or returning to chastity. In middle and late adolescence non-virgins generally presented at the lower end of the scale in all parameters, lending support to Erikson’s theory of identity foreclosure or at least delay as a result of participation in adult tasks before emotional maturity has been reached, while early adolescents were equally enthusiastic, and predominantly returned to chastity. The fact that at least half of locus of control responses indicated an internal locus may indicate progress toward growing up. Failure to discontinue intercourse was associated with contraceptive use by 72% of the males and 43% of the females.

Conclusion: Tracking of fertility patterns joined to discussion of their meaning correlates positively with maintaining virginity as well as a return to chastity. The overall 50% discontinuation rate exceeds that of the general population and can be an important tool for prevention of STD and premarital pregnancy. | Undergirding Abstinence Within a Sexuality Education Program

Contraception: Fatal to the Faith

by Fr. John Hardon

This must seem like a strange title, “Contraception: Fatal to the faith.” What does the title mean? Does it mean that to believe in contraception is contrary to the faith? Or does it mean that-Christian believers may not practice contraception? Or does it mean that those who practice contraception are in danger of losing their faith?

Please be more clear on just what we mean when we say, “contraception, fatal to the faith?”

What do we mean by the title and what is the thesis of this presentation? We mean that professed Catholics who practice contraception either give up the practice of contraception or they give up their Catholic faith.

Needless to say, this is a startling statement that many would violently disagree with. They will point out the widespread practice of contraception among many–some would say the majority of professed Catholics in a country like the United States. They will quote from numerous professedly Catholic moral theologians openly defending contraception. They will give you the pronouncements of whole conferences of bishops who claim that contraception is really a matter of conscience. Those who sincerely believe that contraception is morally permissible may not be told they are doing wrong; they may not be debarred from receiving Holy Communion; in fact, they need not even have to confess the practice of contraception when they go to confession.

We return to where we began, to make clear what we are saying. We affirm in this conference that the deliberate practice of contraception between husband and wife is objectively a mortal sin. Those who persist in its practice are acting contrary to the explicit teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. They may protest that they are Catholic. They may profess to be Catholics. But their conduct belies their profession.

Someone may object that we are living in a contraceptive society. Moreover, the silence of so many bishops and the overt teaching of so many nominally Catholic moralists defending contraception forbids our saying that contraception and the Catholic faith are incompatible.

In the light of all the foregoing, let me address myself to the following topics which collectively prove the underlying thesis of this lecture.

The Catholic Church teaches infallible doctrine, both in faith and morals.
This infallible teaching is done by the Church’s extraordinary and by her ordinary universal authority or magisterium.

The grave sinfulness of contraception is taught infallibly by the Church’s ordinary universal teaching authority.

Therefore, those who defend contraception forfeit their claim to being professed Catholics. Consequently, those who persist in their defense of contraception, deprive themselves of the divine graces which are reserved to bona fide members of the Roman Catholic Church. The church teaches infallibly on faith and morals.

There is some value in explaining that the Church’s infallibility covers not only doctrines that are to be believed, like Christ’s divinity or His Real Presence in the Eucharist. No, the Church also, and with emphasis, also teaches infallibly what the followers of Christ are to do.

In His final commission to the Apostles, Jesus told them to teach all nations, “to observe all that I have commanded you.”

To mention just one infallible teaching in the moral order: the permanence of the marriage bond. Emphatically, the Church’s irreversible doctrines include truths that we are obliged to believe. But they also include precepts that we are universally bound to obey.

This deserves to be emphasized. Why? Because there are nominally Catholic writers who are claiming that the Church’s gift of infallibility extends only to her teaching of the faith. It does not, so the claim goes, include grave moral obligations like the prohibition of adultery, sodomy or contraception. That is not true.

Two forms of infallible teaching

What are the two ways in which the Church teaches infallibly? She does so whenever the Pope solemnly defines a dogma of the faith, as when in 1950 Pope Pius XII declared that Our Lady was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.

But the Church also teaches infallibly whenever her bishops, united with the Pope, proclaim that something is to be accepted by all the faithful. Thus abortion was condemned as murder by the Catholic hierarchy, under the Pope, already in the first century of the Christian era–and ever since.

It is therefore infallibly true that abortion is a crime of willful homicide. So, too, the grave sinfulness of homosexuality is infallible Catholic teaching.

Infallibly true that contraception is a mortal sin

We return to where we began, to the subject of contraception. It is infallible Catholic doctrine that contraception is a mortal sin? Yes!

How do we know? We know this from the twenty centuries of the Catholic Church’s teaching. Already in the first century, those who professed the Catholic Faith did not practice either contraception or abortion, which were commonly linked together.

The people of the pagan Roman Empire into which they were born universally practiced

Cohabitation of one man with either several legal wives or with a plurality of concubines.

In contrast with this moral promiscuity, Christians practiced monogamy, one man with one woman; they did not use drugs to prevent conception; they did not kill the newborn children whom they did not want to live; they did not practice sodomy or prostitution; and for the Christian, adultery and fornication were grave sins that might require several years of penitential expiation.

What do we call the Church’s unbroken tradition in forbidding contraception? We call it her ordinary universal magisterium or teaching authority. This has always been considered a proof of infallibility, or from another perspective, irreversibility.

What do these two terms mean?

Infallibility means that God protects the Church from error in her 2000 years of teaching that contraception is a grave sin against God. Irreversibility means that this teaching will never be reversed. Contraception will remain a grave sin until the end of time.

To defend contraception forfeits the catholic faith. As Christianity expanded, the inevitable happened. Once professed Christians lapsed into their former paganism.

We read in the first three centuries about the thousands of Christians who chose to be thrown to the lions, or beheaded, or crucified–rather than conform to the pagan immorality that was so prevalent in the culture in which they lived.

It is possible to misunderstand the Age of Martyrs of the first three centuries of the Christian era. We are liable to associate professing the Christian faith by refusing to drop a grain of incense before a statue of one of the pagan gods. No, the issue was much deeper and more serious. To be a Christian meant to refuse to conform to the pagan morality of those who did not believe in Christ. To be a Christian meant to reject the pagan immorality of the contemporary world–at the heart of which was the practice of contraception.

The situation in the modern world

Contraception as a general practice is a recent innovation in the western nominally Christian world.

Its rise is partly explained by the medical discovery of drugs which either prevent conception, or which destroy the unborn child in its mother’s womb.

But the rise of contraception is mainly the result of widespread propaganda by women like Margaret Sanger and the powerful forces of population control.

What have been the consequences of this return to pre-Christian paganism which is now “the law of the land” in once-Christian nations like the United States? The consequences are inevitable.

The once solitary defender of the sanctity of marital relations is now on trial for the profession of its Catholic faith.

In 1968, when Pope Paul VI published Humanae Vitae, the episcopal conferences of one country after another met in solemn sessions to pass judgment on the teachings of the Vicar of Christ.

Bishops in what we call the “Third World Countries” stood firmly behind the Pope’s teaching. But the bishops of so-called developed countries, like the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Austria, or Scandinavia issued long documents that, to put it mildly, compromised the teachings of the Vicar of Christ.

What followed was as inevitable as night follows day. Once firmly believing Catholics became confused, or bewildered, or simply uncertain about the grave moral evil of contraception.

The spectacle of broken families, broken homes, divorce and annulments, abortion and the mania of homosexuality–all of this has its roots in the acceptance of contraception on a wide scale in what only two generations ago was a professed Catholic population.

Contraception fatal to the faith

We come back to where we started–by claiming that contraception is fatal to the Catholic Faith.

By divine ordinance, those who call themselves Catholic must subscribe to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church of which the Bishop of Rome is the visible head.

This Catholic Church now stands alone in the world as the one universal authority which condemns contraception as contrary to the will of God.

Within the Catholic ranks has arisen an army of dissidents who speak and write in defense of contraception. The sex-preoccupied Andrew Greeley of Chicago recently devoted a whole chapter of a book entitled, “That damned encyclical,” referring to Humanae Vitae. This priest remains in good standing in ecclesiastical circles.

When the present Holy Father made his first pilgrimage as Pope to the United States, he pleaded in Chicago with the American bishops to do something over the scandal of so many Catholics on Sundays going to Holy Communion and so few going to confession.

All the evidence indicates that the core issue at stake is contraception. If contraception is not a grave sin, well then what is? And why go to confession if I am still in God’s friendship although practicing contraception.

What is the new conclusion? That the single, principal cause for the breakdown of the Catholic faith in materially overdeveloped countries like ours has been contraception.

St. James tells us that faith with out good works is dead. What good is it to give verbal profession of the Catholic faith, and then behave like a pagan in marital morality?


The single most crucial need to stem this hemorrhage from the Catholic faith is for the Church’s leaders to stand behind the Vicar of Christ in proclaiming the Church’s two millennia of teaching that no marital act can be separated from its God-given purpose to conceive and procreate a child.

I make bold to say that the Catholic Church, the real Roman Catholic Church, will survive only where its bishops are courageous enough to proclaim what the followers of Christ have believed since apostolic times. But the bishops are frail human beings. They need, Lord how they need the backing and support of the faithful under their care. So I would like to close with a prayer:

“Lord Jesus, you ordained your Apostles as Bishops at the Last Supper on Holy Thursday night. We beg You to give our bishops the wisdom to see that contraception is fatal to Catholic Christians. Above all, give them the courage of Thomas a Becket and John Fisher, to stand firm against the demonic pressure to destroy the human family by contraception. Amen.”

Article Source:, Contraception: Fatal to Faith

Sins of omission

Scripture Readings for 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Amos 6:1a, 4-7, 1 Timothy 6:11-16, Luke 16:19-31

By Deacon Rusty Baldwin

The readings today are about the sin of indifference; two kinds of indifference as a matter of fact. The first kind is indifference to the bodily and material needs of others which is depicted in the rich man’s indifference to Lazarus in the Gospel. This kind of suffering is alleviated by practicing the corporal works of mercy in a spirit of love, which includes feeding the hungry and binding up their wounds.

The second kind of indifference is indifference to the moral suffering of others which the “complacent in Zion” were guilty of in the first reading. Zion, that is, God’s chosen people were not made ill by the collapse of Joseph. The prophet Amos was writing in the 8th century B.C., right after the tribe of Joseph had been conquered by the Assyrians. For decades the people of the tribe of Joseph had become weaker and weaker due to their sins of commission, which included apostasy, turning from God to idols, and their abandonment of the rest of the 10 Commandments as well. Finally in their weakness, they were conquered by the Assyrians. During the many years of their decline, however, their fellow Israelites didn’t seem the least bit concerned about their sorry moral and spiritual state, according to Amos. Moral and spiritual suffering is alleviated by practicing the spiritual works of mercy in a spirit of love, which includes instructing the ignorant, admonishing the sinner, and praying for the living and the dead.

And even though sin is not a popular topic, it is the one thing Jesus himself told us to fear, because sin brings death to our souls. That’s why although God loves sinners like you and me, God hates sin! God hates sin like a doctor hates cancer. Doctors do everything in their power to kill cancer because cancer kills us!

In just the same way, sin kills if we deliberately choose to commit a mortal sin and remain unrepentant; if, in an act of rebellion, we decide we’re going to sin, knowing full well what we are about to do is seriously wrong. But it would be a mistake to think such an act of rebellion has to be the in your face, shaking your fist at God kind that says, “God, I don’t care what you say or what your Church says; I don’t care what the Bible says, I’m doing this anyway!” Just as deadly is a passive rebellion, a kind that sadly and quietly with eyes cast down says, “God, I know what I’m about to do is seriously wrong, but I’m going to do it anyway. I’m really sorry it hurts you – I hope you understand.” Either way, I still chose to sin, didn’t I? But what constitutes a mortal sin? Well, beyond obvious things like theft and murder, you can pick just about anything our culture praises in the name of freedom for an example of mortal sin. Things like pornography, premarital sex or homosexual acts, using contraception, or abortion – these are a societal cancer. But what happens when you tell people such things are wrong? They accuse you of being hateful, when actually it is precisely because you love them that you are warning them that such things are so very harmful to them; when you say that if they but ask, God is longing to forgive and heal them. We need to understand that our modern culture has perverted the truth about sin and we should be heartsick our society has reached such a state that it calls evil good and good evil.

And that’s what the prophet Amos is asking us today. Are we heartsick over what America has become or are we complacent? Do we have the attitude: well, our society is what it is, what can be done? Well, perhaps the first thing to be done is to realize Amos was talking to us today as well. And let’s do that by bringing the reading from Amos a little closer to home: from Zion to America; from 800 B.C. to 2022 A.D. Here’s an updated version of the reading for today.

“Thus says the Lord God of hosts. Woe to the complacent in America, stretched out in front of their big screen TVs, eating their fill, lying comfortably on their couches. They spend hours on social media, talk endlessly on their smartphones, drink their lattes and Frappuccino’s and yet are not made ill by the collapse of their culture.”

The plain fact is our culture has made freedom its idol and god. Not the kind of freedom God intended; a noble freedom to choose to do any number of good things for love of God or neighbor. That is, a freedom for doing good for others. No, our culture has corrupted freedom in the same way it tries to corrupt our consciences – by equating freedom with license. By saying freedom is all about doing anything you want to as long as, we all know how this ends, you don’t hurt anybody. That, my friends, is a lie on a couple of levels. First, as I said previously, that’s not what true freedom is. Second, there is no such thing as a sin that doesn’t hurt anybody. There is no such thing as a private sin. Any sin I commit may not affect you immediately, but unless I repent, it will eventually. Why? Because my conscience will be weakened and injured by that sin and eventually, the sin I commit in private, I’ll want to justify committing in public, and I will also want to convince you that it is not a sin but rather just a choice, just a choice…maybe a choice you wouldn’t make, maybe one you would – but in any case, who are you to interfere with my freedom to choose? And then I will try to convince you that interfering with my freedom to choose is the real evil.

OK, you might be saying, but what do you expect me to do? Singlehandedly root out all the evil in the world? No, we need to do something much harder than that. Something none of us are exempt from, no matter what our state in life, no matter what our age, no matter what our position in the parish or even in the universal Church. It’s something you need to do no matter how corrupt the culture becomes, whether you are the Pope or the newest member of the Church. It’s what St. Paul said so plainly in his letter to Timothy and the bottom line is this: however much sin there is in the world, you’re still responsible for rooting out the sin in you.

“But you man of God, but you woman of God, pursue righteousness, pursue devotion, faith and love. Compete well for the faith by keeping the commandments without stain or reproach.” You see, no matter what else God calls you to do in life, you are to be holy, to love God and neighbor. And that’s hard work, much harder than many other tasks God may call us to because it means dying to ourselves every day, it means giving up our selfish will, our sinful thoughts and desires every day of our lives and replacing them with his perfect will instead.

And that’s hard. And Satan knows it’s hard and so rather than getting us to commit serious sins, sometimes he tries to convince us that God will be satisfied as long as we are nice, as long as we are a so-called good person. Satan tries to deceive us by saying, you don’t have to be holy, just be nice. Be a nice Catholic whose goal is to be liked by everybody. Why does Satan do that? Because he knows the opposite of being holy is not being evil, the opposite of being holy is being complacent. When we don’t do the good we should, when we are complacent, when our goal is to be nice, rather than holy, we commit a sin of omission. When you get home, reread the Gospel passage for today. You’ll find the rich man wasn’t a murderer or a thief, he wasn’t sexually immoral or mean to his mother. He didn’t kick puppies. He was simply a bit self-centered. He didn’t pursue righteousness. Today we would probably say he was a nice person.

The 1993 movie “Schindler’s List” provides a poignant example of the sin of omission. Schindler’s List is a true story of a rather mediocre Catholic businessman, Oskar Schindler, who lived in Poland during World War II. When the war started, he saw an opportunity to make money. He became friends with German officials and worked out a deal with them to use Jewish prisoners as free labor for his munitions factory. Since he didn’t have to pay his workers, he made enormous profits. But little by little he realized the horrors of the Nazi regime. His heart changed, and he started using his factories and his connections with German officers to save his Jewish workers from the Holocaust. He used the money he made early in the war to “buy” more and more Jewish workers, just so he could save their lives. By the end of the war, he was as broke as he had been at the beginning, but he managed to save hundreds of Jews from being massacred.

In the last scene of the movie, the Germans are fleeing as allied troops approach the town where the factory is located. We see Schindler surrounded by the workers whom he had saved; they were thanking him. But then Schindler starts to cry. He looked around at the faces of the people he saved and told them, “I could have done so much more.” He held up his gold watch, and said, “This could have bought someone’s freedom.” “If I had started sooner,” he sobbed, “I could have saved twice as many.” Every face Schindler saw made him think of another person he could have saved if he had been less self-centered. Schindler was completely distraught. He had come to understand firsthand the destructive power of the sin of omission.

Today, you and I have been given a chance to correct any sin-of-omission mentality we may have … to stop being complacent about seeking holiness by loving God and our neighbor whole-heartedly. God gave us the means to be holy by giving us abundant graces through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation. And He rightly expects us to follow the example of Our Lord and spend our lives building up the Kingdom of Heaven – not merely seeking our own comfort. Our Lord gives himself entirely to us in Holy Communion. If in turn we give ourselves entirely to him, if we seek righteousness and put all we have and all we are at his service, there’s one thing we can be sure of: when eternity rolls around, we will have absolutely no regrets.

Emergency Contraception or Emergency Abortion

A recent article published by Contemporary OBGYN presented an update on Emergency Contraception. The authors mentioned the need for accurate information about emergency contraception pills anticipating legal changes in reproductive health after Roe and Wade reversal. Following the high court’s decision pharmacies have reported an increase of up to 3000% in the sales of emergency contraception.

The FDA has approved two types of oral emergency contraception pills: levonorgestrel 1.5 mg (Plan B One-Step or generic equivalents) and ulipristal acetate 30 mg as a single dose (Ella). We will focus here on the mechanism of action of Plan B.

The principal mechanism of action of Levonorgestrel (a synthetic progestin ) is believed to be the inhibition of ovulation. The Contemporary OBGYN article mentioned that Levonorgestrel “does not harm or disrupt an existing pregnancy” but later affirms that “The drug may also alter the endometrium to inhibit implantation“.

In order to understand what is an existing pregnancy, we need to review what is needed for a new human being to enter into existence. Fertilization (the union of the ovum and sperm to form a zygote) normally occurs in the fallopian tube after ovulation. The new human being (blastocyst) moves from the fallopian tube to the uterus where it implants 5-7 days after conception. A receptive endometrium provides the embryo with the opportunity to attach and develop in the woman’s womb. Research has demonstrated that Levonorgestrel given in high doses caused obvious alteration of the endometrium (loss of ciliated cells, and pinopodes disappeared). Another study found that Levonorgestrel altered endometrial glycodelin-A levels, which could affect implantation. A drug or device that alters the endometrium will disrupt the implantation and cause an early abortion. Following this logic Levonorgestrel can harm and disrupt an existing pregnancy by inhibiting implantation. 

In summary labeling Plan B as emergency contraception, or non-abortifacient drug is not accurate information. Emergency Contraception Plan B is available for purchase without any restrictions due to age, gender, or insurance status. It is imperative that accurate information is given, and people receive fully informed consent about the probable abortifacient mechanism of action of emergency contraception pills.

Contraception and Motivation

Research published in the journal of Adaptive Human Behavior and Psychology looked at how hormonal contraception affects a woman’s competitive drive. Women who do not use hormonal contraception experience a surge in motivation during the days leading to ovulation. This is caused by the high levels of estrogen and testosterone before ovulation. Women who use artificial hormones or don’t ovulate don’t experience that surge.

Lead researcher, Lindsie Arthur-Hulme, reported that 75% of the population of the study who were on hormonal contraceptives took the contraceptive pill. Other participants on contraceptives used the contraceptive implant, the vaginal ring, or the contraceptive patch. She said: “It’s crazy, it blows my mind” about the fact that, for more than 61 years, no one has studied the psychological impact of the pill on the more than 100 million women who take it each day.

The authors of the study conclude that this “research contributes to the growing body of literature suggesting that hormonal contraceptives may influence psychology and behavior by disrupting evolved hormonal mechanisms”.

The contrasting anthropologies of contraception and NFP

Most people in the Western World today, including Catholics, approve of contraception and practice it as a way of controlling birth.  Young persons growing up in our culture for the most part consider contraception an intelligent way of coping with difficult problems; it is the “natural,”  “responsible” way to act.  They find the Catholic Church’s opposition to contraception a relic of a bygone age, unrealistic, and impracticable.  

During his pontificate, John Paul II sought valiantly to show that contraception violates the “language of the body” and the love that spouses are to have for one another. Thus in Familiaris Consortio 32, he wrote: “When couples, by means of recourse to contraception, separate these two meanings that God the Creator has inscribed in the being of man and woman and in the dynamism of their sexual communion, they act as ‘arbiters’ of the divine plan and they ‘manipulate’ and degrade human sexuality – and with it themselves and their married partner – by altering its value of ‘total’ self-giving.  Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other.  This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality.”

He also frequently noted that contraception is “anti-life” (e.g., in his Homily to youth in Kenya 17 Aug 85) and in Familiaris Consortio 32 he also wrote: “the difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle, is much wider and deeper than is usually thought.  It is a difference which, in the final analysis, is based on irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.”  

Here he had in mind the mentality rooted in a dualistic understanding of the human person that regards the “person: as the subject conscious of himself or herself and capable of relating to other conscious selves, and the human body as an “instrument” of the person.  This understanding of human persons and of human sexuality considers our biological fertility part of the sub-personal world over which the “person” has been given dominion, and as “persons” we have the right to suppress this fertility by using contraceptives should its continued flourishing inhibit our participation in the “personal” values of human sexuality.  

This mentality, as John Paul pointed out in Evangelium Vitae 19, is one of the bases for the “culture of death.”  On this view not all living members of the human species are “persons,” but only those who are capable of conscious awareness; the unborn, the severely mentally crippled, and those in the “vegetative” state thus do not count as persons, who alone are the subjects of rights that must be recognized by the state.  

From this it can be seen that contraception is the “gateway” to abortion and other grave offenses against the goodness of human life.  Contraception paved the way for abortion, which is frequently considered a backup to failed contraception.  All this explains why the Catholic Church is so opposed to contraception.  

When God made man, He did not make a subject aware of itself as a self and capable of relating to other selves to which He then added a body as an afterthought.  Rather, when He created man, “male and female He created them” (Gen 1:27), i.e., he created them as bodily, sexual beings, whose fertility is a blessing, not a curse.

Moreover, when the eternally begotten Son of God, His “Word,” became man to show us God’s love for us and to redeem us, He became living flesh: “the Word became flesh” (Jn 1:14).  He became incarnate.  

Thus the Church’s teaching on contraception goes hand-in-hand with the great truth that human persons are bodily persons and that every living member of the human species, the unborn as well as the born, the severely mentally impaired as well as the mentally gifted, is a person, a being of moral worth, a living image of the one and triune God.  

William E. May is the Michael J. McGivney Professor of Moral Theology at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.  In 2009 Pauline Books & Media will publish his book, Pope John Paul II’s Teaching on the Person, Marriage and Family. He and his wife, Patricia, are the parents of seven, and grandparents of f fourteen.

Fr. Matthew Habiger OSB

Printed with permission from Natural Family Planning Outreach.

Postpartum Period and NFP

The postpartum or postnatal period, by definition, begins immediately after the birth of a baby. During this time, the mother’s body, including hormone levels and uterus size, returns to a non-pregnant state. It is exciting but at the same time challenging for couples to navigate this period with new responsibilities, little spleep, and fertility uncertainty. Couples need to be aware of some facts about the postpartum period regarding the return of fertility. The first ovulation postpartum varies from woman to woman and even from one postpartum experience to another for the same woman. Ovulation can resume as early as 4 weeks postpartum or even years after the baby’s birth. Ovulation always precedes menstruation in a postpartum mother.

Natural family planning is a good option for couples. The specific method depends on the possibility to breastfeed the baby, experience with NFP before pregnancy, and professional support to navigate the challenges.

The following article was published by FACTS, a group of health care professionals educating on fertility awareness. The author, Johanna Longrenn, presents an interview with a fellow midwife to explore the role of midwives in educating women and couples about the option of fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) throughout a woman’s reproductive lifetime, especially during the postpartum period. 

Fertility Awareness-Based Methods During the Postpartum Period – FACTS (

Planned Parenthood is increasingly focusing on chemical abortions

Report: Planned Parenthood is increasingly focusing on chemical abortions (

By Anne Marie Williams, RN, BSN 

According to a new report out from American Life League (ALL), the nation’s largest abortion provider is becoming increasingly reliant on chemical abortion, as evidenced by an 82% increase in affiliates offering the abortion pill regimen between 2005 and 2021. As of 2021, 391 of Planned Parenthood’s 567 active locations (69%) offered either chemical or surgical abortions, with a majority committing chemical abortions only, and the remainder offering both chemical and surgical options.

All 567 locations dispense or administer potentially abortifacient contraceptive drugs and devices.

The report was compiled by ALL’s STOPP International project, which “exposes the true nature of Planned Parenthood and documents its anti-life, anti-family programs,” according to its website, utilizing research done by Operation Rescue and Planned Parenthood’s own data.

“Planned Parenthood now runs 55% of all surgical and/or pill abortion facilities in the United States,” STOPP International interim director Rita Diller noted. “This includes a whopping 82% of pill-only and 39% of all surgical locations.”

The report also included statistics on Planned Parenthood abortion facility openings and closures. Of the 18 facilities temporarily closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, eight reopened in 2021. On the whole, Planned Parenthood closed more facilities than it opened, opening six new abortion facilities last year but closing eleven.

Yet the emphasis of the report is on the dangers of the abortion pill regimen.

“These unsupervised procedures — self-administered and without medical oversight — are incredibly dangerous [to women],” Diller said. “In addition to the risk of hemorrhaging and possible serious complications without any medical supervision, there is an increased incidence of uterine infection, pelvic inflammatory disease, and infertility, not the mention the mental anxiety that can be induced by the trauma of expelling your dead baby’s body by yourself [and possibly] in secret.”

Previous reports from Live Action News note that in both the United States and the United Kingdom, approximately 5-6% of women using the abortion pill have visited hospital emergency rooms for resulting complications. And yet, in the U.S., only 28 states even require the reporting of abortion complications to state agencies, and abortion industry mouthpieces are encouraging medical personnel to falsify records if women do visit emergency rooms as a result of the abortion pill regimen. If accuracy in reporting is not a priority, women may never know the true risks of the abortion pill.

In its conclusion, the report referenced the significant impact of the Supreme Court’s June 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade on Planned Parenthood’s abortion business.

“While this report reflects Planned Parenthood facility numbers for 2021, we note that many Planned Parenthood affiliates across the nation closed and/or halted abortions immediately following the announcement of the Dobbs decision on June 22, 2022,” the report read. “[A]ffiliates located in states where abortion is now or will soon be highly restricted began announcing immediately that they will stop operations or cease abortions. In the same breath, they provided links to get abortions at [Planned Parenthood] facilities in other states, some offering links to funding.”

Vasectomy safe and simple?

Following the supreme court’s decision, overthrowing of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, more men are taking charge of their reproductive health, to permanent ends. “There is a definitive uptick in men exploring vasectomies,” reported Dr Alex Shteynshlyuger, a New York City urologist. 

“The supreme court decision has prompted a lot of conversation about contraception in general, as well as raising the awareness about vasectomy as an effective, low cost, safe, and permanent method of contraception that gives men control over their procreation.” 

Jonathon Van Maren, public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist said “The assumption here, keep in mind, is that those men made use of legal abortion to terminate any children resulting from coital encounters they intended to be strictly casual. It’s no surprise that many men are upset by Roe’s overturn—in front of the U.S. Supreme Court this weekend, I saw men holding signs reading: “Men for Choice!” and one fellow with a sign that stated: “I will aid and abet abortion!” These men need abortion access because it gives them access to women’s bodies without commitment to any children they might conceive. 

What is male sterilization?

Male sterilization is any procedure or treatment that intends to make it impossible for a man to fertilize a woman’s egg (ovum). Men can be sterilized by removal of the testicles, by treatment with chemicals that shut down the activity of the testicles, or by a vasectomy. Vasectomy is a surgical procedure to block sperm transport from the testicles to the male urethra/penis. Vasectomy usually involves the removal of a small piece of each vas deferens.

How is vasectomy performed?

To perform a vasectomy requires three steps. First, the vas deferens is found by a single or double incision in the scrotum (skin that surrounds the testicles) with a scalpel, or without scalpel using special instruments. Second, the vas deferens on each side is disrupted by cutting, burning, or clipping, with the edges sewn or not. Finally, the scrotal tissue is closed.3

Is vasectomy 100% effective in
preventing pregnancies?

Recent research indicates that one or two women per 1,000 per year become pregnant when using vasectomy as a means of birth control.4 Pregnancy may result from natural healing, or failure in the surgical procedure.

Are there short-term complications?

Vasectomy causes damage to a healthy part of the body. As a consequence, males can suffer anatomical, hormonal, immunological, psychological, and social changes that are undesirable. Early complications include local hematoma, bleeding, swelling of the scrotum (range 2-29% of cases), and infection of the skin, urinary tract, testicles, or epididimus (range 12-38% of cases).5 Inflammation of the testicles and epididymus may require antibiotics and anti-inflammatories to resolve.

An additional potential early complication is the formation of a sperm granuloma. After vasectomy sperm production continues at the same rate as before since the testes do not “know” that the outlet system has been obstructed. Pressure builds in the entire tubular network proximal to the vasectomy and the testes eventually respond to this feedback by slowing production and shutting down entire areas of sperm production. In the meantime, however, the pressure may cause sperm to leak out the end of the obstructed vas. Because sperm contain only half the chromosomes of the body’s cells the immune system thinks they are foreign invaders and quickly walls them off, creating a firm nodule of tissue at the end of the vas. This so-called sperm granuloma may become quite tender to the touch and require removal for resolution of the pain.

Are there long-term complications?

Because vasectomy blocks the natural way to evacuate sperm, a buildup in pressure breaks down the natural barrier that exists between the teticles and blood, enabling sperm to enter the blood.This is important because sperm contain antigens (substances that can trigger the body’s immune system). About sixty percent of males who elect to have vasectomies develop anti-sperm antibodies.6 These can cause a number of local and full body reactions. Although no final conclusion has been reached about the cause-and-effect relationship between vasectomy and long-term disease, principally due to lack of long- term medical studies, many diseases have been reported in males post-vasectomy. In the book, Is Vasectomy Worth the Risks? the author states that in his medical practice he has encountered many young males who had undergone a vasectomy, and have diseases with unexplained causes. The following diseases have been reported in men after vasectomy: atherosclerosis, psychogenic impotence, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, migraine, hypoglycemia, narcolepsy, thromboflebitis, pulmonary embolism, infection, allergic reactions, kidney stones, and angina pectoris.7

What is Post-vasectomy Pain Syndrome (PVPS)?

PVPS is another complication after vasectomy. It can occur up to ten years after the procedure.8 Some males suffering from PVPS report a sharp testicular pain during certain activities such as sitting, sexual intercourse, or during exercise. Others report dull, constant pain or pain radiating to the scrotal area or the back. Unfortunately, many cases of PVPS are misdiagnosed due to lack of association of their symptoms with vasectomy. The incidence rate for this condition is 1:10 9. Although the cause for the pain is still the object of research, it is believed that distention of the tissues due to pressure, inflammation, sperm granulomas, fibrosis and nerve entrapment may explain the pain. Removal of granulomas, vasectomy reversal 10, and removal of nerves, and in extremes cases, removal of the testicles, are treatment options for PVPS.

Is vasectomy associated with cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer for males in America. In the year 2011, 238,467 new cases of prostate cancer were identified and more than 33,000 men died from prostate cancer or its complications.11 Although mortality rates from prostate cancer have decreased, more than two million men are living with this disease.

Risk factors for prostate cancer include non-modifiable risk factors such as family history of prostate cancer and ethnicity (African-American males have a high incidence of prostate cancer), and modifiable risk factors such as diet, alcohol consumption, and smoking. Even though medical and government organizations do not regard vasectomy as a risk factor for prostate cancer,12 several studies have noted that men who undergo a vasectomy have a higher incidence of developing prostate cancer, especially 15-20 years after their vasectomy. 13,14,15 A large study looking for a link between prostate cancer and vasectomy was done in the 1990’s. The author of this study found a significant increase in the risk of cancer in males who had undergone vasectomy at a young age (less than 35 years).16 After the publication of these studies, the National Cancer Institute and other organizations sponsored a conference in 1993 to debate the association between prostate cancer and vasectomy. Experts concluded that the risk was very small and just due to chance. However statistical analysis of recent studies claiming no link indicates a significant link between vasectomy and prostate cancer.17,18 Also, research has demonstrated that hormonal alterations due to vasectomy (such as high testosterone levels) could coincide with increases in prostate cancer.19,20

Is vasectomy associated with psychiatric problems?

Researchers from Northwestern University in Illinois published a study that looked into one patient’s belief that his dementia resulted from his vasectomy.21 His was not a common dementia; it was a relatively new kind of dementia called Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA). Its onset is characterized by language impairment (aphasia) rather than the forgetfulness characteristic of Alzheimer’s Disease. Another reason for the study was the interesting fact that the testicles and the brain have similar molecular substances. Vasectomy may have a role in the development of PPA based on the immune reactions to sperm after vasectomy and on the similarity of brain and sperm proteins. New antibodies produced after vasectomy may attack brain cells and cause PPA. The authors found that 40% of the men in their study who suffered from PPA also had undergone vasectomies. The study involved a control group of males who did not have PPA, and 16% of that group had vasectomies. The study revealed that PPA subjects had their vasectomy at a younger age—36 years old on average. In contrast, the control group had their vasectomies performed at an average age of 44 years. It appears that longer exposure to this sort of immune attack increases the probability of developing PPA. A recent case report analyzed whether or not the use of steroids (drugs that inhibit the immune system) could modify the symptoms of PPA. The authors of this study found improvement in one patient suffering from PPA after the steroid treatment. Although more research with large populations is needed, the improvement in this particular case supports the hypothesis that PPA in men may be a treatable autoimmune disease related to vasectomy.22

Are there emotional disorders related to vasectomy?

Emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression and changes in personality have been reported after vasectomy.23 Men who had undergone vasectomy have reported regret, resentment, and feelings that their masculine image has been threatened.

Are there social consequences
associated with vasectomy?

More research is needed to determine the social consequences from sterilization. It has been suggested that vasectomy can open the door to infidelity and marital instability. Looking to the divorce rate in the USA and other developed countries where vasectomy is a widely used method of birth control, we come to the hypothesis that vasectomy may have contributed to the increase in divorce rates.

Many authors tried to warn about the powerful negative social consequences that would result from the widespread use and acceptance of artificial methods of birth control and voluntary sterilization-such as the potential for abuse by governments which might institute programs of forced abortion and sterilization for population control.24 We can now verify the accuracy of those predictions and see that the voluntary use of artificial methods of birth control and sterilization did indeed open the door to forced abortions and forced sterilizations for population control.

Are there alternatives to vasectomy?

Natural Family Planning (NFP) is a safe, healthy, and effective alternative to sterilization. NFP is morally acceptable. Studies have demonstrated that couples who use NFP are more satisfied with their marriage, and these couples have lower divorce rates compared to couples who use contraception or sterilization.25 For males who have undergone vasectomy, the reversal procedure is an alternative to alleviate some secondary effects and to restore fertility. The reversal procedure is not 100% effective in restoring fertility. Microsurgery is highly recommended. Our web site, includes a list of NFP-only physicians (some offer sterilization reversal in the United States), NFP teachers, and NFP Centers.

Contraception Will Always Be Intrinsically Evil: A Look at the Development of Doctrine

Contraception Will Always Be Intrinsically Evil: A Look at the Development of Doctrine| National Catholic Register (

As we mark National NFP Week, there have been confusing ideas coming from the Pontifical Academy of Life that seem to imply that the Church’s teaching on contraception can “develop” to allow the use of artificial contraception.

Susanna Spencer 

This week, 54 years ago, on July 25, 1968, Pope St. Paul VI released the encyclical Humanae Vitae, confirming the Church’s teaching that contraception, whether through sterilization of the man or woman in any act before, during, or after the conjugal act to prevent procreation is morally evil and violates the “unitive and procreative” goods “inherent to the marriage act.” Further, he allowed for couples who have reasonable motives for avoiding having another child to exclusively use the infertile periods of the wife’s cycle, what is now commonly called natural family planning or NFP. This teaching was received in varying ways, with many laypeople and priests choosing to ignore this in favor of the world’s acceptance of birth control. Those obedient to the truth worked hard to defend it, such as philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand, who explained:

“Every true Catholic must rejoice also when he is allowed to see clearly that the Church does not conform to the ‘majority opinion’ but to the Word of God, and that the Holy Father [Paul VI] must proclaim the truth even when it goes against the current of the times. […] The encyclical Humanae Vitae, in which the Holy Father teaches us clearly the true moral nature of artificial birth control, enables the individual to know exactly what God expects of him and appeals to our conscience not to offend God” (The Encyclical Humanae Vitae: A Sign of Contradiction).

As we mark National NFP Week, there have been confusing ideas coming from the Pontifical Academy of Life that seem to imply that the Church’s teaching on contraception can “develop” to allow the use of artificial contraception. This idea flies in the face of the most basic principles of what is legitimate development of doctrine — for never in Scripture or in the history of the Church has it been moral for married couples to interfere with the procreative end of the marital act. The very moral truths on which marriage is based necessitate that every sexual act must be done within marriage and be a consensual act of self-gift and union of the couple which is open to the procreation of a new human life. 

Continuity of Principles and Natural Law

St. John Henry Newman, in An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, lays down six guidelines with which to measure the development of doctrine. While I do not have space here to go into all of them, the Church’s teaching on the two ends of marriage and the sexual act as procreation and union and teaching against the use of artificial contraception fits with all six of his guidelines. Here, I want to show how the Church’s teaching cannot legitimately develop to say that is it moral to interfere with the procreative end of marriage because it violates what Newman calls the necessary “continuity of principles” required for development of doctrine.

The Church has always held the principle that it is wrong to interfere with the bringing about of a new human life in the sexual act. Further, the principle of the two ends of marriage, while first stated and understood by the Church in the 20th and 21st century, is rooted in natural law and the whole history of the Church’s understanding of marriage. This is why the condemnation of contraceptive acts as “intrinsically evil” (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2370) is a true part of Tradition. 

First of all, this principle of the two ends of marriage can be seen in natural law, which is the law implanted in us by God that says we ought to use our natural abilities to pursue the goods for the sake of which our abilities naturally exist and ought not perform acts in which we use a natural ability but simultaneously actively prevent its natural goal from coming about. Our sexual abilities naturally exist for the sake of bringing new persons into existence and for the sake of a complete gift of self between persons. To use this ability but simultaneously prevent either of these goals from coming about, as is done when one uses contraception, violates the natural goal-directedness of this ability, and so violates the natural law, and so ought not be done. (I owe this formulation to my husband, Mark Spencer.)

Pope St. John Paul II explained in Familiaris Consortio, in 1981, that, “when couples, by means of recourse to contraception, separate these two meanings that God the Creator has inscribed in the being of man and woman and in the dynamism of their sexual communion,” they interfere with the divine plan and “manipulate and degrade human-sexuality … by altering its value of ‘total’ self-giving.” The evil is not just in contraception’s severing of procreation from the unitive end but also in the couple’s denial of the gift of fertility to each other. A couple using contraception in the conjugal act makes themselves incapable of a total self-gift and complete union. 

It further violates the gift of cooperating with God’s creative act of bringing each person’s soul into existence. Hildebrand explained two levels of sinfulness in using artificial contraception:

“We thus see that artificial birth control is sinful not only because it severs the mysterious link between the most intimate love-union and the coming into existence of a new human being, but also because in a certain way it artificially cuts off the creative intervention of God, or better still, it artificially separates an act which is ordained toward cooperation with the creative act of God from this its destiny” (The Encyclical Humanae Vitae: A Sign of Contradiction).”

In Scripture and Tradition

Secondly, we can see these principles in Scripture and Tradition. Scripture shows us that procreation and union are intrinsic to marriage, beginning in Genesis 1-2, when man and woman were created by God, the Author of Life, and were meant to become “one flesh” and to be “fruitful and multiply.” In the New Testament, the unitive aspect is highlighted in St. Paul’s comparison of the man to Christ and of the woman to the Church in Ephesians 5. In the liturgy, Christ and the Church come into union through the consummation of the people of the Church receiving the Body of Christ into their bodies, and this love of Christ for the Church is deep and personal. If one compares marriage to this analogy, one can see that the physical union of the husband and wife is meant to be deep and personal and a sign of their unity of hearts.

The early tradition of the Church emphasized the procreative aspect of marriage and the conjugal act. St. Augustine of Hippo wrote against the Manicheans, who saw procreation as evil and sex as something for pleasure. He explained that the “union … of male and female for the purpose of procreation” was “the natural good of marriage,” and he saw any other use of the sexual act as sinful (On Marriage and Concupiscence). In the Middle Ages, St. Thomas Aquinas explained the conjugal act in terms of nature, such as what semen is for, condemning unnatural uses of the sexual organs. He also saw how, in nature, not every conjugal act ended in procreation. This is an example of the continuity of the principle based in the need to follow the natural order God created. Also, there is a beginning of the development of thought viewing an end of the conjugal act as being more than just procreation, as Aquinas explained that it was not sinful for naturally sterile couples to have intercourse (Summa Contra Gentiles, 3.122.4-5). This view is an anticipation of the clear acknowledging by the Church of the unitive end of marriage and a couple’s recourse to using infertile periods of the women’s cycle for serious reasons to avoid conception. 

In 1880, Pope Leo XIII continued this development by explaining that “marriage was instituted for the propagation of the human race” and “also that the lives of husbands and wives might be made better and happier” (Arcanum, 26). Pope Pius XI developed this view further in Casti Connubii,written in 1930, describing procreation as the primary end of marriage and “mutual aid, cultivating mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence” as secondary and subordinate to this natural end. Venerable Pope Pius XII further developed the idea of two ends of marriage in his “Allocution to Midwives”in 1951, emphasizing that procreation is not the only end of marriage: 

“To reduce the common life of husband and wife and the conjugal act to a mere organic function for the transmission of seed would be but to convert the domestic hearth, the family sanctuary, into a biological laboratory. […] The conjugal act, in its natural structure, is a personal action, a simultaneous and immediate cooperation of husband and wife, which by the very nature of the agents and the propriety of the act, is the expression of the reciprocal gift, which, according to Holy Writ, effects the union ‘in one flesh.’”

From there was the proclamation of Pope Paul VI’s win Humanae Vitae, which we remember and promote during this National NFP Week.

Continuing in the Truth

During his pontificate, Pope John Paul II upheld the teaching in Humanae Vitae in his encyclical Evangelium Vitaeexplaining that in the culture of death “the original import of human sexuality is distorted and falsified, and the two meanings, unitive and procreative, inherent in the very nature of the conjugal act, are artificially separated.” He says further that, with this attitude: 

“[T]he marriage union is betrayed and its fruitfulness is subjected to the caprice of the couple. Procreation then becomes the ‘enemy’ to be avoided in sexual activity: If it is welcomed, this is only because it expresses a desire, or indeed the intention, to have a child ‘at all costs,’ and not because it signifies the complete acceptance of the other and therefore an openness to the richness of life which the child represents.”

In one way, this view hearkens back to the Manichean view that sex was for pleasure and procreation is evil — except that it is not consistent, as people want to have children at their convenience. They follow “one rule,” which is what Dietrich von Hildebrand would call the desire to fulfill what is “subjectively satisfying.” One has sex when one desires without consequences. One has a child on demand, reducing the child to a commodity.

The Church must not give into the world’s push to claim that “union” in the sexual act can be morally separated from procreation through artificial means. In the 20th century, the crisis of widespread acceptance of contraception in the world caused the Church to examine the goods of marriage to the extent that it saw the need to emphasize procreation in relation to the good of the union in marriage. Contraception divides procreation, the physical fruit of union, from union; and because it violates the complete self-gift of one person to another, by limiting the physical union, it violates the union itself. In the 21st century, the Church must not lose sight of these ends. An emphasis on the unitive end that makes the procreative end optional is a false understanding on the nature of the sexual act.

The first reading from last Thursday (of the 16th Week of Ordinary Time, Year II) is a clear reminder of the importance of not straying from the truths preserved by Tradition and those given to us by God in natural law: 

Be appalled, O heavens, at this,
  be shocked, be utterly desolate,
                says the Lord,
for my people have committed two evils:
    They have forsaken me,
the fountain of living waters,
    and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns,
    that can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:12-13)

Claiming that the Church can “develop” her teaching so that it is moral to use contraception would be nothing more than “hewing out broken cisterns that can hold no water.” The Church would be forsaking the fountain of living waters. Let us pray for our shepherds, that they do not forsake the truth preserved by Tradition. And let us pray for married couples, that they may see the beauty of the Church’s teaching on sexuality and marriage and always be open to the gift of life.  

NFP, the Theology of the Body, and Our Marriage

Note: Natural Family Planning Awareness Week is a national educational campaign. This year is celebrated July 24-30. The following testimony was originally published by the Natural Family Planning Program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at

Michael and Alysha Chambers

Many will tell you that the responsibility of being permanently faithful to one person
is too great and that being open to life is too much of a burden. They say contraception
brings with it freedom and life; however, we have found that it is in openness to God, to
each other, and to new life that true freedom is obtained. This is what living Natural
Family Planning (NFP) can help couples to experience.

Alysha was in college when she first heard NFP mentioned. All she knew then was
that it existed and the Catholic Church considered it a good thing. Michael, a convert to
Catholicism, grew up believing that contraception was good and that all couples should
use it. Our first real understanding of what NFP is, and what the Church teaches came
during our marriage preparation program. We learned that NFP at its core is simply
knowledge of the physical changes one can observe in the woman’s fertility cycle. It
gives couples a way to measure and chart their fertility signs. We also learned how
responsible parenthood is and the virtuous application of this fertility knowledge.

One unexpected aspect of NFP that impressed us was how it fosters communication
between spouses. Couples practicing NFP discuss the future of their family with every
cycle. Knowing how to discuss such important matters has proven a great blessing to
many marriages. Michael decided that blessing, by itself, was enough of a reason to learn

God’s love is a total gift of self.

God’s love is life-giving.

As husband and wife one way we

love like God is through our sexuality.

Another theme we discussed in marriage preparation was the Theology of the Body.
It helped us understand who we are and how God created us. It is through our bodies that
we express who we are spiritually. Also, because we were made in the image and
likeness of God, our bodies are supposed to reflect who God is which means we are to act
as He acts. How does God act? He loves. God’s love is a total gift of self. God’s love is
life-giving. As husband and wife one way we love like God is through our sexuality. If
NFP is studied in this context, our appreciation of each other as man and woman
increases because the uniqueness and dignity that God has imprinted in our bodies is
revealed. It was at this point that Michael realized NFP was not moral birth control;
rather, it is a complete way of life honoring one’s spouse’s sexuality and fertility. It is
loving naturally – the way God designed it.

In studying NFP in the context of the Theology of the Body, both of us have become
more open to each other, to God, and to children. We truly believe that “children are the
crown of marriage” and we pray that God will bless us with children someday. Until
then, we will “make our plans but hold them lightly.” For us, that means planning to use
NFP both when we are attempting or delaying pregnancy, all the while striving to hear
and do God’s will!

