News & Commentary

Who is footing the bill for ‘free’ abortion pills on California college campuses?

  |

A measure to force public universities to offer dangerous abortion pills on college campus, recently signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom, will initially be set up using funds from pro-abortion groups. However, pro-life student group Students for Life of America (SFLA) notes that student fees will also be used to fund on-campus abortions, since those fees underwrite the costs of campus healthcare centers. SFLA also pointed out how the conscience rights of students and healthcare workers will be violated if forced to participate with abortions. “This law includes funds that can go to Planned Parenthood for ‘consulting’ and new funds for ‘security’, allowing the nation’s number one abortion vendor to sit back and cash checks, enjoying the chaos of abortions taking place at schools without any of the risk,” said SFLA president Kristin Hawkins.

 

The bill requires student health care services centers at the state’s 34 University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) campuses to offer medication abortion on and after January 1, 2023. According to a Department of Financial Bill Analysis, SB 24 “establishes the College Student Health Center Sexual and Reproductive Health Preparation Fund under the administration of the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.” It requires the Commission, whose current chair Alisha Wilkins previously worked for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest in Riverside, “to provide grants of $200,000 to each student health center, and a grant of $200,000 to both the UC and CSU system to become prepared to offer abortion by medication techniques and develop associated back-up medical supports.”

 

The abortion pill was brought into the U.S. by the Population Council, a eugenics organization which sought out investors to set up a highly secretive company — DANCO Laboratories — to manufacture the drug.

Investors included:

  • The Packard Foundation, which originally invested in 1996 to help keep DANCO afloat when it “ran short on funds”
  • The Buffett Foundation, identified by the Washington Post in 2000, writing, “The Buffett Foundation… made at least $2 million in interest-free loans to the Population Council… according to tax documents filed in 1995. That money was in turn used to conduct clinical trials of RU-486 [the abortion pill].”
  • George Soros (Open Society Foundations)
  • A number of other abortion pill investors chose to remain unnamed, according to internal documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal

Image: Packard Timeline shows it invested in abortion pill distributor

Packard Timeline shows it invested in abortion pill distributor

To update campus student health center procedures, provide training, and purchase equipment at UC, the Department’s analysis estimated:

  • One-time system wide readiness General Fund costs between $4.6 million to $7.8 million…
  • Ongoing General Fund costs of $2.2 million to $3.3 million commencing in 2023 to provide abortion by medication services in each campus student health center and provide access to 24-hour telehealth services.

At CSU, the initial costs were “unknown” but raised concerns it could likely range in the millions to low tens of millions of dollars.

Image: CSU on costs of law mandating abortion pills on California campuses (Image: CBS Sacramento)

CSU on costs of law mandating abortion pills on California campuses (Image: CBS Sacramento)

“While this bill and its sponsors indicate that private financing would cover all the costs associated with this bill, Finance notes this bill could create future General Fund cost pressures to the extent sufficient private funding cannot be raised to support readiness grants, the costs to comply with this bill’s requirements exceed the proposed grant funding, or to the extent the UC and CSU incur ongoing costs after January 1, 2023,” the analysis said.

zImage: Lila Rose on law mandating abortion pills on California campus (Image: Twitter)

Lila Rose on law mandating abortion pills on California campus (Image: Twitter)

According to a statement by the ACLU, a “[C]onsortium of funders, including the Women’s Foundation of California and Tara Health Foundation,” has raised the initial funds.

Tara Health Foundation (THF):

Image: TARA Health Foundation promotes abortion

TARA Health Foundation promotes abortion

The Women’s Foundation of California:

According to the Guttmacher Institute there were 132,680 abortions committed in California in 2017. A previous analysis by Live Action News revealed that taxpayers in the state paid over half a billion dollars (nearly $700 million) for abortions from 1989 to 2014. In 2017, the pro-abortion Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) — a research group at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)’s Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, which trains abortion providers — estimated, “Approximately 23% of CSU students and 12% of UC students are enrolled in Medi-Cal.”

Image: Medi-Cal FFS abortion expenditures in California 1989 to 2014

Medi-Cal FFS abortion expenditures in California 1989 to 2014

“Students across UC and CSU campuses obtain 1,038 abortions each month,” ANSIRH wrote adding, “[W]e estimate there would be between 322-519 medication abortions occurring across UC and CSU campuses every month.”

SFLA claims there was no need for the law because abortion facilities are less than 6 miles from every California public university and college campus. The group also claims there are no safeguards are in place to protect women who may be dosed with the drugs without their consent. Live Action News previously documented how many of those behind the push for these dangerous pills to be readily available on campus are also pushing for FDA safety requirements to be lifted. To date, at least 24 women have died from the abortion pill and literally thousands have been hospitalized with serious complications.

 

How Hormonal Contraception Messes With Your Sleep

by Margaret Brady

The Pill vs.The Sandman: How Hormonal Contraception Messes With Your Sleep

Are you feeling tired? You’re not alone. Roughly 25% of women have trouble sleeping at any given time. As our female bodies go through seemingly endless hormonal changes, it can be hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. But researchers have found there may be an unexpected factor contributing to the modern epidemic of exhaustion: the birth control pill.

birth control and sleep, birth control side effects, birth control and insomnia, hormonal contraception side effects, hormonal contraception and sleep, the Pill and sleep, the Pill and insomnia, hormones and sleep, hormones and insomnia, birth control and restless leg syndrome, trouble sleeping, sleep apnea, restless sleep, sleep and dreams, sleep and nightmares, reasons for bad sleep, insomnia and sleep, RSL, restless leg syndrome, Natural Womanhood, Fertility Awareness Based Methods, Natural Family Planning, NFP, FABM, FAM, birth control side effects, womens health, reproductive health, fertility awareness, taking charge of your fertility, know more about your body, take charge of your fertility, fertility awareness, natural birth control,

To understand how hormonal contraception can affect a woman’s sleep, it’s important to first know how human sleep is structured. Shut-eye actually happens in phases. In stage 1, which only lasts a few minutes, we experience brain waves called alpha and theta waves. This is very light sleep where we can still be easily awoken. In stage 2, the brain causes a sudden increase in wave activity. Stages 3 and 4 are where the deep, restorative rest we all long for happens. This is slow wave sleep, in which the brain is producing delta waves. We get our energy for the next morning, consolidate what we learned during the day for our long-term memory bank, and repair our bodies during this time. Finally, there’s Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep. This stage is when most of our dreaming occurs.

Ladies actually have a special sleep advantage: We are naturally capable of getting more of that deep, stage 3 sleep, compared to men. But researchers have discovered that women taking the artificial hormones found in the Pill don’t get the same benefit. Their body temperatures were elevated, and they experienced less stage 3 sleep compared to women who were experiencing their natural menstrual cycles without the synthetic hormones found in contraceptives. I asked Dr. Lynn Keenan about this phenomenon. She is Program Director of the Sleep Medicine Fellowship, and a NaProTECHNOLOGY expert, at the University of California, San Francisco – Fresno.

What natural hormones have to do with good sleep

“This was also found in women after menopause taking the synthetic progestin,” Dr. Keenan told me. “They have worse sleep quality than those taking bio-identical progesterone.” Bio-identical hormones are the same, at a molecular level, as those naturally produced in the human body.

Women who are paying close attention to their bodies through Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FABM), or modern methods of natural family planning (NFP), may find their fertility charting to be a helpful tool for understanding the intersection of their reproductive cycle and their sleep.

“Charts can give you hints that there may be a coexisting sleep disorder that is impacting the woman’s quality of life,” Dr. Keenan said. “I have had women who only had sleep walking or sleep talking in their luteal phase, and when taught to chart, we found lower than normal progesterone, and the timed administration of bio-identical progesterone controlled their [sleep walking].

“Some women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, have very heavy menses, and I find that group in particular have a high chance of sleep apnea,” she noted. “The oxygen drops associated with sleep apnea can really affect the ovaries and endometrium, and when the sleep apnea is controlled, I have seen significant improvements in menstrual flow. Both PCOS and sleep apnea have lower than normal progesterone,” she said.

Dr. Keenan has even observed a connection between women’s health and sleep conditions like narcolepsy and Restless Legs Syndrome, also known as RLS.

Given all the multi-tasking, care-giving and problem-juggling women have to cope with, it’s fair to say we have enough to keep us up at night, without disrupting the most restful stage of the sleep we do get. It’s just one more reason it’s wise for women to make the switch from birth control to Fertility Awareness-Based Methods; they work with our bodies—and our sleep goals—instead of against them.

Calling on Cardinal Newman: Mother’s Miracle Paves Way for Canonization

K.V. Turley

Melissa Villalobos woke up on May 15, 2013, to find herself in a pool of blood.

That morning she was alone with her four children. Her husband, David, had left the family home in Chicago earlier that morning and was just then boarding a flight to Atlanta for a business meeting.

Bleeding had been noticed some weeks earlier during the first trimester of this, her sixth pregnancy. An ultrasound had shown that the placenta had become partially detached from the uterine wall, “so there was a hole in the placenta and that hole was allowing blood to escape,” Melissa explained to the Register July 22. To make matters worse, she had developed a subchorionic hematoma, a blood clot two and a half times the size of her unborn baby. This had lodged in the fetal membrane.

Her doctor ordered immediate bed rest for Villalobos.

But this was easier said than done. Melissa had four small children, aged 6, 5, 3 and 1. Although the 36-year-old mother had formerly practiced as a lawyer, her husband was the family breadwinner now. He had a high-pressure job that regularly took him away from home. No family members were close at hand to help: Melissa had been brought up in St. Louis, and David was raised in Texas. Apart from a few neighbors and friends, they were alone: Six months’ bed rest until the birth of their new child was nearly impossible.

In any event, the bleeding continued, and was getting worse since Melissa was admitted to a hospital emergency room on May 10, 2013. At that time, the medics warned the couple about a possible miscarriage. If the baby survived the pregnancy, they said, she would probably be born prematurely with attendant complications. The medical prognosis was heartbreaking, and now, less than five days later, the worst seemed to be happening.

Seeking Heavenly Aid

Sadly, David and Melissa had been here before. In February 2013, Melissa’s fifth pregnancy had ended in miscarriage, and Blessed John Henry Newman had been a part of that story, too. In that earlier pregnancy, the doctors, after detecting no heartbeat for weeks, had offered the mother a procedure to remove the unborn baby. Melissa refused. She was determined to carry the child to delivery, even if she knew the child could not live.

Perhaps no one, other than David, understood the grief that Melissa carried in her heart during those weeks before that first miscarriage. As she put it, at that time, she feared “the grief of that miscarriage would kill me of a broken heart.” So she prayed. The person to whom she prayed was a 19th-century English Catholic convert whom she had seen discussed on an EWTN television show and then whose prayer card had been brought home unexpectedly by her husband and now stood on a mantelpiece in the family home: “Please, Cardinal Newman, help me with this.”

Melissa Villalobos prayed as never before. She prayed for the child she carried; she prayed that, if her baby died, she could still believe, still trust, still love the God who had sent her this cross. But, most of all, she prayed that God’s will be done.

Her prayer was heard. As the dead child was buried, Melissa Villalobos remained faithful to the God of love. She knew that her prayer had been heard: that her faith, hope and love were intact, and that Newman’s intercession had been instrumental in this. Today, of that time, she simply says: “I lost the baby. But I had kept my faith — thanks to Cardinal Newman, my rock.”

 

Desperate Prayer

With the experience of her miscarriage still fresh in her heart and mind and concern for who would tend for her four young children, this young mother lay in bed, helpless, in a pool of her own blood on the morning of May 15, 2013.

Terrified thoughts ran through her consciousness: “I was afraid … of losing the baby and what would become of the four children downstairs if I were to bleed to death. How would they be raised? These things were crashing through my mind.”

Although she continued to bleed, she delayed calling 911, worried about her children should she be admitted to the hospital. Finally, she knew she had to call an ambulance, but she then realized she didn’t have her cellphone near her. She also knew that in trying to find it and make a call she would cause even more damage to her body.

Eventually she struggled to her feet. She began to make her way downstairs. Somehow she managed to get the children all in the kitchen and watched as they helped fix breakfast. Then, firmly, mustering all the strength she had, she ordered them: “Don’t get out of your seats no matter what!” They fell silent as their mother left the room. Melissa ascended the stairs.

At last she reached the bathroom. She locked the door behind her, fearing the children would see the blood on the floor. The next thing she remembers was opening her eyes after having collapsed. Now a feeling even more debilitating overtook her physical weakness: desperation.

Was it on this bathroom floor that she was to die, Melissa asked herself, while downstairs her four children sat silently waiting for her?

She prayed: “Please, Cardinal Newman, make the bleeding stop!”

It did.

Immediately.

“‘Please, Cardinal Newman, make the bleeding stop.’ Those were my exact words. Just then, as soon as I finished the sentence, the bleeding stopped.”

She knew instantly that something physical had changed. As she checked, something else occurred. “Just then the scent of roses filled the bathroom,” Melissa recalls, “the strongest scent of roses I’ve ever smelled.” In hindsight, she says: “The injury was unseen so the roses gave me the confidence to go downstairs to see the children.”

She made her way downstairs again. This time she was praying a different prayer than that uttered only minutes previously: “Thank you, Cardinal Newman. Thank you.” During all this time she heard no sound in the house. This had unnerved her. She felt panicked, thinking that the children had gone outside. She rushed to the kitchen only to find four silent faces looking at her. As they told her later, she had asked them to remain there, and that is exactly what they had done, simply and quietly waiting for their mother to come back to them.

The children may not have registered the fact that their mother’s mood had changed from one of utter anguish and dereliction to euphoric elation. “I thought to myself in that moment, ‘Oh my goodness! My baby is okay. I’m okay. My four children are okay. We’re all okay.’ And I said, ‘Thank you, Cardinal Newman.’”

Then her cellphone rang. It was David. He had arrived in Atlanta. There was a problem with his hotel. But all he wanted to know was how his wife was doing. His wife’s reaction was as unexpected as it was welcome: “Everything is going to be fine. … Everything is going to be great! … I’ll explain later. …Take care of your hotel and call me back.”

As it happened, that afternoon Melissa had a scan prearranged at the hospital, as the doctors were understandably still worried about the health of their patient. So, later that day, her complete recovery was confirmed. The doctors told her everything was now “perfect.” There was no longer a hole in the placenta.

Seven months later, on Dec. 27, 2013, a baby girl, Gemma, was born. She weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces. The child has had no medical problems then or since, nor has her mother.

 

Canonization Cause

Villalobos waited until after Gemma was born to report the healing to the promoters of Cardinal Newman’s canonization. Officials from the Archdiocese of Chicago conducted the initial inquiry. A report was then forwarded to the Vatican for another series of investigations. This process officially concluded on Feb. 13, when Pope Francis announced the miracle was accepted: Cardinal Newman would be canonized. At no stage in this process was Melissa in any doubt: “I knew it was a miracle.”

 

Saintly Expression of Love

Melissa loves the family life she shares with David and her now seven children. When she was ill, it was the disruption to the family’s ordinary life that she found hardest to bear. She could not cook and clean and was unable to lift anything; she could not play with her children, for fear that if they bumped her it would set off more bleeding. She feared she would never return to normal family life. That changed instantaneously — and for good: “I was able to resume my full, active life as a mom,” she said. “I was cured through Newman’s intercession so that I could continue an ordinary life, but at the same time be completely devoted to him and to God and his Church.”

That devotion will open a new chapter this October when Melissa makes her first trip to Europe. She will travel with her family to Rome to witness the Pope proclaim a saint that same 19th-century English Catholic convert priest whom she feels now she knows well.

Melissa’s devotion to Newman started with an EWTN television discussion and a prayer card dedicated to him. It was his face upon the card that drew her interest. Newman’s eyes and expression seemed to understand her mood, her preoccupations when, from time to time, she passed by the card on the mantle. The more she read about Newman’s life and witness, the more she felt he understood her. Above all, she says, she learned of how Newman was a true shepherd to all. She wondered if, spiritually, she, too, could become part of his flock, “one of his spiritual children.”

That prayer is now answered — definitively. Now, John Henry Newman is linked to Melissa Villalobos. “To be in the same sentence as Cardinal Newman is a blessing beyond words,” she said, “a display of God’s mercy and Newman’s humility.”

Melissa says that Gemma, now age 5, is not aware of what took place, not yet, although the other day she asked her mother: “What does ‘cured’ mean?”

Today, as Melissa watches her children play and as she plays with them, Newman’s spiritual child reflects: “Several times a day I think of what has happened and try to show my gratitude, just to be as loving as I can be.”

STD rate at an all-time high due to promiscuity and drug use: CDC report

October 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In 2018, cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia were at an all-time high in America, according to a report released last week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The three most common sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) rose to more than 115,000 cases of syphilis, more than 580,000 cases of gonorrhea, and more than 1.7 million cases of chlamydia, the CDC said in a press release. While all three are treatable by antibiotics, without treatment they can be spread to other people and lead to heightened risks of HIV, infertility and ectopic pregnancies.

The most alarming detail in the new report is a 40 percent spike in the number of infants born with syphilis to 1,300.

“There are tools available to prevent every case of congenital syphilis,” Gail Bolan of the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention said. “Testing is simple and can help women to protect their babies from syphilis – a preventable disease that can have irreversible consequences.”

The CDC report attributes the increases partly to drug use and decreased condom usage, as well as “poverty, stigma, and unstable housing” reducing “access to STD prevention and care,” as well as “cuts to STD programs at the state and local level.”

Social conservatives argue that something more fundamental is at work.

On Thursday, Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins interviewed Dr. Michelle Cretella of the American College of Pediatricians and FRC’s own David Closson, who attributed the numbers to “liv(ing) in such a sexually saturated culture” and to venturing “outside of God’s design and the boundaries that he’s given us,” respectively.

Cretella faulted the CDC’s statement for emphasizing secondary prevention (treatment after the fact) over primary prevention (discouraging risky behavior). She noted that government and society have no hesitation about telling young people to abstain from smoking (often employing frightening and judgmental language and imagery in the process), but tends to treat sexual promiscuity differently.

Pro-lifers have long argued that so-called “comprehensive” sex education, particularly as operated by Planned Parenthood, actually encourages underage sexual activity, partly out of far-left ideology and partly in order to generate more demand for Planned Parenthood’s services.

2016 report from the Obama-era U.S. Office of Adolescent Health found that, across six different Planned Parenthood affiliate partners, more than 3,500 students, and 87 schools, a Planned Parenthood-backed sex-ed program left students “significantly more likely than controls to have ever been pregnant or to have caused a pregnancy.”

Abortion activists expand their ‘ideological colonization’ to Latin America

 

Activists with green handkerchiefs, which symbolizes the abortion rights movement, demonstrate to mark the revival of their campaign to legalize abortion, in front of the National Congress in Buenos Aires, on May 28, 2019. – Activists and lawmakers in Argentina relaunched a bid to legalize abortion on Tuesday with a new bill before Congress and a major demonstration, resuming a battle that has divided the homeland of Pope Francis ahead of October’s general election. (Photo by Emiliano Lasalvia / AFP) (Photo credit should read EMILIANO LASALVIA/AFP/Getty Images)

Obianuju Ekeocha, pro-life founder of Culture of Life Africa, has coined the phrase “ideological colonization” to describe how well-funded abortion activists in the West push for the killing of preborn babies in developing countries, many of which have strong pro-life cultures. Although abortion activists are most overt in their ideological colonization in Africa, Latin America is also an important, if oft-overlooked, battleground in the struggle for life. A recent AP overview of the current hotspots in Latin America reminds us that abortion activists’ ideological colonization efforts are alive and well in the region.

Argentina

Argentina has long been a strong protector of the rights of the preborn, with abortion illegal with limited exceptions since the 1880s, making it a prime target of ideological colonization in Latin America by abortion activists.

Last year, Argentina came close to legalizing abortion after abortion activists’ well-organized and internationally backed campaign. As Live Action News reported, influential abortion colonizers like the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Amnesty International were directly involved with pressuring the Argentine government into taking up the bill. Many other groups supported the effort, including Human Rights Watch, which in 2018 called Argentina’s pending pro-abortion legislation a “landmark opportunity to end [the] harmful policy.”

Green scarves worn by protesters are well-recognized symbols of the pro-abortion movement in Argentina  green scarves. The origin of these scarves is deeply, painfully ironic; the inspiration was drawn from the legacy of Argentine mothers of the desaparecidos, or disappeared, who wore white scarves in remembrance of their children who went missing under the military dictatorship. But instead of speaking up for their missing children, the green scarf-clad abortion supporters are wearing those symbols instead to advocate for their right to disappear their own children, through the violence of abortion.

Last year the effort to legalize abortion failed by a 38 to 31 margin in the Senate after widespread civic action by pro-lifers. However, this has not deterred the pro-abortion groups. As PRI reported, abortion activists reintroduced an abortion legalization bill on the symbolic date of May 28th, which abortion activists have termed the International Day of Action for Women’s Health. The day is an initiative of the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights, whose members include leading ‘abortion colonizers’ like Amnesty International, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the International Centre for Reproductive Health, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and Pathfinder International.

Mexico

Like most of Latin America, Mexico has long afforded preborn babies legal protections, but those seeking to expand abortion  have been chipping away at its protections for decades. Planned Parenthood Global claims that its work in Mexico is “growing” and has as its primary goal to “reduce abortion stigma.” The predominantly Catholic country has traditionally been opposed to abortion with the exception of Mexico City, which legalized abortion in 2007. Last month, the state of Oaxaca became the first state outside the capital to legalize abortion when the state’s lawmakers approved a bill allowing abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Although Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has not publicly taken a position on abortion, the fact that his party dominates Oaxaca’s legislature does not bode well. In another ominous sign, according to The Guardian, the federal government tweeted a note of support for Oaxaca’s abortion legalization: “Our democracy is strengthened with the extension of rights and the recognition of the autonomy of women to make decisions over their own bodies.”

Planned Parenthood Global celebrated with a tweet rife with undertones of ideological colonization; the abortion giant claimed that Mexico is finally emerging from its so-called backwardness and now “takes a crucial step in the protection of women’s rights.”

El Salvador

The small Central American republic of El Salvador has one of the most staunchly pro-life laws in the world. The country has come to the forefront in the news recently for controversies surrounding its abortion law and the case of a woman who was charged with inducing an abortion. International groups have been using this woman’s case, as well as the country’s controversial practice of prosecuting women who procure abortions in general, as a wedge and an opening to advance their ideological colonization.

Despite the flurry of recent press coverage, abortion supporters have targeted the country for years. In 2013, they tried to use the case of a 22-year-old named Beatriz (who requested an abortion because she had lupus and her baby had anencephaly) as their rallying cry, and they falsely claimed she needed a “life-saving abortion” when she was offered an emergency c-section (not the same as an abortion). The Supreme Court denied her request and upheld the abortion ban in 2013. In 2016, Amnesty International railed against El Salvador’s abortion restrictions as “tantamount to torture,” as Live Action News reported. Abortion groups like IPPF have even been caught covertly funding abortion advocacy organizations in El Salvador, as the Population Research Institute has reported. And in 2017, 21 pro-abortion Congressmen from the U.S. threw their weight behind the abortion colonizers by formally calling for El Salvador to decriminalize abortion, as reported in a Center for Reproductive Rights press release.

Despite losing U.S. federal funding, the abortion colonizers have retained significant influence around the world pushing their agenda, including Latin America. As Senior Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom International Neydy Casillas said in an interview last year with Live Action News, Central and South America “have been targets for the abortion movement” for a long time. Some Latin America watchers are even trying to paint recent pro-abortion developments in Latin America as part of a “green tide,” an allusion to the green scarves of Argentina’s abortion activists.

Yet pro-life laws in many Latin American countries remain deeply rooted in pro-life cultural values that draw from the traditional influence of the Catholic Church and, more recently, the growing presence of evangelical Protestant groups. As Casillas has pointed out, despite the efforts of wealthy international abortion colonizers, “In Latin America, it has not been easy for them because most of the constitutions throughout the region protect life, but furthermore the value of life lives in people’s hearts.”

Induced Abortion as an Independent Risk Factor for Breast Cancer

Issues In Law & Medicine published a new meta-analysis done by the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute 20 retrospective case-control studies from January 1, 2000 through June 30,2017 were analyzed. Overall, the 20 studies resulted in a 151% increase in breast cancer with induced abortion. These results were statistically significant. There was a 291% increase in the 5 studies that differentiated induced from spontaneous abortions as well as a dose response i.e. there was greater risk with more abortions. You can see a copy of this  study here

An Epidemic of Child Porn

by 

Can the Onslaught Be Stopped?

Children, including infants, are being sexually abused, and then suffering the further degradation of having their abuse filmed and shared amongst an army of online perverts, on a scale that beggars belief.

“The Internet Is Overrun With Images of Child Sexual Abuse,” states the title of a New York Times investigative article, published last week, exposing the epidemic of child porn. According to the Times, in 1998 there were some 3000 reports of images depicting child sex abuse. A decade later, that number grew to over 100,000. By 2014, the number of reports broke one million, before ballooning to over 18.4 million by last year. Those reports, says the Times, “included over 45 million images and videos flagged as child sexual abuse.”

The scale of the problem is so vast that it is beyond the capacity of law enforcement agencies to respond. Officials interviewed for the article lamented that they are continually being forced to make impossible decisions about how to prioritize their resources – focusing, for instance, on identifying and rescuing the youngest and most vulnerable victims, knowing that by doing so they are abandoning countless other children to ongoing abuse. Furthermore, once the images are in circulation, they are almost impossible to delete: their existence haunting the lives of their victims indefinitely.

According to one law official, less than two percent of cases in which a computer in the U.S. has shared child porn will be investigated. “We are overwhelmed, we are underfunded, and we are drowning in the tidal wave of tragedy,” said Special Agent Flint Waters.

Some of the increase in the number of reports over the years can, no doubt, be explained by the implementation of better technology, such as artificial intelligence, to detect child porn. However, the experts interviewed by the Times leave no room for doubt – the underlying problem is an exponential increase in the number of individuals producing and sharing child porn.

It is tempting to envision the perpetrators of this horrific crime as being a tiny sliver of sub-human scum lurking somewhere “out there.” But the numbers defy this interpretation. One online forum on the “Dark Web” dedicated to sharing child porn reportedly had some one million members. Another such forum had over 30,000 members. The creator of that site – an Ohio man – had over three million images of child sex abuse on his computer when authorities caught up with him.

The members of these forums not only share child abuse images, but they also encourage one another to produce new images (i.e. to find children to abuse, and to film it), and exchange tips on how to evade the authorities. One of the creators of one such site, a daycare worker, admitting to abusing over a dozen children, as young as three months old. I cannot bear to type even the briefest description of what he did to the children.

Equally Deviant, “Legal” Porn Must End

As grateful as I am that the Times has drawn attention this epidemic, I was also troubled by a bizarre companion piece that they ran alongside their investigative article. This article strongly endorsed the hypothesis that the origin of pedophilic sexual attraction is “largely biological.” As James Cantor, director of the Toronto Sexuality Center, says in the article: “The biological clues attached to pedophilia demonstrate that its roots are prenatal.” In other words, people who are sexually attracted to children are “born that way.”

Now, I will not dismiss the possibility that early biological development may play a role in predisposing some people to experiencing unwanted sexual attraction to children. And if that is the case, such people bear a heavy cross. However, if – as the article itself acknowledges – scientific research on the topic is in its infancy, then why do other possible causes of pedophilic attraction receive scarcely a passing mention? In fact, the article avoids any mention at all of the elephant in the living room: the explosion in so-called “legal” porn use, and its connection to the growth of deviant forms of porn, including child porn.

Indeed, many people who work fighting child porn have argued that there is a clear link between legal porn use, and the rise in child porn. As Margaret Healey, a former adjunct professor at Fordham School of Law, put it in a report prepared for the 1996 World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children:

[W]ith the emergence of the use of computers to traffic in child pornography, a new and growing segment of producers and consumers is being identified. They are individuals who may not have a sexual preference for children, but who have seen the gamut of adult pornography and who are searching for more bizarre material.

Muireann O’Brian, who leads the Bangkok office of the organization “End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism,” made the same point. “[A]rrests have shown men with perfectly normal sexual proclivities become seduced, then involved and finally addicted to child pornography,” she said. “Their addiction may manifest itself by them just keeping and looking at the images … But it has been found that the addiction leads many men into seeking out children to abuse.”

Certainly, there is no doubt about the existence of the phenomenon of “escalation” among regular porn users. Many users of legal porn will admit that the kinds of material that once excited them no longer excite them. In order to achieve the same sexual “high” they used to experience, they have instead found themselves searching out more and more deviant forms of pornography. A habit that at first seemed innocent and “normal” gradually led them down a rabbit hole into a cesspool of the grotesque and the violent.

The world-renowned psychiatrist Norman Doidge, author of the best-selling book The Brain That Changes Itself, has argued that routine porn use can alter the brain itself, creating new reward pathways that can only be stimulated by more and more extreme material. Doidge objects to the simplistic claim that the only problem with porn use is that some people may use too much of it. The problem with porn addictions is even more sinister, he says. Porn addictions have the power to “change sexual taste.”

It’s a simple matter of science, he notes: “One key driver of plastic change [in the brain] is the reward centre, which normally fires as we accomplish a goal.” He further explains:

A brain chemical, dopamine, is released, giving us the thrill that goes with accomplishment. It also consolidates the connections between neurons in the brain that helped us accomplish that goal. As well, dopamine is secreted at moments of sexual excitement and novelty. Porn scenes, filled with novel sexual ‘partners’, fire the reward centre. The images get reinforced, altering the user’s sexual tastes.

Not all regular porn users will become child porn users. However, many porn users will find themselves becoming gradually desensitized – or even attracted – to forms of porn that once disgusted them. Studies have found that people who view such material are also far more likely to want – and attempt – to act out what they have seen. Some will end up in the very darkest corners of the Internet. Indeed, it is madness to discount the possibility that some child porn users began as “regular” porn users, and that the normalization of pornography has not in some way contributed to some of the worst crimes imaginable.

What to Do: The Porn Stops Now

In the face of such horrific evil, it is easy to feel powerless. However, there are several concrete steps we can do to respond to this epidemic:

  • Pressure lawmakers to put more resources into fighting child porn – The New York Times article gets this part right. Law enforcement agencies need more resources to fight this filth. Demand that your local, state or federal legislator prioritize this issue.
  • Pressure lawmakers to prosecute “normal” porn – As Patrick Trueman has pointed out, hardcore pornography breaks obscenity laws already on the books. Despite this, lawmakers and law enforcement agencies have allowed our society to be immersed in a sea of filth. We should be prosecuting the big porn platforms and porn creators, and passing tighter restrictions on porn sites, so that children can never “accidentally” encounter pornography. This may not end child porn, but it will do yeoman’s labor in making it harder for people who are disposed to addiction to obscene materials from going down that dark road. Stop the problem at the source.
  • Quit porn – If you’re a regular porn user, you’re part of the problem. No, you may not be viewing illegal material involving children. But chances are you’ve already become comfortable with seeing forms of porn that once caused you discomfort. Furthermore, the porn industry in general is predicated on exploitation. The big porn sites are full of hardcore material involving young women who, in a moment of vulnerability, agreed to do something that they will regret for the rest of their lives. You are training your brain to be ok with violence and exploitation. Don’t feed the porn industry. Quit.
  • Talk to your children – In this day and age, parents simply cannot afford to be complacent about the harsh realities of our pornified society. Child sex abusers will often show their victims legal pornography in order to lower their inhibitions. The average age of exposure to pornography is now around 11 years old. When children are exposed to porn, they are more likely to become addicted, to be potential victims of abuse, and in some cases, to abuse others themselves. Talking about sex and porn with your kids is hard. But it’s your job. There are lots of helpful materials out there. One book lots of people I trust recommend is called “Good Pictures, Bad Pictures.” Buy a copy, or look for other books, and then approach the topic with your children in a frank, non-threatening and prayerful fashion. Arm them with the tools they need to protect themselves from abusers, and to protect their souls and their minds from the scourge of porn addiction.

Rep. Sean Duffy’s family welcomes baby girl with Down syndrome: ‘The most perfect angel’

C

Earlier this year, Rep. Sean Duffy resigned from his position in the United States House of Representatives to focus on his family. He and his wife, Rachel Campos-Duffy — both alums of the MTV reality show “The Real World” — were expecting their ninth child together, and had discovered the baby had a heart defect. This week, their baby girl was born, and that baby has a little something extra to love: an extra chromosome! Daughter Valentina StellaMaris has Down syndrome.

In August, Duffy took to Facebook to announce his resignation and explain why he was stepping down. “Recently, we’ve learned that our baby, due in late October, will need even more love, time, and attention due to complications, including a heart condition,” he wrote. “With much prayer, I have decided that this is the right time for me to take a break from public service in order to be the support my wife, baby and family need right now.”

The baby ended up being born a month early, and Duffy explained that their daughter would not only need open heart surgery within a few months, but also would have developmental delays, leading some to speculate that the little girl has Down syndrome. Yesterday, that news was confirmed, when Campos-Duffy made the announcement on her Facebook page.

Campos-Duffy said that Valentina remains in the NICU, and is the “sweetest, most perfect angel we’ve ever seen.” She also said that she does, in fact, have Down syndrome. “Valentina was born with a heart defect (2 holes in the heart and valves that need to be fixed). She will need surgery in 3-4 months,” Campos-Duffy wrote. “As we suspected, Valentina was also born with an extra chromosome, which means she also has Downs Syndrome. That extra chromosome certainly made her EXTRA cute. Life is wonderful!!” Both parents report that the family is already very much in love with their beautiful little girl.

Duffy is an outspoken pro-life advocate, including fighting for minority children to be protected while in the womb.

Congratulations to the Duffy family!

Exposing Abortion: “The Silent Scream” and “Unplanned”

 

In 1985, I was asked to show the new film “The Silent Scream” (still online) at a local community college for the students. I was anxious to show this amazing 30 minute film showing an actual abortion on ultrasound and narrated by the late Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a former abortionist who was the co-founder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) in 1969.

Dr. Nathanson later deeply regretted his actions, and earned the enmity of the abortion movement by exposing the “deceptions, dirty tricks, and other tactics that helped make abortion legal and socially acceptable in the United States”.

His “The Silent Scream” film was his effort to get the truth about abortion to the nation and it caused a lot of controversies.

When I showed the film at the community college, I was seven months pregnant and had a bumper sticker that said: “Every child deserves a birthday”. My mother supported my pro-life work but was worried about my speaking publicly. “Someone may try to shoot you!” she warned.

I just laughed at the time but when I got to the college I saw an armed guard also attending. He said he was there because there were death threats about showing this film. Although nothing happened and the students were very receptive to the film’s message, I was a bit shaken but hopeful that this film would help end the abortion nightmare.

34 years later, the battle to end abortion continues.

I thought of Dr. Nathanson’s film when I was finally able to see the 2019 movie “Unplanned” that, like “The Silent Scream”, also caused tremendous controversy. Some theaters refused to show it and many film critics panned it but the movie was a surprising success at the box office.

“Unplanned” is a great sequel to “The Silent Scream” because it depicts the true story of Abby Johnson, an ambitious young woman who became the director of an abortion clinic and thought she was helping women.

Abby slowly and painfully finally learns the truth about both medical and surgical abortions and the real effects on women-including herself. The effect is both eye-opening and heartbreaking. Abby Johnson now helps other abortion clinic workers like herself as well as the public to see the truth about the enormous damage abortion causes.

Although “Unplanned” is no longer in theaters, it is available for purchase or online streaming on TV and well worth seeing and sharing with others.

Thank you, Abby Johnson and Dr. Nathanson, for your courage in sharing your stories. We will never know how many born and unborn lives you have saved!

America’s Underpopulation Crisis

JONATHAN ABBAMONTE

It’s been ten years since the Great Recession ended. Yet, despite robust economic growth and low employment over the past two years, births in the United States have continued to plummet.

Before the Great Recession, the fertility rate—the number of children women have on average during their lifetimes—had been on the rise. But once the recession hit and unemployment rose to 10%, many couples put off having children and birth rates declined.

Demographers and economists had long anticipated the birth rate would rebound when the economy recovered. After all, birth rates in the U.S. have historically fallen during economic downturns and risen during times of economic recovery. But despite a fifty-year low in the unemployment rate, rising earnings and wages, and a robust 2-3% growth in GDP almost every quarter since the start of 2017, birth rates are still falling

Earlier this year, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that the birth rate in 2018 had fallen to 59 births per 1,000 women 15-44 years of age—the lowest birth rate ever recorded in U.S. history. But before 2018, the 2017 birth rate had been the lowest birth rate ever recorded. And the year before that, the 2016 birth rate had been the lowest. In fact, of the 10 lowest birth rates on record, 9 of them have occurred in the past 9 years.

America’s total fertility rate is also at an all-time low with women on average giving birth to 1.73 children over their lifetimes. This is far below the replacement fertility rate, which is about 2.1 and is the minimum fertility rate needed for the current generation to replace itself without having to be propped up by immigration.

Despite low birth rates, however, preferences for childbearing in the U.S. have not declined.

According to Gallup, Americans on average think 2.7 children is the ideal number of children to have. This is virtually unchanged from the number of children Americans considered ideal back in the 1970s. In fact, Americans’ ideal family size today is larger than it was before the recession started in 2007—and in 2007, the fertility rate had peaked to the highest level on record since 1971.

So if childbearing preferences are not declining, why have birth rates continued to decline in spite of robust economic growth and low unemployment rates? As it turns out, there is no single driving reason why birth rates have fallen. The decline in the birth rate is the result of a variety of factors—including economic factors, postponement of marriage, demographic changes in the marriage market, and changing ideas on marriage—all of which happen to be converging right about now.

This week’s article will discuss the economic reasons behind the falling birth rate while next week’s article will discuss the cultural and demographic reasons behind this trend.

Lost Millennial Wealth 

Perhaps the most potent reason driving the falling birth rate is that many adults, particularly young adults in their prime marrying-age years, are finding it difficult to afford having children or are finding it difficult to get their finances in order so that they can have a family. Nowhere has this effect had more impact than on Millennials who now make up the bulk of women in their childbearing years.

Financial concerns have weighed particularly heavily on Millennials as they were the generation hardest hit by the Great Recession. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Millennials born in the 1980s accumulated 34% less wealth than they would have had the recession not occurred. By comparison, adults born in the 1970s lost 17% of their wealth and those born during the 1960s lost only 11%.

Many Millennials, who faced high employment and underemployment early in their careers, were not able to accumulate as much income or savings as prior generations had when they were entering the workforce. For some young adults, this has made it more difficult for them to achieve enough financial stability to start a family. As adults aged 20-34 years of age make up the bulk of childbearing in the U.S., lower birth rates among the Millennial generation has directly translated into falling birth rates overall.

For one, wages and earnings for young adults in their prime marrying years are less than they were a generation ago. Inflation-adjusted median weekly earnings for adults 25-34 years old today are lower than what they were in 1979 and during the early 2000s. Meanwhile, wages for the workforce overall has increased—an indication that while older adults are still seeing their real wages rise, adults in their prime marrying years are being left behind.

 

 

Today’s young adults are not only making less than they used to, they are also making less compared to the workforce overall. During the early 1980s, adults aged 25-34 years on average made more than the overall workforce and made close to what most adults over the age of 25 made. But during the late 1980s, median earnings for adults 25-34 years of age dropped below the workforce average. And since 2002, the wage gap has been steadily widening. Today, median usual weekly earnings for adults 25-34 years of age are almost 9% lower than the workforce average.

Due to high unemployment and slow wealth accumulation early on in their careers, Millennials are at risk for becoming a “lost generation” in terms of wealth, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. This has likely forced Millennials to put off milestones like getting married, buying a house, and having children.

The loss of wealth accumulation has affected low-income, lower socioeconomic, and minority young adults in particular. The little savings men and women in these demographic groups were able to accumulate were often spent on supporting aging parents or paying for basic living expenses rather than on things like education, transportation, and job training which could have helped to advance their careers.

Additionally, when it comes to getting a college education, young adults today (and their parents) have faced skyrocketing tuition costs. According to tuition statistics tracked by College Board, the inflation-adjusted cost of tuition at four-year private colleges has risen by 134% since the 1986-1987 academic year. At public colleges, the rise in tuition has been even steeper, increasing by 215% since the 1986-1987 academic year.

Meanwhile, wages have not kept pace. Since 1986, real median household income has only increased by 15.7%, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

The steep and rising cost of college education has forced young adults to take on unprecedented amounts of student debt. The amount of outstanding student debt nationwide is now $1.48 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which is now greater than the amount of debt Americans owe through either credit card debt or auto loan debt. And since 2011, student debt has been rising at a faster rate than either credit card debt or auto loan debt.

 

 

The rapidly rising cost of student debt is likely part of the reason why birth rates have been declining in the U.S. According to a study from Ohio State University, every $1,000 in student debt a college graduate is historically linked to a 1.2% drop in the birth rate.

Due to mounting student debt and slow wealth accumulation, young adults have put off owning a home more than previous generations. While 43.3% of adults under the age of 35 owned their own home in 2005, in 2015, only 34.6% of young adults did.

Birth rates for women in their late 20s have plummeted since the recession (before the recession, they had been rising). A slight rise in birth rates among women in their early 30s (30-34 years) has not made up for the difference either. And while birth rates among women in their early 30s had been on the rise since 2011, in 2017, the birth rate for this age group also fell for the first time since the end of the recession.

 

The Rising Cost of Child Care

But there are many other reasons for the declining birth rate in the U.S. and it would be incorrect to fully attribute falling fertility to lost Millennial wealth due to the Great Recession.

A recent New York Times/Morning Consult survey found that the number one reason men and women today cite for having fewer children than their ideal number is that child care is too expensive.

Indeed, the cost of child care is quite steep. According to Child Care Aware of America, the cost of daycare for infants averages between $5,000 – $23,000 per year, depending on the state of residence. For most low-income parents, these costs can be prohibitive.

After child care, concerns related to finances, the economy, and the cost of raising a child were among the foremost reasons adults in the New York Times/Morning Consult survey cited for expecting to have fewer children than they wanted. Nearly 40% also cited not having paid leave through their employer or not having enough paid leave as reasons for not having as many children as they wanted. Presumably, if these couples had the financial security to take time off from work to have another child, they would. A full 36% of adults also said they struggled with striking a work-life balance, in part perhaps due to the fact that many adults do not feel secure enough in their careers or savings to devote sufficient time to family.

Some adults have even chosen to forgo childbearing altogether due to financial reasons. Those who say they do not want to have children most often say they want more leisure time or say that they haven’t found a suitable partner yet. But 31% say they do not want children because they cannot afford child care.

The cost of raising a child has skyrocketed in recent years. Since 2000, the cost of raising a child has risen by 41%. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), middle-income married households with two children making up to 107K per year spent on average $233,610 per child through age 17. And that does not even include costs associated with putting a child through college. A middle-income couple today with two children can expect to spend about $12,680 per year on a child until the child turns 3.

Even for married couples making less than $59K per year, the cost of raising a child is not much different. Parents making less than $59K shell out on average $174,690 per child in a two-child family.

According to the USDA, the biggest expenditure associated with the cost of raising a child is the cost of housing. In recent years, home prices have soared. In the past five years alone, the cost of housing has jumped by 33% nationally, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

After the cost of housing, the cost of food is the second largest expenditure for parents when raising children, according to the USDA. The cost of child care and education is a close third and the cost of transportation a close fourth. But for parents with children under the age of five, the cost of child care is often a larger expense than either food or transportation.

 

Lack of access to paid leave in the U.S. is also a significant hurdle for many couples. According to a report prepared for the U.S. Department of Labor, 46% of Americans in 2012 who qualified under federal law to take unpaid leave for medical reasons, military deployment, or for the birth of a new child did not take it because they could not afford to do so.

Very few Americans have access to paid leave. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 17% of Americans as of 2018 had access to paid leave through their employer.

Other Economic Reasons

Studies have also hinted at other possible economic reasons for why the birth rate in the U.S. continues to tank.

High unemployment during the Great Recession, for instance, may have a significantly negative hindering effect on how many children Millennials have in the long term. According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, women who live through high unemployment rates while in their early 20s may have significantly fewer births over their lifetimes. The study found that every 1% point increase in the unemployment rate experienced by women in the early 20s correlates with a 14-point drop in the birth rate by age 40.

But perhaps even more impactful on the birth rate than high employment has been the permanent loss of manufacturing jobs that were wiped out during the recession. According to one study, the loss of manufacturing jobs since the recession accounts for anywhere from 25%-50% of the drop in the birth rate, depending on race. The study found that the loss of manufacturing jobs during the recession had a stronger effect on the declining birth rate than even the unemployment rate. The loss of manufacturing jobs has driven down the birth rate for all major racial and ethnic groups, but the effect has fallen particularly hard on Hispanic women.

LifeNews Note: Jonathan Abbamonte writes for the Population Research Institute.

Why understanding the body’s cycles empowers women and girls

 

basal thermometer and graphs

In a society obsessed with chemical-free everything, interest is growing in fertility awareness methods, which respect a woman’s physical “ecosystem” rather than disabling her fertility with chemical toxins. On September 30th, Fertility Care practitioner Melissa Buchan hosted a webinar titled, “How to Manage your Menstrual Cycle without the Pill.” Buchan was a co-host of the first ever Cycle Power Summit held in May of this year. During the webinar, she shared 3 Secrets to Tapping into Body Literacy for Self-Awareness and Health Advocacy.

Understanding your unique cycle is the foundation to confidently using natural birth control

Buchan spoke about how knowledge is power when it comes to fertility awareness. Each woman’s body speaks a “language” through the signs and symptoms of her fertility. Charting observable signs like cervical mucus and/or basal body temperature allows a woman to learn that language over time by identifying her unique body’s predictable patterns. Buchan stressed that confidence in using fertility awareness methods comes most importantly from learning an evidence-based method of natural family planning from a certified teacher. “Drive-by” self-teaching of natural family planning from a mishmash of online articles is insufficient and could potentially put a woman at risk of an unintended pregnancy. Furthermore, ongoing contact with a certified teacher is necessary, both for accountability and to answer questions that the woman may have as she navigates various situations like illness, the postpartum period, etc.

Charting your cycle is the first step to identifying reasons behind unexplained infertility

Buchan emphasized that infertility is a symptom of an underlying issue, not the primary problem, as a prominent infertility expert concurs. Infertility is a sign that something is wrong in the woman’s body that needs to be explored, and hopefully managed successfully or even cured.

In September, Live Action News shared several stories of women who conceived after infertility related to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) through Natural Procreative (NaPro) Technology. NaProTechnology is a reproductive health science that utilizes charting from the standardized CREIGHTON Model FertilityCare System. This charting serves as a starting point for exploring the root causes of abnormal bleeding, irregular periods, unexplained infertility, and more by helping guide fertility care clinicians in their choice of diagnostic tools. Multiple days of brown bleeding at the end of a woman’s period, for example, would generally indicate that a clinician should run a blood test to check for low progesterone levels. Low progesterone is one of a number of causes of infertility, as well as recurrent miscarriage.

Living a charting lifestyle is a powerful tool for self-advocacy

Buchan referenced a 2015 bulletin from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists called “Menstruation in Girls and Adolescents: Using the Menstrual Cycle as a Vital Sign.” So often, a teenage girl with abnormally heavy periods is simply counseled to go on the Pill, which can have a whole host of dangerous and even life-threatening side effects. However, the graphic below shows a list of conditions that abnormal bleeding patterns in a teenage girl can indicate, which could be masked by the “band-aid” approach of going on the Pill to stop the bleeding.

Box 2

Source: ACOG.org

Imagine the possibilities if a girl starts charting her cycle in her teens, learning her body’s unique patterns long before she needs to use them to navigate family planning. By the time she gets married and is ready to have babies, she is confident of how her body works (does she experience double-peaks? does she have little to no mucus on one hand, or continuous mucus on the other?) and if needed, has proactively sought medical help if she saw deviation from her norm, or if her charting instructor noticed abnormalities in her charting. She has already addressed any personal risk factors she has for miscarriage or preterm labor. This woman truly embodies every feminist catchphrase — she is empowered by knowledge, and free to make choices about her body that will benefit her and her whole family.

30,000 Doctors Say: Killing an Unborn Child Not Necessary to Save a Mother’s Life

STEVEN ERTELT

Medical leaders representing more than 30,000 doctors said intentionally killing a baby in an abortion is never necessary to save a mother’s life.

The American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA), representing over 30,000 medical professionals, issued a correction of the recently released joint statement on abortion from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Society for Family Planning (SFP).

Today, Dr. Donna Harrison, executive director of AAPLOG, emphatically stated that “there is a difference between elective abortion – a procedure done to ensure that a baby is born dead – and the separation of the mother and the baby in order to save the life of the mother. ACOG leadership is deceptively hiding behind the confusion about the definition of ‘abortion’ to imply that such treatments to save the life of the mother are the same as elective abortions.”   
 
Dr. Cretella, executive director of ACPeds explained, “a separation procedure to treat maternal pathology INTENDS to save the lives of both the mother and her baby if possible.  In contrast, an abortion, which the general public understands to mean ‘elective abortion’, INTENDS to deliver a dead baby every single time. That is why a baby born ALIVE after an elective abortion is called a ‘Failed Abortion’.  The separation of the baby from the mother did not fail.  What failed to occur is that her baby ‘failed’ to be killed.”

Finally, Dr. Michael Chupp, chief executive officer of CMDA pointed out that “ACOG leadership’s advocacy of elective abortion is out of step with the 85% of OB/GYN’s who do not perform abortions.   Their extreme advocacy for elective abortion through birth does not represent the majority opinion of either ACOG membership or the majority opinion of all the rest of the obstetricians and gynecologists in this country.”

The full statement follows:

As organizations representing over 25,000 medical professionals, we would like to correct the errors and assumptions of the recently released joint statement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Physicians for Reproductive Health (PRH).

We state unequivocally that there is a difference between elective abortion – a procedure done to ensure that a baby is born dead -and the separation of the mother and the baby in order to save the life of the mother. ACOG leadership is deceptively hiding behind the confusion about the meaning of the word “abortion” to imply that such treatments to save the life of the mother are the same as elective abortions.

A separation procedure to treat maternal pathology INTENDS to save the lives of both the mother and her baby if possible. In contrast, an abortion, which the general public understands to mean “elective abortion”, INTENDS to deliver a dead baby. That is why a baby born ALIVE after an elective abortion is called a “Failed Abortion”. The separation of the baby from the mother did not fail. What failed to occur is that her baby “failed” to be killed.

We are glad that ACOG and PRH leadership recognize what all pro-life obstetricians know – that sometimes treatments which result in the separation of the mother and the baby are necessary to save the mother’s life. However, ACOG and PRH leadership disingenuously imply in their statement that these life saving procedures are the same as elective abortions.