Michael and Alysha Chambers, Diocese of Arlington, Va., were married on September 24, 2005. This article first appeared in the Couple to Couple League’s Family Foundations (Jan/Feb. 2006). It has been edited to fit this publication and is printed with permission. Microsoft Word – Witness-Chambers.doc (

Natural Family Planning and Marital Chastity: The Effects of Periodic Abstinence on Marital Relationships

Natural Family Planning and Marital Chastity: The Effects of Periodic Abstinence on Marital Relationships – Richard J. Fehring, Michael D. Manhart, 2021 (

The study published in the Linacre Quarterly evaluated the effects of periodic abstinence on marital relationships. According to the authors, “this study showed that ever-use of natural family planning (NFP) among ever-married women was associated with 58 percent lower odds of divorce than among women who never-used NFP. Ever-use of contraceptive methods was associated with two times the odds of divorce and four times for cohabitation compared to those women who never-used those methods. The use of periodic abstinence with NFP is the practice of marital chastity and is thought to strengthen the marital relationship”.

Oral contraceptives could impair women’s recognition of complex emotions

Oral contraceptives could impair women’s recognition of complex emotions – Science & research news | Frontiers (

— by Matthew Prior, Frontiers science writer

The pill could be blurring your social judgment – but perhaps not enough so you’d notice. By challenging women to identify complex emotional expressions like pride or contempt, rather than basic ones like happiness or fear, scientists have revealed subtle changes in emotion recognition associated with oral contraceptive pill (OCP) use. Published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, their study found that OCP users were nearly 10% worse on average than non-users in deciphering the most enigmatic emotional expressions, raising questions over the possible impact of OCPs on social interactions in intimate relationships.

What are the risks and benefits of OCP use?

Women deciding whether to take an oral contraceptive have access to a lot of reliable information about the potential physical effects.

Besides birth control, hormonal contraceptives can help control acne, heavy periods, and endometriosis – as well as reducing the risk of ovarian, uterine and colon cancers. On the downside, the pill can increase slightly the risk of breast and cervical cancer, blood clots and high blood pressure.

But the psychological effects of OCP use are less well documented.

“More than 100 million women worldwide use oral contraceptives, but remarkably little is known about their effects on emotion, cognition and behavior,” says study senior author Dr Alexander Lischke of the University of Greifswald, Germany.

“However, coincidental findings suggest that oral contraceptives impair the ability to recognize emotional expressions of others, which could affect the way users initiate and maintain intimate relationships.”

OCP users are worse at recognizing subtle expressions of complex emotions

To further investigate the effects of OCPs on women’s emotion recognition, the researchers administered a special emotion recognition task to two similar groups of healthy women: 42 OCP users, and 53 non-users.

“If oral contraceptives caused dramatic impairments in women’s emotion recognition, we would have probably noticed this in our everyday interactions with our partners,” suggests Lischke. “We assumed that these impairments would be very subtle, indicating that we had to test women’s emotion recognition with a task that was sensitive enough to detect such impairments. We, thus, used a very challenging emotion recognition task that required the recognition of complex emotional expressions from the eye region of faces”

The results were, as expected, subtle – but very clear: OCP users were less accurate in the recognition of the most subtle complex expressions than non-users – by nearly 10%, on average.

“Whereas the groups were equally good at recognizing easy expressions, the OCP users were less likely to correctly identify difficult expressions.”

The effect held for both positive and negative expressions, and regardless of the type of OCP or the menstrual cycle phase of non-users.

Should clinical guidelines change?

According to Lischke, the findings are consistent with previous research.

“Cyclic variations of estrogen and progesterone levels are known to affect women’s emotion recognition, and influence activity and connections in associated brain regions. Since oral contraceptives work by suppressing estrogen and progesterone levels, it makes sense that oral contraceptives also affect women’s emotion recognition However, the exact mechanism underlying oral contraceptive induced changes in women’s emotion recognition remains to be elucidated.”

He stresses the need for further studies that replicate and extend the findings of the present study before thinking about changing current guidelines regarding the prescription of OCPs.

“Further studies are needed to investigate whether oral contraceptive-induced impairments in emotion recognition depend on the type, duration or timing of use. These studies should also investigate whether these impairments actually alter women’s ability to initiate and maintain intimate relationships. If this turns out to be true, we should provide women with more detailed information about the consequences of oral contraceptive use.”

Original article: Oral Contraceptives Impair Complex Emotion Recognition in Healthy Women

Share this:

Why Natural Family Planning Differs
from Contraception

Pope John Paul II

In 1998 Pope John Paul II wrote a letter to Dr. Anna Cappella, director of the Center for
Research and Study on the Natural Regulation of Fertility at Rome’s Catholic University of the
Sacred Heart. The occasion was a convention commemorating Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s
1968 encyclical. Excerpts are reprinted below.

I hope that everyone will benefit from a closer study of the Church’s teaching on
the truth of the act of love in which spouses become sharers in God’s creative action.

The truth of this act stems from its being an expression of the spouses’ reciprocal
personal giving
, a giving that can only be total since the person is one and indivisible. In the act that expresses their love, spouses are called to make a reciprocal gift of themselves to each other in the totality of their person: nothing that is part of their being can be excluded from this gift. This is the reason for the intrinsic unlawfulness of contraception: it introduces a substantial limitation into this reciprocal giving, breaking that “inseparable connection” between the two meanings of the conjugal act, the unitive and the procreative, which, as Pope Paul VI pointed out, are written by God himself into the nature of the human being (HV, no. 12).

Continuing in this vein, the great pontiff rightly emphasized the “essential difference”
between contraception and the use of natural methods in exercising “responsible procreation.” It is an anthropological difference because in the final analysis, it involves two irreconcilable concepts of the person and of human sexuality (cf. Familiaris Consortio, no. 32).

It is not uncommon in current thinking for the natural methods of fertility regulation to be separated from their proper ethical dimension and to be considered in their merely functional aspect. It is not surprising then that people no longer perceive the profound difference between these and the artificial methods. As a result, they go so far as to speak of them as if they were another form of contraception. But this is certainly not the way they should be viewed or applied.

On the contrary, it is only in the logic of the reciprocal gift between man and woman that the natural regulation of fertility can be correctly understood and authentically lived as the proper expression of a real and mutual communion of love and life. It is worth repeating here that “the person can never be considered as a means to an end, above all never a means of ‘pleasure.’ The person is and must be nothing other than the end of every act. Only then does the action correspond to the true dignity of the person.” (cf. Letter to Families, no. 12).

The Church is aware of the various difficulties married couples can encounter, especially in the present social context, not only in following but also in the very understanding of the moral norm that concerns them. Like a mother, the Church draws close to couples in difficulty to help them; but she does so by reminding them that the way to finding a solution to their problems must come through full respect for the truth of their love. “It is an outstanding manifestation of charity toward souls to omit nothing from the saving doctrine of Christ,” Paul VI admonished (HV, no. 29).

The Church makes available to spouses the means of grace which Christ offers in
and invites them to have recourse to them with ever renewed confidence. She exhorts them in particular to pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is poured out in their hearts through the efficacy of their distinctive sacrament: this grace is the source of the interior energy they need to fulfill the many duties of their state, starting with that of being consistent with the truth of conjugal love. At the same time, the Church urgently requests the commitment of scientists, doctors, health-care personnel and pastoral workers to make available to married couples all those aids which prove an effective support for helping them fully to live their vocation (cf. HV, no. 23-27).

Overturning Roe Does Not Stop Doctors From Treating Ectopic Pregnancies or Miscarriages

Micaiah Bilger 

Overturning Roe Does Not Stop Doctors From Treating Ectopic Pregnancies or Miscarriages –

A dangerous lie is circulating on social media again, planting the notion in women’s and girls’ minds that pro-life laws ban life-saving treatment for ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages.

Doctors, pro-life and other publications have refuted the false claim numerous times, pointing to clear language in pro-life laws, medical facts, statements by medical professionals and providers.

But it resurfaced again this week after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in a historic ruling and states began protecting unborn babies from abortion again.

This week, millions of impressionable women and girls heard from celebrities like Halle Berry and Meghan Markle that pro-life laws will put their lives in jeopardy and ban life-saving pregnancy care, according to The Federalist.

“The treatment for an ectopic pregnancy is abortion,” Berry wrote in a tweet that amassed hundreds of thousands of responses. “… The treatment for a miscarriage that your body won’t release is abortion. If you can’t get those abortions, you die. You. Die.”

Politicians like Hillary Clinton and the mayor of San Francisco, writers at ABC News, NBC Newsthe Daily Beast and others spouted similar claims, The Federalist reports.

But they are not true, and the lie could put women’s lives at risk. Women suffering from life-threatening complications could delay seeking medical treatment because of the lie and put their lives at even greater risk.

“My heart is breaking that women are being made to feel fearful by the misinformation that’s out there,” said Dr. Christina Francis, a leading pro-life OB-GYN. “As a pro-life OB/GYN who’s practiced my entire career in hospitals that do not allow abortions, I have never been prevented from safely treating an ectopic pregnancy.”

Pro-life doctors and hospitals have and will continue to treat women suffering from miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies, too, said Francis, of the American Association of Pro-Life OB-GYNs.

She said treating ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages or other life-threatening conditions in pregnancy are not the same as elective abortions, which is what pro-life laws prohibit. Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that chemical abortions, or abortion drugs, cannot treat an ectopic pregnancy, Francis continued.

“I’ve never needed to perform an elective abortion, and yet I’ve been able to take care of women with ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages throughout my career,” she said.

Treatments for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies are not the same as abortions because the purpose is to save the mother’s life, not to kill an unborn baby. Even Planned Parenthood admits this on its website, lawyer Mary FioRito with the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture pointed out on Twitter this week.

Sharing an image from the abortion group’s website, FioRito wrote: “Catholic hospitals treat women with ectopic pregnancies every day. Abortion clinics don’t. Most abortion practitioners aren’t even ON/GYNs, much less surgeons. Planned Parenthood recommends women go to a local ER to be treated. Not to an abortion clinic.”

The Charlotte Lozier Institute also published a fact sheet this week that explains the facts about miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and abortion laws.

Legally, most laws that restrict or ban abortions specifically state that treatments for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies are not abortions, and all pro-life laws allow exceptions if the mother’s life is at risk, which includes such situations.

The truth is women’s lives matter to the pro-life movement, too. Many pro-life leaders have suffered miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and abortions themselves, and they know the heartache of losing a child. The pro-life movement is based on the fundamental belief that every human life is valuable and deserving of human rights, and that includes every mother and every child.


by Stefani Kreifels

Martin and I decided to use Natural Family Planning (NFP) because it’s what is best for our marriage (even though the world tells us otherwise) we knew NFP would lead us to the most fruitful marriage, but not without its cross. Understanding NFP and its purpose in our life showed us God’s never-ending love and how we can, with Him, create new life. Once we understood sacrificial love and the deeper love it brings forth our cross seemed a little lighter. Leaning on God’s will and wisdom led us to true happiness.

Couples who use NFP have a less than 4% divorce rate, and when those couples pray together and attend mass every Sunday the divorce rate is less than 1%.

Times Review, La Crosse, WI, February 15, 2000

We wanted to give ourselves the best chance at a healthy and happy marriage. Not only do the statistics speak loud and clear, but NFP is also in line with the Church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality, it’s the only approved method for spacing children. NFP still allows the couple to grow in love for each other and God by inviting Him into our marriage.

Using NFP (CRMS) has helped us experience faithfulness. Having had some ups and downs with understanding all that comes with Natural Family Planning, I have grown closer to Jesus and the Church’s teachings on marriage and family. It is only when we are faced with challenges that we seek to find the truth and understanding. Reading books about Natural Family Planning, Theology of the Body, and
what it means to be a Godly wife and mother has improved my understanding of God’s plan for me.

My husband and I have improved our communication and how we work together. My husband’s faithfulness has grown also, and he, too, understands God’s plan for him as the spiritual leader
of our family. Keep the invitation into your marriage always open to Him and he will make everything fruitful.

“Sweeter even than to have had the joy of children of my own has it been for me to help bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so that their unborn little ones could not be willed away from them.”

— Susan B. Anthony

Purity: Reverence for Mystery

By: Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

The two words most often abused today are “freedom” and “sex.” Freedom is often used to mean absence of law, and sex is used to justify absence from restraint. Sometimes the two words fuse into the one, “license.” Reason, which should be used to justify God’s law, is thus invoked to justify human lawlessness and carnality with two spurious arguments. The first is that every person must be self-expressive, that purity is self-negation; therefore, it is destructive of freedom and personality.

The second argument is that nature has given to every person certain impulses and instincts, and that principal among them is sex. Therefore, one ought to follow these instincts without the taboos and restrictions which religion and custom impose. Consequently, purity is looked upon as negative and cold, or as a remnant of Puritanism, monasticism, and Victorian strait-lacedness, despite the fact that the Lord of the Universe in the first of the Beatitudes said: “Blessed are the clean of heart; they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8)

Purity is as self-expressive as impurity, though in a different way. There are two ways in which a locomotive can be self-expressive: either by keeping its pressure within the limits imposed by the designer and the engineer, or by blowing up and jumping the tracks. The first self-expression is the perfection of the locomotive; the second is its destruction. In like manner, a person may be self-expressive either by obeying the laws of his nature, or by rebelling against them, which rebellion ends in slavery and frustration. Suppose the same argument of self-expression were used in war as is used to justify carnal license. In that case, a soldier at the front who, on hearing screaming shells, dropped his gun and ran to the rear line, would be greeted by a captain full of modern self-expression and told: “I commend you for throwing off Victorian convention and moral scruples. The trouble with the rest of the army is that they are not self-expressive; they overcome their fear and fight. I shall recommend a medal of honor for asserting your personality.”

There is no quarreling with those who say, “Be yourself.” The point is, which is your true self: is it to be a beast, or to be a child of God? Those who get over the wickedness of licentiousness say: “Thank God, I am myself again.” This is real self-expression.

Taken from Three to Get Married, Chapter 8

U.S. birth rate sees a slight bump for the first time in seven years

By Bridget Sielicki

U.S. birth rate sees a slight bump for the first time in seven years (

A provisional report published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that a total of 3,659,289 babies were born in 2021, which marks a one percent increase in the birth rate from 2020. This is the first rise in births the United States has seen since 2014.

While the overall birth rate rose, births for teens aged 15-19 declined six percent, which ABC News said is a record low. Women in their 30s saw the highest rise in fertility rates. Additionally, the birthrate rose two percent for white and Hispanic women but declined by two percent to three percent for Black, Asian, and Native American women.

Analysts predict that the slight rise was due to people overcoming their initial fears about the Covid-19 pandemic.

“That sort of suggests [that] when we saw the decline in births from 2019 to 2020, probably a lot of births were postponed,” Dr. Brady Hamilton, the lead author of the report and works with the NCHS Division of Vital Statistics, told ABC News. “People were waiting to see what happened [with the pandemic] and rates rose in older women as they may have proceeded to have that child.”

Despite the marginal rise in births, the country still faces an uphill battle when it comes to achieving a replaceable birth rate. In order to be demographically solvent, the average woman needs to have 2.1 children over the course of her childbearing years — the current rate stands at 1.7 children per woman.

“I’m not going to get too excited about this,” Kenneth Johnson, a demographer at the University of New Hampshire, told the New York Times. “It’s really a very modest increase.”

Notwithstanding the current rise, the U.S. has faced a steady decline in birth rates for years. As the New York Times points out, the current year’s slight rise is still less than the overall births in 2019. As Live Action News has previously reported, abortion undoubtedly contributes to the declining birth rates, as does the use of birth control, rising childcare costs, and the lack of support for mothers and families. Many people still buy into the lie that the world is on the brink of overpopulation, despite the data suggesting otherwise. Yet, instead of pushing policies that encourage and support families — which would, in turn, lead to a robust nation and economy — many in the government today still push for abortion as the only way to boost an ailing economy.

Young Girls Are Over-Prescribed Birth Control Pills

This common medical practice can interfere with normal hormones and lead to side effects


Young Girls Are Over-Prescribed Birth Control Pills (

Some 14 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 are currently taking hormonal birth control pills in America, according to government data. That’s more than 10 million people, about the equivalent of the entire population of Portugal.

According to a 2019 United Nations report, about 151 million women take the pill worldwide.

Kristin, a mom of two, was one of them. She was prescribed birth control pills when she was still in high school. While her doctor told her the pills would help with her headaches and irregular and heavy periods, no one talked to her about the risks associated with taking them.

However, when she was 20 years old, she had an elective surgery. Although Kristin had no complications from the surgery itself, a few days later, she was unable to take a full deep breath and she felt a pain in her arm. She knew something was seriously wrong, but she had no idea that she was having a pulmonary embolism.

A pulmonary embolism, which can be lethal, happens when a blood clot gets logged in an artery in the lungs.

This medical crisis, which kept her hospitalized for six days and on medication for six months afterward, was from taking hormonal birth control pills as a teen, Kristin told me.

“Everyone has been in agreement that it was from the birth control,” said Kristin, who asked not to use her last name because she’s currently part of a class-action lawsuit.

Oral Contraceptives Increase Risk of Death

Indeed, in 2018 a team of researchers, led by Dr. Lynn Keenan, M.D., at the University of California–San Francisco’s Fresno campus, found that women who use oral contraceptive are between three and nine times more likely to have of blood clots in the lungs, legs, and brain than women who don’t take oral contraceptives.

They also face a much higher risk of death because of blood clots. The same study found that between 300 and 400 healthy young women die unnecessarily every year due to hormonal birth control.

“Women should be informed of these risks,” the researchers concluded.

Pill Linked to Depression, Bloating

Taking hormonal birth control is also associated with a host of other negative health outcomes.

For example, a 2016 study of a million women in Denmark found that taking hormonal contraception was associated with depression, especially in teenagers.

Oral contraceptives have also been linked to lower levels of the steroid hormone DHEA in the blood and a decreased ability to gain muscle during exercise, according to a 2009 study.

Another older study, from 2008, found that these pills can cause bloating, while an earlier study found that oral contraceptives lead to women having more subcutaneous fat and other changes in the way the body stores fat.

Though many women report gaining weight while taking the pill, the peer-reviewed literature on this seems to be inconclusive, according to a 2014 Cochrane review.

It’s clear from the scientific literature, however, that oral birth control use also increases a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer and cervical cancer.

Routinely Prescribed, Not for Birth Control

“Neither of my daughters can menstruate on their own,” a mom of two young adults, ages 21 and 23, told me recently. “They’ve both been on the pill since they were teens.”

While girls in the United States usually begin menstruating around age 11 or 12, the onset of menses is widely variable and precocious puberty (before age 8) is becoming more common. Recent research from Italy has found that precocious puberty has increased during COVID-19. One team of researchers hypothesized that this may be due to stress, lack of sunlight, lack of exercise, and exposure to a higher number of environmental toxins, especially endocrine disruptors.

Doctors routinely prescribe birth control pills to tweens, teens, and young adults who are menstruating but not sexually active to treat the following conditions:

  • Acne
  • Amenorrhea (lack of menstruation)
  • Cramps and other menstrual pain
  • Endometriosis
  • Heavy periods
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • PMS and mood swings

I found this out when my oldest daughter, who is 22 now, was still in middle school.

“Mom,” she said to me one day, “I think I should take the pill to help me with my acne. That’s what my friends are doing and they say it works.”

Harms of Hormonal Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills disrupt the endocrine system, essentially fooling the body into believing it is pregnant, in order to stop ovulation.

We know we should try to avoid disrupting children’s hormones. As Joseph Braun, Ph.D., an associate professor of epidemiology at Brown University, explained in a 2017 peer-reviewed article, endocrine-disrupting chemicals increase the risk of childhood diseases “by disrupting hormonally mediated processes critical for growth and development,” and may be contributing to obesity and neurodevelopmental problems.

“In residency, you learn to use birth control like you learn to wash your hands,” said Nathan Riley, M.D., who is unabashedly critical of the practice of prescribing contraceptives to young woman to treat menstrual problems.

“You bring it out anytime that anyone has an issue,” Riley said. “We use it for everything. You’ve got a quote ‘lady problem’? Let’s put you on birth control.”

Then, he said, if the birth control pills themselves cause side effects, doctors add more prescription medications to the mix.

“Synthetic hormones lead to mood disorders, depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders, among other things, all of this is well documented,” Riley said. “Women have complained about everything under the sun. But their doctors say it’s not the birth control. And instead of stopping the medication that started the problem, their doctor gives them an antidepressant.”

He believes this is harmful, arguing that the practice of rushing patients through appointments and writing prescriptions for the pill makes the pharmaceutical industry richer, while making female patients sicker.

Hormonal birth control alleviates symptoms without treating the underlying problems, he said. The key, he insisted when we spoke, is to treat the root cause of the menstrual irregularities.

For instance, a woman’s periods may be irregular because she’s severely anemic, either because she is not eating iron-rich foods or suffering from malabsorption.

Thyroid malfunction can also be at the root of menstrual irregularities, Riley said. As can poor liver function and disrupted gut health.

All of these health problems are treatable, he said. While prescription medications can help for the short-term, the goal is to get the body back in balance. To do so, he talks to his patients about making lifestyle changes, including dietary improvements, engaging in daily movement and exercise, getting adequate and high quality hydration, improving sleep, limiting exposure to electromagnetic fields, learning to do breathwork, and improving both your attitude and your emotional intelligence.

“Sometimes you do need a temporizing measure like birth control,” Riley said. “But it shouldn’t be used for long.”

Marie (her middle name) is a 32-year-old lawyer based on the East Coast. She was first prescribed birth control pills for endometriosis when she was 15, and it seemed to help.

Besides, she really liked taking the pill: It made her breasts bigger and cleared up her acne. So when her periods suddenly became more painful, even on the pill, and her doctor told her to start taking it continuously (so she would not menstruate at all), she didn’t think to question it.

Her doctors said taking the pill would help her avoid surgery for endometriosis. But she ended up having surgery anyway, in 2018, to cauterize tissue in her pelvic cavity.

It wasn’t until Marie had a miscarriage at age 27 and it took 15 months to get pregnant again—and only with the help of fertility drugs—that she started to regret taking hormonal birth control for so many years.

The science is inconclusive about whether the pill negatively affects fertility. In fact, some studies, such as one published in 2002 in Human Reproduction, show it may increase the odds of getting pregnant after quitting the pill.

But when I interviewed the late science writer Barbara Seaman, who had written several books about women and hormones, several years ago, she insisted that hormonal birth control is a causative factor in infertility and that it can take women as long as 12 to 24 months after taking the pill to become pregnant without assistance.

Marie, like many other women, is convinced her long-term use of birth control for endometriosis contributed to some of her continuing health challenges, including fertility issues.

“I was just not healthy as a teenager,” she confessed.

For Kristin, the decision to go on birth control as a teenager and subsequent pulmonary embolism made her two pregnancies more dangerous. She was considered high-risk and had to inject herself with anticoagulants during the pregnancy and for one month afterward.

“I will never be on any hormones ever again,” Kristin told me. “I really wish I knew of alternate, more natural ways to have treated my adolescent issues. The psychological damage it’s caused is irreversible. I hate how doctors are so quick to take out that pen and pad and throw meds at teenagers.”

Reprinted with permission from The Epoch Times (

Birth control and blood clots

The 25-year-old model Hailey Bieber was hospitalized last month. Her face started drooping, and she found herself unable to speak. At the hospital, she learned that she had suffered a blood clot that caused a transient ischemic attack or ministroke. Bieber released a video explaining what caused what she called “the scariest moment of my life.”

Birth control was a factor that led to a blood clot in her brain. “I had just recently started birth control pills, which I should have never been on because I am somebody who suffered from migraines anyway. And I just did not talk to my doctor about this,” she said. “So ladies, if you suffer from bad migraines and you plan on being on birth control pills, make sure you tell your doctor because having a stroke is a potential side effect from birth control pills.”

Some types of birth control methods are linked to clotting problems. The pill, the patch, and the ring contain the hormone estrogen which increases the risk of dangerous blood clots. Although estrogen is known to affect multiple variables in the coagulation system, the exact molecular mechanism of estrogen-induced thrombosis is not totally understood. Estrogens in the pill, the patch, or the ring cause the body to hormonally imitate pregnancy. In doing so, they not only prevent pregnancy but program the woman’s body to produce more clotting factor proteins. Their bodies actually produce clotting to protect them from any bleeding challenge that might occur with a miscarriage or during childbirth. These same changes caused by hormonal contraception put women at an increased risk for blood clots.

How common is the risk to develop a blood clot?

According to the FDA if 10,000 women who are not pregnant and do not use birth control pills are followed for one year, between 1 and 5 of these women will develop a blood clot. The chance of clots is 2 to 6 times greater among women taking the pill vs. women who don’t use birth control and the risk increases 6.5 times for women using the ring. One reason patches and rings are more dangerous is because the amount of estrogen absorbed from them is reported to be 60 percent higher than the amount of estrogen delivered by pills. The risk is greater for a woman who has a clotting disorder, a family history of blood clots, or who previously experienced a blood clot.

How can you reduce your risk?

It is projected that 300- 400 healthy women will die from blot clots associated with the use of contraception. There are healthier and safer options for women to avoid the risk of blood clots associated with hormonal birth control use. Natural Family Planning (NFP), doesn’t have the side effects of hormonal birth control, is based on the understanding of the woman’s body, and can help women to monitor their reproductive health.

Women who suffer blot clot disorders can experience heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding at the time of ovulation each month. Heavy menstrual bleeding can be monitored with an NFP method and can be managed without the use of dangerous hormonal birth control. 

Creating babies to kill: The union of IVF and “selective reduction”

By Nancy Flanders 

Research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology regarding selective reduction abortions suggests that “reducing” triplet pregnancies to singletons versus “reducing” to twins creates a better chance of seeing the surviving babies born at an older gestational age and a greater birth weight. But there are many ethical issues to unpack with regard to this research.

Selective reduction means that certain children are targeted for death in the womb as they grow alongside their siblings. given the fact that the majority of twins and triplets in the United States are created using fertility assistance such as IVF, this means they are being created only to be destroyed through selective reduction despite little proof that selective reduction abortion will save the lives of the other babies.

Kamran Hessami, MD, a postdoctoral research fellow in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine said that it is “not completely clear” from the research whether reducing to singletons instead of to twins actually improves outcomes for the surviving babies. While the surviving singletons were born later and heavier than the surviving twins, there was “no substantial difference for the rates of early pregnancy loss and neonatal death,” according to the study.

This means that the twins had a greater chance of preterm birth but not of dying.

Additional research shows that the rate of loss is similar in triplet pregnancies that have been reduced compared to triplet pregnancies that have not been reduced. In this study of 132 triplet pregnancies, 30 sets of parents decided to abort one of the babies. 102 opted to manage the pregnancy with all three babies. While the women who aborted one of their babies delivered at a later average gestational age (32.52 weeks vs 34 weeks), there were no neonatal deaths for any of the babies. Four of the pregnancies in the non-abortion group were lost, compared to one in the selective reduction group, which researchers noted as “no difference.”

This begs the question: Why are doctors killing a triplet or two triplets with no proof that it will make a significant difference in the survival rates for the non-aborted sibling or siblings?

The answer seems to be that selective reduction may reduce some of the risks to the mother’s health associated with a triplet pregnancy. The non-abortion group experienced greater rates of preterm labor, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes, and spent more days in the hospital after birth. No mothers died in either group.

Creating babies to kill them

What isn’t mentioned in the research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology is how these babies came to be in the first place. The researchers identified 10 studies published between 2012 and 2020 involving 2,392 triplet pregnancies.

The natural twin pregnancy rate is about 2% while the twin pregnancy rate with fertility assistance is as high as 40%. More than one-third of the twins and more than three-quarters of the triplets and higher-order multiples born in the U.S. resulted from fertility treatments, signaling that many of the triplets in the study were created using IVF or other fertility assistance methods. In other words, these babies were purposefully created to meet adults’ desire to have a baby, but then, any “extra” babies were killed through selective reduction abortion.

Take Calli and Ashley, for example. They used a sperm donor and stimulated ovulation even though Calli knew she produced more follicles than the average woman. When she became pregnant, there were five babies — babies that she and her partner Ashley paid to create in order to fill their own desires. But five was too many, they decided, because they didn’t want Calli to have to go on bed rest or have one of them quit their jobs to take care of five babies. So they decided to kill three of the babies by injecting feticide into their beating hearts at 12 weeks.

Children are not products to be bought, sold, or returned. Yet that’s what is happening with selective reduction abortions. Children are being purposefully created by adults who know there is a risk of multiples, and then those adults are killing the extra children they created.

IVF increases pregnancy complication risk

While the health and life of the mother should be considered with the utmost respect and care, doctors know what the risks are and should therefore be prepared to handle them. There is a known increased risk to the mother’s health during pregnancies created using IVF — meaning that these parents and fertility specialists are not only creating “extra” babies that they later abort, but they also know that these mothers will be at an increased risk for complications.

Women who have had fertility treatments — especially IVF — are likely at a higher risk for serious pregnancy complications compared to women who become pregnant naturally. According to a study that looked at 814,000 births and stillbirths in Ontario between 2006 and 2012, rates of severe pregnancy complications were about 31 per 1,000 IVF-assisted pregnancies and 22 per 1,000 for natural pregnancies.

Overall, “[W]e found that the women who received infertility treatment, especially in vitro fertilization, were about 40 percent more likely to experience a severe pregnancy complication compared with women who gave birth without any treatment,” said Dr. Natalie Dayan, director of obstetrical medicine at McGill University Health Center, in a journal news release.

Killing instead of healing

Of the 2,392 triplet pregnancies the researchers analyzed, 1,903 were reduced to twins and 489 were reduced to singletons. The majority were killed through the use of potassium chloride injections to cause cardiac arrest, while 68 were killed through aspiration abortion.

One of the risks of selective reduction abortion is the miscarriage of the other babies. In the process of killing these “selectively reduced” human beings, no health conditions or illnesses were healed; they were killed in the hopes of preventing future complications for their mothers.

For many parents, it is fear alone that drives their decision to kill some of their babies in hopes that the others will thrive or that the mother’s health remains stable. But rather than instill fear in patients, it is important that those in the medical community offer hope. Doctors should be studying and learning how to best help all of the babies survive, and then implementing what they have learned.

Killing doesn’t advance medicine. Searching for ways to help does. Today, babies born at 21 weeks have a chance of surviving when given medical care. If certain doctors had never tried to save these babies, then progress would never have been made, and micro-preemies born today would still have no chance.

Meanwhile, preventable maternal deaths have been increasing in the United States despite wide access to abortion. There is a shortage of doctors offering maternity care, and what’s worse is that many doctors largely dismiss women’s symptoms until it’s too late.

It’s a horrific cycle. Fertility doctors allow the creation of ‘multiples’ pregnancies knowing the increased risk to women from both IVF and the number of children in the womb. Then they kill the babies they created and successfully implanted in an attempt to lessen those risks.

Doctors are meant to heal patients and help them thrive — all of them, not just the select few. Killing must never be a solution to health concerns that may arise. Mothers and babies deserve better.

Overpopulation myth challenged

Elon Musk challenges ‘overpopulation’ narrative, warns about risks of low birth rate – LifeSite (

Eccentric billionaire and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has once again issued a warning about the risk posed by low birth rates, rejecting the assessments of global “experts” who continue to insist that there are too many people occupying the planet.

“Most people in the world are operating under the false impression that there are too many people,” Elon Musk told Mathias Döpfner, the CEO of German publishing company Axel Springer last week. 

“This is not true,” the 50-year-old Tesla and SpaceX founder said. “Earth could maintain a population many times the current level. And the birth rate has been dropping like crazy.”

Effectiveness Study of the Marquette Method of Natural Family Planning Program

A study published in the journal The Linacre Quarterly involved ten sites across the United States and Canada to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Marquette Method of Natural Family Planning (NFP). 

The Marquette Model of NFP uses urine fertility biomarkers collected at home that measure hormone levels.  These biomarkers can be used in conjunction with other biomarkers such as cervical mucus or basal body temperature and an algorithm to determine the woman’s fertility cycle.

The multisite study used Statistical Data Analysis to determine typical unintended pregnancy rates for a total of 1,221 women.

The authors of the study reported there were forty-two unintended pregnancies which provided a typical use unintended pregnancy rate of 6.7 per 100 women over twelve months of use. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Marquette Method is as effective as the Pill, patch, ring, or injectable birth control methods.

Further analysis revealed that eleven of the forty-two unintended pregnancies were associated with the correct use of the method. The total unintended pregnancy rate over twelve months of use was 2.8 per 100 for women with regular cycles, 8.0 per 100 women for postpartum and breastfeeding women, and 4.3 per 100 for women with irregular menstrual cycles.

It was reported that The Marquette Model was effective when provided by health professionals who completed the Marquette Model NFP teacher training program.

The use of NFP includes the identification of important biomarkers during the fertility cycle. These signs can be used to identify not only fertile and infertile phases of the cycle but also potential health problems.  The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology have recommended adolescents and young women monitor the menstrual cycle as a vital sign. Women of all reproductive ages benefit from monitoring their menstrual cycle to identify and monitor health problems such as unusual uterine bleeding, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, metabolic syndrome, eating disorders, and sub-fertility.

Healthcare providers can successfully incorporate NFP services into their practice with appropriate training. They will assist their patients to choose healthy and effective family planning methods. NFP programs can contribute to the promotion of health and prevention of disease.

Birth Control Can Negatively Affect  Muscle Gains in Young Women

Many young women who exercise regularly and use oral contraceptives (OCs) are not aware of the effects of hormones on their body composition. High-intensity workouts and weight-lifting exercises usually result in muscle gain. Taking potent hormones such as birth control pills could impair muscle response to standardized exercise.

A study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research compared the muscle growth of women on hormonal birth control and those who were not using hormonal contraception. The women were between the ages of 18-and 29 years and completed a 10-week total-body resistance training program designed to build muscle.

The authors of the study used hydrostatic weighing to determine body composition, and blood samples were taken before and after training to measure the hormones, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), DHEA sulfate (DHEAS), IGF-1, and cortisol levels.

The authors reported that the group of women who were on hormonal birth control developed 40% less lean muscle mass than the women who were not taking hormonal birth control. Additionally, there were significant differences in lean mass gains depending on the type of progestin in hormonal contraceptives users. The more androgenic progestin used less muscle gain was found. Hormonal profiles at rest and post-workout showed that the women taking birth control had lower levels of anabolic hormones (DHEA, DHEAS, and IGF-1), but higher levels of cortisol.

Muscle growth is influenced by several hormones in the woman’s body. Testosterone and growth hormone cause muscle gain. In contrast, cortisol is a catabolic hormone, meaning it breaks muscle tissue down.

The authors of the study concluded that the diminished lean mass may be related to the effect of hormonal contraceptives on anabolic and catabolic hormone levels. Also, progestin present in hormonal contraceptives may bind to androgen receptors and inhibit its function.

Young women need to be informed of the side effects and hormonal changes caused by birth control. Although more research needs to be done in this area, safer alternatives to birth control need to be considered to achieve not only muscle-focused fitness goals but general health and wellbeing.

How birth control, pregnancy, and abortion each impact a woman’s breast cancer risk

Christina Bennett 

Birth control, abortion, and breast cancer risk – Natural Womanhood

Given that one in eight women receive a devastating breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, virtually all women—myself included—want to know their personal risk factors for developing breast cancer and how to reduce their risk.  You may have heard that one common personal risk factor, hormonal birth control  use, increases your risk for breast cancer only slightlyaround 20%—and that this effect eventually goes away. A closer look at the evidence, however, shows the risk may be much higher for a particular group of women: namely, young women who use hormonal birth control before their first full-term pregnancy. They are at increased risk for developing breast cancer because their breast tissue is not fully developed, and is thereby especially susceptible to carcinogens (substances that can cause cancer) like the synthetic estrogen and progestin in hormonal birth control.  

Women Breast Cancer Support Charity Concept

Your breast cancer risk may be relative to childbearing and hormonal birth control use

In a recent Natural Womanhood article, “Does birth control prevent—or cause—cancer?” I discussed the increased breast cancer risk experienced by women on hormonal birth control, and the theory that birth control may increase breast cancer risk by overstimulating a woman’s breast cells. But research suggests that a woman’s breast cancer risk may also be related to when she begins using hormonal birth control. 

A 2007 meta-analysis of 34 studies showed that the risk of developing breast cancer before menopause was 19% higher for women who used birth control—which aligns with the often cited 20% increased risk for breast cancer [1]. But that risk rose to 44% when birth control was started before women had their first full-term pregnancy, and rose to 52% when birth control was used at least four years before their first full-term pregnancy.  

Young women who began birth control before age 20 had nearly double the risk of developing breast cancer by age 30 when compared with their peers who started birth control after age 20.

In a 2010 meta-analysis of 54 studies, young women who began birth control before age 20 had nearly double the risk of developing breast cancer by age 30 when compared with their peers who started birth control after age 20 [2]. That risk decreased as the group of women aged, but suggests that starting birth control at such a young age, when most women have not yet had children, could greatly affect breast cancer risk.  

Pregnancy and breast cancer risk

Angela Lanfranchi, MD, co-founder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute and Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, has written an extensive peer-reviewed article as well as brochures about how breast tissue develops before and during pregnancy, and much of what follows is based on her writings and insights shared during an interview with Natural Womanhood.  

Birth control-induced changes to breast tissue make-up and why they matter

As Dr. Lanfranchi explains, the breast is made up of milk-producing structures called lobules, of which there are four types: 1, 2, 3, and 4. Each type represents a different stage of development, with type 1 being the least mature and type 4 being the most mature. Women who have never been pregnant and carried a child to term have breasts that are primarily made up of immature type 1 and 2 lobules. This makes their breasts more susceptible to carcinogens, because immature lobules have far more estrogen and progesterone receptors present than more mature type 3 and 4 lobules.

When type 1 or 2 lobules are exposed to estrogen and progesterone (including the synthetic versions found in hormonal birth control), their cells begin multiplying—and each time a cell splits into two, it runs the risk of making an error in the DNA, also known as a mutation. Mutations can lead to cancer.  “That’s why breast cancer will only start in immature lobules,” said Dr. Lanfranchi. She added that cancer simply “doesn’t happen” in type 3 or 4 lobules.  

Breast tissue make-up in women who have carried full-term pregnancies

In contrast, the breast cancer risk for women who have already carried a child to term may be less affected by hormonal birth control, precisely because their breast tissue has fully matured to type 4 lobules during pregnancy. 

By week 32 of pregnancy, or midway through the third trimester, 70% of the lobules have become type 4, and that proportion rises to 85% by the end of the third trimester. At delivery, the breast is made up of mostly mature, type 4 lobules—and, for the most part, once breast tissue has matured, it stays that way. And while the appearance of the breast lobules does transition to type 3 after a child stops breastfeeding, the protective benefits of a full-term pregnancy against breast cancer development are largely permanent.  

How breast tissue make-up is connected to the type of breast cancer diagnosis

Breast cancer that forms in type 1 lobules, known as ductal cancer, makes up about 85% of breast cancer diagnoses (type 1 lobules are mostly made up of ductal cells, hence why cancer in this area is named ductal cancer). Nearly the rest of breast cancer is found in type 2 lobules, and termed lobular cancer. Only rarely does breast cancer form elsewhere in the breast, such as in the muscle, fat, or blood vessels.  

When pregnancy ends prematurely, your breast cancer risk goes up 

Another important aspect of breast development is what happens to a woman’s breast tissue when she gets pregnant, but the pregnancy ends before full-term. Evidence suggests that when pregnancy is interrupted, either through an induced abortion, spontaneous miscarriage, or delivery before 32 weeks, the risk for breast cancer temporarily rises, because the types 1 and 2 lobules have multiplied but not yet matured into types 3 and then 4 lobules [3]. In essence, Dr. Lanfranchi explained, “Abortion [and, likewise, miscarriage and preterm delivery] increases your risk of breast cancer because it leaves your breasts with more places for cancers to start.”

To complicate matters, abortion can also increase breast cancer risk by hindering future full-term pregnancies. Abortion procedures can permanently weaken the cervix, a structure critical for carrying a baby to term. Research shows that pregnant women who previously had an abortion go on to have a higher risk of delivering their subsequent baby or babies early [4]. As with any woman who delivers prematurely, if a woman who has had a prior abortion goes on to have a subsequent pregnancy where she delivers before her type 1 and type 2 lobules mature around 32 weeks, she may not develop fully mature, cancer-resistant breast tissue–and therefore have a heightened risk for developing breast cancer. 

Given that 7 in 100 women taking hormonal birth control become pregnant within a year, and that many choose abortion with more than 600,000 procedures done in the United States in 2019 alone, women need better options for preventing pregnancy that do not involve synthetic hormones—and they need to be fully informed about the risks to their health that accompany abortion. Natural Womanhood encourages women to use fertility awareness methods, which have efficacy rates of preventing pregnancy that are equal or superior to the Pill, without the breast cancer risk and other harmful side effects of hormonal birth control.  


[1] Kahlenborn C, et al. Oral contraceptive use as a risk factor for premenopausal breast cancer: a meta-analysis. Mayo Clin Proc. 2006 Oct;81(10):1290-302. doi: 10.4065/81.10.1290. PMID: 17036554.

[2] Bjelic-Radisic, V., Petru, E. Hormonelle Kontrazeption und Brustkrebsrisiko. Wien Med Wochenschr 160, 483–486 (2010).

[3] Melbye, M., Wohlfahrt, J., Andersen, AM. et al. Preterm delivery and risk of breast cancer. Br J Cancer 80, 609–613 (1999).

[4] Shah PS, Zao J; Knowledge Synthesis Group of Determinants of preterm/LBW births. Induced termination of pregnancy and low birth weight and preterm birth: a systematic review and meta-analyses. BJOG. 2009 Oct;116(11):1425-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2009.02278.x. PMID: 19769749.

Depo-Provera and HIV transmission:
WHO to trust?

The following article about Depoprovera and HIV transmission guidelines was published in DifferenTakes. It is a publication of the Population and Development Program PopDev (

Editor’s note

Concerns about Depo-Provera and increased rates of HIV transmission are of vital importance to women’s health, especially to those at high risk of HIV acquisition. Despite compelling evidence of a Depo-Provera-HIV link and regulatory bodies’ unclear guidance around the method’s use,1 distribution of the injectable contraceptive has been on the rise. For instance, in 2017 the Indian government began offering free Depo injections through its public health system, despite opposition from women and health groups in India.2 Since 2008, a public-private partnership has tested and distributed the Sayana Press, which delivers a lower dosage formulation of Depo-Provera, in countries including Uganda, Senegal, and Niger.3

In this DifferenTakes, scholar C. Sathyamala critically examines the ECHO trial, which aimed to conclusively answer the Depo-Provera-HIV question. It ended in spring 2019. The author argues that the trial results add to the existing evidence that Depo-Provera increases the risk of HIV transmission. She challenges the World Health Organization’s June 13 statement reporting “no link.” This stance, she argues, dangerously misrepresents the study’s findings and, further, disregards key critical challenges, including those from AIDS and reproductive justice activists. As the author argues, the World Health Organization guidance fails to appropriately warn users of the potential risk associated with Depo-Provera use and wrongly concludes that it is “safe.”
— Anne Hendrixson

World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines recommend: “Women at a high risk of HIV infection are eligible to use all progestogen-only contraceptive methods without restriction(MEC Category 1), including progestogen-only pills (POPs), intramuscular and subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA-IM and DMPA-SC), norethisterone enanthate (NET-EN), levonorgestrel (LNG)
implants and etonogestrel (ETG) implants.”

Read Article HERE


  1. See for instance Marion Stevens, “Elevated Risk: Injectable Contraceptives and HIV—a Reproductive Justice
    Perspective from the Global South,” DifferenTakes, no. 90, Summer 2017,
  2. Shaifali Agrawal, “Risking Health Of Its Women, India Uses Controversial Contraceptive In Family
    Planning Programme,” IndiaSpend, October 18, 2017,
  3. See Daniel Bendix, Ellen E. Foley, Anne Hendrixson and Susanne Schultz, “Targets and Technologies: Sayana Press and Jadelle in
    Contemporary Population Policies,” Gender, Place & Culture,
  4. Evidence for Contraceptive Options and HIV Outcomes (ECHO) Trial Consortium, “HIV Incidence Among Women Using
    Intramuscular Depotmedroxyprogesterone Acetate, a Copper Intrauterine Device or a Levonorgestrel Implant for Contraception:
    A Randomised, Multicentre, Open-label Trial,” The Lancet, (June 13, 2019)
  5. See for instance, World Health Organization, “Hormonal Contraceptive and HIV: Science and Policy,” Geneva: World Health
    Organization, 2005, (
  6. Renee Heffron, Deborah Donnell, Helen Rees, et al., “Use of Hormonal Contraceptives and Risk of HIV-1 Transmission: A
    Prospective Cohort Study” Lancet Infectious Diseases, vol. 12, (February 2012): 19–26.
  7. Paula Donovan, “The UN’s Gag Order on Reproductive Health,” AIDS-Free World, February 13, 2012,
  8. World Health Organization, “Hormonal Contraception and HIV: Technical Statement. WHO/RHR/12.08.” Geneva: WHO, 2012,
  9. G. Justus Hofmeyr, Charles S. Morrison, Jared Baeten, et al., “Rationale and Design of a Multi-center, Open-label, Randomised
    Clinical Trial Comparing HIV Incidence and Contraceptive Benefits in Women Using Three Commonly-used Contraceptive
    Methods (the ECHO study), [version2; referees 2 approved],” Gates Open Research (2018), 1, 17.
  10. Gianni Di Perri, “How Does Contraceptive Use Increase the Risk of HIV Acquisition?” 15th European AIDS conference, October 21-
    24, 2015,
  11. Lauren J. Ralph, Sandra I. McCoy, Timothy Hallet and Nancy Padian, “Next Steps for Research on Hormonal Contraception and
    HIV,” The Lancet, vol. 382, no.9903 (June 28, 2013): 1467–1469.
  12. World Health Organization. “Hormonal Contraceptive Methods for Women at High Risk of HIV and Living with HIV, 2014 Guidance
    statement,” (2014),
  13. Lillian Mworeko and Mitchell Warren, “Women’s Response to new WHO statement on DMPA,” Letter to Dr. Margaret Chan,
    Director General of the World Health Organization and Dr. James Kiarie, Coordinator, Human Reproduction Team, World Health
    Organization. Undated.
  14. Ibid

Meet the advertising expert who inspired today’s anti-population propaganda

by Peter Jacobsen

Billboards have begun to pop up throughout Portland with a surprisingly personal message: stop having kids. While the idea itself is a bad one, as I’ll discuss later, one interesting question to ask is, where did this sentiment come from?

I’m not interested in diving into the history of the particular organization behind this campaign. Instead, a more interesting question is where and when did this sentiment in the United States originate?

To understand the roots of this misanthropic movement, we need to meet the advertising expert who used his fortune and expertise for the primary purpose of decreasing the number of humans: Hugh Moore (1887–1972).

Although not all roads lead to Moore, a significant portion of anti-population activities are connected to him. Moore’s most well-known claim to fame is his founding of the Dixie Cup Company, but he was aided by years of working in advertising.

Moore worked as an advertising solicitor for various publications including The Reform in Kansas City and then for The Packer where he was promoted to ad manager while in his second year of attendance at Harvard. Moore left the advertising business to run the Dixie cup company, but he never gave up on his interest in advertising. In fact, he channeled it elsewhere: anti-population propaganda.