The ACOG leaders’ advocacy of elective abortion is out of step with the 85% of OB/GYN’s who do not perform abortions. Their extreme advocacy for elective abortion through birth does not represent the majority opinion of either ACOG membership, or the majority opinion of all the rest of the obstetricians and gynecologists in this country.

Respectfully,

Donna J. Harrison M.D. dip. ABOG
Executive Director
American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Mike Chupp MD, FACS, FCS(ECSA) CEO
Christian Medical Dental Association

Michelle Cretella, M.D.
Executive Director
American College of Pediatricians

Mom solves daughter’s mystery illness: School nurse secretly inserted birth control implant

BALTIMORE, Maryland, October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A mother is furious after discovering that her 16-year-old daughter’s headaches and soreness were caused by a birth control implant inserted by a school nurse without her consent.

Nicole Lambert was shocked to learn from her daughter’s pediatrician that the pain her daughter was experiencing had been caused by a tiny tube containing the contraceptive  “Nexplanon,” which had been improperly inserted in her daughter’s upper arm.

Not only did the doctor recommend that the tube be removed to alleviate the child’s discomfort, but he further warned that the contraceptive could cause far worse side-effects, such as blood clots.

“I actually started crying because just to hear that your child, anything could happen to your child and you don’t even know what’s going on,” Lambert told WMAR-2 News. “It’s a scary feeling.”

“I actually went to the school. I was furious. I was mad, so I went to the school and the nurse told me, ‘I don’t have to talk to you about absolutely nothing,’” said Lambert. “I’m like that is my child, I take care of this child, you can talk to me about my child.”

“And they put me out of the school,” said Lambert.

“They call me for Tylenol, but they don’t call me about birth control,” continued the concerned mom. “You gave my daughter this insertion so she might be suffering from that, but do they even look at that?”

“Other kids out here could be going through the same thing and their parents don’t know about it. And I just think these kids, if they have it incorrectly or whatever it is, they should be checked because anything could happen to these kids,” she added.

Disturbed that her daughter — and others — could, without parental notification, undergo such an invasive medical treatment that comes with potentially serious side-effects, Lambert has hired attorney David Ledyard to investigate.

“Ms. Lambert wasn’t given the choice to pick the medical provider where her daughter would feel comfortable going and receiving these services, who she knew did a comprehensive medical exam, who she knew her medical history,” Ledyard explained.

“There’s no transparency in the training or certification of the school health centers,” Ledyard told PJ Media.

“Are they looking at the medical history of the students and doing a full workup before implanting these devices?” asked Ledyard. “What is the certification process and training of the nurses?”

Lambert’s daughter attends Digital Harbor High School, which is home to one of Baltimore City’s 17 School-Based Health Centers (SBHC), several of which offer birth control to students.

According to the Baltimore City Health Department, 164 students were using birth control provided at school during the 2017–2018 school year, including oral contraceptive pills, Plan B, Depo-Provera, NuvaRing, and Nexplanon.

Maryland’s health code states, “A minor has the same capacity as an adult to consent to treatment for or advice about contraception other than sterilization.” Minors are also able to consent to treatment for or advice about drug abuse, alcoholism, venereal disease, and pregnancy, as well as to consent to physical examination and treatment of injuries from — or to obtain evidence from — an alleged rape or sexual offense.

According to PJ Media’s report, the surgery to remove the Nexplanon implant from Lambert’s daughter also entailed removing skin and tissue damaged by the device.

Although the Nexplanon implant was inserted into her daughter’s body without Lambert’s knowledge, a doctor could not remove it without Lambert’s consent.

The Pill ‘dictates who you fall in love with’ – and lowers your sex drive

Twins Who Had Surgery in the Womb to Fix Life-Threatening Condition are Born Healthy

TARA SANDER LEE, KATHRYN NIX

Earlier this year, parents in North Carolina faced heartbreaking news in the second trimester of pregnancy—their twin girls had developed a disease called twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, a life-threatening condition for both babies, caused by connections in the blood flow between identical twins who share one placenta.

That leads the smaller (donor) twin to pump blood to the other, larger (recipient) twin. If left untreated, advanced forms of the disease are fatal between 80% and 100% of the time.

The news was devastating, and the potential outcome for both babies was grim. But the medical team at the Charlotte Fetal Care Center offered a glimmer of hope.

They could perform laser surgery on the placenta to correct the defect, while the twins remained in their mother’s womb. If performed promptly (the next day), the surgery could significantly increase the odds that one or both of the baby girls would survive.

The North Carolina couple decided courageously to embrace this lifesaving treatment. Dr. Courtney Stephenson performed the in-utero surgery on the babies at 21 weeks, and even with some unexpected turns during the procedure, both girls survived with no lingering health issues. A news account can be found here.

Fetal surgery, in which babies receive lifesaving treatment while in the womb, is one of the next frontiers of medicine.

The first procedure used to treat twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome was pioneered and performed in 1988 by Dr. Julian E. De Lia in the United States. Opportunities for intervention have markedly improved since then, but the underlying goal has remained the same; namely, stop progression of the disease and optimize outcomes for both babies.

Fast-forward 30 years, and this minimally invasive surgery—formally called fetoscopic laser ablation—is now the preferred treatment, particularly when the disease is identified in its early stages, for patients between 16 and 26 weeks’ gestation.

High-volume fetal therapy centers, such as the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, report a higher than 90% survival rate of at least one baby and a higher than 80% survival rate of both babies after laser ablation. The Cincinnati Children’s Fetal Center reports similar data of higher than 80% overall survival of at least one or both twins.

The advanced technology uses endoscopes (small fiber-optic guided instruments) and one small incision to seal off the blood connection between the twins. Mom and both babies are under anesthesia, and the entire operation lasts less than two hours and requires only a one- to three-day hospital stay.

It is routine that women with twin pregnancies at increased risk of developing twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome receive increased surveillance to catch the disease in its early stages, should it develop. Women should be referred to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist for this close monitoring and for review of the options for treatment, including fetoscopic laser ablation.

Yet women still report instances where this procedure was not offered to them. In a recent study, one woman reports, “My [maternal-fetal medicine specialist] told me to abort babies and that laser was not an option for me … . I had surgery after I found a clinic … on my own, and both babies survived and are healthy.”

A 2017 Vice article describes a pregnancy with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome to argue in favor of abortion beyond 20 weeks, with no mention of the latest treatment modalities in fetoscopic laser surgery.

Termination of one baby, called selective fetal reduction (or selective feticide), regrettably remains an option for babies with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, despite the fact that laser surgery has a proven record of saving both babies at all stages of the disease.

Selective reduction is rare and typically offered as a last resort in the presence of severe problems affecting one of the babies. In this procedure, cord blood flow to one twin is surgically blocked, causing death to that twin with the purpose of trying to improve the outcome for the other twin.

Studies have shown that selective fetal reduction offers no better outcome, with maximum survival of 50% for one twin, a rate much lower than laser surgery with a higher than 80% survival of one or both babies. And this termination procedure will guarantee 0% survival for at least one twin.

Furthermore, it can be hard to define which fetus has the worse prognosis.

A study in the Netherlands reported intentional fetal and neonatal demise in almost 10% of all twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome pregnancy cases, due to abortion, fetal reduction, and withdrawal of neonatal intensive care. A study in India reported performing fetal reduction up to 27 weeks of pregnancy, with survival rates still no greater than laser ablation procedures.

A 2019 U.S. study reported that the majority of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome patients referred to a single surgery center in California for fetal therapy underwent fetoscopic laser ablation (96.4%), but a small percentage still opted for selective feticide (0.8%). Of those patients that did not undergo any form of fetal therapy, 42.6% terminated both twins.

Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome is a particularly challenging and dynamic disease, with progression that is often unpredictable. Some cases remain stable throughout pregnancy, or even regress, while others develop quickly with rapid deterioration of twins within days.

The aforementioned U.S. study also highlights the critical role of time and suggests that the rapid progression of twin-to-twin syndrome, along with delays between diagnosis and treatment, contributed to a subset of women becoming ineligible for fetal surgery and resulted in fetal demise.

Clearly, there is a real need for immediate consultation in these women to determine eligibility for laser ablation surgery to give them the greatest chance of survival for their babies.

Resources such as the TTTS Foundation and Be Not Afraid can offer help to women in crisis who need immediate attention.

The story out of North Carolina is a beautiful reminder that amid the pain and despair in receiving a diagnosis of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, there is real hope of survival with fetal surgery.

It just takes a courageous medical team to do everything it can to give both babies the chance at life they so desperately deserve.

Physicians who remain diligent in following advances in this and other types of lifesaving fetoscopic surgery to treat a previously incurable disease can drastically improve outcomes for families and contribute to the advancement of medical science in the 21st century.

LifeNews Note: Tara Sander Lee, Ph.D., is an associate scholar for the Charlotte Lozier Institute. She is a scientist with almost 20 years’ experience in academic and clinical medicine. Kathryn Nix Carnahan, M.D. is an obstetrics and gynecology resident in Wisconsin and an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Carnahan was a health policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

One Year After Alexandra Williams’ Death By Birth Control, Little Has Changed

By 

On September 27, 2018, a 20-year-old woman named Alexandra Williams died at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. The days prior had been normal for Alexandra, until she spontaneously collapsed in her driveway on September 26. In the months prior, she had experienced some back pains, which doctors did not understand were the setup of what ultimately became fatal blood clots in her lungs.

What no major media covered in the year since her death is that Alexandra Williams lost her life due to her birth control.

Just nine months before her death, Alex received a birth-control prescription from a local Planned Parenthood clinic. The generic combination pill, Levora, is marketed as one of the “safer” birth control pills available. Like many women, Alex was not fully aware of the health risks associated with her birth control, as she and doctors struggled to identify health complications that resulted just months later.

Alex’s father Anthony Williams shared with Natural Womanhood that Alex’s visit to an Urgent Care center resulted in a muscle-strain diagnosis, and an ER visit later resulted in a diagnosis of a lung infection and prescribed antibiotics. “However, at various times up until her death,” Williams said, “Alex still mentioned occasional discomfort in her back and her overall energy level fluctuated more than normal.”

No medical professional identified the real problem—not even the Duke Medical Center doctors who tried to revive her on September 26. Then, on September 27, 2018, a brain scan revealed no brain activity, and Anthony and Lisa Williams let their daughter go.

The Least-Discussed Killer of Women Today

Pulmonary embolisms, strokes, and such cardiovascular events used to be rare in people Alex’s age. But those numbers have increased since birth control has become the most mass-prescribed drug on the market. A systematic review published this year found 300 to 400 U.S. women die yearly of birth-control related health complications like those Alex faced.

Researcher Lynn Keenan, MD, and Natural Womanhood CEO Gerard Migeon cowrote an article expounding that, “comparing users of HC [hormonal contraception] to nonusers, and including more than seventeen million woman-years of observation, we found that using HC increases a woman’s risk of being diagnosed with VTE by three to nine times. For women under thirty, the risk is increased thirteen-fold during the first year of use, when the risk for clot formation is highest.”

While we might not hear much about this in news headlines, pharmaceutical companies are highly aware. After a major lawsuit, Bayer settled more than 10,000 claims between 2009 and 2016 from patients who took the drug Yaz and suffered venous thromboembolism. The Yaz label suggested a risk of “cardiovascular events” with “cigarette smoking,” misleading many women into believing they were safe if they weren’t smokers.

In one such comment, Laura Bonnet shares, “2 years ago, my daughter died from a blood clot in her brain caused by the birth control, Yasmin. It was prescribed to her for acne and she believed it was safe. She had no risk factors, no clotting disorders. In the hospital, the doctors told us they see 3-5 patients EVERY WEEK with blood clots from birth control. That’s one hospital in a small metropolitan area in Wisconsin. I can’t imagine what other hospitals are experiencing…”

In another comment, Carol Pepin explains, “My 19 year old daughter Shelby Pepin had died. Shelby was very athletic, did not smoke and had no history of a blood disorder. The coroner’s report confirmed that Shelby had died from a pulmonary embolism. She had a DVT behind her left knee that traveled to her lungs causing her bilateral embolism. The coroner also confirmed that her DVT was caused by her birth control the NuvaRing…”

Deaths Like Alex’s Can Be Prevented

One other comment in the recent FDA Citizen’s Petition on birth control health risks is from a woman whose symptoms sounded remarkably like those of Alex Williams.

Scans revealed “a clot the size of a ten cent gum ball was stuck in the valve between my left lung and heart. If it moved to my heart I would die… I had a stroke right in the ER and my life was forever changed. When I arrived to the ER my O2 level was below 40% and I should have been dead. . . . I was the one out of five who got to walk away…”

What bothers Amanda the most is knowing that the health risks she experienced were “100% preventable.” She says, “If I had never used the Nuvaring none of this would have happened to me. My pulmonary embolism with infarction and stroke were a direct result of my Nuvaring usage.”

Just like Amanda, Alex’s doctors at one point thought her symptoms indicated a lung infection. Tragically, no one made the connection between her birth control and blood clot possibility until it was too late.

It’s time that birth control side effects and health risks receive greater attention both in the medical community and the media at large. It’s time birth control receives the same treatment as every other drug with adverse health effects—with accurate black-box warnings, product recalls, and even the discontinuation of particularly dangerous drugs from the market.

Today, Alex would have just celebrated her 21st birthday. We owe it to her to do better.

Mary Rose Somarriba, who completed a 2012 Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship on the connections between pornography and sex trafficking, is editor of Natural Womanhood and associate editor of Verily Magazine. Follow her at maryrosesomarriba.com.

Essure’s Hidden Harms

We recently shared the results of our months-long investigation into the Hidden Harms of various drugs and medical devices. In doing so, we hoped to shed light on the many ways in which patients can be misled by confusing or incomplete drug and medical device labels. Today, we continue those efforts by kicking off our Hidden Harms blog series. Each post in the series will focus on one drug or device from our investigation, exposing the contrast between marketing messages and reality—as experienced by actual patients.

We begin our series with Essure, the non-surgical implant once touted as an ideal alternative to tubal ligation. The silicone and metal Essure inserts were supposed to provide a convenient, safe form of permanent sterilization, but many implant recipients experienced life-altering side effects. More than 30,000 of the women harmed by Essure have filed lawsuits claiming Bayer and Conceptus—the original manufacturer—failed to warn them of risks associated with the device.

Keep reading to understand how Essure marketing and labeling materials failed to communicate possible risks, leading many women to unexpected and serious consequences.

2 out of 50 Essure recipients develop chronic pelvic pain.

The Human Face of Essure’s Hidden Harms

Keisha Carney and her husband had eight children between them. “God has blessed us abundantly,” she told the Washington Post, “We knew we were done.” After speaking with her OB-GYN, Keisha underwent permanent sterilization through Essure implantation.

At first blush, the procedure seemed to be a success. But then strange symptoms appeared. Keisha suddenly developed recurrent, serious tooth infections, eventually losing five teeth. Her hair started falling out. She lived with constant brain fog and fatigue, whether she slept or not, and she gained weight.

Then she missed a period. She wanted to believe she couldn’t be pregnant, because her doctor had assured her that Essure was “the most effective method of permanent birth control available.” But Keisha wanted reassurance, so she bought a drugstore pregnancy test.

She was pregnant.

Keisha went online where she learned that other Essure recipients were experiencing symptoms similar to her own, including unplanned pregnancy. She wanted the implants out but couldn’t do anything about it until she delivered the child she was carrying.

Keisha’s pregnancy was plagued with problems: widespread pain, lower back pain that sometimes paralyzed her, and depression. Doctors attempted to remove her Essure devices during Cesarean section delivery, but they couldn’t retrieve a fragment that had migrated near her colon.

A hysterectomy finally removed the last known Essure fragment from Keisha’s abdomen, a hysterectomy she never intended to have. She says her symptoms changed immediately. The stabbing pains in her back stopped, her hair started to grow back, and the recurrent tooth infections disappeared. Keisha says she still struggles with brain fog and a few aches and pains, but overall, things have improved since ridding her body of the Essure devices.

Nothing about Keisha Carney’s Essure experience conformed to the information she received from her doctor. Similarly, Keisha’s Essure saga contrasts sharply with expectations set by the patient brochure and label information.

Essure Patient Brochure and Label Messaging

Though patients should have access to the official device label and instructions for use, many only ever examine the patient information booklets for implants. In the case of Essure, patients were given a 19-page document replete with smiling, middle-aged women extolling the virtues of the Essure implants.

The first page of the 2007 brochure proclaimed Essure a “Simple Option for Permanent Birth Control” in large, bold, blue lettering. Turning the page, potential users learned the benefits of Essure:

  • Effective
  • Covered by Most Insurance Plans
  • No Cutting Into the Body
  • Rapid Recovery
  • Can Be Done in An Office Setting
  • Confirmation of Placement
  • High Patient Satisfaction
  • Hormone-free
  • No General Anesthesia Required

Readers learned of Essure’s 99.8% success rate in preventing pregnancy in addition to the user comfort ratings ranging from good to excellent within 1 week of implantation.

The brochure informed women that a simple test could confirm proper placement of the inserts and give them peace of mind about their sterilization status. Buried deep in the later portions of the brochure, women who continued reading learned that they would have to use alternative birth control for 3 months prior to confirming placement and function of the inserts.

The brochure did not inform women that they absolutely could not rely on the Essure inserts until and unless they underwent the confirmation test with positive results. Keisha Carney never had the test done, because her insurance would not cover it.

Nickel Allergies

The original patient brochure instructed women with confirmed nickel allergies not to go forward with Essure, but the FDA later approved a label change downgrading this contraindication to a warning. “The data did not meet the threshold of a known hazard,” according to an FDA spokesperson. Some women asked their doctors about potential nickel allergies only to have their concerns dismissed, possibly as a result of this labeling change.

Essure’s Hidden Harms

During our Hidden Harms investigation, we analyzed over 40,000 Essure adverse event reports hoping to distill the true incidence of adverse events mentioned and unmentioned in the Essure patient and physician materials. Ultimately, such reports could not provide reliable estimates of side effect incidence, but scientific studies could.

Chronic Pelvic Pain

clinical study in Canada found that 4.2% of Essure users developed chronic pelvic pain after device implantation. Neither the term “chronic pelvic pain” nor any of its derivatives appear anywhere in the Essure Instructions for Use or the Patient Information Brochure.

Unintended Pregnancy

Many studies have attempted to estimate the rate of unintended pregnancy after Essure sterilization, but few have succeeded. A 2014 study used a mathematical model combined with published Essure placement success rates and short-term unintended pregnancy rates to predict the expected long-term unintended pregnancy rate. The model indicated that 1 in 10 Essure recipients would have an unintended pregnancy over a ten year period.

According to Essure materials, almost every other form of birth control has a  lower failure rate than the one found for Essure. Keisha Carney said she felt betrayed by the contrast between the rosy message presented in Essure materials and the stark reality of the device’s relatively frequent failure to prevent pregnancy.

Informed Women Stopped Choosing Essure

After years of public outcry from Essure users, the FDA finally took additional steps to ensure transparent risk communication with potential patients. Once the FDA began requiring physicians to complete a mandatory communication checklist prior to Essure implantation, sales plummeted. Bayer announced Essure’s removal from the market just months later.

The original Essure marketing materials did not communicate risks transparently. Some were buried in text-heavy pages, and others were entirely absent. Women did not fully understand the implications of Essure implantation, and many were then surprised by the health consequences of the device.

When patients truly understood the risks, they did not choose Essure. Based upon the success of the Essure patient communication checklist, we hope to see similar communication requirements for drugs and medical devices of the future. You can find additional examples of transparent risk communication in our Hidden Harms Risk Explorer.

UK announces plan to spend millions promoting abortion, contraception abroad

September 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The United Kingdom announced Monday that it will spend £600 million on “family planning supplies” for third-world nations, including abortion and contraception.

UK International Development Secretary Alok Sharma made the announcement at the United Nations, claiming that “universal sexual and reproductive health and rights” were essential to achieving “universal health coverage.”

The plan is to spend £600 million over the next five years for various “family planning supplies” in the world’s poorest countries, such as Bangladesh, Syria, and Yemen. That sum will cover some legitimate health services such as medicines to prevent death in childbirth, and the UK government’s press release speaks only in euphemisms such as “reproductive health care,” but the supplies will include “condoms, the contraceptive pill[,] and safe abortions,” according to the Telegraph.

“The UK has been at the forefront of global efforts to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls living in the world’s poorest countries,” Sharma declared. “This UK aid will help give millions of women and girls control over their bodies, so they can choose if, when[,] and how many children they want. That is a basic right that every woman and girl deserves.”

Hailing the announcement, the International Women’s Health Coalition claimed access to abortion and contraception was “at the core of your freedom as a human being,” and called the UK’s move a “stark contrast to the policies of the United States,” which under President Donald Trump has blocked foreign aid to entities that commit or promote abortions, leading the UK-based abortion organization Marie Stopes International to close hundreds of locations across Africa.

Pro-lifers had the opposite reaction. “There is no internationally recognised right to abortion, and the British Government, along with the UN, should not be acting as if there is,” Right To Life UK spokeswoman Catherine Robinson responded. “The British public does not want its taxes being used in this way. 65 [percent] have stated they are opposed to their taxes being used to fund overseas abortions.”

“This is nothing short of neo-colonialism, where the British Government is using its resources to fund abortions in foreign nations,” she declared.

U.S. officials took the opposite approach to abortion at the UN this week, from the president rebuking the international body for pressuring pro-life countries to accept abortion, to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declaring there is no so-called right to abortion and condemning the use of euphemistic language such as “reproductive health” that can be used to assert one.

Parents Stand Up to Planned Parenthood Sex Ed Program Pushing Abortion and Sex on Pre-Teens

MICAIAH BILGER

Concerned parents in Austin, Texas rallied Monday against a new sex education curriculum that they say would “sexualize” young children in the city public schools.

Texas Scorecard reports the abortion chain Planned Parenthood is involved in the developing the curriculum that the Austin Independent School District is considering.

The program would teach children in third through eighth grades about gender identity, sexual orientation and other controversial issues, according to the Austin Statesman.

On Monday, local parents held a rally before the school board meeting to discuss the issue. Several parents also spoke during the crowded meeting, urging the school board not to adopt the curriculum.

“These types of lessons are sexualizing our children,” Lorie Meynig said. “Please focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic.”

Caryl Ayala, co-founder of the local group Concerned Parents of Texas, said she is concerned that the curriculum will pit students against each other and violate “students’ rights to hold a different opinion regarding boundaries of sexual behavior according to their family’s values.”

She said Hispanics like her and her family also feel that the teachings violate their cultural values, according to the Scorecard.

“I am offended that this school district is grooming 46,000 Hispanic children to accept these behaviors,” Ayala said. “I consider this a direct assault on Hispanic family culture.”

Here’s more from the report:

“Many of us are concerned that the national sexuality education standards that have been adopted by the AISD board are not in compliance with the laws of the state of Texas,” said grandparent and district taxpayer Don Dores, who brought up the age of consent laws in the Texas Education Code. One example of questionable age-appropriateness is an incident in 2017 where AISD Covington Middle School sent children home with a Planned Parenthood information sheet that included YouTube links to the abortion business’ consent video series, videos that feature gay and lesbian couples undressing each other and preparing for sex.

“It’s time for us to stand up to the board, tell them to go back to the drawing board, and give parents another opportunity to give their input in what their children should be taught,” said Mary Elizabeth Castle with Texas Values, who spoke at the pre-meeting rally.

The school board is slated to vote on the issue later this fall.

Parents often are shocked to find out that Planned Parenthood teaches sex education in many public schools. In November, upset parents flooded a Florida school district with complaints after one of Planned Parenthood’s graphic sex education videos was shown to students without their knowledge or consent.

Among some of its worst teaching points, the abortion chain tells children that promiscuity is not unhealthy. “There’s nothing bad or unhealthy about having a big number of sexual partners,” Planned Parenthood tells students on its Tumbler page. Planned Parenthood’s booklet for HIV-positive youth, “Healthy, Happy and Hot,” also tells young people that it is their “human right” to not tell their partner that they have HIV.

Many fear it is pushing a pro-abortion agenda on students as well. Monica Cline, a former sex educator who worked closely with Planned Parenthood, said the abortion chain uses its programs to “groom” children for promiscuity, which often leads to abortion.

Numerous communities across the United States have rejected Planned Parenthood as a sex education teacher. The whole Massachusetts legislature recently rejected a bill that recommended Planned Parenthood’s middle school sex education curriculum. The program teaches children as young as 12 “how to perform oral and anal sex.”

Concerned parents in PennsylvaniaMichiganCaliforniaWashington stateNew YorkNorth Carolina and other parts of the country also have protested Planned Parenthood’s involvement in their students’ education in the past year.

Planned Parenthood teaches sex education to at least 221,000 students in 31 states, according to CBS News. It also aborts about 330,000 unborn babies every year.

Pregnant woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer: ‘How blessed are we that I got pregnant?’

 

If she hadn’t become pregnant, Courtney Greer wouldn’t have learned so quickly that she had ovarian cancer. It was during her first pregnancy ultrasound, usually performed around eight to ten weeks, that the doctor noticed the tumor on her ovary. When that doctor said she suspected it wasn’t cancerous, but they wouldn’t be able to biopsy it until after the baby was born in nine months, Greer decided to get a second opinion.

“My mind was racing, I had a million questions,” she wrote in an essay for Love What Matters. “[…] after talking to a few friends and family members, they suggested a second opinion. I noticed one doctor’s name kept coming up. I did not find this to be by chance, (it’s a God thing) so I called and made an appointment. I wanted a second opinion and I wanted it to be from a well-respected physician who knew what he was talking about.”

After meeting with this doctor, Greer knew he was the one who would take the best care of her and her growing baby. They came up with a plan that made her comfortable and moved forward taking measurements of the tumor to monitor its growth. Unfortunately, it kept growing. But Greer, though originally upset at the prospect of having surgery to remove the tumor while she was 15 weeks pregnant, soon found it to be a blessing.

“I was a big ball of nerves with ‘what ifs’ and ‘is my baby going to be okay?’ A million things go through your mind as a Mom. However, I trusted my doctor and believed in him,” she wrote.

The surgery went well but just days later, the doctor told Greer and her husband Micah that unfortunately, it was cancer.

“I’m so excited to see this doctor and tell him how I’m recovering, thank him for everything, and find out is this baby a boy or a girl?!” she wrote. “When he walks in, I can see his demeanor isn’t quite what it usually is. He tells us we need to talk. What we removed wasn’t a fibroma. It’s cancer…”

Greer barely reacted to the news. She didn’t cry. She didn’t worry. But she was in shock. She was healthy. She wasn’t experiencing any symptoms. How was it possible that she had cancer? And then she came to a realization.

“Finally, I look at Micah and say, ‘How blessed are we that I got pregnant?! I would’ve never even know I had a tumor if it weren’t for the baby,” she explained. “I had no symptoms. I felt fine. I couldn’t see or feel it.”

“My doctor tears up and says, ‘Wow. I didn’t even think of that.’ Then he tells me that divine intervention brought me to him. He grabs a tissue and points at a photograph on the wall. He can’t get the words out. I just knew, through the tears I ask him, ‘Is that your daughter?’ … after a few moments he speaks. ‘Yes. In all my years practicing, she is the only case of this cancer that I’ve seen.’ We all break into tears,” she said.

After meeting with an OB oncologist, Greer learned that it appears they got all of the tumor during surgery. There is a 25 percent chance of the cancer coming back, so she will wait to do chemo until after her baby is born. In the meantime, she will be closely monitored and may end up not needing chemo at all.

“This little miracle inside me saved me from letting cancer go further,” said Greer. “I would’ve never known I had it if I didn’t go in for my first ultrasound. Who knows how long this would’ve gone on for? I thank you God for listening to me and making me listen to You. I feel beyond blessed for every single thing in my life and I felt compelled to share this message.”

According to the American Pregnancy Association, only up to 5.7 percent of pregnant women will have a mass on their ovary. Only about 5 percent of those cases turn out to be cancerous. Each case is different and will require a different course of action based on the doctor’s recommendations.

While ovarian cancer itself will not pose risks to the preborn child, treatments for ovarian cancer can. Depending on the severity of the cancer, the risks to the baby will be weighed against the risks to the mother with doctors focused on carrying for both of them.

Betrayed by sexual revolution

CARDIFF, U.K., September 23, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A restoration of true femininity is essential to restoring Christian civilization, said Maria Madise, International Director of Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, at a U.K. Catholic conference earlier this month.

Madise made the case that the revolutions behind today’s culture of death have specifically targeted women to play an essential role in a worldwide corruption of morality.

“She [women] is a strategic target of the revolution, because of her influence on the family and society,” Madise said.

 

Madise’s talk (read full talk below), titled “Women and the rebuilding of Christian civilisation,” was given at a conference organized by Voice of the Family, an initiative of LifeSiteNews and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. The Sept. 6-8 conference, titled “Handing on the Deposit of the Faith,” was held at Newman Hall, University Catholic Chaplaincy, in Cardiff, UK.

The corruption of morality has been necessary for evil to thrive both in general society and within the ranks of Christian communities, Madise noted.

“The Reformation and the French Revolution tempted the woman to rebel against her position in society. The Communist revolution turned the rebellion against her position in the family. The sexual revolution incited rebellion against her very womanhood. In the current phase of the revolution we see an attempt to introduce these errors into the Church,” she said.

The remedy, Madise puts forward, is a “counter-revolution” of women who discover what it means to be a woman by imitating the example of the person of Mary, Mother of God, who was crucial in overturning the great supernatural revolution against God and His order.

“Mary’s ‘Fiat!’ reconciles the human race with God and forms the troops of the counter-revolution,” she said.

“To fulfil her destiny, to be truly happy, every woman must take Mary as her example. Regardless of her particular role or state in life, if she is to be a joyful counter-revolutionary, she must submit herself wholly to God in everything she does,” she added later.

Drawing throughout her talk on the writings of Alice von Hildebrand and Edith Stein, Madise addresses several key issues Christian women face, including modesty in dress and behavior.

“Vigilance is required to maintain purity of mind and body. By the way we look, speak and act we can give witness that God exists. A fact so well hidden today! We should look and sound Catholic. Our appearance, therefore, should not contradict what we believe. We are in the battle. Soldiers in slippers cannot be taken seriously at wartime. Their uniform, on the other hand, shows their readiness and competence to fight. We should look like Catholic women ‘on duty’ at all times,” she wrote.

“Christian mothers must have special regard to the holiness of their children. ‘All children have an instinct for the sense of dignity and decorum of their mother,’ observed Cardinal Siri. This is why modesty in dress, comportment and speech is necessary not only in public, but also at home. By guarding the innocence of their children, Christian mothers foster wilful purity in their children in later life,” she added.

Madise concluded by challenging women to embrace their true calling.

“Since Eve, only one woman has had the right attitude of complete surrender, the attitude of Fiat. Let us seek to imitate that woman.  Let us adopt her attitude to the Truth – protect it as a mother would protect her child and submit to it as she submitted to her Child who was the Truth. Let us be part of her army under the command of Her Immaculate Heart, turned always to God, while crushing the devil with her heel. We are her little children called to the battle.”

This talk is printed in full in the current edition of Voice of the Family’s quarterly magazine ‘Calx Mariae’. Copies of the magazine can be ordered here.

***

Women and the rebuilding of Christian civilisation

By Maria Madise

Introduction

“To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood,” noted Archbishop Fulton Sheen. We can only fathom the full dignity and beauty of Christian civilisation when we consider that its level is none other than the Blessed Virgin.

Today’s world looks even more fallen than after the Fall and wholly unworthy of her. However, we should not forget the perseverance of those who lived between Eve and Mary, ceaselessly imploring God to send a saviour to reopen the gates of Heaven. Their prayer was successful. So we should also pray – and work – for the speedy triumph of the Immaculate Heart.

Mary is our surest and shortest way to Christ. The closer we are to her, the closer we are to Christ. They are so intimately united that St Louis de Montfort claimed: “it were easier to separate the light from the sun, the heat from the fire”. “Nay,” he said “it were easier to separate from Thee all the angels and the saints than the divine Mary, because she loves Thee more ardently and glorifies Thee more perfectly than all the other creatures put together.”1

If she is our true help and comfort, our chief commander and sovereign, we need to know where to find her. With her marvellous assistance, she could be present anywhere, but we can surely find her at the foot of the Cross. The Cross is at the heart of Christian civilisation, of which Mary is the mother and crown.

Alice von Hildebrand points to the privileged position that has been granted to women in the economy of redemption from the Annunciation to bringing news of the Resurrection. The holy women, in the company of Our Lady, followed and served Christ as He taught, made their way to Pilate’s courtroom, accompanied Him to Calvary and assembled at the foot of the Cross.2 Amid complete despair, when God Himself was dying, woman received her new mission. The Apostles had fled. St John did come back and it was he that the dying Saviour entrusted to His Mother: “Woman, behold thy son.” Her task was not finished, but extended. And with her, each woman, who wants to fulfil her role, must share in her motherhood wrought at the foot of the Cross.

This article will consider how the revolution against Christian civilisation has sought to instrumentalise women and womanhood – so tightly connected to the Cross – and how, consequently, the counter-revolution is dependent on women.

Order and revolution

The revolution is a perpetual attack on God’s order. Recalling the success of the serpent, revolutionaries often seek to achieve their goals through the woman. She is a strategic target of the revolution, because of her influence on the family and society.

By “revolution” we mean a movement that aims to destroy a legitimate order and replace it with an illegitimate power or state of things (not order). It is the subversion of the moral order and denial of God. This, in fact, is how “revolution” is defined by Dr Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira (1908-1995),3 the Brazilian thinker and author of the book Revolution and Counter-Revolution, essential reading for all counter-revolutionaries.

Dr Plinio explains that all big revolutions in history, whether the Reformation or French or Communist revolution, as well as any of the more localised and limited forms of revolution, are fruits of the same tree – the denial of God and His order. Thus, revolution has a universal character.4 He also argues, that each “episode” of the revolution contains within it all previous stages.5 So the key elements of the Reformation can be seen in the French Revolution, and the key elements of both, the Reformation and French Revolution, in the Communist Revolution and so on. It is no surprise then, that we may identify many Marxist and socialist ideas in the revolution we are witnessing in the Church today.

Given that the aim of revolution is to destroy the Christian order mothered by Mary, logically, the aim of the counter-revolution is to stop the revolution and to restore the authentic Christian civilisation in its beauty, goodness and truth.

In principle, the temptation inciting the woman to co-operate with the revolution derives from God’s command for her. Through the sin of our first parents, the original or natural order, created by God, became fallen. The relationships between man and God, as well as between man and woman, changed dramatically. Man and woman were punished each according to their main domain and privilege in the natural order, which for the woman was giving birth to new life. God said to her: “I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband’s power, and he shall have dominion over thee.”6 In each of the following episodes of the revolution, therefore, the woman is especially tempted to protest against the sentence she received for her first sin: against being subject to the man and making sacrifices for her family.

However, tempting her has become more challenging after Mary’s “Fiat!”. For her pride, Eve was humbled, but through the perfect humility of the Blessed Virgin, the authentic dignity of women is restored. Eve’s disobedience echoed the rebelling angels’ “non serviam!”. But Mary’s “Fiat!” reconciles the human race with God and forms the troops of the counter-revolution. The gate of Heaven closed behind Eve, while Mary became the gate of Heaven herself. The Fall and Incarnation frame the loss and restoration of order that kaleidoscopically form countless new patterns in Christian history.

Given what happened in the Garden of Eden, we may consider that it follows that love of sacrifice and perseverance are inherent in the female nature. It was through atoning sacrifice that her disobedience was to be redeemed. Until then she was to be completely powerless in healing the wound that she had inflicted on her relationship with God. All she could do was to persevere in hope for the sacrifice to be offered for her and all her children born in exile. This love of sacrifice, so deep-rooted in women’s nature, is reflected in the words of Edith Stein: “After every encounter in which I realise my inability to influence others directly, I become more intensely conscious of the urgent need for a personal holocaustum.”7

Yet, Mary raised this to a completely new level. Her love of sacrifice was not the love of a sinner hoping for reconciliation, but the love of the mother, completely united with her Son who was the Sacrifice. Eve was sentenced to bring forth her children in sorrow. In her tremendous sorrow under the Cross, Mary became the mother of all and was ordered to love all. Since then every woman is called to take part in the sacrificial motherhood of Mary, be it naturally or spiritually, and raise citizens for Heaven.

Love of sacrifice and perseverance is what the revolution wants to destroy in every single woman and also in a culture. For the revolution, these are intrinsically related, because the woman who can nurture souls, can also nurture the culture.

Woman and revolutions

How has each episode of the revolution sought to appeal to women and deform their mission? The Reformation and the French Revolution tempted the woman to rebel against her position in society. The Communist revolution turned the rebellion against her position in the family. The sexual revolution incited rebellion against her very womanhood. In the current phase of the revolution we see an attempt to introduce these errors into the Church.

We cannot study these attempts fully in the scope of this article. However, we can consider some of the key elements in the main episodes of the revolution in connection with women, while seeking to strengthen our commitment to Our Lady’s counter-revolutionary army today.

Early progress of the revolution against Christian civilisation

Dr Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira identifies some of the essential factors in the Protestant revolution as: loss of the love of sacrifice, loss of true devotion to the Cross; the rise of sensuality and the importance of man’s own merits; the rise of natural above the supernatural.8 These were all changes that deeply affected the woman’s mission. Dr Plinio goes on to explain: “Pride begot the spirit of doubt, free examination and naturalistic interpretation of Scripture, and revolt against superiority which wrought ecclesiastical egalitarianism… On the moral plane, the triumph of sensuality was affirmed by the suppression of priestly celibacy and by the introduction of divorce.”9 This first episode of the revolution in the Christian world laid out the plan for destroying the protective walls of Christian morality – enshrined in the commandments and sanctified by the sacraments.

We could make two observations here in connection to the woman. Firstly, the long term consequence of the growth of pride and sensuality became evident in the later stages of the revolution, especially in the Communist and sexual revolution, when divorce, combined with its allies, contraception and abortion, ensnared women in moral chaos. It took time to reach that point. However, we should not miss the first blow to the sacramental order of marriage, which made all further blows possible.

Secondly, we must consider the inevitable and immediate conflict between these developments and the Blessed Virgin who is a constant reminder of God’s order. From the early episodes of the revolution in the Christian world, statues of Our Lady, her images and devotions had to be violently removed in pursuit of the design that so wholly contradicted her.

Like the Reformation, the French Revolution entered into a direct conflict with the blessed Virgin. A“Goddess of Reason” was enthroned in the Cathedral of Notre Dame. A temple of Philosophy was erected in the nave and decorated with busts of philosophers. At its base was an altar dedicated to Reason, and before it a torch of truth. The true Seat of Wisdom, however, was driven from her own cathedral.

According to Dr Plinio, the French Revolution was “the heir of Renaissance neopaganism and Protestantism, with which it had a profound affinity.”10

“The political work of the French Revolution was but the transposition to the sphere of the State of the ‘reform’ the more radical Protestant sects had adopted in the matter of ecclesiastical organization: the revolt against the King corresponding to the revolt against the Pope; the revolt of the common people against the nobles, to the revolt of the ecclesiastical “common people”; the faithful, against the “aristocracy” of the Church, the clergy.”11

Central to the French Revolution was the emergence of the Freemasonic lodges and the role they played in spreading revolutionary ideas. When the permanent instruction of Alta Vendita (Italian high lodge) came to light, it revealed a strategic plan to subvert the Catholic Church. Both Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII ordered this revolutionary document to be made public. Also, the letters, which have survived from the members of the lodge, leave no room for doubt of their plan:

“Catholicism does not fear a very sharp sword any more than the monarchies feared it. But, these two foundations of Social Order can collapse under corruption; let us never tire to corrupt them… from the blood of martyrs Christians are born; let us not make martyrs; but, let us popularise vice among the multitudes; may they breathe it through their five senses; may they drink it and be saturated. Make vicious hearts and there will be no more Catholics.

“It is corruption on a big scale that we have undertaken… a corruption that should one day enable us to lead the Church to its grave. Lately, I heard one of our friends laughing philosophically at our projects saying: ‘To destroy Catholicism, we should do away with women.’ The idea is good in a certain way, but since we cannot get rid of women, let us corrupt them with the Church. ‘Corruptio optimi, pessima.’ The best dagger to strike the Church is corruption.”12

Notably, in this correspondence, in the universal corruption of Catholicism, women were considered to have an important role. This programme of corruption was determinedly pursued and in association with the feminist movement in the 1960s, these efforts bore ample fruit. Showing remarkable continuity with the Masonic letters of the previous century, the magazine L’Humanisme wrote at that time:

“The first conquest to be done is the conquest of women. Woman must be freed from the chains of the Church and from the law. […] To break down Catholicism, we must begin by suppressing the dignity of women, we must corrupt them together with the Church. We spread the practice of nudity: first the arms, then the legs, then all the rest. In the end, people will go around naked, or almost, without batting an eyelid. And, once modesty has been removed, the sense of the sacred will be extinguished, the morality will be weakened and faith will die of asphyxiation.”13

Until recently, the Church zealously protected the purity of her daughters. In his address to a group of Catholic girls, Pope Pius XII lamented:

“Many women… give in to the tyranny of fashion, be it even immodest, in such a way as to appear not even to suspect what is unbecoming. They have lost the very concept of danger: they have lost the instinct of modesty.”14

Later, he commented on the inherent connection between the morals of an individual and the morals of the culture and the nation, so well-known to the enemies of the Church:

“It is often said almost with passive resignation that fashions reflect the customs of a people. But it would be more exact and much more useful to say that they express the decision and moral direction that a nation intends to take: either to be shipwrecked in licentiousness or maintain itself at the level to which it has been raised by religion and civilization.”15

Our Lady herself issued warnings against the corruption of her daughters. “Certain fashions are to be introduced which will offend Our Lord very much,” she said in Fatima. “Those who serve God should not follow these fashions. The Church has no fashions. Our Lord is always the same.”

Already much earlier, 1594-1634, in Quito, Ecuador, Our Lady of Good Success had said:

 “Unbridled passions will give way to a total corruption of customs because Satan will reign through the Masonic sects, targeting the children in particular to ensure general corruption.

“In those times the atmosphere will be saturated with the spirit of impurity which, like a filthy sea, will engulf the streets and public places with incredible license… Innocence will scarcely be found in children, or modesty in women.”16

Communist Revolution

The Communist Revolution instrumentalised women with enormous profit. In his article “A Great Beginning” (1919), Vladimir Lenin asserted that “we have far more organising talent among the working and peasant women than we are aware of.”17 And the party vowed that it is principally important to employ these talents in state business and social work. With that manoeuvre, the family was left to be mothered by the state.

The influential Communist women Inessa Armand (1874-1920), a member of the executive committee of the Bolshevik party, also Lenin’s lover, and Aleksandra Kollontai (1872-1952), the first Soviet People’s Commissar for Social Welfare, argued that sexual liberation was a necessary premise for the realisation of a socialist society. Kollontai wrote, in 1920, in the journal Kommunistka:

“In place of the individual and egoistic family, a great universal family of workers will develop, in which … men and women, will above all be comrades… These new relations will ensure for humanity all the joys of a love unknown in the commercial society, of a love that is free and based on the true social equality of the partners…The red flag of the social revolution which flies above Russia and is now being hoisted aloft in other countries of the world proclaims the approach of the heaven on earth.”18

In 1921 she explained:

“The economic subjugation of women in marriage and the family is done away with, and responsibility for the care of the children and their physical and spiritual education is assumed by the social collective. The family teaches and instils egoism thus weakening the ties of the collective and hindering the construction of communism.”19

Nothing like the powerful alliance of Communism and feminism has employed women more ferociously in the destruction of the family. To assume their responsibilities as “talented organisers” they were either to abort their children or hand them over to the Communist educational model that in the words of Kollontai, would “take upon itself all the duties involved in the education of a child.”20 Once the family was out of the way, immorality and liberalism would pave the way to “free love”. Incidentally, sex education in our schools today is the fruit of the seeds sown at this stage of the revolution.

Lenin congratulated himself on the progress made with regard to the position of women. He claimed:

“In this field, not a single democratic party in the world, not even in the most advanced bourgeois republic, has done in decades so much as a hundredth part of what we did in our very first year in power. We really razed to the ground the infamous laws placing women in a position of inequality.”21

The speed of the Bolshevik attack on the true mission of women and the family was remarkable indeed. On 17 December 1917, a few weeks after Bolsheviks seized power, divorce was introduced; in 1920 abortion was legalised without restriction (Soviet Russia was the first country in the world to allow this); in 1922 prostitution and homosexuality were decriminalised.22 In 1923 Leon Trotsky wrote: “The first period of family destruction is still far from being achieved. The disintegration process is in full swing.”23

Communist movements grew out of the French Revolution, which was the heir to the Protestant revolution – and nothing could be more logical, as Dr Plinio explains:

“The normal fruit of deism is atheism. Sensuality, revolting against the fragile obstacles of divorce, tends of itself toward free love. Pride, enemy of all superiority, finally had to attack the last inequality, that of wealth. Drunk with dreams of a one-world republic, of the suppression of all ecclesiastical or civil authority, of the abolition of any Church, and of the abolition of the State itself after a transitional dictatorship of the workers, the revolutionary process now brings us the twentieth-century neobarbarian, its most recent and extreme product.”24

On the eve of the Communists’ seizure of power, the Blessed Virgin appeared in Fatima. Her Immaculate Heart desired the Consecration of Russia, to prevent it from spreading its errors throughout the world. But the world had rejected the humble Virgin and enthroned a common woman worker instead.

Sexual revolution

In the realm of the family, the sexual revolution was the refinement and globalisation of the Communist revolution. When considering the territories and populations conquered by Communist regimes, we see that at this stage, the revolution had truly built an empire. Dr Plinio also points out that through its networks and infiltration of every social and professional sphere “the Third Revolution applies with devastating efficacy the tactics of psychological conquest.”25

What the sexual revolution added to the refinement and spread of the revolution was contraception.

In her book Adam and Eve after the Pill, Mary Eberstadt notes, “it may be possible to imagine the Pill being invented without the sexual revolution that followed, but imagining the sexual revolution without the Pill and other modern contraceptives simply cannot be done.”26 The pill redefined the most elemental human relationships. It is perhaps the single greatest change in the relationship between men and women after the Fall. The individual and social consequences of contraception predicted by Humanae Vitae (1968) – including 1) lower moral standards; 2) greater infidelity, 3) less respect for women by men, and 4) coercive use of reproductive technology by governments – are all fully vindicated today.

Nothing has ever done more for woman than Christianity. But nothing has enslaved and harmed women more than “sexual liberation”. There is ample empirical evidence – which Eberstadt presents in her book – that people in faithful married relationships “score better on all kinds of measures of well-being”. Other data “testifies to the propositionthat families headed by a married couple are better off than those headed by a cohabiting couple.”27 Children who grow up with both of their biological parents do better emotionally, financially, educationally, mentally than children who grow up with a single parent.28 Secular research tells us that lifelong, faithful marriage is better for children, better for adults and better for society.

The ideological position that women need to be freed from marriage and their fertility in order to enjoy unrestricted sexual relations, along with its permanent back-up plan, abortion, is a lie that subjects them to a grave injustice. It robs them of their right to be honoured and protected as women.

The sexual revolution suggests that, as a result of continued offences against God, woman “was severely punished in the very domain of her glory – to give life.”29 Only she is no longer suffering in the pain of childbirth, but rather in the fruitless pain of the sacrifice of her children on the altars of the revolution. The moral blindness of our society has grown to the extent that the killing of fifty million unborn children worldwide each year is no longer considered a crime that cries out to heaven. Consequently, millions of women walk the earth wounded to the core – in their femininity, motherhood and ability to love, to say nothing of those who share in these wounds, even if they also share responsibility for inflicting them.

After being tempted to rebel against God, against man, against her family and children, the woman is incited to rebel against her own nature and against womanhood. G.K. Chesterton wrote that the feminist is someone who “dislikes the chief feminine characteristics” and that “feminists want to destroy womanhood”.30 Alice von Hildebrand added, “the new age philosophy of feminism, in waging war on femininity, is in fact waging war on Christianity. For in the divine plan both are intimately linked.”31 Feminism leaves the culture without femininity, without the mother and without the queen.

Revolution in the Church

All phases of the revolution share one main target – the Church. At the heart of the revolution is the subversion of God’s order and a desire to institute disorder without God. The revolution will never be satisfied as long as the Holy Catholic Church, the earthly shrine of God-given order, stands strong. It desires to corrupt the Church, as it has corrupted the world. Let us recall the correspondence of the Alta Vendita:

“…let us popularise vice among the multitudes… make vicious hearts and there will be no more Catholics… it is corruption on a big scale that we have undertaken…a corruption that should one day enable us to lead the Church to its grave.”

Instead of attacking her directly, the revolution allures her children to take everything it has achieved in the world today – secularisation, divorce, contraception, abortion, homosexuality, gender ideology, and bring these things into the Church. And once morality is corrupted, doctrine is corrupted. If she were to accept any of these sins of her children without calling them to repent, all her teachings would wither.

Yet, at this stage of the revolution, even more seems to be under attack than her moral and doctrinal health – namely, the very relationship with her Son which is at the foundation of the salvation of mankind. This brings us to the upcoming Amazon synod.

Concerns about the synod are dominated by proposals to adopt pagan, syncretistic, egalitarian, tribal ideas and practices incompatible with Catholic teaching and the admission of married men to the priesthood. It is the discussion of an official ministry that could be conferred on women that is relevant for us.32

Tradition opposes female ordinations, Sacred Scriptures reject it, canon law forbids it, popes throughout history have ruled against it. Christ came to earth as the Son of Man. He established his priesthood in persona Christi, in the person of Christ. Therefore, all ministers ordained to His ministry must be men.

This is not ordered so as to exclude women. On the contrary, Christ bound Himself on earth intimately to one woman, the Blessed Virgin, who would have been most qualified of all women to share in His ordained ministry, if that were part of the divine plan. But the plan for the woman is different. Edith Stein writes:

“He formed her so closely after His own image as no other human being before or after; He gave her a place in the Church for all eternity such as has been given to no other human being. And just so, He has called women in all times to the most intimate union with Him: they are to be emissaries of His love, proclaimers of His will to kings and popes, and forerunners of His Kingdom in the hearts of men. To be the Spouse of Christ is the most sublime vocation which has been given, and whoever sees this way open before her will yearn for no other way.”33

Marriage is between two parties. One cannot be married to oneself. Women can never carry out a ministry in the person of Christ. Women cannot be ordained deacons either, because all other ranks of ordained ministry are ordered after the ministry of the High Priest. Women’s role is fashioned after that of the Spouse of Christ, the Church, who is the fruitful mother of souls that are borne to Him.