Moore was inspired by William Vogt’s book Road to Survival which convinced him population growth would lead to the spread of wars and communism, among other calamities. So Moore got to work using his money and power to influence population discourse and policy.

Arguably, Moore’s most important influence was over Maj. General William Henry Draper Jr. General Draper’s influence on President Nixon was particularly important. Draper, a friend of Moore’s, was convinced of the dangers of population in part by Moore.

Moore’s influence through Draper began with the Draper Committee formed by then President Eisenhower. The committee itself was noted for being “top heavy with military men,” in the words of Senator William Fulbright.

The day after the committee was assembled, Hugh Moore sent his friend a lengthy wire which concluded, “If your committee does not look into the impact and implications of the population explosion, you will be derelict in your duty.”

The Draper committee made three recommendations:

  1. assistance to “developing” countries in establishing programs to check population growth
  2. increased assistance to maternal and child health programs
  3. support for research programs on population, including research by other countries and the United Nations.

According to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), this report and the conclusions were central to USAID (the international aid branch of the US government) establishing an Office of Population under President Richard Nixon.

Nixon wasn’t the first president to be influenced by the newly forming population lobby. His predecessor, Lyndon Johnson, was also influenced by Draper. In 1965, Draper and other members of the population establishment began to work on changes to the “Food for Peace” law which would give additional funding to countries that utilized population policies.

Outside of government, Moore worked diligently to tie aid success to population control. In 1969 he sponsored newspaper advertisements with the heading, “Latin American Aid Nullified by Population Explosion.”

And throughout his presidency, LBJ was thoroughly convinced of the relevance of population to aid. In a call with an advisor on famine in India, Johnson argued the country should be withheld aid because of their population.

“I’m not going to piss away foreign aid in nations where they refuse to deal with their own population problems,” Johnson said.

Over the next decade, India would take on one of the largest forced sterilization campaigns in history. The UNFPA went on to give India (and China) an Award for the population program in 1983.

As previously mentioned, Draper’s report was extremely influential on Richard Nixon as well. During Nixon’s administration, a new report was commissioned which would become one of the most infamous pieces of US population policy history.

In the early 1970s Nixon commissioned a report later made national policy by President Ford—National Security Study Memorandum 200. The report is surprisingly candid. NSSM 200 states,

“The U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries… That fact gives the U.S. enhanced interest in the political, economic, and social stability of the supplying countries. Wherever a lessening of population pressures through reduced birth rates can increase the prospects for such stability, population policy becomes relevant to resource supplies and to the economic interests of the United States.”

In other words, the US government was interested in lowering foreign populations in order to increase US access to raw materials. The report recognizes this sort of policy sounds bad. The solution? Don’t get caught.

“We must take care that our activities should not give the appearance to the LDCs of an industrialized country policy directed against the LDCs. Caution must be taken that in any approaches in this field we support in the LDCs are ones we can support within this country. ‘Third World’ leaders should be in the forefront and obtain the credit for successful programs. In this context it is important to demonstrate to LDC leaders that such family planning programs have worked and can work within a reasonable period of time” (NSSM 200).

The report discusses in detail how non-government organizations and foreign organizations can be used to provide cover. Lastly, and most chillingly, the report offers no clear condemnation of involuntary programs.

“In these sensitive relations, however, it is important in style as well as substance to avoid the appearance of coercion” (Emphasis added).

The report recommends influencing external actors to create, “improved world-wide support for population-related efforts” through “increased emphasis on mass media and other population education and motivation programs.”

Moore’s influence wasn’t limited to his influence on Draper. Moore’s public propaganda campaign began with his 1954 publication of the proactively titled pamphlet, “The Population Bomb.”

Demographers concerned about population were initially surprised by his colorful tactics, but Moore trusted his own marketing savvy. He told one demographer, “[y]ou’ve been raised in academic halls. I’ve been raised in the market place. I’m used to presenting facts dramatically. Students of demography have talked for years and nobody listened.”

The population bomb propaganda was a hit. The New York Times ran an article echoing the propaganda called The Population Explosion in May, 1961.

Moore’s phrase was also adopted by someone whose popularity overshadowed his own. Ecologist Paul Ehrlich asked if he could borrow the title for his 1968 book. Moore was happy to support Ehrlich’s book, which gained widespread popularity and even led to Ehrlich appearing on the TV show at the center of American television: Johnny Carson Tonight.

Hugh Moore paid for a slew of advertisements through his self-financed organization The Hugh Moore Fund. In a letter to Draper, Moore admitted to his intentional strategy of using mass marketing gimmicks.

“[W]e must gather the best and most clever public relations people, motivation experts, advertising specialists, sociologists…who can contribute to a no-fail campaign…There are geniuses in communications and selling who have sold the American public every gee-gaw and gimmick conceivable.”

The vehicle of paid space in newspapers was chosen. In his notes he wrote,

“[t]he Hugh Moore Fund has tried within its slender resources to meet this need by using paid space, for in paid space you can tell people what they should do, when they should do it and where.”

In 1967, Moore’s fund created “The Campaign to Check the Population Explosion” with Emerson Foote, the famous ex Tobacco advertising mogul, as the chair. The campaign created several advertisements. Here are two examples:

Many of these ads were published in paid space in the New York Times. This uses a favorite propaganda phrase: “the population bomb”.— Peter Jacobsen (@PeterPashute) March 29, 2022

The first ad, particularly heavy handed, suggests if population growth continues unchecked, you may be mugged! These are just two examples, but the ads targeted society, politicians, and even the Catholic church.

Along with the Hugh Moore fund and the Campaign to Check the Population Explosion, Moore supported, headed, and founded several other anti-population organizations. Notably, Moore became the president of The Human Betterment Association and renamed the organization The Association for Voluntary Sterilization, to more boldly articulate its mission.

Moore also founded the Population Crisis Committee (with Draper), which later changed its name to what it is today—Population Action International. Moore was also Chairman of the Population Reference Bureau, a think tank dedicated to supporting “evidence-based policies” related to demography and health. He also served as VP of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Many of these organizations continue to exist today and attempt to influence public policy and public opinion in the same way Moore did during his lifetime. So although the billboard in Portland couldn’t be Moore’s personal handiwork seeing as he died in 1972, it’s likely that the legacy of Moore’s money, advertising strategy, and influence on ideas is somewhere at the root.

In a recent Atlantic article, Derek Thompson explores why US population has cratered. The author concludes, “U.S. has too few births, too many deaths, and not enough immigrants” (emphasis added). One can’t help but wonder if the millions of dollars spent on anti-population activity is to blame.

Unfortunately for the world, Moore spent the last years of his life promoting an idea that’s simply wrong. This ideology, which persists today (as seen in Portland) is an overly simplistic view of population.

Moore, Draper, Ehrlich, and the modern anti-natalists share an incomplete view of humanity. Anti-natalists generally share a modified version of the thesis of Thomas Malthus in his Essay on the Principle of Population.

The thesis is simple: human beings are consumers, and their consumption grows faster than their ability to produce with their laborer. Malthus argued that food growth is linear but population growth is exponential.

Another way to understand Malthus’ fear of population is with the law of diminishing marginal returns (which Malthus originated). The law says that, beyond some point, the more of a homogeneous input (like labor) you add to the production process, the less productive each additional unit will become.

Since the addition is decreasing while consumption needs remain the same, eventually the population will outpace productive powers. Malthus’s concern was about food, although the same argument is occasionally made with reference to the environment, for example.

The problem with this argument is that humans are, in fact, not homogeneous blobs of labor. People are creative and entrepreneurial, and they use those talents to create new products and institutional systems which allow “finite” resources to effectively multiply.

This does not mean the law of returns isn’t true, only that it requires everything else to be held constant. But, in the real world, things are rarely held constant. Advances in technology and production processes can cause returns to increase.

For example, with the invention of more fuel efficient vehicles, a fixed supply of oil is able to produce more services than before. Likewise, anti-pollution technologies can actually cause environments to improve as countries grow richer. This logic has been confirmed empirically by Nobel Prize winner Simon Kuznets’ environmental Kuznets curve.

Not everyone was fooled during Moore’s campaign. Economist Julian Simon noticed that the data simply didn’t reflect the doom and gloom of these anti-natalists. Simon challenged and beat Ehrlich in a bet on improving resource availability, and poked fun at Moore’s “HAVE YOU EVER BEEN MUGGED?” propaganda in the first edition of his book, The Ultimate Resource.

The only source of solutions to the environmental problems we face today exist in the human mind. Future generations will be at the forefront of solving today’s problems, and more minds are better than fewer.

So don’t let a billboard in Portland based on decades-old propaganda made by advertising moguls deter you. Don’t stop having kids. If you want kids—have kids. The world will be better off for it.

This article was originally published on Read the original article.

How Contraception Destroys Relationships

By Vince Sakcsteder

To know how contraception damages relationships call for taking a good look at the way human relationships come about. It all starts with the relationship between a mother and a child. The mother needs a solid, healthy relationship with the father, and the relationship between mother, father, and child becomes the nucleus of a vast array of relationships. It works like this:

Bearing and rearing a child means freely accepting the immense burdens of

• pregnancy

• infant care

• training the child (or children)

• supporting them for many years while they cannot support themselves, and

• providing occasional support and guidance for many years after that.

For this to work well, it requires a strongly bonded couple who will devote a great deal of time, energy, and resources to this process. Needs that they cannot cover will require help from other members of their community, which causes a large network of support persons to grow around them.

How can two free human beings willingly involve themselves in such a challenging process? It seems impossible. But reproduction is so important to our genes that we can say confidently that biology strongly supports this choice. We know a lot about how this happens because we have all seen it happen or experienced it ourselves. It comes in two stages: A) formation of the pair bond, and B) the biological consequences of living as a bonded pair.

A) Pair bonding

We all know bonded pairs. They are pervasive in all societies all over the world. The steps by which the bond forms are very familiar:

1) After puberty we find ourselves attracted to members of the opposite sex

2) One such person begins to have a stronger attraction for us.

3) The attraction strengthens and that person becomes the center of our universe, the most wonderful person we have ever met, the summation of all our hopes and dreams. Lots of songs and poems have been written about this phase. It is intense. This is called “infatuation.” It is driven by a fairly well-known set of hormones that remain in effect for about two years.

4) We spend as much of our time as possible with that one.

5) After much time and much communication, we formalize that bond in a way that involves the wider community.

6) We make a home together and begin having children.

Of course, life is hardly ever this neat and tidy, but these are the basics. We can see the driving force of our genes in every step. For example, people don’t choose to go through puberty, their genes do that for them. Similarly, people don’t choose to fall madly in love with someone, it “just happens.” These are the steps biology decrees for the beginning of the human pair bond, which is the core of the human reproductive strategy.

B) Life as a bonded pair.

After the infatuation, hormones are reduced, and IF the couple has been able to find some common ground, a set of maintenance hormones develops that can keep the bond going indefinitely, but the experience is very different. If, however, they discover that they have nothing in common, the relationship often fails. When they have children, this helps greatly. If they don’t, they still have their freedom. They can find another basis for the relationship, but might not. A significant portion of our married couples divorce after one and a half to two years, and then try to find someone else they can “love.”

Sexual relations, before or after the infatuation period, also produce bonding hormones, but, sooner or later, the effect wears thin. This is a harsh reality, but, like anything real, we can’t ignore it or just wish it away. It forces us to give the relationship a foundation stronger than sensations or emotions or else quit the relationship. We all know people who have gone through this crisis, and we know that some choose one way and some the other.

When children come into an established relationship, another whole set of hormones steps into action. We find child-rearing/family building pleasurable in ways we never would have expected, many of them obviously driven by our biology.

Couples with children will always encounter needs that they cannot meet themselves, so they become the nucleus of a larger community that contributes to the care of the children. Thus clans, tribes, nations, and whole world systems arise.

What can go wrong?

The bonding process can be derailed at almost any point:

In steps 1) or 2) some males find easy pleasure in various experiences of uncommitted sex, and some females may find something satisfying in that also. We all know or have heard of people who, “never grow up.” This forming and breaking of multiple partial bonds becomes unsatisfying, or even miserable, so some wind up looking for something better and may move on.

In steps 3) and 4) the couple find each other intensely attractive and sometimes become sexually involved. When this happens, one of the harsher aspects of biology tends to step in: We are genetically programmed to seek a reproductive partner. For the male, that means finding a mate who will dependably produce only his offspring. An “easy” girl isn’t that. This sort of relationship has no future. Similarly, the female is “programmed” to seek a dependable helper and provider. She really needs an extended period of communication so that she can have confidence in this person. The male also needs to have confidence that this woman is worth sacrificing his freedom and his whole future. Sex at this stage leaves them with unanswered questions and unresolved anxieties which will certainly burden the relationship and may terminate it.

Steps 5 and 6: Once the couple’s relationship is formally and publicly recognized, the beginning of the bonding process is complete. With the arrival of children, the couple’s biology introduces them to many satisfactions they likely never expected. Working together, they acquire a common perspective on many issues. Maturity “happens.” Sexual contact becomes deeply meaningful since they now know by experience that it opens their lives to massive unpredictable changes.

Marriage without children presents different challenges, but if they have done a good job of communicating during the infatuation stages, they still have the strong beginnings of a relationship and can find something that they can share and find mutually fulfilling. They will likely do many small and large things for each other, not based on wanting something in return. They will also find ways to benefit the larger community together “just because”. This is practical, effective love.

Heterosexual contact not dominated by contraception can also have a relationship-building effect. Each member of the pair is risking his or her entire future in every sexual connection. This has a unifying force that defies description. Conversely, sex that seeks only momentary pleasure has a brutally divisive effect, because, in fact, his sensations and emotions can never be her sensations and emotions, and vice-versa.


In all of these phases, the effect of contraception can be, and likely will be, devastating:

The culture of contraception leads people to assume that sex is an intense, but meaningless, pleasure. After puberty, this can lead to many short, painful relationships that make it harder to form meaningful relationships later on.

Contraceptive use during infatuation is likely to lead to premature sexual involvement. The extremely important communication phase is short-circuited, leaving them no way to move forward once the infatuation hormones wear off.

If a married couple uses contraception, they will experience sexual contact devoid of meaning. After repeated sexual encounters with someone who, “just doesn’t care about me,” their relationship becomes more and more abrasive. Sooner or later their reasons for staying together become unconvincing. We see these things happening all around us.

What to do

Humans have an amazing ability to shape their behavior toward satisfying outcomes. Practically speaking, this means that when we know that some behavior will make us happy, we will likely choose that way. The opposite is also true. Note that this is not absolute. We all have experienced making disastrous choices even when we “knew” that trouble would arise. The overall pattern, however, is that we can learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others.

To help ourselves and those we care for, then, means taking three basic steps: 1) know the truth, 2) tell the truth, and 3) live the truth. None of these steps is easy or simple, but if we want satisfying outcomes, we MUST put in the necessary effort. God bless you!!

Parents, You Are the First Educators

By Fr. Shenan J. Boquet

The practice of decency and modesty in speech, action and dress is very important for creating an atmosphere suitable for the growth of chastity, but this must be well motivated by respect for one’s own body and the dignity of others. Parents, as we have said, should be watchful so that certain immoral fashions and attitudes do not violate the integrity of the home, especially through misuse of the mass media.

─ The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, The Pontifical Council for the Family, no. 56

Progressives and LGBT activists are in an uproar over a bill that was just passed in Florida, which they have dubbed – rather disingenuously – the “don’t say gay” bill.

The actual title of the legislation is the Parental Rights in Education bill. As the title suggests, the bill aims to ensure that parents hold the cards in terms of what their children are taught about sex at the earliest ages.

In brief, the bill states that children in kindergarten through grade three are not given classroom instruction on topics such as sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill also requires that parents be informed about changes in services related to their child’s physical or psychological health.

As the bill’s co-sponsor, Rep. Joe Harding, made clear, this latter provision is designed to prevent the growing number of cases where school staff are introducing or asking children about such topics as sexual orientation or gender identity, and then encouraging the children to keep those conversations secret from their parents. As I have written recently, there have been cases where parents have only found out that their child now identifies as “transgender” long after school staff knew, in some cases because a staff member had actively encouraged the child.

“We have a choice to empower parents in Florida or we have a choice to empower school districts. I’m asking you to side with the side of parents in Florida,” Rep. Harding said.

Early in the debate, opponents of the bill hit upon the strategy of labeling it the “don’t say gay” bill, arguing (falsely) that the bill would ban the word “gay” from the classroom. Practically every mainstream news outlet in the country cynically ran with this hysterical propaganda. In recent days liberal legislators and activists have engaged in truly childish antics, such as chanting “We say gay!” during legislative hearings.

Fortunately, their efforts have not paid off. Last Tuesday the bill passed the Florida Senate in a 22-17 vote. As the bill had already handily passed the state House in late February in a 69-47 vote, it will now be sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature. Given that Gov. DeSantis has signaled his support for the legislation, its passage into law seems to be a fait accompli.

Sex Education. Male and female sex symbol on black chalkboard. Woman draws gender symbols

Graphic Sex-Ed Camps

If there is any doubt that such legislation is very much needed, it should be put to rest by news recently making the rounds about the growing trend of sex-ed camps aimed at kids.

As Live Action reports, one online camp that was aimed at teens included explicit “education” about masturbation, BDSM, transgenderism, abortion, and even (it boggles the mind) having sex while using illegal drugs.

Here are the titles of some of the presentations from this camp: “Sex with ME — Self pleasure,” “Sexy Trans Sex Ed,” “Self-Managed Abortion Info Share,” “Reproductive Health: The Basics,” “Sex on Drugs,” “The 3 P’s: Pee, Poop, and Pleasure,” and “Contraceptive Options.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the individuals leading the camp, Tanya Turner, calls herself a witch. Her passion seems to be for encouraging children, starting with toddlers, to masturbate. “Masturbation is really healthy and I recommend it to people of all ages,” she said. “All ages. As soon as my nephews could talk, they were doing that.”

Among information provided to teens during the camp was info from the World Health Organization (WHO) about how to perform a self-abortion by ordering abortion drugs and administering them at home. Besides the horrific fact that teens are being taught how to go about killing their unborn children, also troubling is the heedlessness towards the health of the teens themselves, given everything we know about the dangers and trauma involved in DIY medical abortions.

Another sex-ed camp, the “Spring Break Sex-Ed Camp,” was supposed to be held March 14-17 at libraries in the city of Austin. Organizers of this camp planned to pay teenagers $100 to attend (why on earth, one wonders, are adults luring teens to hear about sex with cash payments?). That camp, however, has now been cancelled after a backlash.

Meanwhile, Not the Bee reports on another sex-ed summer camp in Indianapolis, this one aimed at children in grades 3-5. Children in those grades are only eight to ten years old.

After showing disturbing screenshots from the organizer’s social media feed, Not the Bee notes, “This is being hosted by an individual who thinks that kids should be learning ‘non-binary’ vocabulary, taught how to wear a condom, and be ‘responsibly’ introduced to pornography.”

The site adds, “This lady is a literal groomer.”

Comprehensive Sex-Ed As Grooming

That last remark is worth focusing on.

Perhaps the strangest thing about these camps is that apparently there are parents who think it a good idea to use spring break or summer vacation for a camp that’s all about having adult strangers talk to their children in graphic detail about sex. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned camps, where kids learned to canoe, fish, play sports, and generally enjoy their friends and their childhood?

It’s bad enough that these children are being robbed of the opportunity to enjoy the sort of innocent fun that we all had as children, and instead are being dragged into the dark and complicated world of a very disturbed brand of adult sexuality. However, what’s worse is that there are very real concerns that these kids are being used to fuel the sexual kicks and fantasies of disturbed adults.

Imagine for an instant if the Catholic Church was offering such camps. It would make the national headlines with people accusing the Church of being “perverted,” “sick,” or “disgusting.” Many of the same LGBT activists running these camps, or the journalists that defend them, would be wringing their hands about how the Church is “grooming” children for sexual abuse.

Well, why is it any different when other adults who seem to have a bizarre fixation on sex spend all day talking to young kids, in graphic detail, about sex? It isn’t!

“Grooming” involves breaking down a person’s normal and healthy sexual boundaries, in order to get them to engage in sexual behaviors that benefit the exploiter. Adults who sexually abuse children, for instance, will often first introduce them to pornography. The goal is to pique the curiosity of their victims and to convince them that engaging in sexual behaviors is perfectly “normal.” Then the abuse begins in earnest.

There is simply no conceivable reason why children and teenagers need to know all the details about having sex while using drugs, BDSM, bizarre transgender practices, and all the minute ins-and-outs of contraception, abortion, and pornography. However, there are clearly adults who feel a curiously strong urge to teach them about these things. That should set off every alarm bell in the head of any loving parent, as well as any rational adult with a moral compass.

Parents, Take Charge of Sex-Ed

Unfortunately, parents who are striving to raise their children to have a healthy understanding of sexuality face enormous challenges in today’s culture.

As the Pontifical Council for the Family noted in the opening section of The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexualityit used to be the case that “the general culture was permeated by respect for fundamental values and hence served to protect and maintain them” (no. 1). Even if the family failed to provide sex education, in many cases children still naturally absorbed positive and healthy ideas about family and sexuality. Such ideas – e.g., that sex should be kept for marriage, or that children are a positive good – were simply in the cultural water.

Now, however, everything is different. Not only are movies, music, and social media aimed at children often filled with sexual innuendo and subtle or not-so-subtle jabs at marriage and the family, but also there are activists who have learned that they can practically get away with murder, so long as they claim to be engaged in “sex education.”

There is absolutely no excuse, as parents, for allowing these people within a hundred miles of your children. As the Vatican has stated, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with sex-ed in school, so long as it is grounded in a true moral worldview, is presented in an age-appropriate way, and parents are proactively kept in the loop and given the choice to opt their children out if preferred.

However, it is a grave mistake simply to outsource sex-ed to third parties, even if that third party is the most faithful Catholic teacher in the world. Education – including sex education – begins in the home. Whatever happens in school (with your knowledge and permission) should be, at most, intended to augment, not replace, an ongoing conversation between parents and child.

As the Vatican laments in The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, “In many cases parents have given up their duty in this field or agreed to delegate it to others, because of the difficulty and their own lack of preparation” (no. 1).

No matter how well you might control the flow of media into your house, we live in an age where your children are bound, one way or another, to encounter ideas or content that would have shocked our parents and grandparents. Rather than waiting for that to happen, get out ahead and start open, age-appropriate conversations with your children, arming them with the tools they need to detect problematic materials, and the confidence and trust to approach you with questions and concerns when they do.

“The Church has always affirmed that parents have the duty and the right to be the first and the principal educators of their children,” note the authors of The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, and this because “having given and welcomed life in an atmosphere of love, parents are rich in an educative potential which no one else possesses” (no. 5).

They add: “The normal and fundamental method [of sex education] … is personal dialogue between parents and their children, that is, individual formation within the family circle. In fact there is no substitute for a dialogue of trust and openness between parents and their children, a dialogue which respects not only their stages of development but also the young persons as individuals” (no. 129).

It is encouraging to see Florida taking proactive measures to protect parental rights and to defend our children from ideologues who would steal their innocence. Let us pray that other states follow their example.

Why Do Few Women Know the Dangers of the Pill?

Why Do Few Women Know the Dangers of the Pill? (


Mike Gaskins is a women’s health advocate, independent researcher, and author who spent much of the past decade exploring the dubious history and science of birth control. In a recent interview, Epoch Times contributor Martha Rosenberg asked him about his 2019 book, “In the Name of the Pill,” the culmination of his investigation, which was recently updated in its audiobook release.

World Health Organization social media post lists Down syndrome as a birth defect to be ‘prevented’


Individuals with Down syndrome and their families were shocked and disheartened by a recent social media post from The World Health Organization (WHO) last week that listed Down syndrome as a birth defect that can be prevented. However, there is no way to prevent Down syndrome itself. “Eliminating” Down syndrome really means eliminating those who have the condition through abortion.

“Today is World Birth Defects Day,” WHO originally wrote on March 3, according to the screenshot below. “Most birth defects can be prevented and treated with access to quality maternal and newborn care. Yet, every year, they cause the deaths of close to 250,000 babies within just 1 month of birth.”

Down syndrome was then listed as one of the “most common severe birth defects.” After receiving backlash, the WHO edited the Facebook post to remove Down syndrome from the list, and deleted the paragraph of information. However, it appears a separate post on Twitter also included Down syndrome as a birth defect.


WHO Screenshot

News host Rachel Campos-Duffy, a mother of nine children — including one with Down syndrome, replied to the WHO tweet with a tweet of her own saying, “[…]#WHO. Down syndrome is NOT a birth defect. It’s a chromosomal variation. My baby w/ Downs is as human & valuable as any of my other kids. These comments lead to discrimination & abortion. Celebrate, don’t eliminate differences.”


Likewise, Kurt Kondrich, an author, advocate, and father of Chloe who has Down syndrome, tweeted, “The World Health Organization recently posted that Down syndrome is a ‘severe birth defect’! My amazing daughter Chloe who has changed the world has a response!” The tweet included a photo of Chloe, who is the inspiration behind Pennsylvania’s “Chloe’s Law” ensuring that parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome receive resources and support. The photo states, “I am Chloe Emmanuelle Kondrich and I am NOT a ‘severe birth defect.’”


The Facebook page, Raising Josee Hope, also commented on the WHO’s classification of Down syndrome, stating in part, “The only way Down syndrome is prevented is through abortion, is this what they’re advocating for?! An apology to the community rather than an edited post would be appreciated. And you wonder why we are left with NO CHOICE but to tirelessly advocate?!! Imagine if this was your child being spoken about. It wrecks our day. It takes time away from our kids. It breaks our heart to advocate. We don’t want to be ‘strong warrior mums’ we just want to enjoy life with our kids knowing they’re safe. When the global peak body for health refers to your child as a birth defect that can be prevented what Hope do we have?”

People who have Down syndrome are human beings with intrinsic value, yet they are consistently targeted for abortion. The abortion rate for children diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome in the United States is nearly 70%.

Parents are fighting back against pressure to abort their babies, but as was made evident by the WHO’s social media posts, there is much more work to be done.

Plan B, Current Controversies

Dr. Kahlenborn discusses current controversies regarding Plan B, including its’ overrated efficacy, its’ possible link to breast cancer and its’ controversial mechanism of action.


Abortion industry promotes ‘missed period pills’ so women won’t know if they were pregnant


In an attempt to normalize abortion by using deceptive euphemisms, the abortion industry is now referring to the use of mifepristone and/or misoprostol (the same drugs as are used in the abortion pill regimen) as “missed period pills” or “later period pills.” The drugs are being sold to women without a confirmation of pregnancy, and they are led to believe the drugs will merely “bring down a period,” allowing them to escape the knowledge of whether or not they killed their own preborn children.

This unapproved process also flouts important safety regulations put in place by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under a program called REMS, which requires prescribers of the abortion pill mifepristone to properly date a pregnancy. While abortion enthusiasts are calling their latest scheme “creative,” pro-life advocates accurately refer to it as “abortion in disguise.”


In an e-mail to supporters, pro-abortion organization Gynuity Health Projects (GHP) announced a collaboration on missed period pills through formation of the “National Working Group on Missed Period Pills,” which includes a number of abortion organizations, under the website

“Period pills bring on your period when it is late, even by just a few days. If you are pregnant, these pills will end your very early pregnancy,” the website claims. “But you do not have to take a pregnancy test or confirm you are pregnant before using period pills. Yes! Period Pills are real… Sometimes this is referred to as menstrual regulation, or pushing a period, or bringing down a period.”

The site actually admits that the whole point of “missed period pills” is to remain in ignorance, noting (emphasis added), “If someone is pregnant, taking these medications will end their pregnancy. This can be referred to as an abortion. But since pregnancy is not verified before taking the pills, a person will never know if they were or weren’t starting a pregnancy when they took the pills. Late period pills will bring down a person’s menses even if they aren’t pregnant, and can provide reassurance and peace of mind if someone doesn’t want to be pregnant. A person does not need to take a pregnancy test or confirm a pregnancy to use missed period pills.”

The site adds, “Late period pills let us choose to get our periods or have chemical pregnancies when we don’t want a pregnancy to become established. Instead of waiting and worrying, we can take pills and bring on our periods.”


Gynuity also wrote about its intention to partner with abortion chain Carafem to “study the acceptability and use of mifepristone plus misoprostol for menses induction in the US.”

A 2021 archived page from Carafem’s website shows how the abortion chain deceptively marketed so-called missed period pills as a new medication option. “If you don’t want to be pregnant, you may be eligible to use a new medication option as soon as 28 days from when your last period started… with no requirement to wait several weeks for treatment,” they wrote. A more current page at Carafem’s website states the abortion business is “conducting a study that uses Mifepristone and Misoprostol within as little as 28 days from your last period.”

Image: Carafem archived 2021 website Missed Period Pill uses the abortion pill regimen

Carafem archived 2021 website Missed Period Pill uses the abortion pill regimen

Melissa Grant, chief operations officer of Carafem, recently acknowledged to Ms. Magazine, “We actually were doing a Gynuity study in D.C. last year on missed period pills that temporarily paused during the pandemic….We let them know clearly, if you do this and you’re pregnant, it’s an abortion, and if you do this and you’re not pregnant, you’re taking medication that you probably don’t need…” (emphasis added).

Wendy Sheldon, a senior associate at Gynuity, suggested to Rewire News Group that this deception is “liberating” and carries “benefits” so women can “take control over their reproduction without being constrained by other people’s definitions of pregnancy, abortion, or other terms that may not reflect their beliefs or lived experiences….”

Sheldon added, “Missed period pills can also provide the psychological space for people to define what’s happening to their bodies on their own terms, consistent with their beliefs. For me, this is one of the most liberating and appealing aspects of this idea…”

UCSF Missed Period Pill Study (MPP)

The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) calls its missed period pill study a “more creative method” to support abortion goals. UCSF’s study began recruiting in June of 2021 and will utilize just the second pill in the abortion pill regimen — misoprostol, originally approved as an ulcer drug under the brand name Cytotec. The drug’s label warns that misoprostol can cause uterine rupture and will not impact a dangerous ectopic pregnancy. It will induce heavy bleeding and cramping if a woman is pregnant, and cause contractions strong enough to kill and then expel the child. By using misoprostol alone without mifepristone to first block progesterone and deprive the preborn child of nutrients, the abortion industry knows women will be unable to reverse the effects of the drug.

“As the number of state laws restricting access to abortion increases across the country, more creative methods are needed to support individuals in achieving their reproductive goals. Misoprostol alone for people who suspect, but have not confirmed pregnancy, has the potential to fulfill this growing need,” UCSF’s Missed Period Pill study (MPPS) states.

“The goal of this research study is to test a traditional but underutilized framework of menstrual regulation for pregnancy loss, to ‘bring back’ a period when it is missed,” the study, whose principle investigator is Dr. Ushma Upadhyay, also states.

“The participant will not know the results of the first visit’s pregnancy test at any point. The clinic staff member administering the participant’s care will not know of the pregnancy test result while the participant is at the clinic,” the study, which will require one study visit and one telehealth visit, points out.

Missed Period Pills or Late Period Pill abortion study at UCSF (Image:

Missed Period Pills or Late Period Pill abortion study at UCSF (Image:

Eliminating guilt and interfering with informed consent

In September of 2020, Gynuity published findings from a study analyzing potential interest in the concept. “In the study… researchers surveyed women seeking pregnancy tests at nine reproductive health centers in two states. They asked women if they would be happy or unhappy about becoming pregnant and if, instead of a pregnancy test, they would be interested in a hypothetical service offering what they called ‘missed-period pills,’” wrote the New York Times (NYT) about the study published in the pro-abortion Journal Contraception.

“Doing so, many said, would allow them to avoid the burden of that knowledge and the pain of self-flagellation, providing them with a psychological benefit at a time of great stress,” NYT wrote.

“It would be easier on my emotional well-being to not know I was actually pregnant but to alleviate the issue which is my missed period,” one of the study participants stated.

“I wouldn’t feel I am a bad person,” another said.

Equal Rights Institute editor Andrew Kaake pointed out how the deceptive name interferes with informed consent, writing in part, “The use of a euphemistic name… does not change the pill into anything other than an abortion pill, and an attempt to use such marketing to fool women or induce them to fool themselves interferes with informed consent. More troubling, though, is the idea that it’s better for the woman if she thinks, by taking the “missed period pill,” she only maybe had an abortion.”

“Why is intentionally muddying the moral waters and getting women to act a certain way despite their beliefs a positive thing?” writer Petra asked at Pregnancy Help News. “In reality, it’s just a way for abortion advocates to try to further the idea that abortion is a morally good and normal choice to increase their sales; there is no real concern for these conflicted women. MPPs are a marketing scheme to directly influence ambivalent women or women who outright do not agree with abortion to go ahead and do something which may go against their beliefs,” she stated.

Women can report suspected adverse reactions or complications of any drug including the abortion pill to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or

Artificial Hormones Affect Female Athletic Performance and more

  • “A 2011 survey of 123 skiers and biathletes by FasterSkier found that 71 percent had used hormonal birth control. Of those, almost half believed that it had negatively impacted their performances via weight gain, reduced strength and endurance, mood swings, loss of competitive drive, and other factors. Two standout high school skiers told FasterSkier that after starting hormonal birth control just before going to college, their performances either stagnated or declined – that is until each decided to stop taking contraceptives.

Athletes face enormous pressure over whether to take hormonal contraceptives (HC).  There are many questions surrounding the decision to use HC. “Does it increase the risk of breast cancer? Lead to infertility? Cause increased mortality? While the answers to these questions appear to be “no,” the effects of added hormones on the human body still aren’t fully understood – and the impact on athletic performance has barely been examined”. HC use is common among elite athletes, and the continuation of HC is used to manipulate the menstrual cycle in sports competitions. Although HC use is common in elite athletes knowledge surrounding the menstrual cycle and oral contraceptives is low

HC not only affects performance in athletes but it affects every cell and system in their bodies.  A recent study found that Combined Oral Contraceptive use markedly elevated chronic low-grade inflammation in athletes, which could predispose to a higher inflammatory response to physical stress and elevate cardiovascular risk. Also, the use of oral, transdermal, and vaginal contraceptives impairs glucose tolerance. The use of the potent synthetic steroids has been associated with low bone mineral density and increased fracture risk in some studies.

Athletes who use the oral contraceptive pill may be exposed to long-term problems from low values of “unbound” testosterone.  Synthetic hormones decrease the levels of androgens by two mechanisms. First, the direct inhibition of androgen production in the ovaries. Second the lower levels of androgens stimulates an increase in the hepatic synthesis of sex-hormone binding globulin, the major binding protein for androgens and other steroids. The combination of these two mechanisms leads to low circulating levels of “unbound” or “free” testosterone potentially leading to continuing sexual, metabolic, and mental health consequences.

Instead of compromise their performance and wellbeing with the use of Hormonal Contraception, female athletes have a safe, natural, and smart alternative. Learning a fertility awareness method, athletes can  track the biomarkers of their fertility cycle and tailor their training and nutrition. The knowledge of the cyclical hormonal changes in their bodies can empower athletes to make wise decisions, avoid injury, and improve performance. Tracking the fertility cycle can help athletes to identify abnormalities caused by underlying medical conditions, nutrition deficiencies, and over training. Hormonal contraception can mask the underlying problem delaying appropriate medical intervention and adding more health issues. The challenge for athletes  is to work with their natural hormones not against them.





Report finds that forced sterilization is still legal in over 30 states


Report finds that forced sterilization is still legal in over 30 states


A new report from the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) has revealed that instead of being a decades-old obsolete horror left to the past, forced sterilization is still legal in over 30 states.

According to the report, 31 states plus Washington, D.C., allow for people to be forcibly sterilized. Most often, sterilization is used against people with disabilities, especially those who are also people of color. Sometimes, parents or guardians are complicit, but not always. And the person being sterilized isn’t always told what has been done to them until they find out on their own later.

“Linda Kay Sparkman was a 15-year-old with an intellectual disability,” the report reads. “Linda’s mother asked a judge for permission to get Linda sterilized. The judge agreed that sterilization was a good idea. No one told Linda she was going to be sterilized. The doctors told her she was getting a different operation. Linda tried to have a baby a few years later. That is when she found out that she was sterilized.”

Another story featured is that of Ashley X. Horrifyingly, Ashley’s parents successfully sought her sterilization at the age of six, through hysterectomy. As Ashley’s parents also did not want her to grow breasts or get taller, doctors also performed an operation to ensure her breasts did not grow and put her on hormones so she would remain small, like a child. Stunningly, Ashley is not the only child to have suffered through this; other children have undergone the same treatment, which is now called the Ashley Treatment.

Not Dead Yet, a disability rights advocacy group, condemned the Ashley Treatment in a statement, pointing out that despite pushback from disability groups, the Ashley Treatment has largely been received positively. “We are saddened but not surprised by the fact that this was publicized and met with a great deal of public approval,” Diane Coleman, founder of Not Dead Yet, said at the time. “The public is willing to sanction the murders of disabled children by their parents, so it’s hardly surprising they would rush to the support of parents and their medical partners in a matter like this.”

Coleman further added, “Ethics Committees often say they strive for diversity in their membership, but they have historically excluded representation from the disability community about whom they are making life and death decisions.”

It isn’t just people with disabilities who have been forcibly sterilized. Prison inmates have suffered this inhumanity as well, as recently as 2021, in states like California and Tennessee. In California alone, over 1,000 female inmates were sterilized, most of them Black, and many of the women were not told they were being sterilized. Instead, prison officials told them they had other medical conditions. It was only later that the women learned what had been done to them. The doctors reportedly believed it was better to sterilize the inmates while in prison than for them to leave jail, have children, and possibly be on welfare.

“Forced sterilization laws are not an aberration – they are part of a larger, horrifying system that prevents disabled people from making basic decisions about their lives, their families, and their futures,” Ma’ayan Anafi, the author of the report, said in a statement. “These laws are part of a long history of state-sanctioned sterilizations and are rooted in false, paternalistic assumptions about disabled people. No judge, guardian, or politician should have the right to take away anyone’s fundamental right to decide whether to have children. It’s long overdue to fully transform this ruthless system.”

St Polycarp Prolife Hero

Calling St. Polycarp – Catholic Review

On Feb. 23, the Catholic Church remembers the life and martyrdom of St. Polycarp, a disciple of the apostle and evangelist St. John.

This is a nice story of St Polycarp intersection for a pro-life cause.

  • “When Marilyn Szewczyk was about to launch a network of pro-life pregnancy centers in Maryland, she turned to St. Polycarp for help. Reasoning that the obscure early Christian martyr didn’t have many people asking for his intercession, Szewczyk figured she’d have easy access to his ear. Lynn Anne Sukeena, one of Szewczyk’s daughters, told me that her late mom put St. Polycarp to the test before selecting him. When a pro-life lobbying group was looking for office space in Annapolis, Szewczyk prayed to St. Polycarp. Sure enough, a prime spot was located in the State House. That was enough for Szewczyk, who officially named him the patron saint of her outreach network, Pregnancy Center, Inc.” More than thirty years later, the network is thriving.
  •  St Polycarp is the patron of another pro-life organization,  The Polycarp Research Institute a non-profit organization (501 C3) dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of high-quality research designed to enhance the physical, psychological and spiritual condition of mankind.

It’s Time to put St. Polycarp on our list of intercessors!


Use Copper IUD during pregnancy

IUDs work against pregnancy in several ways. Some of these effects take place before fertilization, and others take place after the sperm and egg have  united to form a new human being.

Although IUDs are marketed as the most effective form of reversible contraception women who use IUD can become pregnant. Many of those pregnant women continue using the IUD because it is difficult to remove. There is a possibility of miscarriage after IUD removal.  

According to a recent article published in the Journal Growth Hormone and IGF research, the copper IUD may affect embryo development. 

The authors reported that the study focused on the measurement of the changes in human leucocyte antigen-G (HLA-G) and insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) levels in the decidua and villi to explore the effect of a copper IUD on embryonic development. The human leucocyte antigen-G (HLA-G) is a molecule found in trophoblast membranes, reflecting the immune tolerance of the mother to the embryo.  Insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) is a protein hormone similar to insulin. The protein is an important regulator of early embryonic development, particularly placental development.

A total of 54 samples of decidual and villus tissue (the maternal and fetal portion of the placenta) was collected from pregnant women with IUDs (27 samples) or without IUDs (27 samples). The  morphological characteristics and protein expression levels were evaluated. 

The authors found that Copper IUDs may reduce IGF-II expression in villus tissue, which could compromise the development of an embryo. They conclude, “Thus, use of an IUD during pregnancy may be risky.” Women need to be informed about the possibility of pregnancy when using IUDs and the negative effects on the development of the fetus.

Hormonal Birth Control and Vision Problems

In a recent article published at Birth Control Problems? The Eyes Have It – Hormones Matter the author Mike Gaskins, writes about hormonal birth control’s contribution to eye problems.

He highlighted a 2013 study including  3,500 women over the age of 40 and found that those who had used hormonal birth control for three years or longer more than doubled their risk of developing glaucoma.

The possible explanation for the increased risk of glaucoma in hormonal contraception users is the estrogen deficiency created by synthetic estrogen. The natural hormonal rise and fall in a specific pattern are suppressed by the constant levels of artificial estrogen, affecting the intraocular pressure. Also, estrogen deficiency causes premature aging of the optic nerve.

Another report in this article is related to changes in the retina. Women who took oral contraceptives for a year had a thinner retinal nerve fiber layer, ganglion cell layer, and choroid. The researchers wrote in their paper. “It is important to find out when these thickness alterations can be clinically significant or symptomatic and if these changes are reversible or not.”

The author also explored evidence of other eye problems in hormonal contraceptive users. A study from 1997 showed that women 35 years and younger who took oral contraceptives had an increased risk of Retinal Vascular Occlusion.

The article concludes that women who use hormonal birth control should have a comprehensive eye evaluation with routine imagen exams. How many health care providers are considering a patient’s ocular personal history before prescribing hormonal birth control for contraception or other reasons?


Cultivating Chastity: Advice for Young Catholics Living in a Sex-Obsessed Culture

Cultivating Chastity: Advice for Young Catholics Living in a Sex-Obsessed Culture| National Catholic Register (

Kelly Marcum

“Kelly knows she isn’t going to get a guy if she sticks with that, right?”

Those were the words spoken by the boyfriend of one of my friends in college. He had just learned that I was one of those religious “oddities” who not only went to Mass, but also believed the Church’s teachings that sex was intended only for within the confines of marriage, and then with an openness to life.

Fortunately, I knew enough young couples who had also chosen to follow this apparently unthinkable path, so I was unconcerned by his incredulous proclamation. However, I was struck by the sincerity with which he declared it. There was no doubt in his mind, and clearly not in the minds of many of my girlfriends, though they halfheartedly assured me otherwise, that the Church was condemning me to a life alone by forcing this antiquated worldview upon me. The irony, of course, was that in the name of my freedom, they thought I should compromise my principles in order to snag myself a man who would not have wanted me had I stayed true to my faith. I was unconvinced by this logic, but my heart broke for them for believing it.

Like so much in our culture, sex has become entirely self-focused. No longer aimed toward the higher goods of bonding within marriage and bringing about new life, it has been reduced in importance, such that women — and men — are mocked for reserving it for after the wedding. But in a perverse twist, it has been simultaneously magnified in necessity, such that a dating relationship without it is nearly unheard of in most circles.

Kate Bryan, the author of Living the Feminist Dream and the founder of 1 Girl Revolution, was committed to the virtue of chastity in high school, but her view of it at the time was more one-dimensional. She saw it as a good thing, but, to her, it was a system built upon the notion of what not to do. Over time, this evolved as her understanding of the theology behind chastity further developed during her college and young professional years.

“I’ve learned that chastity is a perfection of love. It’s not just a list of dos and don’ts,” she told the Register.

Threaded throughout all of Church teachings is the truth that every man and woman is created in the image and likeness of God, and thus imbued with a dignity that is meant to be protected and valued, not degraded. Therefore, every element of the Catechism is designed not to be a ledger of rules to get us to heaven, but as a holistic and divinely revealed set of teachings grounded in the natural law and intended to uphold and defend the dignity of every man, woman, and child, born and unborn. Church teachings on chastity are no different. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines chastity as “the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being” (2331-2334).

In her years working in both Washington, D.C., and Detroit, Bryan has seen how the desire for love often leads to lowered expectations in relationships, especially for the young women she knows. “[Women] want love so desperately, and we lower our expectations, and, honestly, we often put up with bad behavior. We have a responsibility to stand up and demand better.”

For a generation of young men and women, coming of age in the “hook-up culture,” the highest standard for sex in this view is that it be “consensual.” But it’s difficult to demand fidelity and love from a girl you just met or from the guy that refuses to commit to a relationship, and it’s often even impossible to know that is what you are owed if you live immersed in a world where sex is depicted as an act intended merely for pleasure, not as an unconditional gift of self, to say nothing of the creation of a child.

Yet despite the incessant cultural messaging that both trivializes sex and makes it the pinnacle of the human experience, Bryan notes that the message of chastity, as taught by the Church, will always resonate with young men and women seeking true relationship. “No matter who you are, everyone is looking for love. We’re made to love and be loved.”

Kathryn Bodenhammer, a leader in Love and Responsibility LA and co-star of the crowdfunded Catholic production Eucharistic Miracles, has witnessed firsthand this search for authentic connection.

“[Love and Responsibility] held an event near UCLA to attract more college students, and it was heartbreaking,” Bodenhammer recalled. “We got girls sharing in Q&A about their struggles with unhealthy relationships, and we want to help women to see their own value and worth and know they do not need to seek it out in a man and instead should find it in God.”

These discussions were a driving force behind Love and Responsibility, named after the great work by Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II). The mission is to spread the message of dignity and cherishing of the other that is enshrined within the Church’s teachings on sexuality and chastity. And it’s a message that men and women are responding to. Bodenhammer recalled one young man who was thrilled by the primacy of relationship and communication in chaste relationships. He shared that he loved having wonderful conversations with the women he went on dates with and how he enjoyed making them laugh. When asked if she could pick one takeaway for the men and women who participate in the group’s events, Bodenhammer responded: “All people are created with value, and we’re not meant to be used. There is so much utilitarianism in this culture, and we want to make sure both men and women know that they are meant to be cherished and valued on a deeper level in a relationship, where they are hopefully led closer to God. as well.”

For Tasha Tormey, a young woman living in Los Angeles, her faith and a strong community have been sources of strength in her commitment to chastity while dating. She encourages other young men and women on the same path. “Get as involved in Catholic community as soon as you can, and make friends with other Catholics and Christians who are striving to live chastely,” she advised.

Tormey also recognizes that far from being an optional guideline to follow, as too many young men and women raised in Catholicism have come to think, chastity is a prerequisite both for true love and for full communion with the Church.

“Because I am Catholic, I strive to accept all the Church teachings. I also know that God wants us to love, and only the chaste can love truly, without confusing lust or sentimentality with real love. It is definitely a hard teaching to accept, but if I were to live without chastity, I would not be able to receive the greatest gift there is: the Eucharist. When we have God present with us on earth, we must do all we can to be in a state of grace to receive him.”

In my own work with young women and high-school girls, the questions I am most frequently asked circle around how to enjoy dating and pursue good relationships while remaining confident in their principles (and these struggles are shared by young men, as well). They are bombarded on all sides by a culture that encourages “sex positivity” and tells them that any messages of chastity and sexual restraint they hear are from nefarious forces determined to hamper their freedom, not nurture their souls. The answer lies not just in explaining the Church’s teaching to them. Though that is a critical step, it is not sufficient. They must be taught not merely the “what” of the rules, but the why behind them. To quote St. Paul, that most bold author of epistles, “… the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:7). Young men and women must be taught not just what not to do, but also to whom they belong and how they are called to honor and defend the dignity of everyone they encounter.


Faithful, Fruitful and Free (

Transcript from Chruch Militant News Report

New evidence is demonstrating there’s a strong correlation between happiness and large families, and the link between both is religious faith. In tonight’s In-Depth Report, Church Militant’s Paul Murano examines the social science, which lends further proof of the Church’s divine wisdom.

A new survey from the National Opinion Research Center reveals two basic things: A happy population is one that flourishes with procreation, and Americans are now less happy than they’ve been in over 50 years.

Nastasia Grace, YouTube personality: “Something just pounds on my brain saying, ‘You’re not happy!'”

The data shows an epidemic of loneliness and depression — exacerbated by COVID lockdowns — has taken its toll. Only 19% of Americans say they’re very happy while 24% admit they’re not too happy.

Boiled down, the survey shows two primary causes: a lack of faith and a breakdown of the family.

Steve Hilton, host, The Next Revolution, Fox News: “And we see the disaster all around us — the kids without fathers, the broken homes, the impact on their lives.”

With regard to faith, psychologist, professor and author Dr. Lisa Miller found religious people are much less likely to suffer major depression and that religiosity actually thickens the cerebral cortex.

Sadly, a recent Pew Research poll shows almost a third of American adults have no religious affiliation. And a lack of faith is linked to a lack of children.

America’s annual birth rate fell six straight years, reaching its lowest point ever in 2020. It’s now half of what it was in the early 1960s — before the sexual revolution began with the birth control pill.

Kent Niebuhr, Catholic father of seven and former stay-at-home dad: “It makes sense that having more children would make you happier because it really pulls away the disillusions of pursuing happiness in material things.”

And fewer people are getting married. According to a 2020 report from the Institute for Family Studies or IFS, never-married adults increased over 100% since 1970. And it’s no surprise since the divorce rate hovered at around 50%.

It’s also no surprise that sins of lust are primary factors in divorce. A 2019 Florida State study found attitudes toward premarital sex are a major factor. This was confirmed in a 2019 IFS survey showing married couples who’ve had sexual relations only with their spouses were markedly happier than those who had other intimate partners before marriage. Further, couples using artificial contraception are much more likely to divorce.

The Church has always taught sexual intimacy belongs only in marriage and that large families are a blessing from God.

Niebuhr: “That’s where happiness lies, in love.”

These studies prove what has always been true: People who live contrary to Catholic doctrine cannot be happy.

The average fertility rate in America has been decreasing since the industrial revolution from seven children per family in 1800 to around four in 1960, to less than two in recent times. More technology doesn’t always mean more flourishing and happiness.

One group of Americans has the highest fertility in the world. It doubles every 20 years.

One group of Americans has the highest fertility in the world. It doubles every 20 years.

by Louis T. March

In the 1400s the printing press revolutionized Europe, enabling mass distribution of printed material fast. The Reformation roiled Europe in the 1500s, in no small measure due to Gutenberg’s invention. In the wake of Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli came a variety of sects, including the radical Anabaptists, who believed in adult baptism and strict separation of church and state. In 1693 the Anabaptists splintered into three sects, including the followers of one Jakob Ammann. They called themselves Amish.

About the Amish

Amish organize into districts governed by an Ordnung (set of rules) that governs personal attire, domestic life, and work. Today the Ordnung forbids use of electricity, automobiles, telephones and a range of modern labor-saving devices. The Ordnung must be strictly obeyed under penalty of shunning or even excommunication. Implementation of the Ordnung may vary in different communities. It is intended to promote the virtues of hard work, humility, rural life, and separation from the world. Their inspiration comes from James 1:27: “To keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (NIV).

Weary of persecution and the world around them, in the mid-1700s about 500 Amish arrived in the New World, settling mostly in Pennsylvania. In the 1800s about 1500 more came, settling in the Midwest. Most Amish are descended from about 200 families who crossed the Atlantic.

Population and fertility

“Over the last century the Amish population has doubled on average every 19.63 years,” according to the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Pennsylvania’s Elizabethtown College, which further states:

“The North American Amish population grew by an estimated 183,565 since 2000, increasing from approximately 177,910 in 2000 to 361,475 in 2021, an increase of 103.2 percent.”

In 1992 there were 125,000 Amish in the US. By 2020 there were 350,000, an almost 180 percent increase.  The US population increased approximately 29 percent during that period, thus the Amish population growth rate was six times that of the US (including immigration). That is exponential population growth, though it begins from a very low base.

Today there are 375,000 Amish in America.

Amish live in districts, each comprising roughly 30 families. When a district surpasses that, a new district is formed. A new district is founded every 3.5 weeks. Associated districts form settlements. From 2000 to 2021, the Amish gained 290 new settlements. Present in 31 US states, they have recently established districts in four Canadian provinces and single districts in Argentina and Bolivia.

At home the Amish speak a form of German known as Pennsylvania Dutch. Due to their rural customs, personal privacy (Amish do not keep photographs as they are believed to cultivate vanity) and lack of technology, surveys of the Amish are an inexact science. Several groups may be considered a variant of Amish, but with fertility research the accepted criteria for Amish is that they speak Pennsylvania Dutch and have no household phones. That group consistently averages close to seven births per female.

Were the Amish a separate country, they would be right up there with Niger (6.9) contending for the world’s highest fertility rate. Amish fertility was the basis for demographer Lyman Stone’s 2018 paper “How Long Until We’re All Amish?

I occasionally encounter Amish in my travels, and once visited a workshop where a father and his four sons made buggy wheels. They were back-ordered for months.

Reasons for population growth

Like other Christians, Amish see children as a gift from God.

Their lifestyle incentivizes having children. Without the efficiency and productivity of technology, children are essential to work the farm, do the chores and look after their parents in old age. (Amish do not participate in Social Security.) Simply put, they value familial cooperation through labour over efficiency and productivity. Requiring more labour (children) engenders cooperation and close familial bonds without the worldly distractions of university, cinema, social media, bars, etc. There is no social atomization among the Amish. They believe that labour-saving technology would breed idleness. Amish are exempt from schooling past the eighth grade by the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Wisconsin v. Jonas Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972).

Another growth factor is that Amish have the highest retention rate of any religion or denomination in America at almost 90 percent. In adolescence Amish youth are allowed to leave their communities virtually free of constraints in a rite of passage called Rumspringa (jumping or hopping about). Baptism comes after they return.


There is evidence of some very slight decline in Amish fertility, though similar declines have been previously observed. Provided the current Amish growth rate holds, in 215 years their population is projected to be larger than the current US population of 327 million. It would be interesting to stick around and see if that pans out.

Amish farms and businesses are usually quite profitable. They pay cash for farms. Amish have the lowest rates of depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia of any American demographic.

The Amish are not without critics. Some regard them as a cult. Like any population, they are not immune from occasional criminal or deviant behavior. Conformity is expected or demanded, depending on your point of view. Those who stray from the Ordnung are shunned (a traumatic ordeal) or even excommunicated. They keep to themselves and do not proselytize or encourage outsiders to join. They are pacifist and do not serve in the military. A small number leave Amish communities as adults.

After observing life among the Amish, Business Insider published an article headlined, “If you want to be happier, should you be a billionaire or be Amish?”

The Amish are obviously doing something right. Their faith and largely pre-modern lifestyle works for them.

What works for the rest of us?

Louis T. March

Louis T. March has a background in government, business and philanthropy. A former talk show host, author and public speaker, he is a dedicated student of history and genealogy. Louis lives with his family… 

Family as Suicide Prevention

In a recent article published in the Institute of Family Studies, the author showed that marriage and especially parenthood reduce the suicide risk.  Jason Manning, Associate Professor of Sociology at West Virginia University, and author of Suicide: The Social Causes of Self-Destruction wrote: “For over a century, at least since the pioneering work of French sociologist Emile Durkheim, we have known that social bonds—or their absence—plays a crucial role in suicide.”

Some  highlights of the article:

  • In the US, the risk of suicide for separated or divorced people is near twice that for married


  • A study of a birth cohort of 1.5 million Swedes found that parenthood lowered suicide risk for

    both men and women, and that having two children lowered the risk more.

  • While abusive or dysfunctional relationships are dangerous, the evidence shows that the

    bonds of marriage and parenthood generally reduce the risk of suicide.

Read the complete article HERE


Why there’s no ‘I’ in pregnancy

Pregnancy. An injury? Run-of-the-mill event? Special circumstance? Choice? A recent report in the National Post highlighted the indignation of Olympic athletes in learning that pregnancy is often categorized by the I-word — “injury” — in their contracts.

“It’s not an injury, it’s a decision that’s made,” Canadian field hockey player Kate Gillis said.

Fair enough. As a decidedly non-elite sports enthusiast, I’d still hate to see my various sports injuries made equal with gestating a new soul. Yet the article reveals a bigger problem we have with the basics of addressing pregnancy and childbearing in the policy.


We don’t have a category for it. We struggle with how to make special arrangements around it, and frankly, whether to do so at all. Pregnancy and childbearing are confusing propositions today.

This becomes clear in many different corners. An opposing view to pregnancy-as-injury is pregnancy-as-invisible. Whether it’s a dear friend who sang opera on stage two days after giving birth, or New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who was back to work in weeks, not months, these Super Women lead the rest of us to believe pregnancy is easy peasy lemon squeezy. For some women, it is, of course. I wasn’t one of them. In the latter stages of pregnancy, I found it difficult to shuffle to the bus stop. This alone quickly ruled out the possibility of running my own household, let alone a country.

Working mums

If I were running a country (which clearly I’m not) I’d aim to tackle maternity benefits delivered via unemployment insurance, as if giving birth were a routine part of losing a job. Ironically, benefits delivered in this way also cement ideas about a return to work in the government’s chosen timeframe, not yours. Why is a year-long maternity leave standard? Because the government made it so.

Is there no middle ground? In an earlier era, women who got pregnant were immediately let go. Now we have “golden handcuffs” and we return to routine waged work quickly. Pumping breast milk in a closet is sometimes not possible, sometimes not desirable. There are reasons why some European countries offer three years’ leave.

Career first

It is harder and harder for adolescents to move into adulthood, including the formation of families of their own. The average age at first marriage is rising, now 31 for men, almost 30 for women. Difficulties getting married delay childbearing too, which means women by default, not necessarily a choice, cannot have as many children as they might like. When you have your first child at 43, the likelihood of having more is slim to none.

This hints at another problem we have with pregnancy and children, treating it as something that inhibits real life rather than contributes to it. So many young people are waiting to start a family until they have solidified other aspects of working life.

This makes it little surprise that Canada’s fertility rate fell in 2020 to an all-time low of 1.4. (Replacement fertility for a country is 2.1 births per woman.) Having fewer children normalizes never seeing children and not knowing what to do with pregnancy and childbirth. It’s a vicious cycle.

Furbabies vs human babies

I could go on and on about the problems — after all, I haven’t even mentioned feminismthe Pill or abortion yet. Yet for better or worse, it’s into this messy, confusing environment that we hear Pope Francis say having a pet is selfish. Except he didn’t quite say that at all.

Rather, he said that all too often we claim to not have room in our homes for orphans, whilst simultaneously having two dogs and two cats. It was a bit more of a lighthearted remark in a homily dedicated to highlighting that no child should grow up parentless.

The problem I have with the pontiff’s remarks is not that he is incorrect, but that there is virtually no audience for his words. The media response, replete with a newly created pet owners guild defensively arguing that having a pet is very meaningful indeed, may only prove this point.

For calls to defend orphans to fall on fertile ground, pardon the pun, we need to have a media that actually value marriage, family, and children in the context of an ongoing robust discussion of what it means to normalize marriage, family, kids, and their care.

And that, ultimately, is what I view as the real and, unfortunately, far bigger conundrum than how to treat Olympic female athletes who get pregnant. Until we gain a shared vocabulary for understanding mothers, fathers, marriage, and families, until children are so ubiquitous that finding workable solutions is unavoidable, we will continue to find tired administrators filing pregnancy under “I” for Injury, much to our dismay.

Choosing Adventure, Despite the Risks

By Fr. Shenan J. Boquet

Pope Francis caused a great deal of consternation among population control activists when he recently called out the growing trend of replacing human babies with what are sometimes – somewhat nauseatingly – referred to as “fur babies” – i.e. pets.

“Today we see a form of selfishness,” said the Pope at a public audience in early January. “We see that people do not want to have children, or just one and no more. And many, many couples do not have children because they do not want to, or they have just one — but they have two dogs, two cats … Yes, dogs and cats take the place of children.”

“[T]his denial of fatherhood or motherhood diminishes us, it takes away our humanity,” he added.

The remarks caused quite the media furor. In an op-ed published on CNN, Alistair Currie, the head of campaigns and communications at Population Matters, declared pompously that the Pope’s comments “are wholly wrong.”

According to Currie, choosing to have few or no children is always and everywhere the selfless choice. “[T]he choice to have a small family, or no human family at all, is one that helps everyone,” he wrote, “particularly children, whose future depends on a more sustainable planet.” He adds that “showing love for animals is surely something that enhances and demonstrates our humanity – rather than diminishing it.”

Let me see if I have this right: On the one hand, choosing to have children is an inhumane choice, particularly towards children (who will suffer if we beget them). But, on the other hand, choosing to have non-human pets is a humane choice that demonstrates our humanity.

Now, I don’t disagree that a rightly ordered love for animals can indeed enhance our humanity. However, the idea that loving animals enhances our humanity, while loving human children enough to bring them into existence is somehow inherently selfish and inhumane, betrays some remarkably muddy thinking.

It is particularly puzzling when you consider that animals, too, consume resources. There are hundreds of millions of dogs and cats globally. And as one article put it, “What cats and dogs eat annually generates the same amount of carbon emissions as a year’s worth of driving 13.6 million cars.” It seems to me that if we are as deadly serious about reducing our carbon footprint as Currie wishes us to be, we should not be raising animals that serve no practical purpose.

I’m not serious, of course. But if we are going to endorse such an extreme position as that every human child threatens the planet, then we ought to be consistent, and acknowledge the environmental harms of pet ownership as well.

The Risk of Childlessness

In his remarks during that audience, the Holy Father put in a plug for adoption. “How many children in the world are waiting for someone to take care of them,” Pope Francis said. “Having a child is always a risk, either naturally or by adoption. But it is riskier not to have them. It is riskier to deny fatherhood, or to deny motherhood, be it real or spiritual.”

What a wonderful way to think about “risk” in conjunction with parenthood!

As I wrote a few weeks ago, when thinking about welcoming children many young couples can only see the innumerable “risks”: of financial hardship, of lifestyle changes, missed vacations, sleepless nights, and a lifetime of worry about that child’s welfare.

One the one hand, this is understandable. There is something about the idea of co-creating a whole new human being that is so inconceivably mysterious and consequential that it causes the head to spin. A couple, by uniting together in a fleeting physical union, can bring into being an immortal human being: one with his or her own personality, desires, ambitions, talents; a whole new life that will impact the lives of countless people in potentially life-changing ways, beginning with the parents. Looked at this way, the risks do seem enormous.

However, we can also turn this whole idea on its head. If the risks of welcoming a child are too huge to take, then what about the risks of not welcoming a child?

Decision theorists often point out that every choice comes with an “opportunity cost.” That is, when you choose one thing, you necessarily forego everything entailed by the alternatives. There are no “riskless” decisions. To choose to avoid the “risk” of parenthood, is to assume the “risks” involved in sterility.

And what are the risks of sterility? Well, the non-existence of a potential child who could have been, and all that that entails: the non-existence of the experience of parenthood for the parents; the non-existence of a brother or sister, nephew, or niece; the non-existence of countless experiences and memories; the non-existence of a potential carpenter, engineer, artist, mother or father; the non-existence of grandchildren and great grandchildren.

And on and on. An inexhaustible list of potential losses.

The Unanticipated Rewards of Parenthood

This does not mean, of course, that there are not sometimes very good reasons to postpone welcoming a child. The Church has always encouraged “responsible parenthood.” But it does mean that we must be honest and clear-sighted in weighing the risks: if welcoming a new life into the world seems too risky to venture, that also implies that it might be too risky not to venture! We only live one life, and the choice not to welcome children means to forego one of the most meaningful of life’s experiences.

In my line of work, I often have the chance to speak with parents who, at some point, either aborted a child, or avoided welcoming children by contracepting. I also have the opportunity to speak with many parents who unexpectedly became pregnant at a time when they were trying to postpone pregnancy, but who faced the challenge and welcomed the child.

It is heartbreaking to hear the deep regret from those first parents, who later realized that they desperately wanted the child they aborted, or who realized they wanted children, but only when it was too late. On the other hand, it is deeply moving to hear the stories of parents who found themselves with an unplanned pregnancy, and yet who accepted the great adventure of new life.

Their stories are not always easy. Children can come at times of great hardship: in the midst of serious illness, or severe financial difficulties. And yet, in the end, there is the child: a whole other human being, to know and to love; a whole other person who brings a new life and light to the family, contributing a personality and gifts that no other person could. A child that, in time, learns to give back to his or her parents; to love them as they age; to give them grandchildren.

“Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute very substantially to the welfare of their parents,” wrote the Second Vatican Council Fathers in Gaudium et spes. “Hence, while not making the other purposes of matrimony of less account, the true practice of conjugal love, and the whole meaning of the family life which results from it, have this aim: that the couple be ready with stout hearts to cooperate with the love of the Creator and the Savior. Who through them will enlarge and enrich His own family day by day.” (no. 50)

Many couples who nearly aborted a child, later say that that child turned out to be the “greatest gift” of their lives, the gift that brought unanticipated joy, who in some cases got them to turn their lives around in dramatic ways.

Embrace the Adventure

G.K. Chesterton once wrote that an adventure is simply “an inconvenience rightly considered.”

There is no doubt that there are many “inconveniences” involved in parenthood. It is even true that a human being does consume resources, and that the number of humans on the planet can present an environmental challenge. However, this is not a challenge that is best avoided by deliberately getting rid of the humans that present the challenge. It is, rather, a challenge to be solved by the humans who are welcomed into the world by parents who have discerned, in a spirit of adventure, that welcoming a child is a risk worth taking.

As Pope St. Paul VI put it in Humanae vitae: “The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships.” (no. 1)

From the very beginning of Genesis, with God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply,” the Scriptures and Tradition have always cultivated a radical belief in the goodness of human life. To be parents is essentially to receive a gift that gives a new prospect of love, understood from the lens of reciprocal generosity and gift of self.

Rather than discouraging couples with the doom and gloom anti-natalism of eco-extremism, we should be encouraging in our young this spirit of “adventuresomeness,” encouraging them to be open to welcoming the unfathomable gift of new life, should God so bless them with so great a gift.

It is undeniable that marriage and family in contemporary society are under constant attack from a poor, limiting, and unsatisfying understanding of the truth about the sexual life and conjugal love. Only by “pricking” the consciences of persons and society – as Pope Francis did – can we hope to awaken the desire for what is good, true, and beautiful about marriage, family, and children.

I conclude with an appeal made by Pope Benedict XVI to European government leaders in 2007. The Holy Father’s challenging words remain valid today, not only for European leaders but also for all countries and government leaders, especially those that promote secular ideologies which assault the dignity of marriage and family life and the sanctity of human life. Let us pray Benedict’s petition to build a Culture of Life will not fall upon deaf ears and hardened hearts but, instead, be welcomed and realized.

[Do] not allow children to be considered as a form of illness … do everything possible to make European countries once again open to welcoming children … to favor conditions enabling young couples to raise children … All this will be pointless, unless we can succeed in creating once again in our countries a climate of joy and confidence in life, a climate in which children are not seen as a burden, but rather as a gift for all.

Study: California commits 20% of nation’s total chemical abortions

Study: California commits 20% of nation’s total chemical abortions (

Study: California commits 20% of nation’s total chemical abortions

Feminist Takes Abortion Pill on Live Television, Brags About Killing Her Unborn Baby

National  |  Micaiah Bilger

Feminist Takes Abortion Pill on Live Television, Brags About Killing Her Unborn Baby –

A Satanic cult leader and well-known abortion activist shocked Michigan news watchers over the weekend when she took an abortion pill on live TV during an interview with Fox 2 Detroit.

The pro-abortion blog Jezebel highlighted the disturbing act by Jex Blackmore, an abortion activist and former Satanic Temple leader.

Blackmore appeared on the station’s “Let It Rip” program to debate pro-life advocate Rebecca Kiessling on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that forces states to legalize abortion up to viability.

In the midst of their debate, Blackmore held up a pill that she said was mifepristone, the first of two abortion drugs taken to abort unborn babies up to 10 weeks, and swallowed it on-air with a smile, according to the blog.

“I want to show you how easy it is, how safe it is, by taking it myself,” she told host Charlie Langton.

“You’re taking it? Are you-?” an obviously shocked Langton responded. “You’re not pregnant, are you?”

Blackmore replied: “I would say that this is going to end a pregnancy. … This will be my third abortion,” according to a segment of the interview that Kiessling posted on Facebook.

Why pro-life couples should opt for adoption over IVF


In vitro fertilisation, computer artwork.

So many of us have the deep desire to have biological children of our own. It’s what drives hundreds of thousands of couples to use IVF to create their children. Still others, despite their wishes for a biological child, turn to adoption. Both options can be incredibly expensive, but from an ethical standpoint, the human toll of IVF makes adoption the morally sound option.

The death toll from IVF

The most glaringly obvious issue with IVF is the death toll that accompanies it. IVF is used by couples to create life, and those who turn to IVF may have good intentions. But its failure rate and the (often required) destruction of certain embryos means more human beings are destroyed in their embryonic life stage than are born.

Each round of IVF only carries a 20-30% chance of successful birth and couples can create up to 20 embryos to increase their odds — but most couples don’t want 20 children. As a result, while an estimated one million valuable and worthy people have been born thanks to IVF, 1.7 million have died, and another one million are said to be currently frozen in the United States while their parents decide if they still want them.

Some embryos simply don’t survive the IVF process on their own. Others are killed for having certain genetic traits such as cystic fibrosis or other genetic conditions the parents are trying to weed out by using IVF. Others meet death after being donated to scientific research. Others have died when the storage containers they were in malfunctioned. In some instances, when more than the desired number of embryos implant and grow, parents will abort the “extras” through selective abortion. These embryos and fetuses are human beings created to fulfill the desires of adults, and whose lives are lost, destroyed, or abandoned in the process.

The physical toll of IVF on children

The children who do survive the IVF process do not always escape its physical effects. Children created through IVF have increased risk of low birth weight, premature birth, hospital admission, perinatal mortality, cerebral palsy, and “significantly” increased risk of birth defects compared to children conceived naturally. They are also at risk for high blood pressure, and girls conceived through IVF sometimes have advanced bone age and hormonal imbalances during puberty.

Some studies have also shown an increased risk of childhood illnesses for all children born through IVF, including an elevated risk of cardiovascular problems, early-onset acute lymphoblastic leukemia, an increased risk of cancer in general, epigenetic disorders, cognitive impairment, and possible infertility of their own.

The emotional toll of IVF

The IVF process is often spoken about as emotionally and physically taxing for the adults involved, but the pain is considered to be worth it because they (sometimes) get to have their baby. But there are psychological and emotional issues for children created through IVF that few parents know about or consider. Claire, who was conceived through IVF, explained that she always knew her parents loved her and wanted her, but that learning about her conception caused her emotional pain. She said:

Somehow, somewhere, my parents developed the idea that they deserved to have a baby, and it didn’t matter how much it cost, how many times it took, or how many died in the process. They deserved a child. And with an attitude like that, by the time I was born they thought they deserved to have the perfect child… as Dad defined a perfect child. And since they deserved a child, I was their property to be controlled, not a person or a gift to be treasured. 

In addition to feeling like a consumer product, children conceived through IVF have an increased risk of ADHD, autism, and depression.

READ: Exposé reveals IVF corruption: ‘They were playing with people’s lives’

Adoption seeks to heal a wound

IVF is seeking to fulfill the wants and desires of adults who feel they deserve a baby and because of this, IVF creates wounds. It harms children both physically and emotionally, but it continues to happen because creating children has become a billion-dollar industry.

Adoption, on the other hand, attempts to heal wounds that were already created. Katy Faust, founder of Them Before Us and author of the book by the same name, explained, “Adoption should be sought only when all avenues to keep the child with their family of origin have been exhausted. The trauma a child faces when they’ve lost a relationship with their biological parents should not be minimized or ignored.” She states that adoption, when it is “properly understood” is “child-centric” not simply a way for adults to become parents. The prospective adoptive parents are not the true client in adoption as in IVF. The children are. This is why prospective adoptive parents go through a screening process and home visits and training. Parents using IVF don’t.

“For the child, adoption begins with great loss,” Faust continued. “Adoption is society’s attempt to mend that wound. However, while adoption is the best case scenario for a child in need, adoptive parents — no matter how loving — cannot fully compensate for the loss of the child’s first family.”

With this knowledge, adoption agencies and the foster care system evaluate which parents are best for which child — to find a family that can help heal the child’s wounds from the loss of her biological family. If a couple struggling with infertility is choosing between adoption and IVF, adoption is the more ethical path, but that does not mean it comes without challenges.

Ultimately, while a person’s desire to have a biological child is as understandable as a child’s right to know their biological parents, the IVF process causes far too much damage for the ends to justify the means. There are thousands of children in the foster care system waiting to be adopted. Life after adoption will not be miraculously perfect, but when adoptive parents acknowledge the trauma these children have suffered, the future can be bright — and no innocent lives had to be destroyed in the process.

Dangers to Life in Prenatal Testing

Dangers to Life in Prenatal Testing | Human Life International (


Modern forms of non-invasive prenatal tests (called NIPT, for short) are growing in popularity, being used by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of women every year in the United States alone. These highly profitable tests, which promise parents a glimpse into the future of an unborn child by detecting some type of malformation or genetic abnormality, are aggressively marketed to pregnant women, and in many OB/GYN practices are now routine.

However, a devastating new investigation by The New York Times has found that many of those tests, which are completely unregulated by the FDA, are not remotely as accurate as the biomedical companies behind them would like parents to believe. Marketing materials put out by the testing companies suggest that the tests are “reliable” and “highly accurate.” In reality, however, some of the most common tests return false positives as much as 85-90% of the time, according to the Times’ analysis.

The tests that the Times looked at are blood tests, using blood drawn from the mother in the first trimester of pregnancy. Their allure is that they are significantly less invasive than other forms of testing, such as amniocentesis, which requires drawing a sample of amniotic fluid, and which carries a risk of miscarriage.

One marketing brochure from a testing company promises that the tests can provide “peace of mind” for the parents. However, as the Times notes, parents who receive a positive result often find anything but peace of mind:

In interviews, 14 patients who got false positives said the experience was agonizing. They recalled frantically researching conditions they’d never heard of, followed by sleepless nights and days hiding their bulging bellies from friends. Eight said they never received any information about the possibility of a false positive, and five recalled that their doctor treated the test results as definitive.

Unfortunately, much of this mental suffering is not precipitated simply by the knowledge that their child may be suffering from a serious malformation or genetic disorder. Much of it is due to the feeling of pressure that the parents must do something about it, i.e., they must quickly make a decision whether or not they will abort their child.

In theory, women whose unborn children return a positive result from one of the blood tests are supposed to go on to get more reliable – but still far from perfect – tests, such as those done through amniocentesis: i.e., the removal of a sample of the amniotic fluid. However, one 2014 study found that over 6% of women simply aborted their children without pursuing follow-up testing. No doubt, some of those children were healthy.

This, in turn, leads to a further trauma for the parents – that of discovering that they aborted a healthy child. One Irish couple was described, after aborting their child who was wrongly diagnosed with Trisomy 18, as “utterly, utterly mentally and physically devastated.”

Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, reacted to the Times’ investigation, noting in remarks to the Catholic News Agency that children diagnosed with health problems are “disproportionately targeted for abortion.”

“Parents who receive such a prognosis while their baby is in utero should be given the medical and other supports necessary to allow them to cherish the gift of life, but most often they are not supported in this way,” Mancini lamented. “That prenatal tests are consistently erroneous adds an even deeper level of tragedy to the wrongful pressure on parents to abort. In the end, every life is a gift and deserves protection — regardless of disability.”

Catholic Teaching on Prenatal Testing

Catholic teaching does not necessarily oppose the practice of prenatal testing, acknowledging that it does have its valid uses and applications. However, the temptation to misuse prenatal testing is a serious one, which requires that the decision to carry out such testing be made very carefully and within a limited set of circumstances.

This concern about the potential misuse and abuse of prenatal testing was raised by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), in its 1987 document Donum vitae, which urged significant caution. The document noted that prenatal diagnosis can make it possible “to anticipate earlier and more effectively, certain therapeutic, medical or surgical procedures.” In such a case prenatal diagnosis “is permissible,” albeit only “if the methods employed safeguard the life and integrity of the embryo and the mother, without subjecting them to disproportionate risks.” (DV, I, 2)

Donum vitae adds that such testing “is gravely opposed to the moral law when it is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion depending upon the results.”

Thus, a woman would be committing a gravely illicit act if she were to request such a diagnosis with the deliberate intention of having an abortion should the results confirm the existence of a malformation or abnormality. The spouse or relatives or anyone else would similarly be acting in a manner contrary to the moral law if they were to counsel or impose such a diagnostic procedure on the expectant mother with the same intention of possibly proceeding to an abortion. So too the specialist would be guilty of illicit collaboration if, in conducting the diagnosis and in communicating its results, he were deliberately to contribute to establishing or favouring a link between prenatal diagnosis and abortion. (DV, I, 2)

In its Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reiterates the teaching of Donum vitae, saying:

Prenatal diagnosis is permitted when the procedure does not threaten the life or physical integrity of the unborn child or the mother and does not subject them to disproportionate risks; when the diagnosis can provide information to guide preventative care for the mother or pre- or postnatal care for the child; and when the parents, or at least the mother, give free and informed consent. Prenatal diagnosis is not permitted when undertaken with the intention of aborting an unborn child with a serious defect. (2018, no. 50)

The New Eugenics

As Donum vitae and the Ethical and Religious Directives suggest, prenatal testing is not inherently problematic. In a truly tolerant and humane society, such testing could be used to develop or administer treatments to those children that are diagnosed with medical problems, or to help prepare the parents to face the challenges of caring for a child with a disability.

Therefore, a “diagnosis which shows the existence of a malformation or a hereditary illness must not be the equivalent of a death-sentence.” (Donum vitae, I, 2) However, this is not what many parents experience who receive a serious prenatal diagnosis. Instead, they are often told that their child’s disabilities are “incompatible with life” or that the child has a “fatal anomaly.” In many cases, the label “incompatible with life” reflects a judgment of quality of life, not an actual medical diagnosis, and children whose diagnoses are labeled “incompatible with life” are also at risk for being denied basic life-saving treatment.

Unfortunately, in our anti-life society astonishing advances of medical science are being used not to protect, but to attack human life.

Moreover, the financial and legal incentives in our highly litigious culture actually favor the aggressive identification of prenatal abnormalities, and the proactive presentation of abortion as a possible reaction to a positive test. If testing companies fail to detect a disorder, or if an OB/GYN fails to present abortion as a “solution,” there is always the risk of a so-called “wrongful birth” lawsuit. In some cases, doctors have had to pay huge sums in damages, because they did not give a woman the option to abort a child that she later realized she would have aborted.

As I have often warned, the rise of routine prenatal screening for health problems and genetic disorders has ushered in a new age of eugenics – a eugenic movement hidden behind a soothing veneer of lab coats and sterile clinics. In some cases, prenatal testing has given rise to what can only be called a “genocide.”

I do not use that term lightly. A genocide is defined as the attempted destruction of a particular group of people. What else are we to call the systematic elimination of as many as 90% of children diagnosed in utero with Down Syndrome? In some Western countries, such as Iceland, children with Down Syndrome have all but disappeared.

However, our modern technocratic eugenicists do not want to stop at Down Syndrome. They hope to eliminate all genetic disease, not by eliminating the disease itself, but rather unborn children diagnosed with that disease. And their primary tool for accomplishing this is widespread prenatal testing.

Offering Hope

Although I am grateful that The New York Times has shed the light of truth on the shoddy prenatal testing industry, I also acknowledge that prenatal testing likely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The technology exists, and though it is currently wildly inaccurate, it will likely be improved over time.

As a movement, we must do everything in our power to shift the conversation on prenatal testing, ensuring that every prenatal diagnosis is received within a culture that champions the right to life of every child, including those with disabilities.

More specifically, we in the pro-life movement must find ways to give hope to those parents who receive difficult news. One pro-life organization already doing just that is Be Not Afraid, which calls themselves a non-profit “supporting parents carrying to term following a prenatal diagnosis.”

“We believe that every baby is a gift,” they state on their website, “and we support parents not only in advocating for basic care, but also in obtaining the treatment they deem appropriate for their child after birth no matter the diagnosis.”

If you aren’t familiar with Be Not Afraid, go check out their work. Their website contains a wealth of information about prenatal testing, and about the many genetic disorders that children may suffer in the womb. Sadly, many parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis are left to navigate the aftermath without any support – indeed, often while being pressured by their doctors to do the “right thing” and abort the child.

The existence of Be Not Afraid is further evidence of the remarkable ingenuity of this great “movement for life,” as Pope St. John Paul II called the pro-life movement, with so many brilliant pro-life minds responding to so many different forms of attack on human life by offering their unique gifts.

Let us work and pray that one day we may live in a culture in which the only response to a prenatal diagnosis is renewed resolve to do everything possible to assist and accompany parents in the care of their child, welcoming him or her joyfully and with hope, no matter how short or physically limited his or her life might be.

Can birth control use affect future lactation?

Can birth control use affect future lactation? – Natural Womanhood


breastfeed, motherhood, Mothers day, family love. mom breastfeeding her little son. breast feeding, lactation, maternity and healthy lifestyle

Type in the phrase “milk supply” on Pinterest or Google, and you’re likely to find oodles of recipes, baked goods, herbs, and over-the-counter compounds that claim to “boost milk supply.” If I’m being frank, in my work as a Lactation Consultant, most of my clients are struggling with milk supply because of ineffective or inefficient milk removal. Prioritizing sufficient milk removal is the best way to “boost milk supply.”

But occasionally, I see a mom struggling with low milk supply because of IGT (Insufficient Glandular Tissue). This means that even with efficient suckling or pumping, they will not be able to make a full supply and will need to supplement with formula or donor milk. Contrary to what people often think, a diagnosis of IGT does not mean that a mom can’t breastfeed, but it does mean breastfeeding might look a little different than anticipated.

IGT is not due to “small breasts.” Size is not indicative of the quantity of glands. IGT breasts can be big, small, medium, round, flat, high or low⁠—the only thing they all have in common is that the glandular tissue is simply not sufficient to make a full milk supply.1

The biggest red flags for potential IGT are widely spaced breasts, and particularly those that don’t grow during pregnancy. The exact root cause of IGT is still being studied, but some of the coinciding factors are a pre-pregnant body mass index (BMI) greater than 30, BMI greater than 26 or 30 during puberty, hormonal disorders (such as insulin resistance, diabetes, or hyperandrogenism), and use of hormonal birth control during puberty.2

Did you catch that last one? If you, your daughter, or a loved one was put on the pill as a teenager, there is an increased likelihood that you will experience impaired lactation. Did the doctor explain that to you? No? Didn’t think so.

How breast tissue matures

Breast maturation begins in the womb. “As early as 4 to 6 weeks of gestation, mammary-specific progenitor cells may be seen.”1 Around day 35 of gestation, proliferation of paired areas of epithelial cells in the epidermis of the thoracic region occurs.”3 Up until age 2, breast tissue goes through a process of “epithelial differentiation”—in other words, when cells prepare for lactation. This is also why endocrine disruptors should especially be avoided during pregnancy. Exposure to toxins like dioxin in utero can predispose a woman to have insufficient breast growth. Breast tissue then remains dormant until puberty.4 

Alveoli—these are the small sacs that fill with milk—are laid during each menstrual cycle, through the exposure of cyclical estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen is responsible for elongation of milk ducts (the branches that hold the alveoli) while progesterone works on ductal side branching. As ductal elongation continues, the rest of the breast tissue fills in with adipose tissue, blood vessels, immune cells, and fibroblasts. After puberty, breast tissue remains relatively stable until the final stage of maturation during pregnancy.3

That’s right⁠—breasts are not considered fully developed until they’ve gone through a full pregnancy. During this time of intense estrogen and progesterone exposure, as well as human placental lactogen, the ductal system expands and branches out into the adipose tissue for its final stage of growth in preparation for lactation.3

So what does the pill have to do with it?

Hormonal birth control and IGT are correlated for two reasons. The first is that hormonal birth control is often given to teens to “cure” period problems. These period problems likely stem from hormonal disorders that affect breast tissue maturation and, therefore, future lactation. These hormonal conditions include, but are not limited to: PCOSluteal phase defectsthyroid issues, and insulin resistance.

Restorative care⁠—not suppression of symptoms⁠—should be prioritized for teen’s reproductive and general health. Restorative care will protect not only her future fertility and lactation but also her future bone, heart, and immune health.

The second reason is that a teen on hormonal birth control doesn’t have monthly, cyclical exposure to their own hormones that are necessary for proper ductal growth. The artificial hormones in birth control do not have the same effect as endogenous ones.

A 2021 research study found that “[different] progestins have distinct biological activities in the human breast epithelium depending on their androgenic properties.” They also found that “progestins routinely included in contraceptives have properties that overlap with testosterone, androgenic progestins, which induce expression of important mediators of progesterone receptor signaling and consistently elicit proliferation of human breast epithelial cells.”5

This means the hormones in modern contraceptives cause breast tissue growth⁠—but not in the same way that endogenous hormones would.

For many, increased breast size is a common side effect of hormonal contraception. It’s been touted that since the pill (and any of its formulations) “trick the body into thinking it’s pregnant,” the breast growth women experience while taking hormonal contraceptives is akin to breast growth in early pregnancy. But we now know differently.

Exposure to androgenic progestins causes hyperproliferation with cellular changes. Breast tissue growth during pregnancy is biologically normal, while growth during hormonal contraceptive use is not normal. This is also probably why full-term pregnancy (particularly during a woman’s twenties) has a protective factor against breast cancer while hormonal contraceptive use does the opposite.6

It’s important to note that just because you were on hormonal contraception as a teen doesn’t automatically mean you will struggle with IGT. Conversely, some women struggling with IGT have never used a hormonal contraceptive. Rather, hormonal contraceptive use during teenage years just seems to be one of the pieces in unlocking the IGT puzzle. And it’s certainly one more reason to steer clear of hormonal birth control for the teens in your life.

What if I think I have IGT?

If you are having lactation problems, you should schedule a full consultation with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, who can confirm the source of potential low milk supply, rule out baby-stemmed issues, and work toward a care plan that will suit both the mom and baby. You don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater⁠—breastfeeding in some capacity is still possible.

If you are expecting and hoping to breastfeed, but are worried you could end up with IGT, you can have your breast tissue examined by your health practitioner or a lactation consultant. But, this is likely premature. You don’t really know how lactation will unfold until it does. That’s why it’s so important to have lactation support lined up for when you need it.

In conclusion, the association between hormonal birth control use in the adolescent years and IGT, is one worthy of your consideration. Teenagers may not be thinking about breastfeeding, but one day down the line, they may⁠—and we want to give them every chance to succeed when that time comes.


  1. Hypoplasia/Insufficient Glandular Tissue
  2. Signs and risk factors of insufficient glandular tissue
  3. Development of the human breast
  4. Environmental exposures and mammary gland development: state of the science, public health implications, and research recommendations
  5. Contraceptive progestins with androgenic properties stimulate breast epithelial cell proliferation
  6. Pregnancy duration and breast cancer risk
  7. Contemporary Hormonal Contraception and the Risk of Breast Cancer

Additional Reading

Concerned about postpartum mental health and milk supply? Think twice about your birth control choice (especially LARCs)

The Holy Innocents and the Church’s pro-life witness

The Holy Innocents and the Church’s pro-life witness – Catholic World Report

The Church, “expert in humanity” (as Pope Paul VI put it), knows that the mystery of Christmas (like that of Easter) is so great that it cannot be adequately plumbed – let alone celebrated – in a single day. And so, taking a page out of our Jewish liturgical heritage, the Church gives us an octave observance – eight full days to consider the central doctrine of the Incarnation, enabling us to reflect on it from a variety of perspectives, not unlike holding a diamond up to the sun in an attempt to appreciate its beauty from many different angles.

Oddly, it might seem, however, throughout the Christmas Octave, we encounter a number of saints’ feasts. Don’t these commemorations serve as distractions from the central mystery of the Octave on which we are meant to focus our attention? Not at all – because, as St. Paul teaches us, “God is glorious in His saints” (2 Thess 1:10). Indeed, we can say that the very first fruits of the Incarnation are saints, the comites Christi (the companions of Christ), and in this week, the majority of them are martyrs – privileged “witnesses” to Christ: Stephen, the so-called “proto-martyr” (Dec. 27); Thomas à Becket, the medieval defender of the freedom of the Church (Dec. 29); and today, the Holy Innocents, really the first to shed their blood for Christ.

We are introduced to the “Holy Innocents” by St. Matthew (2:16-18) after he has told us of the visit of the Magi, whom Herod wanted to use as “reconnaissance” men to determine the identity of this “new-born King of the Jews.” Not obtaining the information he desired, Herod resorts to mass murder to ensure his competition is dead, ordering the execution of all male babies under the age of two in Bethlehem.

As children in our Bible history books in school and through Cecil B. DeMille-like productions, we were led to believe that hundreds or even thousands of baby boys were the victims of Herod’s treachery. Such poignant and dramatic scenes would certainly leave an impression on impressionable children. Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately), the real number was probably much smaller, maybe no more than a dozen since Bethlehem was a tiny, backwater town with a tiny population as Matthew himself suggests by citing the Prophet Micah’s description of the “little town of Bethlehem,” as we sing in the carol.

No, the horror of Herod’s deed resides not in the number of infants killed but in the fact that even one would be killed. The historicity of the event gains considerable credibility since we know that the crazed and paranoid king even killed his own sons, so terrified was he of a usurper.

The Collect for the day’s liturgy notes that these little ones confessed the true faith, “not by speaking but by dying.” Indeed, the very word “infant” in Latin means one who cannot yet speak! The prayer goes on to ask the Lord for the great grace “that the faith in you which we confess with our lips we may also speak through the manner of our life.” Talking the talk must be matched by walking the walk. How can this feast help us do that?

Today’s Office of Readings treats us to a reflection of Quodvultdeus, a fifth-century bishop of Carthage in North Africa and a spiritual son of the great Augustine. His name means “what God wants.” The North Africans had a knack for names. Another bishop was called “Deogratias” (Thanks be to God), and Augustine named his illegitimate son “Adeodatus” (Given by God) – a reminder that all human life is sacred, even when conceived under less than optimal circumstances. These North African theologians stand as testimonies to the vitality of the Church in that region in the early centuries but a reality that was almost totally eradicated by the Muslim invasions of the seventh century, which brought death to many and, sadly, apostasy from not a few. Another reminder and warning: While the Church Universal has divine assurance of remaining until the end of time, particular churches (dioceses) do not.

But back to the contribution of Quodvultdeus. Using the literary device known as “apostrophe,” the author addresses a question to the absent Herod:

Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king? He does not come to drive you out, but to conquer the devil. But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage, and to destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.

Of course, for decades now, the Church in the United States has seen in the Holy Innocents the forerunners of the millions of babies slaughtered through legalized abortion in this country since 1973. As we have protested against this monstrosity and blight on our national character, have we not all witnessed the fear and rage of those ensnared in the culture of death? But why such rage? The vast majority of pro-lifers offer a kindly protest. The rage is born of insecurity, no doubt, because – deep-down – everyone knows the truth of what is happening in the abortion clinics and everyone knows – deep-down – that Our Lord was right in asserting that “the truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32). Dr. Bernard Nathanson came to the right conclusion, after years of aborting thousands of children, bringing him to produce the very appropriately-titled film, The Silent Scream.

The Church in our country – especially the hierarchy – have made numerous mistakes in the post-Vatican II era, however, the one area in which the Church shines is in her unrelenting pro-life witness and action. People forget that ours was a lone voice in the immediate wake of Roe v. Wade. In fact, the pro-abortionists used our solitary witness to press the anti-Catholic button, hoping to make the issue appear as a uniquely Catholic issue, as documented by Dr. Nathanson. While we rejoice in Evangelicals getting onboard with us, truth compels us to note that they were late arrivals.

This counter-cultural stance has been powerfully aided by our Catholic school system, which has provided strength and youthfulness to the pro-life movement. A few days after the 2010 March for Life in Washington, D. C., a journalist in favor of “abortion rights” wrote an article in the Washington Post (also strongly pro-abortion) noting that he was “expecting to write about [the March’s] irrelevance,” however, he indicated: “I was especially struck by the large number of young people among the tens of thousands at the march.” He highlighted the fact that the vast majority came from Catholic schools who “were taught from an early age to oppose abortion.” The piece ended up being remarkably fair and even positive.

The Shrine and Parish of the Holy Innocents (where I have happily provided assistance for nearly a quarter of a century) in Midtown Manhattan is home to the Shrine of the Unborn. Quodvultdeus reproached Herod:

You are not restrained by the love of weeping mothers or fathers mourning the deaths of their sons, nor by the cries and sobs of the children. You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart. You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong your own life, though you are seeking to kill Life himself.

This shrine allows parents to mourn the loss of their unborn children (whether through abortion or miscarriage), entering the names of their children into a Book of Life.

Europeans are stunned by the vitality of the pro-life movement in America; most of them have given up on the cause a long time ago. Statistics tell us that abortion is still a lively and hotly contested dimension of American politics, as was on clear display in the shameful confirmation hearings of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Most interesting of all is that young people, perhaps realizing that they themselves could have been aborted or impressed by what science tells us about life in the womb, are among the most pro-life of all.

The innocent unborn, then, have not died in vain. Quodvultdeus ends his homily thus:

To what merits of their own do the children owe this kind of victory? They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ. They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory.

All you Holy Innocents, pray that the witness of our lives will always match the words of lips.

(Editor’s note: This essay was first posted at CWR on December 28, 2018.)

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Signs Pro-Life Bill Saving Babies From Abortions


Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill protecting abortion survivors. Ohio Bill 157 will (1) require medical professionals to provide life-sustaining care to children who survive a botched abortion, and (2) prohibit medical professionals who receive taxpayer-funded salaries from working for or contracting with abortion facilities. This bill will cut tax dollars from funding abortions and potentially close down two abortion facilities in Ohio.

A Warning About Declining Birth Rates

By Fr. Shenan J. Boquet

A Warning About Declining Birth Rates | Human Life International (

Time Magazine has just named Tesla CEO Elon Musk as their “Man of the Year.” The Time feature on Musk, the richest man in the world, naturally focuses on Musk’s extraordinary career as the founder and CEO of world-changing corporations like Paypal, Neuralink, SpaceX, and, of course, Tesla.

However, Musk has been in the news recently for another reason: warning the world of the danger posed by collapsing global birth rates. “I can’t emphasize this enough: There are not enough people,” Musk stated during The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit a couple of weeks ago. “One of the biggest risks to civilization is the low birth rate and the rapidly declining birth rate.”