The institution of marriage in this world is under continual attack. Today it is fiercely assaulted by the homosexual and transgender agenda. Proposals to ordain women, however, direct these attacks on the supernatural marriage of Christ and His Church. Words fail to convey the gravity of such a desecration. However, this shows why churchmen who do not recognise this desecration are incapable of resisting the evil of homosexuality and gender ideology.

Once again, a revolutionary proposal seeking the input of women, is founded on the same premise as the ancient Fall. The serpent suggests we will gain something we are denied, while retaining everything we have now. What was the reality? Eve got the apple, but Paradise was lost. There was no gain to speak of.

Thanks to the merits of the Blessed Virgin, instead of human equality, women are offered a dignity and honour in the Catholic Church unparalleled to what they have received in any other institution. This is rooted in humble service of the handmaid of the Lord. Her “Fiat!” is the greatest word ever said after Logos. Her word brought forth the Incarnation of the Word.

Conclusion

A similar examination of the key episodes of the revolution could be taken through the perspective of men, formation of children and youth, religious life or in a number of other ways. However, women have their own particular, and irreplaceable, role in countering the revolution.

The pure image of feminine nature stands before our eyes in the Immaculata, the Virgin, writes Edith Stein.

“The most pure virgin is the only one safeguarded from every stain of sin. Except for her, no one embodies feminine nature in its original purity. Every other woman has something in herself inherited from Eve, and she must search her way from Eve to Mary. There is a bit of defiance in each woman which does not want to humble itself under any sovereignty. In each, there is something of that desire which reaches for forbidden fruit. And she is hindered by both these tendencies in what we clearly recognise as woman’s work.”34

To fulfil her destiny, to be truly happy, every woman must take Mary as her example. Regardless of her particular role or state in life, if she is to be a joyful counter-revolutionary, she must submit herself wholly to God in everything she does. Edith Stein continues:

“Whether she is a mother in the home, or occupies a place in the limelight of public life, or lives behind quiet cloister walls, she must be a handmaid of the Lord everywhere. So had the Mother of God been in all circumstances of her life, as the Temple virgin enclosed in that hallowed precinct, by her quiet work in Bethlehem and Nazareth, as guide to the apostles and the Christian community after the death of her Son. Were each woman an image of the Mother of God, a Spouse of Christ, an apostle of the divine Heart, then would each fulfil her feminine vocation, no matter what conditions she lived in and what worldly activity absorbed her life.”35

What practical conclusions could we draw?

We should of course share in all the tasks that come with our time to defend and spread the faith, but women today seem to be required specifically to exercise discipline of the senses and focus on the divine. To lead, so to say, a “Eucharistic life” – to love and adore the Lord in the Holy Eucharist as a bride loves her husband. Bridal love of Christ makes His business one’s own, says Edith Stein. And His business is none other than saving souls.

Vigilance is required to maintain purity of mind and body. By the way we look, speak and act we can give witness that God exists. A fact so well hidden today! We should look and sound Catholic. Our appearance, therefore, should not contradict what we believe. We are in the battle. Soldiers in slippers cannot be taken seriously at wartime. Their uniform, on the other hand, shows their readiness and competence to fight. We should look like Catholic women “on duty” at all times. The Catechism of Perseverance speaking of the first century Rome recalls: “The admirable purity of our ancestors appeared in their exterior. Nothing was more striking than the contrast between Christian and pagan women in this respect.”36

Christian mothers must have special regard to the holiness of their children. “All children have an instinct for the sense of dignity and decorum of their mother,” observed Cardinal Siri. This is why modesty in dress, comportment and speech is necessary not only in public, but also at home. By guarding the innocence of their children, Christian mothers foster wilful purity in their children in later life.

Religious are called to manifest the fidelity of true brides in every detail. These traditions nurture the hidden life in this special and most privileged union. A bride has more perfect opportunities to offer signs of affection and service to her husband compared to any other.

In all of these roles, interiorly, we must unite ourselves with Our Lady – through the Sacraments, through the Rosary, and through consecrating our entire lives to her.

Since Eve, only one woman has had the right attitude of complete surrender, the attitude of Fiat. Let us seek to imitate that woman.

Let us adopt her attitude to the Truth – protect it as a mother would protect her child and submit to it as she submitted to her Child who was the Truth.

Let us be part of her army under the command of Her Immaculate Heart, turned always to God, while crushing the devil with her heel. We are her little children called to the battle in the way described by St Louis de Montfort:

“… the power of Mary over all the devils will especially break out in the latter times, when Satan will lay his snares against her heel; that is to say, her humble slaves and her poor children, whom she will raise up to make war against him. They shall be little and poor in the world’s esteem, and abased before all, like the heel, trodden under-foot and persecuted as the heel is by the other members of the body. But in return for this, they shall be rich in the grace of God, which Mary shall distribute to them abundantly. They shall be great and exalted before God in sanctity, superior to all other creatures by their animated zeal, and leaning so strongly on the divine succour, that, with the humility of their heel, in union with Mary, they shall crush the head of the devil, and cause Jesus Christ to triumph.”37

Endnotes:

[1] St Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, Saint Benedict Press, Charlotte 2010, p. 30.

[2] Alice von Hildebrand, The Privilege of Being a Woman, Sapientia Press, Ave Maria 2002, p. 18.

[3] Dr Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), Spring Grove 2008, p. 40.

[4] Ibid., p. 11.

[5] Ibid., p. 4.

[6] Genesis 3:16.

[7] Sister Teresia de Spiritu Sancto, O.C.D., Edith Stein, Sheed and Ward 1952, London and New York, p. 77.

[8] Dr Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, TFP, Spring Grove 2008, pp. 14-16.

[9] Ibid., p. 16.

[10] Ibid., p. 17.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Letter of Vindice to Nubius [pen-names of two leaders of the Italian ‘Alta Vendita’], dated 9August 1838, International Review of Freemasonry, 1928; quoted by Robert T. Hart in Those Who Serve God Should Not Follow the Fashions, Little Flowers Family Press 2017, p. 6.

[13] Quoted by Virginia Coda Nunziante in Countering the Challenges of Today’s Society as Catholic Women, Voice of the Family 2018; http://voiceofthefamily.com/countering-the-challenges-of-todays-society-as-catholic-women/

[14] Pius XII, Address to a group of Catholic Action girls on 6 Oct. 1940, quoted by Robert T. Hart inThose Who Serve God Should Not Follow the Fashions, Little Flowers Family Press 2017, p. 5.

[15] Pope Pius XII, Address to a Congress of the “Latin Union of High Fashion”, 8 Nov. 1957; quoted by Robert T. Hart in Those Who Serve God Should Not Follow the Fashions, Little Flowers Family Press 2017, p. 26.

[16] Prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success About Our Times, TFP 2000.

[17] Vladimir Lenin, A Great Beginning, Marxists Internet Archive, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1919/jun/19.htm

[18] Alexandra Kollontai, Communism and the Family, first published in Komunistka, No. 2, 1920, https://www.marxists.org/archive/kollonta/1920/communism-family.htm

[19] Alexandra Kollontai, Theses on Communist Morality in the Sphere of Marital Relations, first published in Kommunistka, No. 12, 1921, https://www.marxists.org/archive/kollonta/1920/communism-family.htm

[20] Ibid.

[21] Vladimir Lenin, A Great Beginning, Marxists Internet Archive, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1919/jun/19.htm

[22] Cf. Givanni Cadevilla, Dalla Rivoluzione bolscevica alla Federazione Russa, Froanco Angeli, Rome 1996; quoted by Prof. Roberto de Mattei, A History of Revolutions and their Consequences for the Family, Voice of the Family 2017, http://voiceofthefamily.com/roberto-de-mattei-a-history-of-revolutions-and-their-effects-on-the-family/

[23] Leon Trotskij, Problems of everyday life, Monad Press, New York 1986, p. 37, quoted by Prof. Roberto de Mattei, A History of Revolutions and their Consequences for the Family, Voice of the Family 2017, http://voiceofthefamily.com/roberto-de-mattei-a-history-of-revolutions-and-their-effects-on-the-family/

[24] Dr Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, TFP, Spring Grove 2008, p. 18.

[25] Ibid., p. 130.

[26] Mary Eberstadt, Adam and Eve before the Pill. Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution, Ignatius Press, San Francisco 2012, p. 12.

[27] Ibid., p. 25.

[28] Ibid., p. 27-30.

[29] Alice von Hildebrand, The Privilege of Being a Woman, Sapientia Press, Ave Maria 2002, p. x.

[30] Quoted in ibid., p. 2 and p. 8.

[31] Ibid.p. 32.

[32] Instrumentum Laboris, No. 129, a), 3., http://www.sinodoamazonico.va/content/sinodoamazonico/en/documents/pan-amazon-synod–the-working-document-for-the-synod-of-bishops.html

[33] Edith Stein, Essays on Women, ICS Publications, Washington 2010, p. 84.

[34] Ibid., p. 119.

[35] Ibid., p. 54.

[36] Abbé Gaume, The Catechism of Perseverance, Vol. III, p. 78. Dublin; quoted by Robert T. Hart in Those Who Serve God Should Not Follow the Fashions, Little Flowers Family Press 2017, p. 33.

[37] St Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, Saint Benedict Press, Charlotte 2010, p. 24.

Students vow ‘not to have children’ until gov’t stops climate change

TORONTO, September 19, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A growing number of students from around the world are pledging not to bear children until their governments do something to combat so-called climate change.

Launched by 18-year-old Canadian Emma Lim, the initiative asks students to refrain from having children until their government takes action.

“I pledge not to have children until I am sure my government will ensure a safe future for them,” the initiative’s website states.

“I am not the only young person giving up lifelong dreams because they are unsure of what the future will hold. We’ve read the science, and now we’re pleading with our government. ​Please, keep us safe. Please act while there is still time,” she writes on her website.

Carleton University professor Michael Hart argued in his 2016 book Hubris, however, that climate change advocacy is based on “poor science” and is being used as a Trojan horse for ramming through a social agenda on an unsuspecting population.

“I learned that both domestic and international actors had succeeded in using the poorly understood science of climate change to advance an ambitious environmental agenda focused on increasing centralized control over people’s daily lives,” he told LifeSiteNews in an August 2016 interview.

“Left-wing politicians discovered in climate change renewed ways to press their agenda of social and economic justice through coercive government programs. As John Sununu, the former governor of New Hampshire, sees it, ‘The alarmists have learned well from the past. They saw what motivates policymakers is not necessarily just hard science, but a well-orchestrated symphony of effort … announce a disaster; cherry pick some results; back it up with computer modeling; proclaim a consensus; stifle the opposition; take over the process and control the funding; and roll the policymakers,’” he said.

On Tuesday, Lim told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak program, “Our government isn’t doing enough.” She said her country’s legislators are “nowhere near the action needed.” On Twitter, supporters can use the “No Future, No Children” hashtag to register their position. Lim has launched a website where they can announce their decision.

As of Thursday, more than 1,000 people had registered at Lim’s website. While Lim herself claims she wants children, she says she wants them only if they can be “safe.”

Lim believes that global climate change will cause mass migration. Comparing it to the Holocaust, she said she fears that her children will have to “again face the very worst of humanity.” On CBC, Lim said, “It’s clear that our leaders aren’t taking this seriously, and this is a serious issue,” referring to the approval of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline by the Canadian government.

Lim’s website is linked to the Climate Strike Canada website, which is calling on students to leave their classrooms on Friday to demonstrate their support for climate change doctrine. Among student testimonies collected by the website, “Emma” is quoted: “Just 100 companies are responsible for 70% for GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions, [yet] convenient rhetoric keeps the blame and responsibility off their shoulders. I strike because I believe change is possible and because there is so much in this world worth protecting.”

According to its website, Climate Strike Canada endorses a Canadian Green New Deal and supports the Global People’s Platform for a Livable Future. Among its proposals is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 75% over 2005 levels by 2030.

Students of all ages are expected to walk out of school, starting on Friday, as part of a global climate strike. In Canada, some school boards are allowing or even encouraging students to skip class. Among the institutions in support are the Toronto District School Board, Dawson College of Montreal, and the University of British Columbia. The Toronto board has asked schools to avoid scheduling tests on September 27 so as to ensure that students are not penalized academically for taking part in the rally outside the Ontario legislature. Students under 18, said the authorities, must obtain parental permission to skip class.

The University of British Columbia told student participants that they should talk to their instructors first, while faculty members were told to inform students in advance should they participate in the strike.

New York City schools declared recently that students participating in the strike will receive excused absences. Students around the world are set to participate.

Media attention has been focused on Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden who has been largely credited with starting the student movement in her country. She testified before the U.S. House of Representatives this week, appearing at a hearing on Wednesday. She offered a copy of the United Nations’ report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which offered findings of scientists to be used by government leaders.

“I am submitting this report as my testimony because I don’t want you to listen to me,” Thunberg said, adding, “I want you to listen to the scientists. And I want you to unite behind the science. And then I want you to take action.”

Baby girl saved by Safe Haven Baby Box the first month it was installed

 

Less than 30 days after installing a Safe Haven Baby Box, Franciscan Health Hospital in Hammond, Indiana, received a healthy newborn baby girl. ABC7 Chicago reported the baby was retrieved by first responders in less than 90 seconds. An alarm sounded when the baby was placed in the box, and the emergency department of the hospital responded.

ABC7 Chicago interviewed Monica Kelsey, founder and CEO of Safe Haven Baby Boxes. Kelsey was adopted, and later learned that she was abandoned as a newborn. After seeing a baby box at a church in Cape Town, South Africa, where parents could surrender a newborn without face-to-face interaction, Kelsey started Safe Haven Baby Boxes to create a way for mothers to ensure their child’s care, and educate people about Safe Haven Laws, gwhich allow parents of newborns to surrender a newborn without facing legal consequences.

In regards to the newborn recently placed in the hospital baby box, Kelsey said, “That is my hope and my goal for this little girl, is to grow up knowing she was loved from the beginning. Her mom just felt that this was best for her, and hopefully one day she changes the world and does something amazing.”

 

The story of this newborn safely delivered to authorities is a contrast to many recent stories that could have ended tragically. Over the summer, one newborn baby girl was found abandoned in the woods in a plastic bag in Georgia. Another baby girl, likely just hours old, was found naked in the woods of Silver Spring, Maryland. In both cases, the babies were rescued when passersby heard crying and investigated. Tragically, many cases of abandoned newborns do not end with the child safely rescued.

Indiana Safe Haven Laws allows parents to place a newborn in care at any hospital emergency room, police or fire station without any questions or legal consequences. As the recent story shows, laws like this save lives. For information about Safe Haven Laws in your state, you can visit Baby Safe Haven or call 1-888-510-BABY.

Doctors Suggested Abortion Every Week for Months Because Lillee Was Disabled, Now She’s Healthy

INTERNATIONAL   SPUC

Kiera Meldrum, aged 20, was offered an abortion every single week following her 21-week scan, which discovered that her unborn baby had severe ascites to the bowel.

The young mum from York, bravely defied the doctors’ orders to abort her baby, every week, and describes how constantly being offered an abortion made her feel “horrific.” At 34 weeks, Kiera delivered her baby girl, Lillee-Rose, who had to undergo life saving surgery and spend eight intensive weeks in hospital.

However, Lillee-Rose is now happy and home with her family. Despite having a delicate bowel, doctors are satisfied that she should live a healthy and normal life.

According to The Scotsman, Lillee-Rose’s mum (Kiera) said: “Doctors told me every week to terminate my pregnancy, and hearing that advice over and over again was horrific, but something told me Lillee-Rose would make it through.

“I refused to terminate Lillee-Rose every time they told me to, and I’m so happy I listened to my heart instead of the doctors. There was no way I was terminating my pregnancy – I’d waited so long to become a mum and I was determined to do all I could to protect my baby

“My baby girl never stopped fighting and finally having her home with me is a blessing. I always had a feeling that she’d be ok, and seeing her grow up healthy and strong just goes to show that a mother always knows best. She is my little miracle.”

“Always go with your gut instinct”

Earlier this year, SPUC reported on the case of Scottish mother, Lauren Webster, who was also repeatedly offered an abortion during the course of her pregnancy, as her unborn child was suspected of having a low chance of survival. Ms Webster resisted the medical pressure to abort, and later gave birth to a healthy baby boy as she had a “gut feeling he would survive.”

PRO-LIFE COLLEGE STUDENT? LifeNews is looking for interns interested in writing, social media, or video creation. Contact us today.

Similarly, mother Natalie Halson was advised to abort her baby, Mirabelle, ten times after she was diagnosed with spina bifida, and was told by doctors that the baby would have a ‘poor quality of life.’ Ms Halson resisted the pressure from medical staff to abort and later gave birth to a healthy baby, who after a spinal operation is likely to live a happy and normal life.

Ms Halson said: “I would recommend to any parents who are advised to abort that it isn’t the only option, no matter what the hospitals try to tell them. Always go with your gut instinct; something inside told me that my baby was going to be ok- and look at her now, she’s perfect.”

“Mothers should not be facing such pressure”

SPUC Scotland, Director of Communications and Campaigns, Michael Robinson said: “Whilst these stories of survival are heart-warming, they also highlight the immense and unacceptable pressure on mothers from medical staff.”

“These brave mothers chose life for their child and now cannot imagine life without them. It is saddening to reflect on the pressure brought upon them during their pregnancy- what should have been a hopeful and happy time.”

LifeNews Note: Courtesy of SPUC. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children is a leading pro-life organization in the United Kingdom.

ARE YOU READY TO MEET THE BABIES IN YOUR NEXT VACCINES?

 By 

We all know about the Planned Parenthood videos through the Center for Medical Progress that showed how live, fully intact fetuses have been harvested for aborted fetal research.

Who are these babies who never received a name and are only known by a number

2:30 minute testimony.

To verify the truth of all these claims, read the scientific evidence which is recorded in the vaccine manufacturer package inserts, science publications and patents > Aborted Fetal Material Used in Vaccines and Medicines <Quotes revealed on this page are shocking and disgusting!

WI-38 (Girl)
WI-38 was developed from the lung tissue of a Swedish baby girl, three months gestation. The parents felt they had too many children. The baby was packed on ice and sent to the US where it was dissected. Used to culture RA273 for rubella and MMR vaccines! (source)

MERC-5 (Boy)
MERC-5 was developed from the lung tissue of a 14 week gestation male baby in the UK. (source)

RA273
The story of the Rubella vaccine is a bit more grim. It involved not one, but 27 abortions. Twenty-seven to isolate the virus, and then it was cultured in WI-38 (see above).
Taken from the lung of a 3 month gestation aborted baby. Stanley Plotkin, vaccine developer, would later reveal that 40 more babies were aborted after RA273. Thus 67 separate abortions were involved in the research and final production of the present-day rubella vaccine. (source)

Is the RA273 rubella immunization a cause of chronic fatigue?

WALVAX 2 (Girl) is taken from the lung tissue of a 3 month gestation baby girl who was ultimately selected from 9 aborted babies. The scientists induced labor using a “water bag” abortion to shorten the delivery time and PREVENT the death of the fetus (BABY) to ensure LIVE intact organs. This is going to be the New MMR. (source) Used to replace the current MERC-5 and WI-38 (above) which are depleting.

*NOTE: 67 abortions to produce rubella virus plus 32 abortions to produce the cell line for cultivation means there was a total of at least 99 elective abortions to create the rubella vaccine alone. (source)

placental sac

(source)

HEK-293 Developed in 1973 from aborted baby kidney cells genetically engineered combined with adenovirus. 293 is the number of the experiment..

IMR-90 and IMR-91 (Girl) are lung and skin from 2 female babies.

Per.C6
Called a “human designer cell”, PER.C6 is from an isolated retina of a baby about 18 weeks gestation. It provides a manufacturing system for the production of influenza vaccines, as well as ebola, HPV, malaria, HIV, and others. This cell line was made to be ‘immortal’ but failed.

WI-26 VA4 (Boy)
All I could find on this one is that it’s derived from the lung tissue of an aborted Caucasian baby boy. (source)

ARE USING THESE HUMAN FETAL CELL LINES NECESSARY? NO.

Animal cell lines produce vaccines and biologics as economically and effectively as the human fetal cell lines. Rejuvenating anti-aging creams and cosmetic products are available produced using animal and non-fetal materials.

INJECTING MALE DNA INTO FEMALES AND VISA VERSA

[There’s nothing more alarming than altering DNA. Think about it injecting Male DNA into females and vs versa. And we are NOT told this…but it was in the ingredient lists until January of this year. Now that we’ve started a movement, and we are speaking up, they’re removing things.]

THE CHINA CONNECTION

And please heavily consider the part that explains that these new vaccine cell lines are being made in China…they currently ship us fish farmed in feces, toys with high lead content, and plastic rice…Do you really think they are concerned about your family’s safety?

Scientists in China Create New Vaccines Using Body Parts From Nine Aborted Babies

This is for all the people who call themselves pro-life but then call parents “idiots” for being vaccine hesitant!

“So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” ~Matthew 18:14

Exposing the Truth about the Odious Abortion Industry

by 

 

Imagine for a moment that a courageous undercover journalist embedded herself among a group of powerful and wealthy businessmen involved in some horrific crime – sex-trafficking, for instance. Imagine the journalist had surreptitiously recorded conversations in which these powerful men openly haggled over the prices of their victims and spilled the details about how they circumvent the law.

Now, imagine that this journalist publicly released these damning recordings. And then imagine that, instead of investigating the businessmen, congressmen and law enforcement officials instead investigated the journalist – for the “crime” of secretly recording the businessmen!

The scenario is absurd, you might say. The public outrage in the face of such a gross miscarriage of justice would be swift and ferocious. After all, even if the secret recordings were technically illegal, clearly this kind of hard-hitting undercover journalism is an important exception.

However, we don’t really need to “imagine” such a supposed absurd scenario. Right now, two heroic pro-life investigators are fighting for their freedom in a Californian courtroom. Their crime? Exposing the horrific illegal practices of abortion clinics and biomedical companies who traffic in the bodies of aborted babies.

David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt are the two journalists, working for the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), who secretly recorded abortionists and other officials in the abortion industry describing how they harvest the body parts of unborn victims of abortion, and then sell them for a profit to various buyers. The pair publicly released the shocking videos in 2015.

They are now facing 15 felony counts for allegedly “illegally” taping the conversations with the abortion officials. If convicted, they face up to 10 years in prison!

The horrifying truth

I’ve watched the videos. To say they are nauseating is an understatement. One of the most haunting of them shows a medical worker digging through a petri dish filled with the crushed remains of aborted 20-week twins. At one point, the tweezers seize upon an object, and then proceed to lift the dismembered arm of a baby for the camera to see. Each of the fingers is vividly, searingly visible. This is the arm of a human being…a human being that was fully alive but minutes before, but whose mangled body is now being sorted through for intact parts that can be sold to pad the bottom line of the abortion clinic.

Then there’s the video in which the CEO of Stem Express, a tissue procurement company, described how in order to harvest “insanely fragile” brain tissue, it’s best just to ship the whole head of the fetus to researchers. “Just make sure the eyes are closed,” Daleiden (one of the pro-life investigators) remarks at this point. “Yeah,” the CEO laughs in response, “Tell the lab techs it’s coming…it’s almost like they don’t want to know what it is.”

Just about anybody with an intact conscience who saw these videos knew they were looking at something morally repugnant. In our bizarre legal system, however, the mere fact of harvesting the bodies of unborn babies who have been deliberately murdered is not, in itself, illegal. However, some of the practices that abortionists and other officials in the video explicitly admit to engaging clearly violate the law.

For instance, though it is technically legal to harvest human body parts from abortion and to provide them to biomedical companies or universities for macabre “research,” there are regulations against profiting from the sale of these body parts. Furthermore, there are regulations that forbid abortionists from altering the abortion procedure in order to obtain better or more intact “specimens.” The reason why is obvious: the abortionist could put the baby’s mother at risk if he decides to change his normal practices because he wants “better” body parts to sell.

In the videos released by Daleiden and Merritt, however, it’s clear that the abortionists and biomedical companies are very, very interested in money. In one of the most notorious of these videos, Dr. Mary Gatter, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s for-profit Medical Directors’ Council, haggles over the price of baby body parts. At one point she even jokes, bizarrely, that she “wants a Lamborghini.” In the same conversation, Gatter says she would be willing to ask their abortionist if he would be willing to alter “the protocol” they follow during abortion to procure the body parts. In other words, Gatter appeared to violate the law on both counts in a single conversation.

A politically motivated prosecution…that might backfire

Unsurprisingly, the abortion industry responded to CMP’s videos by doing everything in their power to browbeat the pro-life investigators into silence. Unfortunately for Daleiden and Merrit, the abortion industry has powerful friends in high places.

One of these is former California Attorney General Kamala Harris – now a stridently pro-abortion presidential candidate for the Democratic party – who first initiated the investigation into CMP, partially in response to the urging of four Democratic congressmen (frankly, I’m not sure she needed much urging). And another is Harris’ successor, current California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is known as a staunch pro-abortion advocate with ties to Planned Parenthood.

According to Peter Breen, one of the lawyers defending Daleiden and Merritt, the case against CMP is the “first time in California history” that an attorney general has prosecuted anyone under California’s law banning illegal taping. As Breen observed, this is bizarre. “We as a society made a value judgement, we as a society value undercover journalism,” he said. And (it should come as no surprise), “Undercover journalism requires surreptitious taping.” But in the quest to protect legal child-killing, it appears just about any stick is good enough to beat pro-lifers with.

Daleiden was also previously hit with a nearly $200,000 fine after a California judge concluded that Daleiden and his lawyers had violated a gag order he had placed on CMP’s videos.

It’s possible, however, that the abortion industry’s strategy of suing and investigating CMP into oblivion will backfire. As Daleiden pointed out late last month, before the current hearing began, if Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against CMP proceeded, many of the abortionists and abortion officials featured in their videos would have to take the stand and testify under oath about their nefarious activities. Which is precisely what CMP wanted in the first place.

That, in fact, is currently happening. The first week of the preliminary hearing into Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit wrapped up last week, and the case will be ongoing this week. Several key witnesses have already taken the stand and described some the macabre business of harvesting fetal body parts. And while the pro-abortion attorney general requested a gag order that would seriously impede media reporting on the case, the judge overseeing the preliminary hearing last week rejected that request.

Perhaps the most chilling testimony of all, so far, came from Daleiden himself, who last described on the stand how he was motivated to investigate fetal tissue procurement after seeing a 2012 documentary in which a whistleblower who worked in Planned Parenthood clinics described receiving the intact bodies of aborted babies, and “cutting open the chest and seeing the heart was still beating.” Daleiden then explained that Stem Express itself provided researchers at Stanford University with fetal hearts. According to Daleiden, the methods used by those researchers would have required that they receive living human hearts.

The CEO of Stem Express herself admitted in court last week that her company provided fetal hearts and heads, and that in some cases the heads would be attached to the bodies of the baby, or could “be torn away.” As Daleiden’s lawyers pointed out, this raises questions about how Stem Express is obtaining intact bodies of babies, and whether the babies may well have been alive at the time they were born or were victims of illegal partial-birth abortions.

Pray for Daleiden, Merritt and their lawyers

At this point in the preliminary hearing, Daleiden and Merritt’s lawyers feel confident that they are winning. They are arguing that the laws against illegal taping do not cover cases when the conversations being taped can reasonably be expected to be overheard. This would include many of the conversations in CMP’s videos, which were recorded in public restaurants and at trade shows with numerous people milling about in the vicinity. The lawyers are also arguing that the law doesn’t apply to instances when those doing the recording reasonably believe that they are investigating a violent crime – which, clearly, Daleiden and Merritt were doing.

However, as anyone who has worked in the pro-life movement knows, legal proceedings involving the issue of abortion often go in unexpected directions. Lawyers who defend pro-life advocates often must prepare themselves for things that they have never experienced in their entire legal career: e.g.seemingly slam-dunk, routine preliminary motions arbitrarily denied, or judges tortuously interpreting the law in novel ways to arrive at decisions that go against the pro-lifers.

Daleiden and Merritt are courageous pro-life witnesses, who have done immeasurable good for our unborn brothers and sisters. Thanks to their efforts, the sheer, horrific barbarity of abortion has been exposed for countless millions of people to see. Right now, they are fighting for their freedom. They need our support in any way we can give it to them. And they and their lawyers need our prayers – for wisdom, and spiritual protection. I hope you will join me in praying for them throughout this court case.

Study Shows Link Between Teen Birth Control Use and Adult Depression

Gabriella Patti

A study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found that teenagers who use birth control are “1.7 times to 3 times more likely to be clinically depressed in adulthood, compared to women who started taking birth control pills as adults, and to women who had never taken birth control pills.”

According to UBC News, the researchers collected data on over a thousand women in the United States, which led them to see that use of hormonal birth control during adolescence increases vulnerability to depression in adulthood even if the woman has been off of birth control for years. “Adolescence is an important period for brain development. Previous animal studies have found that manipulating sex hormones, especially during important phases of brain development, can influence later behavior in a way that is irreversible,” said the study’s first author, Christine Anderl, a psychology postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia.

While the study’s authors say that this doesn’t prove that birth control causes depression, they hope that dialogue will continue on the topic. Meanwhile, the researchers behind this study are working on a new study to “investigate how hormonal changes during adolescence can affect teenagers’ emotions, social interactions, and mental health.”

Given what we know both about the side effects of hormonal birth control and the ever-fluctuating hormones of teenagers, this correlation comes as no surprise. Depression and anxiety are cited as some of the most common side effects of hormonal birth control, and this is not the first study to make this connection. Another study from 2017 published in The American Journal of Psychiatry looking at nearly a million Danish women and girls found that those on “hormonal contraception were 97% more likely to attempt suicide than those not taking the drugs, and were 200% more likely to succeed in their suicide attempt.”

Safer Alternatives to Birth Control

Menstruation is a normal healthy part of a young woman’s development, and it’s possible to teach teenage girls to appreciate the uniqueness of their fertility health through Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FABMs). Teaching teenage girls fertility charting in lieu of birth control not only protects them from a host of unsavory side effects, but it also introduces them to practical tools to learn more about their health, equips them to pursue treatment for hormonal imbalances naturally, and produces body-positive results.

All this being said, it is important to note that many women will experience anxiety and depression whether or not they have been prescribed hormonal birth control. However, one of the beauties of FABMs is that it can help women regulate stress and mood swings and help with self-care and emotional health. 

One hopes that these recent findings—echoing concerns we’ve had for a while now—will be taken seriously and be considered by healthcare providers when they are caring for teen girls. Women and girls should not have to suffer mental-health side effects in order to prevent anything from pregnancy to acne to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Thank goodness for fertility awareness and the freedom and clarity that it can bring!

Scientists announce method to mass-produce living ‘embryo-like structures’

September 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A group of scientists revealed the opening of another Pandora’s box this week with a new paper detailing a method for quickly producing large quantities of organic structures similar to human embryos, for the purpose of studying human life in its earliest stages.

The paper, published Wednesday in Nature, details the development of “microfluidic devices” capable of mass-producing embryoid bodies, which are “cystic teratoma-like structures consisting of semi-organized tissues representing all three embryonic germ layers.”

These devices, the researchers say, offer a “powerful experimental system to advance knowledge of human embryology and reproduction,” which “could assist in the rational design of differentiation protocols of hPSCs for disease modelling and cell therapy, and in high-throughput drug and toxicity screens to prevent pregnancy failure and birth defects.”

Describing these embryoids as “synthetic embryos,” NPR reports that the research has sparked a conversation about the ethics of creating organic entities so similar to newly conceived human beings.

Rockefeller University embryologist Ali Brivanlou said the development opens “windows to aspects of development that we have never seen before,” the “Holy Grail of human embryology.” But Harvard and Case Western bioethicist Insoo Hyun called on researchers to be “very careful not to model all aspects of the developing human embryo, so that they can avoid the concern that this embryo model could one day become a baby if you put it in the womb.”

Jianping Fu, the lead researcher on the paper, acknowledged he was “pushing the boundary” but insists he made sure these embryoids only “resemble a portion of the human embryo — the core of the early human embryo,” and that his team had “zero intention” of creating a “complete human embryo.”

That approach satisfied some of the researchers who spoke to NPR, but Georgetown bioethicist Daniel Sulmasy sounded concerned.

“That would be sort of a very early sort of Frankenstein model, right? Taking different parts and stitching them together in order to try to create an organism,” he said. “If somebody tried to do it and it were even at the earliest stages of embryonic development, and they tried to then let it develop further, that would be a problem.”

Tackling the question of whether embryoids are, in fact, living human beings, Heather Zeiger of the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity writes that they “seem to have many of the features that define a biological organism. They respond to environmental stimuli, exhibit self-organization, undergo growth and development, and consume energy. The cells within embryoids can be said to reproduce in the same sense that embryonic cells grow and divide. However, the embryoid itself lacks the necessary cells to grow into a human that, in turn, can reproduce. Furthermore, its self-organization is local in contrast to the global and directional organization of embryos.”

Ethical guidelines currently accepted by the scientific establishment dictate that scientists can experiment on an embryo only for up to fourteen days after its creation, a restriction that Fu touts embryoids as circumventing. In 2017, scientists from Harvard argued that the advent of embryoids necessitated replacing the 14-day rule with a more rigorous framework based on the precise nature of the entities being created.

“These and related experiments raise more foundational issues that cannot be fixed by adjusting the 14-day rule, because the framework underlying the rule cannot adequately describe the ways by which synthetic human entities with embryo-like features (SHEEFs) might develop morally concerning features through altered forms of development,” they wrote at the time. “We propose that limits on research with SHEEFs be based as directly as possible on the generation of such features, and recommend that the research and bioethics communities lead a wide-ranging inquiry aimed at mapping out solutions to the ethical problems raised by them.”

Who benefits most from abortion pills on college campuses? Not who you think.

  |

Abortion pills on state college campuses may soon become a reality, depending on how the California legislature votes tomorrow on SB 24, a bill that would allow California campus health centers to dispense the abortion pill regimen to students.

Live Action News previously detailed how at least 24 women have already died and how literally thousands have been hospitalized with serious complications from the abortion pill, all while the pill regime was monitored under a safety system (REMS) put in place by the FDA. But many of those now pushing for these dangerous pills to be readily available on campus are also pushing for these same safety requirements to be lifted.

 

What does this mean?

According to the pro-abortion Rewire news website:

The California state legislature has until Friday to vote on the College Student Right to Access Act, sponsored by state Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino). If it does not move forward this week, the bill will be “carried over” to 2020…. A previous version of the bill was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) last year, but California’s new governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom, has signaled he would sign the bill into law.

Should SB24 be approved, Rewire says, “Starting in 2023, each campus of California State University and the University of California would receive $200,000 to cover the startup costs of offering medication abortion services at their health centers.

Who will benefit most from abortion pill distribution on California college campuses? The pill’s manufacturer, DANCO Laboratories, LLC , a secretly organized company which was put in place by the eugenics-founded Population Council and was seeded with millions from The Packard Foundation, an original investor of Danco.

Who’s funding this?

Rewire fails to point out that, as Live Action News previously documented, the funds for campus abortion pill distribution were promised by Tara Health Foundation (THF) — a radically pro-abortion organization pushing to expand abortion.

Image: TARA Health foundation funds abortion pill on college campus

TARA Health foundation funds abortion pill on college campus

Tara Health Foundation has been planning to expand abortion through philanthropic measures for some time. This is outlined in a strategy supported by THF, commissioned by Reproductive Health Investors Alliance Steering Committee, and published on THF’s website. It includes a push for “home use” abortion, elimination of FDA’s safety requirements known as REMS, and lists DANCO investor the Packard Foundation as a steering committee member.

Image: Packard Timeline shows it invested in abortion pill distributor

Packard Timeline shows it invested in abortion pill distributor

THF recently funded a study on TelAbortion (telemedicine), claiming abortion pill expansion is safe. This study was published by the Journal Contraception, which has failed to list previous financial conflicts tied to the abortion pill’s manufacturer, DANCO, in past reports. The Journal’s editorial board has been stacked with abortion industry insiders, including a National Abortion Federation board member and members of the Population Council (responsible for bringing the abortion pill into the US and forming DANCO, the manufacturer of the pill).

Who are the people behind the studies claiming that distributing the abortion pill this way is safe?

Abortionist Daniel Grossman, director of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), told Rewire that Tara Health’s funding of the abortion pill on California college campuses  “should be ‘more than enough’ to train staff and get student health centers ready to provide abortion care.”

He should know; Grossman is part of UCSF’s abortion training program, is senior adviser at Ibis Reproductive Health, and is behind the push to expand so-called self-managed abortion. Grossman is also behind an abortion pill clinical trial for pharmacy dispensing. Grossman is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal Contraception, where he publishes his abortion studies. That Journal is funded by the Packard Foundation.

Grossman was also recently recruited to issue “fact checks” for Facebook, targeting Live Action. (Live Action News has been exposing Grossman’s ties to big abortion.)

Image: Daniel Grossman ( Image credit: University of Texas at Austin)

Daniel Grossman ( Image credit: University of Texas at Austin)

Rewire also quoted Ushma Upadhyay, associate professor at ANSIRH. “In one study,” Rewire writes, “[Upadhyay] and her colleagues found that the average student at a California state school had to wait about a week for an off-campus appointment and pay an average of $600 for medication abortion services.” That study, published by the Journal of Adolescent Health, deliberately hid its funding source, noting it was a “private anonymous donor.”

Image: Ushma Upadhyay abortion study anonymous funding

Ushma Upadhyay abortion study anonymous funding

Hiding funding sources isn’t new among abortion insiders. Live Action News uncovered that the Buffett Foundation — another DANCO abortion pill manufacturer investor — has been an anonymous funding source for at least one abortion pill study. And we have documented several times that Buffett and Packard were original investors in DANCO, as was billionaire George Soros (Open Society Foundations).

In past years, Buffett gave $78 million to the University of California — and according to New York Times, Buffett is the primary financier of the Bixby Center’s Ryan Residency Program at UCSF, where Daniel Grossman works. In 2016, ProPublica revealed that “Buffett’s main academic partner (receiving at least $88 million from 2001 to 2014) has been the University of California, San Francisco…” where Grossman is on staff.

Image: Buffett funds UCSF Bixby Ryan program where Grossman is staff and Family Planning Fellowship

Buffett funds UCSF Bixby Ryan program where Grossman is staff and Family Planning Fellowship

Additional connections:

  • ANSIRH: Founded by abortionist Felicia H. Stewart, previously awarded by Population Council which brought the abortion pill to the US and set up Danco Laboratories.
  • ANSIRH publishes workbooks on abortion training and is part of University of California’s Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health.
  • ANSIRH has for years pushed for abortion expansion in California with funding from DANCO investor, the Packard Foundation.
  • Bixby trains abortionists, as Live Action News previously documented, and receives funding from a number of organizations collaborating to expand abortion, including DANCO’s original investor the Packard Foundation.
  • University of California is heavily funded by DANCO’s investors (Packard and Buffett), and sponsoring clinical trials to expand abortion in U.S.
  • Upadhyay studies have been funded by Danco investor, Packard.
  • Ibis is directly funded by Danco Laboratories, according to their own website where Grossman is senior adviser.
  • ANSIRH recently collaborated with Danco-funded Ibis to publish a report entitled, “A roadmap for research on self-managed abortion in the United States.” 

Image: Daniel Grossman works with Ibid funded by abortion pill mfg Danco

Daniel Grossman works with Ibis funded by abortion pill mfg Danco

As they say… follow the money.

The sexual revolution: a pandora’s box for the problems plaguing society

September 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – This week on The Van Maren Show, Jonathon Van Maren speaks with Mary Eberstadt about the sexual revolution. Eberstadt provides an intellectual and precise commentary on current culture, philosophy, and the fate of the post-modern man. She is the author of the new book Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics, and also wrote How the West Really Lost God and Adam and Eve after the Pill.

The sexual revolution is a topic that Van Maren has covered extensively on his LifeSiteNews blog and on The Van Maren Show. The sexual revolution has impacted every corner of society, from the so-called LGBT movement to pornography and sex-education to attacks on freedoms of speech and religion.

Eberstadt dives into the concept of “the loneliness epidemic” and how it relates to the sexual revolution. According to Eberstadt, to say there has been an explosion of loneliness in every single advanced country is not at all an overstatement. It is traceable to the fact that a lot of people simply aren’t having children. She states that children and marriage are nature’s solution to loneliness. However, more and more people are not getting married and are deciding against having children.

“This is, to me, one of the most poignant manifestations of the revolution’s fallout. And it’s something that we’re going to be dealing with for a long time to come,” she explains.

Van Maren and Eberstadt spend some time discussing the #MeToo Movement and third-wave feminism, which are consequences of the sexual revolution. Eberstadt summarizes the rage that we see all the time in the third-wave feminism movement by stating that “the problem is the sexual revolution has unleashed predation and made it harder to find what most women, even now, will say they want most, which is marriage and family.”

Despite the far reaches of the sexual revolution and the massive impact it has had on today’s culture, Eberstadt wraps up this episode with a good bit of hope: “I think there are all kinds of reasons for hope, including that we are rational animals.”

She cites several examples of positive social transformation in history, and argues that young people today being more likely than their Baby Boomer parents to be pro-life is evidence of a rollback of sexual revolution ideology.

Eberstadt’s commentary is simply amazing. This episode of The Van Maren Show is a must-listen. Additionally, be sure to read Eberstadt’s books, available at Amazon or her website.

The Van Maren Show is hosted on numerous platforms, including SpotifySoundCloudYouTubeiTunes, and Google Play.

For a full listing of episodes, and to subscribe via various channels, visit our Pippa webpage here.

Contraception made many promises to women… and it hasn’t kept them

 

The prevailing cultural mindset states that contraception has been a panacea for women. In fact, the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute — Planned Parenthood’s former research arm and special affiliate — inseparably links contraception with women’s ability to reach their full potential. The organization’s July 2018 fact sheet, “Contraceptive Use in the United States,” went so far as to claim (emphasis added):

The ability to delay and space childbearing is crucial to women’s social and economic advancement. Women’s ability to obtain and effectively use contraceptives has a positive impact on their education and workforce participation, as well as on subsequent outcomes related to income, family stability, mental health and happiness, and children’s well-being. However, the evidence suggests that the most disadvantaged U.S. women do not fully share in these benefits, which is why unintended pregnancy prevention efforts need to be grounded in broader antipoverty and social justice efforts.

With rave reviews like this, what’s not to love? Plenty, as it turns out.

In the Beginning

Contraception, beginning with the development of the only medication to be so widely known that it’s simply called “the Pill,” marked a major shift in men and women’s understanding of the purpose of sex. Classically understood, sex was for babies and bonding between the partners. Not every act of intercourse led to babies, certainly, but couples understood that the possibility of conceiving existed.

Contraception was originally marketed using a kind of salvation messaging. Promiscuous sex — including with married men — and a career would give a single girl’s life meaning, according to Helen Gurley Brown’s best-selling book “Sex and the Single Girl.” And sex without the possibility of more mouths to feed would make married women happy and free as described in the pages of Cosmopolitan magazine. In this narrative, birth control was the ticket to making both single and married women’s wildest dreams come true. Unfortunately, the Pill hasn’t made good on all of its glitzy promises.

Reality Check

Separating fact from fiction in the Guttmacher Institute’s claims above, it’s true that 33% of modern-day women will graduate college, versus just 7% in the 1960s, and some 60% of recent college graduates are female. It’s also true that at the time contraception was introduced, women were often fired for becoming pregnant, as described by Sue Ellen Browder in her book, “Subverted: How I Helped the Sexual Revolution Hijack the Women’s Movement.” Legal policy changes, ultimately, not contraception, were the driver in ending pregnancy discrimination. In fact, contraception plays right along with the misogynistic idea that women have to be just like men (unable to bear children) in order to succeed professionally.

While the Guttmacher Institute also insists that contraception makes women economically better off, data from the United States Census Bureau show that more children, not less, are living with single mothers than in decades past. And, those single mothers, 27% of whom are living in poverty, are significantly more likely to be poor than the far fewer numbers of single fathers raising children. In fact, economist Timothy Reichert found that “the contraceptive revolution has resulted in a massive redistribution of wealth and power from women and children to men” by setting up “what economists call a ‘prisoner’s-dilemma game, in which each woman is induced to make decisions rationally that ultimately make her, and all women, worse off.”

The Guttmacher Institute also claims that contraception contributes to family stability, yet we know that divorce has skyrocketed since the 1960s. Speakers in the 2018 documentary Unprotected pointed out the logical connection between contraception and divorce, given the basic premise that human beings need deterrents to do the right thing and that contraception removes a historical deterrent to infidelity by dramatically reducing the risk of an unexpected pregnancy. Infidelity is commonly cited as a reason for divorce. Timothy Reichert’s analysis of research from the social sciences bore out this connection as well.

Improved “mental health and happiness” is also credited to contraception in the quote above, and yet directly contradicts a major study finding that women’s happiness “has declined both absolutely and relative to men” when compared to women in the 1970s. This makes sense given that the Unprotected documentary mentioned above noted how young girls face pressure to “sext” nude pictures of themselves to teenage boys. In college, rates of sexual assault on young women are staggering. The trend of disrespect for women continues in the workplace and beyond, as catalogued by the #metoo movement.

READ: You might think contraception is a solution to abortion. It isn’t. Here’s proof.

 

According to the Unprotected documentary, this decline in women’s well-being due to a loss of respect for women was directly predicted by Pope Paul VI in his 1968 papal document “Humanae Vitae,” which reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s traditional prohibition on contraception. Specifically, Pope Paul VI anticipated that if contraception became widespread, “the man” would lose respect for “the woman” and “no longer (care) for her physical and psychological equilibrium,” and would go so far as “considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.”

In fact, Pope Paul VI also predicted an increase in “infidelity and moral decline,” described above, as well as governments using coercive measures to control population size and poverty. China’s regressive One-Child Policy comes to mind, as well as the United Kingdom’s new “Two-Child Limit” on welfare benefits for poor couples.

While the Guttmacher Institute’s claims are factually questionable, contraception has had some undeniably negative effects on women’s health. Contraception has been linked to blood clots — some fatal, and even in young women — as well as depression, especially among younger womenbreast cancerheart attacks, strokecervical cancer, and sexually transmitted diseases.

A Better Way

While contraception has proved far from an unqualified good for women, modern, evidence-based methods of natural family planning (NFP) enable women to work with their bodies to plan family size and monitor their reproductive health. Natural family planning maintains the integral unity of sex, rather than separating babies from bonding. Couples utilize the woman’s fertile window if they are trying to become pregnant, and to abstain from sex during that time (growing their relationship in other ways) if their goal is to avoid pregnancy.

With apps like Daysy and FEMM, and at-home fertility monitors like the Clear Blue Monitor, technology is assisting more and more women in understanding their own bodies and achieving their reproductive goals in ways that respect their fertility rather than viewing it as an obstacle. At the end of Unprotected, presenter Christopher West emphasized that working cooperatively with the woman’s body via NFP is a game-changer for couples. In fact, research suggests that rates of divorce amongst couples using NFP are less than 5%. Respecting the woman’s body, rather than treating her fertility as the enemy, can bring benefits that contraception can’t ever achieve.

European abortionist sues FDA for cracking down on abortion-by-mail scheme

September 9, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The European physician behind an organization that circumvents medical regulations by sending abortion pills through the mail has filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) over actions it has taken to block their activities.

Created by Dutch abortion activist Rebecca Gomperts, “Aid Access” sends women the abortion-inducing drugs mifepristone and misoprostol after just an online consultation with a “doctor,” for the express purpose of getting around the costs and unavailability of abortions in their area, as well as regulations such as waiting periods or parental involvement requirements. The group claims it’s safe to take the pills at home, without medical supervision.

The FDA opened an investigation into Aid Access last October, and in March warned the organization that it was “facilitating the sale of…unapproved and misbranded” products, and to “promptly cease” doing so or face regulatory action potentially “including seizure or injunction, without further notice.”

On Friday, Gomperts filed a suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho against the FDA and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar for seizing up to ten doses of abortion drugs Aid Access had “prescribed” since that letter, NPR reports, as well as allegedly blocking some payments to the group. The suit seeks to stop what Gomperts calls “bullying” and “intimidation” by the FDA.

Gomperts’ attorney Richard Hearn claims that Aid Access merely helps women carry out the so-called “right” to abortion. “Some women in the United States can exercise that right just by going down the street if those women happen to live in New York or San Francisco or other major metropolitan areas on either one of the coasts,” he told NPR. “But women in Idaho and other rural states, especially conservative states…cannot exercise that right.”

“FDA remains very concerned about the sale of unapproved mifepristone for medical termination of early pregnancy on the Internet or via other channels for illegal importation, because this bypasses important safeguards designed to protect women’s health,” the agency responded in a statement to NPR. It didn’t comment on potential future actions against Aid Access, but said it “generally does not take enforcement action against individuals” who receive such unapproved drugs.

Part of the FDA’s March warning to Aid Access was that its business circumvents federal requirements that the approved prescription version of mifepristone, Mifeprex, be only made available via a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program and obtainable only from REMS-certified healthcare providers. This, it said, ensures that providers can “assess the duration of the pregnancy accurately, diagnose ectopic pregnancies, and provide surgical intervention in cases of incomplete abortion or severe bleeding, or to have made arrangements for others to provide such care”; give women “access to medical facilities for emergency care”; and more.

Pro-lifers also warn that even when “properly” taken, abortion pills are not only lethal to preborn children but more dangerous to women than advertised.

“As of December 31, 2018, there were reports of 24 deaths of women associated with Mifeprex since the product was approved in September 2000, including two cases of ectopic pregnancy resulting in death; and several cases of severe systemic infection (also called sepsis), including some that were fatal,” the FDA warns, on top of 2,740 cases of severe complications from 2000 to 2012.

“Protecting women from the known dangers of abortion-inducing drugs is good and safe policy,” Students for Life of America spokesperson Kristi Hamrick said in a statement about the lawsuit. “Risking women’s lives so that an international sales team for abortion pills can more easily operate is not in the interests of American women. It’s easy to understand why a profit driven industry for chemical abortion pills wants fewer health and safety standards but protecting women from the known dangers of the pills is the right public policy.”

Abortion pill reversal saved her baby after she regretted taking the first dose

 

Sarah was 26 years old when she got the shock of a poorly-timed, positive pregnancy test. Already a mother of three, she was concerned about the course of her life. Her boyfriend insisted she have an abortion, so she scheduled the appointment, fearing being a single mother of four and feeling she needed to “save face,” succumbing to the father’s pressure to “take care of this.”

Sarah was given two pills to complete the abortion. But after she took the first pill, she dissolved into tears. “It was awful,” she told The Catholic Telegraph. When she looked at her other children she thought, “I love you and we’re making it. Why does this baby not deserve that same chance to love and be loved and be a sibling?”