To say that this is an unusual message coming from a billionaire is an understatement. Since the late 1960s, most of the world’s wealthy elite have more or less bought into the population control ideology, convinced by the doomsday theorizing of the likes of Paul Ehrlich, author of the best-seller The Population Bomb.

Fellow billionaire Bill Gates and his now-ex-wife Melinda Gates, for instance, have committed an enormous amount of their wealth to the cause of reducing the global population. Gates’ recent $1.7 million donation to a research team working on male contraception is the merest tip of the iceberg. In 2017, the Gates Foundation announced that they were giving over $375 million in support of “family planning” over the space of four years, which was only the latest installment of many financial gifts aimed at reducing the population.

Musk, however, is known for an independent streak, with many of his views defying easy categorization. This is not the first time that he has raised the alarm about the detrimental long-term effects of collapsing population numbers. Earlier this year he tweeted, “Population collapse is potentially the greatest risk to the future of civilization,” linking to a Wall Street Journal article on falling U.S. birth rates.

In fact, he has repeatedly addressed the issue since at least 2017. In some 2019 remarks, he noted that “most people think we have too many people on the planet, but actually, this is an outdated view.”

People are Valuable

Musk is right. Although he may be the most high-profile person raising the alarm about depopulation, more and more political figures and economists are starting to wake up to the reality that a world without babies poses enormous challenges and risks.

A study published last year in The Lancet, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, predicted a “jaw-dropping” crash in global fertility by 2100. As the BBC reported, “the researchers expect the number of people on the planet to peak at 9.7 billion around 2064, before falling down to 8.8 billion by the end of the century.”

“That’s a pretty big thing; most of the world is transitioning into natural population decline,” says researcher Prof. Christopher Murray. “I think it’s incredibly hard to think this through and recognise how big a thing this is; it’s extraordinary, we’ll have to reorganise societies.”

Whereas the overpopulation doomsayers view people as a liability, what Musk recognizes is that even from a purely practical perspective people are also (and predominantly) an asset. That is, people are not merely biological beings that consume resources. They are also intelligent beings who use their ingenuity and creativity to produce good things, and to change the world for the better.

This is not to say that it is completely unreasonable to be concerned about the pragmatic challenges posed by rapid population growth. In Evangelium Vitaeeven Pope St. John Paul II acknowledged that some poorer countries “generally have a high rate of population growth, difficult to sustain in the context of low economic and social development, and especially where there is extreme underdevelopment.” However, in the face of these challenges, the Holy Father noted, creative politicians must work hard to implement “programmes of cultural development and of fair production and distribution of resources” instead of “anti-birth policies.” (no. 16)

Indeed, despite the consistent fear-mongering that has accompanied population growth ever since Thomas Malthus published his “Essay on the Principle of Population” in 1798, a growing population has not ushered in the apocalyptic disease and starvation that Malthus predicted. Instead, the past few centuries have seen unprecedented advances in human health and well-being, with the widespread eradication of childhood disease, enormous increases in longevity, and reductions in global hunger that have defied the predictions of even the sunniest optimists.

Even someone like Musk can see that human beings are something truly special, and that any temptation to view humans as resource-consuming “parasites” – one thinks of Agent Smith’s rant in the film The Matrix – is based upon a catastrophic misunderstanding not only of the intrinsic dignity of every human being, but also of the practical facts of how humans consume resources: not with the uncontrolled rapacity of a horde of locusts, but with intelligence and foresight.

A Catholic View of Population Issues

If even a non-Christian like Musk can see that the overpopulation ideology is catastrophically mistaken, we must go deeper still. Within the Christian worldview, not only are individual human persons potential practical assets, but they are also something much, much greater: beings made in the image and likeness of God.

As the Catechism teaches, “[Man] alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God’s own life… This is the fundamental reason for his dignity… Being in the image of God, the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone.” (paragraphs 356-357)

Rooted in a rich understanding of the inexpressible dignity of every individual human person, the Catholic Church has repeatedly warned against a simplistic approach to addressing complex problems that assumes that eliminating the human beings who suffer from those problems is the answer. In even the best-case scenario, this view inevitably leads to a cynical paternalism that robs developing nations of their freedom, and in the worst case, to horrific human rights abuses, such as the forced abortion and sterilization policies we have seen in places like China and India.

‘‘We must renounce the sophist view which holds that ‘to be many is to condemn ourselves to be poor,’” Pope St. John Paul II said in remarks at the opening of the World Food Summit in 1996. ‘‘It would be illusory to believe that an arbitrary stabilization of the world population, or even its reduction, could solve the problem of hunger directly.”

In Evangelium Vitaethe saintly pope compared globalist leaders who push population control on developing nations to the Pharaoh who ordered the first-born sons of the enslaved Israelites to be killed at birth. He wrote:

Today not a few of the powerful of the earth act in the same way. They too are haunted by the current demographic growth, and fear that the most prolific and poorest peoples represent a threat for the well-being and peace of their own countries. Consequently, rather than wishing to face and solve these serious problems with respect for the dignity of individuals and families and for every person’s inviolable right to life, they prefer to promote and impose by whatever means a massive programme of birth control. Even the economic help which they would be ready to give is unjustly made conditional on the acceptance of an anti-birth policy. (no. 16)

The Holy Father added that any effort to address population questions must “take into account and respect the primary and inalienable responsibility of married couples and families.” Certainly, political leaders can never “employ methods which fail to respect the person and fundamental human rights, beginning with the right to life of every innocent human being.” (no. 91)

“It is therefore morally unacceptable to encourage, let alone impose, the use of methods such as contraception, sterilization and abortion in order to regulate births,” he added. (no. 91)

old man and child, baby, boy, grandfather

Musk is on the Right Track

It goes without saying that Musk’s views are no approximation of the richness of the Catholic view. At the end of the day, Musk is only looking at the problem from a purely practical point of view, drawing our attention to the fact that falling birth rates portend a rapidly diminishing work force, an aging population, reduced economic output, reduced tax revenue, huge demographic shifts, etc.

However, he is on the right track. In acknowledging that humans are a resource more than a liability, he is at least partway towards a deeper understanding of the human person than the likes of Bill Gates, who has dedicated his life to ensuring that there are no more humans than he deems ideal.

“Be fruitful and multiply,” God told Adam and Eve in Genesis. This comes immediately after the passage which reads: “And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness … So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:28; 26-27)

Every human born is not just another mouth to feed but is an image of God Himself, a spark of the divine on earth, endowed with rationality, and a spiritual soul capable of intimate union with God Himself. At an earthier level, every human being is another potential mother, father, daughter, son, friend, another employee, taxpayer, inventor, and creator. Every human life is a life of inexpressible richness: of triumphs, sorrows, joys, accomplishments. Every human born has the ability to give something to the world that no other person can give.

Here, I am reminded of Pope Benedict XVI’s words in Caritas in Veritate:

When a society moves towards the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the necessary motivation and energy to strive for man’s true good. If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away. The acceptance of life strengthens moral fiber and makes people capable of mutual help. By cultivating openness to life, wealthy peoples can better understand the needs of poor ones, they can avoid employing huge economic and intellectual resources to satisfy the selfish desires of their own citizens, and instead, they can promote virtuous action within the perspective of production that is morally sound and marked by solidarity, respecting the fundamental right to life of every people and every individual. (no. 28)

And so, rather than reacting to human life with fear, as the population controlling elite have done for so long, we ought, as a civilization, to rejoice in every new life, and to reject the technocratic temptation that says we can build a better world by violently yoking nature to our narrow purposes. For, as Musk has rightly warned, we may learn all too soon that there are unpleasant consequences to our short-sighted hubris.

Documentary “The Business of Birth Control”

This fall the film Business of Birth Control was released at the Doc NYC fest and now is available for streaming nationwide.  Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake, authors of the film, also produced The Business of Being Born

 The film does a critical review of the effects of birth control.  “In the 1960’s the pill was revolutionary, giving women the ability to control their fertility and advancing their equality in the workplace and in society. But when the pill came onto the market, women were not fully informed of the side effects and risks. Sixty years later, any conversation around the drawbacks of hormonal birth control remains politicized and suppressed.”

The filmmakers highlighted testimonies of two families who have lost their daughters to fatal side effects of hormonal birth control.  “Today, over 35% of hormonal birth control prescriptions are for non-contraceptive reasons like acne, irregular or painful periods, PCOS and endometriosis. Hormonal birth control has been linked to depression, autoimmune disease, cervical cancer, fatal blood clots and other chronic conditions; yet it is still prescribed to healthy women as a panacea for every hormonal and reproductive issue.”

The film does a good job talking about the dangerous physical and mental side effects of the pill, but it is missing mentioning other methods of birth control such the LARC, very popular and producing many side effects. Moral and ethical aspects are an important piece missed for not secular audiences. People needs to know about the mechanism of action of hormonal birth control preventing implantation of a recently conceived embryo.

Watch the Trailer

Hormonal Birth Control Side Effects

A recent article published online Patients, doctors are clashing about side effects of hormonal birth control ( discuss the lack information about artificial birth control side effects. The article describes how women suffer side effects that are caused by the artificial hormones and how the issue may not be properly addressed by the health care professionals.


The Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the Pro-Life Mission

By Fr Paul Schenck

I offer an analogy for the pro-life mission. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary did for the understanding of Christian doctrine what the pro-life movement does for the understanding of human dignity. The Immaculate Conception endows Mary with Redemption, salvation and holiness, her eternal worth, rights and personhood “from the first moment of… conception.”

HARRISBURG, PA. (Catholic online) – The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains the Feast we celebrate on December 8th in this way: “To become the mother of the Savior, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.” The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”. In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.

 “Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854: “The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.” “The “splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”.

The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love”. (Eph. 1:3,4) “The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”. By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.” (CCC #490-493) 

What comes to mind as I reflect on this beautiful Feast is a vital analogy I offer to the Pro-Life movement to help in the mission. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary did for the understanding of Christian doctrine what the pro-life movement does for the understanding of human dignity.

The Immaculate Conception endows Mary with Redemption, salvation and holiness, her eternal worth, rights and personhood ” from the first moment of conception.” Let me explain the analogy.  By withholding the recognition of personhood from the unborn child, the Supreme Court in Roe V Wade, made the human child in the womb a worthless blob waiting for value and meaning to be conferred upon her at some later time. That judgment would be made by others, all of whom would be less noble, certainly more sinful than she.

The personhood of the unborn child is the most compelling moral issue of our time. It is so precisely because it defines who is a human being – and who a human being is. We all know that we must treat each and every human being with the ultimate respect and never deem any person “disposable.”

Genocide, homicide, and murder must never be condoned because it unjustifiably destroys a human being. The reason the unborn child is at the very essence of the question of human dignity, human rights and protection is that, if it is unknown who is a human being, then how can human rights be defined and protected? If any human being can be deprived of the right to life, then all human beings can be deprived of life. It is no longer possible to avoid the question of when a human begins – too much is at stake. We must end the debate and resolve that each and every human being is a person – and that person begins in their first moment of conception.

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception teaches that “the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her Conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin.” The Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary lists three Scripture passages that imply the Immaculate Conception: Genesis 3:15, Luke 1:28 and Luke 1:42. The Genesis passage points to Mary as the Mother of the Redeemer who bears and brings to birth the one who will reverse the curse of Adam and Eve.

In this respect, she was the New Eve. The first Eve’s disobedience brought death, the Second Eve’s fiat brought life. Luke tells us that Mary was full of Grace. For the Church throughout the ages this meant that she possesses every aspect of God’s Grace, all the moral and theological virtues, all the extraordinary gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. And Luke says that she was blessed among women. The Church embraces Mary as unique and unrepeatable. Among women she is singular. As daughter, virgin, wife and mother, she is the supreme example of woman and the fulfillment of every woman’s aspirations.

The Immaculate Conception teaches us that everything that Mary would become she already was in the first moment of her conception.” Mary was not less than Mary before her birth. She possessed, albeit, in a hidden way, all the Grace and spiritual attributes granted her by the merits of Jesus Christ the Redeemer, from the first moment of her conception. What does this teach us about ourselves? That we possess our full potential – our full personhood – from the first moment of our conception. There is no one reading this article today who was not who you are now ever since the very first moment of your conception.

Let me try that again: Every one of you has always been who you are today. You have grown in knowledge, experience, and even faith – but you have never been anyone but yourself, you have never been anyone other than you, you have never, ever been anything less than a unique, unrepeatable, human person. The Immaculate Conception demonstrates that God created each one of us with a unique purpose and plan for our lives, and that plan began the first moment of our conception.

+ Hail Mary, full of Grace.  —– Fr. Paul Schenck, a Priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA., is the founding Director of the National Pro-Life Center (NPLC) on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Center gives the Justices of the Supreme Court, their high-level staff, members of the federal judiciary, members of the US Senate and other public policymakers the information, education, and inspiration they need to better form their consciences so they will make better decisions. He is a Champion of the Pro-Life movement.


Roe’s End in Sight, But Our Work Goes On


Roe v. Wade’s days are numbered. That, remarkably, seems to be the consensus after the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments (transcript here) last Wednesday in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

This blockbuster case involves a challenge by Mississippi’s last abortion facility against the state’s 15-week abortion ban. That law, passed in 2018, has been blocked from going into effect by lower courts, based upon arguments that it violates Roe v. Wade, the infamous Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in 1973.

Roe and subsequent cases, including Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), state that there is a Constitutional “right” to abortion up to the point of viability – that is, the point when the baby can survive outside the womb. The Mississippi law, banning abortion after 15-weeks, was framed in part as a direct challenge to Roe, in the hopes the Supreme Court could finally overturn Roe, giving far more latitude to states to outlaw the killing of unborn children.

Hope was kindled in May, when enough of the SCOTUS justices agreed to hear the challenge against the Mississippi law. As legal scholars noted at the time, there was no conceivable reason for the Court to hear the case, unless enough of the justices are open to overturning Roe outright, or (at the very least) charting some new compromise that would allow states to ban abortions earlier than Roe and Casey allow.

However, while acknowledging that things looked positive, many experienced pro-life leaders have viewed the case with only cautious optimism, knowing that previous opportunities to overturn Roe at the Supreme Court have ended with bitter disappointment.

A Sea Change at the Court?

Wednesday’s oral hearings have markedly changed the mood. Almost every commentator – both pro-abortion and pro-life – who watched the arguments agreed that the Court’s six conservative justices all more or less strongly signaled an openness to rejecting Roe.

In a feature article for The Atlantic entitled “The End of Roe,” legal scholar Mary Ziegler wrote, “Anyone listening to today’s oral argument on abortion could not miss that something historic was happening. … Today’s oral argument signaled that the Court is poised to reverse Roe outright when it decides Dobbs, probably sometime in June or early July.”

The editors of the National Review gave a nod to the delicacy of predicting outcomes at the Court, but concurred that something massively positive seemed to unfold in the courtroom. “Veterans of Supreme Court cases past know that it is risky to read the tea leaves from questions at argument,” they wrote, “but it is hard to see how the argument could have gone much better for the pro-life cause.”

There were many instances in which the more conservative justices appeared to play their hand in a way that suggests that Roe is on the brink. Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised that as strongly a pro-life justice as Justice Alito would suggest (as he did) that Roe’s viability line “really doesn’t make any sense,” and that it seems “arbitrary” (which it is).

More encouraging, however, is that Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett – Trump’s three recent SCOTUS appointees, whose positions are less known – also seemed skeptical that Roe and Casey withstand close scrutiny.

For instance, at one point Justice Kavanaugh expressed skepticism that – contra Roe – the Constitution has anything at all to say about abortion. Echoing pro-life arguments, Justice Kavanaugh noted that “the core problem here is that the Court has been forced…to pick sides on the most contentious social debate in American life and to do so in a situation where…the Constitution is neutral on the question of abortion.” As such, he concluded, pro-life legal analysts “would say, therefore, it should be left to the people, to the states, or to Congress.”

Importantly, many of the Justices appeared to question the idea that stare decisis – i.e., the legal doctrine that says that judges should, in general, follow court precedent – provides an ironclad reason to resist rejecting Roe.

Much of the debate about the fate of Roe has centered on the question of stare decisis, with pro-abortion legal scholars and justices arguing that overturning Roe would hurt the “reputation” or “legitimacy” of the Court. However, as Mississippi State Solicitor General Scott Stewart astutely argued in the courtroom on Wednesday, the legitimacy of the Court is protected not by blindly upholding precedent, but in having the courage “to stand strong and stand firm” and to follow “constitutional principle” in overruling erroneous precedent when the errors become manifest.

In other words, the reputation of the Court is not protected by doubling down on egregious errors, but in choosing to stand for truth, at all costs.

Amen to that.

Our Work is Just Beginning

It is crucial to note, however, that even if Roe is overturned or modified, it will not be the end of the pro-life movement. Not by a long shot.

It is true that overturning Roe is something that pro-lifers have worked towards, and prayed for, for decades. When we have gathered at the March for Life, we have chanted and held signs urging the Court to “overturn Roe.” But getting rid of Roe has never been the end goal. Ending abortion is.

As Tom McClusky, president of March for Life Action, noted to the New York Times, there will be some pro-life activists who will “claim victory and walk away” once Roe is overturned. However, he added, “We want to build a culture where abortion is unthinkable. So even if by some miracle next spring Roe is overturned, there is still going to be a ton of work to do.”

Overturning Roe does not immediately make abortion illegal. It only returns the issue to the individual states. Fortunately, brilliant pro-life legal activists and legislators have presciently focused on state-level legislation for decades now, working to pass strong pro-life legislation, even when that legislation can’t go into effect until Roe is overturned.

According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, if Roe is overturned, twenty-six states will mostly or completely ban abortion. In a detailed breakdown, pro-abortion Democratic activist Jessica Post notes that nine states have never repealed pre-Roe abortion bans. With Roe overturned, they would immediately go back into effect. Meanwhile, twelve states (including four with pre-Roe bans on the books) have passed so-called “trigger laws,” that will automatically ban abortion once Roe is overturned.

baby in ultrasound

On the other hand, however, fourteen states and D.C. have passed laws strongly defending abortion. In those states, the killing of unborn children would go on as before. Indeed, likely at a higher level than before, with some women traveling to those states to have their children killed.

In her analysis, however, Jessica Post unintentionally gave high praise to the grit and genius of the pro-life strategy, noting that “Republicans worked for decades to win state legislatures so they could pass extreme abortion bans that rile up their far-right base with the hope of overturning Roe. We can no longer rely on SCOTUS to protect this fundamental right. That time is up.” She added, “We need Dems to throw themselves into state legislative elections just like Republicans have been doing.”

What a testimony to pro-life prescience! However, Post is right: once (or ifRoe is overturned, all attention will turn to the state level. At that point, there will be a greater need than ever for pro-life activists to get involved at the local and state level. There can be no passing the buck: at that point, the issue lands right at our doorsteps.

And our efforts can’t only be aimed at passing (and protecting) pro-life laws! With abortion becoming illegal in many states, there will be a rise in the number of women needing practical help to bring their children safely into the world. We will need a movement like none other to provide concrete resources to families, ensuring that no couple need face the uncertainties and hardship of a difficult pregnancy alone. True, pro-lifers have already done yeoman’s labor in building a social safety net by founding thousands of pro-life pregnancy centers. With Roe gone, however, that net will have to expand even further.

Pray for Courage for Our Justices

There are many variations of the proverb “don’t count your chickens until they hatch.” Indications at the Court last Wednesday were extraordinarily promising. However, as the editors of National Review wrote, “A majority of the Court appears to understand that Roe is bad law. What remains to be seen is whether they have the courage to act on that.”

That must be our prayer today: Pray ardently, and fast, for our Supreme Court justices. They have heard the arguments. Enough of them appear to be sympathetic to the truth. But there is a difference between knowing the truth and acting on it. Most of us cannot understand the level of pressure – psychological, social, and spiritual – that is being placed upon them. If they overturn Roe, all the ire of the powerful abortion lobby, and the dark spirits that revel in the slaughter of abortion, will be aimed in their direction.

Let us cover them with prayer. May we all yet live to see not only the end of Roe, but also the end of the violence and scourge of abortion, in the United States and around the world.

Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices (IUDs) Appear To Have Systemic Effects on the Body

Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices (IUDs) Appear To Have Systemic Effects on the Body (

This week, a new study about the systemic effects of IUDs will be presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).  The author of the study used Breast MRI  to show that  (LNG-IUS) has effects not only in the uterus but also systemic effects.

Levonorgestrel-releasing  (LNG-IUS) is used by millions of women worldwide and appears to have systemic effects on the body like those of hormone replacement therapy.  “It has been claimed that IUDs have a purely local effect on the uterus,” said Luisa Huck, M.D., a radiology resident in the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany. “Our study results suggest that this is not true.”

LNG-IUS works by releasing a small amount of progestins into the uterus. It was believed that any side effects would be confined to the reproductive system. However, this study suggests that LNG-IUS can be associated with systemic side effects similar to those of systemic hormonal contraception.

The author of the study concluded that “IUDs appear to be a very safe means of contraception and are generally well-tolerated,” she said. “However, if women with an IUD in place experience unexplainable side effects, they should talk to their doctor and consider using other types of contraception.”

A recent study has found that women who currently or recently used the LNG-IUS had an increase of 21% in the risk of breast cancer compared to women who had never used hormonal contraceptives.


Protecting Boys and Men from Endocrine Disruptors

Protecting Men and Boys from Endocrine Disruptors – Natural Womanhood

In 1992, the British Medical Journal published a disturbing study which suggested that human semen quality had declined by approximately 50% from 1930 to 1991 (1). Subsequent research has confirmed that male fertility seems to be declining—and a whole host of man-made chemicals appears to be a possible cause.

These chemicals, known as endocrine disruptors or endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), are used in plastic, food packaging, pesticides, cosmetics, cleaning products, paint, toys, personal care products, and household products. The amount of these chemicals produced annually around the globe is measured in the millions of tons!

Many of these man-made chemicals affect our endocrine system by interfering with our hormones’ normal functions, directly affecting our reproductive functioning.

We’ve discussed endocrine disruptors before and this time we’re focusing specifically on how they affect males and their fertility. We’ll also look at ways to reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and how protect the men in our lives.

It’s important to note that these chemicals seem to have the most significant impact on babies and children as their bodies are developing, which is all the more reason for women who are looking to get pregnant anytime soon to limit their exposure to EDCs—including hormonal contraception—as much as possible.

Androgens are key for healthy male development

A category of hormones called androgens are essential for the development of the male reproductive system. Androgens—testosterone being the most well known—are usually thought of as the male reproductive hormones, though smaller amounts are necessary in women’s bodies as well. The masculinization of a boy’s internal and external male reproductive organs are dependent mostly on testosterone and one of its metabolites, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which are produced in the testicles. Thus, normal male development requires a balanced hormonal environment.

The period of time when the male reproductive system is developing is incredibly sensitive to chemicals that have an anti-androgen effect. At about eight weeks gestation, the cells of the forming testes begin to produce testosterone, which drives the differentiation and development of the internal and external genitalia. The ability of endocrine-disrupting chemicals to suppress androgen synthesis during fetal and neonatal life can cause a series of male reproductive disturbances, such as cryptorchidism (the failure of one or both testicles to descend into the scrotal sac), hypospadias (a condition in which the opening of the urethra is somewhere other than at the tip of the penis), impaired fertility (especially due to poor semen quality), and an elevated incidence of testicular cancer. (2, 3, 4, 5) The abnormal development of testes in an infant boy can have long-term consequences for sperm production, and therefore his future ability to conceive children.

The perinatal period is a particularly sensitive window of development in which minor hormonal disturbances may have a long-lasting impact on fertility.

Other less talked about effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals include alterations of genetic systems and gene expression. These effects are particularly troubling since alterations in genetic programming during early stages of development can have profound effects years later and may also lead to transgenerational inheritance of disease. (6,7)

Worst endocrine disruptors for males

Bisphenol A

BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical used in the manufacturing of plastics and epoxy resins used in food and drink containers, plastic water bottles, baby bottles, dental sealants, and a variety of household products. It is widespread in the environment and every year 2.2–4.7 million tons of BPA are released into the environment. Humans are mainly exposed to BPA as it leaches from the inner lining of canned food and microwave containers during heating of food or through beverages in plastic bottles. BPA can be detected in several human body samples, such as serum, urine, amniotic fluid of pregnant women, breast milk, and even in semen. It has been estimated that urinary BPA is detected in more than 90% of Americans. Several studies have shown that increased urine BPA levels may be associated with decreased sperm concentrations and decreased semen quality. (8)


Alkylphenols are used industrially in the production of detergents, latex paint, adhesives, and plastics as the stabilizers to package food, detergents, disinfectants, surface cleaners, cosmetic products, herbicides, and pesticides. Unlike most chemicals, which usually become less toxic with biodegradation, alkylphenols become more toxic when they break down. Humans are primarily exposed to alkylphenols through contaminated food and water. Alkylphenols have been shown to affect testicular development and testosterone production.


Phthalates are industrial chemicals used as plasticizers in the manufacture of plastics, solvents, sealants, paints, varnishes, detergents, cosmetics, personal care products, toys, and household products.

Phthalates easily leach from plastics into foods, beverages and body fluids. Factors such as product age, use, and ultraviolet light exposure cause phthalates to leach even more. Humans can be exposed to them through ingestion, absorption, inhalation, and skin contact. Around 6 million tons of phthalates are produced worldwide every year.

Phthalates are considered to be one of the major groups of anti-androgenic substances causing disorders of male reproductive development, such as hypospadias, cryptorchidism, smaller testes and penis size, alterations of the vas deferens and epididymis, poor sperm production, testicular germ cell tumors and reduced semen quality. In humans, maternal exposure to phthalates also results in fetal exposure to these toxins.

Start by filtering what you bring into your home

Avoiding every product with these chemicals may seem daunting, but you can dramatically reduce your family’s exposure by making one small change at a time. You have a lot of control over what you bring into your home, so begin making some simple swaps when it comes to what you put in and on your body.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women, or any woman planning to conceive, should take extra care to avoid endocrine disrupting-chemicals for the future hormonal health of their offspring.

Avoid endocrine disruptors in your food:

  • Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them,
  • Replace food storage containers with glass, especially when storing hot food or drinks.
  • Find reusable glass or stainless steel drink containers and metal straws for your coffee, tea, and water.
  • Reduce consumption of canned and processed foods (or at least check the label that items are in BPA free packaging).
  • Never microwave food in plastic containers.
  • Avoid plastic containers designated #3, #6, and #7.
  • Prepare more meals at home and try to use fresh ingredients.
  • Consider using a water filter (we know that women on the synthetic estrogens found in hormonal contraception excrete it through their urine, where it ultimately ends up in our water supply).
  • If possible, purchase organic produce, meat, and dairy products.
  • Replace older, non-stick pans with newer, ceramic-coated pans.

Avoid endocrine disruptors in your body products:

  • Each time you need to buy a new bottle of something, look for a new natural brand to try.
  • Avoid anything that has “fragrance” or “parfum” in the ingredient list.
  • Use washing balls (Google “washing balls” or “laundry balls”).
  • Do not use fabric softener—use wool dryer balls instead.
  • Use the apps ThinkDirty or SkinSafe to see how safe your products are.

Though endocrine-disrupting chemicals can seem unavoidable, the good news is that their dangers are becoming more well-known and many companies are voluntarily offering safer product options. If you begin to read labels, you’ll find lots of packages that say “BPA free” or “No phthalates.”

It has taken me years to make healthy product swaps, and some of the easiest changes I’ve made to avoid the extra chemicals for my family is to replace all our food and drink containers with glass or stainless steel. I also steer away from using canned food. Whenever we run out of a lotion, soap or detergent, I look for a healthier product to replace it. Yes, these products can be pricey, but there have been many products I’ve found we don’t really need, like dryer sheets. The extra time and money it has taken to make these changes is well worth the peace of mind knowing my husband, children (and especially my two boys) have healthy bodies and healthy hormones.


  1. Carlsen E., Giwercman A., Keiding N. and Skakkebaek N.E. 1992 Evidence for decreasing quality of semen during past 50 years. British Medical Journal 305 609–613.
  2. McLachlan, J. A., Newbold, R. R., and Bullock, B. (1975). Reproductive tract lesions in male mice exposed prenatally to diethylstilbestrol. Science 190, 991–992. doi: 10.1126/science.242076
  3. Gill, W. B., Schumacher, G. F., Bibbo, M., Straus, F. H. II, and Schoenberg, H. W. (1979). Association of diethylstilbestrol exposure in utero with cryptorchidism, testicular hypoplasia and semen abnormalities. J. Urol. 122, 36–39.
  4. Jensen, T. K., Toppari, J., Keiding, N., and Skakkebaek, N. E. (1995). Do environmental estrogens contribute to the decline in male reproductive health? Clin. Chem. 41, 1896–1901.
  5. Zhang, L., Dong, L., Ding, S., Qiao, P., Wang, C., Zhang, M., et al. (2014). Effects of n-butylparaben on steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis through changed E2 levels in male rat offspring. Environ. Toxicol. Pharmacol. 37, 705–717. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2014.01.016
  6. Schug, T. T., Janesick, A., Blumberg, B., and Heindel, J. J. (2011). Endocrine disrupting chemicals and disease susceptibility. J. Steroid Bichem. 127, 204–215. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2011.08.007
  7. Skinner, M. K. (2011). Role of epigenetics in developmental biology and transgenerational inheritance. Birth Defects Res. C Embryo Today 93, 51–55. doi: 10.1002/bdrc.20199
  8. Li, D. K., Zhou, Z., Miao, M., He, Y., Wang, J., Ferber, J., et al. (2011). Urine bisphenol-A (BPA) level in relation to semen quality. Fertil. Steril. 95, 625–630. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.09.026

SARS-CoV-2 and the female reproductive system

A recent study published in The American Journal of Reproductive Immunology evaluated the possible cross-reactivity of antibodies against Spike proteins and proteins related to human fertility. The authors  belong to research centers in Israel, Italy, France and Russia. They conducted a systematic study to understand the immunological potential of peptides shared between SARS-CoV-2 Spike glycoprotein and human proteins involved in reproduction and the possible effects that molecular mimicry may have on female fertility.

Molecular mimicry is the resemblance that exists between antigens; in this case, between the Spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 and the proteins of human tissues. It is a mechanism that can contribute to female and male infertility, by generating autoantibodies that react against the organs of human reproduction.

The authors of the study did a search in a library of 82 human proteins linked to the process of differentiation of the ovum (oogenesis). They compared immunological potential of the peptides shared between SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein and oogenesis-related proteins. SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein was found to share 41 minimal immune determinants, with 27 human proteins that relates to oogenesis, placentation and/or decidualization.

These findings suggest potential cross-reactivity between the homologous peptides that may result in the development of autoantibodies and new-onset of related autoimmune manifestations.

The authors of the study emphasized that the molecular mimicry found in the study  does not indicate female reproductive dysfunction in people who suffer COVID-19 infection. They suggest potential cross-reactivity between the homologous peptides that may result in the development of autoantibodies and new-onset of related autoimmune manifestations.

These scientific discoveries about the similarity between Spike glycoprotein and human tissues are very important. All the approved COVID 19 vaccines used the Spike protein. Clinicians  should monitor patients vaccinated against COVID-19, due to the problems of cross-reactivity between the homologous peptides and possible autoimmune diseases, cancer, and infertility that may appear among the vaccinated population.

How Stopping Oral Contraceptives Can Affect Menstrual Cycle Biomarkers: A Review of Research

By Grace Strella, MD

How Stopping Oral Contraceptives Can Affect Menstrual Cycle Biomarkers: A Review of Research – FACTS (

Editor’s Note: This week, we publish a review of important research[i] published in the Journal of Women’s Health in 2011. Dr. Grace Strella summarized the research while on the FACTS elective. The study by Nassaralla et al is titled, “Characteristics of the menstrual cycle after discontinuation of oral contraceptives.” Before this research was published in 2011, no studies had assessed cervical mucus quality upon discontinuation of oral contraceptives (OCPs). Although a 2002 study[ii] by Gnoth et al had assessed basal body temperature and ovulation, cycle lengths, luteal lengths, and cervical mucus peak, it did not evaluate cervical mucus quality. More research is still needed like this groundbreaking 2011 study to understand the full impact of OCPs on fertility and other important aspects of women’s health.

Why This Matters

A woman came into my clinic to discuss fertility and wanted counseling on how to prepare to become pregnant. She had just gotten married and they decided to start a family, so she wanted to stop her birth control pills. She asked me how long it would take for things to “go back to normal,” as she wanted to have children as soon as possible. I told her it could be a few months, but that her fertility would eventually return to normal.

Thankfully, she did not ask any further questions because honestly, I don’t think I would have had many answers for her. This experience showed me I lack knowledge on this important topic, and need to fill in these gaps before another patient comes in seeking my help with such an important aspect of her life. 

According to the CDC website, approximately 14% of women ages 15 to 49 were using the pill between 2017 and 2019.[iii] It would make sense intuitively that many of these women would eventually decide to discontinue oral contraceptives to achieve pregnancy. When it comes time for them to attempt to conceive, it would also make sense for women to use fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) to increase their chances of conception. For this reason, it is important to know what biomarkers will be affected after stopping their oral contraceptives, and for how long these changes will affect their menstrual cycle charting.

Although a few studies have looked at the effects of discontinuing oral contraceptives on a woman’s hormones and return of fertility, this 2011 article by Nassaralla et al was the first to integrate charting, cervical mucus, and specific characteristics of menstrual flow.

Study Design

This was a retrospective matched cohort study that evaluated the biomarkers of the menstrual cycle after stopping OCPs. A total of 140 women were involved in the study. The researchers randomly matched 70 women who had just stopped taking oral contraceptives by age and parity with 70 women who had not used oral contraceptives for more than a year. For six months, they recorded daily observations including menstrual flow (intensity, duration) and mucus characteristics. With this information recorded, they calculated the cycle mucus score, luteal phase length, and the estimated day of ovulation, and assessed overall cycle length.

Biomarkers Altered by OCPs

The study found that the women who had recently stopped oral contraceptives had lower mucus quality scores for the first two cycles. They also noted a later estimated day of ovulation in the second cycle, and an overall decreased menstrual flow intensity in the first four cycles. These results were all statistically significant. In summary, multiple biomarkers were altered for at least two months after stopping oral contraceptives.

Unfortunately, this study has a few limitations that could be addressed in future studies. The study only looked at the first 6 months after discontinuation of oral contraceptives. It might be helpful to see if more patterns are observed a full year after stopping, although the study did show the differences had already minimized by six months. Future research could also assess hormonal levels and biomarkers in the same group of women and assess the impact of potential treatment with hormones such as cyclic progesterone.

The theory behind the delayed normalization of these menstrual cycle biomarkers is that it takes time for the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis to normalize after being affected by exogenous estrogen from OCPs. In patient care, it would be helpful to be able to provide a woman with specific examples of how certain biomarkers will be affected as she begins to chart her cycles in an attempt to increase her chances of conception after stopping OCPs. Information from studies like this one can be applied clinically as physicians and other medical professionals counsel patients on their return to normal fertility after stopping oral contraceptives.

Editor’s Note: Dr. Joe Stanford, one of the study authors, was kind enough to review this summary of their research. Reflecting back, he thinks perhaps the main limitation of this study is that “it’s old enough that the oral contraceptives studied are somewhat different than the ones in use today.” Still, the study design and important data collected can both inspire and inform future research.

Dr. Stanford also shared how their study was strengthened through a timely collaboration:

“Some may be interested in the back story on this publication. Diane Daly and I recognized the need for more data on the impact of recent use of oral contraceptives on women charting their cycles, with the Creighton Model specifically. We started working on collecting data for this study as early as 1992. A few years later, we had completed some preliminary data and analyses.

“Subsequently, I became aware that Claudia Nassaralla and Richard Fehring were working on the same question with a nearly identically designed study (matched retrospective cohort study). Great minds think alike! We communicated and decided to combine our data for better sample size and analysis. After our first submission to the journal, the reviewers requested a more sophisticated statistical analysis appropriate to matched data with variable numbers of cycles per woman. Peer review with added value! Karen Schliep joined the team to do the final statistical analysis, and the manuscript was then accepted for publication, nearly 20 years later!”


[i] Nassaralla CL, Stanford JB, Daly KD, Schneider M, Schliep KC, Fehring RJ. Characteristics of the menstrual cycle after discontinuation of oral contraceptives. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011;20(2):169-177. doi:10.1089/jwh.2010.2001.

[ii] Gnoth C, Frank-Herrmann P, Schmoll A, Godehardt E, Freundl G. Cycle characteristics after discontinuation of oral contraceptives. Gynecological endocrinology : the official journal of the International Society of Gynecological Endocrinology 2002;16:307-17.



Grace Strella, MD

Grace Strella, MD is a family medicine resident at Via Christi Family Medicine Residency in Wichita, KS. She participated in the FACTS elective during residency.

Let’s protect our daughters!

by Anonymous author

Let’s protect our daughters! » MercatorNet

I am a French mother whose teenage daughter recently announced to me that she was gender dysphoric and wanted hormones. Being left-wing politically oriented, a feminist, and sensitive to the rights of minorities, I first thought my daughter had to be supported in the difficult path to transition.

I find this is a common first thought. But after researching the issue, I discovered a completely different—and terrifying indeed—perspective— that my distressed daughter was being rushed down a highly dangerous path. I found also, that, as girls like my daughter hurtle down this road, they are encouraged at all turns by LGBT activists who sincerely believe they are fighting for freedom and against discrimination, while, at the same time, being secretly funded by companies with dubious ethics.

This happens in a context where the media, the educational sphere and the medical world are largely and woefully misinformed, and generally sympathetic to trans claims of marginalization to the exclusion of all other perspectives.

Great Britain, Sweden and Finland are ahead of France on this path of gender ideology—and in terms of resistance to the trend. For years, in these countries, as well as in North America, parents and health professionals have kept their doubts alive and have challenged the ideology behind medical transition of minors. Today medical studies abound showing the ineptitude and danger of early transitions before age 25.

You may not feel concerned by this story. Maybe you are more interested in classical politics, social inequalities and the climate change. But… the trans wave is now in France, just four or five years after Great Britain, and we need to be vigilant and aware.

Today, it is my daughter. Maybe your daughter will be next? Or her childhood friend? Or the neighbour’s daughter? Your niece? One of your students? One of your patients? Your granddaughter? Your sister or cousin? And this contagion is not limited to girls. Boys too are increasingly under threat from trans ideology.

More than anything else, I researched and wrote this to protect my daughter and help her question this dangerous path before rushing headlong into it. For this reason, I must keep my name secret, and I cannot activate my usual professional, friendly, feminist, political networks.

My hope is that my research, written in French and translated into English, will help others. Most of the resources linked in this article are in French, some in English. This is a world-wide phenomenon and resources should be available, eventually, in all languages.

I thank you for disseminating this text as widely as possible, by all the means at your disposal, including social networks used by young people: Tiktok, Instagram, Facebook, and your friendly, educational, medical, lesbian, feminist, media, political networks… All ideas are welcome to support our girls and boys!

1. What is this about ?

Gender dysphoria is a kind of suffering related to the feeling that one belongs to the other gender, in relation to one’s birth sex. Until recently, this was a rather rare diagnosis. However, in the last decade, this phenomenon has increased exponentially, by + 1500% to + 4000%, especially among young girls in Western countries.

Graph Source: Society for Evidence Based Gender Medicine (SEGM)

The documentaries The Trans Train1 and Dysphoric are excellent resources to discover a phenomenon which has swept through the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Sweden, Finland, and is now arriving in France, Spain and the rest of Europe. The video “Gender or Sex?” (in French) is also very educational and family-friendly.

Some studies suggest a kind of social contagion is going on, a phenomenon related to a form of expression of adolescent suffering in young girls similar to adolescent anorexia. Clusters—groups of young girls wishing to transition—are frequently seen appearing.

2. Sex and gender, vocabulary and ideologies

Gender ideology is rife with new and reinterpreted terms, and it’s important to learn how trans-activists use them in untraditional ways.

The sex of a person is biological data linked to our DNA (XX or XY in 99.8% of cases, intersex in rare cases). This genetic heritage determines (except intersex exceptions, in 1 to 2% of cases) the primary sexual characteristics: ovaries, uterus / penis, testes as well as secondary sexual characteristics, after puberty (chest, hair, etc).

By widely shared convention, we call female a human female (XX) and man a human male (XY). Gender usually refers to the set of socially constructed differences and stereotypes associated, in a given culture, with each biological sex. So, today, pink is said to be the colour of girls and blue that of boys, although the opposite convention prevailed in the past.

Thus, from a classical feminist perspective, sex is a physiological datum that cannot be changed, but stereotypes and gender norms can be questioned and challenged. This is the spirit underlying texts such as the Woman’s Declaration, an international declaration of women rights based on biological sex. Many lesbian and homosexual movements are also part of this classical feminist tradition.

The trans movement uses very different terminology.

According to them, sex is assigned at birth by the biomedical sciences and the terms gender identity (deep feeling of the person), cis-transgenderFtMMtF are used.

Harry Potter’s author J.K. Rowling’s alleged transphobia recent controversy stems from the fact that she joked about the disappearance of the word “woman” to describe a person having their period—a factual statement that would have been uncontroversial up until the very recent past.

The video “Gender or Sex? (in French) provides a very educational scientific reminder on the terminological confusion between sex and gender. The video “An honest discussion on Gender”, with Dr Debrah Soh also covers this issue well.

3. Psychotherapeutic follow-up or medical transition?

Gender dysphoria is the cause of genuine, significant distress among young people. With adequate psychotherapeutic follow-up, its causes are usually understood, and/or disappear in 60 to 90% of cases at the end of adolescence2. It can very often be linked to autism3 or homosexuality, and sometimes to schizophrenia.

Moreover, regardless of any transphobia, it is an undeniable fact that medical transition (hormones and surgery) is largely irreversible and dangerous for bone densityheart4 and fertility. Moreover it hasn’t been demonstrated to even improve mental health.

Our purpose here is not to deny the possibility of medically transition for adults who have thought at length about this issue. What we do aim is to question:

  • the permanence or desistance of gender dysphoria in children and adolescents
  • the usefulness of an irreversible medical transition, potentially dangerous and often unsuited to their suffering
  • a teenagers’ capacity to have true informed consent to lifelong medicalization of their body, while a consensus seems to affirm that the human brain reaches psychic maturity around the age of 25
  • the influence that social networks and LGBT activism can have on young people experiencing doubt and suffering, while being very much mobilized against discrimination

With these questions in mind, it is important to promote among young females the need to take the time for reflection and the possibility to have access to serious psychotherapeutic monitoring prior to any form of medical transition5. These are the demands of many movements around the world, including:

4. The detransitioners

Detransition is a growing phenomenon related to the explosion of gender dysphoria and the transition of young minors. Discussion of detransition has been taboo within the trans community, as it counters the narrative about the immutability of gender identity. Nonetheless, more and more young people are detransitioning. Medically speaking, the transition pathway is delicate.

Studies on this phenomenon remain scarce because showing interest in detransition is considered by activists as transphobia, and those looking into it have been shunned and vilified.

Source: Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine, medical study dated May 2021

However, medical studies on this topic are increasing in number. Detransitioners are getting collectively organized and their voices are getting out, including through the reddit thread Detrans, a remarkable report on Radio Canada, an article in the monthly “Causette” in France, the documentary “Trans Regret”, a documentary of the BBC, a long interview with a detransitioner hereand the Detransition Advocacy Network. Related websites are flourishing: Detransvoicespost-transPiqueresprojectSex Change Regret. The French “Observatoire de la petite Sirène” (the Little Mermaid Observatory) also collects various contact information of detransitioners.

5. International situation. Legislative developments

In SwedenFinland and the United Kingdom, legislation has changed very recently to the effect that puberty blockers and transition hormones are now prohibited for minors.

In England, the Keira Bell case (a young woman who transitioned at age 16 and sued the clinic a few years later) resulted in a chilling in support for the medical transition of minors. An article in Medscape (translated in French here) was published in April 2021 under the title“Transgender adolescents: Are the winds starting to turn?”. In the United States, Arkansas has just adopted legislation similar to that of Finland. In Canada the recently passed “Bill C6” law aroused opposition because of the ambiguous wording comparing the psychotherapeutic treatment of young dysphoric patients to conversion therapy.

In the rest of Europe, this issue is new. In Spain and Germany, the Parliament voted against authorizing transitions for minors. Further details can be found here. In France, the newly (2021) created Observatoire de la petite Sirène warns against medical transition for minors. In Switzerland, the organization plays the same role.

6. Trans claims and oppositions

The trans movement demands the withdrawal of trans identity questions from the psychiatric sphere (depsychiatrization) and the right to self-determination of one’s gender and to medical treatment (hormones, sex reassignment surgery), fully reimbursed by social security without prior psychotherapeutic follow-up.

This is relayed explicitly or implicitly by various (most certainly well-intentioned) political movements or institutions in the name of the fight against transphobia and discrimination. In many Western countries, the recommendations of WPATH are rarely questioned.

The main oppositions come from the conservative movements, which the present text does not study further, and from various movements already mentioned above:

These movements, irrespective of their political opinions on other subjects, are all very worried about this trend towards the rapid medical transition of young minors, and their medicalization for life, without serious psychotherapeutic follow-up.

The LGB Alliance in the UK goes so far as to call trans medicine conversion therapy for young gay men.

7. The weight of lobbies

Very large companies linked to the medical world massively subsidize the Trans movement, or certain political parties with positions favourable to the positions of the trans community. For example Ferring Pharmaceuticals has regularly subsidized the Liberal Democrats in the United Kingdom.

Articles by journalists Jennifer Bilek and Jamie Hamilton highlight the influence of large companies. One of these is Thomson Reuters, acting through the Thomson Reuters Foundation. In partnership with the LGBTQI organization Iglyo which trains young activists and Dentons lawyers, it produced a report entitled “Only Adults? Good practices in Legal Gender Recognition for Youth” recommending the adoption of laws allowing medical transition for minors without parental consent.

The very educational Australian video, “The business model of youth transitioning” highlights the huge markets behind the potential life-long medicalization of hundreds of thousands of young Westerners.

Jennifer Bilek’s article “The Stryker Corporation and the Arcus Foundation: Billionaires Behind The New LGBT Movement” informs on the links between wealthy Americans in the medical world and larger LGBT associations.

In another article entitled “Who Are the Rich, White Men Institutionalizing Transgender Ideology?”, Bilek investigates the many great fortunes behind the LGBT movement.

8. Parents

In France, information offering an alternative to the medical transition for minors is difficult to find. As this text shows, the (most certainly sincere) speech of many trans activists calling for the transition on simple request, without psychiatric follow-up, including for minors, meets very little institutional opposition, and disqualifies all oppositions as transphobic.

What is more, Family Planning institutions, the Mediator of Rights, and many doctors, are trained by transactivist groups pushing them to accept young people’s transition desires without questioning them. Parents that question the trans affirmative narrative have very few resources, although a parent group in France will be created soon.

In other countries, various groups and organizations are springing up to provide parent resources, including GenspectPour les Droits des enfants du QuébecBayswater Support group, Transgender Trend, the “Association for a measured approach to gender issues” in Switzerland, AMANDA in Spain, Scream for Recognition in Belgium, and Tranteens sorge berechtigt in Germany.

The usual difficulty faced by parents of dysphoric children is a kind of suicide blackmail: either you accept your child’s medical transition, for his or her good, or your child will commit suicide (and in addition you are transphobic). From a scientific standpoint, this threat is a myth and has been thoroughly discredited.

There is no scientific evidence that medical transition improves matters – quite the contrary, in fact.


1 “The Trans Train” is a 2019 three-part Swedish documentary that rocked Sweden very quickly and ditched medical transitions on minor. Part 2 and Part 3 are also available on YouTube with English subtitles.

2 See also: and

3 See also: and

4 See also:

5 See also:

6 See also:

This article has been republished with permission from the Substack blog Parents with Inconveniente

Coercion and Birth Control in Sex Trafficking

Coercion and Birth Control in Sex Trafficking – Natural Womanhood

This summer, the Marvel movie Black Widow featuring Scarlet Johannson finally offered some backstory into the life of the much-neglected superheroine, Natasha Romanoff. As one of the Avengers without superhuman strength, Romanoff is known for her expert interrogation and investigatory skills gained from her time as a Russian operative. Films reveal tidbits from her past over the Marvel Comic Universe cannon. We know her training was something of a forced trial by fire, and in Avengers: Age of Ultron, it’s revealed that a part of the training includes sterilization. “It’s efficient,” she tells Bruce Banner.

In Black Widow, Romanoff, reconnected with her sister Yelena, vows to combat the system that led to her oppression. It is revealed that the two sisters do not have menstrual cycles as a result of their exploitative training program.

“They rip out all of your reproductive organs,” Yelena explains. “They chop them all away . . . so you can’t have babies.”

The system Yelena and Natasha Romanoff end up fighting in the culmination of Black Widow reveals a network of trafficked women treated as disposable pawns in the battles of more powerful actors. The women were kidnapped as girls or otherwise lured into the “Red Room,” before being enslaved and forced into an aggressive militia training program, wherein their free will is stripped from them, requiring them to comply with everything commanded of them. Some escape, as Natasha and Yelena did, but these are the exceptions.

The film Black Widow is not making a subtle comparison to human trafficking and other exploitations of girls and women in its plot. While it’s a comic book story, the plot contains clear allusions to real-life abuses of girls and women, and not by accident. Black Widow director Cate Shortland told USA Today her goal was to “have the Marvel universe intersect with reality. So we talked about trafficking. We talk about women’s reproductive rights in the film because they’re things we care about.”

Reproductive harm and sex trafficking

Human trafficking takes place in the forms of labor trafficking (when people perform labor through the use of force, fraud, or coercion) and sex trafficking (when people are sold in commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, or when any minor is sold in commercial sex acts). Trafficking is a modern-day slavery that takes place all over the world, including the United States. And, as I discovered completing a yearlong journalism fellowship on the topic, sex trafficking takes place in all areas of the sex industry, from prostitution and strip clubs to pornography.

Sex traffickers most often come in the form of a “pimp,” a person who grooms, recruits, and profits from selling people in sex. Young women, men, girls, and boys, can become caught up in sex trafficking in a number of ways, from being kidnapped, to being manipulated by a charming boyfriend into helping him make money to get out of a bind. However it begins, sex trafficking involves significant sexual abuse and trauma, often a Stockholm Syndrome-type bonding to the trafficker making it hard to escape, and harder for law enforcement to detect. For many girls and young women, it involves significant reproductive abuse as well.

The role of birth control in sex trafficking

Survivors of sex trafficking have told me that pimps will take advantage of any opportunity to make a buck by selling sex. Since much of sex trafficking involves selling sex in prostitution, maximizing profit for traffickers requires that trafficked women not get pregnant. In other words, birth control is essential to be “efficient” in the sale of sex. Whether a trafficked woman attempts to use condoms, is on hormonal contraceptives, is sterilized, uses Plan B, or has an abortion when pregnant, birth control is an essential part of making money for traffickers.

“Commercial sex has a wide range of negative effects on the reproductive health of prostituted women and trafficked girls,” Dr. Michael Shively, senior advisor on research and data analysis for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, told me in an email. “The consent and welfare of prostituted women is of little concern to pimps, traffickers, and brothel owners, and maximizing income is always the objective.” As a result of pressure to please and earn money, Dr. Shively explains, condom use is largely ineffective as a means of protecting from STIs or preventing pregnancy for trafficked women. As he told me:

Sexually exploited people often try to protect themselves through condom use but are usually forced or pressured into unprotected sex. Unprotected sex is regarded as an occupational hazard. Those who insist on condoms are frequently forced to engage in sex without them, and those who succeed in consistent condom use earn far less money than those who don’t. . . . Women insisting to protect themselves are substandard earners, and often pay the consequences of beatings and coercion until they become compliant and accommodating about allowing sex buyers unprotected sex.

Connie Rose, a sex trafficking survivor who helps other trafficked people with the organization Victims 2 Survivors, shared with me how she has known many women who have suffered reproductive harm from menstruation control methods as well as birth control methods. “I have known other survivors who were forced to use vagina cups so that your flow was not a part of the ‌sexual‌ ‌experience‌. They are also a form of birth control,” she told me in a phone call, but used during prostitution, she says, “they created irritation ‌in‌ ‌the lining‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌uterus,‌ and ‌a‌ ‌lot‌ ‌of‌ ‌my‌ ‌friends‌ ‌who used them ended up having ‌hysterectomies and incredible‌ ‌health‌ ‌problems.”

Rose told me that in the past when helping trafficked women, it was hard to set up a well women’s visit to the doctor without fear, “when there’s a warrant out for your arrest.” Rose is now a survivor trainer at Global Strategic Operatives, an organization that trains healthcare professionals how to identify and support trafficking survivors, stating “88% of victims seek medical care or treatment while being trafficked.” And since many girls and women who have been trafficked into prostitution are treated as criminals by law enforcement, advocacy organizations like Shared Hope International aim to train law enforcement officials how to recognize the signs and work with survivor-led groups to help women recognize cycles of abuse and leave their traffickers.

Shared Hope and NCOSE and other anti-trafficking organizations insist that the most effective way to reduce trafficking of persons is to follow the Nordic Model—to decriminalize prostituted people and focus law enforcement efforts on reducing demand for prostitution by criminalizing sex buyers, in addition to targeting traffickers.

While traction is being made to recognize signs of trafficking and help victims get the health and recovery services they need, there is a lot of work still left to be done, including in the area of women’s health. Often those seeking women’s health services are not identified as victims of trafficking, and are therefore given incomplete care.

According to Amanda De Jesus, a FertilityCare Practitioner Intern (FCPI) and a member of the Northwest Indiana Anti-Trafficking Coalition, “Unfortunately, there are many women and girls who are being evaluated by medical professionals while they are still being trafficked. Because a lot of these doctors aren’t trained to recognize the signs of trafficking, often they are just being treated for UTIs, STIs, etc., given birth control, and sent out the door.”

While some might still view this as a net good for the trafficked women coming in to receive birth control services, viewed another way, it is overlooking the larger problem and applying an insufficient treatment—one that might even cover up or further the abuse. “Birth control, in many ways, is another tool that a trafficker can use to take control away from a survivor,” De Jesus told me in an email. “When birth control is forced upon women (or they are coerced into taking it), I believe it shows these girls that their natural bodies are something to be hated and suppressed while they are used as an object for another’s pleasure. Not to mention the myriad of negative side effects that often accompany taking hormonal contraceptives.”

“Birth control, in many ways, is another tool that a trafficker can use to take control away from a survivor.”

This is born out in survivors’ testimonies. A 2015 report by Laura Lederer and Christopher Wetzel, published in the legal journal Annals of Health Law, was the first of its kind “to examine many of the reproductive health issues experienced by sex trafficking victims, including birth control usage, pregnancies, miscarriages, and forced and elective abortions.” Of the surveyed women, “a large majority (80.9%) of those who answered the question indicated that they had used some form of birth control for some portion of their time being trafficked. Of those who specified where they obtained the birth control, approximately half (51.7%) said they had obtained it from a doctor or clinic.”

As one survivor shared in Lederer’s report:

During the time I was on the street, I went to hospitals, urgent care clinics, women’s health clinics, and private doctors. No one ever asked me anything anytime I ever went to a clinic. . . . I was on birth control during the 10 years I was on the streets—mostly Depo-Provera shots which I got at the Planned Parenthood and other neighborhood clinics. I also got the morning-after pill from them.

Among the report’s recommendations to medical professions are to urgently “be made aware of critical signals for identifying trafficking victims.” Healthcare professionals need to be trained to “understand the coercive dynamic of trafficking, especially the extreme degree of control exercised by traffickers, and the prevalence of this criminal exploitation of women and girls.”

Abortion and sex trafficking

When trafficked women do get pregnant, many suffer forced abortions as a vicious follow-up measure of birth control. “Part of my story is that I was forced to have an abortion at 16,” Connie Rose told me. “It was a late-term abortion” at eight months gestation, and “a lot of my friends also had‌ abortions‌, too,” she said, “as a means of birth control.”

“Some of it was controlled by their trafficker; some was by choice [of the trafficked woman] because the last thing they were going to do was let a trafficker have their child.” She added that the fallout of abortion is “not‌ ‌just‌ ‌mental‌ ‌side‌ ‌of‌ ‌it,‌ ‌but‌ ‌what‌ ‌it‌ ‌is doing‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌body‌ ‌physically‌.”‌

Later in her advocacy work, Rose also helped a trafficked woman whose trafficker “beat her up” when she was pregnant, “so‌ ‌she‌ ‌would‌ ‌just‌ ‌naturally‌ ‌abort‌. I’m‌ ‌sure‌ ‌she’s‌ ‌not‌ ‌the‌ ‌only‌ ‌one‌,” she told me. ‌

Sadly, forced abortion, and abortion under the oppressive context of sex trafficking, are very common for women and girls trafficked into prostitution. Lederer’s 2015 report found “more than half (55.2%) of the sixty-seven respondents who answered reported at least one abortion, with twenty respondents (29.9%) reporting multiple abortions.”

The report further explains, “While only thirty-four respondents answered the question whether their abortions were of their own volition or forced upon them, more than half (eighteen) of that group indicated that one or more of their abortions was at least partly forced upon them.”

Numbers like this make it unsurprising that the anti-abortion group Live Action revealed in undercover investigative videos of Planned Parenthood that abortion providers were ready to offer no-questions-asked abortion services to girls and women who identified as minors with pimp-like figures in their clinics. While protocol insists that people who appear trafficked should be connected with authorities and abuse-recovery services, these videos echo what many survivors say in their testimonies—that abortion clinics often provide the requested services without question, and then send them on their way.

Better ways forward for the reproductive health, empowerment, and protection of girls and women

While abuses against women are not entirely due to birth control, birth control is a constant that makes these sexual abuses easier to take place, and easier to keep under wraps. When a 14-year-old gets pregnant, for instance, that can be an obvious sign that statutory rape has happened (and may, in fact, be continuing to happen). When a 14-year-old is on birth control, that kind of abuse can go on much longer before people see the signs.

While abuses against women are not entirely due to birth control, birth control is a constant that makes these sexual abuses easier to take place, and easier to keep under wraps.

Even from women who are not sex trafficked, I hear echoes in social media groups of the pressure many women today feel to be “constantly available sexually” for their partners in order to have relationship security. Nonstop sexual activity separated from procreation isn’t sustainable without birth control, and this outlook is creating sex drives that are not naturally sustainable. It can foster difficulty down the road in maintaining self-control when sex is not available for completely human reasons, such as when a partner isn’t well, has surgery, is bereaved, or is postpartum—times when love should be expressed in different ways. And it gives women the impression they are not valuable for simply being themselves, but for their utility to be used by others for pleasure, which is to reduce their value to that of an object.

To use women as objects dehumanizes them, and a part of what makes women human is our reproductive capabilities. As a result, we should consider no-questions-asked birth control services for women and girls with some amount of skepticism and apprehension. If we don’t work harder as a society to identify the controlling of women and girls in sex trafficking, we may ignorantly participate in the perpetuation of abuse, and birth control can be just another form of exploitative control.

Women who use modern fertility awareness methods instead of birth control say they feel more in the driver’s seat of their reproductive health, and they are more able to read their body’s signs and understand their health and fertility. As a result, women who have switched from birth control to fertility awareness methods express feelings of being more in tune with their bodies, greater self-agency in sexual relations, and a greater sense of equality between partners.

When teen girls are taught fertility awareness, there is evidence that it helps reduce at-risk behavior. As Anna Migeon shared in her impactful article on “Cycle Mindfulness:

In the 1980s, Leslie Carol Botha taught basic fertility awareness charting to teen girls (13-17 year-olds) at eight different restorative care homes for at-risk girls. A typical girl in the program had been a victim of sexual assault, ran away from home, used drugs and alcohol, and ended up in jail. In working with these girls, Ms. Botha made an amazing discovery: teens who are taught fertility awareness and how to chart their cycles can regain control of their lives.

Here is what she found out: for 90% of the girls in the program who had ended up in jail, it happened during the premenstrual phase of her cycle, that monthly darkness that Ms. Botha calls “falling down the rabbit hole:” increased anger, disruptive and self-destructive behaviors, suicidal ideation, and drug and alcohol cravings.

The good news is there is accessible and age-appropriate, dignified reproductive health education that can teach teens this important body literacy.

While fertility awareness is not a quick fix for the exploitation and complex problems caused by sex trafficking, educating girls and women about their bodies and reproductive health can assist them in achieving greater self-knowledge, agency, and healing, no matter where they are on their journeys.

Called to the Joy of Love







The document “Called to the Joy of Love: National Pastoral Framework for Marriage and Family Life Ministry” was developed by the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). It was approved by the USCCB at its June 2021 Plenary Assembly.  The framework is intended to assist dioceses as local pastoral planning and implementation continue to take place since the publication of the 2016 apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia. It provides guidelines for the pastoral accompaniment of married couples and families in every phase of life, drawing upon the teachings and recommendations contained in the apostolic exhortation.

See the digital edition of the pastoral framework here

7-685 Pastoral Framework for Marriage and Family Life, FINAL, for UPLOAD.pdf (

New Ohio ‘2363 Act’ will protect preborn children from abortion at fertilization


A new bill introduced by Ohio State Rep. Jena Powell aims to reduce the number of abortions in the United States from 2,363 each day to zero. The 2363 Act would ban abortion in Ohio, except in the rare situation where a mother’s life is at grave risk (see more here on why abortion is never truly medically necessary). Like the Heartbeat Act in Texas, citizens would be able to sue an abortionist for violating the law by committing an abortion, while the bill would exempt women undergoing abortions from legal repercussions.

Powell spoke with Live Action News in an exclusive interview about the legislation.

“The 2363 Act is… based off of the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act, which was signed into law earlier this year, but we’ve made a couple of changes,” explained Powell. “This bill uses the enforcement language by the Texas Heartbeat Act, which has been upheld by the 5th Circuit Court. We stated AlabamaLouisiana, Arkansas, and Utah as having recently passed similar pieces of legislation.”

The 2363 Act is one in which Powell has a personal investment, due to her upbringing and her passionately held pro-life beliefs.

“As a woman legislator in our state, I believe it is crucial that we move forward on pro-life issues,” she said. “I’m very, very passionate; I’m actually one of seven children. I’ve grown up in a household that protects life, and understands that abortion is wrong. And so for me, being in the legislature, it was exciting to start working on crucial pieces of legislation. We already passed the heartbeat bill in my first term, and that said that at the time we can see a heartbeat, that child deserves life, and to be protected; that’s currently being held up in the courts, but what I realized was, if we believe life begins at fertilization, then we have to continue moving the ball forward in protecting every life.”

Powell is also doing more than just passing legislation to defend life. She’s founded the Ohio Pro-Life Caucus, which aims to take pro-life activism even further. Powell and the Pro-Life Caucus believe in taking a dual approach to ending abortion, both through enacting pro-life legislation and offering increased support to women, children, and families.

“We have a lot of pro-life members in our state,” she said. “In Ohio, we’re trying to pull together as many conservative Republicans that believe in life, or members [who] holistically believe in the pro-life movement. We’ve sent out a co-sponsorship request, and we’re really moving forward on the bill. The goal of the pro-life caucus is to inform and educate members, as well as help them move forward the narrative and policies to protect every single life in the state of Ohio. We have bills that we’re working towards in the caucus between members — everything from eradicating abortion holistically, to protecting and preserving life, to helping pregnancy resource centers, to helping hurting mothers and families in our state. So, we’re kind of looking at a two-pronged approach, and saying, all right, let’s end abortion in our state, and let’s also move forward and help women, help children, and take steps to eradicate abortion as well.”

Despite support for pro-life bills across the country, the abortion industry continues to go on the attack against them. One common argument is that pro-life legislators are only concerned with protecting children before birth, which Powell said was “categorically untrue.”

“The state of Ohio gives tons of money to women, families, and children in our state. We continue to support pregnancy resource centers, we provide a lot of opportunities, whether it’s struggling mothers or young children, in our state,” she said. “Data would show us that those claims are untrue. And I understand why the pro-abortion movement wants to say that. But at the end of the day, the stats, the data, the knowledge, is on our side.”

Powell currently has 33 co-sponsors and one joint sponsor for the 2363 Act, noting that she believes there is “an appetite to protect and support life in our state, specifically with everything that’s going on in the Supreme Court. Ohio is a pro-life state. My first general assembly, we passed the Heartbeat Bill, and our voters — there’s over 11 million Ohioans — were in huge support of that bill, and were very thrilled that we moved forward on it. Ohio is a more conservative state for sure, and Ohioans see that we not only support mothers and children, but also we’re looking to protect life in the process.”

Live Action president and founder Lila Rose noted in a press release:

Abortion is our nation’s leading cause of death, killing more people than heart disease, cancer, or COVID-19. This gruesome truth echoes throughout the 2363 campaign, pleading with our national conscience that action must be taken on behalf of the most vulnerable. The science is crystal clear – human life begins at the moment of fertilization – not at birth, not at 15 weeks gestation, not even at 6 weeks when a preborn child’s heartbeat can be first detected. Every single preborn child deserves protection and no child should be discriminated against based on race, gender, medical diagnosis, or age.

The 2363 Act ensures that no child will be left behind to face the abandonment and violence of abortion.  We must be absolutely fearless in our efforts to protect these children as well as their mothers and families from the predatory abortion industry. The 2363 Act is the beginning of the end of legally sanctioned abortions in America.

Altogether, Powell expects great things in the future for the pro-life movement in Ohio, which will have a positive effect for residents throughout the state.

“We’re just really excited,” she said. “Ohio did not have a pro-life caucus, and so we’re excited to move forward holistically on helping women and children in the state of Ohio. We know abortion does not help women. There are so many resources for women and children, and men, because we know abortion harms everyone. It’s not just a female issue.”

The Prescriptive Norm of Humanae Vitae

By Adolfo J. Castañeda

Once he has established some fundamental principles, St. Paul VI proceeds to evaluate, from the moral perspective, the problem of contraception within the context of conjugal love and the transmission of human life. First, he affirms this moral norm in its positive sense or its prescriptive dimension, i.e., what must be done. The term “prescriptive” simply means “to prescribe,” to command the performance of a certain action (like “feed the poor” or “clothe the naked”).

Later, the Pope affirms the moral norm in its negative sense or its prohibitive dimension, i.e., what must be avoided. The term “prohibitive” simply means to prohibit, to forbid the commission of some evil action (like abortion or contraception).

In the positive sense, Humanae Vitae commands that in the conjugal act, husband and wife remain open to the possibility of transmitting human life: “The Church, nevertheless, in urging men to the observance of the precepts of the natural law, which it interprets by its constant doctrine, teaches that each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life” (11).

Must new life come from every conjugal act?

This norm does not at all mean that a new life must ensue from every conjugal act. As a matter of fact, such an occurrence is biologically impossible, as St. Paul VI himself recognizes. In addition, the Pope teaches that the spouses do not commit any sin when they engage in a conjugal act that they foresee to be infertile through no fault of their own. Even in such cases, the Holy Father calls the conjugal act itself “chaste, noble and worthy” when husband and wife truly love each other and are not closed to the possibility of transmitting a new human life:

The sexual activity, in which husband and wife are intimately and chastely united with one another, through which human life is transmitted, is, as the recent II Vatican Council recalled, “noble and worthy.” It does not, moreover, cease to be legitimate even when, for reasons independent of their will, it is foreseen to be infertile. For its natural adaptation to the expression and strengthening of the union of husband and wife is not thereby suppressed. The fact is, as experience shows, that new life is not the result of each and every act of sexual intercourse. God has wisely ordered laws of nature and the incidence of fertility in such a way that successive births are already naturally spaced through the inherent operation of these laws. (11, emphasis added)


What Then Does Humanae Vitae Command?

The positive norm of Humanae Vitae consists in commanding the spouses to always respect the inseparable connection between the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning of the conjugal act:

This particular doctrine, often expounded by the magisterium of the Church, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning which are both inherent to the marriage act. (12)

However, respect for the inseparable connection between the unitive and procreative meanings implies a lot more than just abstaining from contraception. Recall that in Humanae Vitae 9 St. Paul VI explained the four characteristics of conjugal love: fully human, total, faithful and exclusive, and fecund. The spouses are called to grow in all of these values and in their love for each other. Each spouse is called to always see his beloved as a gift from God, as end in himself or herself, as a person, and not as an object for selfish pleasure. True conjugal love requires that the husband sees himself as a gift from God to his wife and at the same time to welcome his wife as a gift from God. Likewise, the wife must see herself as a gift from God to her husband and at the same time to welcome her husband as a gift from God. In the words of the Holy Father himself: “Whoever really loves his spouse loves not only for what he receives, but loves that spouse for the spouse’s own sake, content to be able to enrich the other with the gift of himself” (9, emphasis added).

The Wedding Register – Edmund Blair

This dynamic of love as self-gift, together with the practice of self-control, enables the spouses to acquire and practice those virtues that enrich conjugal life and the conjugal act itself: sincerity, honesty, tenderness, affection, and solicitude, among many others.


Openness to Life

Recall that one of the characteristics of true conjugal love is its inherent openness to the transmission of new life. If the spouses truly love each other and avoid contraception, they will be able to develop a deep love for the transmission of life and for their children when God decides to give them this precious gift. Pope Paul VI teaches us that the value of self-control or self-discipline also enables the spouses to

fully recognize and value the true blessings of family life…and confers upon them as parents a deeper and more effective influence in the education of their children. As their children grow up, they develop a right sense of values and achieve a serene and harmonious use of their mental and physical powers. (21).


Why must the spouses always respect this inseparable connection between the unitive and procreative meanings of marriage?

The answer to this question is astonishing simple: because the nature of true conjugal love demands it. Recall that one of the characteristics of conjugal love is its fertility. The Holy Father explains that true conjugal is inherently open to the possibility of transmitting human life. A conjugal love that deliberately closes itself to life is no love at all; it is a lifeless “love.” As the Holy Father writes of true conjugal love:

This love is fecund. It is not confined wholly to the loving interchange of husband and wife; it also contrives to go beyond this to bring new life into being. Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the procreation and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents’ welfare.

If the spouses, through contraception, destroy their sexual act’s capacity to transmit life, they are not only violating the procreative meaning of the conjugal act, but also its unitive meaning. Contraception is not only anti-life; it is also anti-love.

Let us also recall that another characteristic of conjugal love is that conjugal love is total. It encompasses the whole person. Husband and wife give themselves to each other completely in their conjugal act, leaving nothing out. But if they contracept, then they are leaving out their fertility and not giving themselves completely. Therefore, once again, contraception is contrary to conjugal love and not only to procreation.


The Prohibitive Norm of Humanae Vitae

The prohibitive norm of Humanae Vitae is that nobody may ever deliberately break the inseparable connection between the procreative and unitive meanings of the conjugal act by means of contraception, anti-natural uses of the sexual act (such as sodomy or coitus interruptus), sterilization, or abortion. In the words of St. Paul VI:

Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children.  Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means (14).

It is clear from this passage that not only direct abortion and direct sterilization are absolutely prohibited, but also all kinds of contraceptives, whether barrier contraceptives, hormonal contraceptives (which are also abortifacients), or mechanical contraceptives (such IUDs, which are also abortifacients).


Why Is Contraception “Intrinsically and Gravely Evil”?

The act of contraception always violates the intrinsic goods of marriage and of the conjugal act: the unitive and the procreative. Therefore, it is intrinsically evil. Since the goods that contraception violates are at the same time values of great importance (love and life), contraception is also gravely evil. This means that no circumstance or motive can ever justify it. The norm that prohibits contraception in all its forms is an absolute norm, i.e., it admits of no exception.

In addition, if we consider the teachings of St. John Paul II on the theology of the body, we will discover that contraception is also anti-sacrament. The sign of the sacrament of marriage is comprised of (1) the vows that bride and groom exchange during their wedding, and (2) the conjugal act that expresses those vows through the language of the body. The true language of the body, in the case of marriage, includes the conjugal acts that physically express the sign expressed in the words (the marital vows) of the sacrament of marriage. Furthermore, it is clear that the sign of the sacrament of marriage includes the unitive and procreative meanings  that God has inscribed in the souls and bodies of husbands and wives, because those meanings are included in the marital vows in one way or another.

But contraception goes against both of those meanings, the unitive and procreative. Therefore, it is a counter-sign, an anti-sacrament.

Wedding of Mary and Joseph - United States public domain where where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or fewer

Wedding of Mary and Joseph – Artist Unknown


Is Contraception a Mortal Sin?

When the spouses possess full knowledge that contraception is an intrinsically and gravely evil act but nevertheless freely and fully will it, they commit a mortal sin. They cannot receive Holy Communion nor enter Heaven upon their deaths.

But if they put their trust in our all-merciful God, repent, promise to amend their lives, go to confession and fulfill the penance imposed by the confessor, they will be filled with God’s infinite mercy and love. They can and should receive Holy Communion and the strength it provides to live righteously and to love God and neighbor. God will heal their lives and lead them to a life of holiness and happiness.


An Objective or Subjective Argument?

It may seem that this whole discussion against contraception is based on subjective arguments because the Holy Father appeals to the subjective characteristics of conjugal love: fully human, total, faithful and exclusive, and fecund.

But we must clarify that we are discussing marriage morality not only from a subjective perspective on the values of conjugal love. We are also discussing marriage morality from an objective perspective. The same values that characterize true conjugal love are at the same time objective goods that God has inscribe in the very beings of the spouses and that they must respect and develop. The spouses who truly love each other and are faithful to God through His Church internalize these objective goods, making them their own. Once the spouses have accepted these goods in their hearts, the goods become values that the spouses cherish and develop so that their love for each other and for their children grows and flourishes.

A value is the internal experience of an objective good. The principal objective goods of marriage (conjugal love, the procreation and education of children, and the sacramental sign) ought to be interiorized and personalized by the spouses, and so become values.

In this way, spouses render justice to the objective and subjective dimensions of conjugal morality and of the whole spectrum of Catholic morality. The objective goods that God’s commandments protect become the interior values that propel good Catholics to act. God’s commandments are no longer seen as “external rules” but as guarantors of that happy life (here and beyond) that the goods protected by the commandments make possible.

Finally, it should be clear that by “subjective” we do not mean at all subjectivism. These two are completely different. In fact, they are opposites of each other. Subjective values correspond to the interiorization of objective goods, while subjectivism is an ideology whose adherents believe that their inner feelings, no matter how wicked, are true for them, even if they are not true for others. Subjectivism leads to relativism and relativism destroys morality completely, because relativism leads to the erroneous belief that morality is subjective and individualistic, and that objective and universal moral norms do not exist.



Male Contraceptive Trials

The medical device company Contraline has invented a new male contraceptive. Using advancements in hydrogel technology the company developed a device called ADAM™ .

The device is implanted into the vas deferens through an outpatient procedure. The hydrogel works by blocking the vas deferens preventing sperm from traveling through.

This device is similar to intrauterine devices (IUDs) for women, and it is designed to last for years and be reversible. Contraline initiates its first-in-human clinical trial in 2021.

Although, the company emphasizes that the  hydrogel  is easily injectable, safe, and long-lasting, the moral  aspects and problems to the conscience of married people are ignored.

Humane Vitae tell us “Consequently, unless we are willing that the responsibility of procreating life should be left to the arbitrary decision of men, we must accept that there are certain limits, beyond which it is wrong to go, to the power of man over his own body and its natural functions—limits, let it be said, which no one, whether as a private individual or as a public authority, can lawfully exceed.”

“The question of human procreation, like every other question which touches human life, involves more than the limited aspects specific to such disciplines as biology, psychology, demography or sociology. It is the whole man and the whole mission to which he is called that must be considered: both its natural, earthly aspects and its supernatural, eternal aspects. ”


Ohio city of Mason becomes 41st ‘sanctuary city for the unborn’ in the US


On Monday, the City of Mason, Ohio (pop. 35,450), became the 41st city in the nation and the second city in Ohio to pass an enforceable ordinance outlawing abortion within its city limits. The second and final reading vote passed 4-3 in the packed city council chambers.

Mayor Kathy Grossmann was joined by council members T.J. Honerlaw, Mike Gilb, and Tony Bradburn in favor of the ordinance outlawing abortion, while council members Ashley Chance, Diana Nelson, and Josh Styrcula voted against the measure. While the ordinance passed by a majority vote, the ordinance did not receive the five votes required to go into immediate effect. This means that the ordinance will go into effect on November 24th, which will be 30 days after Monday’s vote.

Mark Harrington, president of Created Equal, was one of the many pro-life leaders present for the historic meeting. Harrington shared, “Joe Biden has stated he wants abortion in every zip code in America. Hence, citizens across America are acting by preventing abortion from being committed in their communities. Ohio is once again taking the lead to protect children and more cities are joining this movement every week!”

Mason is the 24th city to pass an ordinance outlawing abortion since the Biden Administration stated their commitment to see abortion access in every zip code in January of this year.

The first to introduce the ordinance to be placed on the agenda was Councilman T.J. Honerlaw. Upon the passage of the ordinance, Honerlaw shared, “Passing the sanctuary city for the unborn ordinance is my greatest accomplishment while serving my first term on Mason City Council. It’s been an honor to work with my pro-life colleagues to keep abortion out of Mason, Ohio.”

Vice-Mayor Mike Gilb also stood confident in his decision, knowing that it was what his constituents placed him there to do. “I’m here to protect life. For me it’s a fundamental issue . . . I’m not just here to decide how bright the street lights should be or where the next roundabout goes. Those things are certainly important issues, but they’re not as fundamental as protecting life.”

For the four outspoken and passionate members on the council who were for the ordinance, there were three outspoken and passionate members on the council who were against the ordinance. The most outspoken on the council against the ordinance was Councilwoman Diana Nelson, who appeared to affirm that women had a constitutional right to an abortion.

Nelson shared, “The Supreme Court has made a ruling on abortion, regardless of one’s opinion on abortion; creating local laws that contradict with federal laws is illegal and unconstitutional.” Nelson continued, “When local leaders begin enacting laws which are in violation of our resident’s constitutional rights we have a much larger problem.”

Mayor Kathy Grossmann pushed back on Councilwoman Diana Nelson’s claim that they, as elected officials, were entertaining a piece of legislation which contradicted the Constitution, any federal laws, or any Supreme Court ruling. Grossman shared that based on statements from attorneys, the ordinance is consistent with the Constitution, all state and federal laws, and worked within Supreme Court rulings. Grossman asked Vice Mayor Mike Gilb, who is a local attorney, his assessment on the matter. Vice Mayor Gilb shared, “From my review of the ordinance I certainly understand it to be not in conflict with Roe v. Wade and constitutional in the way it is presented.”

Mason, Ohio (Photo: Mark Lee Dickson)

The Mason Ordinance Outlawing Abortion states, “The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), which invented a constitutional right for pregnant women to kill their unborn children through abortion, is a lawless and unconstitutional act of judicial usurpation, as there is no language anywhere in the Constitution that even remotely suggests that abortion is a constitutional right.” The ordinance goes on to say, “Constitutional scholars have excoriated Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), for its lack of reasoning and its decision to concoct a constitutional right to abortion that has no textual foundation in the Constitution or any source of law.”

Even though these strong statements are made in the findings section of the ordinance, the Mason Ohio Ordinance does not go against Roe v. Wade (1973), Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) or any Supreme Court ruling, but works within those rulings and current federal and state laws to go as far it can go to prohibit and restrict abortion access under the confines of the undue burden standard which was set by the United States Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992).

The Sanctuary City for the Unborn Ordinance for Mason, Ohio, does not prevent pregnant mothers in Mason from getting an abortion outside of the city limits. All the ordinance does is prevent a pregnant mother from obtaining an abortion within the city limits. Mayor Grossmann argued this point repeatedly throughout the council meetings, stressing that the ordinance simply preserves the status quo by keeping abortion out of the city limits of Mason.

While Councilwoman Nelson raised concern that the passage of the ordinance would open the City of Mason up for lawsuits, no lawsuit has been successful against the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn movement. In February of 2020, the ACLU sued seven cities in East Texas which had outlawed abortion. After three months, the ACLU withdrew their lawsuit and, to this day, abortion remains banned in each city which was sued. In May 2021, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the City of Lubbock for outlawing abortion within the city. Before the month was up, Planned Parenthood lost their lawsuit. Due to the ordinance going into effect, Planned Parenthood stopped performing abortions in Lubbock on June 1, and is currently not performing abortions in Lubbock.

If the City of Mason is sued, attorney Jonathan F. Mitchell, the former Solicitor General of the State of Texas and the legal mind behind the enforcement mechanism of the Texas Heartbeat Law, has agreed to represent the city at no cost to the city and taxpayers.

The Mason Ordinance states, “It shall be unlawful for any person to procure or perform an abortion of any type and at any stage of pregnancy in the city of Mason, Ohio,” and “It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly aid or abet an abortion that occurs in the city of Mason, Ohio.” Abortion is defined by the ordinance as “the act of using or prescribing an instrument, a drug, a medicine, or any other substance, device, or means with the intent to cause the death of an unborn child of a woman known to be pregnant.” The Ordinance is also clear that the act is not an abortion if the act is done with the intent to “save the life or preserve the health of an unborn child” or to “remove a dead, unborn child whose death was caused by accidental miscarriage” or to “remove an ectopic pregnancy.”

There is one other exception listed in the ordinance and that is a very narrow exception for cases where the mother’s life is at risk. This is listed as an affirmative defense and falls upon the one performing the abortion to provide that defense if necessary. This is outlined by the ordinance as abortions in cases where the abortion is “in response to a life-threatening physical condition aggravated by, caused by, or arising from a pregnancy that, as certified by a physician, places the woman in danger of death or a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function unless an abortion is performed.”

Besides outlawing abortion, the Mason Ordinance declares abortion-inducing drugs to be contraband, stating, “It shall be unlawful for any person to possess or distribute abortion-inducing drugs in the Mason, Ohio, and it shall be unlawful for any person to mail or ship abortion-inducing drugs into the city of Mason, Ohio.” Abortion-inducing drugs are defined as “mifepristone, misoprostol, and any drug or medication that is used to terminate the life of an unborn child.”

Many of the opposition in attendance attempted to attack the ordinance for this section, arguing that these drugs had other uses. However, the ordinance is clear that “the term also does not include drugs or medication that are possessed or distributed for a purpose that does not include the termination of a pregnancy.”

According to the ordinance, those who are found in violation are guilty of a misdemeanor in the first degree and, under Ohio law, are not to serve more than six months in jail or pay more than $1,000 in fines. This prosecution or penalty contains only one exception: “Under no circumstance may the penalty be imposed on the mother of the unborn child that has been aborted, or the pregnant woman who seeks to abort her unborn child, be subject to prosecution or penalty under this section.” The implementation of these penalties are not dependent upon the overturning of Roe v. Wade or any other court ruling, but are immediately enforceable.

It is not likely that Mason, Ohio, will be the last city in Ohio to outlaw abortion. On the same night of Mason’s vote, the City of Celina (population 10,687) also discussed an ordinance outlawing abortion. The City of London, Ohio (pop. 10,436), is also considering a similar ordinance.

Ohio State Representative Jena Powell shared, “What a great day in Mason! Thrilled to see that Mason is now a sanctuary city for the unborn. I’m excited to see more cities across our state and nation fight to protect the unborn. It’s crucial that every child is protected in the state of Ohio, and this is a huge step in the right direction.”

The Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative encourages all who wish to see abortion outlawed in their city, regardless of what city or state they live in, to sign the online petition on the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn website.

Mark Lee Dickson is a Director with Right to Life of East Texas, a Pastor of SovereignLOVE Church in Longview, Texas, and the founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative.

UNICEF endorses ‘sexual autonomy’ for children

Hormonal Contraception and Violent Death

A recent article published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neurosciences evaluated the effects of the use of hormonal contraceptives upon the behaviors of intimate partners.  The study of the physiology of women using hormonal contraceptives has provided insight into the possible basis for the resulting increase in violent death. The author of this review investigated the changes that are potential contributors to the reported increase in violent death by suicide, accident, or homicide.

It has been demonstrated that hormonal contraceptive use affects the behaviors of both female and male partners which can cause changes in mate retention behaviors. These changes in mate retention behaviors could lead to intimate partner violence and death.  The review also analyzed how hormonal contraception modify brain structure and function.

The authors conclude: “there is a great need for further research concerning brain function and structure relating to exposure to hormonal contraceptives, especially since these drugs are often given to young women whose brains are not fully matured. Through the use of physician screening and patient education, the incidence of violent death can potentially be mitigated. It cannot be denied that millions of women are potentially affected adversely by hormonal contraception and its potential link to increased suicide, intimate partner violence, induced abortion, and worsening of BPD traits, such as substance abuse and risk- taking”.

See article here



Venous Thrombotic Events, Hormonal Contraception, and FABMs: A Review of Research

By Natalie Gould, DO

Editor’s Note: This year, October 13th is World Thrombosis Day, which provides an opportunity to raise awareness about this potentially life-threatening medical condition or complication. The 2018 research summarized below is titled, “Systematic Review of Hormonal Contraception and Risk of Venous Thrombosis.” The study was published by Keenan et al in 2018 and won the 2019 Linacre Award for outstanding research paper of the year. The researchers reviewed the literature assessing the risk of venous thrombotic events in women who choose hormonal contraception. Dr. Natalie Gould’s summary of this important study ends by discussing fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) as a reasonable, safe, and effective option for women who need or prefer a different approach for pregnancy prevention, health monitoring, and/or to diagnose and manage a variety of women’s health conditions.

A Personal Story

It was just a few days after Christmas and we were sitting outside, sharing our shock in silence. Reunited with our college friends, we should have been happy — happy to see one another, enjoying the joyful nature of the season, and sharing adventure stories from our young lives. Instead, most of us were quiet and tearful, having just attended our friend’s memorial service. Despite her youth, she collapsed suddenly due to massive pulmonary emboli — blood clots within her lungs. 

She had been on hormonal contraception … and many of us had been or were on hormonal contraception too… While grieving, we wondered, could this happen to me too? Why had our doctors never discussed this possible deadly side effect with any of us? 

Years later, I am in medical school, where the risk of venous thromboembolism (VT) has hardly been mentioned as a potential side effect of hormonal contraception. If it is mentioned, it is touted as a rare occurrence. While this may be so, it is in our best interest as medical professionals to discuss all potential side effects with our patients so they have true informed consent and the highest sovereignty over choices affecting their bodies. Hormonal contraception is often used as a first line therapy for women’s health issues beyond pregnancy prevention. Women have the right to know all the evidence about these medications before choosing to take them. 

In the 2018 study titled, “Systematic Review of Hormonal Contraception and Risk of Venous Thrombosis,” Keenan et al reported the significant increased risk of venous thromboembolism in healthy young women using hormonal birth control. This is a review of their findings.


Hormonal contraception (HC) continues to have high prevalence use worldwide, with over 80 percent of women in the U.S. alone reporting use of some form of HC at some point during their reproductive years. Despite the widespread use, the safety of HC is primarily determined through observation and case control trials due to ethical concerns of having women who are trying to avoid pregnancy take a placebo. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) practices have changed drastically in the last twenty years, since data surfaced showing increased cardiovascular risks with HRT, so that their benefit does not outweigh the potential harm. Despite these findings, HC doses are often given in five to ten times the dose of HRT.

In medicine and bioethics, informed consent is paramount. The intent of the research by Keenan et al was to look at broad safety data of hormonal contraception and evaluate for potential increased risk for venous thromboembolism, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), and central venous thrombosis (CVT) in healthy female populations of reproductive age.


A PubMed search was performed for all relevant publications from inception through April 2018. The following inclusion criteria were used: all articles evaluating risk of any form of HC for first VT in healthy women. Articles had to have a nonuser comparison group and VT confirmed with either imaging study or strong clinical diagnosis with minimum four weeks anticoagulation. Studies had to report relative risk (RR) or odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI). Type of HC used must have been identified, including the generation of oral contraceptives.


Of the studies reviewed (n=15), 12 were case control studies ranging in size from 36 to 1,524 cases, and 3 were cohort studies ranging in size from 8 to 17.2 million-women-years of observation. All the studies showed an increased risk of VT in women using HC compared to their controls, with the exception of users of the levonorgestrel-releasing IUD. Interestingly, a few studies showed that risk generally decreased with longer use time, with the first year of use demonstrating the greatest risk.

Obesity was also shown to be associated with higher risk of VT in patients using HC. In one study, women taking second generation HC had significantly higher risk, with a sixfold increase in risk if body mass index (BMI) was greater than 30.

This review demonstrated that users of second and third generation HC have significantly increased risk of death due to a fatal pulmonary embolus. A Swedish study demonstrated significant risk of death in women aged 15 to 24 when reviewing the death registry.

Overall, risk was increased for users of all generations of HC, with use of fourth generation HC being greater than third, and third generation greater than second. Use of transdermal patch and hormonal vaginal rings was associated with significant increased risk of VT. Finally, the progestin-only implant was not shown to increase risk, and the levonorgestrel IUD showed decreased risk.


This review article set out to explore whether users of HC have a significantly increased risk of confirmed venous thrombotic events when compared to nonusers. The studies reviewed demonstrate that, indeed, users of HC have a three- to ninefold increased risk of confirmed VT. The study reports that HC can therefore be estimated to cause 300-400 young healthy women to die each year because of their contraceptive choices.


The authors go on to say that this risk is often justified in the studies reviewed by noting the risks of pregnancy. Yet, the reviewers point out that the absence of HC use is not equivalent to pregnancy, and the studies fail to discuss options that would not expose these healthy women to the potential harmful side effects to which HC exposes them. 

This raises an important issue: are women being adequately informed of the potential risks of their contraceptive choices? Birth control has long been viewed as a positive development for women, and while the benefits are shouted from the rooftops, should we not also be willing to explore their potential harm?


The possibility of venous thrombotic events due to HC use is often under-reported and appears to be overlooked by the general public. Although medication safety is usually determined through the gold standard of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), it is not possible to study HC with RCTs, as giving women placebo could lead to unintended pregnancy. Thus, it is imperative to consider studies such as this review to understand the risks of HC and to properly counsel patients on their contraceptive choices so they have full informed consent.

A Reasonable, Safe Alternative

The study authors point out that several fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) of family planning demonstrate typical use rates comparable to those of oral contraceptives. These FABMs have no medical side effects, making the potential harm of VT avoidable if these options are presented to women alongside HC options. They go on to suggest further research to follow a large cohort of women using FABMs compared to a cohort of women using HC to evaluate health outcomes of each choice.

Many women do not think of HC choices as potentially harmful, and many are not counseled on the increased risk of VT. As it relates to HC, for women to have full sovereignty over their bodies and provide true informed consent, physicians must be aware of these risks and personalize counseling.

Death due to VT may seem like a rare possibility, but when it is your best friend, your wife, your daughter, or you, it matters. It’s no longer rare; it’s real.

FABMs are often not presented to women as a viable option for pregnancy prevention. If more physicians were educated about these options, perhaps we would not have to ignore or accept the risk of losing 300-400 healthy young women — women like my friend — each year. 

FABMs empower women with knowledge of whether or not their bodies are healthy. They can also help identify the root causes of women’s health problems that are often merely masked by HC use. This would decrease medical use of HC for reasons other than contraception.

This brings up the painful, yet important question we must consider: what would have happened if, years ago, my friend’s doctor presented an FABM as an option to her?


Keenan L, Kerr T, Duane M, Van Gundy K. Systematic Review of Hormonal Contraception and Risk of Venous Thrombosis. Linacre Q. 2018;85(4):470-477. doi:10.1177/0024363918816683.


Natalie Gould, DO

Natalie Gould, DO is a first-year resident at Peak Vista Family Medicine Residency in Colorado Springs, CO. She wrote this review as a fourth-year medical student at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine. She participated in an FABM elective and is excited to continue her education regarding these important options for women for her future practice as a family physician. She believes all women should have access to FABMs and is excited to do her part to share this important information



Forced Sterilization

Prophetic words of Pope Saint Paul VI in his most famous encyclical, Humanae Vitae.

“The danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law…. Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone.”

Forced sterilization is a reality:

The abortion industry wants to use climate change funding to expand abortion

A New Pro-Life Saint?

A New Pro-Life Saint? This Italian Mother Sacrificed Her Life for Her Unborn Baby| National Catholic Register (

“Riccardo, you are a gift for us.” These are the words a 26-year-old Italian mother wrote to her newborn 26 years ago. They were words she was willing to live by – and die for.

On Aug. 30, Pope Francis advanced the sainthood cause of Maria Cristina Cella Mocellin, who sacrificed her life for the sake of her baby. Catholics already are comparing her to another saint, St. Gianna Beretta Molla, because both women refused medical treatment that would have endangered their unborn babies, according to EWTN Pro-Life Weekly. After close examination, the Church now recognizes Maria Cristina as a “venerable” for leading a heroically virtuous life.

This is the story of that life.

Maria Cristina was born in 1969 in a town called Cinisello Balsamo, located in Milan. According to La Stampa, she grew up next to the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joan Antida Thouret, and served as a catechist and youth leader. She strongly considered religious life while still a young teenager.

“Lord, show me the way: it doesn’t matter if you want me as a mother or a nun, what really matters is that I always do your will,” she wrote in her spiritual diary in 1985.

Her vocation became clear when, at 16 years old, she met Carlo Moccellin. She was called to marriage – a marriage with him. She never wavered from that conviction, even when doctors discovered a sarcoma in her left leg, Vatican News reported.

“I realized that everything is a gift, even a disease, because if lived in the best way it can really help to grow,” she wrote to Carlo in 1988.

She was successfully treated, and finished her high-school education before marrying Carlo in 1991. They soon welcomed two children into their home, Francesco and Lucia. They were expecting a third – Riccardo – when they found out that her cancer had returned.

Her first thought was of her unborn baby boy.

“My reaction was to say over and over: ‘I am pregnant! I am pregnant! But doctor I am pregnant,’” she wrote in a 1995 letter to her little Riccardo. “I fought with all my power and did not give up on the idea of giving birth to you, so much so that the doctor understood everything and said no more.”

Maria Cristina refused the chemotherapy treatments that would have threatened her unborn baby’s life. Instead, she waited until after Riccardo was born, in 1994. But at that point, the cancer had already spread to her lungs and caused her tremendous suffering.

“I believe that God would not allow pain if he did not want to obtain a secret and mysterious but [a] real good,” she wrote. “I believe that one day I will understand the meaning of my suffering and I will thank God for it.”

On Oct. 22, 1995, she died at 26 years old.

But her story – and her baby – live on. In her letter to Riccardo, which she penned a month before she died, she stressed the beauty of his life.