Soon after, she began combing the internet for a way to undo the effects of the abortion pill, which is when she discovered Abortion Pill Rescue, which offered the process of the abortion pill reversal. She discovered there was a doctor in her area who could see her in just a few hours to begin the process.

Abortion pill reversal works by countering the effects of the first phase of the two-step abortion pill process. In the first step, a woman takes mifepristone in order to block the effects of progesterone, essential cutting off nutrients the baby needs to survive. Mifepristone will eventually lead to the death of the baby. The second pill, misoprostol, causes contractions that expel that baby’s body.

Reversing the process involves administering high dosages of progesterone to counteract the first abortion pill, mifepristone, and its harmful effects. As the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) explains, “[U]sing progesterone to counteract the effect of mifepristone is the logical extension of simple principles of toxicology and poison control.” And while some abortion activists baselessly claim that administering high doses of progesterone is dangerous to women and can cause birth defects, Live Action News has shown that these are lies. On the contrary, administering progesterone has been a standard part of OBGYN care for decades.

READ: These babies were saved by abortion pill reversal. So were hundreds of others.

As Live Action News has reported, Dr. Bill Lile, an obstetrician and gynecologist licensed in Alabama and Florida, has explained that abortion pill reversal is analogous to a patient who has overdosed on narcotics and is given the reversal agent Narcan. “[J]ust like we give Narcan to reverse a bad decision, we can give Prometrium [micronized progesterone] to reverse a bad decision. And we’ve been very successful around the country with reversal protocols.”

After Sarah began the treatment, her baby showed a strong heartbeat, and the doctor who gave her the regimen continued to treat her and Isaiah, who was born healthy. Isaiah’s father left after Sarah told him the “abortion didn’t work.” But despite the roadblocks in her life, she is doing better now than she could have imagined.

“I have a job now that I couldn’t even see myself having when I found out I was pregnant, wondering how I was going to make it work,” she said. “But God sets things in motion, and I’m benefiting from believing in His plan.”

Sarah’s story is being told in an upcoming episode of the Being Pro-Life podcast, airing September 12th.

Editor’s Note: If you have taken the first of the two-dose abortion pill and regret it, visit abortionpillreversal.com or call their 24-hour helpline at 877-558-0333.

Mother Teresa’s 5 Lessons for Pro-Life People

ALITHEA WILLIAMS

Mother Teresa is best known for her work among the poorest of the poor, caring for “all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society” in the slums of Calcutta. By her death in 1997 the order she founded, the Missionaries of Charity, had grown from a 13-member Calcutta congregation to more than 4,000 sisters who managed orphanages, AIDS hospices and charity centres worldwide, caring for refugees, the blind, disabled, aged, alcoholics, the poor and homeless and victims of floods, epidemics and famine.

However, she was also praised (and fiercely criticised) for her staunch opposition to abortion. She spoke up for the unborn on the biggest stages imaginable, including when she accepted her Nobel Peace Prize. She didn’t let famous people off the hook either, keeping up correspondence over many years with Hilary Clinton to try and change her mind on abortion.

So, on this twentieth anniversary of her death, what lessons does Mother Teresa have for pro-lifers today?

1) Dare to speak out

Speaking out about abortion can be hard. It is such a controversial topic, and people’s reactions can be so extreme, that we can all feel the temptation to be quiet about our beliefs, or perhaps stick to more socially acceptable causes. Mother Teresa’s main work was with the poor and hungry, and I’m sure it would have been easier for her to stick to that work and enjoy the praise she received for it. But she didn’t. She used the platform her fame had won her to speak out for the most marginalised, the unborn. When accepting her Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, she said:

“And I feel one thing I want to share with you all, the greatest destroyer of peace today is the cry of the innocent unborn child. For if a mother can murder her own child in her womb, what is left for you and for me to kill each other?”

She reiterated the sentiment at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C, on February 5, 1994, where guests included the then President Bill Clinton, and his wife Hilary.

“But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.”

​Here, she stood in front of the most powerful people in America, if not the world, and dared to call out abortion for what is it – the killing of a child.

2) Reach out in love

However, Mother Teresa also reminds us that we must spread this truth with love. This quote is also taken from the prayer breakfast address:

“How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts.”

While I’ve yet to encounter the pro-lifer of common stereotypes, who shouts “murderer!” at women seeking abortion, we can never be reminded too often that the only way to reach out to an abortion-minded woman is with love, and by offering support.

3) Recognise the real difficulties

This also means recognising the very real situations that people find themselves in. Mother Teresa knew that keeping a baby often isn’t easy – love means to be willing to give until it hurts. ​Working with people in the most unimaginable circumstances, she knew better than anyone how difficult it can be, and that a baby changes the parents’ lives beyond recognition.”So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.”

4) Do your part

​This recognition requires those of us fighting for the cause to give of ourselves. Mother Teresa told the assembled VIPs in Washington what she and her sisters did to put her pro-life rhetoric into action. “We are fighting abortion by adoption — by care of the mother and adoption for her baby. We have saved thousands of lives. We have sent word to the clinics, to the hospitals and police stations: ‘Please don’t destroy the child; we will take the child.’ So we always have someone tell the mothers in trouble: ‘Come, we will take care of you, we will get a home for your child.’”

We may not be able to personally care for mothers and babies to this extent, but we should all be willing to translate our beliefs into real action – we too must give until it hurts. This could be by volunteering, or by making it known to those around you that you would help them in any difficulty, or by lobbying your MP, or simply by speaking up for your beliefs. To use another famous quote from Mother Teresa, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

5) The greatest destroyer of peace

Perhaps the greatest lesson Mother Teresa can give us is an understanding of just what it is we are fighting. Abortion doesn’t just kill babies and damage mothers, it affects the whole of society. It isn’t just those women and those babies that are affected, but all of us. Abortion certainly affects the fathers: “…that father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. The father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.” ​It also affects the entire country where abortion is permitted: “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”

There are many other causes worth fighting for, but we must never let ourselves be convinced that the pro-life fight is a side-issue, or one that affects only a small number of people. It’s not just that we care about babies, and also their mothers – we care about everyone. A final quote from the Washington address:

“Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today — abortion which brings people to such blindness.”

The Surprising Link Between Birth Control and Skin Cancer

Recent numbers released by the American Academy of Dermatology revealed a dramatic spike in the incidence of melanoma cases among young women. Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, and for women aged 18-39, its rates have increased by 800% from 1970 to 2009. In Caucasian women under 44, the number of cases has increased by just over 6% annually. (1)

Now, in addition to being the most dangerous, melanoma is one of the most common cancers in young adults (especially young women). More than 7,000 people in the United States are expected to die of melanoma in 2019—about 4,740 men and 2,490 women, (2) and the American Cancer Society estimates that about 96,480 new melanoma cases will be diagnosed in 2019. (3)

The introduction of indoor tanning is likely to have played a major role in this spike. However, we should take a hard look at exactly what role highly prescribed drugs like birth control play in the epidemic of skin cancer cases among pre-menopausal women.

Connections between skin cells and estrogen receptors

Anyone who has encountered breast cancer in their family history is probably familiar with a receptor known as HER2. I was, but I really didn’t know much about it beyond its name until I began researching for an article I was writing on breast cancer.

According to the NIH, a cancer that is HER2 positive, “describes cancer cells that have too much of a protein called HER2 on their surface. In normal cells, HER2 helps to control cell growth. When it is made in larger than normal amounts by cancer cells, the cells may grow more quickly and be more likely to spread to other parts of the body.”

HER2 stands for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. Each cell in our body can contain many types of receptors. These receptors are proteins, usually on the surface of the cell, seeking to bond with another very specific molecule. Together, these partners fulfill many different types of functions in the body, especially the immune system. As a receptor, HER2’s primary partner is Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), a protein believed to play a role in how cells normally grow.

For me, the first clue that birth control could play a role in skin ailments came when I read that scientists at the University of Colorado recently discovered that the presence of estrogens can stimulate astrocytes in the brain to produce EGF. (3)

With all this “epidermal” terminology and the estrogen connection, I couldn’t help but wonder what effect hormonal birth control might have on the skin.  It didn’t take much digging to learn that hormonal contraceptives are commonly linked to things like acne, hyperpigmentation, and melasma (5), but I was surprised to learn that they have also been linked to skin cancer. Honestly, given that estrogen receptors can be found in nearly every cell of the body, I’m not sure why it surprised me; but this is one birth-control side effect that definitely flew below my radar.

Connections between hormonal contraceptives and skin health

In 1978, the New York Times reported on a ten-year study of nearly 18,000 patients, which found that women who took birth control for more than four years faced almost twice the risk of developing malignant melanoma.

A follow-up study out of the University of Oxford in 1981 showed that the risks weren’t significant in the short term. However, after five years of use, the increased relative risk climbed to nearly 60% (6).

A 1999 study demonstrated that premenopausal women who took hormonal birth control were nearly three-and-a-half times more likely to develop melanoma (7), while a 2018 French study showed that the increased risk for ten-year users was only 33%. (8)

While studies show mixed numbers, they all show a risk increase

Clearly, the results are mixed, and there’s a lot of debate in the scientific community about how significant birth control’s impact is on skin cancer. But, whether the increased risk is 33% or 350%, the studies seemed unified in signifying that a woman’s risk increases the longer she takes birth control.

Another recent health scare that made headlines may offer insight into how birth control could contribute to this increased risk. When scientists recently questioned whether some ingredients in sunscreen could actually be causing cancer, one of their concerns was that most brands contain parabens and phthalates, which, like hormonal birth control, are known endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are estrogenic chemicals that mimic natural hormones (in this case, estrogen) by binding to receptors within cells and thereby blocking the body’s natural estrogens from binding to these same cells.

In his enlightening book, Estrogeneration, Anthony G. Jay, Ph.D. explains how the UV light from the sun can fuse the disruptors to the estrogen receptors. Jay says, “If or when this chemical reaction occurs, the estrogen receptor would be stuck in the ‘on’ position. Biochemists call this a ‘constitutively active receptor.’”

Having this “light switch” stuck in the “on” position leads to longer-term damage, because the receptor switch is turned on for far longer than nature ever intended for our bodies. (9)

A Two-Pronged Attack

Given all this research, I’ve come to view the relationship between hormonal birth control and skin health much like a messy tenant in an apartment building—leaving the lights on for UV damage and piling up its dirty laundry in the form of overproduced Epidermal Growth Factor. This disorderly behavior disturbs two very important receptors in skin cells. Considering the spike in melanoma rates since the introduction of the Pill, it may be time to clean house.

 

References

  1. https://www.aad.org/media/stats/conditions/skin-cancer
  2. https://www.curemelanoma.org/about-melanoma/melanoma-statistics-2/
  3. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/melanoma-skin-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
  4. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-03/uoca-tsw030119.php
  5. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/color-problems/melasma
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2010646/pdf/brjcancer00442-0055.pdf
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2374297/
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0398762018308538
  9. Estrogeneration, Anthony G. Jay (p. 32)

Economist: Birth control has devastating financial consequences for women, children

  |

Despite the popular belief that birth control is necessary to lift women out of poverty, the United States Census Bureau found that more, not fewer, children are being raised by single mothers — and single mothers are more likely to live in poverty.

From 1960 to 2016, the number of U.S. children living with two married parents dropped 19 percent — and the number of children living with just their mother tripled from nine percent to 23 percent of all children under the age of 18. This represents about 17 million children. Numbers from the Pew Research Center report that 27 percent of single mothers live in poverty. Even though there are five times more single mothers raising children than single fathers, single mothers are significantly more likely to be poor than single fathers are.

Living Arrangements of Children Under Age 18

 

In 2010, economist Timothy Reichert argued that contraception actually has devastating economic consequences for women and children. He suggested that “the contraceptive revolution has resulted in a massive redistribution of wealth and power from women and children to men,” because it “sets up what economists call a ‘prisoner’s-dilemma’ game, in which each woman is induced to make decisions rationally that ultimately make her, and all women, worse off.” Despite being a lose-lose situation for women, and the children that rely on them, he wrote that because of the “prisoner’s dilemma,” contraception would continue to be the law of the land “unless legal restrictions or social mores ‘tax’ men and ‘subsidize’ women and children.”

Contraception creates a Marriage Market and a Sex Market

Reichert argued that birth control separated what has historically been a mating market, inhabited by roughly equal numbers of men and women, into two separate markets. One market, called the sex market, includes men and women seeking sexual relationships without any plan for marriage or a permanent future together. The other market, called the marriage market, is inhabited by people seeking what its name suggests. This split of one mating market into sex and marriage markets becomes a problem when “imbalances exist in these markets (so) that the ‘price’ of either marriage or sex tilts in favor of one or the other gender.”

Reichert explained how at any given time, more men are likely to be in the sex market because they don’t have a “biological clock” necessitating that they move into the marriage market by any certain age. Women in the sex market tend to “have more bargaining power than men” for two reasons: relative scarcity and age. Firstly, they are typically in shorter supply in the sex market. Secondly, women in the sex market tend to be younger, as a typical woman will decide by her early 30s that she is interested in marriage and a family, and thus leave the sex market. Younger women tend to be interested in older men, and vice versa, whereas younger men are not equally likely to be interested in older women.

Using charts, graphs, and research from the social sciences to illustrate his point, Reichert contrasted the sex market with the marriage market. In the marriage market, women face significant challenges in finding marriageable men because there are fewer men in the market than women. Reichert isn’t the only one to have made this observation. Riffs on the topics “Why can’t I find a good man?” and “Why are good men hard to find?” abound online, backing up Reichert’s economic analysis with personal anecdotes. He went on to argue that women become more likely to settle for less in order to get married, and then end up getting divorced later on. A 2017 study by Stanford University found that in 2,500 divorce cases studied, women initiated 69% of them.

Reichert further argued that the creation of separate sex and marriage markets caused by contraception correlated with a higher “cost” of infidelity to women than men, higher rates of divorce (and women heading up single-parent households), a “need” for abortion, and even — surprisingly — a driving up of the cost of real estate.

The “Prisoner’s Dilemma”

Reichert considered contraception a “prisoner’s dilemma,” or a situation in which “all parties have a choice between cooperation and noncooperation, and where all parties would be better off if they choose cooperation. But because people in a prisoner’s dilemma setting cannot effectively coordinate and enforce cooperation, all parties choose the best individual choice, which is noncooperation. The social result is disastrous, and everyone is made poorer.” He wrote that “women (and, by implication, children) would be better off had there been no separation of the mating market into separate sex and marriage markets,” because of the long-term negative consequences of the imbalance between the two markets on women, children, and society at large. But, they are nonetheless highly motivated to continue using contraception because of the short-term benefits to themselves.

An Overall Lose-Lose

Reichert’s consideration of contraception’s economic fallout adds to the growing sentiment that birth control is bad for women. It doesn’t dramatically reduce abortion rates and it isn’t necessary to prevent overpopulation. It does, however, have serious health implications and it does pit women against their preborn children. Quite frankly, women deserve better.

Abortion Has Killed an Entire Generation. America Can’t Survive if We’re Aborting Our Future

Cal Thomas

There are people in every generation who believe the generation following theirs is either going to the dogs or will ruin the country.

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll lends credence to that way of thinking, especially where Generation Z/millennials (those born in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s) and Generation X (those born in the early-to-mid 1960s to the early 1980s) are concerned.

The poll of 1,000 adults earlier this month found that “younger generations rate patriotism, religion and having children as less important to them than did young people two decades ago.”

The poll contrasts with a similar survey conducted by the Journal 21 years ago. When asked then which values were most important, respondents sounded like their parents and grandparents, saying “hard work, patriotism, commitment to religion and the goal of having children.”

Not only will these current findings likely impact next year’s election (most of those running for president with more than single-digit polling numbers are much older men and women and thus represent a generation gap), they could also have serious implications for the future of the country.

The Founders and subsequent generations — perhaps excepting the Gilded Age and the horrors of slavery — mostly believed in the virtues younger people either now reject or approach with indifference.

How can this be? What has happened between the World War II generation, which gave so much so their children and grandchildren might enjoy the blessings of liberty, and the current generation, which seems cool to what once seemed to matter most?

Generalizations are always problematic, but I have lived long enough and witnessed the general decline to make some.

Prosperity is one explanation. People who make more money than previous generations and possess a lot of stuff seem less inclined to participate in community (how many of us know our neighbors, who are here today and move tomorrow?). Stuff and the personal satisfaction of achievement lead to a decline in one’s need for God — too much money, too little purpose.

Politicians become a god-substitute and politics their religion. Creeping secularism has affected theological truth to the point where people can believe whatever they want — or nothing at all — and escape correction. Heresy, even apostasy, has infiltrated many churches.

Then there is culture. Younger people are exposed to what we collectively call “media” more than any previous generation. Most of what constitutes culture proceeds from a singular worldview that denigrates, or does not promote, patriotism, belief in God and values previous generations not only took for granted, but instilled in their children.

Unrestricted abortion has cheapened how many young people view the value of human life. For growing numbers of the young, marriage has become passe as children witness the pain of their parents’ divorce and decide that living together without a formal, legal, or spiritual commitment is better than risking the cost and pain of ending a marriage. For some, children are viewed as a financial burden and an intrusion on adult lifestyles.

Sociologists and historians will tell us these things are cyclical, like weather. That has been true in the past when spiritual revivals often followed a fallow period of faithlessness and a focus on self. I’m not sure that cycle will repeat with younger people, given what they are taught at public schools and in liberal universities.

The values that shaped and sustained America through economic downturns and wars had to be taught and instilled in the next generation. Today’s younger people, as reflected in the poll, seem intent on making their own rules (if they can be called rules) and creating their own gods.

They will eventually learn the impossibility of it all as their substitutions will fail them. The question is can America survive when our moral, spiritual, and patriotic foundations are destroyed? If you don’t love your country, what’s the point of having one?

LifeNews.com Note: With a twice-weekly column appearing in over 600 newspapers nationwide, Cal Thomas is the most widely read and one of the most highly regarded voices on the American political scene.

Planned Parenthood’s refusal of Title X funds reveals pipeline between birth control and abortion

  |

Contraceptive pill

(Pregnancy Help News) Despite their public statements to the contrary, Planned Parenthood did not turn down $60M in Title X federal funds because a new “gag rule” is against their freedom of speech (the new federal “Protect Life Rule” prohibits Title X recipients from referring for abortion).

Nor did Planned Parenthood turn down Title X because they are so committed to “women’s reproductive health” — however skewed it is to think that an abortion referral could ever be construed as “health care.”

Nor did Planned Parenthood turn down the money because it would be too onerous to separate their abortion services from their Title X funded services in geographical location and financial recordkeeping as the new federal rule requires (much smaller faith-based groups that receive federal dollars comply willingly with similar requirements that separate their tax-funded services from their faith-based ones).

Planned Parenthood’s refusal to accept the conditions of the Title X grant proves, without a doubt, how closely tied contraception is to abortion in their strategy.

A required service for Title X recipients is comprehensive family planning (not including abortion).  Planned Parenthood’s “cash cow” is abortion. How are the two connected?

The first time I became aware of the connection was years ago when I first heard Carol Everett’s story. She was the owner of several Texas abortion clinics before she became pro-life and authored Blood Money. The sooner she and her staff could get girls and women on the pill (they aimed for middle school), the sooner they would get pregnant (because of contraceptive failure rates), and the sooner Carol’s abortion clinics would provide abortion as the “back up.”

Carol’s business plan was based on their family planning clients having multiple abortions before graduating from high school.

Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood clinic director, now a pro-life advocate and author of Unplanned, tells a similar story.

As the clinic director, she thought she was helping women by providing contraceptives. But her Planned Parenthood bosses were really motivated by the “bottom line” — increasing income from abortions.

Bring them in for birth control, develop a relationship, sell them an abortion.  That was Abby’s assignment. 

After all, once a woman commits to the idea that the worst possible outcome of her sexual activity is a pregnancy, she is a prime candidate for abortion when her contraceptive fails.

Planned Parenthood’s “family planning” clinics (funded primarily by Title X) are the pipeline for their abortion clinics. If these family planning clinics don’t refer for abortions, might women whose contraception fails find another abortion provider?

Planned Parenthood has the nation’s largest chain of abortion clinics, their annual abortion numbers continue to increase so that they now perform slightly more than half of all reported abortions in the USA [Live Action News Editor’s Note: According to Planned Parenthood’s annual reported abortions compared to the Guttmacher Institute’s latest abortion statistics, Planned Parenthood currently holds approximately 35-36% of the U.S. abortion market share.] But the overall number of abortions is decreasing, the “market” is getting smaller.  All a woman needs to do is google the word “abortion” to find lots of competition for Planned Parenthood.

 

Planned Parenthood is no doubt hoping that a scheduled Court hearing on September 23 will go in their favor, the new federal rule will be overturned, and things will be “back to normal.” If not, they are counting on a different President in 2021 so things will go “back to normal.”

Meanwhile, I can’t see Planned Parenthood ever cutting back their “family planning” services (even though they now whine that “women will have to travel further . . .”).  Birth control accompanied by abortion referral is too crucial to Planned Parenthood’s overall strategy.

Plus, Planned Parenthood can afford to provide low cost or “free” contraceptive services even if they never again receive Title X funds.

After all, $60M (the amount of Title X money they are refusing) is only about 12% of the $500M they receive each year in federal and state tax dollars for their services (not including abortions), much of it from Medicaid. For abortions, in addition to private pay, Planned Parenthood receives millions of state tax dollars in NY, CA, and some other states. (See GAO data in Heritage Foundation report, 2018.)  Planned Parenthood’s balance sheet also shows millions of dollars in assets.

No matter what happens with Title X, Planned Parenthood won’t abandon the contraceptive pipeline to their abortion engine.

Editor’s Note: This article was published at Pregnancy Help News and is reprinted here with permission.

The Changing Abortion Landscape

by

Planned Parenthood is having a terrible few weeks.

It began with the news that on the same day that the movie Unplanned was released on DVD, it shot up to become the #1 selling DVD on Amazon. Apparently, sales haven’t slowed down much since. Over a week later, Unplanned is still sitting right next to Avengers: Endgame on Amazon’s “Best Sellers” list. In case you don’t know (and you should!), Unplanned tells the true story of Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood clinic manager who became pro-life. The movie exposes both the truth about abortion (that it kills a living human being) and Planned Parenthood (that it never met an abortion it didn’t like). How inspiring to see this comparatively low budget pro-life film holding its own against blockbuster films that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make. As it turns out, the public doesn’t just want glitzy popcorn entertainment: they are hungry for films that tackle serious topics and promote the pro-life and pro-family worldview. Hollywood, take note.

Then, Planned Parenthood announced that due to new rules promulgated by the Trump administration, they would be foregoing $60 million in taxpayer funding. Under the new rules, clinics receiving Title X funding cannot refer for abortions. However, rather than abiding by this rule, Planned Parenthood announced they would withdraw from Title X altogether. ABC News reports that abortion clinics around the country, including Planned Parenthood clinics, are worried about being able to keep their doors open in the wake of the loss of funding. Good! Killing babies and authentic reproductive health have nothing to do with one another. Planned Parenthood’s PR machine went into overdrive in the wake of the decision, bombarding people with the notion that somehow this new rule will harm poor women, who won’t be able to get the care they need. Nonsense. In reality, there are myriad community health clinics all across the country that perform all the other services that Planned Parenthood does, except for killing babies. Many of them are woefully underfunded, in large part because Planned Parenthood’s well-oiled lobbying and marketing machine sucks up most of the money.

Then came perhaps the biggest blow of all, at least to Planned Parenthood’s public image: a jury in Arizona ordered Planned Parenthood to pay $3 million to a former clinic manager who had exposed all manner of malfeasance going on at Planned Parenthood clinics. Mayra Rodriguez had worked for the organization for 17 years and had run three different clinics. In other words, she knew what was going on behind the walls of Planned Parenthood. She was fired from her job after she raised concerns about the fact that an unusual number of women were experiencing complications after having abortions at the hands of one particular abortionist. She also complained that the doctor was falsifying medical records, that the clinic failed to report a case of statutory rape, and about poor procedures for handling narcotics, among other things. Rodriguez is now working with And Then There Were None, the pro-life organization founded by Abby Johnson to help abortion clinic workers to leave their jobs and to embrace the pro-life position.

Power to Change the Culture

In case it need be said, developments like these don’t just “happen.” Each one of them came about as the result of weeks, or even years of hard work and savvy strategizing on the part of various pro-life groups and individuals. Each one of them is a testament to the growing sophistication, commitment, investment and influence of the pro-life movement.

Planned Parenthood is not alone in having a rough time these days. The whole pro-abortion movement in the United States is on the defensive. I’ve noticed a significant change in tone in a lot of the pro-abortion rhetoric in the past couple of years. The pro-abortion movement has always claimed that reproductive rights are “under attack,” and that people need to donate to them in order to stop the “anti-choice” fanatics from undermining “women’s rights.” Lately, however, I’ve started to notice that this urgency, and even fear, no longer sounds like a fundraising strategy. Pro-abortion activists are legitimately worried that they’re losing.

Pro-life Generation, Walk for Life 2019, San Francisco

As well as they might. As one liberal publication put it recently: “For America, it seems, this is a year of reckoning on the issue of abortion.” The article continues, “In the past few months, a slew of states have passed restrictive abortion laws, with the explicit intent to have them challenged in front of the Supreme Court.” It also does the heart good to read the recent headline in the New York Times, “‘This Is a Wave’: Inside the Network of Anti-Abortion Activists Winning Across the Country.” The article itself begins, “State after state is passing sweeping abortion restrictions this year…”

But it’s not just the growing number of pro-life laws that are changing the landscape on this issue. These laws are coming about as the result of the experience and hard work of a growing body of shrewd pro-life lawyers, legislatively-focused organizations, and pro-life lawmakers. But even as these types of pro-life individuals and groups are grinding away at the often thankless and unseen work of paving the way for pro-life state and federal laws, a huge army of pro-life individuals are chipping away at the Culture of Death in their own ways, both big and little.

Looking at the modern pro-life movement makes me think of St. Paul’s words to the Corinthians: “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one.” The glut of pro-life laws being put forward is inspiring. But there’s no way we’d be able to pass pro-life laws if it weren’t for the crack troops of the Culture of Life: the volunteers at the thousands of pregnancy help centers across the country providing love and concrete help to women in trouble; the thousands of prayerful protesters outside abortion clinics; the groups working on college campuses to change the minds of the next generation; the pro-life media organizations; the Knights of Columbus councils that fund pro-life initiatives; organizations committed to helping post-abortive women heal; organizations committed to helping abortion workers leave their jobs and repent; parish-level pro-life groups…and on and on.

Walk for Life 2019, San Francisco

Each one of these groups is necessary. And every one of these groups is constituted of individuals who felt God’s call to do something about the massacre of the innocents and responded. There is a need for some form of concrete pro-life witness or activism in every single one of our lives. For the busy stay-at-home mom, it might just be a matter of witnessing to her own children about the sanctity of life by the love she shows them, and the gratitude with which she welcomes new life. For the working father, it might just be a matter of budgeting a portion of his pay to go to the local pregnancy help center, or offering up a weekly holy hour for the end of abortion.

Or it might be more than that. It might be opening your heart to adopt an unwanted child, or to fostering some of the many children who our culture tells us are “unwanted” and probably better off aborted. It might be putting a roof over the head of a pregnant woman desperate for a place to stay while she figures out the next steps in her life. Or it might be starting that pro-life council at your parish, or taking a shot at launching that big pro-life idea that’s been on your heart for years.

What there’s no excuse for, is doing nothing. If you’re grateful about the visible pro-life progress that’s being made these days, don’t give in to the temptation to relax. This progress would never have been possible had it not been for the handful of dedicated pro-life pioneers in the early 1970s who courageously forged the way for us and without the small and unseen sacrifices of pro-life citizens like you. Rather than relaxing, renew your resolution to do more, providing further energy to this great push in favor of the sanctity of life.

Almost Half of Abortionists Say the Abortion Pill is Unsafe, 35% Admit It Has Injured Women

Randall O’Bannon Ph.D

When it comes to chemical abortions (“medication” abortions, in pro-abortion parlance), rhetoric and reality have increasingly been on a collision course.

Advocates have diligently argued that chemical abortions are so simple and safe that women can do them on their own (the rhetoric). But simultaneously many have also insisted that women “denied” access to abortion would be in danger if they tried to self-abort (the reality).

What do abortionists who have encountered such women in their clinics—as opposed to activists and academicians–say?

Safety concerns about chemical self-abortion stand out in a study published April 16, 2019 in the journal Contraception. It is titled “Abortion Providers’ experiences and views on self-managed medication abortion, an exploratory study” (abstract at www.contraceptionjournal.org/article/S0010-7824(19)30143-X/pdf)

Between July and September of 2017, researchers from the University of Iowa did an online survey of the memberships of the Society of Family Planning, the Association of Reproductive Health Care Providers and the Abortion Care Network. They inquired about their experiences with and opinions of “self-managed abortion.”

Of the 650 respondents, just over half (359, or 55.1%) were abortionists. Results?

More than two thirds (230) of the abortionists reported having experience with women trying to abort on their own. More than three quarters (153) of those with such experience indicated those women were using mifepristone (RU-486) and/or misoprostol, the abortion drugs currently sold in the U.S., but legally available only through an abortionist who meets certain conditions laid down by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). *

Women have been known to pick up misoprostol – which can be used alone to abort, though not as successfully – on the black market at places like border town flea markets [1] and have been able to order packets of foreign manufactured mifepristone and misoprostol from the internet [2].

Certain abortion researchers and advocacy groups (e.g., Aid Access, Women on Web [3] have been promoting the idea of self-managed abortion with pills bought over the internet. One, Gynuity, has been conducting trials in several states where abortion drugs can be mailed to women after an online consult [4]

In the University of Iowa survey, though, barely half (53.3%, or 171 of 321 abortionists**) said they thought the use of misoprostol/mifepristone for the self management of abortion was safe. That means that nearly half of those who did abortions were not satisfied that it was safe for women to use drugs to perform their own abortions.

More than a third (34.9% or 117 of 335 abortionists**) said they had witnessed complications from self-abortion. The most common complication was an incomplete abortion, but also reported were hemorrhage, sepsis (infection), and uterine rupture.

What the study tells us

Several results are very much worth noting.

One obvious thing is that “incomplete abortion” was mentioned so frequently as a complication in the study that failure is clearly a far bigger issue than advocates would have us believe. These results fly in the face of assurances by promoters that these drugs have proven to be “highly effective” (Aid Access at http://aidaccess.org/en/page/427/what-is-a-medical-abortion, accessed 4/25/19).

If official statistics from Danco, the U.S. distributor of mifepristone are accurate (claiming 93-98% effectiveness), this still means that perhaps one of every 20 patients may require surgery to either stop the bleeding or to complete the abortion. This would actually be a lot of cases for a drug we are told is used by hundreds of thousands of American women a year.

Promoters of the abortion pill have tried to soft-pedal complications

The University of California-San Francisco’s ANSIRH (Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health) compiled an August 2016 Issue Brief on the “Safety and effectiveness of first-trimester medication abortion in the United States.” The Issue Brief claimed that there are serious complications with mifepristone and misoprostol in less than 0.5% [one half of one percent] of patients.

Women on Web, major promoters of online-facilitated abortions, appear willing to concede a greater incidence of complications. They said that between 2-3% of women having a “medical” (chemical) abortion “have to go to a doctor, first aid center or hospital to receive further medical care” (www.womenonweb.org/en/page/485/in-collection/6907/how-do-you-know-if-you-have-complications-and-what-should-you-do , accessed 4/24/19 ).

These admissions seem at odds with the experiences of abortionists who participated in the University of Iowa survey.

From the figures given, we don’t know the percentage of self- aborting patients that had problems. But we do know that they were frequent enough that at least a third of the abortionists in the survey encountered them–and that some were quite serious, serious enough that almost half the abortionists were unwilling to tell researchers they considered it safe.

“Adverse events”

The latest FDA postmarketing report on mifepristone (www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/UCM603000.pdf) indicates that, since approval in 2000, there have been over four thousand cases where there has been a reported a significant “adverse event.”

The FDA reported that 24 patients are known to have died in the U.S. during that time, at least a third from rare bacterial infections. (Some of the 11 mifepristone patients who died in other countries also died of these infections.)

The over 4,000 figure includes over a thousand hospitalizations, more than 500 patients requiring transfusions, and more than 400 “severe infections.”

No matter how many thousands managed to endure the drugs’ grueling, painful process without any obvious immediate or enduring damage, if such a number of women have died or faced serious complications, it is a clear indication that the drugs are potentially quite dangerous.

And note this: most of these deaths and complications are associated with standard clinical use of the drugs, before studies of mail order abortions were launched and before webcam abortions became available in very many states. And there is nothing about the webcam or mail order abortions that would make complications like incomplete abortion, ruptured ectopic pregnancies, or deadly infections any less likely. It just might make medically qualified, timely help less likely–something that would concern any good doctor.

Abortionists at odd with Activists and Academicians

Perhaps the most significant finding in the University of Iowa study is that many of the rank-and-file abortionists do not appear to be on the same page as the academics and advocates who are pushing hard for at-home chemical abortions.

Those advocates are doing their own studies. They then tell the public that women can order these abortifacient drugs on line or pick them up at their local pharmacy and “manage” their abortions themselves with little or no supervision.

Daniel Grossman, popular abortion researcher, chemical abortion “expert,” and advocate, raved about self-abortion in an interview with National Public Radio [3/11/15]: “It would really be quite easy for women to actually use this [mifepristone/misoprostol] on their own…. It could almost be eligible for the kind of medication that could be available over the counter.”

In February of 2013, Grossman told Contraception that “Women can use misoprostol on their own and with accurate information; they do not necessarily need a health care provider to use it safely and effectively.”

He told CNN on November 5, 2018 that “When it comes to self-managing abortion, research shows that when people have accurate information and high-quality medication, they can use the abortion pill safely and effectively on their own.” (Emphasis added.)

Beverly Winikoff, of Gynuity, is currently in the middle of the “TelAbortion Study” using telemedicine (webcams) to counsel and screen patients and then mailing them the mifepristone and misoprostol to use at home. Winikoff claims that there had been no problems with the 200 women who had enrolled in the study as of November of 2018. (CNN, 11/18/18.)

Women, she said, were satisfied. “The results are equivalent to what’s happening in the clinics.”

The World Health Organization said “There is no evidence that home-based medical abortion is less effective, safe or acceptable than clinic-based medical abortion” (Vox 10/22/18).

Yet nearly half of the abortionists who answered the University of Iowa survey seem to think otherwise. Many of those who deal with aborting women at their clinics on a regular basis, who have practical, clinical experience versus the detachment of a university researcher or an activist, won’t call it safe. They don’t seem willing to consider self-managed abortion a good idea.

Winikoff and her Gynuity pals are likely to come out soon with a study of their own, claiming to have proven that mail order abortion drugs taken at home after an online consult are “safe” and “effective,” along with an assurance that women found them “satisfactory.” When they do, remember this University of Iowa study and the abortionists with the real life experience that led them to a far different conclusion.

*The FDA approved mifepristone, used in conjunction with misoprostol, for abortion in September of 2000. However it has limited its distribution to “certified healthcare providers” who 1) have the ability to date pregnancy accurately & diagnose ectopic pregnancy; who 2) provide (or have made arrangements for) surgical intervention in cases of incomplete abortion or severe bleeding ; and who 3) indicate they have read and understood the prescribing information (which contains warnings about possible “serious and sometimes fatal infections or bleeding”).

** We did not have full numerical tables when it came time to post. But apparently different numbers of abortionists responded to different survey questions.

[1] www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/2013/07/off-label-abortion-pills-being-sold-at-flea-markets

[2] www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/2014/09/the-abortion-pill-known-as-ru-486-by-any-other-name-just-as-deadly.

[3] www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/2019/03/fda-sends-warning-letters-to-two-entities-selling-mislabeled-and-unapproved-abortion-drugs-over-the-internet

[4] www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/2016/11/the-next-step-abortion-by-overnight-mail

LifeNews.com Note: Randall O’Bannon, Ph.D., is the director of education and research for the National Right to Life Committee. This column originally appeared at NRL News Today.

 

Unborn Baby Saved Through Extraordinary In Utero Blood Transfusion

Steven Ertelt

A remarkable, cutting age medical intervention has given joy to a family and life to their baby boy who was threatened by a rare illness in the womb.

Baby Edward, also known as Teddy, developed anaemia whilst inside the womb. In response, Doctor Amarnath Bhide, used an ultrasound sensor to insert a needle through the uterus and into the umbilical cord which injected Teddy with donated blood.

Teddy received five blood transfusions before he was born, these were some of the earliest in-utero interventions to ever be performed.

SPUC Scotland, Director of Communications, Michael Robinson, described the interventions as “extraordinary.”

Saving life through in-utero surgery

Whilst the life-saving intervention performed on unborn baby, Teddy, is indeed ‘extraordinary,’ the option of in utero surgery, which can save and improve the life expectancy of unborn children, is becoming a far more positive prospect.

Currently, in utero surgery, can treat a number of foetal health conditions including Spina Bifida, foetal tumours, Cerebral Palsy, foetal cardiac conditions and Hyperthyroidism.

In May of this year, the UK witnessed the astonishing account of doctors who performed key-hole surgery on an unborn baby with Spina Bifida, which was the first operation of its kind in the United Kingdom. Unborn baby, Jaxon, received the operation at just 27 weeks gestation, and as a result had the ability to move his legs after being born six weeks later.

Similarly, unborn child, Ethan Leibbrandt, underwent in utero surgery to remove the benign tumour which consumed 50% of his lung space. The in utero surgery was successful and life saving as without it, Ethan would have died of cardiac failure.

Human beings worth protecting

SPUC Scotland, Director of Communications, Michael Robinson, said: “The early interventions that can now be used to treat and save unborn children are truly astonishing. The story of Edward once again proves that science is on the side of the pro-life movement. Indeed, scientific developments and new technology is now instilling a sense of awe that society never really had before, about the beauty and dignity of every unborn child.”

Mr Robinson continued: “This case illustrates the terrible irony that medical teams spend enormous effort, time, and money to deliver babies safely and nurse premature infants back to health. Yet, in the UK we routinely and deliberately end the lives of 600 babies a day. Whilst pro-abortion campaigners insistently refer to unborn children as ‘blobs of cells’ or ‘parasites’, the use of in utero surgery, highlights that unborn children are human and worth saving and protecting.”

LifeNews Note: Courtesy of SPUC. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children is a leading pro-life organization in the United Kingdom. File photo.

Melinda Gates Is Wrong: Birth Control Isn’t Poverty Control

Mary FioRito

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/melinda-gates-is-wrong-birth-control-isnt-poverty-control

There is a very funny scene in the 1980 film Airplane! that speaks to the current assumptions about what the West thinks is best for developing nations.

The movie features a young couple, Ted and Ellen, who visit the fictitious “Malombo” tribe in Africa as Peace Corps volunteers.

Instead of focusing on practical solutions that might best help the tribe to which they are assigned, the couple spends time introducing Western solutions that, while well-meaning, completely overlook the real needs of the people. For example, Ellen hosts a Tupperware party for the women of the village to help them “stretch” their food dollars and to “keep hot dog buns fresh for up to a month.”

The cognitive dissonance in the scene is, of course, part of the humor, but it also draws a bead on the mixture of ignorance and arrogance that has defined much of what passes as Western “aid” to developing countries.

Like this idealistic young couple in Airplane! Melinda Gates, the wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, seems to have her heart in the right place. She has a love for the poor and a genuine desire to relieve the suffering of others. She understands the influence that her position in society brings.

Unfortunately, Gates’ primary solution to the problems plaguing African and other developing countries is no better (and often a great deal worse) than Tupperware: Gates is strident in promoting widespread use of artificial contraceptives, as she argues in her new book, The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World.

Gates’ argument for contraception is experienced-based. She holds that contraception is the primary path for women to freedom and equality and cites her own success as a career woman “to work and have the time to take care of each” of her and Bill Gates’ three children, who are precisely spaced three years apart.

Moreover, she says that when it comes to contraception, “no woman I knew went without it.” If Western women are healthy, educated and powerful — a packet of adjectives she comes back to frequently — Gates reasons that such benefits are a result of unlimited access to contraception.

But Gates is a puzzle. She is passionate about contraception and yet she also professes to have a great love for her Catholic faith.

As she relates, she received a Catholic education through high school, attending the prestigious Ursuline Academy — a Catholic boarding school in Dallas — before attending Duke University. She also takes pride in noting that her parents attended a Marriage Encounter retreat (at her father’s insistence) and her mother not only “believes in the Church” but also “goes to Mass five times a week … reads, goes to silent retreats and explores spiritual ideas with passion.” Nevertheless, despite the great influence that she says the Church has had in her life, Gates has apparently never encountered a woman who in her married life has followed Church teaching on contraception.

It is telling that The Moment of Lift includes no references to the tremendous advances in non-contraceptive (and Church-approved) methods of achieving and avoiding pregnancy.

For instance, one wonders what Gates would make of technology like the natural fertility app developed by a Swedish nuclear physicist, or how she might consider the potential benefits to the poor provided by “CycleBeads,” a reproductive physiology-based method promoted by the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University. CycleBeads is well-known as a simple, low-cost, easy-to-teach and natural family planning method that has greatly benefited women in developing nations. The method — which relies on the woman’s natural fertility cycle — does not require women to walk miles and miles every few months to receive contraceptive “shots” or have their IUDs adjusted.

It is equally telling that, in a later chapter, Gates describes natural family planning in general as “the rhythm method,” even though neither teachers nor practitioners in the fertility-awareness-based field have used that term for more than 40 years.

Such misnomers, though, may not indicate Gates’ animus toward fertility-based-awareness methods, so much as her ignorance of such methods — either in how they work or how they can benefit women. Indeed, this can only be the case if she has surrounded herself, intentionally or otherwise, with peers who have only known and used artificial contraception.

Indeed, we might assume that Gates’ ignorance regarding fertility awareness extends even to the Church’s teaching on such matters. But her own words indicate rather a truculence to such teaching.

In her book, Gates points out that it is “hugely reassuring” to her “that a huge majority of Catholic women use contraceptives.” She also claims to have met with “high-ranking officials of the Church” to discuss her disagreements with the Church’s teaching on family-planning methods — although she doesn’t name the officials nor the topics covered. Instead, she simply notes that the Church officials shared “similar concerns” about the plight of the poor.

Gates does provide some horrifying stories about the ravages of poverty and its particular impact on women and girls. These stories include personal anecdotes and experiences shared with her by those who serve the poor in countries in Africa and Asia.

For example, she relates how young girls can be married off as early as age 11. She also points out the prevalence of female genital mutilation and sexual trafficking. In one poignant passage, Gates reports on children as young as 5 “baby-sitting” for tiny infants so that their mothers could go out and scrape together enough food for the day. She also tells about children looking through garbage dumps for food, children dying from diarrhea, mothers dying in childbirth and newborns dying because they don’t receive even basic postpartum care.

Likewise, Gates’ book is valuable for expressing concern — and outrage — at the substandard hospitals the poor must rely on and at the lack of educational opportunities for women. In her book, she also helps raise awareness about the need in these countries for neonatal care, preschool programs, healthy food initiatives and microloans to small family businesses.

However, as Nigerian-born pro-life activist Obianuju Ekeocha points out in her “Open Letter to Melinda Gates,” none of these problems are solved by contraception, and the millions of dollars spent on contraceptive pills, implants and devices imported to African nations and other developing countries by wealthy Western aid organizations would be better used to address the conditions that necessitate such aid in the first place.

Why is the bulk of Western financial aid, as Ekeocha notes, focused on ensuring “that the African woman is less fertile” — especially when most African cultures welcome and celebrate new life as a gift from God?

Ekeocha rightly notes that there are multiple risk factors associated with the use of hormonal contraceptives, as American women have long complained, while no similar side effects exist with the use of fertility-awareness methods.

As Ekeocha asks, does “a woman in Africa with a contraception-induced blood clot … call 911 or an ambulance or a paramedic? No, she dies.” Moreover, Gates does not even touch the issue of the failure rate of hormonal and injectable contraceptives, which Great Britain’s leading abortion service, BPAS, has admitted. Nor does Gates acknowledge the increased risk for HIV infection among African woman who use hormonal injections (which The New York Times admitted poses “an alarming quandary”).

In a news clip that went viral, Ekeocha instructed a BBC talk-show host on the real needs of African women, of the side effects of hormonal contraceptives that are not fully disclosed to them when promoted, and of the “ideological colonization” that contraceptive programs sponsored by the West represent.

Even if the poor do achieve a momentary “lift” from the widespread use of artificial contraceptives, as Melinda Gates contends, it is a lift that will likely have no lasting impact. You don’t eliminate poverty by eliminating the poor.

After using contraceptives, women may have fewer children, but they won’t necessarily have a new maternity hospital, or a new preschool, or successful crops, or educated daughters.

The Catholic Church has much wisdom and lived experience to share with Melinda Gates. Perhaps, with the help of testimony from Ekeocha and other women outside her peer group, she may still inquire into how the Church can help women around the world achieve a true moment of lift.

Mary FioRito is the Cardinal Francis George fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington.

Blood clots and birth control

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – When people get new prescriptions, they very often don’t look at the list of side effects. One woman in Seattle started taking the birth control shot, Depo-Provera not knowing all the side effects. She became one of the less-than-one-percent who developed life-changing, life-threatening blood clots in her lungs.

Marilyn Wightman thought losing weight would ease her sudden mysterious shortness of breath in 2009. It didn’t. Then, she fainted on the stairs.

“The first question my doctor asked was, ‘Are you taking Depo-Provera?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, that’s it,’” said Wightman.

He put her on blood thinners, but she was in and out of the hospital until last year when her doctors told her that without surgery, she had a ten percent chance of living five years.

Michael Mulligan, MD, Cardiothoracic Surgery, UW Medicine shared, “In a very small fraction, however, patients develop a response to the clot, where the clot breaks down, but then you start to develop scar-like plugs that obstruct the vessels and make it harder and harder for the blood to be pumped through the lungs.”

In a six-hour procedure that left a scar, Dr. Mulligan removed 15 clots mixed with scar tissue from Marilyn’s lungs. First, he had to raise her oxygen level, lower her temperature and metabolism, stop her heart and drain her blood.

“You work very quickly to expediently tease out these clots that are multi-branched without puncturing the vessel, which is wafer thin,” continued Dr. Mulligan.

Marilyn says she wouldn’t have taken Depo-Provera if her doctor had told her about the blood clot risk.

“So, I’m telling my story because I want at least one woman to ask the question. When your doctor is trying to give you a new drug, ask the question. What are the side effects?” stated Wightman.

Dr. Mulligan says as long as Marilyn stays on her blood thinners, her clots should not return. It shouldn’t be long until she has her normal life back again.

 

Defending freedom of conscience on emergency contraception

https://www.mercatornet.com/features/view/defending-freedom-of-conscience-on-emergency-contraception/22775

The UK’s biggest abortion provider, British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), has attacked pharmacists who do not sell the ‘morning after pill’ for conscience reasons.

After one incident where a pharmacist would not dispense emergency contraception to a woman for ‘personal’ reasons, BPAS condemned both the pharmacist and the conscience protections provided to pharmacists. A petition was also set up to prevent pharmacists from claiming freedom of conscience rights.

Under the current law, covered by guidance from the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), pharmacists with a genuine conscientious objection to selling the pill can refer the customer to another pharmacist.

However, BPAS complained that it is ‘impossible to overstate the significance of even one pharmacist conscientiously objecting to selling the morning-after pill’.

Fortunately, the General Pharmaceutical Council, in this case, upheld their guidelines and the consequent media coverage has now died down, temporarily at least.

This may seem like a one-off minor incident, but it is an illustration of increasing pressures on freedom of conscience protections. It is often assumed that the role of the conscience in medicine is relevant only to a few specialised and limited areas such as contraception or abortion, but in fact, the concept of the conscience goes right to the heart of what it means to act in a moral way, to act with integrity.

If we do not stand by those who are under pressure, the problems will only get worse and will spread. A well-known quote often attributed to Burke, which may have actually come originally from JS Mill warns: “He should not be lulled to repose by the delusion that he does no harm who takes no part in public affairs. He should know that bad men need no better opportunity than when good men look on and do nothing.”

CMF has therefore written to the GPhC to ensure they are aware of our concerns and to thank them for holding to their guidance. The text of our letter is as follows, with their response after it:

‘I am writing to you following the recent news coverage of a Lloyds pharmacy worker who, according to news reports, conscientiously objected to selling the morning after pill and directed a customer to another pharmacy instead.

I note that a petition has since been set up to prevent pharmacists from claiming conscientious objection rights.

The Christian Medical Fellowship is the UK’s largest faith-based group of health professionals and we contributed with both written and oral evidence to your review of your Guidance on Religion, Personal Values and Beliefs. We publicly welcomed the new Guidance and the statement accompanying it, in which the Chief Executive of the General Pharmaceutical Council highlighted the positive contribution that pharmacists’ faith can make in their provision of care. We also welcomed the clear statement that: Pharmacy professionals have the right to practise in line with their religion, personal values or beliefs’.

We all aspire to person-centred care. In any care scenario, there are (at least) two parties – the carer and the one receiving care – each of whom has rights. The General Pharmaceutical Council guidance helpfully achieves a balance between the patient’s right to service access and the pharmacist’s right to freedom of conscience. 

Respect for the sincerely held religious and moral beliefs of employees is essential and we are concerned that some of the demands being made, based on this one recent case, would marginalise the beliefs, values and religion of pharmacists disproportionately and unnecessarily, and trivialise their right to freedom of conscience under the law. Despite widespread coverage of this case, we have yet to see evidence of recurring complaints under the present provisions. 

While we strongly support the right to freedom of conscience for pharmacists, we do also emphasise the importance of openness and sensitive communication with colleagues and employers; any refusal to supply should be made courteously and sensitively.

On behalf of CMF, I want to thank the Council for protecting the right of pharmacists to refuse to engage in certain procedures that violate their most profound moral convictions. 

I also encourage the Council to continue to make it clear, publicly, that all pharmacy professionals have the right to practise in line with their religion, personal values or beliefs.

Yours faithfully

Dr Mark Pickering
Chief Executive, CMF

In response, the GPhC replied with the following two sentences:

‘Our existing guidance ‘In practice: Guidance on religion, personal values and beliefs’ (to which you refer) remains in place. We have no current plans to review it.

As you are aware, the guidance sits under our standards for pharmacy professionals and relates to standard 1, Pharmacy professionals must provide person-centred care.

The point here is simple but vital; if we care about liberty and personal integrity, we must make a reasoned defence of it in the public square, from the smallest incident to the biggest.

Philippa Taylor is Head of Public Policy at CMF. She has an MA in Bioethics from St Mary’s University College and a background in policy work on bioethics and family issues. Republished from the CMF blog with permission.

No longer a death sentence: This hospital treats kids with Trisomy 18, and the results are amazing

  |

When parents are told that their preborn child has Trisomy 18, the diagnosis is often followed up with the words: “incompatible with life.” But as a team of doctors at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha is proving, children with the condition can live and thrive when doctors treat them as equal human beings.

“If you look at the old textbooks, and a lot of them are still being used, the outcome is death,” explained Dr. Meaghann Shaw Weaver, division chief of Palliative Care in an interview with Children’s. “It was one of the few diagnoses that was named lethal.”

Because it was considered “lethal” for so long and still is by many, most doctors automatically write-off preborn children with Trisomy 18 and consider them as good as dead, often advising parents to abort. For Meredith Willard, mom of one-year-old Rose, even meeting with the comfort care team to discuss her baby’s birth wasn’t allowed by the doctors in their home state of California.

Rose was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 at 12 weeks gestation. Trisomy 18 can cause congenital heart defects, physical and mental developmental delays, and feeding and breathing problems. Doctors said Rose wouldn’t survive. For choosing life for their daughter, Willard says they were called “cruel” and told they had to “let this child go.”

“I said, ‘There’s a heartbeat and she’s here, let’s let her be,’” explained Willard. “When I said I wasn’t going to terminate, there really was no more help for me there. I went weeks with no one.”

Finally, a doctor advised them that they should speak to a heart surgeon because he felt that their baby would live through pregnancy and birth, but would need heart surgery. 50 percent of children with the condition have a ventricular septal defect (VSD or hole in the heart) while the rest have defects that can be fixed with the right surgery. None of the heart surgeons in California would operate — strictly because Rose has Trisomy 18.

“You’re angry, but it fuels you,” said Willard. “You know that kids are treated. We just wanted that for our kid.”

That’s when they learned of Children’s Hospital in Omaha, 1,500 miles away, from a support group called SOFT – Support Organization for Trisomy 18, 13 and Related Disorders. Doctors there agreed to operate on Rose. And while it was a big deal to the family, for Dr. James Hammel, division chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, it was just another day at work.

“If a family didn’t want surgery for an infant with VSD or tetralogy or even pulmonary atresia, we would take them to court, take the child out of the family and take care of them,” explained Dr. Hammel. Yet for children with Trisomy 18, it’s considered “cruel” to perform surgery despite the fact that without care they die, and with care they can live for much longer than originally thought. Seventy to 80 percent of babies with Trisomy 18 survive heart surgery, and 50 percent will still be alive 16 years later, according to Dr. Hammel. Others say the rate of survival is as high as 90 percent.

In the video below, Dr. Hammel gives a fascinating and instructive web lecture on heart surgeries for children with Trisomies 13 and 18:

 

“Most physicians view this as a hopeless diagnosis – but there is always hope,” he said. “Yes, these kids have functional limitations, but there is plenty of room to make their life better…. I’ve always said if I can improve a child’s chance of survival from five percent to 10 percent, I’m perfectly happy to take that on if that’s what the parents want to do.”

Thanks to the dedication of Dr. Hammel and his colleagues, families from across the country are self-referring to Children’s Hospital. The team at Children’s aims to treat the whole child and the whole family. They say that the medical treatments they provide for these children would be “absolutely obligatory for a child without trisomy” but other hospitals refuse to do them simply because of the trisomy diagnosis.

“Going to Omaha, we were treated the most normal you could be treated with such a medically fragile child,” said Williard. “It was like nothing fazed them, nothing scared them. They’re like, ‘No worries – we’ve got this, Mom. Go get a coffee.”

Rose was born with multiple heart defects and suffered from apnea, which is the cessation of breathing. After surgery, the apnea stopped.

“At the hospital we were at, they kept telling me, ‘She has Tri-18; her body is not meant to survive.’ I said, ‘It’s because of her heart.’ When Dr. Hammel repaired her heart, she never had one more episode of apnea. We flew home commerical with her on no oxygen… and I was told this child could never live outside the hospital.”

Bella Santorum, incompatible with life

Doctors said Rick Santorum’s daughter Bella, who has Trisomy 18, was incompatible with life. She is proving them wrong.

Rose still has health concerns. She uses a feeding tube to get proper nutrition, she takes two heart medications as well as medication to help stop seizures, and she sees multiple specialists. But her life with her parents and four older brothers is a happy one.

“I’m super excited to see what she can do and explore and experience,” said Willard. “I was told this kid wasn’t a survivor. I knew she was.”

Terra Spiehs-Garst, Nebraska’s state chairwoman for SOFT, has a now seven-year-old son named Emerson who has Trisomy 18. Spiehs-Garst and her husband Tyson Garst learned Emerson had Trisomy 18 when Terra was 17 weeks pregnant. Doctors advised abortion. The couple told Live Well Nebraska that they wanted Emerson to be in control. He had heart problems that were able to be controlled with medication; now, he no longer needs them. He had surgery on his jaw, which helped his breathing improve. He underwent treatment for kidney cancer at 15 months old and is still tumor-free. He uses a communication device to talk to his family, and he loves dancing and hugs from his three brothers.

Dr. Hammel notes that there are other hospitals in the United States that do provide care for children with Trisomy 18, but they aren’t the established multidisciplinary team that exists at Children’s. Thanks to social media, more and more families are learning about the program at Children’s and are able to properly care for their children with Trisomy 18. Dr. Hammel is happy to provide this crucial care to families.

“In the end,” he said, “we will be judged by how we treat the most vulnerable people in our society.”

Thanks to the doctors at Childen’s, vulnerable children with Trisomy 18 are being treated as equal and whole human beings worthy of life.

Why I Choose to Use a Fertility Awareness Method, Even Though I Have a Serious Reason to Avoid Pregnancy

by Allison Jung, PA

Why I Choose to Use a Fertility Awareness Method, Even Though I Have a Serious Reason to Avoid Pregnancy

As a physician assistant specializing in OB/GYN, I have prescribed birth control to everyone for everything . . . irregular cycles, painful periods, unusual bleeding, PMS, acne, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, perimenopause and, of course, to avoid pregnancy.

Natural Womanhood, Fertility Awareness Based Methods, Natural Family Planning, NFP, FABM, FAM, birth control side effects, womens health, reproductive health, fertility awareness, PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, menstrual health, menstrual cycle, infertility, fertility, birth control side effects, hormonal birth control, hormonal birth control side effects, natural birth control, the Pill,

It wasn’t until my own struggles with infertility that I began to research more about the consequences of using artificial hormones. Although I was taught in school that the birth control pill was a treatment for these disorders, I learned that artificial hormones are only FDA-approved to treat two things: to avoid pregnancy, and for hormonal acne. Other than that, the Pill only masks the symptoms of underlying disorders. Actually, for estrogen-dominant disorders like PCOS and endometriosis, the excess estrogens in the Pill can make these disorders worse!

After many years of my own struggle with infertility, I was diagnosed with atypical PCOS and realized that I had symptoms starting at 15 years old. Now, I know that if I had been treated for PCOS instead of being placed on the Pill to “regulate my periods,” I would not have had to struggle with infertility.

The Search

Fast-forward 8 years and 4 precious children later, I was diagnosed with a dangerous heart condition and was told it would be medically unwise to become pregnant again. I was given the choice of different forms of birth control, as well as permanent sterilization options. As a Physician Assistant, my medical knowledge instilled the fear of risks of surgery, as well as the risks and side effects of artificial hormones. I had just been through a very difficult 8 years of struggles with infertility and related health problems, and did not need to deal with any more problems. So began my search for a natural method of avoiding pregnancy.

The method I chose had to be very reliable in avoiding pregnancy and had to be fairly easy to learn as I now had four children under the age of 6 to take care of. I investigated the Sympto-Thermal methods, Marquette (using ovulation predictor kits), and the Creighton Model System. I chose the Creighton System due to the medical studies and statistics backing its accuracy, as well as the benefit of NaproTechnology, the branch of medicine which seeks to naturally cure underlying disorders causing the symptom of infertility. I learned that the Creighton Model System came with a 99.5% efficacy rate for perfect use and 98.6% typical-use effectiveness rate in avoiding pregnancy in one year. This is amazing, since other forms of birth control come with only a 97% use effectiveness, and they have the added risks and side effects that I was seeking to avoid.

After only 3 months of using this system, and working with my FertilityCare Practitioner (Creighton teacher), the specifics of my PCOS were revealed: I had estrogen dominance combined with low progesterone. Although all my previous bloodwork with fertility doctors appeared normal, my Creighton chart revealed a different story. I began seeing a NaproTechnology doctor and learned that I was also insulin resistant (my previous doctors had only tested my glucose for diabetes, and missed this very important diagnosis). After taking bio-identical progesterone, adding a few supplements, and drastically changing my diet, I started ovulating regularly, felt much better, and I developed a confidence in recognizing my fertile and infertile days shown within my Creighton chart.

“I felt normal for the first time in my life”

As it happens, the very simple methods of diagnosis provided by my Creighton cycle charting revealed not only the causes of my infertility, but also my life-long struggle with my weight and the causes of my mid-cycle anxiety and premenstrual depression (“mood swings”). With NaproTechnology, I was able to feel healthy and normal for the first time in my life!

Although I physically felt better, emotionally, I became angry . . . very angry! Why was I not taught this in medical school? Why didn’t my supervising physician and mentor have any options for women besides artificial hormones? Why did my “fertility doctors” not investigate further the causes of my infertility? Why, now that I am in my forties and unable to have more children, have I not heard about NaproTechnology sooner? This anger spurred me on to do something about it. I became trained both as a Creighton Model Practitioner (FCP) and a NaproTechnology Medical Consultant (NFPMC).

In my new role educating and assisting women with their cycle and hormonal health, I have seen numerous women who had painful periods and/ or ovulation, painful sex, heavy or long periods, were diagnosed with endometriosis and then put on the Pill to lessen their symptoms. Years later, in order to conceive a baby, they got off the Pill. Not only were their symptoms worse, but now they had infertility to deal with, too. They suffered from regret: if they had only used a Fertility Awareness-Based Method for avoiding pregnancy, and treated the endometriosis with supplements, diet changes, and/ or surgery early on, then they would not only be pain-free, but would have been able to start their families by now!

I have seen teenagers with symptoms of PCOS: irregular, long cycles, facial hair, acne, difficulty losing weight. The traditional approach of putting them on the Pill would add to their estrogen-dominance and, later in life, they may have insulin resistance or diabetes, obesity, depression, and/or infertility. However, when these girls start early-on charting their menstrual cycles with a Fertility Awareness-Based Method, learn about their bodies, diagnose underlying problems, and start with natural treatments and diet changes, their futures can be symptom-free!

A missed diagnosis

When women are given artificial hormones to treat PMS, a key underlying disorder is missed: low progesterone. We know that the vast majority of PMS is caused by low progesterone. When charting one’s menstrual cycle Fertility Awareness-Based Method, women see this diagnosis within their charting in the form of brown spotting prior to their periods starting, or brown spotting at the end of their periods. A short luteal phase may also be recognized. With NaproTechnology, the progesterone can be replaced, instantly eliminating the symptom of PMS. This has long-range benefits, as low progesterone is also linked to infertility and recurrent miscarriages. So, instead of masking the symptoms of low progesterone, women using natural methods of family planning can diagnose themselves, seek treatment, and prevent future miscarriages!

These are the most common disorders diagnosed and treated with Fertility Awareness-Based Methods and NaproTechnology, but there are many more. Using artificial hormones, whether to avoid pregnancy or to reduce unwanted symptoms, can not only delay diagnosis and treatment, but also add unnecessary risks. Artificial hormones have side effects such as headaches, weight gain, nausea, bloating, irregular spotting, decrease in libido, and are linked to blood clots, strokes, and even breast cancer.

Fertility Awareness-Based Methods have side effects, too: increased relationship bonding due to an increase in communication, a 50% decrease in divorce rate, as well as early detection of medical disorders. Some forms of FABMs are up to 99.5% accurate in avoiding pregnancy, equivalent or better than any form of artificial hormones and even sterilization—all without the side effects.

I truly wish I had known about natural family planning and NaproTechnology sooner, even before I was trying to achieve pregnancy. However, now that I am having to avoid further pregnancies for health reasons, I am so grateful to be able to reap the many benefits of using a Fertility Awareness-Based Method.

Posted by Allison Jung, PA Allison Jung, PA
Allison Jung is a Physician Assistant with more than 18 years of experience in OB/GYN and fertility. She is also a health educator, teaching the Creighton Models System and NaproTechnology for almost 4 years. Through her own story of PCOS and infertility, Allison found the validity in a holistic approach to healthcare—searching for the causes of symptoms, instead of the routine treatment of covering up symptoms with artificial hormones, painkillers, or anti-depressants. Allison loves working with women with symptoms of irregular cycles, painful periods or PMS who have been told that birth control is their only answer, and showing them not only the reasons behind their symptoms, but curing them often with natural means. Allison’s approach to women’s healthcare is one of hope and freedom.

Terrifying: Woman’s birth control implant migrated to her lung

 

A study published in the July 2019 edition of BMJ Case Reports details the case of a 31-year-old woman in Portugal whose birth control implant migrated from her arm to her lung. The implant’s migration was only discovered because the woman experienced abnormal vaginal bleeding for three months and was referred to a gynecologist.

Upon examination, the implant, originally placed in her upper arm, could not be found. Subsequent ultrasound revealed the implant had migrated to her chest. An X-ray and CT scan showed the implant was in the lower lobe of the left lung.

This alarming complication (which is not unique) resulted in surgery to extract the implant from the woman’s lung. After four days in the hospital, she was released, apparently without further complication.

The woman had been using the Implanon NXT implant for eight years and had two implants before the most recent one, one in 2010, another in 2013. The most recent, placed in 2017, is the one that migrated to her lung.

The Implanon NXT — and other contraceptive implants like it — is a small rod inserted under the skin of the upper arm. Once inserted, the implant gradually releases the hormone progestin to alter a woman’s cervical mucus to prevent conception.

The article in the BJM Case Reports notes that risk factors for migration include having the implant placed too deeply or participating in vigorous physical exercise… even when an implant is properly placed. Many women are never told of this rare but severe complication of implanted devices. For an implant in the arm, the device can migrate to the chest cavity where is can be difficult to locate. In fact, this happens often enough that the implant’s material was updated to be easier to locate on a diagnostic scan “if it ever moves from its original location.”

Thousands of women have also reported their IUDs becoming dislocated, some causing uterine perforations.

The risk of migration is alarming enough on its own, but hormonal contraception like this comes with a slew of other side effects and complications that are often not discussed. Physical and mental side effects can be devastating for women using hormonal contraceptives.

In the video below, one woman documents her “horror story” with getting the Nexplanon contraceptive implant in her arm, which actually ended up migrating and causing nerve damage. She says in the video that she will never get an implant again, and instead intends to use natural family planning. Below the video on YouTube are several comments from women who also had scary experiences with their implanted birth control:

 

There are alternatives to hormonal contraceptives, including modern natural family planning methods. Natural family planning (fertility awareness-based methods) is slowly gaining recognition as a viable and effective form of child-spacing that respects a woman’s body and does not undermine her physical and mental health.

Shock: In 3 months, no girls, 216 boys were born in this district of India

 

According to a horrifying report, not a single girl has been born in the last three months in the Uttarkashi district of India.

The discovery has launched an investigation into whether sex-selective abortion or female feticide is being practiced in the region, which has a population of over 300,000. The district magistrate Ashish Chauhan spoke to ANI saying: “We are monitoring these areas to find out what is affecting the ratio. A detailed survey and study will be conducted to identify the reason behind it.” Officials are also holding emergency meetings with local health care workers.

According to official data, 216 children were born in the district’s 132 villages in the last three months. None were female. The area has been marked as a “red zone,” meaning it will be scrutinized more closely and the government has asked health care workers to be on alert. In recent days, the government has attempted to prevent sex-selective abortions through its BBBP program, which among other things helps to educate on the importance of the Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and promises girls in India a good education.

In a 2011 census report by the United Nation Population Fund, India’s CSR had declined from 927 to 914 girls for every 1,000 boys. Although abortion on the basis of sex is illegal in India, the practice is widespread based on cultural views of girls as potential liabilities, and boys as breadwinners and parental caretakers in old age.

Live Action News recently reported that 550,000 preborn baby girls are killed each year due to sex-selective abortion in India, with a total of 15.8 million girls lost to sex-selective abortion since 1990. India has also been found to be the “most dangerous country in the world for women” on account of its astronomical numbers of rape and sexual assault. Parents are also frequently pressured to pay dowries when daughters marry, even though the custom was abolished in 1961. Kalpana Thakur, a social worker from the region, pointed out that these alarming numbers show that the government isn’t doing enough.

“No girl child was born for three months in these villages,” said Thakur. “It cannot be just a coincidence. This clearly indicates female foeticide is taking place in the district. The government and the administration are not doing anything.”

 

While sex-selective abortion is more prominent in countries such as India and China, it is accepted here in the United States. Planned Parenthood has spoken out against proposed laws to ban sex-selective abortions and Live Action’s undercover investigation revealed that the abortion corporation has no problem aborting simply because the preborn child is a girl.

Birth control pills may make women less likely to remember negative information

By 

New research provides some preliminary evidence that hormonal contraceptives could influence how things are remembered. The study in Psychological Reports found that women taking birth control pills tended to recall less negative emotional information compared to women who were not taking them.

“I have previously conducted a number of studies on the effects of oral contraceptives on mood and have always been interested in this area of research,” said Kirsten Oinonen, an associate professor of psychology at Lakehead University and the corresponding author of the new study.

“I know many women who have reported experiencing emotional side effects from oral contraceptives and I think it is imperative that researchers continue to examine the effects of hormonal contraceptives on mood, cognition, and perception. It is critical that women are fully informed about these potential effects so that they can make informed decisions about birth control options.”

“I have a graduate student, Brandi Person, who was also extremely interested in exploring how oral contraceptives affect emotion and cognition. Given previous research suggesting that hormones can affect both mood and cognitive ability, we felt that looking at the effects of ‘the pill’ on emotional memory would be an important area to study,” Oinonen explained.

For their study, the researchers recruited 58 women who were using oral contraceptives, 40 women who were not using oral contraceptives, and 37 men.

The participants completed an Emotional Spatial Memory test, in which they viewed a variety of emotionally-charged and emotionally-neutral items that had been set up on a tray. Shortly after viewing the tray of items, the participants were asked to list as many items as they could remember and also to indicate where each item had been placed.

One week later, the participants completed the same tests of memory recall again.

The researchers found that oral contraceptives users tended to recall more positive items and fewer negative items than nonusers in the short-term recall test. In the long-term recall test, there was no significant difference between users and non-users.

“Hormones have the potential to influence emotions and cognitive ability. Thus, women should be alert to any such changes they notice in themselves when taking hormonal contraceptives,” Oinonen told PsyPost.

“The findings of our particular study suggest that women taking ‘the pill’ may experience a change in their memory for emotional information. In particular, the findings suggest that women taking the pill may show a memory bias in terms of being less likely to remember negative information than nonusers.”

“This could result in women taking the pill viewing situations, people, or objects as more positive than they might have if they were not taking the pill (i.e., because they are relatively more likely to remember the positive versus the negative information),” Oinonen said.

The researchers controlled for a number of variables that could impact mood and memory, including menstrual cycle phase. But like all research, the study includes some limitations.

“Any new research finding needs to be replicated before it can be accepted with confidence. That applies here as well. Thus, future studies need to replicate the findings with larger and more diverse populations,” Oinonen said.

“As we looked at memory for visual stimuli, future studies should examine if women also show a tendency to recall less negative verbal, olfactory, auditory, and kinesthetic stimuli. Brandi Person and I are examining some of these questions in her PhD dissertation. Of course, a future placebo-controlled trial to look at the effects of oral contraceptives on emotional memory would provide the strongest evidence to support these findings.”

The study, “Emotional Memory in Oral Contraceptive Users: Negative Stimuli Are More Forgettable“, was authored by Brandi Person and Kirsten A. Oinonen.

Birth rate drops to an all-time low in the United States

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 26, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — According to the Centers for Disease Control, the fertility rate in the United States reached an historic low in 2018.

In a report issued Wednesday, the CDC confirmed provisional figures that were released in May that “the 2018 general fertility rate fell to another all-time low for the United States.”

The Atlanta-based government institution found that the fertility rate among women ages 15 to 44 dropped by two percent between 2017 and 2018. This represented a drop from 60.3 births per 1,000 for women ages 15-44 to 59.1 percent. In addition, the percentage of preterm and early-term births increased: For babies delivered at less than 39 weeks, the percentage increased from 9.93 percent in 2017 to 10.02 percent in 2018. Full-, late-, and post-term deliveries declined.

According to the CDC report:

  • The general fertility rate for the United States declined two percent in 2018 to 59.1 per 1,000 women ages 15-44 from 60.3 in 2017.
  • Fertility rates declined for the three largest race and Hispanic-origin groups from 2017 to 2018, down two percent for non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black women and three percent for Hispanic women.
  • In 2018, the fertility rate was highest for Hispanic women (65.9), followed by non-Hispanic black (62.0) and non-Hispanic white (56.3) women.

In May, provisional figures released by the National Center for Health Statistics of the CDC showed the total fertility rate, or average number of children born per mother, was 1.7, which is far below the demographic replacement rate of 2.1.

Also, statistics showed that in 2018 fewer than 3.8 million children were born in the United States. Despite a peak year in 2007, birth rates have fallen in all but one of the last 11 years.

The U.S. showed a continuing trend of diminished fertility among younger women during that period.

The average age of first-time mothers has risen by more than five years: in 1968, the average age was 21.4; today, it was registered as 26.8. In 2018, childbirth rates in the 20-24 age cohort dropped by four percent, and three percent among women ages 25-29. However, women in the 30-35 age cohort had a higher rate of births than those ages 25-29. Thus, this is the first time that women in their early 30s were leaders in birthing babies.

In February, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced that women with four children or more will be exempt from paying income tax for life in an effort to encourage births. The Hungarian fertility rate is currently 1.45 children per woman.

The Lancet medical journal published a report in November 2018 that showed that almost half of the countries on earth do not exhibit sufficient birth rates to outdistance deaths. In South Korea, for example, there were seven births per 1,000 people in 2017, a number that has since fallen. In Spain, a report issued in Marchshowed evidence that the abortion rate is contributing to the nation’s birth dearth and its overall aging.

Experts have long warned about the economic and social costs of a declining birth rate. This has long been documented in Japan, which has a current birth rate of 1.43. Small families, contraception and abortion have led to an aging population. Fewer births means fewer workers to support the growing number of pensioners, for example. Experts contends that a birth dearth may curtail any country’s plans to sustain and increase social welfare programs that currently depend on population growth.

In Japan, official encouragement for mothers to be more open to childbirth has largely failed. Immigration has not met with much acceptance in Japan, either.

Toddler and soccer pro, both born without left forearm, bond in viral photo

July 24, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — It’s already been dubbed “The Best Soccer Image of the Year,” and it has gone viral.

A toddler from Florida expressed sheer joy encountering his new friend who is just like him. The faces of 21-month-old Joseph Tidd and professional soccer player Carson Pickett — both born without a left forearm — register delight as they “fist bump” after Carson’s game.

 

Joseph’s mom, Colleen Tidd, snapped the photo, which quickly went viral on Instagram and has exploded all over all social media.

Young Joseph and 25-year-old Orlando Pride defender Carson Pickett first met last spring, according to a Today.com report. Pickett exclaimed to Joseph, “We have the same arm!”

The “instant bond we can’t begin to understand”

“Carson knelt down next to Joseph and showed him her arm,” Joseph’s dad, Miles Tidd, told TODAY Parents. “It was this instant bond we can’t begin to understand.”

The now viral picture of the two clearly displays their special bond.

Pickett, for her part, said the feeling was mutual.

“I know I might be seen as his role model, but he’s also mine,” Pickett told USA Today Sports. “It’s just a gift to feel so much emotion from a little boy who understands you in a way other people can’t.”

“Literally within five minutes of me meeting him, we had an instant bond,” said Pickett. “It’s interesting, though, because for a kid that young, I didn’t expect him to connect the way he did. Even though we both have the same arm (birth defect), it was amazing to me that it felt like he realized why we were bonded.”

“Honestly the best part of the photo is that it was so real and wasn’t planned,” said  Pickett. “It was the true pure reaction we both had.”

“Pictures mean a lot so hopefully when he gets older he can see that and feel even more of what it means,” continued Pickett. “When I was younger and I didn’t know how the world works, it was hard. My parents always tell me that God put me here for a reason. The biggest thing I’d want Joseph (and others) to know is that even if people see you as different, it’s what’s in your heart that counts.”

Joseph, still three months shy of his second birthday, may well end up following in Pickett’s footsteps.

“Carson believes she can do anything,” said his dad, Miles, “and that is the mindset we want Joseph to have as well.”

“Football, basketball, baseball, soccer, he does it all,” mom Colleen told TODAY Parents. “He maneuvers his arm a little bit differently, but he makes it work.”

New Research Claims Birth Control Should Be Prescribed in Bulk, Despite Health Risks

by Gabriella Patti

According to new research from the University of Pittsburgh and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and published in USA Today, distributing 12-months of birth control pills at a time will reduce unintended pregnancies.

The study’s lead author has stated that the distribution of more birth control at one time will reduce the healthcare costs associated with pregnancy, making it economically beneficial.

However, there are serious concerns surrounding this potential plan. At this time, there are 17 states plus Washington D.C. that have laws that require insurers to provide 12-months worth of birth control pills at a time, however, most people have difficulty getting more than a 90 day supply at a time.

According to Cathryn Donaldson, communications director for American Health Insurance Plans, some insurance companies are reluctant to provide this 12-month supply because, as with any medication taken in the long term, birth control comes with risks.

“Side effects and improper use of prescription drugs can have a serious and potentially life-threatening impact on a patient, which is why it is recommended patients regularly consult their physician, pharmacist or other care provider,” wrote Donaldson. She also states that this 12-month supply could cause “waste, fraud, abuse and increased costs.”

There serious reasons to be concerned about how a 12-month prescription system could affect women. While this system may sound convenient, it doesn’t account for the long-term side effects of birth control that may go unaddressed in a woman who is only required to consult with her physician about her medication once a year.

Safer, More Effective Options

Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FABM), also known as “natural birth control” or natural family planning, allow women to manage their health without putting loosely regulated drugs (that come with many health risks and side effects) into their bodies. When taught by a certified FABM instructor, these methods of family planning are more effective than the birth control pill in preventing pregnancy. In addition, Fertility Awareness-Based Methods are economically feasible. It’s reassuring to know that methods like FABMs exist, which allow women to take their health into their own hands in an empowered and safe way.

A 12-month prescription of birth control may seem convenient, but it eliminates the need for frequent visits with a physician, which are necessary in order to reassess a woman’s health and address medical side effects. Considering how many women suffer painful and even life-threatening side effects of birth control, from depression to blood clots, women being prescribed birth control today deserve more medical care and attention, not less.

Strokes, cancer, and more: ‘Eggsploitation’ documents the plight of egg donors in an unregulated fertility industry

 

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Eggsploitation (2010, updated and expanded version released in 2013) is a documentary short about some of the unheard victims of the $6.5 billion per year infertility industry. It follows the stories of several women from a variety of demographic backgrounds who chose to become egg donors for the promised financial and altruistic benefits, yet suffered terrible consequences. Stroke, ovarian torsion, unexpected cancer, and ultimately damage to or loss of their own fertility are some of the painful prices these women paid, despite not being adequately counseled on serious risks ahead of the procedure.

Produced on a $25,000 budget, the award-winning 45-minute independent film Eggsploitation is the first in a series of Jennifer Lahl’s exposés on the shady business of breeding in the laboratory. These include Anonymous Father’s Day (2011), Breeders: A Subclass of Women? (2014), and Eggsploitation: Maggie’s Story (2015, also streaming on Amazon Prime).

As the stories in Eggsploitation reveal, the venture can be eerily reminiscent of human trafficking, with women treated as commodities rather than respected as autonomous beings in a reasonable economic exchange.

 

With offers as high as $100,000 floating in advertisements, young women (usually targeted for their physical beauty and academic success — one woman in Eggsploitation had to take an IQ test) are easily baited into signing up for the initial procedure. When their ovaries don’t release as many eggs as preferred in the first cycle, they feel pressured to continue the risky operation or settle for less money and possibly disappoint their recipients.

Lahl, R.N. and founder and president of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network (CBC), decided to create the documentary when she encountered many women hurt by the egg donating process. She takes a sympathetic approach to the subject, understanding the charitable intentions many young women have towards those who struggle to conceive. The ethics of egg donation, in vitro fertilization, and other infertility treatments are left to the viewers’ discernment. But when it comes to the ethics of treating patients, Eggsploitation makes it quite clear that there is a problem.

“If you are an organ donor and you donate your kidney, you will forever live in a database that will monitor you long term to find out how you do five, ten, twenty years later after you donate a kidney,” Lahl says in an interview with Women Now. “That’s not the case with egg donors,” whom she says are not even treated as patients because their importance becomes secondary to the woman pursuing a fertility remedy. “Because they’re not sick, we don’t even keep medical records on egg donors,” says Lahl.

“This whole industry of fertility medicine is relatively new,” Lahl, says in the aforementioned interview. “It’s only been around for about three decades, so we’re only now starting to see some of the negative longer term risks, and those are predominantly cancers.” These risks apply not only to women donating eggs, but to women who collect their own eggs for in vitro fertilization, and possibly to children conceived through these alternative methods.

The risks are due to tampering with the hormones that control a woman’s reproductive cycle. While a man normally produces millions of easily released sperm every day, a woman normally produces a single egg every month that is matured and released on a delicate hormonal schedule. Since this is commercially impractical, the egg donation procedure must hijack the menstrual cycle with hormonal injections that cause the woman to produce an abnormal amount of eggs (a range from 20 to 70) at once, which are then surgically removed.

British study published last year notes, “[a]ssisted reproduction cycles usually involve exposure to supraphysiological levels of oestradiol, exogenous gonadotropins, and multiple ovarian punctures, all potentially carcinogenic. Most concern surrounds the risks of breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers after such exposures.”

 

Eggsploitation reports that the procedure begins by inducing temporary menopause in order to synch the egg donor’s cycle with that of the egg recipient. This is done by the woman self-injecting Lupron, a drug the FDA has not approved for fertility use. Next, the ovaries are prompted to super ovulate, which can lead to the dangerous ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). A final injection is given to release the mature eggs, which are afterward sucked out via a vaginal catheter under anesthesia.

Even though the featured women began experiencing extreme discomfort (the ovarian swelling alone is miserable) and some severe side effects, their symptoms were dismissed as “normal,” and their commitment to the donation kept them in denial.

But it’s not just the women who came forward in Eggsploitation who can testify to this. A quick Google search highlights a sisterhood of suffering egg donors. One Canadian blogger who documented her experience is disappointed in how the risks were downplayed at the outset, and cautions other women to do more thorough research.

“Are we fulfilling one woman’s dream at the expense of another woman’s health?” This is the question at the heart of Eggsploitation. While society may have grown past the ancient days of women using slaves as their surrogates, humanity’s baser instincts in the face of desperation to conceive have not necessarily become less barbaric.

How natural family planning helped the US women’s soccer team win the World Cup

 

Natural family planning, or NFP, is increasingly becoming an attractive option for women and couples alike as they rethink conventional contraceptives. Unlike birth control, NFP can be used to track a woman’s monthly cycle, not only avoid pregnancy, but to help couples get pregnant, and to help women better understand their own bodies. And one app that helps with this sort of tracking has been credited with helping the US Women’s National Team with the FIFA World Cup.

The women’s soccer team thrilled fans across the country as they not only became world champions, but also scored the most goals ever in a Women’s World Cup. According to the coaches, using NFP was crucial. “I feel like it’s one of many strategies that we deployed that helped us win,” Dawn Scott said in an interview with Good Morning America. “I feel like [the U.S. is] leading the way on this.” Scott, the high performance coach for both the USWNT and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), had been tracking her players’ cycles for years, but as the World Cup approached, she realized she needed a more advanced and individual approach.

“For a few players, I always noticed that just before they started their cycle, their recovery fatigue was increased and their sleep was less,” she said. “I was noticing it for three or four players and thought, ‘We’re six months out from the World Cup, how we can help that?’” So with the help of Dr. Georgie Bruinvels, a research scientist, the problem was solved, thanks to Fitr Woman, an app Bruinvels created that tailors workout schedules and nutrition advice based on their unique monthly cycle. Each player filled out an individual survey, explaining the timing of their cycles, the symptoms they felt, and how those symptoms impacted their playing. That information was used to keep the athletes in peak condition as they competed for almost two months for the World Cup.

FitrWoman app

“We could see what [menstrual cycle] phase a player was in and what some of their symptoms were,” Scott explained. “I would just text or say to a player, ‘Hey you’re in phase three and we know you get disrupted sleep, so make sure you do x, y and z.’”

This outlook was lauded by several medical professionals, who said it is long overdue for women who compete in sports. “We do know that there are parts of the cycle where women may have less ability to sleep and may have different eating habits,” Dr. Richard Beckerman, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., explained to ABC News. “But just as we find people are affected differently by different things, it can be very variable.”

ABC News chief medical correspondent and OB/GYN Dr. Jennifer Ashton agreed. “For anyone who understands the complexities of women’s health, the fact there can be fluctuations in physical or mental stamina, or changes in sleep or dietary behaviors corresponding to changes in a woman’s menstrual cycle come as no surprise,” she said. “The ability to individualize behaviors that have the potential to optimize athletic performance exists and absolutely should be considered when dealing with any athlete, male or female.”

She added, “The fact is, female athletes are biologically, hormonally and physically different, and the sooner that reality is embraced instead of resisted, the more potential exists for that athlete to optimize her training behaviors. An app that tracks the menstrual cycle absolutely has the potential to improve a female athlete’s behaviors.”

In Scott’s case, she wanted to go public to break the taboo surrounding menstruation. “For the 15-year-old girl who doesn’t have the support of a national team, I want to make it so she can talk about it with a female coach and a male coach,” Scott said. “We need to make people aware of it and not embarrassed by it. This is physiologically what female athletes deal with.”

While NFP has long been maligned, especially by the abortion industry, pro-lifers have been its strongest advocates over the past several decades, and it has only grown in popularity. The reality is, NFP is more effective than women are often led to believe. And though traditional birth control comes with serious side effects, which roughly half of women have “serious trouble” with, NFP has no side effects — and, as the USWNT shows, it can be used for more than just avoiding pregnancy.

Stars from the “Bachelor” franchise, as well as other celebrities, have likewise been increasingly open about using NFP apps that help them understand their own bodies, how they are affected by their cycle, and how it has helped them to both avoid and achieve pregnancy. It is this kind of information that empowers women, giving them the ability to see how their hormones and cycle affect them, as well as to take charge of their fertility without potentially using an abortifacient or feeling like they must subject themselves to unpleasant and potentially dangerous side effects.

Empowering a woman begins with educating her about the amazing way her body and her fertility works.

St. John Paul II Was Right: The Relevance of the Theology of the Body

Solène Tadié

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/why-the-body-matters-a-key-to-a-sound-christian-anthropology-of-love-and-se?fbclid=IwAR2lvDV3t2Dlsj574Bx30woLCg4e_Xm4xFaNb5uOH9dkSFc0AuwI9Inggew

ROME — The anthropological vision of John Paul II on love, life and human sexuality, developed in his “theology of the body” (TOB) catechesis, has become a polestar for a whole generation. Gathering a series of 129 catechetical addresses pronounced during his Wednesday audiences in St. Peter Square from Sept. 5, 1979, to Nov. 28, 1984, the theology of the body remains a key element of John Paul’s thought and a major papal contribution to the Church’s teaching on human sexuality..

Although the Pope’s addresses remained relatively unknown until the 1990s, this crucial work is now widespread — and continues to spread — thanks to the commitment of individuals around the world who have dedicated their lives to teaching John Paul’s vision, notably through the organization of large conferences and the creation of institutes and associations.

One of these associations is the Dallas-based Theology of the Body Evangelization Team, known as TOBET, founded in 2001 by a group of educators and parents. TOBET’s aim is to “‘translate’ this philosophically dense, theological reflection so that families and people of all ages can access this life-affirming teaching.”

Its executive director, Monica Ashour, a national speaker and author, wrote a number of books designed to help people live according to the anthropology espoused by the theology of the body in a more concrete and authentic way, including through books for children entitled The Body Matters.

In May 2015, Ashour was a participant in an ad hoc committee for the Pontifical Council for the Family led by the council’s president at the time, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia. Three years earlier, in November 2011, she attended the Theology of the Body International Symposium in Rome and presented a talk about how to teach teens the TOB.

The Register met her during her recent pilgrimage to the tomb of St. John Paul II in Rome.

For many years, you’ve been dedicating a significant part of your life to spreading St. John Paul’s TOB, through TOBET. Why are these teachings so important nowadays?

I think John Paul II saw the problem in our current culture. In the mid-fourth and early fifth century, St. Augustine sought to address the problem of what it means to be human; 800 years later, St. Thomas Aquinas addressed this question, as well; and 800 after Thomas, St. John Paul, in turn, sought to answer a similar question. St. John Paul saw that the body was not being seen properly in modern society. He describes our understanding of our bodies as “detachment.” We [as a modern society] are, John Paul II claims, detached from the truth of our own bodies. We don’t see them as a sacrament, as revealing something about God, about ourselves, about love. So John Paul II focuses on the body and its meaning, and I think this focus is perfectly fitting for this culture.

How did John Paul II develop these teachings from his own experiences?

Karol Wojtyla lived during World War II, during which, in [Nazi] concentration camps in Poland and neighboring countries, there would be experiments on people, especially on Jews, whose bodies were seen as objects of scientific study. And then with the sexual revolution — John Paul was a young priest back then — he saw people abusing the body as mere tools for pleasure. This is how he came to understand that the body matters.

In John Paul II’s TOB addresses, the importance of the body is underscored by the fact that the word “soul” appears 55 times, “spirit” 99 times and “body” 1,319 times.

But today, things are not much better than they were during John Paul II’s time. When we look around, we see so many tattoos on people, and there is rampant sexual promiscuity — all because we see the body in the wrong way. The sacred dimension of our body is so often lost.

This is what I think St. John Paul saw at the time. And he anticipated even transgenderism. In TOB, he says that, in today’s society, a person has difficulty in identifying with his or her own body. When he wrote that in the 1980s, he may have seen transgenderism as it was going to become many years later. Many at the time did not understand the meaning of being a “body-person,” a term coined by him. In this way, John Paul II doesn’t give us only a theology of love, of marriage, and of matrimony, but he also gives us the theology of the body.

You see a continuity of thought linking St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. John Paul II. What are their distinctive features? 

Regarding the theology of the body, St. Augustine says that procreation and education of children is the purpose of conjugal and marital intercourse. Then, 800 years later, St. Thomas Aquinas further developed St. Augustine’s idea of the union of spouses as a secondary and subordinate end to procreation. And 800 years after Thomas, St. John Paul, agreeing with both Augustine and Thomas, further develops our understanding of the body’s nature by pointing out that the body speaks a natural language, a language of a free, full, faithful, fruitful person-to-person encounter.

In the theology of the body, John Paul II says to the husband and wife that their bodies speaks through the language of gift. He draws inspiration from Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, 24, which says men and women “cannot fully find [themselves] except through a sincere gift of [themselves].” That is the meaning of life. In a similar way, Pope John Paul sees the meaning of life in Genesis 2:25 (“Adam and Eve were naked and did not feel ashamed”). Why? Because before the Fall, the human body revealed who we were as humans, and we knew our bodies were meant to be a gift. After the Fall, we lost sight of this sense of gift. So the gift — and recovering that sense of gift — itself is the meaning of life.

Even if I am single, I can give the gift of my body to others, although in a way quite different from how a married couple give their bodies to one another, of course. It is important to know that we all, married and single, speak the language of gift through our bodies — because we are gifts to each other. Right now, for example, my vocal cords are directed towards your eardrums. I am giving something to you, and you’re giving something back by receiving, by smiling at me, and together as we interact we are more than the sum of our parts.

God is love, so whenever all of us love together, we reveal God. And how can we express that love to one another? A primary and fundamental way of expressing this love is through our bodies. We are a composite body and soul. But I think John Paul moves away from the expression “body and soul” and just says that the body shows you that you have a soul, that you’re made for love and that finding that sense of love in our bodies and souls is the meaning of life.

A significant part of your work focuses on young people, to whom you dedicated a series of books. Why do you think it is important to reach young people with these teachings?

A few years ago, I received a phone call from Toronto, in Canada. I’ve been urged to teach TOB to children because, in a school there, the small children were told that their sexuality was fluid. “Close your eyes,” the teachers instructed the children. “Think about whether you’re a boy or a girl, and don’t let anybody tell you. You decide your own sexuality.” Naturally, parents were outraged at this sort of activity, and the school’s sex-education curriculum provoked great controversy among the parents.

After I heard that story about students being encouraged to decide their own sexuality, and many others like it, I consulted the bishops on our TOBET advisory board and they advised that I write books for children that would counter these false secular teachings on human sexuality. This is how my series of books called The Body Matters started. We hope we can spread them in Catholic schools as well as in parish catechetical programs. And we want parents to read these books as well because many may not know the theology of the body. These books are a good way to establish a dialogue between parents and children.

Some commentators lamented the fact that the synod on young people, in October 2018, didn’t give enough space to sexuality. Do you agree with them?

I believe there wasn’t much discussion about TOB during the synod on young people, which I think is a problem. There needs to be some focus on sexuality, and that focus should not be at the exclusion of anthropology — that is, at the exclusion of what it means to be human. I wish the synod would have integrated Pope John Paul’s understanding of the human person as a gift made in God’s image because I think he knew what we need now — that is a TOB based on Scripture.

How would you have integrated TOB into the synod on young people? 

I would have advised participants to take seriously what Pope John Paul was trying to do. He warned against seeing the body in “detachment” or that the body doesn’t have meaning. If I was an adviser in this kind of event, I would start by asking, “How does the body teach you many lessons?” Then I’d point out that the body teaches us that we’re human, first and foremost. This basic teaching — the humanity of our bodies — will become more important in the future because another thing that is coming is transhumanism, which is very scary.

Next, I would point out that the body teaches us that we are male or female (“boy body” or “girl body” is how I put it for children in the TOBET books), not neutral. This, too, is vital for children to know, as I’ve heard that people are even building sex robots to replicate — and replace — authentic human sexual experience. So, if we don’t talk to young people about the truth of their existence as male and female sexual beings, then they’re going to be brainwashed by erroneous views of sexuality as a neutral thing. My advice is that young people should take seriously the people who have studied and understood the truth of the child, the truth about the human person, and the truth about sexuality and about the body mattering in all these truths.

Your first book was on marriage preparation. What would be your first piece of advice to a young couple getting married?

Engaged couples need to understand that the body is a revelation of the person. So often, we wrongly think that the body is separated from the person. It is seen as a tool for pleasure, not a sacrament. Engaged couples must see the body as a gift and the other as a gift. Only then will they be able to see how the teachings about sexuality come into play — even though, of course, marriage is about much more than sexuality.

All of TOB is about ultimately getting to heaven, where we will be in union with God and others, with our “spiritualized” bodies. So, through TOB, engaged couples will truly come to now that “I am meant to be for you and you for me.”

When I give talks before engaged couples, one of the last things I explain to them is how, for instance, two fiancées, Katy and Joe, will enter into a mutual self-giving in marriage. “When you get married, Joe,” I say, “you become Joe for Katy, and, Katy, you become Katy for Joe.” In other words, Pope John Paul says a person is a “being-for-another.” So they become gifts for each other, and they get to journey this life together. And, ultimately, they get to see each other face-to-face, with their bodies, in heaven. Marriage gives you a taste of heaven.

In the priesthood and religious life, too, individuals are self-giving and likewise live for all. In either case, married or religious life, this self-giving is a taste of what heaven is about. Both of those vocations give a taste of heaven. It is all about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit — and the Church — all being at the center of one’s life.

You’re in Rome for a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. John Paul II. What does this trip mean to you?

I am here is to show my gratitude. I am grateful to God, to my parents for raising me in the Catholic faith, and to Pope John Paul who gave us TOB. I am going to be in front of his tomb, praying and thanking him for his gift, a gift which is going to transform the culture, one person at a time, for Jesus and his Church.

Solène Tadié is the Register’s Rome-based Europe correspondent

 

Scientific American Addresses the Problem of Birth Control Suppressing Periods

Madeleine Coyne

Scientific American Addresses the Problem of Birth Control Suppressing Periods

There is no more unifying experience among women around the globe than menstruation. All women understand what it feels like to have their period—even if they don’t exactly understand what it is.

And yet, the topic of menstruation continues to hold significant stigmas, and embarrassment or hesitation to discuss this vital function of the female body has created gaps in our knowledge of how the menstrual cycle affects a women’s overall health.

Therefore, it was a welcome shock to discover that the May 2019 issue of Scientific American magazine is primarily dedicated to the science of women’s reproductive health—or rather, the lack thereof. In one particularly revealing article, “What is the Point of a Period?” by Virginia Sole-Smith, the author investigates the long-standing menstrual taboo and the devastating effect it has had on women’s reproductive health, including the unique problem concerning menstrual suppression through hormonal birth control.

Coming from a nationally esteemed scientific magazine as Scientific American(the longest continuously published magazine in the United States), this article is truly a breakthrough for women’s reproductive health, for several reasons.

The medical and scientific repercussions of the global menstruation taboo

All women of child-bearing years experience menstruation. There is nothing strange or unhealthy about it, even if global taboos are still very much alive. In fact, the female menstrual cycle is necessary for reproduction—necessary for human survival. But still, most people are too scared or embarrassed to talk about or even acknowledge it. As Sole-Smith explains, “That aversion has influenced women’s relationships to their own bodies as well as how the medical establishment manages women when things go wrong with their reproductive health.”

Somehow, many doctors still do not understand the intricacies of the menstrual cycle (especially how charting one’s cycle using a Fertility Awareness-Based Method can help diagnose and treat common health problems). Too many doctors don’t realize that periods offer clues that often reveal underlying issues concerning a woman’s reproductive and overall health.

The scientific community has offered very limited help. As Sole-Smith explains, “It is hard to measure how much money is spent on period research, but experts agree the subject is underfunded.”

At the heart of this menstruation taboo is a lack of knowledge and understanding. Many women may know that their period signals the shedding of their uterus’s lining. But what exactly does that mean? Sole-Smith answers this question thoroughly and concisely: “The endometrial lining of the uterus thickens over the course of a woman’s cycle as her estrogen level rises. If none of the eggs she releases at ovulation joins with a sperm and implants in that lining as a fertilized zygote, then levels of estrogen and another hormone called progesterone drop, triggering the uterus to shed the thickened endometrium so it can start fresh in the next cycle.”

Essentially, a woman’s uterus lining thickens every month to prepare for the possibility of a fertilized egg and pregnancy. If the egg does not get fertilized, then the uterus sheds this lining and it leaves the body as menstrual blood.

While scientists are still struggling to understand exactly what menstrual blood is, Sole-Smith writes that “Even less is known about why so many women—up to 80 percent by some estimates—experience cramps, bloating, fatigue, anger, or other symptoms just before the onset of menstruation.” She quotes Tomi-Ann Roberts, president of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, who reveals that “We know so little about menstruation. . . . Because of this, our attitudes toward menstruation are overwhelmingly negative. This has real consequences for how we can begin to understand healthy menstruation, as well as menstruation-related disorders and the treatment options available.”

In another article in this same issue of Scientific American“Fertile Ground: The Long-Neglected Science of Female Reproductive Health,” author Clara Moskowitz writes:

“Having periods is not a disease. But when they go wrong, they offer clues into disorders that require intervention. The medical field has largely done a poor job of identifying and treating them with precision. Clinicians tend to wield synthetic hormones like a hammer, liberally prescribing the birth-control pill for all kinds of pain—which is partly why serious diseases of the female organs such as endometriosis take an average of eight years to be diagnosed. That women’s symptoms are often dismissed does not help.”

Which brings us to the question of why doctors started covering up the female menstrual cycle via hormonal birth control in the first place, and why they are just now—decades later—starting to adequately research the effects of menstrual suppression.

The problem of birth control’s long-term suppression of menstruation

In her article, Sole-Smith explains how research on menstruation evolved from ludicrous conclusions “that menstrual blood contained a kind of poison” in 1920 to research on how to prevent pregnancies in the 1950s in large part to the work of Margaret Sanger (future founder of Planned Parenthood). In the first large-scale, FDA-approved trial of hormonal birth control, 265 low-income Puerto Rican women were recruited (as Sole-Smith notes, “without the level of ‘informed consent’ required today”), and 22% of the women dropped out of the experiment after experiencing adverse side effects. “The study’s medical director argued that the pill ‘caused too many side reactions to be generally acceptable.’ Nevertheless, it went to market.”

This is how birth control came to be—tested on poor women in another country without proper consent, with their blatant side effects brushed aside. While the Pill is celebrated as a liberating breakthrough for women, Sole-Smith goes on to explain: “But liberation came with a price. By the late 1960s patients across the U.S. were reporting the same symptoms documented during the Puerto Rican trial. Despite many reformulations over the ensuing decades, side effects remain a problem for many women on the pill; risks for breast cancer, blood clots and stroke may also be higher.”

Elizabeth Kissling, a professor of women and gender studies at Eastern Washington University, explains how this new “reproductive freedom” did not seem to take into consideration the consequences of “shutting down a woman’s natural cycle.” Sole-Smith sums it up well: “scientists figured out how to supplant periods long before they began trying to understand why they work the way they do.”

The article explains how scientists did not truly investigate “the larger question of why menstruation happens at all” until the late 1980s. She explains the research of evolutionary biologist, Beverly I. Strassmann, including her investigation into why humans do not reabsorb their menstrual blood like other animals do, stating: “Our physiology doesn’t permit reabsorption, so much of the blood gets discharged as menstruation.” This led her to conclude that bleeding during one’s menstrual cycle is “an insignificant by-product of evolution rather than an advantage.”

Does that mean a woman’s cycle is insignificant, and should be suppressed by artificial birth control? After all, Sole-Smith notes that “Skipping that monthly ordeal can mean avoiding debilitating pain . . . and other symptoms that can dramatically impair a woman’s quality of life.” But as Kissling notes, “The pill isn’t a treatment for these conditions. It’s a way of refusing to treat them.” Endocrinologist Jerilynn Prior explains how “it can take up to a decade or longer from disease onset for a woman to be diagnosed with endometriosis, for example, in part because doctors are so quick to prescribe the drug to teenagers reporting bad cramps without investigating to see if there is an underlying cause.” The Pill masks often serious underlying problems and manipulates natural hormone functions.