“Dear Riccardo, you need to know that you are not in the world by chance,” she began.

“The Lord wanted your birth despite all the problems there were… when we found out about you, we loved you and wanted you with all our heart.”

“It was that evening, in the car on the way back from the hospital, that you moved for the first time. It seemed as if you were saying, ‘Thank you mamma for loving me!’ And how could we not love you?” she added. “You are precious, and when I look at you and see you so beautiful, lively, friendly, I think that there is no suffering in the world that is not worth bearing for a child.”

Maria Cristina wrote regularly, and kept a spiritual journal, according to The Associazione Amici di Cristina (Friends of Cristina Association), which promotes the dignity of human life in honor of its namesake. The association’s website includes excerpts from her diary and from her letters.

“Lord I only want You! I only love you! I’m just looking for you!” the organization quotes her as saying. “What does it matter to suffer in life if you are around the corner waiting for me to give me immense joy?”

Joy appears repeatedly in her writings.

“It is my motto: ‘Do everything with joy!’” she stressed in a 1985 letter to Carlo. “Even if sometimes it costs me a lot, especially when my morale is low or when … ‘it seems to you that all things are against you …’ as you say, in your beautiful letter. But, as light comes after darkness, so, after despair, rediscover joy.”

This joy shaped her love of God and her love for Carlo.

“Don‘t you think it’s extraordinary?” Maria Cristina asked Carlo in 1987. “If it weren’t for you and I who love each other, the world would lack that something that no one else in our place could give.”

She also wrote of God’s love – and the call to perfection.

“I become holy to the extent that I empty myself of everything, I remove every impediment from my mind, heart and life to allow myself to be completely penetrated by the love of God,” she stressed to Carlo in 1990. “More concretely, it means living everyday life with great simplicity, in the family, in the study, in the relationship with you, Carlo. My place is in the simple and ‘routine.’”

In the simple, she found the miraculous. In the ordinary, she discovered the extraordinary.

The year that she died, she wrote in another letter that “Although my health is precarious… I AM HAPPY!” She concluded, “I am ashamed to ask the Lord for anything else, for us the miracle is already there: if He loves us and we love each other, nothing else matters.”

Why artificial birth control is sinful…

Why artificial birth control is sinful (

“The encyclical of Pope Paul VI on birth control is true and must be followed by mankind. There shall be no rationalization of sin.” – Our Lady of the Roses, October 2, 1976

Dietrich von Hildebrand, called by Pope Pius XII “the 20th Century Doctor of the Church,” was one of the world’s most eminent Catholic philosophers. Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict) wrote about Dietrich von Hildebrand in the year 2000: “I am firmly convinced that, when at some time in the future, the intellectual history of the Catholic Church in the 20th century is written, the name of Dietrich von Hildebrand will be most prominent among the figures of our time.”  No other Catholic writer has so thoroughly echoed the message of Our Lady of the Roses than Dietrich von Hildebrand.  The following is an excerpt from his essay, 

The Encyclical Humanae Vitae: A Sign of Contradiction:

We can now see more clearly the difference between natural and artificial birth control. The sinfulness of artificial birth control is rooted in the arrogation of the right to separate the actualized love union in marriage from a possible conception, to sever the wonderful, deeply mysterious connection instituted by God. This mystery is approached in an irreverent attitude. We are here confronted with the fundamental sin of irreverence toward God, the denial of our creaturehood, the acting as if we were our own lords. This is a basic denial of the religio, of our being bound to God; it is a disrespect for the mysteries of God’s creation, and its sinfulness increases with the rank of the mystery in question. It is the same sinfulness that lies in suicide or in euthanasia, in both of which we act as if we were masters of life.

Every active intervention of the spouses that eliminates the possibility of conception through the conjugal act is incompatible with the holy mystery of the superabundant relation in this incredible gift of God. And this irreverence also affects the purity of the conjugal act, because the union can be the real fulfillment of love only when it is approached with reverence and when it is embedded in the religio, the consciousness of our basic bond to God.

To the sublime link between marriage and procreation Christ’s words on the marriage bond also apply: “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” This becomes still clearer when we consider that the mystery of the birth of a man not only should be essentially linked to wedded love (through the conjugal act, which is destined to be the expression and fulfill­ment of this love), but is always linked to a creative intervention of God. Neither wedded love nor, still less, the physiological process of conception is itself capable of creating a human being with an immortal soul. On this point Pope Paul VI quotes the encyclical Mater et Magistra: ” ‘Human life is holy,’ Pope John XXIII reminds us, ‘and from conception on it demands the imme­diate intervention of God!'” (Humanae Vitae,13). Man always comes forth directly from the hand of God, and therefore there is a unique and intimate relation between God and the spouses in the act of procreation. In a fruitful conjugal act we can say that the spouses participate in God’s act of creation; the conjugal act of the spouses is incorporated into the creative act of God and acquires a serving function in relation to His act.

We thus see that artificial birth control is sinful not only because it severs the mysterious link between the most intimate love union and the coming into existence of a new human being, but also because in a certain way it artificially cuts off the creative intervention of God, or better still, it artificially separates an act which is ordained toward co-operation with the creative act of God from this its destiny. For, as Paul VI says, this is to consider oneself not a servant of God, but the “Lord over the origin of human life” (Humanae Vitae, 13).

This irreverence, however, is exclusively limited to active intervention severing the conjugal act from its possible link with procreation.

The conjugal act does not in any way lose its full meaning and value when one knows that a conception is out of the question, as when age, or an operation for the sake of health, or pregnancy excludes it. The knowledge that a conception is not possible does not in the least taint the conjugal act with irreverence. In such cases, if the act is an expression of a deep love, anchored in Christ, it will rank even higher in its quality and purity than one that leads to a conception in a marriage in which the love is less deep and not formed by Christ. And even when for good and valid reasons conception should be avoided, the marital act in no way loses its raison d’être, because its meaning and value is the actualization of the mutual self-donation of the spouses. The intention of avoiding conception does not imply irreverence as long as one does not actively interfere in order to cut the link between the conjugal act and a possible conception.

Nor is the practice of rhythm to avoid conception in any way irreverent, because the existence of rhythm—that is to say, the fact that conception is limited to a short period—is itself a God-given institution. In Section 6 we shall show in greater detail why the use of rhythm implies not the slightest irreverence or rebellion against God’s institution of the wonderful link between the love union and procreation; it is in no way a subterfuge, as some Catholics tend to believe. On the contrary, it is a grateful accep­tance of the possibility God has granted of avoiding conception—if this is legitimately desirable—without preventing the expression and fulfillment of spousal love in the bodily union.

France to offer free and anonymous contraception for women under 25


PARIS (LifeSiteNews) — Earlier this month, French health minister Olivier Véran proudly proclaimed that as of January 1, 2022, contraception will be 100 percent “free” for all women up to age 25, as well as pregnancy tests, medical appointments and bio-analyses in connection with birth control. Less than 24 hours later, France’s move was enthusiastically commended by the World Economic Forum in a short video published on its official Twitter account.

Véran made his announcement on the nationwide taxpayer-funded television station France 2, explaining that the main reason a number of young women do not use contraception is because of its cost. This statement was contradicted by the news center of the Fondation Jérome-Lejeune, Généthique.

Continue reading here France to offer free and anonymous contraception for women under 25 – LifeSite (

Planned Parenthood tells middle schoolers about avoiding parental consent for abortion, contraception

Planned Parenthood tells middle schoolers about avoiding parental consent for abortion, contraception – LifeSite (

Isabella Childs

TACOMA, Washington, June 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — An eighth-grade teacher in a Tacoma public school distributed a flyer detailing Washington state laws allowing minors to get abortions and contraceptives without parental consent. The flyer, produced by abortion giant Planned Parenthood, was given to Stewart Middle School students as part of their science curriculum.

The flyer said:

  • ABORTION: You do not need to get permission from your parents or guardians at any age.
  • BIRTH CONTROL: You are allowed to get a prescription for birth control without your parent or guardian’s permission.
  • CONDOMS: You can buy condoms at any age.
  • EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION: You can buy Plan B Emergency Contraception at a local pharmacy without a prescription at any age.

The flyer also mentions that there are exceptions to state law that says the age of consent is 16, assuring children they can lawfully have sexual intercourse “with somebody two years older or less” at the age of 11.

The flyer caused controversy after a concerned parent posted a picture of it on social media and confronted the school about it. After an investigation, the assistant director of education in the district, Eric Hogan, responded in an email to parents that was obtained by the Jason Rantz Show.

“The flyer is not part of our curriculum and should not have been sent home with students,” Hogan argued. “Previously, Planned Parenthood taught within our schools and supplied the flyer that was distributed to students. We discovered a binder of curriculum materials was left behind for an incoming teacher to use this year, and this flyer was in the binder. Not realizing the flyer wasn’t approved material, the teacher sent it home with students. Corrective action has been taken with this employee.”

Planned Parenthood, in addition to providing hundreds of thousands of abortions each year, is a big player in the field of sex education in schools. The organization and its allies have taught things like BDSM, including using whips, chains and gagging; have informed 11-year-olds about anal and oral sex; and introduced a chatbot that allows kids to go behind their parents’ back to ask about sex and abortion.


Texas Heartbeat Act debate exposes the strange pseudoscience of abortion advocates


Texas Heartbeat Act debate exposes the strange pseudoscience of abortion advocates

The enactment of the Texas Heartbeat Act has exposed the pseudoscience undergirding the worldview of abortion-rights supporters.

Heartbeat bills such as the one in Texas are predicated on the fact that an unborn child’s heartbeat can be detected via ultrasound at about six weeks’ gestation. For a movement that defends abortion on the grounds that the unborn child is not human — or has no claim to rights — this scientific reality poses some difficulties.

An enormous number of the justifications for legal abortion are detached from science, declaring the fetus inhuman or not a rights-bearing person on account of its as-yet-undeveloped or underdeveloped mental or physical functions.

The argument for legal abortion prior to “viability,” for instance, rationalizes abortion before about 20 weeks’ gestation on the grounds that the unborn child’s lungs are insufficiently developed to allow for survival outside the womb. Therefore, on this view, that child can be killed prior to such development because it remains dependent on its mother. (Why this logic doesn’t allow for the killing of newborns or adults who are on ventilators typically remains unexplained.)


Philosophical justifications for abortion follow a similar pattern. In her famous 1973 essay arguing that abortion is morally acceptable, philosopher Mary Anne Warren asserted that it is wrong to kill persons, but that not all human beings count as persons. Under her criteria for personhood — consciousness and capacity to feel pain, an ability to reason, self-motivated activity, capacity to communicate, and self-awareness — unborn human beings do not count and therefore can be killed. (Critics have noted that Warren’s criteria exclude additional categories of human beings, too, not just the unborn.)

Many rationalizations for abortion are far less sophisticated. Take one, for example, that suggests that a fetus isn’t human until it is born — as if the birth canal magically confers humanity on an organism that, mere seconds earlier, possessed the exact same qualities as the crying newborn. This is the case for abortion at its most illogical.

This last phrase, which sounds a bit like something out of a horror movie, became so popular among abortion activists that actress Alyssa Milano demanded that the press refer to all heartbeat bills as “fetal pole cardiac activity” bills.


Time magazine obliged Milano with “fetal cardiac activity.” The Guardian updated its style guide on the advice of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists — a powerful abortion lobby disguised as a medical group — citing the group’s statement that “ACOG does not use the term ‘heartbeat’ to describe these legislative bans on abortion because it is misleading language, out of step with the anatomical and clinical realities of that stage of pregnancy.”

The New York Times chose “the pulsing of what becomes the fetus’s heart” and “embryonic pulsing.” New York magazine’s The Cut ran a piece called “Embryos Don’t Have Hearts,” referring to the heartbeat as “pulsing cells” and dedicated to debunking the “unscientific” notion of a fetal heartbeat:

What is detectable at or around six weeks can more accurately be called “cardiac activity,” says Robyn Schickler, OB/GYN and fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health. The difference between “cardiac activity” and “heartbeat” may seem linguistically minimal, but Schickler and others argue otherwise. At this stage, she says, what doctors can detect is essentially communication between a group of what will eventually become cardiac cells.

The Washington Post quoted unnamed “doctors who oppose the legislation” to assert that “what appears to be a heartbeat . . . is simply a vibration of developing tissues that could not exist without the mother. This vibration is a medical term called ‘embryonic cardiac activity.’”

The Post offered a similar notion in an article yesterday, again quoting anonymous “doctors opposed to the bills” who say that “the fluttering [i.e., the heartbeat] that is detected cannot exist outside the womb.” The Post appears to think it revelatory that removing an unborn child from the womb at six weeks’ gestation will result in its death.

READ: MEDIA BIAS: Business Insider claims sound of preborn heartbeat is just ‘from the machine’

In a piece yesterday, the New York Times insisted that the Texas heartbeat bill is misdescribed because “there is no heart at this stage of development, only electrical activity in developing cells. The heart is not fully formed until later in pregnancy.”

None of this has to do with real science or real medicine, both of which confirm the humanity of the unborn child at every stage of development. It is rather a game, designed to do one thing and one thing only: justify, by any means necessary, the ongoing killing of inconvenient human beings before birth.

Far from being champions of science, defenders of abortion twist the facts of biology and push the limits of language to justify dehumanization.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published at National Review and is reprinted here with permission.

Do COVID Vaccines Cause Menstrual Changes? NIH Awards $1.67 Million in Grants to Study Possible Link.

Do COVID Vaccines Cause Menstrual Changes? NIH Awards $1.67 Million in Grants to Study Possible Link.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded one-year supplemental grants totaling $1.67 million to five institutions to explore potential links between COVID vaccines and menstrual changes, after thousands of women reported menstrual irregularities after vaccination.

According to the NIH website, some women have reported experiencing irregular or missing menstrual periods, heavier-than-usual bleeding and other menstrual changes after receiving COVID vaccines.

The new funding will go toward research to determine whether the changes may be linked to COVID vaccination itself, and how long the changes last. Researchers will also seek to clarify the mechanisms underlying potential vaccine-related menstrual changes.

The year-long study will initially follow unvaccinated participants to observe changes that occur following each dose. Some groups will exclude participants on birth control or gender-affirming hormones, which may have their own impact on periods.

Researchers will assess the prevalence and severity of post-vaccination changes to menstrual characteristics, including flow, cycle length, pain and other symptoms. These analyses will account for other factors that can affect menstruation — such as stress, medications and exercise — to determine whether the changes are attributable to vaccination.

The five NIH-funded studies will be conducted by researchers at Boston University, Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins University, Michigan State University and Oregon Health and Science University.

The studies will likely incorporate between 400,000 and 500,000 participants –– including adolescents and transgender and nonbinary people, according to Dr. Diana Bianchi, director of the agency’s Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which is funding the research along with NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health.

“Nobody expected it [vaccination] to affect the menstrual system, because the information wasn’t being collected in the early vaccine studies,” said Bianchi, who credited The Washington Post’s early coverage of the issue, in April, with first making her and her staff aware of it.

These “rigorous scientific studies will improve our understanding of the potential effects of COVID-19 vaccines on menstruation, giving people who menstruate more information about what to expect after vaccination and potentially reducing vaccine hesitancy,” Bianchi added.

So far, no published studies have examined — or offered conclusive evidence — of possible links between the vaccines and menstruation.

The COVID vaccine trials did not specifically ask participants whether they saw adverse side effects in their menstrual cycles or volumes — an omission Bianchi attributes to the fact “the Emergency Use Authorization was really focused on critical safety issues” and “changes to your menstrual cycle is really not a life and death issue.”

But the lack of formal research on the potential link between the two “points out the fact that safety studies for vaccines … are not necessarily thinking about the reproductive health of women,” Bianchi said. “We hope one of the things that’s going to come out of this is that questions will be added to clinical trial studies to include any changes in menstrual health.”

According to the NIH, numerous factors can cause temporary changes in the menstrual cycle, which is regulated by complex interactions between the body’s tissues, cells and hormones.

Immune responses to a COVID vaccine could affect the interplay between immune cells and signals in the uterus, leading to temporary changes in the menstrual cycle.

Menstrual changes after COVID vaccination also could be attributed to immune responses to the vaccines and their impacts on the uterus, as well as to pandemic-related stress, lifestyle changes and the virus itself.

The new studies will build on existing research and leverage data from menstrual tracking applications to evaluate the potential impacts of COVID vaccination on menstrual health among geographically and racially and ethnically diverse populations.

The researchers hope that, following a peer-review process, findings will be published by the end of 2022 or soon after.

As The Defender reported, researchers have called for clinical trials since April to track and document menstrual changes in vaccinated women after some women reported hemorrhagic bleeding with clots, delayed or absent periods, sudden pre-menopausal symptoms, month-long periods and heavy irregular bleeding after being vaccinated with one or both doses of a COVID vaccine.

How to Intentionally Promote Better Gut Health After Getting Off Birth Control

Promoting gut health after ditching birth control | Natural Womanhood

If you recently stopped taking the pill and find that your digestive system is in disarray (or, if you’re like I was, and struggling with both PCOS and poor gut health), you’re not alone. As I shared in this article, a number of recent studies suggest that oral birth control may negatively impact gut health, decreasing microbial diversity and leading to intestinal permeability. Eventually, these imbalances in your microbiome can lead to symptoms like bloating, food sensitivities and cravings, nausea after eating, and even inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In fact, a 2017 meta-analysis suggested that those exposed to oral birth control had a 30 percent increased risk for developing an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Learning all this can be overwhelming when you’re already feeling unwell. The good news, though, is that these unpleasant symptoms can often be reversed by using natural remedies and forming new habits. Below, you’ll find five strategies based on the latest scientific research to intentionally heal your gut after being on birth control.

Tip #1: Replenish key nutrients for gut health that were depleted by birth control

Studies dating back to the late 1960s have shown that the birth control pill depletes key B vitamins (B2, B6, B12, and folate), along with vitamins C and E and the minerals magnesium, selenium, and zinc. Although it’s unclear how these depletions occur, it’s been suggested that the pill causes either malabsorption or increased excretion of these nutrients. Since a number of these nutrients are important in gut function and detoxification, it’s important to get your levels back up to normal. Zinc enhances the gut lining, for example, while selenium has been shown to improve gut microbial diversity.

To replenish your nutrient stores, look for a high quality prenatal or multivitamin from a reputable source. It’s a good idea to choose brands that are third-party tested, such as Pure Encapsulations or Thorne. When looking for a prenatal containing folate, consider brands like Designs for Health that use the bioavailable form of folate, L-methylfolate. Many brands opt for cheaper, synthetic folic acid, but studies have shown that 40 – 60% of the population has a genetic mutation that inhibits the conversion of folic acid to its active form. You may also wish to have your doctor run bloodwork, which can help determine if you should supplement your multivitamin with a higher daily dose of any particular vitamin.

Tip #2: Incorporate probiotic and prebiotic foods into your diet

Moving forward, you’ll want to focus on eating foods that will support your microbiome in the long-term. This advice isn’t limited to those coming off the pill. Many of us would do well to incorporate prebiotic and probiotic foods into our diet, as these foods work together to promote a healthy gut.

Because probiotic foods have been fermented by good bacteria, eating them introduces these beneficial bugs into your gut lining. Some common (and delicious) fermented foods include yogurt, raw sauerkraut, kimchi and other pickled vegetables, kefir, and kombucha. Just be sure to select a yogurt, kefir, or kombucha brand that is low in sugar, as eating too much sugar promotes inflammation and alters our microbiome. One word of caution, though, is that if you have SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), which has been associated with using oral birth control, it’s recommended that you avoid fermented foods until the infection has healed.

Prebiotic foods, on the other hand, contain fiber and resistant starch that “feed” your good gut bugs to maintain the health of your microbiome. We’ve already touched on fiber-rich vegetables in tip #1. Resistant starch, however, is a complex carbohydrate that ferments in your large intestine, feeding good gut bacteria in the process. Try incorporating sweet potatoes and yams into your diet or making tortillas and pancakes out of plantains and green bananas. There is even a gluten-free flour made from green bananas that is becoming increasingly popular! Since these foods are high in carbs, just be sure to round out your plate with plenty of non-starchy vegetables to help balance your blood sugar.


Tip #3: Support your birth control detox through diet

Dr. Jolene Brighten, a functional medicine physician and pioneer in treating post-birth control syndrome, emphasizes in her popular book Beyond the Pill that those coming off the pill should focus on foods that assist natural detoxification pathways. These foods should support the liver in processing the excess synthetic estrogen that forms a key component of the pill.

Dr. Brighten recommends eating a minimum of 25 grams of fiber a day from 3 to 6 cups of organic vegetables, especially leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables. If this constitutes a huge change in your diet, though, you’ll want to build up your fiber consumption slowly so that you don’t encourage further digestive distress. She also stresses the importance of finding a high-quality protein source. In practice, this means eating the best meat and eggs that fit your grocery budget. Ideally, you’ll be focusing on grass-fed, organic meats and pasture-raised eggs, but don’t let “perfect” be the enemy of the good.

In addition to eating the right foods, supplementing with a probiotic pill can help balance your gut bacteria. This daily, concentrated dose will help re-introduce the “good gut bugs” that have been crowded out by the bad. Dr. Brighten suggests that the organisms that have proved most helpful for her post-birth control patients are “high-dose, high-strain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species, Saccharomyces boulardii, and spore-forming probiotics” (126). What constitutes a high dose? Dr. Hyman at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine recommends seeking out a probiotic with at least 25 – 50 billion living CFUs (colony-forming unity).

Tip #5: Avoid inflammatory foods

Knowing which foods to avoid is just as important as knowing which foods to incorporate. Many experts recommend avoiding the top inflammatory foods for 30 days to give your gut time to heal. Then, you can reintroduce them one at a time to determine if they give you a reaction. I have personal experience with the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), which eliminates all potentially inflammatory foods for 30 days, and it had a powerful effect on my own gut health. Many women have also had great success with the Whole30, which focuses on “whole foods” rather than processed foods. The big three offenders are gluten, dairy, and refined sugar, but both of these food protocols also recommend avoiding grains, soy, caffeine, alcohol, and inflammatory fats from vegetable and seed oils like canola and safflower.

If you’d like to dive deeper into current research on post-birth control syndrome, I wholeheartedly recommend reading Dr. Brighten’s Beyond the Pill in full. It’s chock full of information and is written in an accessible, conversational style. As Dr. Brighten reminds us, healing your gut is the first step toward reclaiming your health after being on the pill. And, when you’re ready, learning to chart your cycle with a fertility awareness method (FAM) is another excellent way to truly take charge of your reproductive health.

Texas becomes first state ever to enforce ‘heartbeat law’

Texas becomes first state ever to enforce ‘heartbeat law’ (

As of midnight on September 1, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court had not yet responded to an emergency appeal from abortion proponents to stop the Texas Heartbeat Act from going into effect, which protects preborn children from the first detectable heartbeat (around five to six weeks gestation). According to the Associated Press, at least 12 other states had previously passed legislation to protect children at the same point in gestation, none had been allowed to go into effect until now, making Texas the first state to successfully enforce such a law.

News outlets reported that abortion facilities in the state had stopped scheduling abortions past six weeks days in advance of the September 1 effective date. The AP noted, “Planned Parenthood is among the abortion providers that have stopped scheduling abortions beyond six weeks from conception.”

According to the emergency appeal, the law will “immediately and catastrophically reduce abortion access in Texas, barring care for at least 85 percent of Texas abortion patients (those who are six weeks pregnant or greater) and likely forcing many abortion clinics ultimately to close.” The University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Policy Evaluation Project estimates that about 80% of in-state abortions will be prevented. However, these estimates are not verifiable because Texas abortion data lumps abortions at eight weeks or earlier together. Data from Texas Health and Human Services shows that in 2020 there were 53,922 total abortions committed in Texas on Texas residents. Of those, 45,458 (about 84%) occurred eight weeks or less into the pregnancy. The Texas Heartbeat Act does not restrict abortion based on gestational age but on the detection of a fetal heartbeat using whatever method the abortionist deems appropriate — likely either an ultrasound or Doppler fetal heartbeat monitor. According to the law, “A physician does not violate this section if the physician performed a test for a fetal heartbeat as required […] and did not detect a fetal heartbeat.” This makes it difficult to determine how many abortions will be prevented, but it will likely be a large percentage, perhaps even greater than 85%.

“Right now in the great state of Texas, every single child with a detectable heartbeat is legally protected from being killed by the violence of abortion. This is a historic step forward for basic human rights,” said Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action. “I applaud the brave advocates and lawmakers in Texas for passing this innovative law designed to withstand the tidal wave of attacks from abortionists and their apologists. Citizens and lawmakers must be vigilant in their defense of this law because we know that the abortion industry is determined to profit from the deaths of as many children as they can. No matter what happens going forward, today is a day for celebration and a vital reprieve for the precious children scheduled for death behind the doors of a Texas abortion business. Dozens of life affirming pregnancy centers all around the state stand by with the resources and compassion to ensure every mother and father are equipped to care for their children and families. The pro-life movement will continue fighting until every single child is protected in law and supported to live out her full potential.”

The Texas Heartbeat Act is unique in that it allows for civil penalties against those who commit or “aid and abet” an abortion once a heartbeat is detectable. As Live Action News reported in May following the signing of the law, “Though the law does not include punishments for women who undergo abortions after a heartbeat is detected in their child, it does allow private citizens to file lawsuits against a doctor that commits an abortion on such a child” as well as those who are involved in helping a woman to procure that abortion. The abortion industry responded by labeling the civil action portion of the law as an “abortion bounty.”

A preborn child’s heart begins to beat between 16 and 22 days after fertilization, but a unique human life begins at the moment of fertilization.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated from its original publication.

The Startling Ways that Birth Control May Impact Gut Health and lead to IBD

The Startling Ways that Birth Control May Impact Gut Health and lead to IBD

Over the last year, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and began working to balance my hormones through diet and lifestyle changes. My personal experience with the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet aligned with recent studies suggesting that an anti-inflammatory diet can mitigate the symptoms of both PCOS and gut dysbiosis—an imbalance in the microorganisms living in your digestive system that can cause a host of GI symptoms.

By all accounts, I am not alone in my gut-related symptoms. While my digestive complaints were not severe enough to warrant a clinical diagnosis, studies show that cases of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), an umbrella term for disorders involving chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, are rising rapidly worldwide. Symptoms of IBD can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, bloating, and abdominal pain, among others.

While researching the risk factors for IBD, I was surprised to learn that a genetic predisposition can account for less than 25% of cases. Scientists now believe that external, environmental factors may account for much of the remaining 75%. What shocked me most was learning that oral contraceptives have been clearly and consistently associated with an increased risk for IBD since at least 2008, with case reports stretching back to the 1960s.

The connection between the pill and IBD

In fact, the number of studies suggesting that oral contraceptives negatively impact gut health grows each year, and known side effects of hormonal birth control include GI issues like nausea and upset stomach. The association was first suggested through case reports that appeared in the 1960s and 1970s. Then, in 1984, one study showed that oral birth control use was common in 100 consecutive women attending follow-up clinics for IBD. Other studies demonstrated that symptoms of IBD often resolved when patients discontinued oral contraceptive use.

A 2008 meta-analysis published in Gastroenterology, which combined the results of 14 different studies including a total of 75,815 patients, found that those using oral contraceptives had a nearly 50% increased risk of developing IBD. Dr. Hamed Khalili, a Harvard-trained gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, headed a sweeping 2013 prospective study involving over 200,000 women that suggested that “oral contraceptive use was associated with risk of Crohn’s disease [a type of IBD].” Shockingly, the study specified that oral contraceptive use could triple the risk of Crohn’s disease in women with a family history of the condition.

More recently, a 2017 meta-analysis of twenty studies and multiple databases reported that those exposed to oral birth control had a 30 percent increased risk for the development of IBD. Specifically, the studies showed that those exposed to birth control had a 24 percent higher risk for developing Crohn’s disease and a 30 percent higher risk for developing ulcerative colitis.

Why a “leaky” gut is an unhealthy gut

At this point, you might be wondering what birth control pills and the hormones they contain could possibly have to do with your digestive system—and if you yourself might be at risk for IBD if you are on or have ever taken birth control.

First, it’s important to understand that the gut microbiome is composed of the “flora” or microbes lining your digestive tract, and that these bacteria and viruses have a large impact on our overall health. For example, we rely on our intestines to form a tight barrier and keep harmful microbes out of our bloodstream. Sometimes, however, gaps form. When this intestinal permeability develops, a phenomenon sometimes called “leaky gut,” invaders may squeeze between the cracks. These harmful microbes may trigger inflammation and changes in our gut flora.

Furthermore, increased intestinal permeability is known to play a role in gastrointestinal conditions including celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

Why oral estrogen might lead to a leaky gut

In a 2016 article, Dr. Khalili points to two biological mechanisms through which birth control might harm gut health. First, he notes that oral estrogen is known to negatively impact gut flora. Oral estrogen, of course, is one of two main hormones found in birth control pills. When a woman is prescribed oral contraceptives, she is usually given a combination of the synthetic versions of two key female sex hormones: estrogen (estradiol) and progestin. The two hormones work together to hinder ovulation, thereby preventing conception. In addition, they make cervical mucus inhospitable to sperm, and change the uterine lining so that an embryo would be unable to implant should breakthrough ovulation occur and fertilization happen.

Intestinal permeability appears to be another, unintended consequence of the hormonal changes wrought by birth control. Dr. Khalili cites experimental data from two studies suggesting that estrogen helps maintain the function of the intestinal barrier. He also writes, in no uncertain terms, that oral estrogen “has been shown to modify intestinal permeability,” and that intestinal permeability is “a critical step in the pathophysiology of inflammatory bowel disease.” In other words, oral birth control may lead to leaky gut, and a leaky gut may lead to IBD. If this is the case, then we have a clear indication of how oral birth control is detrimental to gut health.

Similarly, Dr. Jolene Brighten, a naturopathic physician and leader in alerting women to the realities of post-birth control syndrome, emphasizes in one article that birth control can lead not only to leaky gut, but to “yeast overgrowth (candida), decreased microbial diversity and altered gut motility.” In fact, the problems birth control causes in the gut are the subject of an entire chapter in Dr. Brighten’s popular book about hormones, Beyond the Pill.

Strategies for improving gut health

If you’re suffering from IBD or compromised gut health, there is hope. The five strategies I outline in this article have been shown to help restore the gut microbiome, no matter how that dysbiosis occurred. Those approaches include incorporating probiotic and prebiotic foods into your diet, reducing your intake of sugar and processed foods, and switching out make-up and household products that contain potentially harmful ingredients. In a future article, I will offer more in-depth suggestions for how women exposed to oral birth control can intentionally heal their gut and restore healthy flora. If you’d like to learn more about the documented side effects of birth control, you can find a wealth of information here. It’s time to pay attention to the growing body of scientific literature showing that birth control is harming our health.


Hyde Amendment Under Attack

By Fr. Shenan J. Boquet

The Hyde Amendment is one of the most important pro-life achievements in U.S. history. But right now, it is under serious threat.

For those who are unaware, the Hyde Amendment, named after pro-life Rep. Henry Hyde, is an amendment that has been appended to every appropriations (i.e., spending) bill since 1976. The amendment clearly states that taxpayer dollars cannot be used to fund abortions.

Last year, pro-life scholar Michael New analyzed the impact of the Hyde Amendment. According to his analysis, from 1976 to 2020, the Hyde Amendment stopped some 2.4 million abortions.

How? Simple. Research consistently shows that reducing funding for abortion also reduces abortions. By ensuring that our hard-earned tax dollars do not get used by pro-abortion politicians to abort innocent unborn babies, the Hyde Amendment has saved countless lives.

“Don’t let anybody tell you that pro-life political involvement has been for naught,” Dr. New said in an interview last year. “There are 2.4 million women out there who have been spared a lifetime of regret because of the Hyde amendment and there are 2.4 million people walking around today who owe their lives to the Hyde Amendment.”

One of the most important facts about the Hyde Amendment is that it has been passed every year regardless of who was in power – Democrats or Republicans. That is, it has been a truly bipartisan amendment. While there have always been some extremist pro-abortion Democrats who have wanted to get rid of the amendment, there has always been enough consensus to ensure that spending bills were protected by it.

Until now.

Democrats Ditch the Hyde Amendment

One of President Biden’s campaign promises was to scrap the Hyde Amendment. And now it appears that Democrats in Congress are working to make that happen.

A few weeks ago, the House Appropriations Committee advanced an appropriations bill that conspicuously lacked the Hyde Amendment. Pro-life Republican Rep. Tom Cole attempted to introduce the amendment, but to no avail.

In a speech, Rep. Cole noted that President Biden had consistently supported the Hyde Amendment throughout his time in the U.S. Senate, but only flip-flopped on the issue while running for President.  “There is no moral equivalent to life and death,” Rep. Cole noted in his speech. “The preservation of one of our nation’s most enduring compromises to protect life and respect religious beliefs goes back to our founding principles. Any other issue falls far short of that standard. That is why we offer this amendment first. That is why this amendment has unanimous support on our side. And that is why we will vigorously fight to ensure this amendment is included in any final agreement.”

The appropriations committee voted 32-27 against Cole’s amendment. Shortly thereafter, the appropriations bill was approved in a 219-208 party line vote by the full House, which is controlled by the Democrats. This marks the first time in some 45 years that the House has passed a spending bill without the life-protecting amendment.

One prominent pro-abortion Democrat, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro, D-Connecticut, attempted to defend the removal of the Hyde Amendment, decrying it as “discriminatory.”

“I am proud that this bill promotes equal treatment for women through increased funding for Title X and by repealing the discriminatory Hyde Amendment,” she said. “But I do believe repealing the Hyde Amendment is the best thing we can do to support our mothers and families and help prevent, rather than penalize unwanted pregnancies and later, riskier and more costly abortions.”

This is the kind of double-speak that abortion supporters have to use to defend using our money to kill unborn children! Somehow preventing taxpayer dollars from paying for abortions is “discriminatory,” while paying for the killing of unborn children somehow supports “families.”

Infuriatingly, the two most prominent figures pushing for the end to the Hyde Amendment are also the two politicians who most conspicuously tout their alleged “devout” Catholic faith – President Joe Biden, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In response to this attack on the unborn, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement strongly decrying the effort to scrap the amendment.

“The House has voted in a way that is completely out of step with the will of the American people who overwhelmingly oppose taxpayer-funded abortion,” they noted. “The Hyde Amendment has saved at least 2.4 million lives since its enactment. Without it, millions of poor women in desperate circumstances will make the irrevocable decision to take the government up on its offer to end the life of their child.”

They added, “Funding the destruction of innocent unborn human lives, and forcing people to kill in violation of their consciences, are grave abuses of human rights. We call on the Senate to redress this evil in H.R. 4502, and for Congress to ultimately pass appropriations bills that fully support and protect human dignity, and the most vulnerable among us.”


Hope Remains

Fortunately, the passage of the appropriations bill by the House is not the end of the story. The bill still needs to pass the Senate, and while Democrats hold a narrow majority there, it appears that there is yet hope that it will not pass.

Democrat Senator Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, told Chad Pergram of Fox News that he suspects the bill may not pass without the Hyde Amendment.

Pergram reported: “It’s probable the House and Senate will have to do some sort of interim spending bill to avoid a government shutdown at the end of September. Such a Band-Aid bill simply renews all spending at old levels and restores old policy on a temporary basis. That means the Hyde Amendment remains in place. Congress will likely pass an amalgamated spending package for all of the measures later in the fall or winter. Stripping the Hyde Amendment on that mega-bill could be enough to spark a government shutdown on its own. So, pro-choice Democrats are unlikely to go to the mat the over the Hyde Amendment.”

In other words, if the Democrats stick to their intent to get rid of the Hyde Amendment, they would be in for a fight that they would likely lose, and that would come with significant political costs. As Pergram notes, that includes the risk of galvanizing pro-life activists into pushing back and perhaps even strengthening the bipartisan commitment to the Hyde Amendment.

However, even if this attempt to gut the Hyde Amendment fails, it stands as proof of just how deadly serious President Biden and the Democrats are about rejecting even the most commonsense and widely supported compromise measures on abortion.

Indeed, in addition to removing the Hyde Amendment, the Democrat-controlled Appropriations Committee also stripped the appropriations bill of the Weldon amendment – an amendment included in spending bills since 2005 that prohibits government funds from going to programs that discriminate against health care workers who object to abortion.

As I was concluding this article for publication, I learned that that the Senate voted for a budget amendment to its multi-trillion-dollar spending bill that bans taxpayer-funding of abortions for any federal funds authorized under the bill.

Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma introduced a resolution amendment that protects against taxpayer funding of abortion. His amendment to prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars for funding of abortions and abortion-related discrimination was successfully adopted by a vote of 50-49 to the Democrats’ partisan budget resolution.

The amendment, if adopted by Congress in the final budget resolution, would ensure that the budget will comply with the long-standing Hyde amendment, which bars the use of federal tax dollars to pay for abortion, and the Weldon amendment, which protects health care providers who refuse to participate in abortion from discrimination.

The House of Representatives returns from recess the week of August 23rd where they will reconcile the Senate’s budget with their own. So, please join me in praying that the budget amendment by the Senate will be adopted by Congress. Also, let us call our representatives in Congress, asking them to defend human life and protect freedom of conscience.

By the way, the next time you hear the Democrats proclaim that they want abortion to be “safe, legal and rare,” just remember that they are trying to make you pay for abortions with your taxpayer dollars, and they are actively seeking to undermine the rights of pro-life health care workers to follow their consciences.

Clearly, there is nothing moderate about that.

Comparing the risks and side effects of hormonal birth control vs. natural fertility awareness


While some have attempted to claim that pregnancy risks are greater than hormonal birth control risks, this is not an apples to apples comparison. A far better comparison is to assess the risks of someone using hormonal birth control (HBC) to someone who is not — as in the case of women who use fertility awareness methods (FAM) as natural birth control or to address reproductive health issues. In the final analysis, FAMs are the clear winner for promoting true women’s health rather than merely masking symptoms.

Hormonal birth control

Taking hormonal birth control involves a true risk vs. benefit analysis, as the risks are many. Hormonal birth control impacts far more than “just” the reproductive system and the parts of the brain that control it. In her book, “This is Your Brain on Birth Control,” evolutionary psychologist Sarah Hill, who is not opposed to contraception, said on p. 90, “The brain and the rest of the body are too flush with hormone receptors for the pill not to change women.” Also impacted are the areas of the brain responsible for “things like emotional processing, social interactions, attention, learning, memory, facial recognition, self-control, eating behavior, and language processing. And we’re also talking about non-brain body parts like the immune system, the stress response, and your gut hormones.”

Accordingly, the Mayo Clinic notes that the Pill is not recommended for women who:

  • have recently given birth
  • are older than age 35 and smoke, have high blood pressure, a blood clotting disorder, or a history of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism
  • have a history of breast cancer, stroke or heart disease, diabetes-related complications, liver or gallbladder disease, migraines with aura, or unexplained uterine bleeding
  • will be immobilized for a prolonged period due to major surgery
  • are taking St. John’s wort or anticonvulsant or anti-tuberculous agents

While the Cleveland Clinic cites stoppage of unwanted hair growth as a potential benefit of taking HBC, multiple versions of the Pill can actually cause male-pattern hair growth in women because the synthetic form of progesterone used in HBC is actually derived from testosterone. Testosterone-derived progestins are also linked to acne, weight gain, and decreases in good cholesterol (HDL). Additionally, HBC worsens migraines for some women.

The Cleveland Clinic cites potential for “irritability and moodiness” in HBC users, but the Mayo Clinic is more straightforward, noting that some women experience depression. In reality, both statements give an inadequate picture of the emotional distress many women, especially young women, experience on HBC. Hill shares on p. 174 of her book, “mood-related issues like anxiety and depression are super-common among women who go on the pill.”

Disturbing research from Denmark gave a framework for quantifying the risk, finding that women on hormonal contraception “were 50% more likely to be diagnosed with depression six months later” vs. non-HBC users, and that “women who were on hormonal contraceptives were 40% more likely to be prescribed an antidepressant” than non-HBC users. Worst of all, women taking HBC “were twice as likely to have attempted suicide” than non-HBC users during the eight-year study, and were three times more likely than non-HBC users to have been successful in taking their own lives, according to Hill’s book, on pages 179-180.

In addition, most forms of HBC can act as abortifacients, killing preborn children without a woman knowing she was even pregnant. Both the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic acknowledge endometrial thinning due to HBC use.

Despite all of the risks, some women take birth control to prevent pregnancy, lighten periods, and lessen menstrual pain. Others take it to alleviate the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and uterine fibroids, and more — though these conditions are actually masked by the birth control rather than addressed.

Fertility awareness methods

The truth is that the steady stream of tiny synthetic hormonal spikes in HBC merely band-aid the symptoms of the variety of reproductive issues it is prescribed to treat. FAMs help women to get to the bottom of their fertility health concerns, rather than masking the symptoms of irregular periods with “faux” regular periods that are actually withdrawal bleeds, for example. FAMs actually promote truly comprehensive pro-women’s healthbody literacy, and women’s ability to advocate for themselves.

Additionally, there are no physical side effects of using FAM, and ovulating normally each cycle has health benefits. Trained medical professionals can use a woman’s FAM chart data to help diagnose and treat the root causes of her problems, including endometriosis, PCOS, PMS, irregular bleeding, and more.

Women can expect to improve their health by using FAMs, though the same cannot be said for HBC users. Importantly as well, modern FAMs have similar pregnancy prevention effectiveness rates to HBC when taught by a trained instructor and used properly.

Comparing apples to apples, women who utilize fertility awareness methods for pregnancy prevention or to address reproductive health issues can expect to improve their health whereas women who utilize HBCs are automatically accepting certain physical trade-offs with varying degrees of seriousness.

Magnetic Birth Control, Delivered By Shots

The following is an article published at 

Scientists Invent Magnetic Birth Control, Delivered By Shots (

Scientists have developed tiny magnetic particles that could one day be used by men for birth control.

The nanoscopic particles are injected into the bloodstream and would then be guided to the testes with a magnetic field, which also generates heat for contraception.

Heat is a natural contraceptive. Male mammals often have a suspended scrotal sac to keep their testes cool. By wearing tight pants or underwear, some male humans also raise the temperature of their scrotums, which can lower sperm counts.

Led by Fei Sun and Weihua Ding from the Institute of Reproductive Medicine at Nantong University in China, a team of researchers has been studying artificial ways to heat the testes — using nanoscopic particles as contraceptives.

In a , the team tested gold nanorods that control contraception by using beams of light to heat the metal pills and create a ‘photothermal effect’.

But as they note in their new study, gold nanorods have “associated limitations, such as testicular administration and infrared laser inflicting severe pain.”

Besides the fact that jabbing your balls and heating them with lasers may not be ideal before lovemaking, the gold nanorods were just 90% effective at reducing fertility, as well as being non-biodegradable and potentially toxic.

Sharing NFP: A Holistic Approach to Sexuality


Any fair analysis of how well the Catholic Church has done in educating Catholics about – let alone convincing them of – the Church’s teaching on contraception, would have to conclude that the Church’s ministers have failed quite spectacularly.

One much-cited poll from 2016 found that only 13% of weekly Mass-going Catholics agreed with the Church’s teaching that contraception is “morally wrong.” The number was even lower for those Catholics who do not attend Mass weekly – around six percent.

To say those numbers are dismal is an understatement. So, what went wrong?

Answering that question would take several volumes. Certainly, there is the blunt fact of the unforeseen cultural revolution of the 1960s, which swept and radically transformed practically every nation, class, institution, religion, and denomination, with few exceptions. In the face of the tidal wave of revolutionary moral teaching, the Church was in many ways caught unaware and unprepared.

Then of course, there is that little object, that small round pill, that made that revolutionary tidal wave possible: the birth-control pill. With the invention of the Pill (so monumental was this discovery that we tend to capitalize the “P”), for the first time in history it looked as if it might be possible for human beings to engage in the one activity that for many represents the height of physical pleasure, but without any thought for the enormous consequences that sex naturally carries with it.

Hidden Consequences

“Looked,” I say. Because as Pope St. Paul VI so prophetically warned in Humanae Vitae, behind that great, glistening promise of a new age of unfettered sexuality lay a whole world of pain. As Paul VI anticipated, the Pill unleashed abortion on a scale never seen before; caused men, allured by the promise of “consequence-free” sex, to objectify and abuse women as a matter of course; coarsened public morals beyond recognition, undermining marriage and elevating hedonism; and led to grave threats to human dignity and freedom, with totalitarian nations imposing coercive population control measures on their populace.

But there have been other consequences, too.

A friend of mine, a father of a large family, was describing how, on one occasion, he mentioned to two non-Catholic female friends that he and his wife used Natural Family Planning (NFP). He mentioned to them that not only does the method work, but that, among many reasons, he appreciates it because it is healthier for his wife and respects the love-giving and life-giving natures of marriage. Contraception, on the other hand, he added, not only distorts the ends of marriage but many women who take large doses of artificial hormones suffer from several physical side effects. “Yeah,” one of the women agreed wryly, “like reducing a woman’s libido.”

Of course, this is hardly the most important reason to oppose hormonal contraception, but it is a very telling reason. Modern human beings, in their drive to conquer nature, have also attempted to conquer sex, taming it, and making it do our bidding on our terms. And yet, while progressives have a great deal to say about how subjecting nature to violence inevitably leads to unforeseen consequences, for some reason they never seem to consider how our technological violence against sex has had unintended side effects.

The fact that many women do experience reductions in libido while on the birth control pill is perhaps the most ironic of these side effects. In the effort to unleash sex from all limits and to maximize pleasure, our technocratic solution has sometimes had precisely the opposite effect!

However, there are other, graver side effects associated with the Pill: increased risks of stroke, certain types of cancer, and even heart attack; weight gain; headaches; high blood pressure, and others. Which should hardly come as a surprise. What, after all, could possibly be “healthy” about using the blunt instrument of huge doses of synthetic chemicals to interrupt the delicate and complex processes of a woman’s reproductive cycle?

A Better Way

All of which brings me to the central point of this column, and a possible answer to the question I raised above. One possible reason that the Church has not been successful in convincing Catholics of Catholic teaching, is that we have done a very poor job of preaching the beauty of Church teaching regarding the dignity of marriage and the conjugal act and its openness to life. We have not preached an attractive alternative to the contraceptive mentality.

Last week, the U.S. Catholic Church marked Natural Family Planning (NFP) Awareness Week. Let me begin by saying that I don’t want you to misunderstand me: It would be a grave mistake to think of NFP simply as an “alternative” to the Pill. While it is true that NFP is a method (or rather, a collection of methods) that can be used by married couples to postpone having another child for legitimate reasons, it is certainly not a method of contraception. For starters, unlike contraception, NFP is a method that is equally successful in helping married couples who are having difficulty conceiving to do so. I’d like to see the Pill do that!

What I mean by an “attractive alternative” is that NFP is a collection of methods that translate into action the totality of the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality in a way that offers a compelling response to the many unforeseen side effects and sources of pain brought about by the sexual revolution.