Reason for concern

Strassmann, for one, is rightly skeptical about the long-term effects of “medically induced menstrual suppression”—namely, the higher hormone levels with which women become exposed. She says, “It’s true a monthly menstrual period is not necessary. But taking more progestin to skip your period is not living like our ancestors did 500 or 1,000 years ago.”

As the article “What is the Point of a Period” reveals, “analyzing data from 12 studies, as well as the information on birth-control package inserts, Strassmann’s team concluded that some types of the Pill exposed women to a quadruple dose of progestin (a synthetic form of progesterone contained in the Pill), relative to the progesterone their naturally cycling body would produce.”

Ultimately, this crucial article reveals that what we know about menstruation and the long-term effects of birth control on menstruation is that we still don’t know enough. Sole-Smith explains, “Nobody knows for sure what that exposure to synthetic hormones will mean long term for women using the Pill to suppress their cycles indefinitely. This knowledge gap speaks to broader concerns about our ignorance around menstruation.” And if this is not concerning, then I do not know what is.

What I do know is that I do not want to be part of this experiment. I find myself asking the same questions that Moskowitz poses, “What might be different if researchers had investigated the evolutionary purpose of periods before they developed a Pill to shut down a woman’s cycle? Why are women expected to shoulder health trade-offs in exchange for avoiding pregnancy?”

I find it tragic that more women do not see their menstrual cycle and fertility as a vital sign of health and that they are not given adequate information by their doctors about their cycle and natural options for family planning and treatment of common health issues, other than birth control. Too many women are not given the option of—or even information on—safe, natural, side-effect-free, Fertility Awareness-Based Methods, modern methods based in science.

In a closing sentence that left me with chills, Kissing suggests that “Long-term menstrual suppression via birth control is the largest uncontrolled medical experiment on women in history.” Here’s to stopping experiments when it comes to women’s health.

Making America faithful again

G. Tracy Mehan III 

Book Review: American Restoration: How Faith, Family, and Personal Sacrifice Can Heal Our Nation. By Timothy S. Goeglein and Craig Osten (Regnery Gateway, 216 pages, $28.99).

Liberty can no more exist without virtue than the body can live and move without a soul. — John Adams

Bowling alone, coming apart, two nations, alienated America, sexual suicide — these phrases, all taken from titles of books both recent and dated, describe in painful detail the collapse of a cohesive society in which stable families, social mobility, and a common moral vision, however imperfectly lived, enabled a rising middle class to prosper. The familial collapse first identified by the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan in his prescient 1965 report on the decline of the African-American family has now become a generalized, systemic condition for a large segment of white and Hispanic America, too.

According to Tim Goeglein and Craig Osten in their bracing new book, American Restoration: How Faith, Family and Personal Sacrifice Can Heal Our Nation, things can only get better given the dismal circumstances we find ourselves in today.

“As of 2014, more than seventy percent of all African American children are now born out of wedlock — triple the percentage Moynihan reported in the mid-1960s when the Great Society was launched to solve the problem (hopefully) of fatherless children in African American homes,” Goeglein and Osten write.

“In 2014, more than half of Hispanic children were born out of wedlock, as well as one-third of all American babies born to Caucasian mothers,” they continue. “As recently as 1970, only 15 percent of all American babies were born outside of marriage. The combined rate of all racial groups is now a whopping 40 percent.” And this despite $22 trillion spent over fifty years on Great Society programs.

As a mountain of social science data shows, single-parent families, usually without a father and husband, are an economic and social calamity for children, especially boys. A University of Pennsylvania study found that young men who grow up fatherless are twice as likely to end up in jail as those who come from traditional two-parent families.

For these authors, the cause of our problem is fundamentally cultural and religious, inextricably tied to a “propulsive postmodernism” and a demiurge for “self-fulfillment” without tether to Judeo-Christian morality or even the cardinal virtues discerned by ancient writers such as Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, or Aquinas. In truth, these sources of the Western tradition are denigrated by the bien pensant, the current elites, the Brahmins presiding over our universities, the media, and much of corporate America today.

As the Catholic writer and social critic Mary Eberstadt opined:

“Politics did not create these problems. The sexual revolution did. That’s why politics will not solve them, either.”

Goeglein and Osten proceed to outline the origin and extent of the rot in American culture in several tight, well-developed chapters treating culture, family, the judiciary, religious liberty, education, medical ethics, and a variety of moral virtues required of a free and democratic people.

Their philosophy is grounded in the Christian idea that men and women are made in the image of God — imago Dei. This informs their view of the need for civility and the recovery of the concept of the gentleman regarding whom John Henry Newman said, “It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say he is one who never inflicts pain.” Unfortunately, the authors do not discuss the concept of a lady, probably too fraught a topic in this day and age for males to address.

Nevertheless, their hero is another great gentleman, George Washington, who, in his first inaugural address, stated that “religion and morality” are the “finest props of the duties of men and citizens,” adding that they are the pillars supporting “the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity.”

“Reason and experience both forbid us to expect the national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle,” the first president proclaimed.

While realistic regarding the forces arrayed against a moral restoration in America, they do not subscribe to the more extreme forms of the “Benedict Option,” which seem to counsel a complete withdrawal from the public square into an exclusively private zone disengaged from politics, culture, and social matters not exclusively en famille, so to speak. The authors do concur with the proponents of this idea that one must deepen oneself spiritually and morally in faith and humility. But that should not lead one to flee the slings and arrows of a hostile culture. Engagement grounded in a religious worldview is the correct posture.

Goeglein and Osten write, “We must not despair.”

Citing the work of David Brooks and James and Deborah Fallows on the vibrancy of positive, local restorative action in communities across America, these authors state boldly that “we must continue to be faithful. The key to America’s restoration is to be found in remaining engaged in our neighborhoods, in our communities, and in our nation — doing so faithfully and knowing God is in control.” They urge Americans to take up the charge offered by the great English philosopher and statesman Edmund Burke:

To be attached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections.

These writers are nothing if not hopeful — sometimes maddeningly so. But hope is a theological virtue grounded not in reason but in faith. They urge us to live that virtue and become “salt and light” in a country well worth the effort.

G. Tracy Mehan III is an adjunct professor at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University. This article was first published in The American Spectator and is republished here with permission.

The Blessings of ‘Ordinary’ Children

by 

Sign of Hope

 “In its most profound reality, love is essentially a gift; and conjugal love, while leading the spouses to the reciprocal “knowledge” which makes them “one flesh,” does not end with the couple, because it makes them capable of the greatest possible gift, the gift by which they become cooperators with God for giving life to a new human person. Thus the couple, while giving themselves to one another, give not just themselves but also the reality of children, who are a living reflection of their love, a permanent sign of conjugal unity and a living and inseparable synthesis of their being a father and a mother.”

— Pope St. John Paul II (Familiaris Consortio, 14)

The English writer G.K. Chesterton loved pointing out that we are surrounded by seemingly “ordinary” things that are in fact so suffused with beauty and mystery, that we ought by all rights to be walking about in a perpetual state of stunned wonder. As he famously put it: “There is a law written in the darkest of the Books of Life, and it is this: If you look at a thing nine hundred and ninety-nine times, you are perfectly safe; if you look at it the thousandth time, you are in frightful danger of seeing it for the first time.” What he meant is, that thousandth time, you might slough off your old pereptual habits that took the thing for granted and see the thing for what it is: a pure, mysterious gift.

G. K. Chesterton, aged 31

One of the ordinary things that Chesterton sought to show us in a new light was the family. A quote often attributed to him goes like this: “The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children.” Now, I can’t seem to find a source for this quote. But the sentiment is unquestionably Chestertonian in nature. The fact of a man and a woman falling in love, their desire to unite their lives together with an unbreakable vow, and the children that – God willing – naturally follow: on the one hand these are utterly straightforward things, and on the other, filled with an unspeakable beauty and mystery. These ordinary things are really the most extraordinary things.

However, as Most Reverend José Gomez, archbishop of the diocese of Los Angeles, recently pointed out in a profoundly challenging speech hosted by the University of Notre Dame McGrath Institute for Church Life, marriage and children seem to be becoming “extraordinary” in a totally new way. That is to say, for the first time in the history of our civilization, it seems that a vast, and growing number of people, are consciously rejecting these things, refusing marriage, and consciously avoiding having any children at all.

Most Reverend José H. Gomez
Archbishop of Los Angeles, photo courtesy of the Archdiocese

For thousands of years, just about everyone intuitively understood that it was a good thing to commit one’s life to another in marriage, and then to bring children into the world. But for unusual cases, such as those entering the priesthood, or monasteries and convents, this is what the overwhelming majority of people would aspire to, and expect to do. Now, however, for a variety of reasons, “many young people are debating whether it is ‘ethical’ to have kids,” the archbishop noted. “There is an even larger conversation going on among millennials about the ‘value’ of starting a family.”

The ostensible rationale given for much of the anti-natalist attitude is concern for the natural environment – the fear that more children simply means more resource-hogging humans damaging the earth. We saw this attitude expressed memorably earlier this year by Democrat congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In a Q&A session live-streamed on Instagram to her 2.5 million followers in February, Ocasio-Cortez mused about environmental questions: “It is basically a scientific consensus that the lives of our children are going to be very difficult, and it does lead young people to have a legitimate question: is it OK to still have children?”

In his speech, Archbishop Gomez didn’t discount the need for serious concern for the environment; however, he suggested that this growing ambivalent – and even hostile – attitude towards children “tells us far more about the state of the family today” than many of the other problems that we usually associate with the crisis in marriage and the family: “contraception and abortion; divorce rates, out-of-wedlock births, people living together rather than getting married…the growth of same-sex unions and the confusion about sex that we see in our society.”

In rejecting marriage and children outright, he said, “Our society has rejected what 20 centuries of Christian civilization considered a basic fact of nature.”  He stated: “Now marriage, family, and children have all become an open question, a ‘choice’ that individuals must decide for themselves.”

Recovering the Radical Christian Message

In response to this peculiarly sinister modern crisis, Archbishop Gomez firstly urged the need “to rediscover the radical ‘newness’ of the Christian message about the family.” We have heard the basic Christian teaching about marriage so often that we have lost sight of how radical, and how radically beautiful it is, both in itself, and in the context of historical attitudes towards marriage.

“When St. Paul said: ‘Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her’ — he was announcing a revolution in human thought and human society,” the archbishop said. “Before Christianity, no one had ever spoken about marriage in terms of a love that lasts a lifetime, or as a calling from God, or as a path that can lead to holiness and salvation.”

“It was a new and thrilling idea to speak of man and woman becoming ‘one flesh’ and participating in God’s own act of creating new life.” Indeed, it was through the profundity of their love for one another, and the way they lived that love in concrete ways, that the first Christians spread the Gospel. Not only did they approach marriage as a “life-long relationship of friendship and mutual devotion,” but they rejected the anti-life practices of their pagan neighbors: “They rejected birth control and abortion and welcomed children in joy as a gift from God and treated them as precious persons to be loved and nurtured and brought up in the ways of the Lord.”

The Marriage at Cana – 14th century fresco at the Visoki Decani Monastery

Archbishop Gomez went on to quote the early Church Father Tertullian. The quotation is so beautiful, that I feel compelled to include it here in full:

How beautiful … the marriage of two Christians, sharing one hope, one desire, one way of life. They are truly two in one flesh; and where the flesh is one, the spirit is one, also. They pray together, worship together, fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another. Side by side they visit God’s church and partake of God’s Banquet; side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another… they never bring sorrow to each other’s hearts. They visit the sick and assist the needy. … Hearing and seeing this, Christ rejoices.

I can’t help but think how different society would be if all Christian couples lived up to this beautiful vision!

Life is a Gift

However, continued Archbishop Gomez, not only must we recover the radicalness of the Christian message about marriage, but “we need to recover the Christian narrative, the Christian vision for life and human happiness.” This section of the archbishop’s speech is so theologically profound, and beautiful, that I urge you to read the whole thing if you can.

The archbishop lamented that many Christians are taking their cue about the meaning of life from our technologically obsessed and consumeristic society, rather than Christ and the Scriptures. The Scriptures reveal to us the great mystery that even God Himself is a family – a Trinity of persons united in love. “We need to tell this good news to our neighbors — that this God of love, who created the galaxies and oceans and mountains in the beginning, is still at work today, still creating,” said the archbishop. “And God intends his plan for creation, for history, to unfold through the human family.”

Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, entered into history in the womb of His mother, and raised within the beauty and hiddenness of the family. It is this great mystery that reveals to us how we humans are called to participate in God’s loving act of creation. “We are called to help every married couple realize this vocation — to live their love forever in a mutual and complete gift of self; to renew the face of the earth with children, who are the fruits of their love and the precious love of our Creator.”

Within this rich Christian view, children can never be viewed merely as “takers” and parasites, to be viewed with suspicion, and prevented through invasive, immoral means. On the contrary, “Every child who is born is also a sign of God’s love — a mystery, a gift, a miracle. In every child, even those in the womb, we glimpse the mystery of the Christ Child, in whom we come to know God.”

The archbishop warned that a society that does not welcome children is a society that has forgotten the meaning of life and has abandoned hope. “It is not about just giving birth to children. It is about hope,” he said. “It is about living with confidence in God’s Providence, knowing that he loves us and will never abandon us — no matter what this world may bring.”

The archbishop concluded this remarkable speech with this moving expression of his hope for those listening. “If you are married,” he said, “love your spouse with a great affection and raise your children well. Work for them, sacrifice for them; teach them to talk to God and listen for his calling in their lives. We cannot be afraid to call our young people to greatness, to be saints.”

“Life is not ours to sanction or command. Life is a beautiful gift — the child received by a husband and wife is as beautiful and precious as anything we find in nature.”

“By the love in our homes — by the sacrifices we make and the love that we hold in our hearts and pass on to our children — we are called to testify to this God who is our Creator and Father. This God, who holds all of this world — and every one of us — in his loving hands.”

I have nothing more to add to this beautiful and inspiring message. God bless Archbishop Gomez for his courage and fatherly concern in calling his flock (indeed all of us) to holiness in this way.

Prenatal screening is a pro-life tool hijacked by the abortion industry

 

For the pro-life community, prenatal screening can be a source of contention, but for parents faced with the diagnosis of their preborn child, prenatal screening can be the technological gift that allows them to properly and effectively care for their child. The problem is, prenatal screening has been hijacked by the abortion industry.

Though the more routine use of tests such as ultrasounds and amniocentesis didn’t begin in the United States until the 1970s, the development of these tools was already in the works two decades prior. Well before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy in 1973, researchers were developing ways to learn more about not only the development of the preborn child but also whether or not a child would be born with any health conditions. The controversy is, of course, what happens with the information that is gathered from prenatal testing. In a pro-life society, that information would simply be used to give the mother and child the best possible care for the best possible outcome at birth and throughout the child’s life. But in a pro-abortion society, that information is used to instead discriminate against the child in the womb and kill that child through an act of eugenics.

When used appropriately and ethically, prenatal testing is a pro-life tool.

For example, prior to prenatal testing, a woman who was carrying a child with anencephaly – a condition in which the child’s skull doesn’t properly form and he isn’t likely to survive more than a few hours after birth – would have absolutely no idea that the precious child she was so thrilled to give birth to was dying. There was no way to prepare her or the child’s father or grandparents or siblings for this tremendous loss. Now, however, parents can learn this information ahead of time, allowing them time to grieve and prepare so that when they meet their child at birth they are able to focus on him, not his diagnosis, and even have family photos taken. They can spend their time loving him instead of having him whisked away for tests. They will have had time to get a plan in place for the baby’s funeral or for family members to have traveled from long distances to arrive in time to meet him.

Down syndrome

Likewise, for the parents of a child with Trisomy 21, better known as Down syndrome, receiving the diagnosis ahead of time allows them to not only emotionally prepare, but it helps them to plan for their child’s needs. Knowing that their child may need extra care because of a heart condition or anticipated developmental delays would give parents the opportunity to meet with specialists prior to the child’s birth in order to give the child the best care possible. Knowing of a diagnosis such as Down syndrome ahead of time may also alter the family’s financial plan so they are better prepared for the future.

Similar arguments could be made for prenatal testing that allows treatment plans to be set in place for conditions such as cystic fibrosis and spina bifida. About 10 percent of children with cystic fibrosis will need bowel surgery immediately after birth, making it important to keep an eye on their bowels via ultrasound. Early animal testing has even shown that treating CF while the child is still in the womb can treat male infertility, which affects 98 percent of men with CF. As for spina bifida, fetal surgeons are now performing surgery on babies while they are still in the womb with amazing success rates, including the increased likelihood of independently walking. The results of prenatal surgery for spina bifida are proving to be better than surgery after birth.

spina bifida

Photo: EBU Photography

Parents who learn their child has Trisomy 18 (Edward’s syndrome) prior to the child’s birth will likely be told that their baby is “incompatible with life” and told to abort. But the truth is that these children aren’t necessarily going to die at birth as in decades past. New information and the right doctors are helping children with the condition to live longer and healthier. One man with the condition just celebrated his 18th birthday.

While some conditions will need an amniocentesis in order to confirm a diagnosis, many parents may not wish to go through with this test because it carries a small risk of miscarriage. That is completely understandable. But going through with any prenatal testing, especially non-invasive testing that doesn’t carry a risk of harming the baby, in no way should lead to the assumption that those parents don’t love their child. In the pro-life community, many parents will say that they skipped all testing because it didn’t matter to them if their child had certain health conditions or not. And it is their right to do so. But if a parent is determined to choose life no matter what, and if a blood test or ultrasound could help a child live better and even survive, then taking that test is not unloving. It is preparing.

Betsy Leaf insisted that she was keeping her little boy, Jacen, even after he was diagnosed with anencephaly and she was offered abortion.

READ: Prenatal screening shouldn’t equal a death sentence

Prenatal testing can help certain children live longer and healthier lives, so why do the doctors who diagnose them push abortion on the grieving and scared parents? One very sinister reason is that they are actually trying to eliminate people who may cost more money to care for, especially if the child is going to be using government healthcare programs. Or they may want to eliminate people with disabilities because they think that these lives aren’t worth living. It’s discrimination. It’s eugenics. And it must stop.

Another reason doctors may push invasive testing and abortion is that they fear facing lawsuits. And that fear isn’t unfounded. There have been numerous cases of parents suing doctors for the “wrongful births” of their children because they went undiagnosed during pregnancy and the parents didn’t have the chance to kill them before birth. Doctors could lose their entire livelihood over it.

The reality is that prenatal testing is a game changer, but it makes a big difference which team parents and doctors are playing for. When we approach a prenatal diagnosis with a pro-life vision, amazing things happen. When we approach a prenatal diagnosis with a pro-abortion vision, death happens.

When It Comes to IVF, Remember: Frozen Embryos Are People Too

ANA BRENNAN, J.D

Earlier this month a heartbreaking story about an IVF “mix up” was reported. It seems the fertility clinic responsible for handling embryos during the IVF process accidentally implanted the wrong embryos into a woman. Instead of giving birth to twin daughters, the woman gave birth to two boys who were not genetically hers. Not only did this woman have to relinquish the children she just gave birth to, but the clinic has yet to locate her unborn daughters.[i] These cases may not be the norm but they’re not unheard of either, and as more infertile couples turn to IVF and more profit is to be made by the fertility industry,[ii] the frequency of these tragedies will increase.

Most people are rightly horrified by this story. Unfortunately, the conversations elicited by this story rarely extend to the broader debate surrounding artificial reproductive technologies (ART).  In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a type of ART, which involves,

[C]ombining extracted eggs and sperm in a lab. The process involves producing multiple embryos and transferring them. . . into the woman’s womb, in hopes one would implant and cause a pregnancy. Today, many embryos are usually frozen, as couples opt to transfer the most viable one at a time to avoid multiple births. Unused embryos may be stored indefinitely, donated to science or destroyed….[iii]

Surrogacy also requires the creation of embryos through IVF, but in the case of surrogacy a third party is hired to carry the child created through IVF for another intended “mother”; with just IVF, the woman who gives birth to the child created though IVF is also the intended mother (unless the wrong babies were put inside of her, of course).

Sadly, not only are people not morally outraged by IVF, but they see it as a social good – the ends justifies the means. Some even think IVF as something they are owed by the US taxpayer.

Of course, infertility is a heavy cross to carry, and infertility caused by a combat injury even more so. No one is disputing the untold sacrifices that disabled veterans have made for this country, but even a disabled veteran is not above the moral law.

In 2016, with some qualifications, Congress authorized benefits for disabled veterans that covered IVF treatments, a benefit already available to active duty. Currently, the benefits for the disabled veterans must be reauthorized every year. It is the annual re-authorization of this program which, creates thousands of disposable embryos, that is in contention.[iv]

Putting aside the emotional aspect of disabled veterans, the arguments used to justify entitlement to this benefit are just as morally hollow as any other defense of IVF. According to one military wife, who’s already had three failed IVF attempts, and is now on her fourth try using donor embryos, “IVF gives . . . couples trying to conceive the ability to bond with their babies as soon as physically possible, unlike alternatives such as adoption and surrogacy. . . . By using donor embryos, you have all those memories, you have all those firsts. . . .You’re not having to make yet more sacrifices, more compromises.”[v]

It is absolutely frightening that the argument presented here isn’t even about a “right” to a child or “right” to be a parent. Rather, IVF and the destruction of offspring is justified based on a preferred way of bonding, making memories, and not comprising; all paid for by the taxpayer.

Proponents of IVF rarely, if ever, discuss the ethical and moral dilemmas associated with the child that they desire. “[C]ouples usually freeze many embryos, test for health problems and transfer the most viable one at a time to avoid multiple births. That often means leftovers once the desired family is complete.”  One study estimates that 1.4 million embryos are currently in frozen storage.[vi]

One reason so many embryos are left in storage is due to the hesitancy of couples who suffered from infertility, who went through so much to create a family, now must destroy their leftover offspring. Offspring who, if given the chance, could have been additions to the family they fought so hard to create.[vii]

It is evident that the issue of IVF is rife with moral questions and concerns: creation of embryos in the first place, the exploitation of vulnerable infertile couples at the hands of the fertility industry instead of focusing research on medical treatments that actually treat infertility, putting embryos in the wrong woman, the psychological trauma inflicted on couples, and of course the pressing issue of the destruction on leftover embryos.

I say “pressing issue” because these embryos are being created and destroyed right now. These embryos are being denied their humanity, treated like nothing more than a commodity. This is not some abstract debate; this is the very real situation we are faced with in this moment. If we believe life begins at conception, we need to start acting like it. IVF is a pro-life issue. No one else is going to defend the humanity of these children. Pushing policies that recognize the humanity of and protect frozen embryos should be just as important as pushing policies that protect children in the womb.

Until the pro-life movement addresses the moral dilemmas inherent with IVF, we will continue to live in a country where children are “misplaced” or put into the wrong mother; where the destruction of embryos is completely justified so long as people get what they want. It’s time for pro-lifers to step up.

___________________________

[i] “Couple Says Wrong Embryos Implanted by IVF Clinic in ‘unimaginable mishap,’” CBS News, July 8, 2019, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/couple-says-wrong-embryos-implanted-by-ivf-clinic-in-unimaginable-mishap/.

[ii] “IVF Services Market to Garner $26.38 Billion by 2026 at 9.8% CAGR: AMR,” Yahoo Finance, July 1, 2019, https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ivf-services-market-garner-26-125353029.html.

[iii] “Correction: Injured Veterans and Fertility Help Story,” Associated Press, Julie Carr Smith, July 9, 2019, https://www.apnews.com/3e2ea01c3ef64787903ae136c25faa03?fbclid=IwAR1GjabainmgPJyLNkwEhjAAGYOEKY0Hft6gDQdd3yHNxckUX6yS6pq3xeU.

[iv] Id.

[v] Id.

[vi] “Tens of Thousands of Embryos Are Stuck in Limbo in Fertility Clinics,” CBS News, January 17, 2019, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/embryos-are-stuck-in-limbo-in-fertility-clinics/.

[vii] Id.

LifeNews Note: Ana Brennan, J.D., is the Vice President of the Society of St. Sebastian. She also serves as the Senior Editor for the Society’s publication, Bioethics in Law & Culture. Ms. Brennan began her pro-life activism in college, continued through law school, and ultimately worked at the national level in Washington, D.C. As a State Legislative Associate for the National Right to Life Committee, working closely with grassroots lobbyists, state attorney generals, and governors she helped state affiliates pass pro-life legislation.

Doctors said her son had a birth defect and pressured her to abort. He was born healthy.

 

Lauren Webster, a Scottish woman, has gone public about being repeatedly pressured to undergo an abortion after being told her preborn baby had a fatal birth defect. In an interview with the Scotsman, Webster said that after refusing an abortion, her son was born healthy.

Webster, 21, had previously suffered two miscarriages, but was hopeful about her latest pregnancy. “When I found out I was pregnant, I was very scared because of what had happened before,” she told the Scotsman. “But I just had a gut feeling that this was my time.” But then, at 13 weeks, she had an ultrasound at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow and was told there was a problem with her baby.

“I was scared when I found out I was pregnant with Ollie,” she said. “I just thought, this is going to happen again. Because I had had two miscarriages previously, I got two early scans but there was a heartbeat so they weren’t concerned. But when I went for my 13-week scan, the doctor told me he had a bladder obstruction. She asked me if I wanted to terminate, saying there was a low chance he would survive.”

 

After Webster refused to have an abortion, she was told to come in for weekly ultrasounds to monitor the baby — but her wish to save her baby’s life wasn’t honored. “Every week she was asking me if I wanted to terminate,” Webster recalled. “She said she had to ask me. It was around Christmas time and I was feeling very down. I said to her ‘don’t ask me that again because I’m keeping it.’ By 18 weeks she had noticed that the bladder had repaired itself.”

But her problems were far from over — doctors then told Webster that her baby might have Edwards syndrome, and the pressure to have an abortion resumed again. Doctors told her that her baby wouldn’t survive past the age of four, but then doctors found out that he didn’t actually have the condition.

“After that, the doctor was shocked about how perfect he turned out in the scans,” Webster said. “I went into labour early and had to get an emergency caesarean because his heart rate was going up and down. Ollie was in the special care unit for a week but he came out absolutely fine. He was a good weight, he was 5lb 14oz. He’s a big boy. He’s got a condition called talipes which means his feet are a bit turned and he had to undergo a minor hernia op but apart from that is healthy. He sleeps good and is feeding well, he’s great. If someone else was to go through that experience, I wouldn’t want them to terminate because you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

 

This kind of pressure to have an abortion isn’t unusual at all; many parents report being pushedtoward ending the lives of their preborn babies. Some parents, like Webster, have found that there ended up being no medical problems with their children, but others steadfastly chose life regardless of a diagnosis, knowing that the value of someone’s life is not dependent on the lack of a disability, or on how long they will live. As for Webster, she had a simple reason for telling her story in the end, saying, “I just think everyone should read my story and never give up hope.”

CONTRACEPTIVE IMPLANTS AND THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL

Contraceptive Implants and the Illusion of Control

Nexplanon, an artificial birth control arm implant, launched a recent ad campaign using the slogan “Armor Up.” It shows pictures of attractive young women with battle ready faces, flexing one bicep while pointing to the implant. The ad reads: “Pregnancy protection for up to 3 years. Over 99% effective. Your life. Your way.” This ad campaign merely takes the common phrasing of birth control as “protection” to its logical extreme. Against whom are women to “armor up?” Well, babies, it would seem. According to Nexplanon, a baby would be an invader, an enemy even.

This marketing technique promotes and plays into women’s fears that children mean the end of life. It perpetuates the idea that becoming pregnant is something to fear, unless it is meticulously planned. But protection, of course, comes at a cost. The risks and side effects include the possibility of blood clots, stroke, and death. More common, the website reports that 10 percent of women stopped using Nexplanon because it caused “an unfavorable change in their bleeding pattern.” The implant is only one of many varieties of hormonal birth control medications that pose similar risks.

There is an irony in the contraceptive mentality, as it purports to give women ultimate control over their bodies and reproduction. In reality though, women become dependent on pharmaceutical drugs that can cause a range of side effects, some of which are a nuisance, to those that threaten lives. In the end, the sense of “control” is an illusion. A pharmaceutical company recently recalled packets of birth control pills because of a packaging error that placed placebos where active pills should have been. This is not a lone incident. In 2015, 100 women filed a lawsuit against multiple pharmaceutical companies they held responsible for their pregnancies after another placebo pill mix up.
It is not uncommon to find women who become pregnant while using

contraceptives. Yet the prevailing message is that if you “protect yourself,” you have nothing to fear. “99% effective,” proclaims the Nexplanon ad. That means some women will become pregnant while using the implant. How shocked will they be? Will they embrace this baby they were protecting themselves against, or seek an abortion?

Despite the messaging, artificial contraception takes control away from women in at least two ways. First, most forms suppress a woman’s natural hormones and cycle which give her important information about her reproductive and overall health. Second, they make women dependent on the pharmaceutical companies that make them, and government programs or insurance companies to pay for them.

Fortunately, there is a better way to avoid pregnancy when it’s not the right time for a baby. The dramatic language of the Nexplanon marketing campaign highlights the stark differences between Natural Family Planning (NFP) and artificial birth control. Birth control promotes the idea that babies are something to fear. They will derail your life so you don’t want to take any chances. “Armor up,” suppress your natural hormones, and accept side effects as the cost of this security. NFP recognizes that there are times when conceiving would not be wise. But instead of telling women that their bodies’ natural cycles are a threat and something to thwart, NFP gives women more information about what is going on with their bodies to allow for informed choices each cycle. NFP offers women an arsenal of information about fertility, hormonal health, and more. It educates women about their own bodies, which makes women stronger, independent, and more empowered than an implant or pill ever could.

Miracle Approved for Beatification of Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen

by 

The miraculous recovery of a stillborn baby, whose parents turned to Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen for help, has been officially approved by Pope Francis, thus paving the way for the beatification of the popular televangelist.

According to the National Catholic Register, the Vatican approved the miracle on May 14 and authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate a decree regarding this decision. Plans can now get underway to set a date for the Archbishop’s beatification.

The popular television star and host of Life is Worth Living, a show that ran from 1951 to 1957, was declared Venerable in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI after being recognized for his heroic virtue.

However, the cause was suspended by Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria in 2014 on the grounds that the Holy See expected the Archbishop’s remains to be in the Peoria diocese rather than in the archdiocese of New York.

Apparently, Archbishop Sheen indicated that he wished to be buried in New York, but his niece and closest living relative, Joan Sheen Cunningham, later said that he would have wanted to be interred in his home diocese of Peoria, Illinois if he knew he was going to be considered for sainthood.

A years-long legal struggle ensued between the family and the Archdiocese of New York that ended in May of 2019 when the New York Court of Appeals dismissed the archdiocese’s appeal and granted the family’s wishes of having the Archbishop’s remains transferred from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City to Peoria. Once this was accomplished, the cause was permitted to continue.

During this time, a miracle was already under consideration. It occurred on September 16, 2010, when Bonnie Engstrom gave birth to a stillborn baby boy. During delivery, the baby’s umbilical cord became knotted and cut him off from essential oxygen and nutrients, resulting in his death.

The child’s parents, who live in the Peoria-area town of Goodfield, watched their little boy receive CPR and immediately turned to Archbishop Sheen for his intercession. Even though the baby showed no signs of life while the doctors worked on him, and was without vital signs for 61 minutes, the child miraculously returned to life.

“Moments before the doctor was going to declare the infant to be dead, suddenly and without any medical explanation, the infant’s heart began to beat normally and the baby breathed normally,” Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky said in a statement. “After a few weeks in the hospital, the infant was sent home and has now grown into a healthy young child.”

Eventually, seven medical experts agreed that the sudden recovery of the child, named James Fulton Engstrom, was miraculous.

A date for the beatification of Archbishop Sheen has not yet been set.

© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®  http://www.womenofgrace.com

Four lies abortion supporters are telling about abortion pill reversal… and the truth

 

Five states in 2019 have passed pro-life measures requiring abortionists to inform women using the abortion pill about the possibility of abortion pill reversal. But the simple act of providing potentially life-saving information to women has been viciously opposed by pro-abortion activists — for instance, in North Dakota, where the pro-abortion American Medical Association (AMA) joined with the Center for Reproductive Rights to launch a legal challenge against the new mandate in court.

To justify their opposition, abortion activists are engaging in fear-mongering and the spreading of misinformation about abortion pill reversal. A recent article published in the Huffington Post is a good case study in these types of deceptive scare tactics, which abortion activists are using with greater frequency.

False Claim #1: Abortion pill reversal is junk science

The HuffPost article cites attorney Molly Duane with the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights, who claims, “The notion of ‘abortion reversal’ is based on junk science.” But as the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) explains in a 2019 position statement that “using progesterone to counteract the effect of mifepristone is the logical extension of simple principles of toxicology and poison control.” AAPLOG adds, “There is a very long and solid history of safety of the use of natural progesterone in pregnancy.” A 2018 study observed 754 women who attempted the Abortion Pill Reversal procedure and concluded that “reversal of the effects of mifepristone using progesterone is safe and effective.”  In addition, AAPLOG executive director Donna Harrison recently told Live Action News that there are “multiple studies” — not just the 2018 Delgado study — which suggest the legitimacy of abortion pill reversal, including Davenport 2017, Yamabe 1989, and Baulieu 1989.

Many abortion activists with ulterior motives are pinning their hopes on a new study that, as Live Action News’s Carole Novielli has shown, should be viewed with great suspicion. It is being funded by organizations with deep ties to the abortion industry, including investments in abortion pill manufacturer DANCO. The study clearly lacks independence, as its backers all stand to gain financially from an outcome that would support the unfettered and widespread adoption of the abortion pill and the discrediting of abortion reversal. The study itself, which is being conducted by California abortionist Mitchell Creinin, involves a disturbing methodology that will involve the death of 40 preborn babies. Watch the video below to see how the abortion pill actually works:

 

READ: Is abortion reversal really a ‘scary new tactic,’ or do abortion supporters just fear its implications?

False Claim #2: Abortion pill reversal is not effective anyway

According to the HuffPost article, abortion reversal is an “experimental practice” that is based on “false and nonscientific information.” Actual research and experience, however, paint a different picture. As AAPLOG points out, “By giving a woman progesterone, the Mifeprex abortion can be stopped and the chances of the baby surviving increase from 25% (the survival rate without natural progesterone) to 68% (the average survival rate after giving natural progesterone).” While the efficacy of progesterone supplementation can depend on the method of progesterone delivery and how far along the pregnancy is, abortion pill reversal has been demonstrably effective at increasing the likelihood of survival. A growing number of physicians, like Dr. Robert Snyder and Dr. George Delgado, are advocating and using abortion pill reversal with great success. And countless stories from real-life women seeking abortion reversal continue to testify to the efficacy of the treatment.

False Claim #3: Abortion pill reversal is dangerous to women

The HuffPost article cites abortionist and pro-abortion researcher at UC Davis, Dr. Daniel Grossman (who is involved with Planned Parenthood). He claims that “there is no evidence” that abortion reversal is safe for women, and that “patients deserve to know if there are any safety risks.” This is another scare tactic. The reality of abortion reversal involves nothing more than administering high doses of progesterone — a natural hormone treatment — to women to counteract the effects of mifepristone, a progesterone blocker. And decades of medical practice have shown overwhelmingly that progesterone is safe for women. As the 2018 Delgado study explains in a section titled “Progesterone Safety,” progesterone “has been used safely in pregnancy for over 50 years.”

As a result, according to the study, “The American Society of Reproductive Medicine states that no long-term risks have been identified when progesterone is used in pregnancy. The FDA has given progesterone a category B rating in pregnancy, in contrast to synthetic progestins.” In fact, progesterone can be used safely and effectively more or less continuously for some women, such as peri- and post-menopausal women. And while there has been some question about whether progesterone support in early pregnancy is effective at preventing miscarriages, there is no evidence that it is unsafe for women.

READ: He once committed abortions. Now he saves babies with abortion reversal.

False Claim #4: Abortion pill reversal could cause birth defects

The HuffPost article cites abortionist Kathryn Eggleston, who raises questions about the drug’s safety as it relates to preborn children (yes, you read that correctly). “Scientists thus do not know what impact, including potential birth defects, the administration of these drugs could have on the children,” said Eggleston. Aside from the dark irony of an abortionist feigning concern about preborn babies’ health, this again is fear-mongering without evidence. The 2018 Delgado study found that, among 257 women who had successful reversals, the percentage of children born with birth defects — at just under 3% — was the same as the general population.

The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) agrees, saying “there is no convincing evidence that progesterone causes birth defects. This seems to make sense, since progesterone is a natural hormone and is identical in structure to the progesterone which is produced during the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy,” adding that “long-term adverse consequences of progesterone therapy have not been identified in humans and appear unlikely.”

Although abortion activists seem desperate to discredit abortion reversal, their claims cannot withstand objective analysis. Still, these false claims will be repeated widely, since the notion of abortion reversal strikes at the heart of abortion advocates’ core narrative: that abortion is a positive good to be celebrated, and therefore women can’t and don’t regret it. Meanwhile, abortion pill reversal will hopefully continue to be a blessing for vulnerable women and their children.

Effects of medical abortion

Philippa Taylor

The rat is a valuable animal model of human disease. Humans and rats share many common genetic features and by examining the physiology, neurology, neurophysiology and the resulting behaviours such as the response to stress, of a rat, scientists can gain valuable insights into how humans function. The rat is one of the primary models for studies of human reproduction.

Which is why the findings of a new peer reviewed study on the effects of a drug induced medical abortion on rats is so fascinating. And since 71% of women having an abortion in England and Wales have a medical rather than surgical abortion (over 140,000 women per year), research on the effects is needed.

In a medical abortion, two drugs are administered, mifepristone then misoprostol, up to 48 hours apart. The effects of medical abortions are debated, especially the mental health consequences, but some of the known physical complications are detailed in this briefing.

In the rat experiment the same drug protocols were followed as with humans, but with the major advantage in that rats, unlike humans, can be randomly assigned to different groups. So out of 81 rats there was a control (non-pregnant) group, a pregnant group and a group that was administered mifepristone and misoprostol at the equivalent of 28–40 days gestation for humans.

The researchers measured rat body weight, food intake, vaginal impedance, sucrose consumption and home-cage activity.

The results were striking.

The rats with a full-term pregnancy increased their weight throughout as expected. The rats that experienced a natural miscarriage stopped increasing weight but did not lose weight, their weight stabilised. But the rats given the medical abortion lost significant weight. They simply stopped eating as much and their sucrose consumption dropped dramatically. The ‘miscarriage rats’ and pregnant rats ate normally throughout. Weight is a useful indication of health, well-being and stress in rats and a drop in sucrose consumption and weight suggests depression-like behaviour. In this research, the ‘abortion rats’ demonstrated moderate to severe stress.

Activity levels also measure depression-like behaviour. This showed that the average distance, speed and time moved per week was far less for the ‘abortion rats’, even compared to the ‘miscarriage rats’, which moved as much as the full pregnancy ones. When measuring ‘rearings’ (standing on hind legs – an indication of normal interest in their environment), the medical abortion group displayed a significant decrease relative to all the other groups.

The time spent in cage corners was also measured and showed that the ‘abortion rats’ separated themselves from the others and spent far more time than the other rats in the far back corner of the cage, indicating increased anxiety.

Additionally the ‘abortion rats’ did not show healthy rat behaviour. They did not groom themselves , they had unkempt coats, their posture was more hunched, and they showed a reduction in exploratory behaviour (sniffing and rearing).

The researchers concluded that the rats who had had a medically induced abortion showed moderate to severe stress, as indicated by their physiological effects measured. The observed effects of stress were specific to the induced abortion not the loss of a pregnancy through miscarriage.

The authors also note that the effects of the drug induced termination were not short-term. The effects on food intake lasted for seven days which is the equivalent of 244 human days. The biochemical observations were still visible at the end of the experiment which equates to around six and a half human years.

Our findings strongly suggest that pregnancy termination at mid-term (first-trimester human equivalent) induces significant negative biological and behavioural changes in the rat. Additionally, such a procedure appears to be associated with a potential absence of beneficial effects of carrying a pregnancy to full-term. Moreover, our findings also appear to indicate a significant difference between induced pregnancy termination (medical abortion) and natural miscarriage.

The researchers say that this is the first research that investigates the biological and behavioural effects of drug-induced abortion in an animal model. It seems that the focus of other research has been primarily directed at the success (effectiveness and speed) of terminating a pregnancy. Which leaves me questioning what rigorous pre-clinical therapeutic investigation has taken place with the administration of these powerful drugs on women.

Obviously, as this research was done on rats and not women, the results cannot be directly extrapolated across. But as I state at the outset, knowledge from rat models has benefitted many disorders and contributed significantly to the progress of medicine, so it cannot be easily dismissed. It was also a controlled, objective and ethical assessment – no one can argue that rats suffered these consequences because they were reflecting on what they had done, or were being made to feel guilty by society for having an abortion.

These findings at the very least emphasise the need for further objective research into the physical and behavioural effects of drug induced abortion. Particularly since 86.1% of abortions in Scotland and 71% of abortions in England and Wales are performed using these drugs – over 150,000 women per year. I wonder how many of these women have any idea of the potential physical and emotional consequences to their long-term health?

Philippa Taylor is Head of Public Policy at Christian Medical Fellowship. She has an MA in Bioethics from St Mary’s University College and a background in policy work on bioethics and family issues. Republished with permission from the CMF blog.

The research paper: Biological, Behavioral and Physiological Consequences of Drug-Induced Pregnancy Termination at First-Trimester Human Equivalent in an Animal Model is a peer reviewed research article published in Frontiers In Neuroscience by Sammut et al.

A Breakdown of the Recent FDA Citizen’s Petition Concerning Hormonal Contraceptives

by Madeleine Coyne

You may already know that a Citizen’s Petition was recently filed to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requesting more transparency and patient warnings regarding potential side effects for different forms of hormonal contraceptives. We have been talking about it for a few weeks now, and, as Natural Womanhood CEO Gerard Migeon invited readers weeks ago, we encourage anyone who has suffered from birth control side effects to share their story by making a comment on the petition, to which dozens of people have already commented.

Natural Womanhood, Fertility Awareness Based Methods, Natural Family Planning, NFP, FABM, FAM, birth control side effects, womens health, reproductive health, fertility awareness, lack of information about birth control, transparency about birth control, FDA, Citizen's petition about birth control, citizen's petition, food and drug administration

But what exactly does this petition contain? At almost 100 pages, this hefty document can appear a little intimidating at first glance. So we’re happy to break down the content into a digestible FAQ format.

What is the goal of the petition?

In brief, the Citizen’s Petition aims to make all healthcare providers and consumers of hormonal contraceptives aware of their possible, proven side effects. To do so, it is urging the FDA to add black box warnings to certain prescribing information, as well as other safety information, and to remove one of the worst culprits from the market completely.

black box warning is a label on a prescription medication that warns both providers and consumers about serious safety concerns of that drug, usually adverse (and potentially life-threatening) side effects. The FDA can decide to require the manufacturer to add a black box warning to a medication’s packaging at any time after that drug is approved to be on the market.

What exactly would these potential changes be?

If accepted, this petition would, first of all, remove one drug from the market altogether—the injectable contraceptive Depo Provera, known medically as Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (DMPA). Evidence definitively shows that it is responsible for increased transmission of HIV from men to women (a side effect that is currently not even reported in online sources of contraceptive information, like Planned Parenthood). As  the FDA petition documents:

“four meta-analyses (3 reports) were published in 2015. Each used different inclusion criteria and compiled the data on different numbers of studies, yet all 4 came up with essentially the same result of significantly increased risk of male-to-female HIV transmission in women using DMPA. . . . Importantly, no consistent association has emerged with regard to oral contraceptives or other injectable or implantable contraceptives and the facilitation of HIV transmission.”

Besides the request that Depo Provera be removed from the market, the majority of this petition’s impact would be to affect the advertising of many contraceptives, which would then affect those being advertised to—that is, everyday consumers. The petition requests that the FDA add black box warnings concerning the proven, reported, adverse side effects of breast cancer, cervical cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), depression and suicide, venous thrombosis (blood clots), and cardiovascular events.

Additional safety information that the petition requests should be added to contraceptive labels include: the increased risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a higher risk of bone fractures, a significantly increased percentage of fat body mass (which can lead to other serious conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems), and an increased risk of urogenital problems. Potential urogenital problems include a significantly higher risk for the development interstitial cystitis, an increased risk of urinary tract infections, vaginal dryness, Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) caused by OC-induced dyspareunia, reduced sexual desire and libido, and other problems. (Visit the FDA document for all cited research).

Currently, these potential risks and side effects are either not added to black box warnings on most hormonal contraceptives, or they are downplayed or misleading at best. Just as it took years for cigarettes to add appropriate health warnings onto their packages, it seems that it is taking an unacceptably long time for the FDA to add sufficient warnings to the packages of hormonal contraceptives.

Even with some current warnings on birth control pill packaging, the implication is that certain risks—like blood clots (which claimed the life of 20-year-old Alexandra Williams)—only occur when combined with cigarette smoking, and increase with “heavy smoking” and an increase in age. This misleads users to think their risk is null if they don’t engage in cigarette smoking and/or are not over 35 years of age. It also suggests it is not the contraceptive that causes the blood clot but the cigarette smoking. If the FDA heeds this petition, it will follow the request that such labels be changed to state: “WARNING: INCREASED RISK OF SERIOUS CARDIOVASCULAR EVENTS INCLUDING BLOOD CLOTS.”

What forms of contraception does the petition cover?

As the Preliminary Statement explains, hormonal contraceptives have been around for 50 years. When most people think about birth control, they think of “the Pill,” but it is not always realized that there have been numerous different formulations of it over the years. Further, other methods of hormonal contraceptives besides oral pills have been increasingly gaining in popularity, such as intravaginal rings, transdermal patches, implants, and the IUS/IUD.

The Citizen’s Petition differentiates between combined estrogen-progestogen contraceptive formulations (COCs) and progestin-only contraceptive formulations (POCs), in listing the many different contraceptive “agents,” or pharmaceutical names of different kinds of hormonal contraceptive. The overwhelming majority of these fall under the “COC” banner as Combined Estrogen-Progestin (EE-P) Pills—from Natazia to Ortho-Novum to Yasmin. There are two types of COC patches and one vaginal ring (the popular Nuvaring). The number of “POC” Progestin-Only Pills is much smaller, although there are several POC injectables, implants (Nexplanon has been on the hot seat this year), and IUS/IUDs (the Mirena IUD has also had its share of unfortunate connections).

What is the research behind this petition?

A lot of work went into the creation of this petition, which was spearheaded by Dr. William V. Williams, Editor in Chief Emeritus of the Linacre Quarterly. An official “Contraceptive Study Group” of medical professional and experts (including Natural Womanhood’s CEO, Gerard Migeon), compiled all of the information and extensive research necessary for the FDA to make their decision regarding the proposed changes.

The petition goes into depth about each adverse side effect for which it requests a black box, citing research from various studies over past decades, as well as a series of comprehensive, well-documented literature studies. In the case of Depo Provera (DMPA), the one contraceptive drug that the petition advises should be immediately removed from the consumer market, the petition provides both epidemiological evidence from various studies and reports, as well as mechanistic and experimental evidence—including in vitro evidence of increased HIV replication at the cellular level. As the petition concludes: “In the United States, where the availability of a wide range of contraceptive drugs and devices is virtually universal, and where, among these contraceptive choices, one and only one particular method—DMPA—is now known to increase the transmission of an often-fatal viral infection (HIV/AIDS), there can be no justification for such a drug’s continued availability in the marketplace.”

Extensive research and statistics are provided concerning the causal relationship of hormonal contraceptives and cancer—both breast and cervical—including tables of case control studies. PubMed literature reviews back up claims of causal links to Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Multiple Sclerosis, and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Various studies of contraceptives and depression, mood disorders, and suicide are provided, as well as studies about every other proven side effect of hormonal agents. (Again, all of this research is cited in the supporting documentation of the FDA petition.)

The economic impact of contraception

The conclusion explains how all of the data reviewed above reflects many of the known side effects that are not properly represented in current prescribing information (indeed, as it explains, warning information is often presented in a misleading manner). The conclusion also begs the FDA to consider the many environmental and economic impacts of hormonal birth control, stating:

“Many millions of women are currently receiving COCs and POCs. Many millions more have been exposed to these agents at some point in their lives. They should receive updated information regarding risks which have not been conveyed, or not adequately conveyed, in the past. All women who have been exposed to COCs or POCs should be informed so that they can take this information into account as they may encounter some of these adverse effects in some cases many years after cessation of use.”

This statement is immediately followed with numerous studies documenting the various environmental impacts of hormonal agents; for example, highlighting the effects of synthetic hormones on fish populations and other species. It calculates the estimated economic impact by taking into account both those women who are currently using COCs and those who have ever used them. It cites reports and studies that show an estimate of just how much money hormonal contraceptives are costing our society, by considering different cases of cancers, diseases, and mood disorders.

In short, the conclusion reveals that there are even more reasons to be opposed to hormonal contraceptives than the many obvious (and serious) health concerns.

So what can I do to help?

The FDA is seeking comments from both medical providers who have witnessed adverse birth control side effects firsthand, or from patients who have experienced them. If you or someone you know has, indeed, suffered at the hands of hormonal contraception, now is the time to make your voice heard.

Please comment directly on the petition (by clicking the “Comment Now!” button on the right-hand corner), or share with someone you think would like to know about it. With your help, we can make an enormous impact and greatly increase awareness of the many proven risks involved with various forms of birth control. Lives could be saved! Your assistance is very much appreciated.

Too many women are given a prescription without an explanation. Too many women are wholly uninformed and misled about the dangerous (and even potentially fatal) effects of hormonal birth control. The overall goal of this petition is to amend this cycle of misinformation. In turn, the hope is that doctors might also start thinking twice before prescribing some of these contraceptives to their patients and offer effective natural alternatives in their practices (as some doctors have already told us they are doing). We currently live in a world where a woman has much more information on possible side effects of her ibuprofen than her birth control—and that needs to change.

Before and After the Pill: Its Redefinition of Human Sexuality and Impact on Society

by 

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 the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality.

— Pope St. John Paul II (Familiaris consortio, n.32)

 

Late last month The Washington Post ran a lengthy obituary upon the death of George Rosenkranz, a Hungarian-born chemist. You might be thinking that chemists aren’t usually the subject of lengthy articles in publications as prestigious as The Washington Post, and you’d be right. Rosenkranz, however, was world-famous due to his instrumental role in devising one of the most revolutionary drugs in all of human history – the birth control pill.

george rosenkranz
George Rosenkranz

Though responsibility for the invention of the pill can be attributed to a host of scientists, Rosenkranz was one of the first to create a synthetic version of the female hormone progesterone. Ironically, norethindrone – as the synthetic hormone was called – was initially intended to help prevent miscarriage. However, the pharmaceutical company that Rosenkranz worked for soon realized its potential as a contraceptive, and released their version of the pill in 1964, making the company (and Rosenkranz) immensely wealthy.

As The Washington Post summarizes, the release of the pill on the market was “a watershed moment in the feminist movement as well as the culture wars — allowing women to enjoy sex without fear of becoming pregnant, permitting couples to decide when and whether to begin families, and setting off an enduring debate about sexual values.”

It truly is hard to overstate the impact of the pill on our world. As Evangelical Pastor Albert Mohler observes in writing about the death of Rosenkranz, the invention of the pill is truly one of those rare events in history, the consequences of which are so seismic that it constitutes a dividing line – before the pill, and after the pill. Only in the 1960s, for the first time in human history, did humans widely have access to a relatively reliable method of separating sex from procreation. And, as Mohler observes, “once that separation took place, you basically redefined human sexuality.”

The Church was Right

The question that hangs over us to this day is whether this redefinition has been for good or for ill.  Dr. Rosenkranz himself seemed ambivalent about the question, focusing instead on the purely practical question of technical achievement. “I leave to others any debate about the ultimate worth of the pill,” he said, while receiving an honor from the University of Mexico in 2001 for his work.

It’s no secret that the Catholic Church, and a small number of other Christian denominations and thinkers, have consistently opposed artificial contraception. This opposition is often based on, or at least supported by the observation that separating sex from marriage and procreation has helped unleash a sexual revolution that has devastated traditional sexual ethics.

As Mohler notes, the pill not only enabled couples (more or less reliably) to control their fertility, “it also gave technological authorization to adultery and premarital sex and extramarital sex and just about everything you can imagine.”

The “everything you can imagine” includes a whole lot. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine, for example, the grotesque excesses of the LGBT movement – which were so prominently on display during last month’s “Pride” celebrations – and the widespread public support for them, without the redefinition of sexuality that the pill precipitated. Once sex became viewed as just another pleasurable pastime, rather than the immensely sacred, powerful, and private act by which a married couple express their love for one another and create new life, there was nothing stopping all manner of sexual excess – from the explosion of pornography, to the celebration of various deviant and violent sexual practices, to the systematic grooming of children through so-called “comprehensive sex education.”

George Rosenkranz is known as an inventor of the birth control pill.

However, the Church’s critique of contraception has always gone beyond concerns about sexual morality, to the far-reaching practical consequences. Many people scoffed at the Church’s claim that more contraception would lead to more abortion. It seemed self-evident to the early birth control pioneers that if women had the means to prevent unwanted pregnancy, then abortion rates would drop. What they didn’t account for was the way contraception would drastically alter sexual behavior. With routine casual sex becoming the norm, contraception’s “small” failure rate of several percent suddenly translated into millions of “unwanted pregnancies.” The result was that the abortion rate exploded even as the rate of contraceptive use increased.

The early birth control pioneers also failed to anticipate other dire consequences of the illusion of unfettered “sexual freedom,” both for the individual and society. Monsignor Pope recently summarized some of the these in an insightful article, writing:

Since contraception’s widespread use began, abortion has skyrocketed, as has divorce. Other consequences included an increase in sexually transmitted diseases (such as AIDS), teenage pregnancy and single motherhood, absent and irresponsible fathers, the breakdown of the families, and the poverty and dysfunction that goes with all of this. There is also a pornification of our culture that assists in spreading sexual confusion to include the celebration of homosexual acts and so-called transgenderism.

Growing Secular Opposition to Contraception?

Lately, however, I have noticed a fascinating trend. More and more non-religious people are starting to take note of the downsides to artificial contraception. In a surprising number of cases, they are instead turning their attention to natural methods of family planning. Case in point: the explosion of secular-developed mobile apps to assist women in fertility tracking. While in many cases the moral outlook of these developers doesn’t match Catholic teaching (for instance, they happily promote using barrier methods of contraception during fertile periods), it’s astonishing how many secular people seem to be coming to the same conclusions about the harms of contraception as the Catholic Church reached long ago.

Many women, for instance, are realizing that they disproportionately (indeed, almost entirely) bear the burdens and responsibilities that come with artificial contraception. Even worse, they are increasingly realizing that they are doing so in order that men can use them for meaningless sexual encounters that they are far less likely to desire in the first place.

Among the burdens born by women are the myriad side effects of pumping their bodies full of artificial hormones. One recent article in a widely-read secular German publication is titled “Depression and Suicide: The Dark Side of the Birth Control Pill.” The article focuses on the story of one woman who developed suicidal tendencies after going on the pill. But as the article observed, she’s far from alone. Indeed, it’s not hard to find forums online where thousands of women share terrifying and sometimes heart-breaking stories of emotional side effects they suffered once they went on birth control – severe depression, anxiety, mood swings, personality changes, loss of libido, and on and on.

woman with depression

Other side effects are less obvious, but possibly far more pervasive, and equally troubling. One study released earlier this year suggested that using hormonal contraceptives can interfere with women’s ability to detect emotional cues from others. While this is a relatively small study, it adds to the growing body of evidence that hormonal contraception interferes with women’s cognition and psychology in subtle ways that, multiplied hundreds of millions of times, may in fact be altering society in far more substantial ways than anyone realizes.

Some studies, for example, have suggested that the pill significantly affects how women perceive men as potential mates. This might not sound like a big deal. But as the authors of one study observed, “[T]he use of hormonal contraceptives may not only affect initial partner choice but also have unintended consequences for women’s relationship satisfaction if contraceptive pill use subsequently changes.” That is, women who were attracted to their partner while on the pill may suddenly find that the attraction changes or goes away when they cease using contraception. Again, multiply this effect potentially several hundred million times, and you see how the pill may be affecting lives and society in ways that the pill’s inventors never anticipated.

Other well-documented physical side effects from hormonal contraception include increased risks of certain types of cancer, pulmonary embolism, heart attack, stroke, weight gain, headaches, nausea, and decreased libido.

Many women are now waking up to the fact that they have been the subjects of a vast, largely untested scientific and social experiment, often for the sake of the pleasure of others. And they are beginning (rightly) to ask themselves whether this is true female “empowerment.”

The Wisdom of the Church’s Teachings

pope st paul vi
Pope St. Paul VI, author of Humanae Vitae

In a way, it is easy to understand why contraception became as popular and widespread as it did, or why so many even within the Church urged Pope St. Paul VI to change Church teaching on contraception. All the pleasures of sex without any of the consequences? Who wouldn’t want that?

The problem, of course, is that the promises of contraception are a lie. The really Big Lie is that contraception eliminates the risk of pregnancy. It didn’t, and still doesn’t. Even the most effective methods of contraception have a failure rate. Even if only a few percent risk per year, that translates into an enormous number of unwanted pregnancies. The contraceptive mentality, and its false promise of total control, primes men and women to view these unwanted pregnancies as unjust encroachments on their freedom, instead of the natural consequences of their sexual behavior. Inevitably, many of them turn to abortion to fix the “problem.” Indeed, data suggests that a solid majority of abortions may involve women who were using contraception at the time they became pregnant.

However, the other Big Lie is that pregnancy is the only “consequence” of sex, and that once we get rid of that, sex can be rendered simply “fun.” As we are learning, the “contraceptive mentality” can change society. It fundamentally changes the way men and women relate to one another, the kinds of sexual behavior society deems acceptable, the way we pursue romance, the meaning of marriage, the values that people treasure, the education our children receive, the entertainment we watch, the structure of the family, the physical and psychological health of our populace. And on and on, into every aspect of society.

The Catholic Church saw all this from its very beginning. Pope St. Paul VI saw this when he resisted the immense pressure put on him to lift the Catholic prohibition on contraception, and instead upheld that teaching in Humanae vitae. Pope St. John Paul II saw this when he repeatedly and emphatically reemphasized the Church’s teaching, despite the reality of widespread dissent from Church teaching.

Herein we find one more proof of God’s providence operating through His Church – that despite the confusion in the world, the Church could chart a clear path through that fog of confusion, upholding a beacon of truth, showing Christian couples (indeed all couples) the way to contribute to a true “Civilization of Love.”

Midway through aborting, pregnant woman changes her mind and saves her twins

July 1, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Twin babies were saved when their mother changed her mind after beginning the process of a chemical abortion.

“Alexis” was around six weeks pregnant when she sought an abortion at Charlotte, North Carolina’s busiest abortion provider, A Preferred Women’s Health Center.

During an ultrasound, the technician casually remarked, “Oh, twins,” giving her pause, because she had always wanted twins.

While she processed the fact she was carrying twin babies, Alexis, a pseudonym, was given the first of two drugs in the chemical abortion process, along with the second dose to be taken in the next 48 hours.

As she left the abortion center, a sidewalk counselor was able to reach Alexis through her state of bewilderment and initiate the process of saving her twins.

“It might not be too late for you,” the counselor told her, “AbortionPillReversal.com, they can still help you save your baby.”

After Alexis left the abortion facility, she pulled into the nearest parking lot and searched on her phone for the website mentioned by the counselor and called the helpline, which coordinated assistance for her at a local pregnancy center.

“We got her started on the abortion pill reversal treatment extremely fast,” said Courtney Parks, abortion pill reversal coordinator for HELP Pregnancy Center. “It was a matter of hours.”

Alexis’s story was recently published by Pregnancy Help News and picked up by FoxNews.com.

The “abortion pill,” or RU-486, refers to a chemical abortion that uses two pills: mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone is taken first, destabilizing the pregnancy by blocking progesterone receptors and reducing progesterone levels in the mother’s blood. The abortion is then finished when misoprostol induces labor, forcing the mother’s body to expel the baby.

Abortion pill reversal treatment works by giving the mother extra progesterone up to 72 hours after she takes the first chemical abortion pill.

HELP medical director Matt Harrison and California physician George Delgado developed the reversal treatment over a decade ago.

The Abortion Pill Rescue Network (APRN) includes 450 professional health care providers in the U.S. and 11 other countries that assist women who call the helpline that Alexis had called. The helpline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is a project of Heartbeat International, a global network of 2,600 pregnancy help organizations.

Acting within that 72-hour window is crucial, and Alexis was fortunate to make contact with the helpline early enough in that timeframe. Her twins are two of the 750 babies who have been saved by abortion pill reversal.

Once at her appointment with HELP Pregnancy Center, Parks and HELP sonographer Kelly Byrum gave Alexis what the abortion facility did not: the opportunity to see her babies on an ultrasound.

“They were tiny, little babies and they had beautiful, little heartbeats,” Parks said. “I just remember sitting with her in that ultrasound room and her crying, and just hoping that this would work for her so that she could save her babies.”

Parks saw to it that Alexis had follow-up ultrasound scans in the following several weeks, to be certain the babies were still healthy and thriving.

The abortion pill reversal protocol worked, and roughly a month later, the center connected her with a doctor who provided her with prenatal care for the remainder of her pregnancy.

Parks and his HELP team kept in touch with Alexis, throwing her a baby shower along with another ministry.

“She has had everything that these babies need for several years provided for her,” Parks said. “She told me, ‘If I had known what I know now and I had seen how the Lord has provided for these babies, I would have never even walked into that clinic.’ So she’s just been overwhelmed with just how good God has provided for her throughout this.”

HELP Pregnancy Center has seen four babies saved by the abortion reversal protocol.

The rest of Alexis’s pregnancy was otherwise uneventful, and she delivered her babies early this year.

Parks said Alexis is thriving as a single mother, and she has the support of her own mother, who moved in with her to assist with the twins.

Alexis “is just head over heels in love with these babies,” Parks said.

Byrum is glad for the awareness created for abortion pill reversal by Alexis’s story.

“It’s really neat that it’s getting some press now and people are becoming aware of it,” she said. “We have heard women come out of this [abortion] clinic that have told us that they told them inside that once you take this pill, there’s nothing you can do to reverse it, that it’s just not

Parks, one of 800 clinicians in the Abortion Pill Rescue Network, concurred.

“We really just hope that this brings awareness to abortion pill reversal and the fact that it does save lives,” she said.

The abortion reversal helpline number is (877) 558-0333. More information is available at AbortionPillReversal.com.

In imitation of the Sacred Heart

By Father Frank Pavone

I once heard a very young boy call out for his daddy in a beautiful, clear, and diminutive voice while he was playing. The father, moved by it, responded lovingly,“Yes, my heart?” And something about that interaction touched me. If that boy is his father’s heart, then he is the most important thing to him. The heart is the core or center of a person in a figurative way. And, in the most literal and physical sense, the
heart is the engine or the motor of the body. It pumps our entire lives, never sleeping. It keeps us alive. If a father can love his son to the core of his being so that he calls him his heart, then we can understand more how Jesus must love us.

In the image of the Sacred Heart, Christ extends to us His flaming heart that has been lanced and pierced with thorns. It is a suffering heart. Christ loves us by saving our lives in exchange for His life. We, as the Body of Christ, are called to do the same.

One way this love is embodied is in prolife work. It is, at its essence, a work of self giving love for children in the womb who don’t even know we are loving them. And it is a lifesaving work that comes with a cost. The crown of thorns on the heart and the piercing with the lance symbolize the suffering that all those who defend the unborn will undergo; defend the unborn and you will be treated like them. Despite suffering, Christ’s heart keeps on beating inside His body. So must we persevere within the Body of Christ.

And we worship the Sacred Heart of Jesus. His heart is part of His body, and it is the body of God.The Feast of the Sacred Heart, and our devotion to that heart throughout the year, bring to the forefront the reality of the Incarnation. And so does pro-life work. Just as the heart is a physical organ, pro-lifework is a physical concern, not just a spiritual one. We must pray for the children in the womb, but we must also encounter them physically and defend them physically. We pray at the places where they are being killed, we counsel the moms in whose wombs they are nourished, we bury the bodies of those we could not save. We act, in the body, because we are moved by His love, which He shows us in His Body.

Moreover, the passion of love in the Sacred Heart is also the passion of love by which we defend the baby in the womb; His heart of mercy is the mercy we extend to all who have been involved in abortion. Pro-lifers are often stereotyped as being single-mindedly concerned with saving babies and nothing more. This claim couldn’t be further from the truth. Our ministry at Priests for Life ministers to everybody. Rachel’s Vineyard offers healing retreats for families broken by abortion. Silent No More gives them a voice and a vote. This is the work of mercy.

Jesus said He is meek and humble of heart, and this also brings us to the heart of the pro-life movement. The attitude of humility is the opposite of pro choice, which asserts itself. Humility humbles itself and accepts the choices of God. It accepts that God’s will and plans are better than our own, even if they come unexpectedly. A story recently broke about an Olympic athlete who discovered she was pregnant weeks before the Olympics. Blindsided and panicked by the pregnancy, she hastily aborted so she couldparticipate in the Olympics. But the decision was met with instant regret. She and the father realized that what they decided demonstrated a desire to control their circumstances. She wishes she had had a more open heart.

The Sacred Heart is a welcoming and open heart.It welcomes the unexpected. When we have Jesus’ heart, we see Him in the stranger. We must not treat our children as strangers in the womb, but we must welcome them as if we were welcoming Christ. We make room for the woman in crisis as if we were welcoming Christ. We open our hearts to the brokenhearted who regret their abortions. And we even open our hearts to those who have yet to see the error of their ways. We see Christ in each of these and we choose love.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus, and our worship of that heart,represent the heart of the pro-life movement, and enable us to be transformed according to that heart. Every aspect of the pro-life movement is motivated by love, and that’s why we can be confident of victory, for“Love is stronger than death, more powerful even than hell” (Song of Songs 8:6). Sacred Heart of Jesus, lead us to the victory of life and of love!

The Crohn’s-Birth Control Connection: More Gut-Wrenching News About Contraceptives

by Grace Stark

We’ve already talked a bit here at Natural Womanhood about how the Pill can negatively affect your gut health. So for our regular readers, it should come as no surprise that the development of Crohn’s Disease, an inflammatory bowel disease, has been linked to the use of oral contraceptives since researchers and physicians first began observing the connection in the 1970s.

Natural Womanhood, Fertility Awareness Based Methods, Natural Family Planning, NFP, FABM, FAM, birth control side effects, womens health, reproductive health, fertility awareness, autoimmune disease, crohn's disease, crohn's disease and birth control, hormonal birth control side effects, The Pill, The Pill side effects, oral contraception, oral contraception side effects, lupus,

Crohn’s disease can be a painful, debilitating, and even life-threatening disease for those affected by it. According to the Mayo Clinic, the chronic inflammation of the bowel in Crohn’s disease can “lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition.” The exact cause of the disease is unknown—researchers are divided on whether the chronic inflammation of Crohn’s is due to the immune system attacking itself or something else within the gut—but heredity and risk factors like smoking and obesity seem to play a role in the development of Crohn’s.

Although the incidence of Crohn’s among young women spiked disproportionately to the incidence in young men after the widespread introduction of the birth-control pill in the 1970s, today the disease affects men and women at mostly equal rates. However, a recent study out of Australia found evidence that for reasons as yet unknown, women with Crohn’s tend to fare worse than do men with Crohn’s, facing more complications, more hospitalizations, and less chance of remission. The chief investigator of the study, Professor Rupert Leong, posited that “hormonal differences may also account for the accelerated disease progression seen in women,” citing the “weak association” found between the use of oral contraceptive pill and the onset of inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s.

Weak association or not, research both old and new continues to reveal some link between the development of Crohn’s and contraception use. A recent, large-scale study from Harvard researchers found that American women who had used the birth-control pill (or morning after pill/Plan B) for five or more years were three times more likely to develop Crohn’s disease. The same researchers found an association between long-term contraception use and increased risk for surgery among Swedish women with established Crohn’s disease. Lead researcher Dr. Hamed Khalili stresses that a combination of genetic factors and contraception use is likely at play in the development of Crohn’s, and recommends that physicians take into account family and personal history of Crohn’s when considering prescribing hormonal contraception to patients.

The Bigger Picture

As I mentioned in my piece detailing the connection between birth control and Lupusresearch continues to uncover the effects of hormones on the immune system. The colon is chock-full of estrogen receptors, and synthetic hormones are known to affect both the gut’s permeability and microbiome. The Pill’s deleterious effects on the gut may be the culprit behind an entire cadre of digestive issues in women, ranging from the annoying (like bloating and irregularity), to the downright dangerous (like Crohn’s and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, or SIBO)—some of which may be reversed, and some of which could be permanent.

As more evidence comes to light about the Pill’s effects on the gut (and in turn, the immune system) more women (and especially women with a family history of immune diseases) should seriously consider non-hormonal family planning options like Natural Family Planning and Fertility-Awareness Based Methods.

Compatible with life: Man with Trisomy 18 celebrates 18th birthday against all odds

  |

Told that her son would never survive after he was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, Marta Johnson McClanahan couldn’t hold back her joy at the fact that her baby boy just turned 18. She turned to Facebook to share her excitement in an emotional post.

“Screaming from the top of my lungs HAPPY 18th BIRTHDAY to my amazing, STRONG and happy boy Kayden! To think we were told he wouldn’t live,” she wrote. “He sure has proved them all wrong!”

McClanahan explains that Kayden has had the odds stacked against him his entire life, but that the doctors were wrong about both his quantity and quality of life. She says he has truly lived “an amazing 18 years full of LOVE, happiness and lots of fun!”

“Drs talked about no quality of life does this look like no quality???” she wrote, sharing photos of Kayden throughout this life. She also thanks God for Kayden and for allowing her to care for him.

“We are all so very blessed and pray we have many more years with him,” she said.

Many doctors consider children with Trisomy 18 to be “incompatible with life” and tell parents that their children will die at birth or shortly after. However, it has come to light in recent years that not only are children with Trisomy 18 compatible with life but that when they receive proper health care, they can and do thrive.

Rick Santorum’s daughter Bella has Trisomy 18 and recently turned 11 years old. Her mother calls her “the happiest little girl in the world.” Little Evelyn received a similar prognosis when doctors diagnosed her with Trisomy 18 in the womb. Doctors told her parents that “everything is wrong” with her and that they couldn’t keep their daughter. Now Evelyn is a big sister who is proving the doctors wrong.

trisomy 18

Despite how well these children are doing, parents of children with Trisomy 18 have discovered, to their horror, that doctors will initiate what’s known as “slow code” when they have a child with the condition under their care. Put simply, in this situation, medical personnel avoid taking measures to save the child’s life or treat underlying health conditions, yet act as if they are taking steps to help. Parents of children with Trisomy 18 must find a doctor they can trust.

Kayden is proving that not only can doctors be wrong, but that every human being has value regardless of any health condition they may have. Each person has his or her own gifts to bring to the world — even those who may live shorter than average lives.

Trojan horse: New ‘TelAbortion’ abortion pill clinical trial skirts FDA regulations

  |

Is a ‘TelAbortion’ (telemedicine abortion pill) FDA clinical trial actually a Trojan horse intended to skirt important abortion pill safety requirements put in place under the FDA? Live Action News has been analyzing the effort to expand abortion, and has documented the various abortion pill collaboratorsworking behind the scenes on various clinical trialsstudies (read more here) and funding streams, which all happen to be closely connected. In addition, Live Action News has documented the push for illegal dispensing of the dangerous pills and the effort to discredit abortion pill reversal. Now, we’ve analyzed changes reported under the Direct-To-Consumer protocol (pills sent via mail after a TelAbortion or telemedicine interview) and are seeing that FDA regulations are being skirted in the name of continually broadening “clinical trials.”

BACKGROUND: 

  • The abortion pill regimen is made up of two drugs: Mifeprex and Misoprostol.
  • Mifeprex was approved in 2000.
  • It was brought to the U.S. by the eugenics-founded Population Council.
  • The pill’s manufacturer, DANCO Laboratories, is a highly secretive company.
  • The Packard Foundation and other pro-abortion philanthropy groups seeded DANCO.
  • Packard is now funding groups and studies that claim abortion pill expansion is safe.

Image: Packard Foundation invested in abortion pill manufacturer DANCO (Image: David and Lucile Packard Foundation )

Packard Foundation invested in abortion pill manufacturer DANCO (Image: David and Lucile Packard Foundation )

FDA’s SAFETY REQUIREMENTS KNOWN AS REMS:

The FDA currently requires Mifeprex to be placed under a safety system called REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy), which is a “safety strategy to manage a known or potential serious risk associated with a medicine and to enable patients to have continued access to such medicines by managing their safe use.”

Under the REMS Program, the FDA states, “Mifeprex and the approved generic version of Mifeprex”…

  • … [may] only be supplied directly to healthcare providers who are certified to prescribe the drug product and who meet certain qualifications.
  • … are only available to be dispensed in certain healthcare settings, specifically, clinics, medical offices and hospitals, by or under the supervision of a certified prescriber.
  • … are not available in retail pharmacies and are not legally available over the Internet.

Without REMS, abortion pills could be ordered online, picked up at any pharmacy, and prescribed by any health care provider.

Image: TalAbortion a workaround abortion laws

TelAbortion a workaround abortion laws

TELABORTION CLINICAL TRIAL:

In theory, clinical trials are used to test a specific drug and hopefully alleviate safety issues that arise. But with expansion of this abortion pill clinical trial there is a growing concern it is less of a clinical trial and more of a permanent way to skirt the FDA’s REMS system. In fact, a recent interview with the co-leader of this Gynuity sponsored trial, Erica Chong, by the online media group Fast Company, noted, “The hope is to get enough providers on board so TelAbortion can eventually go from research study to full-blown service.”

The TelAbortion clinical trial was announced in 2015. When the (then cohort) clinical trial began recruiting in 2016, they anticipated an enrollment of 50 participants with eligibility ages between (believe it or not) 11 to 50 years old and an estimated completion that same year.

In 2016, there were only two locations for the trial listed, as seen in the screen below.

Image: TelAbortion screen from 2016 two locations

TelAbortion screen from 2016 two locations

However, as of the date of this article (June 2019) the now defined “case-only” (instead of “cohort”) clinical trial currently intends to enroll 1,000 participants with age eligibility as young as 10 years old. Why Gynuity Health Projects moved the recruitment age even lower is not stated, but this is concerning, given past abuses by abortion facilities and Planned Parenthood centers’ failure to report child sexual abuse, along with potential violations of parental consent and notification laws in certain states.

Image: Feasibility TelAbortion clinical trial ages 10 to 50 accessed June 20 2019

Feasibility TelAbortion clinical trial ages 10 to 50 accessed June 20 2019

In addition to those changes, the completion date continues to be pushed out, and is currently set for June of 2020. There is also a growing list of locations (see below), enabling the abortion pill to be dispensed even more widely, without existing REMS safety requirements.

In other words, the study just keeps getting bigger and broader, with no FDA safety requirements in place.

Locations:

  • Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (Denver, CO, and New Mexico)
  • Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette (Portland, OR, and Washington)
  • Oregon Health and Sciences University Women’s Health Research Unit (Portland, OR, and Washington)
  • Carafem (Atlanta, GA)
  • Maine Family Planning (Augusta, ME)
  • The University of Hawaii Women’s Options Centers (Honolulu, HI)
  • Choices Women’s Medical Center (Jamaica, New York)

The aforementioned media group, Fast Company, noted another “workaround” to existing laws, writing:

In some cases, TelAbortion providers are physically located in one state but licensed in another, which allows them to reach clients there as well…. TelAbortion obviously cannot expand into states where telemedicine abortion is illegal, but one workaround Chong is exploring is to introduce the program in neighboring states. “If we can get into a neighboring state, it’s possible for a woman in Texas, for example, to maybe cross the border into New Mexico,” Chong says. “She can have her consult there, and then pick up her package at a Fedex office that’s holding the package for her, or something like that.”

These kind of “workarounds” to intentionally bypass existing laws and safety regulations are clearly not the intention of any FDA clinical trial.

Image: TalAbortion locations screen accessed of June 20 2019

TelAbortion locations screen accessed of June 20 2019

Abortion generally is not without complication or risks. Recently, the FDA updated its adverse effects reports through 2018, revealing 24 deaths of women associated with the abortion pill since it’s  September 2000 approval.  To date, the report documents nearly 4,200 reported adverse effects, including hospitalization and other serious complications. But under 2016 changes, the drug’s manufacturer, DANCOno longer has to report non-fatal adverse effects, so we can only imagine what the number really is.

Overpopulation? No, “The World Might Actually Run Out of People”

MICHAEL COOK   JUN 24, 2019

Population growth can have an impact on controversial bioethical issues like abortion, contraception, aged care and euthanasia. That’s why a projection of world population trends from United Nations, released this week, should be of great interest.

There are no big surprises, but the UN has revised its projections downward. Two years ago, it predicted that global population in 2100 would be 11.2 billion. The 2019 projection is only 10.9 billion.

Below are the UN’s 10 take-aways from the report.

The UN’s figures are not definitive. In fact, there are dissidents who believe that the UN is seriously overstating population growth. While the UN projects that world population will peak and begin to stablilize or decline in 2100, others think that decline will begin as early as 2050. Even the UN acknowledges that there is “roughly a 27 per cent chance that the world’s population could stabilize or even begin to decrease sometime before 2100.” For more on this, read Wired’s review of the book Empty Planet – which is headlined, chillingly, “The world might actually run out of people”.

* * * * * * *

1. The world’s population continues to increase, but growth rates vary greatly across regions. The world’s population is projected to grow from 7.7 billion in 2019 to 8.5 billion in 2030 (10% increase), and further to 9.7 billion in 2050 (26%) and to 10.9 billion in 2100 (42%). The population of sub-Saharan Africa is projected to double by 2050 (99%). Other regions will see varying rates. These include Australia and New Zealand (28%) and Europe and Northern America (both 2%).

2. Nine countries will make up more than half the projected population growth between now and 2050. The largest increases in population between 2019 and 2050 will take place in: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, the Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt and the US (in descending order of the expected increase). Around 2027, India is projected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country.

3. Rapid population growth presents challenges for sustainable development. Many of the fastest growing populations are in the poorest countries, where population growth brings additional challenges in the effort to eradicate poverty, achieve greater equality, combat hunger and malnutrition, and strengthen the coverage and quality of health and education systems.

4. In some countries, growth of the working-age population is creating opportunities for economic growth. In most of sub-Saharan Africa, and in parts of Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, recent reductions in fertility have caused the population at working ages (25-64 years) to grow faster than at other ages, creating an opportunity for accelerated economic growth.

5. Globally, women are having fewer babies, but fertility rates remain high in some parts of the world. Today, close to half of all people globally live in a country or area where fertility is below 2.1 births per woman over a lifetime. The global fertility rate, which fell from 3.2 births per woman in 1990 to 2.5 in 2019, is projected to decline further to 2.2 in 2050.

6. People are living longer, but those in the poorest countries still live 7 years less than the global average. Life expectancy at birth for the world, which increased from 64.2 years in 1990 to 72.6 years in 2019, is expected to increase further to 77.1 years in 2050.

7. The world’s population is growing older, with persons over age 65 being the fastest-growing age group. By 2050, one in six people in the world will be over age 65 (16%), up from one in 11 in 2019 (9%). Regions where the share of the population aged 65 years or over is projected to double between 2019 and 2050 include Northern Africa and Western Asia, Central and Southern Asia, Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. By 2050, one in four persons living in Europe and Northern America could be aged 65 or over. In 2018, for the first time in history, persons aged 65 or above outnumbered children under five years of age. The number of persons aged 80 years or over is projected to triple, from 143 million in 2019 to 426 million in 2050.

8. Falling proportions of working-age people are putting pressure on social protection systems. The potential support ratio, which compares numbers of working-age people aged 25-64 to those over age 65, is falling around the world. In Japan, this ratio is 1.8, the lowest in the world. An additional 29 countries, mostly in Europe and the Caribbean, already have potential support ratios below three. By 2050, 48 countries, mostly in Europe, Northern America, and Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, are expected to have potential support ratios below two.

9. A growing number of countries are experiencing a reduction in population size. Since 2010, 27 countries or areas have experienced a reduction in the size of their populations of 1% or more. This is caused by low levels of fertility and, in some places, high rates of emigration. Between 2019 and 2050, populations are projected to decrease by 1% or more in 55 countries or areas, of which 26 may see a reduction of at least 10%. In China, for example, the population is projected to decrease by 31.4 million, or 2.2%, between 2019 and 2050.

10. Migration has become a major component of population change. Between 2010 and 2020, Europe and Northern America, Northern Africa and Western Asia, and Australia and New Zealand will be net receivers of international migrants, while other regions will be net senders.

LifeNews Note: Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge where this story appeared.

Embryo adoption agency celebrates 800 births, but embryos remain frozen

 

The National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) of Knoxville Tennessee recently gathered families from around the country to celebrate the 800th birth of a child conceived by a donated embryo through the clinic. WATE 6 reports that the group has been collecting leftover embryos for 16 years.

NEDC president Dr. Jeffrey Keenan told the news station, “It’s been exciting, it’s been awesome. It’s in some respects put Knoxville on the map, as far as a fertility destination because many of these families, to be honest are out of options and don’t have really any other good option for conceiving except to come here and receive donated embryos.”

Many people view in-vitro fertilization (IVF) as a positive scientific development that has allowed many couples struggling with infertility to conceive children. But this rosy view ignores the serious ethical problems with IVF, which include treating children as manufactured goods.

READ: Woman conceived via IVF: The means don’t justify the end, even if the end was me

Reporting on NEDC’s celebration, the reporter said, “Many people attending the event are alive because of the donated embryos.” Meanwhile, the remaining embryos, also created outside the womb and kept frozen, are also alive. They are in suspended animation, frozen indefinitely and treated as products to be discarded, made into jewelry, or traded for a more desirable offering. The NEDC estimates there are at least 700,000, and possibly more than 1 million, “surplus” embryos currently frozen in the United States.

 

The NEDC states, “Many biological parents store their frozen embryos for future use. But when those parents have completed their families, they must decide what to do with their remaining embryos. Donating them to another infertile couple is an increasingly popular option. It benefits both the genetic family and the recipient family.”

These types of donations are sometimes called “snowflake adoptions,” referring to the unique and unrepeatable attributes of each individual child frozen at the embryonic stage. Embryo adoption can be a way to recognize the human dignity of children through IVF, but there are still myriad ethical concerns with the process.

The NEDC’s celebration of 800 births demonstrates the massive scale of the unintended consequences of IVF: the hundreds of thousands of children kept frozen indefinitely. Couples struggling with the heartbreak of infertility deserve to know the full consequences of undergoing IVF before they make a decision, and they deserve to know that there are ethical alternatives.

After HHS Decision on Aborted Fetal Tissue, Will Ethical Vaccines Get a Boost?

Peter Jesserer Smith

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – APRIL 26: In this photo illustration a one dose bottle of measles, mumps and rubella virus vaccine, made by MERCK, is held up at the Salt Lake County Health Department on April 26, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo Illustration by George Frey/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — As part of its push to eliminate or greatly restrict federal funds involved with fetal-tissue research, the Trump administration canceled a medical research contract with the University of California, where fetal cells were infused with mouse immune systems.

The June 5 decision from the Department of Health and Human Services is the latest example of the administration pledging to find “adequate alternatives” to research that has depended on fetal tissue and to make sure “efforts to develop such alternatives are funded and accelerated.”

“Promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the very top priorities of President Trump’s administration,” the decision  stated.

The announcement may give hope for Catholics that the time has come to push for the development or distribution of ethical vaccines whose source cells did not involve the taking of a human life by abortion.

Most vaccines are derived from ethically derived sources, such as animal or insect cell lines, and not from unborn children whose tissues were harvested following elective abortions. But a number of vaccines Americans rely on today, such as the Mumps, Measles, Rubella (MMR) vaccine, are derived from cell lines whose origins go back to the tissues of unborn children aborted decades ago.

In Kentucky, Jerome Kunkel, a Catholic high-school senior at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy in Walton, refused a chicken pox vaccine for this reason, citing his objections to abortion.

He sued the Northern Kentucky Health Department after it barred him from going to school for several months due to concerns over possible contagion from his lack of a chicken pox vaccination. Kunkel came down with chicken pox in May and since returned to class.

The Catholic Church opposes using fetal tissue derived from abortion for medical research and vaccine development. However, the Church also recognizes that in the absence of ethically sourced alternatives, parents and individuals may use those vaccines until an alternative is available, explained Jozef Zalot, staff ethicist at the Philadelphia-based National Catholic Bioethics Center.

A 2005 instruction from the Pontifical Academy for Life stated that people who have no access to ethically sourced vaccines would be “right to abstain from using these vaccines if it can be done without causing children, and indirectly the population as a whole, to undergo significant risks to their health.”

The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life explained that there is “proportional reason” to use such vaccines “on a temporary basis” to avoid considerable dangers to public health, particularly in the case of diseases such as rubella (German measles), which is fatal to unborn children. It said “the burden of this important battle cannot and must not fall on innocent children and on the health situation of the population — especially with regard to pregnant women,” but this unjust situation of forcing parents or individuals to violate their consciences through passive material cooperation to avoid worse evils “must be eliminated as soon as possible” by production of ethically derived alternatives.

Zalot explained that while Catholics have a moral responsibility to communicate their demand for ethical alternatives to vaccines derived from fetal tissue, the burden of responsibility increases for those in positions of power and authority. He pointed to leaders of Catholic health care systems that have contracts for hundreds of millions of dollars with pharmaceutical companies that provide such vaccines as one example.

Catholic health care systems, Zalot said, “have some clout, and because of that, I would say their moral responsibility to call for ethically sourced vaccines is greater than [that of] your typical John Q. Public.”

 

Generating Grassroots Pressure

Dr. Barbara Golder, the editor in chief of The Linacre Quarterly and a member of the Catholic Medical Association, said that because the vaccine issue is one of moral law and not spiritual matters, Catholics need to make sure the discussion on ethical alternatives to vaccines derived from fetal tissue does not get confined to the Catholic or religious world, but is part of the general conversation.

However, she said Catholics should arm their advocacy with awareness about the alternatives in existence and make sure their allies in the pro-life movement are informed about them. Golder said there is also more at stake than the ethical source of the vaccine.

“It is unreasonable to put a patient in the position of choosing to violate his conscience for an essential medical procedure, in this case, vaccination,” Golder said.

Golder, however, cautioned that refusing to take vaccines at all is “counterproductive.”

“The rising incidence of vaccine refusal is leading in some places to an elimination of exemptions altogether, which undermines the argument for religious conscience in general,” she said.

Conversations about ethical alternatives could build to grassroots-level engagement that could “involve medical societies, large practices or other community groups.”

She said Catholics — and other people of goodwill — should be informed about ethical vaccines and “ask for them by name when the time comes” to one’s physician, pharmacist or health department. She recommended rewarding practices that provide ethical vaccines and protesting when “alternative vaccines are not available because the hospital, practice or insurance company has elected not to cover them.”

Golder suggested that Catholic physicians, organizations and institutions should become intentional about getting behind this effort. Universities might also have the heft to raise funds to support ethical vaccine development.

But she said it is important for Catholics to speak up and organize to generate “a growing sense of demand that can’t be ignored” so lawmakers and policymakers can act on the development of ethical alternatives.

“We have a responsive administration just now — it makes sense to take advantage of it,” she said.

Some in Congress have echoed similar sentiments in welcoming the Trump administration’s HHS decision.

“Ethical scientific practices are paramount to discovery, but they should never include the harvesting of developing baby hearts, eyes, livers and brains following elective abortions,” U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., said in a statement.

 

Toward Newer, Ethical Vaccines

The Trump administration’s decision to close the federal spigots on fetal-tissue research could help vaccine development stay focused on vaccines that are not only ethically sourced, but far more effective in the long run.

Tara Sander Lee, a senior fellow and director of life sciences at the Washington-based Charlotte Lozier Institute, told the Register that the new Ebola and shingles vaccines, engineered with Vero monkey cell line and engineered hamster cells respectively, have proven more effective than their fetal-tissue based alternatives. Lee said the new Ebola vaccine proved to be 97% effective, and Shingrex (the new vaccine for shingles) showed “greater than 90% effectiveness.”

Lee said scientific research is demonstrating that the new vaccines from animal cells are just as effective, if not more so, than the ones derived from fetal cells. She noted that none of the vaccines currently in use today by Americans are affected by the decision to close off fetal-tissue research.

“The vast majority of vaccines are already being produced with ethical alternatives [to fetal tissue],” she said, such as monkey kidneys, insect cells or Chinese hamster cells.

Scientists in the past have used fetal cell lines because fetal cells replicate much faster than adult tissues when it comes to cultivating vaccines. But Lee said they were not the exclusive source — vaccines such as for polio now use animal cells.

Lee also pointed out that there are more ethical alternatives that have been developed, but they are not available in the U.S.

“There is an ethical version for MMR [Measles, Mumps and Rubella], but it is only available in Japan,” she said. Japan’s rubella vaccine is derived from quail egg and rabbit cell lines.

However, she said companies like Merck are reluctant to reformulate vaccines or get the Food and Drug Administration to approve distribution of ethical vaccines when they see no financial incentive to do so.

Stopping this practice of fetal tissue-based research now, with renewed pressure from the administration, Lee said, would encourage scientists to focus their research on non-fetal-tissue-based alternatives that make more effective vaccines in the long run.

“There’s no need for them to continue to use these fetal cell lines from abortions that took place back in the ’60s. There’s just no need,” she said.

“The newer, most advanced way is using ethical vaccines.”

Peter Jesserer Smith is a Register staff writer.

Teen’s birth control triggers stroke

Anicka Slachta | Vascular & Endovascular

A Wisconsin high schooler is speaking up for stroke awareness after she suffered a stroke of her own during gym class, WAOW reported—an event her doctors said was brought on by her birth control pills.

Like two-thirds of women her age and up, Hannah Drummond, 18, was prescribed birth control with low expectations of any serious side effects. Loyola University Medical Center researchers previously found women who don’t have any other medical problems are safe to take the pill, but in those with comorbidities, it can be a riskier call.

Drummond was taken to the hospital after experiencing numbness and tingling during her gym class, quickly learning she’d suffered a stroke. Her care team said the culprit was her birth control, and that the estrogen in her pills had caused a blood clot that then slipped through a previously undiscovered hole in her heart and up to her brain.

“It was actually scary knowing I was so young, I’m 18, this is happening to me,” she told WAOW. “If you don’t feel something is right, say something, tell someone.”

Drummond is still suffering from impaired vision but is expected to make a full recovery.

Read the full story below:

Authorities Fail to Curb Ever-Worsening STD Epidemic

by 

The promotion of promiscuity through comprehensive sex education and condom-distribution campaigns is continuing to fuel an STD epidemic that is now seeing more than one million new cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and diseases (STDs) every year.

According to the AFP, the World Health Organization (WHO) is expressing alarm over the lack of progress in curbing the rampant spread of sexually transmitted diseases worldwide since 2012.

“WHO found that there were more than 376 million new cases of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis and syphilis registered around the world in 2016 — the latest year for which data is available,” the AFP reports. “That is basically the same number as WHO reported in its previous study, based on data from 2012.”

The WHO, which promotes comprehensive sex education and condom distribution rather than abstinence as a way to fight this epidemic, now blames the continued spread of these infections on dating apps and a more complacent attitude about the spread of HIV because of new antiviral drugs that have proven to be very effective.

People are “more complacent about protection,” said Teodora Wi, a WHO expert on STIs, which she believes is dangerous because this attitude is coming at a time when “sex is becoming more accessible (through things like) dating apps”.

Peter Salama, WHO’s executive director of Universal Health Coverage, expressed concern over the “lack of progress” in stemming the tide of these diseases and infections, and called the latest numbers to be a “wake-up call” for authorities.

The numbers are indeed grave. In 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, an estimated 127 million people between the ages of 15 and 49 were infected with chlamydia. Another 87 million contracted gonorrheoea, and 6.3 million contracted syphilis. In addition, 156 million were infected with trichomoniasis, a parasital disease commonly called “trich.”

This amounts to one in 25 people globally that have at least one of these STIs.

What makes these diseases so difficult to prevent through mere comprehensive sex education and condom distribution campaigns is because some have no early symptoms. This means people who are engaging in casual sex unwittingly spread the diseases which, if left untreated, can lead to serious conditions. These include infertility, stillbirth, neurological and cardiovascular disease, as well as increased risk of contracting HIV.

The only real way to stop the spread of STIs and STDs is to promote abstinence until marriage, but the WHO is once again choosing to follow the same failed path by recommending regular screening and the proper use of condoms. They tend to promote comprehensive sexual education, which supposedly contains abstinence-only material, but analyses of these programs finds that only a small percentage of the content is actually devoted to authentic abstinence education.

How many more young lives will be ruined before officials at the World Health Organization hear this “wake-up call” for what it is – a call to admit that their strategies are failing and the time has come to challenge youth to live chastely until marriage?

© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®  http://www.womenofgrace.com

Can Hormonal Birth Control Trigger Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?

by Grace Stark

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease (AI) that attacks the central nervous system, often to the point of causing severe disability. It is also a disease that has always loomed large in my life. My paternal grandmother had MS, and it caused her to be bed-ridden from the time my dad was a small boy, until her death when he was in his early 20s. Various aunts and uncles have also been diagnosed with MS, and I know I am not the only one among my cousins who lives with the fear of receiving that diagnosis someday, too.

So you can imagine that I try to do what I can to avoid triggering the monster that might very well be lying dormant in my genes. After all, the prevailing theory is that for an autoimmune disease to occur, one must have the right (or rather, wrong) genetics, and that some “triggering event” must occur to spring the disease into action. Different theories abound about what the different triggers may be, but one theory has not been given nearly enough light: the possibility of hormonal contraception as an autoimmune trigger.

In the past few months at Natural Womanhood, we’ve already covered how birth control can possibly trigger other immune/autoimmune diseases like Lupus, and the potential way it triggers MS is much the same.

As guest author Mike Gaskins wrote for Natural Womanhood:

“When our body’s natural estrogens attach to receptors on T cells (the “soldiers” of the immune system), it arms the soldiers and gives them their marching orders. Natural estrogen basically points out the invader and triggers the command to attack. But when disruptive agents that mimic natural estrogen enter our body, they attach to the receptors. Suddenly, the soldier is armed but doesn’t know what to attack because the synthetic estrogens don’t carry the code our natural estrogen would have provided. This can cause the armed immune system to battle our body’s healthy tissue, which will result in an AI for those who are genetically predisposed.”

In the case of MS, the immune system attacks myelin within the central nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Myelin is “the fatty substance that surrounds and insulates the nerve fibers—as well as the nerve fibers themselves, and the specialized cells that make myelin.” So who—or rather, what—is giving the orders for the body’s attack on the central nervous system when it comes to MS? The cause is still unknown, but perhaps clues can be found in the way the disease disproportionately affects women, especially keeping in mind the role estrogen plays in the immune response.

Multiple Sclerosis Disproportionately Affects Women

In general, most AIs affect women more greatly in severity and/or number of cases, and MS is no different. Researchers have found that while MS has always disproportionately affected women, the gap in incidence (number of new cases) between women and men has widened considerably in the last five decades. This suggests that a possible environmental factor is at play, and it just so happens that the increased incidence of MS in women (especially as compared to men) coincides with the widespread use of hormonal contraceptives.

While this might seem like a leap in logic to some, others have noted that as we learn more about the role of estrogen on the gut—and particularly, the huge number of immune receptors located in the gut—we’ve also learned a bit more about autoimmunity’s “female” preference.

Data from a 2014 Kaiser Permanente Southern California study backs up the theory of hormonal contraceptives as a possible MS trigger:

Researchers identified 305 women who had been diagnosed with MS or its precursor, clinically isolated syndrome, during a three-year period from the membership of Kaiser Permanente Southern California and who had been members for at least three years before the MS symptoms began. Then they compared them to 3,050 women who did not have MS . . .

Women who had used hormonal contraceptives were 35 percent more likely to develop MS than those who did not use them. Those who had used the contraceptives but had stopped at least one month before symptoms started were 50 percent more likely to develop MS.

So while autoimmune diseases presents a unique mix of genetic, epidemiological, and environmental factors, perhaps there is something to the theory that the synthetic estrogens from hormonal birth control—which our bodies and environment have been awash in for more than fifty years, now—could be the culprit behind skyrocketing rates of autoimmune diseases (and especially so in women).

Whether or not the birth control-MS link is substantiated further, I’m thankful that, with 50 million Americans currently suffering from an autoimmune disease, and a known genetic link to the disease in my own recent family history, I have ways to plan my family that are both effective and hormone-free. Of course, Ican’t do much about the synthetic estrogens polluting our environment—and, in particular, our water—but at least I know that in foregoing hormonal contraception in favor of a Fertility Awareness-Based Method (FABM) of family planning or Natural Family Planning (NFP), I’m not taking a Pill, receiving an injection, or carrying an implant that is exposing me daily to a substance that could seriously affect my health.

Where Many Fear to Tread, One Shepherd Dares to Go

by 

Organizers of “Gay Pride” events have successfully conditioned the media and the public to talk about these parades as if they were simply celebrations of “equality.” However, even some people who are fully on board with the LGBT agenda have pointed out the obvious: these parades are often less about celebrating equality than they are about celebrating promiscuous sex – the more debauched the better.

A few years ago an openly homosexual columnist in a major Canadian newspaper defended themuch-derided declaration by Toronto’s former mayor that the world-famous Toronto Pride parade is just an event where “middle-aged men with pot bellies” run down the street “buck naked.” “I’d say that was just an accurate description of what goes on,” admitted Josh DehaasDisturbingly, more and more parents are bringing young children to watch the parade, exposing them to provocative displays of sexuality that no child should witness. If a politician believes in family values, why would he or she want to be associated with such debauchery?”

Truth be told, I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that any parent, no matter how liberal, would bring their kids to these parades. A lot of things happen at so-called “gay pride” parades that aren’t fit for polite adult conversation, let alone for the eyes of children. It seems to me that keeping Pride parades child-free should be something that liberals and conservatives could easily agree on. After all, what benefit could there possibly be to exposing children to public nudity, simulated sex acts, highly sexualized displays of affection and dancing, etc.?

Alas, there is no such common ground to be found. After all, we now live in a world where parents openly and proudly encourage their three and four-year-old children to explore “diverse” sexualities, helping them cross-dress in sexually provocative clothing, or bring their pre-pubescent children to gay bars to dance for money, or to appear on national TV shows, where they are lauded and feted by sycophantic hosts and cheering audiences. Furthermore, we have now reached a point where even the mildest expression of dissent from even the most extreme instantiations of the LGBT agenda is greeted with rage

Bishop Tobin’s Tweet

Recently, one of the United States’ Catholic bishops learned the hard way just how bad things have gotten. One June 1, the first day of a month that has been coopted as “Pride month” by LGBT activist, Bishop Thomas Tobin sent out a tweet reminding Catholics that they should not be supporting or attending “Pride” events, which, he said, “promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals.” Such events “are especially harmful for children,” noted the bishop.

bishop tobin tweet
Courtesy of Twitter

The response to this rather mild tweet was extraordinary. As of this writing, there are over 95,000 responses to the tweet – the vast majority of which are deeply, even violently critical. For simply doing the bare minimum of what his job entails – i.e., stating and defending what the Catholic Church believes and has always taught – the bishop found himself in the international spotlightportrayed as an odious purveyor of hatred and bigotry.

Articles about his tweet appeared on CNN, The Daily Mail, the Irish Post, and countless other news publications. Famous actors and actresses took to Twitter to vent their outrage. The mayor of Providence Rhode Island, and the governor of the state, both issued statements condemning the bishop’s remark. One of the priests in Bishop Tobin’s own diocese was featured in numerous news articles, after he pleaded with homosexual parishioners not to leave the Church over the bishop’s tweet.

The next day, Bishop Tobin issued a statement expressing “regret,” not so much for the tweetitself, as the way it was received. “The Catholic Church has respect and love for members of the gay community, as do I,” the bishop stated. “Individuals with same-sex attraction are beloved children of God and our brothers and sisters.” However, he added, “As a Catholic Bishopmy obligation before God is to lead the faithful entrusted to my care and to teach the faith, clearly and compassionately, even on very difficult and sensitive issues.”

The Lessons WCan Learn

This disturbing episode is illuminating in more ways than one. Unfortunately, some of the lessons to be learned are far from encouraging.

In the first place, it seems that we are now at a point in which a completely straight-forward, non-emotional, impersonal, and non-confrontational expression of Catholic teaching – and, for that matter, moral common sense – is widely viewed as de facto intolerance, bigotry and hatred. The organized venom aimed at Bishop Tobin is – and, one suspects, was meant to be – a message sent to every faithful Christian in the country: the mere fact that you believe what Christians have always believed about sexuality makes you an enemy and a persona non grata. Either change your views and conform or be prepared to be hounded into silence.