In his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, Pope St. John Paul II beautifully expressed the truth about NFP in a single paragraph, writing:

The work of educating in the service of life involves the training of married couples in responsible procreation. In its true meaning, responsible procreation requires couples to be obedient to the Lord’s call and to act as faithful interpreters of his plan. This happens when the family is generously open to new lives, and when couples maintain an attitude of openness and service to life, even if, for serious reasons and in respect for the moral law, they choose to avoid a new birth for the time being or indefinitely. The moral law obliges them in every case to control the impulse of instinct and passion, and to respect the biological laws inscribed in their person. It is precisely this respect which makes legitimate, at the service of responsible procreation, the use of natural methods of regulating fertility. From the scientific point of view, these methods are becoming more and more accurate and make it possible in practice to make choices in harmony with moral values. An honest appraisal of their effectiveness should dispel certain prejudices which are still widely held, and should convince married couples, as well as health-care and social workers, of the importance of proper training in this area. (no. 97)

Unpacking that paragraph, we can note a few key characteristics of NFP:

1) It’s scientific. The Church has always acknowledged that married couples may have legitimate reasons for postponing having another child, and that there is no intrinsic moral impediment to timing sexual relations to coincide with the infertile period of the woman’s cycle. However, while a rudimentary understanding of the female reproductive cycle has existed for a long time, until relatively recently we lacked sufficiently detailed scientific information to formulate clear principles.

That all changed beginning in the early 20th century. Now, the science of fertility is a highly developed science, and there are several different methods of NFP that, if carefully followed, will help married couples either to postpone having a child, or to conceive a child, with a remarkable degree of reliability. With the recent explosion in, and popularity of, fertility apps, it is rarer to hear people denigrate “the rhythm method.” But even still a huge number of people remain unaware of just how scientifically advanced NFP has become, and how much easier to practice, due to a huge growth in resources and training materials.

NFP - acronym from wooden blocks with letters, abbreviation NFP, Natural Family Planning concept

2) It is embedded in a basic stance of “openness to life.” Unlike the case of artificial contraception, married couples who practice NFP always have fertility and children on their mind. Whereas the contracepting couple can simply take the Pill and go on “autopilot,” never giving a moment’s thought to children for years and years, the couple practicing NFP is prodded to re-evaluate their reasons for postponing having a child on a monthly basis. It is very difficult for the couple practicing NFP to lose sight of the fact that their reproductive systems are naturally designed for procreation. In this sense, NFP is simply more biologically and philosophically “truthful” than artificial contraception.

3) It demands personal virtue. Unlike artificial contraception, NFP demands personal sacrifice from the married couple, and often, in a special way, from the man, who must gain control over his sexual desires and channel them in a healthy way out of respect for his wife. At first glance this may not seem like a particularly “attractive” feature of NFP, and it is certainly the one that scares many couples away from it. However, those who have achieved any level of personal maturity have learned the truth that true satisfaction in this life is closely linked to the willingness to do difficult things and to delay gratification for good reasons. Married couples who use NFP consistently report all sorts of positive benefits, including better communication; a deepening of the couple’s love; a growth in spiritual and personal maturity; a sense that the woman is not being “used” by her husband for sex; more fulfilling sexual intimacy.

In an age where we prioritize and value “holistic” lifestyles, NFP is the ultimate holistic approach to sexuality: embracing body, mind, and soul. The Church has every reason to be proud of the fact that, long before Silicon Valley app designers discovered the benefits of “fertility awareness” (which is an often flawed ideology that relies on some of the same biological principles) we have preached a holistic approach to sex that emphasizes profound respect for natural processes.

But more than that, we should be proud that the Church’s prophetic vision saw clearly the spiritual, social, and physical dangers of the sexual revolution and the contraceptive mentality. In championing NFP, the Church highlights a far better response to our modern culture of sexual exploitation, or what Pope Francis calls the “throwaway culture,” a culture of discarding the fruit of our sexual unions as well as our exploited sexual partners.

Sexuality must be integrated into a holistic vision of the human person, that considers our fundamental dignity, deepest needs and moral responsibilities. Sexual pleasure is a good, but only when integrated into a loving, permanent union that is open to life. This is the vision of human sexuality embodied in Natural Family Planning. It is worth celebrating, and it is worth telling others about.

As Pope St. John Paul II wrote in Evangelium Vitae, “The Church is grateful to those who, with personal sacrifice and often unacknowledged dedication, devote themselves to the study and spread of these methods, as well to the promotion of education in the moral values which they presuppose.” (no. 97)

In its teachings on sexuality, the Church has a great light to share with the world. It is time to stop hiding that light under a bushel basket. For this reason, I am grateful to the USCCB for organizing this NFP Awareness Week.

New Study Debunks Infamous Abortion Industry Myth

President of Planned Parenthood Leana Wen speaks during a protest against abortion bans, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, outside the Supreme Court in Washington. A coalition of dozens of groups held a National Day of Action to Stop the Bans, with other events planned throughout the week. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

A new peer-reviewed examination of almost eight million pregnancies over a 15-year period debunks the abortion industry’s fictional narrative that abortion is a normal experience for mothers who already have children.

The study conducted by researchers at the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) found abortion among low-income women with children is exceedingly uncommon, if not rare.

Below is one example of the abortion industry’s myth from Planned Parenthood’s own website:

“Deciding to have an abortion doesn’t mean you don’t want or love children. In fact, 6 out of 10 people who get abortions already have kids — and many of them decide to end their pregnancies so they can focus on the children they already have.”

However, according to the new study authored by Dr. James Studnicki and a team of CLI researchers titled Estimating the Period Prevalence of Mothers Who Have Abortions: A Population Based Study of Inclusive Pregnancy Outcomes, revealed that out of nearly five million Medicaid-enrolled women with at least one pregnancy, less than 6% had both births and abortions.

The researchers also found that women in the study population almost never used abortion as a tool to space their children, proving another abortion industry myth is also false.

CLI’s paper was recently published in the international journal Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology.

Abortion in No Way Typical of Motherhood

The institute’s researchers conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional, and longitudinal analysis of the pregnancy outcomes experienced by 4.9 million Medicaid-enrolled women who had 7.8 million pregnancies between 1999 and 2014.  These women were at least 13 years old, had at least one identifiable pregnancy outcome, and were from the 17 states whose official policies use state taxpayer funds to pay for abortions.

“After studying the largest universe of actual pregnancy outcomes ever analyzed, our team found that abortion is in no way typical of motherhood,” Dr. James Studnicki, CLI vice president and director of data analytics, and one of the paper’s authors said.

“We didn’t sample or conduct surveys – we analyzed all recorded events. We followed the data. It is quite uncommon, if not rare, to have both births and abortions. The overwhelming number of children are born to mothers who never have an abortion,” Studnicki noted.

Other key findings from the CLI study include:

  • Women with both births and abortions have more abortions than births.  Women in the study who had both births and state-funded abortions averaged 3.2 pregnancies or more than twice the average number of pregnancies for women with “only births” or “only state-funded abortions.”
  • Abortion was rarely used to support healthy families or space out children. Abortions that could have been performed to delay a first birth (2.2%), space two births (1.0%), or end childbearing (3.0%) were rare.
  • This latest study expands on ongoing CLI research led by Studnicki analyzing Medicaid claims data to shed light on pregnancy outcome patterns.

    As CBN News reported last month, another CLI study published online in the peer-reviewed Medical Science Monitor found 2,162,600 Medicaid beneficiaries in 17 states with state taxpayer-funded abortion reveals that “rapid repeat pregnancy” (defined as a second pregnancy within 2 years) is most common among women who have abortions.

    Contrary to the narrative pushed by the abortion industry that abortion eases financial or personal problems for pregnant women, the study authored by CLI researchers suggests that a high number of women are pressured into having unwanted first-time abortions.

    Data Doesn’t Lie – Most Mothers Not Undergoing Abortions

    CLI President Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan said the new study reveals the abortion industry’s narrative isn’t true.

    “They want to make it acceptable to target vulnerable women and children by citing estimates and surveys conducted at abortion centers to support the narrative that ‘everybody is doing it,’” he said.

    “What Dr. Studnicki and his team have done is truly remarkable. This peer-reviewed research is based on nearly five million women who had nearly eight million pregnancies. By comparison, the frequently cited ‘Turnaway Study’ from the abortion industry is based on interviews with just 813 women,” Donovan continued.

    “Most mothers are not undergoing abortions.  We know that instinctively. We know that based on logic. Now, we know it based on data,” he added.

    The Charlotte Lozier Institute was launched in 2011 as the education and research arm of Susan B. Anthony List. CLI is a hub for research and public policy analysis on some of the most pressing issues facing the United States and nations around the world.

Ecological Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing

John and Sheila Kippley
(World NFP Congress, Milan, Italy, June 13, 2015))

Background: Breastfeeding mothers experience widely different durations of breastfeeding amenorrhea. Some have a first menses by three months; others one or two years later. Research studies, both prospective and retrospective, were reviewed to determine if breastfeeding patterns affect the duration of breastfeeding amenorrhea. Studies from the 1940s up to the 21stth century show that only frequent suckling provides a significant delay of fertility.

The type called ecological breastfeeding provides, on average, 14 to 15 months of breastfeeding amenorrhea.

Conclusion: Breastfeeding types need to be defined. The Church should promote and teach ecological breastfeeding as a desirable option for natural family planning. Eco-breastfeeding involves no abstinence, offers many benefits to mother and baby, is ecologically sound, and provides extended natural infertility. God does have a natural plan for spacing babies.

Continue reading document “Talk at Natural Family Planning Conference, Milan, June 13, 2015;Delivered by David F. Prentis” here 

Hormonal Contraception and Risk of Venous Thrombosis

In a study published in the journal The Linacre Quarterly, Dr. Lynn  Keenan and collaborators did a systematic review the literature to determine  the risk of objectively confirmed Venous Thrombosis with the use of Hormonal contraceptives  in healthy women compared to nonusers.

The authors searched 1962 publications and identified 15 publications that fit the criteria and were  included.

The researchers found the following results.

1.Users of oral contraception with levonorgesterol had increased risk of VT by a range of 2.79–4.07.

2. The first-generation oral contraceptives had an increased risk of VT of 3.37–8.7. The second-generation oral contraceptives had an OR range of 2.79–4.07. Most studies of Third-generation oral contraceptives  were in the range of 4–9. Of those that separated gestodene from desogestrel, the gestodene range was 5.2–9.1, and the desogestrel was 4.9–9.1. Oral contraceptives with drospirinone had a risk of 6.3 (2.9–13.7).

3. The nonoral forms showed that depot-medroxyprogesterone carried an RR of 3.6 (1.8–7.1).

4. Levonorgestrel intrauterine devices did not increase risk.

5. Etonogestrel/ethinyl estradiol vaginal rings increased the risk of VT by 6.5. Norelgestromin/ethinyl estradiol patches increased risk of VT by 7.9. Etonogestrel subcutaneous implants by 1.4 and depot-medroxyprogesterone by 3.6.

6. The risk of fatal VT was increased in women aged fifteen to twenty-four by 18.8-fold.

The authors of the study concluded  “current hormonal contraceptives carry a three- to nine fold risk of VT compared to nonusers. Third-generation contraceptives are about twice the risk of the other generations. Combined HC vaginal rings and transdermal patches carry a six- to eightfold risk. Obesity can double the risk compared to normal weight. Use during the first year carries the greatest risk, especially in women under age thirty, where the risk increases thirteenfold.”

Informed consent is needed to provide women with information on the medical risks of oral contraceptives. Women should be made aware of these risks when choosing family planning. Abstinence or fertility awareness-based methods are licit, safe, and effective options for women.

‘The art of the possible’: How science fiction captures the pro-life message


“The Martian Chronicles” author Ray Bradbury once said, “I define science fiction as the art of the possible.” And sometimes, science fiction provides us with a picture of possibilities in the form of pro-life themes found in unexpected places.

Unlikely sources

“The Pre-Persons” is a little-known science fiction short story published in 1974 in the wake of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that made abortion legal in all 50 states. The story takes place in a dystopian United States where abortion is legal not just for preborn children, but also for children under the age of 12 who are unable to comprehend algebra.

As the plot goes, when one adult male sees a group of children about to be taken to the abortion facility, he insists on being taken with the children, claiming he has forgotten how to do algebra. Naturally, this creates quite a stir when he arrives, forcing the administrator and the staff into a quandary as the man insists that he, too, meets the qualifications to be aborted. Soon, the administration decides to let the man and the children go, in an acknowledgement of the humanity of the entire group.

The pro-life themes are quite prevalent throughout the story, showing the humanity of all the characters involved with the plot. Anyone who reads a copy is likely to think that a pro-life advocate penned it — but they would be wrong.

Philip K. Dick was the writer for many groundbreaking science-fiction stories. His novella, “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep,” would go on to become the basis for the hit film “Blade Runner” and its sequel “Blade Runner 2049.” Likewise, his writings such as “Total Recall,” “The Minority Report,” and “The Adjustment Bureau” have all gone on to become major motion pictures. Dick helped to define cyberpunk and is considered one of the best sci-fi writers in the United States.

Philip K. Dick (Screenshot: YouTube)

What readers might not know is that he also is the author of “The Pre-Persons,” which first appeared in the pages of “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction” and would go on to be reprinted in anthologies of Dick’s works. However, as his stories gained more notoriety, “The Pre-Persons” slowly vanished from the collections with the last major U.S. reprint being in 2014.

It is no secret that pop culture is plagued with pro-abortion content. From dystopian tales like ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ to comedies like ‘Shrill,’ the pendulum tends to swing away from the pro-life message. However, “The Pre-Persons” is no outlier. I would make the case that science fiction, even accidentally, is predisposed to being pro-life.

Exploring the possibilities of life

Science fiction is all about the unknown. Even subgenres like steampunk, time-travel, and cyberpunk explore the unknown world to find new adventures. They show the potential and the possibilities that humanity has in making new discoveries. The pro-life message is all about giving preborn children the chance to live — the result being to find their own life adventures, so to speak.

In the episode “Evolution” in season three of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher accidentally creates a form of sentient microscopic robots after they are exposed to the Enterprise’s computer core. At first, a guest on the starship insists they be destroyed, likening them to “insects,” but the crew decides to defend the new life forms and eventually allows them to speak through the android crew member, Data. Their request is simple: “let us live.” In the end, the Enterprise crew leaves the robotic beings on an uninhabited planet that they can make their own.

Star Trek: The Next Generation “Evolution” (Screenshot: YouTube)

It is unknown whether Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry or any of his successors writing Star Trek episodes were at all pro-life. That being said, the analogy is clearly there. The microscopic robots have no voice to speak for themselves, one person insists they be “aborted,” but the crew gives them a chance at life — and they flourish.

Another example of a pro-life ethic displayed in sci-fi is the Netflix thriller “I Am Mother,” in which a robot raises a young girl to eventually take her place and restore humanity after it was wiped out in a catastrophic event. The girl soon realizes that the robot has other sinister motives, but it is the undertones that are important. When we see tubes of preborn human beings gathered in the robot’s lair, it is made clear that these children are alive and that they will eventually become a new population for Earth.

While, again, there is no evidence that the filmmakers are closeted pro-life advocates, it is hard to miss such a clear message that these children are not mere “clumps of cells,” — they are humanity’s future.

Netflix’s “I Am Mother” (Screenshot: YouTube)

This perspective on the pro-life themes found in science fiction is, of course, up for debate. Yet, the reasoning is there. When we approach science fiction, we see new galaxies, advanced technology, intrepid explorers, and brave men and women pushing past their limits into futuristic adventures. You cannot see a galaxy, build equipment, or map new worlds without first recognizing that life, from its beginning moments, is the greatest adventure.

A child in the womb is a human being who is simply growing and being prepared for all of the adventures and possibilities to come.

The Negative Effects of the Pill

The Pill: A Hormonal Method of Birth Control

The class of hormonal methods of birth control include birth control pills; implants such as Norplant, Jadelle and Implanon; injectables such as Depo-Provera and Lunelle; intrauterine devices (IUDs), patches and rings, and, of course, the class of abortion pills and so-called emergency “contraception,” which includes Cytotec, ellaOne, Mifegyne, Mifeprix, Plan B and Misoprostol.

All of these contain either one or a combination of artificial progestins and artificial estrogens.1


Health Issues Caused Hormonal Contraception

Though feminist groups and the mainstream media typically present hormonal contraceptives as a boon for women, they overlook the serious side effects reported in mainstream scientific literature, either through deliberate intent or negligence. Women who regularly ingest the powerful steroids in all modern hormonal methods of birth control will find that they usually suffer a wide range of side effects.

negative effects of the pill

This should come as no surprise since hormonal birth control methods such as “the Pill” are listed as carcinogens (causes of cancer) by their own manufacturers.2

The patient information pamphlets for hormonal birth control methods list a long range of side effects, including:3

  • Heart attacks
  • Cancers
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Sudden total or partial blindness
  • Pulmonary embolisms
  • Early unintended abortion
  • High blood pressure
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Abdominal discomfort, bloating, and pain
  • Gall bladder problems, including gallstones
  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Long-term hormonal regulation problems
  • Ectopic pregnancies
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Elevated potassium levels
  • Migraines or severe headaches
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Breast pain and swelling
  • Changes in menstruation patterns, e.g., PMS and dysmenorrhea
  • Acne
  • Rashes
  • Stroke
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of libido
  • Fatigue
  • Significant weight gain
  • Fatal blood clots


One of the most serious negative effects of the Pill and other hormonal methods of birth control is the increased risk of deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots that can potentially be fatal.

According to the Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmaco-therapeutics, some versions of the Pill increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis up to eight-fold:4

Among the other various negative effects of the hormonal methods is difficulty regulating a woman’s testosterone levels even when she no longer uses the method. Researchers have found that abnormally low amounts of unbound testosterone caused by the use of the Pill (or other methods of hormonal birth control) persist after women cease using it. Women’s bodies use testosterone, as men’s do, to regulate sexual function, though in far lower amounts. Report coauthor Dr. Irwin Goldstein clarified: “This work is the culmination of 7 years of observational research in which we noted in our practice many women with sexual dysfunction who had used the oral contraceptive but whose sexual and hormonal problems persisted despite stopping the birth control pill.”5


Primary Concern: Cancer

negative effects of the pill include breast cancerThe hormonal methods of birth control increase the risk of cancer in women of childbearing age.

When taking hormonal contraceptives, “teenagers are especially vulnerable to breast cancer risk because their breasts are growing,” reports the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute. The Institute also says that although the Pill lowers the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers, “according to the American Cancer Society, out of [a random selection of] 100 women with cancer, 31 have breast cancer, 6 have endometrial cancer and only 3 have ovarian cancer, so it is not a good ‘trade-off’ in risk.”

The National Cancer Institute confirms this view by stating that “studies have provided consistent evidence that the risks of breast and cervical cancers are increased in women who use oral contraceptives, whereas the risks of endometrial, ovarian, and colorectal cancers are reduced.”6


Psychological Impacts

Elizabeth Lee Vliet, MD, a women’s health specialist and the author of It’s My Ovaries, Stupid!, has studied the birth control pill’s negative impacts on women’s moods, with a particular emphasis on high-progesterone formulations. She found that they “might even bring about the need for antidepressants: The Pill screws up a woman’s mood and libido, and then she ends up on Prozac.”7

Dr. Vliet’s opinion is reinforced by the manufacturers of the hormonal methods themselves. Their patient information pamphlets list depression and nervousness as psychiatric disorders caused by their methods.8

These methods directly influence the hormonal cycle in women, but their impacts go far beyond mood swings. One of the most interesting studies done on the health impacts of the hormonal methods found that they may cause women to begin a relationship with the wrong men.

A study published in the August 2008 edition of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B found that when women smelled the T-shirts worn by men, they were attracted to more genetically dissimilar men before going on the Pill, and more genetically similar men after going on it.

As evolutionary psychologist Craig Roberts, one of the researchers, explains, “Not only could [genetic] similarity in couples lead to fertility problems but it could ultimately lead to the breakdown of relationships when women stop using the contraceptive pill, as odor perception plays a significant role in maintaining attraction to partners.”9

This fascinating study has thus found that the negative effects of the Pill are not just physical, but social as well, and may subtly influence a woman into being attracted to “Mr. Wrong.”


Environmental Poisoning

Much of the female hormonal content in these birth control methods is excreted via urine and ends up in rivers and lakes. Scientists are finding ever-greater numbers of “intersex” animals in aquatic environments that could lead to a collapse in fish and other populations, followed by a collapse in the populations of animals dependent upon them.

In 2004, The Washington Post reported that 79% of the male smallmouth bass in the Potomac River are growing eggs.10 In certain places, said the Post, “100% of the male fish had some female characteristics.”


Environmental Effects of the Pill: 79% of Male Smallmouth Bass in the Potomac Growing Eggs

A later Washington Post article described how scientists said the cause “is probably some pollutant created by humans — perhaps a farm chemical, or treated sewage, which can contain human hormones or residue from birth-control pills.” The later Post article reported that scientists think the problem is caused by a mixture of hormone and hormone-mimicking pollutants and have found negative effects on female fish as well.11

Iain Murray, author of The Really Inconvenient Truths, wrote on National Review Online, “By any standard typically used by environmentalists, the pill is a pollutant. It does the same thing, just worse, as other chemicals they call pollution.”


Early Abortion

Though the hormonal methods of contraception, including the Pill, appear to act the great majority of the time in preventing conception by suppressing ovulation and inhibiting sperm transport through the woman’s body, at other times they cause abortion by preventing or disrupting the implantation of an already-conceived child.

In some women, the Pill suppresses ovulation completely. But if the method fails, conception may follow and the user may feel that because she intended not to have a child, and because “technology failed her,” that she is entitled to a surgical or medical abortion.



The negative effects of the hormonal methods range from headaches and hair loss to fatal diseases such as cancer and deep-vein thrombosis. They also impact other people and society in general through psychological problems of the users and the environmental pollution they cause. In summary, these methods not only harm women, they harm the rest of us as well.

Want to know more? Try this video:


HLI’s Brian Clowes contributed substantially to this article.



[1] The chemicals used in hormonal methods of birth control commonly include one of about a dozen different artificial progestins — cyproterone acetate, dienogest, desogestrel, drospirenone, ethynodiol diacetate, etonogestrel, gestodene, levonorgestrel, medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), norelgestromin, norethindrone, norethindrone acetate and norgestrel. All of the methods (except for the progestin-only minipill and some other methods such as IUDs, implants and abortion pills) also include the artificial estrogens ethinyl estradiol or estradiol cypionate. See the patient information pamphlets for each method to determine the exact combination of hormones they contain.

[2] Review of 1,346 patient information pamphlets on various hormonal methods of birth control distributed by the manufacturers. The National Cancer Institute (NIC) states, “The risks of breast and cervical cancers are increased in women who use oral contraceptives, whereas the risks of endometrial, ovarian, and colorectal cancers are reduced.”

[3] This example is Janssen Pharmaceuticals, “Micronor®” Oral Contraceptive Tablets, May 2020. Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, “Highlights of Prescribing Information: Yasmin,” April 2012.

To see the patient information pamphlet for any hormonal birth control method, visit the National Institute for Health’s DailyMed website.

[4] Kiran G. Piparva and Jatin G. Buch. “Deep Vein Thrombosis in a Woman Taking Oral Combined Contraceptive Pills.” Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics, Volume 2, Number 3 [July-September 2011], pages 185 and 186.

[5] Claudia Panzer, M.D., “Impact of Oral Contraceptives on Sex Hormone‐Binding Globulin and Androgen Levels: A Retrospective Study in Women with Sexual Dysfunction.” The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Volume 3, Issue 1 [January 1, 2006], pages 104 to 113.

[6] National Cancer Institute. “Oral Contraceptives and Cancer Risk.” February 22, 2018. It should be noted that the National Cancer Institute also says that breast cancers and cervical cancers are much more common than endometrial, ovarian, and colorectal cancers.

[7] Rachael Combe, M.D. “Sexual Chemistry.” Elle, September 2005.

[8] Janssen Pharmaceuticals, “Micronor®” Oral Contraceptive Tablets, May 2020.

[9] University of Liverpool. “Contraceptive Pill Influences Partner Choice.” ScienceDaily, August 13, 2008.

[10] David A. Fahrenthold. “Male Bass in Potomac Producing Eggs.” The Washington Post, October 15, 2004.

[11] David A. Fahrenthold. “‘Human Activity’ Blamed for Fish Ills.” The Washington Post, February 8, 2008, page B03.

Women in India know how to regulate family size naturally, thanks to Mother Teresa


Recently, Live Action News reported that as part of a broader national conversation about population control, the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is considering implementing coercive population control measures that would strongly incentivize couples who have just one child, and directly penalize couples who have more than two children.

While the case for a need for population control in India as a country is very weak due to a total fertility rate that is already below replacement level, critics of coercive measures correctly noted that in areas where women are more educated, the fertility rate drops naturally. Teaching women in poverty about fertility awareness is a form of education that helps them plan their families without the bodily harms that many experience from hormonal birth control, and which can be particularly dangerous for poor women unable to access follow-up care.

Mother Teresa on “throwaway culture”

The Missionaries of Charity, an order of religious sisters founded by the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta, have for decades successfully taught women in Calcutta and throughout India to chart their cycles for pregnancy achievement or avoidance through the symptothermal method of natural family planning (NFP). Mother Teresa saw natural family planning as the antidote to a “throwaway culture” that views children and people in general as problems rather than as unique and unrepeatable gifts.

She commented in a 1994 address to U.S. legislators at the National Prayer Breakfast, “I know that couples have to plan their family and for that there is natural family planning. The way to plan the family is natural family planning, not contraception.”

She also drew a connection between contraception and abortion, saying, “In destroying the power of giving life, through contraception, a husband or wife is doing something to self. This turns the attention to self and so it destroys the gift of love in him or her. In loving, the husband and wife must turn the attention to each other as happens in natural family planning, and not to self, as happens in contraception. Once that living love is destroyed by contraception, abortion follows very easily.”

Every woman can learn

Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity first embraced the Billings Ovulation Method in 1969, a form of the symptothermal method of NFP that utilizes both cervical mucus and temperature observations, after a woman trained in the method applied to join the religious order. An undated handbook put out by the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta sometime during the 1990s entitled “Natural Family Planning and Family Life Education” reported that “12,000 couples are successfully receiving instruction and have been able to rear their families in dignity and happiness.”

While pregnancy avoidance effectiveness statistics for the various methods of NFP can be notoriously hard to come by because many women use barrier methods such as condoms during their fertile time, a 1993 study in the British Medical Journal found that 19,843 women practicing the symptothermal method with abstinence during the fertile time (as taught by the Missionaries of Charity) “had a pregnancy rate approaching zero.” The official website about Mother Teresa maintained by the Missionaries of Charity reports that natural family planning is taught to this day.

The success of the Missionaries of Charity in teaching poor women to use NFP is a reminder that women of every socioeconomic status can learn the natural patterns of fertility and infertility within their own bodies, and they can utilize that information to plan their families in a manner that respects the dignity of all human life.

Potential for Embryo Formation and Loss during the Use of Hormonal Contraception

A recent  review article published in the journal The Linacre Quarterly evaluated “whether there is evidence that ovulation can occur in women using hormonal contraceptives and whether these drugs might inhibit implantation”.

The authors reviewed “English-language research articles that focused on how hormonal birth control, such as the birth control pill, may affect very early human embryos. The authors found that abnormal ovulation, or release of an egg followed by abnormal hormone levels, may often occur in women using hormonal birth control.

This may increase the number of very early human embryos who are lost before a pregnancy test becomes positive.

For women who are thinking about using hormonal birth control, this is important information to consider”.


Celebrate grandparents

“Grandparents are the ring linking generations, to transmit to young people the experience of life and faith.”
Pope Francis (2021)


In January 2021, after praying the Angelus, Pope Francis declared the fourth Sunday in July as World Day for Grandparents. The date has been chosen to be near the liturgical memorial (July 26) of Saints Anne and Joachim, grandparents of Jesus. Since the date of the memorial falls within the week devoted to raising awareness of Natural Family Planning and Church teaching which support its use in marriage due to the anniversary of Humanae vitae (July 25), it is appropriate for all NFP Week celebrations to include reflection upon the vital role that grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren.

For more information about World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, please visit the Vatican website.

Scores of women share stories of ‘excruciating’ pain from abortifacient IUDs, dismissal from doctors

July 20, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A recent article in the Washington Post’s women’s newspaper The Lily provides several accounts of women enduring agonizing pain after having intrauterine devices (IUDs) inserted, most of whom were dismissed by their doctors.

The IUD is a contraceptive tool. According to IUD manufacturer Mirena, IUDs prevent pregnancy by “thickening cervical mucus, preventing sperm from entering the uterus, inhibiting sperm movement so it’s more difficult to reach and fertilize an egg.”

It can also work as an abortifacient by thinning the lining of the uterus and preventing the embryo from attaching to the uterus. The copper IUD causes an inflammatory reaction which is toxic to sperm and eggs as well as to the fertilized embryo, thereby causing abortions.

Many obstetricians warn their patients of potential discomfort after the IUD insertion procedure, including irregular cramping. However, many women reported extreme pain which forced them to take medication and use other non-pharmaceutical methods to deal with the pain.

The Lily asked women to share their testimonies. One hundred thirty-one women responded, most of whom recounted severe pain either during the procedure or after they received their IUD.

The article cites gynecologist and Planned Parenthood associate medical director Stacy De-Lin. Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion chain. De-Lin claimed the “vast majority of her patients who use the IUD are thrilled with their experience,” but many said that they felt ignored or overlooked by doctors who refused to adequately address their pain and were unwilling to remove the IUDs to relieve it.

Danielle Petermann, a 48-year-old woman who has had an IUD since 2013, said, “There are enough tales of discomfort that go beyond just taking an Advil or Tylenol that I think there should be more information available.”

After receiving her IUD, another woman, Tiffany Washington, returned to her doctor because of intense pain that forced her to spend two days in bed. The nurse in the office reportedly rolled her eyes at Washington, asking, “Back so soon?”

This caused Washington to reconsider her decision and to determine to attempt to endure the pain. However, after a few more weeks, she visited a local Planned Parenthood abortuary and had the device removed.

Many other women recounted stories of doctors dismissing their complaints and instead telling them to continue with the IUDs. One doctor advised her patient to remove the IUD herself.

Another woman, Valerie Johnson, recounted her doctor dismissing her extreme pain, only to realize weeks later that the IUD had perforated her uterus and lodged itself in a fat deposit.

She went into surgery a few days later. “I tend to defer to the experts,” Johnson said. “I wish I had been a stronger advocate for myself when my pain was dismissed.”

Pro-lifers have long noted that most gynecologists prioritize contraception over solving women’s underlying health concerns, and that most forms of contraception – including “the pill” and IUDs – have the capacity to induce very early abortions.

Why should ‘choice’ only mean abortion?

July 19, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Many women choosing a medical abortion (Mifegymiso in Canada) change their minds having taken the first pill.

Abortion Pill Reversal has been developed to assist these women who want to save their children from the effects of the first pill in this protocol (Mifepristone).

Records indicate that so far, 112 Canadian women have contacted the Abortion Pill Rescue Network for information on stopping an ongoing chemical abortion, with 57 choosing to undergo the abortion pill reversal procedure. Nine of these women have reported successful interventions with one mother agreeing to provide her testimony.

Abortion Pill Rescue believes there are many more Canadian babies alive whose mothers have not yet reported back their success stories.

The message that Alliance for Life Ontario is conveying to Canadian women is that there is a safe, effective (64% to 68%) method that may save their children if they have second thoughts after starting the Mifegymiso process.

It seems Canadian abortion advocates do not want women to know that this second chance at “choice” exists, as they are currently engaged in a campaign to silence the message that Alliance for Life Ontario is providing for these women.

In April 2021, MP Pam Damoff called our facts “dangerous misinformation” in Parliament. This is an outrageous lie, but parliamentary privilege protects her from the consequences of that lie. Our Facebook page has been taken down after erroneous complaints, our Google ad campaign has been limited, and now our website is being attacked with complaints being made to Health Canada. Since this Health Canada avenue did not work, we are awaiting possible complaints to the Ontario Ministry of Health and the College of Physicians of Ontario from the so-called “pro-choicers.”

Abortion Pill Reversal is being offered around the world with 2,000 little ones saved to-date. Women deserve to know the truth about this second chance at choice and that there are physicians trained and willing to help them try to save their children using similar methods to those used for the last 50 years to assist in the prevention of miscarriage.

However, the politicization of abortion and medical science has world medical bodies, including those in Canada, expressing opposition to the use of progesterone protocols to save these tiny children from the effects of abortion drugs. Physicians are being hauled up before kangaroo courts to explain why they are using drugs “off-label” to save a life – and yet these same medical bodies appear to have no problem with the use of drugs “off-label” to kill a child in the womb.

The Ontario Ministry of Health has reported to Alliance for Life Ontario that a total of 45,363 prescription claims from Canadian pharmacies for Mifegymiso were made between August 10, 2017 and December 31, 2020. Yet we found no sign of these in the official abortion statistics for Ontario released from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).

And the 45,363 does not include women receiving Mifegymiso in hospitals or prescriptions paid in cash or by another insurance rather than OHIP.

A final and outrageous fact is that a small study, ostensibly undertaken to prove Abortion Pill Reversal does not work ended up proving that it does and yet the authors had the audacity to claim the opposite of their results.

The study was abandoned because the Mifepristone caused extremely heavy bleeding in three participants, two of whom were in the placebo group and had not been given progesterone. The woman who had the progesterone did not experience such traumatic bleeding.

This study also proved that the progesterone protocol actually had an 80% success rate in maintaining the pregnancy in women who received progesterone without the second abortion drug and a 40% success rate in those who received both abortion-inducing drugs.

We believe that women who decide to have an abortion do not give up their right to the truth. Why does “choice” always have to mean abortion?

Below is Alliance for Life Ontario’s petition to Health Ministeer Patty Hajdu (click HERE to sign it):

To Health Minister Patty Hajdu:

Whereas: Women deserve a second chance at choice, and

Whereas A 2018 peer reviewed study showed positive results for Abortion Pill Reversal, establishing its effectiveness 64%-68% of the time, its safety for women; no increase in birth defects, and a lower preterm delivery rate than the general population, and

Whereas 2,000 pre-born children’s lives were saved in 2020 by Abortion Pill Reversal, and

Whereas Women who decide to have an induced abortion do not give up their right to the truth, and

Whereas, we know of at least 9 Canadian babies who are living today because of the abortion pill reversal procedure, and

Be it resolved that, any Canadian woman requesting Mifegymiso, must be provided Abortion Pill Reversal Procedure contact information, should she wish a second chance at choice after beginning the Mifegymiso abortion procedure.

Can Natural Family Planning help some couples conceive?

A recent study published in the journal Human Fertility looked into the effectiveness of a  fertility-awareness method in achieving pregnancy. The study particularly observed factors associated with the achievement of pregnancy and the usefulness of the mucus pattern, in the context of infertility.

The authors of the study identified 384 eligible women who attended 17 Australian Billings Ovulation Method® and were achieving a pregnancy. Pregnancy was achieved by 240 couples (62.5%) who received instruction to identify mucus symptom observations after a follow-up of two years maximum.

The participants kept a diary record of observations of vulvar sensation and vaginal discharge following the Billings Ovulation Method®  criteria. A changing pattern of vulvar wetness or slippery sensation indicated hormonal activity and potential fertility. The authors stratified “low pregnancy potential” and “high pregnancy potential” according to mucus symptom observations.  Pregnancy rates were ∼30% higher in the high pregnancy potential” group (44.4% versus 72.3%). Also the “high pregnancy potential” group achieved pregnancy in a  shorter period of time (4.2 versus 6.4 months).

In conclusion, these findings indicate that the use of fertility awareness methods helps women to identify critical biomarkers of fertility that may be used to achieve a pregnancy. These methods “provide a rapid, reliable and cost-effective approach to stratifying fertility potential, including directing timely and targeted investigations/management, and is accessible for women who may be remote from primary or specialist care”.



Does last contraceptive method used impact the return of normal fertility?


According to a prospective observational study of more than 17,000 women that evaluated fecundability after stopping contraception the answer is YES.

The authors found hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) users had slightly increased fecundability compared with users of barrier methods.

There was no difference in fecundability for users of copper IUDs, implant, oral contraception, patches, rings, or natural methods compared with barrier methods.

Users of injectable contraceptives experienced the longest delay in return of normal fertility, about 5 to 8 menstrual cycles.

Responsible Parents Are Open to Life

Most Rev. J. Peter Sartain

Responsible-Parents-are-Open-to-Life-Sartain.pdf (

In an often-quoted and often-misunderstood section of the letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul begins a passage about wives and husbands with these words: Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Eph 5:21ff)

In the late fourth century, St. John Chrysostom suggested that young husbands should say
to their wives:

I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us . . . I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you. (Homily on Ephesians 20,8).

John captured well Paul’s teaching that wives and husbands are to be subordinate to one another–in other words, they are to consider the other’s good as of greatest importance, they are to sacrifice for one another as Christ himself has done, and as a couple they are to see themselves as subject to Christ. The concept of mutual subordination is a way of expressing the particular kind of love which characterizes Christian marriage, which is a union of loves so complete that the two become one.

In the Roman Catholic Church, it is ordinarily understood that husband and wife are ministers of God’s grace and confer on one another the sacrament of matrimony by declaring their consent before the Church. They are chosen instruments of God in one another’s lives–and not just the day of the wedding, but until death do us part. They are literally to help one another get to heaven! Moreover, their vocation entails not only being one in love for each other but also 2 being God’s instruments as a couple, most especially instruments of his creative power in giving life to children. Their love looks beyond itself and seeks to raise up new lives.

These two meanings or values of Christian marriage–the unitive and procreative–are intimately, inseparably linked; they cannot be divided without affecting the couple’s spiritual life and compromising their marriage and the future of their family. In fact, if a person enters marriage with the deliberate intention to exclude children from the marriage, the consent is invalid. Just as the persons of the Trinity are fruitful in love for one another and in creation, so the love of husband and wife is intended to be fruitful in love and offspring. Married couples are cooperators in the love of God the creator and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters.

Being cooperators and interpreters of the creative love of God carries both extraordinary joys and extraordinary responsibilities. An especially intimate and personal responsibility of every couple is making decisions about the regulation of births. Just as the crown of creation was human life, so the supreme gift of marriage is a human person, and the vocation of husband and wife entails honoring this capacity of their love with special care.

The Church does not teach that couples should have a certain number of children, but it does offer teaching about responsible parenthood, which can be summarized in these five points:
1. Husbands and wives have a responsibility to understand and honor the wisdom of the body, including its biological processes.
2. Humans share certain instincts and passions, and Christians are to guard and control them through reason and will.
3. Taking into consideration the physical, economic, psychological and social conditions of their marriage, couples exercise responsible parenthood by a prudent and generous 3 decision to raise a large family, or by a decision (for serious reasons and made according to the moral law) to avoid a new birth for the time being, or even for an indefinite period.
4. Responsible parenthood has its roots in the truth about right and wrong established by God, and spouses have a duty to inform their consciences and make decisions according to this truth. Husbands and wives recognize their duties toward God, themselves, their family and society, and are called to maintain a proper set of priorities.
5. Offering their marriage in discipleship to the Lord Jesus, couples do not make purely arbitrary or subjective decisions regarding becoming parents but use the wisdom of God as their guide. As in every other aspect of their lives, Christian couples always remain open to God’s wisdom and providence regarding family life, including the size of their particular family. Since God brought them together and shares his love with them, he will always guide them along paths that are best for them.

Interwoven among these aspects of responsible parenthood is the understanding that the two great meanings or values of marriage–the unitive and procreative–are never separated. A love that is complete and faithful, a love which holds nothing back from the other, will remain open to Gods creative plan. After all, it is God’s love in the first place.
Most Rev. J. Peter Sartain is the Archbishop of Seattle. This article is part of a six-part series
first published for the Arkansas Catholic, a publication of the Diocese of Little Rock. It is
reprinted here with permission.

The Malthusian fallacy Paul Krugman just fell for

Over the last decade, United States population growth was at its lowest rate since the 1930s, according to a report released by the US Census Bureau in April. Population was up by 7.4 percent over the previous decade, the slowest growth rate the US has seen since the Great Depression. (These findings are a bit surprising since 93 percent of American adults either would like children or already have them, and only 5 percent do not want children, according to a 2013 Gallup poll.)

The Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman had positive words to say about the census news. He wrote in a Times article recently, “Is stagnant or declining population a big economic problem? It doesn’t have to be. In fact, in a world of limited resources and major environmental problems there’s something to be said for a reduction in population pressure.”

By expressing a rosy attitude toward the waning of humankind’s proliferation on Earth, Krugman is joining a dubious tradition that has been ascendant since the 18th century.

“Paul Krugman at The Commonwealth Club” by is licensed under CC BY 2.0

From Malthus to Krugman

The idea that a smaller human population is desirable on environmental grounds has been popular ever since the economist Thomas Malthus published his highly influential 1798 work, An Essay on the Principle of Population. Arguing that each plot of land could only yield so much produce, Malthus surmised that if population growth were to continue without drastic reduction, the vast majority of humanity would inevitably starve within a century of his writing.

Throughout the 19th century, Malthus’s predictions were conclusively disproved by widespread reductions in both poverty and food prices as the population continued to increase. But in the 1960s and 1970s, when the global population was roughly half what it is today, Malthusian ideas once again rose to global prominence. Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich, for example, became a celebrity by inciting an international hysteria over population growth. His 1968 book The Population Bomb became a worldwide bestseller, and he got plentiful mainstream media exposure for his ideas, including over twenty appearances on NBC’s “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson. Ehrlich claimed that not just food, but virtually all natural resource supplies were at the brink of collapse.

His predictions included death by starvation for hundreds of millions before the end of the 1970s (including 65 million Americans), the essential doom of India in its entirety, and even the non-existence of England by the year 2000. Perhaps his grandest forecast, made in 1970, was that “an utter breakdown of the capacity of the planet to support humanity” would arrive by 1985.

In the 21st century, population panic has shifted focus mostly to climate change. Environmentalists can now often be heard advocating smaller family sizes, or avoiding child conception altogether, in an effort to limit carbon emissions.

An article in The Guardian is titled, “Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children.” According to an NPR piece, “A recent study from Lund University in Sweden shows that the biggest way to reduce climate change is to have fewer children.” And the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists published an essay titled, “Stabilize global population and tax carbon to reduce per-capita emissions,” in which it is argued that, “Tax and other economic incentives should be continuously reconsidered to make population stabilization more likely”.

Given the apocalyptic terms in which some of our most esteemed politicians and news outlets speak about the risks of climate change, these contemporary population doomsayers can hardly be considered less alarmist than Malthus and Ehrlich.

Hunger Versus Science

As you may have noticed, the predictions of Malthus and Ehrlich turned out to be epically off.

Food prices have been falling rapidly since Malthus made his predictions in 1798, and the share of the population living in absolute poverty has fallen even faster.

And according to research by Oxford University economist Max Roser, global per capita calorie intake increased nearly every year during the period about which Ehrlich made his predictions. Data show that between 1961 and 2013, per capita calorie intake increased from 2,196 kcal to 2,884 kcal—even while the world’s population nearly doubled.

What accounts for the radical improvements in global nutrition? The New York Times ran an article about the progress against world hunger since Ehrlich’s predictions. The author stated:

No small measure of thanks belonged to Norman E. Borlaug, an American plant scientist whose breeding of high-yielding, disease-resistant crops led to the agricultural savior known as the Green Revolution. While shortages persisted in some regions, they were often more a function of government incompetence, corruption or civil strife than of an absolute lack of food.

But Borlaug’s innovation was just one in a long trend of improvements to agricultural technology. Early that century, in 1909-1910, the Haber-Bosch process was invented, for which Haber and Bosch each earned a Nobel Prize in chemistry. Their process facilitated the creation of synthetic fertilisers, which revolutionised the capabilities of farmers worldwide and made it possible to feed a much larger population from the same amount of farmland.

Even throughout the nineteenth century, industrialisation was radically improving farmland efficiency. The political economist and historian Peter Kropotkin wrote in his 1892 book The Conquest of Bread about the game-changing impact greenhouses were having on agriculture:

And yet the market-gardeners of Paris and Rouen labour three times as hard to obtain the same results as their fellow-workers in Guernsey or in England. Applying industry to agriculture these last make their climate in addition to their soil, by means of the greenhouse.

Kropotkin noted,

Fifty years ago the greenhouse was the luxury of the rich. It was kept to grow exotic plants for pleasure. But nowadays its use begins to be generalized. A tremendous industry has grown up lately in Guernsey and Jersey, where hundreds of acres are already covered with glass — to say nothing of the countless small greenhouses kept in every little farm garden.

These are just a few of countless such examples of scientific and technological innovations revolutionising the ability of humankind to more resourcefully subsist within its environment.

The Ultimate Resource

Every new human will consume resources, produce carbon emissions, and pollute their environment to some degree. But every new human also comes with a human mind, the source of potential solutions to these problems and many others. Each new able body also contributes precious labour to the economy, contributing to the rearrangement of the world’s atoms into more useful configurations.

The people whose future existence Malthus feared would lead to mass starvation, in some cases, turned out to be the very people who would revolutionise agriculture and virtually every other productive industry.

Likewise, when Krugman’s fear of “limited resources and major environmental problems” leads him to speak positively of “a reduction in population pressure,” he assumes that the destructive capacities of future people are likely to outweigh their creative capacities. But as we have seen, the history of such predictions suggests precisely the opposite. The above-mentioned Lund University study accounts for the carbon emissions of future people, but it does not account for the creative visions of those people, nor can any study before the people exist.

Paul Ehrlich’s archnemesis, the economist Julian Simon, understood this fundamental flaw in Malthusian thinking. As he argued in the second edition of his 1980 book The Ultimate Resource,

Adding more people to any community causes problems, but people are also the means to solve these problems. The main fuel to speed the world’s progress is our stock of knowledge, and the brake is our lack of imagination. The ultimate resource is people – skilled, spirited, and hopeful people – who will exert their wills and imaginations for their own benefit as well as in a spirit of faith and social concern. Inevitably they will benefit not only themselves but the poor and the rest of us as well.

If you want to increase resource abundance and have the climate engineered to your liking, perhaps consider having more children. Your future descendants may be the ones to grow up and create the knowledge required to usher in levels of prosperity that we have seldom dared to imagine.

This article has been republished with permission from Foundation for Economic Education.

Why Natural Family Planning Differs from Contraception

Pope John Paul II

In 1998 Pope John Paul II wrote a letter to Dr. Anna Cappella, director of the Center for
Research and Study on the Natural Regulation of Fertility at Rome’s Catholic University of the
Sacred Heart. The occasion was a convention commemorating Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s
1968 encyclical. Excerpts are reprinted below.

I hope that everyone will benefit from a closer study of the Church’s teaching on the truth of the act of love in which spouses become sharers in God’s creative action.

The truth of this act stems from its being an expression of the spouses’ reciprocal personal giving, a giving that can only be total since the person is one and indivisible. In the act that expresses their love, spouses are called to make a reciprocal gift of themselves to each other in the totality of their person: nothing that is part of their being can be excluded from this gift. This is the reason for the intrinsic unlawfulness of contraception: it introduces a substantial limitation into this reciprocal giving, breaking that “inseparable connection” between the two meanings of the conjugal act, the unitive and the procreative, which, as Pope Paul VI pointed out, are written by God himself into the nature of the human being (HV, no. 12).

Continuing in this vein, the great pontiff rightly emphasized the “essential difference” between contraception and the use of natural methods in exercising “responsible procreation.” It is an anthropological difference because in the final analysis it involves two irreconcilable concepts of the person and of human sexuality (cf. Familiaris Consortio, no. 32).

It is not uncommon in current thinking for the natural methods of fertility regulation to be separated from their