Bishop Tobin of the Diocese of Providence (courtesy of LifeSite News)

Indeed, the thing that stands out most strongly to me is how mild Bishop Tobin’s tweet was. To anyone with an ounce of common sense, it is clear that Gay Pride parades are harmful to the innocence of children. And to anyone who understands an iota of Catholic moral teaching, it is clear that Gay Pride parades are completely incompatible with life as a faithful Catholic. Bishop Tobin stated both of these facts in a calm, straightforward manner, without a hint of animosity. He was, in other words, doing what any priest or bishop charged with leading a flock should be expected to be doing on a regular basis – instructing the faithful in how to be better Catholics. Given the filth that young children are routinely exposed to at these parades, the bishop could easily have been justified in using stronger language.

As Catholic journalist Phil Lawler recently observed, “what is remarkable about Bishop Tobin’s tweet is that it was so unusual—that other bishops and pastors have not routinely issued similar cautions.” Indeed, one discouraging effect of Bishop Tobin’s tweet has been to highlight how rare it has become for Catholic shepherds to speak unpopular moral truths, particularly on sexual matters. If our priests and bishops were routinely catechizing the faithful on the totality of Catholic moral teaching, then the media would have had a very difficult time making Bishop Tobin’s tweet into a national story. Instead, the good bishop would have been just one among countless other bishops and priests saying exactly the same thing.

We are awash in extremist LGBT propaganda. This is especially true now, in this month of June, when nearly all the large corporations use LGBT-themed marketing, which fills our streets and airwaves. Understandably, many Catholics in the pews simply don’t know what to think, or how to respond. They do not realize how Catholic teaching is grounded in an authentic compassion for homosexual individuals, or how Catholic teaching promotes the happiness and flourishing of individuals and societies by showing how God’s gift of sexuality is best put to use: in a loving union of a man and a woman oriented towards the begetting and raising of children. In the absence of clear voices from the pulpit presenting Catholic teaching in a compelling and unapologetic way, many Catholics are simply being swept away by the prevailing message in the culture. They feel overwhelmed, confused, and brow beaten.

There is a very real human cost to this silence! As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote in the “Letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church on the pastoral care of homosexual persons”:

“[W]e wish to make it clear that departure from the Churchs teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral. Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral. The neglect of the Churchs position prevents homosexual men and women from receiving the care they need and deserve.

The Church’s teachings on sexuality provide the road map for human fulfillment. For a pastorto remain silent out of a fear of losing social esteem or of “offending” Catholics in the pews is to abandon the sheep to the wolves.

Good Shepherd

Indeed, a natural response to the controversy over Bishop Tobin’s tweet would have been for every other priest and bishop in the country to re-tweet the exact same message, or, at the very least, to issue a public statement supporting the bishop, and explaining Catholic teaching in a loving, compassionate way. What a great opportunity for evangelization that would have been! What a powerful message that would have sent! Instead, as the wolves circled for the kill, Bishop Tobin had more the look of a lone sheep than a shepherd among shepherds.

Even worse, the day after Bishop Tobin posted his Tweet, one extremely prominent Catholic cleric, who even enjoys an advisory role at the Vatican, tweeted out a message saying, “Catholics need not be wary of Junes #PrideMonth.” The previous day this same cleric posted a message wishing a “Happy #PrideMonthThis is a breathtaking form of moral blindness. The Catholic Church’s vision of sexuality, which has remained consistent since the earliest days of the Church, is one characterized by wholesomeness, fruitfulness, modesty, self-giving and joy. “Pride” celebrations proclaim a diametrically opposed message. It is quite true that we require creative thinkers to pursue pastoral approaches to reach out to homosexual persons in compassion and love in an effort to help them arrive at the fullness of Christian truth. However, there are simply no compelling arguments that supporting participating in wholly worldly public celebrations of sin does anything except spread confusion, at the enormous cost of souls. The hyper-sexualization of children  including the expectation that parents should bring their children to “Pride” events that is increasingly a feature of the LGBT movement is especially dismaying.

As Catholics we have to support our pastors when they speak difficult truths, as well as challenge them to speak up when they remain silent. A petition supporting Bishop Tobin has received over 25,000 signatures. That’s a good start. I hope you will join me in praying for Bishop Tobin, and all of the Church’s pastors, including myself, that we will be filled with the courage that comes from the Holy Spirit, and that we will imitate the early Apostles by fearlessly proclaiming the totality of the Gospel, regardless of the personal cost.

Casualties of surrogacy

Jennifer Lahl

This essay is adapted from remarks delivered at the Heritage Foundation.

The media and Hollywood celebrities, like Kim Kardashian and Jimmy Fallon, present surrogacy as a wonderful and beautiful thing. Even Ben Shapiro said “surrogacy can be useful and wonderful in some cases” when he spoke at this year’s March for Life. But I’m happy to discuss what you won’t hear about in the media: the health risks to women, and to the children to whom they give birth, of commercial contracted pregnancies.

On October 8, 2015, an American surrogate mother named Brooke Brown died from complications related to pregnancy. Brooke was a commercial gestational surrogate, not the biological mother. She was being paid to carry twins for a couple from Spain, where surrogacy is illegal. This had been an otherwise uncomplicated pregnancy; Brooke was just a day away from a scheduled caesarian section. But then she suffered a complication, called placental abruption (the premature separation of the placenta from the uterus), that proved fatal. The twins died, too.

Almost immediately after the loss of these three lives, women calling themselves Brooke’s “Surro Sisters” set up a GoFundMe page in order to raise $10,000 for Brooke’s family; although in the end they weren’t even able to raise $7,000.

A healthy society would not create a multi-billion-dollar fertility industry at the risk of the health and well-being of women and children. The spirit of proper medicine, expressed in the principle “First, do no harm,” requires us not to allow healthy women to engage in entirely elective, medically risky procedures that do not benefit them in any way and might harm them or lead to their death.

In the process of making documentary films on surrogacy, I have met and interviewed several surrogate mothers whose experiences harmed them, physically and emotionally, and nearly took their lives. Several academic studies have reached the same conclusion. In December 2017, a study in the prestigious journal Fertility and Sterility compared “spontaneous” (that is, “regular”) pregnancy with surrogate pregnancy. It reported that,

Neonates born from commissioned embryos and carried by gestational surrogates have increased adverse perinatal outcomes, including preterm birth, low birth weight, maternal gestational diabetes, hypertension, and placenta previa, compared with the live births conceived spontaneously and carried by the same woman.

The report also found that these pregnancies are more likely to end in cesarean section rather than vaginal birth, which carries more risks both for the surrogate birthmother and for the baby.

Need more evidence of the medical risks to women who serve as surrogates, or to the babies they carry? Dr. Allen Merritt, a perinatologist at Loma Linda Medical Center, in my state, California, published a snapshot of the medical outcomes of the surrogate deliveries that took place at his Medical Center in 2012 and 2013:

RESULTS: Analysis of sixty-nine infants delivered from both gestational and traditional surrogate women found an increase in multiple births, NICU admission, and length of stay, with hospital charges several multiples beyond that of a term infant conceived naturally. Among singletons and twins, hospital charges were increased 26 times . . . and in triplets charges were increased 173 times . . . when compared to a term infant provided care in a normal nursery at our center.

CONCLUSION: Maternity costs for surrogates exceed those of women who conceive naturally, and these costs are especially magnified in women with triplets and multiple births.

Why are these costs so high, and why are the hospital stays so long? Because these are high-risk pregnancies. A woman’s body is not designed to carry another woman’s baby, even just one baby.

Still not convinced? Just a few months ago, in February 2019, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology published findings titled “Risk of Severe Maternal Morbidity by Maternal Fertility Status: a U.S. Study in Eight States.” The study compared the pregnancies of six groups of women: one group that had no fertility issues (called simply “fertile”); one that underwent treatments for infertility; and four that bore children conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF).

This study is significant for several reasons. First, its sample size was huge: it examined 1,477,522 pregnancies and births. Second, the results are quite disturbing (although, as my research assistant said, “it doesn’t seem like fertility doctors even paused to consider their own findings”). I highlight some of the findings below. Keep in mind that gestational surrogate mothers are those who become pregnant by means of IVF and a donor’s eggs.

  • All four groups of women with IVF pregnancies were more likely to require a blood transfusion at delivery.
  • Women with IVF pregnancies who gave birth vaginally were more likely to suffer third- or fourth-degree lacerations to the vagina at delivery.
  • Women with IVF pregnancies that used donors’ eggs, whether fresh or thawed, were more likely to require an unplanned hysterectomy.
  • All groups of women with IVF pregnancies had higher rates of diabetes during pregnancy (“gestational diabetes”) than the group of “fertile” women.
  • The groups of women with IVF pregnancies that used donors’ eggs had the highest rates of hypertension (high blood pressure) for the whole duration of the pregnancy (that is, both pre-gestational and gestational hypertension).
  • The children conceived by IVF were more likely to be admitted to a neonatal (newborn) intensive care unit (NICU).
  • Children conceived by IVF from donors’ eggs had the highest rates of admission to the NICU, and their birth mothers had the highest rates of admission to the ICU (the general intensive care unit).

When Brooke Brown died, I immediately sent a letter to the Attorney General’s office in Idaho (the state where she had lived) asking for an investigation. I received no response. I contacted the press in the hope of getting her story out to the media; but again, no response. My office reached out to the local Baptist church that held Brooke’s memorial service, inquiring about services for the twins who had died. We were told no one knew what had become of the infants.

Brooke’s doctors, and the fertility industry, surely knew that this woman’s body, which had carried her own three children to term and then five surrogate babies, was at high risk of grave injury. We have no business, by any principle—ethical or otherwise—building a multi-billion-dollar industry at the risk of the health and well-being of women and children. In the end, the public deemed Brooke’s life, and those of the infants she carried, to be worthy of no news coverage and of barely $7,000. There’s nothing wonderful, beautiful, or useful about that.

Jennifer Lahl is the Founder and President of the Center for Bioethics and Culture and producer of the documentary films, Eggsploitation, Anonymous Father’s Day, Breeders: A Subclass of Women?, and Maggie’s Story. In 2018 she released #BigFertility which is an official selection in the Silicon Valley International Film Festival. Republished with permission from The Public Discourse.

Neurologist exposes ‘brain death’ myth behind multi-billion-dollar organ transplant industry

ROME, June 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A respected Brazilian neurologist is seeking to blow the lid off the “brain death” myth, saying it is being perpetuated to supply an international multi-billion-dollar transplant industry.

Doctor Cicero G. Coimbra, MD PhD, a neurologist and professor of neuroscience at the Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil, has also said recovery for comatose patients is often possible, but a tightly controlled medical establishment is not giving doctors and medical students the facts they need to “do the best they can” for their patients.

LifeSite sat down with Dr. Coimbra for an in-depth interview in Rome, during a May 20-21 conference on “Brain Death”: A Medicolegal Construct: Scientific & Philosophical Evidence, sponsored by the John Paul Academy for Human Life and Family.

In this interview (read full text below), Dr. Coimbra explains that the term “brain death” was coined in the 1960s, after the first successful human heart transplant “triggered a demand for transplantable vital organs to be harvested from patients” who were considered to be “hopelessly comatose” according to medical knowledge at that time.

There was “no preliminary scientific research” on the brain-death concept before the name was used, he said. But calling these patients “dead” enabled the medical community to overcome all of the legal hurdles associated with removing vital organs from these comatose patients.

Their main mistake, Dr. Coimbra argues, was to consider these patients “irreversibly” brain damaged.

By the 1980s, when organ transplants were performed around the world, medical researchers experimenting on animals discovered that when blood flow to the brain is reduced from the normal range to just 20-50 percent, the brain would “fall silent” — but was neither “dead” nor “irreversibly damaged.” By the end of the 1990s, this phenomenon — called “ischemic penumbra” — was demonstrated in humans, shattering the “brain death” myth.

The brain is silent but not dead, he said.

“Why is the ‘brain death’ theory still so prevalent, and what are students in medical school being taught about this?” LifeSite asked Dr. Coimbra.

The Brazilian neurologist explained that while medical students might hear about this if “information is provided to the general public,” they will not learn it in medical school.

“In medical schools, these concepts that I am telling you about — although they are published — are not available in medical textbooks. They are not available in medical meetings. In medical conferences you cannot find them,” he said, adding that information is being withheld to supply the organ donation industry.

If you speak to doctors one-on-one, they will often tell you they agree, Dr. Coimbra said, but “they don’t want to mess with the transplant system,” which has one of the most “well controlled systems” of information sharing in the world.

“The transplant system is a wealthy system; it is a powerful system,” Dr. Coimbra said. “They are everywhere in the medical community. They are in medical councils and medical academies; they are everywhere … Politically, they are very powerful.”

“In the United States alone, in 2016 the transplant system involved business to the tune of approximately 25 billion dollars,” he noted. “By 2025, it is expected to reach 51 billion dollars per year.”

It is “big business,” he said.

Dr. Coimbra continued:

The brilliant idea of the transplant system was to call what they thought to be irreversible brain damage “brain death.” Because whenever you say someone is against “brain death,” you think: “How can someone possibly be…against death? They don’t believe in death?” But “death” is just a word that was given to a “hopelessly comatose” patient — but they were “hopelessly comatose” at the end of the 60s, not now.

“In a very large number of those patients, they have no damage at all — no brain damage at all — they just have a silent brain,” he added.

To compound the problem, Dr. Coimbra said the standard test used for screening “brain death” — called the “apnea test” — can actually induce irreversible brain damage to an already comatose patient, by reducing the blood and oxygen to the brain for 10 minutes.

Dr. Coimbra said he has seen firsthand that there is hope for patients who have been labeled “brain dead.” If doctors would simply replace three essential (thyroid and adrenal) hormones, “the normal circulation to the brain would be restored,” he explained. But when these hormones are not replaced, the patient progresses “into a disaster.”

The Brazilian neurologist again noted that doctors and medical students are not taught this:

They know what is in the neurology textbook of medicine … They know what’s there, and this is not there.  The importance of replacing thyroid hormone is not discussed in meetings related to brain injuries, and how to treat brain injuries. Not one single intensive care unit in the world replaces thyroid hormones — not a single one that I know of.

To illustrate how much the “brain death” myth has gripped the minds of the medical community, Dr. Coimbra tells the story of a 15-year old girl who began to show signs of brain activity once he administered the necessary hormones. Seeing notes of progress Dr. Coimbra had made in the girl’s medical chart, a doctor on call in the ICU that night wrote: “Once a patient is declared ‘brain dead,’ the patient is dead. It doesn’t matter if later on the patient no longer fulfills the criteria for ‘brain death.’ The patient is legally dead, because it was once diagnosed as ‘brain dead.’”

In the end, Dr. Coimbra said it all comes down to the duty of doctors to honor their sacred oath to “do no harm” and to “do the best they can” for the health and wellbeing of their patient.

Here is our interview with Dr. Cicero Coimbra, MD, PhD, followed by a video of his talk at the recent “brain death” conference in Rome.

*** 

Dr. Coimbra, why is “brain death” a myth?

By the end of the 1960s, the first human heart transplant performed by the surgeon Christiaan Barnard in South Africa triggered a demand for transplantable single vital organs to be harvested from those patients considered to be “hopelessly comatose.” It was the common understanding that, by using all possible techniques and knowledge available at that time, those patients could not be restored to a normal life and would rather eventually evolve to cardiac arrest within a matter of days; they would not recover consciousness. An ad hoc committee at Harvard Medical School decided to call their clinical condition “brain death,” so that they could remove vital organs maintained viable due to sustained heart beating (maintained supply of oxygenated blood) and use those organs to improve the health [of] other people — patients, for instance, who had liver failure, kidney failure, or end-stage heart failure. These people would benefit from having the organs from patients who were “hopelessly comatose.”

Calling these patients “dead” enabled the ad hoc committee to overcome all legal problems related to removing vital organs from comatose patients that could not recover according to the concepts and medical scientific knowledge that we had available by that time, i.e. by the end of the 1960s.

In order to transplant organs, they had to be removed from someone while they are still alive, while the heart is still beating? 

Yes, they removed them from a comatose patient. But they thought it would not be possible to recover those patients, because they did not have the technology and knowledge to recover them.

The main mistake was to consider those patients “irreversibly” brain damaged, but their brain damage was considered irreversible due to the limited knowledge that they had at that time. Later on, as time went by, new knowledge and neurological scientific achievements offered other ideas about what was really going on in these patients. For instance, by the end of the 1960s — when the concept of “brain death” was introduced into medicine — doctors believed that, when there were no signs of brain activity that could be detected by neurological examination, the only possible reason would be the absence of blood circulation in the brain. And because the absence of brain circulation would destroy the brain within minutes, they decided to call it “brain death.”

The problem is that in the 1980s everything started changing. The practice of transplanting vital organs had already spread across the world, but already by 1984 or 1985 experiments carried out in animals — in rodents — demonstrated that when you decrease blood flow to the brain to only 50 percent of the normal range, the brain falls silent. This is because there is not enough energy to sustain what we call “synaptic activity.” Synapsis is the site where one neuron communicates with another neuron. Synaptic activity, which is the release of neurotransmission at the synaptic site, was no longer possible in these brains, because the brain blood flow was 50 percent of the normal range, and that would not provide enough energy for synaptic activity, for neurons to communicate with one another. So, the brain was silent, but the neurons would not die just because the blood flow was reduced to 50 percent.

So, the brain was silent but not dead…

Yes, silent but no neuronal death — no “brain death.” Necrosis, i.e. the process of neuronal death, is a process that takes several hours and is triggered when the blood flow is lower than 20 percent of the normal range.

This interval (approximately between 20 percent and 50 percent of the normal level of circulation) is now known as the “penumbra zone.” It was initially described in situations where there is an obstructed artery that supplies part of the brain. In the peripheral area of this so-called “ischemic” part of the brain, there was a collateral flow of blood supply between 20 and 50 percent of the normal flow, as demonstrated in animals. If you could recirculate that artery, you would save the peripheral area because it was only silent. It was not necrotic; it was not destroyed.

It is quite clear that when you have a patient with head trauma, and the brain is swelling, at some point the arteries that supply blood to the brain start being compressed, because the brain size is increasing within the intracranial space. The intracranial space is protected by bones, and bones cannot expand to accommodate the increase in brain volume. So, if the size of the brain increases as a result of what we know as “brain edema” or “brain swelling,” then the vessels are progressively compressed, and the blood flow to the whole brain decreases proportionally to increases in intracranial pressure. At some point, you will reach the level of a 50 percent decrease as compared to normal range. At this point the whole brain is silent — not a part of it but all of it is silent — but it is still recoverable. It is not dead; it is alive. And that situation was unknown at the end of the 1960s, when the concept of “brain death” was introduced into medicine.

So, it is clear that some of those patients are actually alive. What do I mean by alive? The brain was not destroyed; it was only silent. And the transplantation system has been taking organs from patients who had brain tissue that theoretically could be recovered. That brain tissue is not destroyed.

To me, it was quite clear by the end of the 1990s when the phenomenon of “ischemic penumbra” — a silent brain but no brain destruction — was demonstrated in humans, not only in rodents, that this situation could be called “global ischemic penumbra.”

The problem is that one of the tests used to diagnose “brain death” — called the “apnea test” — involves switching off the respirator. You disconnect the respirator for 10 minutes. When you do that, the high level of carbon dioxide increases sharply. This in turn further increases intracranial pressure and may decrease arterial pressure. So, you increase the compression on the brain vessels and you decrease the pressure within the brain vessels during the apnea test.

What was the purpose of the apnea test? 

The aim of the apnea test is to demonstrate that the patient cannot breathe on his own.

In any culture in the world, it would be unacceptable to say that someone who is breathing is dead. Spontaneous breathing in any culture means life. So, for instance, when a baby is born, and it never breathes, you say that it was born dead. But if the lungs expanded at least once, for legal purposes, even if the baby immediately dies, you say that the baby is alive. The question of whether the baby is alive or dead when the baby is born has considerable legal consequences. No one in any culture of the world — Indian culture or Western culture, etc. — would accept anyone to be dead if that person is capable of breathing on his own. So, the purpose of the apnea test is to demonstrate that the patient cannot breathe on his own and can be regarded as dead.

But imagine for a moment: the respirator is disconnected from the lungs for 10 minutes. In order to breathe on your own, you need your respiratory centers in your brain to be working. They control the diaphragm and the respiratory muscles in general. If you switch off the respirator, and there is no breathing for 10 minutes, they say: “Ok, you see, this is one more piece of evidence that the patient is dead, because he cannot breathe on his own.” The apnea test is considered the fundamental test to diagnose “brain death.” No medical doctor anywhere in the world would diagnose “brain death” without doing this test. So, whenever you hear that a certain patient has been diagnosed as “brain dead,” you know that the apnea test has been performed.

Why isn’t the apnea test legitimate?

It’s not legitimate. Actually, it disrupts the most basic concepts of medicine. For instance, imagine if I prevent you from breathing for 10 minutes, what will happen? You will die.

But in this case, a respirator is helping the person to breathe.

Yes, right. The respirator is helping the person to breathe. You’re correct, no problem about that. The issue is: you are testing the vitality of the respiratory centers. But what will happen to the respiratory centers in a silent brain if you induce a test that decreases the blood flow to the respiratory centers? The respiratory centers were already silent, because they need synaptic function to work. If the blood flow is within the penumbra zone — between 20 and 50 percent — the respiratory centers cannot work, not because they are irreversibly damaged but because they are silent. You would not diagnose this as “brain death.” You will not differentiate the condition of global ischemic penumbra from irreversible brain damage by testing the respiratory function.

You can actually destroy the respiratory centers — as you can damage all parts of the brain — by further reducing the blood flow during the apnea test. Forty percent of the patients who are submitted to the apnea test have a major drop in their blood flow, in their blood pressure. Blood pressure is the pressure that is within the arteries; it’s the pressure that provides the driving force to maintain circulation in the brain. So, when you perform the apnea test, you may actually induce irreversible damage to the brain when you were only supposed to diagnose irreversible brain damage.

That would seem to go against the Hippocratic oath? You are harming the patient in order to apparently test whether a silent brain is dead.

The silent brain is not dead. You induce irreversible damage to the respiratory centers and to the whole brain just by performing the apnea test. So, as you said, they are not respecting the Hippocratic oath, because the most basic concept of medical practice is what you just said: First, “do no harm.” And the second is, “do the best you can.” So, neither of these basic concepts of the Hippocratic oath are being respected in this situation.

If this research has been done in humans as well as in rodents, why is the “brain death” theory still prevalent? And what are students in medical school being taught about this? Would they hear about this latest research?

Well they may hear about it, if you provide information to the general public as you were trying to do. But in medical schools these concepts that I am telling you about — although they are published — are not available in medical textbooks. They are not available in medical meetings. In medical conferences you cannot find them.

Nowadays the transmission of information within the medical community in general — not only in this country or that, but worldwide — is probably, or certainly, the most well controlled system of transmitting information, because it is worth billions of dollars per year. If you put information in a textbook, it can redirect the flow of money from one sector to another. It’s the most well controlled type of transmitting information in our society that I know of.

Are you saying that, for the sake of the organ donation and organ transplant industry, the general public and medical students are not being given this information?

Yes, I have been trying to talk to the neurological community in my country and in other countries, and the reaction that we see is that some [doctors] will tell you — “Okay, I understand what you are saying, but never tell anyone that I agree with you”  — because they don’t want to mess with the transplant system. The transplant system is a wealthy system; it is a powerful system. They are everywhere in the medical community. They are in medical councils and medical academies; they are everywhere. They are very powerful. Politically, they are very powerful.

What could happen to a doctor if he tried to go against the system?

Well, maybe what happened to me. I had to fight in court to hold on to my license to work as a doctor for 19 years in Brazil. And that was a long time. So, you understand why some doctors that are aware of what is happening do not want to talk freely about that. They simply do not want to mess with powerful people.

They even control and have an influence in the press. Sometimes it is said, “Oh that doctor is against ‘brain death.’” The brilliant idea of the transplant system was to call what they thought to be irreversible brain damage “brain death.” Because whenever you say someone is against “brain death,” you think: “How can someone possibly be against death? They don’t believe in death?” But “death” is just a word that was given to a “hopelessly comatose” patient — but they were “hopelessly comatose” at the end of the 60s, not now.

Now you can understand that, in a very large number of those patients, they have no damage at all — no brain damage at all — they just have a silent brain. And that was confirmed in the middle of the 70s. In the mid 70s, some people from histopathology or pathologist[s] started wondering how a doctor since 1968 (when “brain death” was introduced into medicine) can say that there is necrosis of the whole brain — that there is irreversible damage of the cells in the whole brain, just by doing a neurological examination? Pathologists started wondering what is happening here. They wondered: “How can they possibly use a term like ‘necrosis,’ which is the terminology that only pathologists use when they look at the tissue under the microscope.”

So, they started checking into this. They did histological examinations in patients who were diagnosed as “brain dead” for 48 hours — so time enough for full necrosis to occur. No signs of brain activity, no evidence of blood flow for 48 hours. The whole brain should be necrotic; it’s time enough for full necrosis. When they examined those brains — I think the article was published by 1976 — they saw that about 60 percent of those brains had no signs of necrosis at all.

People who were in favor of “brain death” had to defend themselves when these papers were published. They said, “Okay, necrosis in those cases is indicated by such tiny signs that you cannot see it in the microscope. That’s why you cannot see it, but we know it’s there. We know, because there is no possible explanation for absence of blood flow for 48 hours.” Again, when more and more evidence was available to demonstrate that what they had thought in 1968 — which was complete absence of blood flow — was not true, they tried to say something else or invent something else in order to explain it — even as a hypothesis.

You saw that in this conference [on “Brain Death”: A Medicolegal Construct: Scientific & Philosophical Evidence] — it was said several times — that when the practice of “brain death” was introduced into medicine, there were no scientific papers to support it, no scientific research. It was simply a concept: “Ok, we believe that those patients have no blood flow, because they have such a severe edema that the blood vessels are completely compressed. There’s no blood flow. There is no way that the brain could survive after a few hours under no blood flow. So, we will call it ‘brain death’ because that’s what we believe is going on.”

But as I told you, and as you heard from several speakers, there was no preliminary scientific research on the concept of “brain death” to support the concept of “brain death.”

While they claimed that the brain was “dead,” what was going on in the body? The heart is still beating…

Yes, because if it’s not beating you cannot use vital organs. If there is an arrest in circulation, you have damaged organs that you’re trying to transplant to other people.

Dr. Coimbra, when people hear “brain death,” they think the brain is dead. But as you have explained, the brain is actually silent. When the brain is silent, what is the state of the other organs and systems in the body?

This is a very important question, because one of the parts of the brain that is possibly within the range of ischemic penumbra, between 20 percent and 50 percent of the normal levels of circulation, is the hypothalamus.

The hypothalamus produces several hormones that control other glands in our body. And there are at least three hormones that are very important to our discussion. Because the hypothalamus is also under low levels of circulation, the production of those hormones is decreased.

For instance, one of these hormones is the hormone that releases TSH from the pituitary gland. TSH is “thyroid stimulating hormone.” So, you have the hypothalamus producing TSH-releasing hormone. TSH-releasing hormone induces the production of TSH by the hypophysis [pituitary gland].  The hypophysis releases TSH into the circulation, and then the thyroid gland located in our neck keeps producing thyroid hormone.

Thyroid hormones have an action in the brain. They have actions in all of our organs. One of the most important actions is to prevent fluid from leaking into the tissues. So, when you have a patient who has had a brain trauma, for instance, and that trauma has increased the volume of the brain, and now the blood vessels are compressed, the blood vessels that supply blood to the hypothalamus are also compressed. And then you get into a state that is called “Central hypothyroidism.” In this state, the thyroid gland decreases the production of thyroid hormones, because the thyroid gland is not receiving enough stimulation from the brain.

So, the lack of thyroid hormones increases brain damage and brain edema, i.e. brain swelling. This is a critical situation, which I could put this way: if you don’t replace thyroid hormone the brain tissue will die, because the brain swelling will progress, progress, and progress up to the point that the blood vessels are fully compressed, and you have no blood flow at all. Then you have irreversible damage to the brain. But when the blood supply to the brain is within the range of “ischemic penumbra” (a silent but not irreversibly damaged brain) or progressing to that situation (progressing into deeper levels of coma – with reduced, but not absent neurological signs of brain activity) you can rescue the brain, just by giving three hormones.

One of the most important ones is the thyroid hormones. If you give the comatose patient thyroid hormones, you will prevent further leakage of liquids from the intravascular space (the space within blood vessels) into the brain tissue. The progress of brain swelling will stop and reverse, the brain vessels will no longer be compressed, you will increase the blood supply to the brain and the patient will start recovering brain functions.

But this situation starts long before the beginning of [the] screening test for “brain death.” We have a scale to measure the level of coma. It’s called the “Glasgow Coma Scale.” A normal person who is fully awake is at level 15 on the Glasgow Coma Scale. When there are no signs of brain activity, you are at level 3. When you reach level 3, you start screening the patient for the diagnosis of “brain death.”

But when the Glasgow Coma Scale is far away from 3 — when it is around 8 or 7 — most if not all patients have low circulating levels of thyroid hormone. By that point the brain edema is now turned into the so-called “brain myxedema,” because the edema is now caused by a lack of enough amounts of thyroid hormones. Therefore, if you start replacing thyroid hormones when a patient of a traumatic brain injury is at the Glasgow levels of 8 or 7 — the patient’s neurological state can improve and even all neurological functions can be normalized. And this is an obligation, this is not something that you say, “Okay, I will leave it like that.” No, you see that something is wrong, and you can save the life of a patient. Hypothyroidism is a lethal disorder; if you don’t treat it patients will die.

It goes back to what you said about the Hippocratic oath. The most basic part is “do not harm” to your patients. But the second part is “do the best you can” to save the life of your patients, to improve their health, to improve the wellbeing of your patient.

So “do your best” and now you’re not following the second aspect of the Hippocratic oath. You should replace thyroid hormones in order to prevent so-called “brain death.”

And is this generally done? Are these three hormones generally given?

No, it’s not done anywhere.

Why not?

This is a question that the medical community should answer. Why are they not following the second principle of the Hippocratic oath in this situation? It’s been published since the 80s.

So they know … it’s not as though the doctors who are dealing with these patients don’t understand what happens to the thyroid …

When you say they “know,” I have to say that it’s published, but I would not say that the doctors “know” because they don’t know everything that is published. They know what is in the neurology textbook of medicine, like the neurology textbook. They know what’s there, and this is not there.  The importance of replacing thyroid hormone is not discussed in meetings related to brain injuries, and how to treat brain injuries. Not one single intensive care unit in the world replaces thyroid hormones — not a single one that I know of. Because, you know, if you would replace thyroid hormones when the Glasgow Coma Scale is at 7 or 8, probably almost no patient would progress into so-called “brain death.” So, it’s not done — it’s simply not done.

What happens to the brain when these thyroid hormones are not given to the patient?

As the brain swells because thyroid hormones are not replaced, the hypothalamus stops or decreases the production of other hormones that are very important for the survival of the comatose patient.

One of the most important ones is the so-called ACTH. ACTH is a hormone that is produced under the stimulation of the hypothalamus. It is produced by the hypophysis [pituitary gland], and it stimulates the adrenal glands to produce hormones that keep your blood pressure within the normal range.

If you can compose the whole situation in your mind: you have a decreased level of thyroid hormones — that’s why the brain is swelling, that’s why the blood flow is decreased: because blood vessels are being compressed in the intracranial space. The patient is evolving to the so-called…“brain death.” And now, the pressure within the vessels that is necessary to supply blood flow to the brain is also decreasing, because the adrenal glands are not providing enough amounts of what we call “mineralocorticoids” to stabilize the blood pressure. So, the blood pressure within the vessel is going down — the pressure which is necessary to supply blood flow to the brain.

So, you have these two circumstances that co-operate to damage the brain: you have increased intracranial pressure because of lack of thyroid hormones, and you have decreased blood pressure because of low levels of adrenal hormones. And again, because those adrenal hormones are not replaced, the patient – the whole organism — is progressing into a disaster.

You said that three hormones should be given. What is the third? 

There is a third hormone that should be given to those patients and it’s also produced by the hypothalamus and the hypophysis. It is called ADH, which stands for “antidiuretic hormone.” It prevents your kidneys from releasing large amounts of fluid that would further decrease the volume within your vessels. The further decrease in pressure within the blood vessels comes from the fact that you don’t have enough volume within your circulatory system to sustain circulation.

This third hormone is the only one that is sometimes given to those patients, because it’s impossible not to identify this situation. If you want to identify the situation when thyroid hormones are low, you have to measure them. If you want to identify a situation where adrenal gland hormones are low, you have to measure them. But you know whether the patient is producing low levels of ADH, you know it because he (she) is eliminating a lot of urine — 6 liters, 8 liters, or even 10 liters of urine every day.

The lack of these three hormones will lead the organism into a disaster. And they are not replaced. Because what should be done is not being done, this patient will die within a few days. Nearly these patients will die within a few days due to cardiac arrest. But that’s because you are not considering part of the second Hippocratic oath, which is: you should do the best you can to save the life of your patient. You’re not replacing thyroid hormones; you’re not replacing adrenal hormones; you’re sometimes not replacing ADH, so those patients will die in a few days.

How do those who support “brain death” defend this?

Believe it or not, people who are in favor of “brain death” say it doesn’t matter what you do. The say that, even with the most aggressive intensive care treatment, these patients will die within a few days, so it’s a good idea to take their organs to save the lives of other people. But, actually, those patients have not been treated as they should. The most basic treatment, that is, replacing of all these three hormones, is not done, so the patient will die.

Hypothyroidism is known by the medical community to be a lethal disorder if it’s left untreated. Adrenal failure, which I just described, is also known to be a lethal disorder if it’s left untreated. And the same is true for diabetes insipidus, which is due to the lack of ADH. So, you have three lethal disorders in the same patient, and you don’t treat them. Instead, you say: “Those patients will die even if you give them the most aggressive intensive care treatment.” It’s not true. You don’t know what’s happening. You don’t know the pathophysiology of what is happening with this patient.

Medical doctors are not taught to give thyroid hormones or adrenal hormones; sometimes they are not even taught to give ADH. Doctors sometimes say this is happening “because the brain is dying.” But, actually, the brain is dying because they not replacing those thyroid hormones. If doctors would replace these three types of hormones, the normal circulation to the brain would be restored and the hypothalamus will restart producing normal amounts of all those hormones.

Have you treated patients who have recovered from severe brain trauma through the use of these hormones?

Yes, I treated a 39-year-old woman who was declared “brain dead”… It was a surgical accident that caused the damage to the brain, and I started the replacement of these hormones four days after the event. I have to tell you that it should have started beforehand, not four days later. But she was already diagnosed as “brain dead” and the family had been told. So, we started replacing the thyroid hormones at day four. Eight days after the beginning of the replacement of thyroid hormones and the other hormones, the patient started to breathe on her own. Therefore, the patient could no longer be recognized as someone who is dead, because she was breathing. As I said before, the ability to breathe on one’s own is a sign of life in any culture of the world, so that patient was alive.

One month later, she was able to communicate with her parents. Because she had a tracheostomy she had to communicate by lip reading. She would only move her lips, because there wasn’t sufficient air to vibrate the vocal cords. There was no sound, but she could communicate by lip reading and that continued for two or three months.

Unfortunately, she died because she was in bed too long and she had clot formations within the veins of her legs and the clots moved to her lungs. She died because of pulmonary embolism.

But she was able to communicate with her parents before she died.

Yes, for two or three months she could communicate with them…

Which is all the difference for the family…the fact that the parents were able to communicate with their daughter.

Her brain was functional. Of course, she had some severe neurological problems related to movement. Her movements were severely restricted. But we did not know what would have happened in the next few months, if she would start moving her arms and legs or not. Unfortunately, she had this clinical complication and died because of that.

Since you asked, it is important to say that, before this lady, I treated a 15-year-old girl. I started the treatment one month after the accident. She had already been submitted to three apnea tests. She breathed in the first and the second, but not in the third. They were done on consecutive days, so each of the tests were an additional aggression to the patient, to the brain circulation, and finally she could not resist the third. She was in a deep coma with no respiratory reflexes.

That patient was not in the same city where I worked, and the family moved from another state in Brazil to the state of São Paulo. I started the replacement of the thyroid hormones too late, but at some point, about two weeks later, under thyroid hormone replacement and the replacement of other hormones, that patient was having seizures, convulsions, on the right side.

But a person who is “brain dead” doesn’t have brain seizures, do they?

No, a dead brain cannot have a seizure. That’s what I wrote on the patient’s chart.

The doctor on call that night in the ICU was someone involved in a transplant system. And he wrote something [in the chart] like: “once a patient is declared ‘brain dead,’ the patient is dead. It doesn’t matter if later on the patient no longer fulfills the criteria for ‘brain death.’ The patient is legally dead, because it was once diagnosed as ‘brain dead.’”

I can prove this. I have a copy of the patient’s chart. So, you see the conflict of interest here. In the United States alone, in 2016 the transplant system involved business to the tune of approximately 25 billion dollars. By 2025, it is expected to reach 51 billion dollars per year.

On the internet, you can find announcements suggesting that you should buy shares from those pharmaceutical companies, because they will be increasing profits and you can earn a lot of money by buying their shares. So, this is big, big business. You can see how powerful these people are.

Imagine that you knew a very well-known, prestigious transplant surgeon, who has been performing vital organ transplants for 30 years. He is very skillful surgeon, possibly world-renowned. And then you come to him and say that “brain death” is not death anymore, because now we know much more than we knew in 1968, when brain that was introduced into medicine.

Imagine that you tell him he should stop doing vital organ transplants. He has been doing them for 30 years, and he is very skillful, perhaps a world-renowned doctor. Do suppose that he will accept that peacefully? It’s difficult. After 30 years, all the prestige that has accumulated and then you tell him he should look for another way of making money — another specialty because transplants are no longer possible.

It seems it goes back to the Hippocratic oath. A doctor makes a vow when he becomes doctor. It is a sacred vow.  

Yes, definitely.

***

See below the complete 41-minute talk by Dr. Coimbra given May 20, 2019 at the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family Conference in Rome.

***

VIDEO: Hear the actual heartbeats

 

A preborn baby is beautiful and fascinating, and technology is revealing the development of this tiny human person growing in his mother’s womb. The amazing moment that a mother can hear the heartbeat of her preborn child has been captured thousands of times on video, and shared on YouTube and other social media.

Below are some of these precious moments which prove, yet again, that the baby in the womb is very much alive and deserves our full protection:

5 weeks:

6 weeks:

7 weeks:

8 weeks:

9 weeks:

10 weeks:

“When a heartbeat can be detected, a life should be protected” — this is the impetus behind “heartbeat bills” which ban abortion after a preborn child’s heartbeat can be detected, usually by six weeks.

On November 1, 2017, a federal Heartbeat Protection Act received a hearing before a Congressional Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. The bill, H.R. 490, was sponsored by Representative Steve King (R – Iowa), who is also the Chairman of the Subcommittee. The bill did not succeed.

By just 22 days after conception, a baby’s heart is confirmed to be beating in utero. But more recent studies show it might actually start beating as early as 16 days after conception.

Products That Use Aborted Fetuses

by 

Do some products contain fetal parts? The short gruesome answer: Yes.

Today’s consumer products are not the soap and lampshades of recycled Nazi concentration camp victims. The new utilitarian use of people is a sophisticated enterprise, not visible to the human eye.

Fetal Parts in Daily Life

Perhaps you are a diligent supporter and promoter of pro-life legislation, only vote for pro-life candidates, avoid entertainment from musicians and actors who openly support Planned Parenthood. Regardless, you may unwittingly be cooperating in aborted fetal cell research by purchasing products that use aborted fetuses, either in the product itself or in its development.

One might take Enbrel (Amgen) to relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis. Your husband was given Zoastavax (Merck), a Shingles vaccine, at his annual physical. Your mother with diabetes and renal failure is prescribed Arensep (Amgen). Your grandfather is given the blood product Repro (Eli Lilly) during an angioplasty. The local school district requires that your grandchildren receive the MMRII (the Merck Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine). Your daughter and son use coffee creamers and eat soup with artificial flavor enhancers (Senomyx/Firmenich) tested on artificial taste buds engineered from aborted fetal cells.

Because of the vagary of FDA labeling, unless you are proficient at reading patents and pharmaceutical inserts you wouldn’t know aborted fetal parts were there without someone to tell you.

there are some products that use aborted fetuses

Luckily, that someone is the watchdog group Children of God for Life (COG), a pro-life public citizen group which tracks the use of aborted fetal parts. Under the leadership of Executive Director Debi Vinnedge, COG publishes a downloadable list of products that use aborted fetuses currently available in the U.S.

Products That Use Aborted Fetuses

Products related to fetal material can be broken down into roughly 3 categories: artificial flavors, cosmetics, and medicines/vaccines.

1. Food and Drink

To be clear, food and beverages do not contain any aborted fetal material; however, they may be tastier because of it. How is that?

nestle coffee creamer

The American biotech company Senomyx has developed chemical additives that can enhance flavor and smell. To do this, they had to produce an army of never-tiring taste testers–that is, flavor receptors engineered from human embryonic kidney cells (HEK 293, fetal cell line popular in pharmaceutical research).[1] These artificial taste buds can tell product developers which products the public will crave. The goal is to do a taste bud “sleight of hand,” creating low-sugar and low-sodium products that taste sweet or salty while actually using less sugar or sodium in the product.

Does your Nestle Coffee-mate Pumpkin Spice refrigerated creamer taste more like autumn? Does your Maggi bouillon taste just like chicken? Thank Senomyx.

The laboratory-created artificial enhancers do not have to be tested at length by the FDA because the Senomyx chemical “flavor compounds are used in proportions less than one part per million” and can be classified as artificial flavors.[2]

In 2005, Senomyx had contracts to develop products for Kraft Foods, Nestle, Campbell Soup and Coca-Cola.[3] However, when it was discovered in 2011 that PepsiCo was using Senomyx to develop a reduced sugar beverage, a boycott ensued that caused Kraft-Cadbury Adams LLC and Campbell Soup cancelled their contracts with Senomyx. In a 2012 letter to Children of God for Life, PepsiCo stated, “Senomyx does not use HEK cells or any other tissues or cell lines derived from human embryos or fetuses for research performed on behalf of PepsiCo.”[4] To that effect, PepsiCo is working with Senomyx on two products developed with Sweetmyx 617, a new Senomyx sweet taste modifier.[5]

In November 2018, the Swiss company Firmenich acquired Senomyx, Inc. Firmenich describes itself as “a global leader in taste innovation and expert in sweet, cooling and bitter solutions.”

2. Cosmetics

The fountain of youth…is babies.

Commercially, it’s known as Processed Skin Proteins (PSP), developed at the University of Lausanne to heal burns and wounds by regenerating traumatized skin. The fetal skin cell line was taken from an electively aborted baby whose body was donated to the University.[6]

Neocutis, a San Francisco-based firm, uses PSP in some of their anti-aging skin products. Their website claims the trademarked PSP “harnesses the power of Human Growth Factors, Interleukins and other Cytokines, to help deliver state-of-the-art skin revitalization.”

3. Vaccines and Medicine

The Vaccine Card at the Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute (SCPI) website lists over 21 vaccines and medical products that contain aborted fetal cell lines. The Card is updated yearly, and also lists ethical vaccine alternatives when there are any.

SCPI is a biomedical research organization headed by Theresa Deisher, who has a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Physiology from Stanford and 23 patents in the field to her name.  Dr. Deisher, the first person to identify and patent stem cells from the adult heart, has an insiders understanding of genetic engineering having worked in the industry leaders such as Amgen, Genetech, and Repligen.[7]

Among other things SCPI “promotes awareness about the widespread use of fetal human material in drug discovery, development and commercialization.”

No vaccine product is completely pure: “You will find contaminating DNA and cellular debris from the production cell in your final product. When we switch from using animal cells to using human cells we now have human DNA in our vaccines and our drugs.”[8]

The problem is three-fold. Aborted fetal parts are used for experiments, aborted fetal cell lines are used, and fetal cellular DNA debris are in vaccines and medicines.

But it is not just human DNA that is left over, so are some of the chemical stabilizers that keep the product from degrading, as well as, stimulants to rev up the immune system.

“Vaccines are a virus that have been put into a vial, in a liquid, which is the buffer, which we call excipients, and companies have put in stabilizers so that the virus won’t degrade and other things that kind of rev up your immune system so that they can use lower amounts of the virus and have a greater profit margin. And immune stimulants are things like aluminum and thimerosal, they are stabilizers but they rev up the immunes system, so all of these things are in the final product, including contaminates from the cell lines that are used to manufacture the vaccines.”[9]

Why aren’t the contaminates removed? Because nobody wants a pediatric vaccine that costs a few thousand dollars.[10]

In finance, the yield is inversely related to the price. In chemistry, the yield is inversely related to purity. The price of inexpensive mass-produced vaccines is that the medical establishment accepts that the vaccines contain a high amount of fetal contaminates.

“[I]f they have purified out the containments from the cell lines, the yield would be so low that they wouldn’t make any money, or no one would pay a thousand dollars or ten thousand dollars for a vaccine. And so because of that case remnants from the cell lines, in that case, fetal cell lines are in the final product. And they are at actually very high levels. And in the chicken pox, the fetal DNA contaminates are present at twice the levels of the active ingredient which is Varicella DNA.”[11]

The Fetal Tissue Marketplace

Much research is currently being done with fetal cells.

scientific instruments

We know this because, for one, there’s a market for fetal parts. In a series of undercover videos, David Daleiden of The Center for Medical Progress exposed Planned Parenthood abortion clinics selling fetal parts to investigators posing as and medical researchers. And for his efforts his office was raided in 2016 by then California Attorney General Kamala Harris, now a Senator and 2020 Presidential Candidate Harris.[12] Daleiden is currently being pursued in court by current California Attorney General, and former Democrat California Congressman, Xavier Becerra.

We already knew this was happening from the testimony of scientists themselves. On January 11, 2018, professor emeritus Dr. Stanley Plotkin, the lead developer of the Rubella vaccine for the Wistar Institute (Philadelphia) in the 1960s, was deposed as an expert witness on Vaccinology in a Michigan child custody case.[13] Dr. Plotkin was asked how many aborted fetuses he has used in his experiments:

QUESTION: So in your, in all of your work related to vaccines throughout your whole career, you’ve only ever worked with two fetuses?

PLOTKIN: In terms of making vaccines, yes.

But after being presented with Exhibit 41 (Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine), the two fetuses involved in his experiment grows exponentially to 76 aborted fetuses.

QUESTION: So this study involved 74 fetuses, correct?

PLOTKIN: Seventy-six.

QUESTION: And these fetuses were all three months or older when aborted, correct? PLOTKIN: Yes.

A true enough response. Fetal cells, for that matter all normal cells, have a finite capacity to replicate following the principle of cellular aging. The vaccine trail needed many cell lines in order to achieve its end. 

An interesting aside, during questioning Dr. Plotkin answered affirmatively that some of his subjects for experimental vaccine trials had been children of “mothers in prison,” the mentally ill, and “individuals under colonial rule” [Belgian Congo].

Dr. Theresa Deisher first became aware of the introduction of fresh aborted fetal material in drug discovery in 1996.[14] Fresh fetal parts are a time-saver compared to the days spent washing and prepping animal tissue, like monkey hearts, for laboratory experiments. While it is not legal to sell aborted fetal tissue, it is still available in catalogues and comes with high prices for shipping and handling.

A Better Option

According to Dr. David A. Prentice Vice, President of the Charlotte Lozier Institute and Adjunct Professor of Molecular Genetics at the John Paul II Institute, adult stem cells are the benchmark for research that has led to actual cures for patients.

“The superiority of adult stem cells in the clinic and the mounting evidence supporting their effectiveness in regeneration and repair make adult stem cells the gold standard of stem cells for patients.”[15]

Then why are we still using embryonic cell lines when adult stem cells have become the Gold Standard? There seems to be little excuse for products that use aborted fetuses.

U.S. Policy on Products That Use Aborted Fetuses

Bill Clinton signing document
President Bill Clinton

On the 20th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade in 1993, President Clinton signed five abortion-related memorandums which included the reversal of the George H. W. Bush era moratorium on creating new fetal tissue for research, claiming at the time that, “This moratorium has significantly hampered the development of possible treatments for individuals afflicted with serious diseases and disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and leukemia.”[16]

While a bio-ethics debate transfixed the country in 2006 as to whether the United States would allow the use of new aborted fetal stem cells in research, [see White House Fact Sheet on Stem Cell Research Policy], the medical research community had already decided that the future lay with human-animal hybrids and new aborted fetal cell lines. According to a statement submitted to the President’s Bioethics Council:

“Aborted human DNA in our vaccines is not the end, it is only the beginning, as the creation of human-animal hybrids demonstrates. A new aborted fetal cell line has been developed, called PerC6, and licenses have been taken by over 50 partners, including the NIH and the Walter Reed Army Institute, to use this cell line for new vaccine and biologics production. The goal of the company that created the PerC6 is to become the production cell line for ALL vaccines, therapeutics antibodies, biologic drugs and gene therapy.”[17]

And this has largely come to pass.

In 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services granted a second 90-day extension to a contract it has with the University of California at San Francisco that requires UCSF to make “humanized mice” for on-going AIDS research. The human fetal tissue comes from late-term abortions.

CNSNews reported that “according to an estimate it has published on its website, the National Institutes of Health (which is a division of HHS) will spend $95 million this fiscal year alone on research that–like UCSF’s “humanized mouse” contract–uses human fetal tissue.”[18]

See here for news on how the Trump administration limited the sale of fetal parts.

Stop Ebola? Prevent Zika Virus? Cure AIDS? Look for more, not fewer, aborted fetal products in the future.

 

Writer Andrea Byrnes was the first producer of U.S. March for Life coverage at EWTN Global Catholic Network, which she continued to supervise for seven years. She attended her first HLI conference in 1989, where she first met Servant of God Dr. Jerome Lejeune. She and her husband would later pray for Lejeune’s intercession for her son’s health difficulties discovered before birth, and thanks be to God, he is thriving.

Notes

[1] Melanie Warner, “Pepsi’s Bizarro World: Boycotted Over Embryonic Cells Linked to Lo-Cal Soda.” CBS News Moneywatch. June 3, 2011.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pepsis-bizarro-world-boycotted-over-embryonic-cells-linked-to-lo-cal-soda/

[2] Melanie Warner, “Food Companies Test Flavorings That Can Mimic Sugar, Salt or MSG” New York Times. April 6, 2005.

https://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/06/business/food-companies-test-flavorings-that-can-mimic-sugar-salt-or-msg.html

[3] Melanie Warner, “Food Companies Test Flavorings That Can Mimic Sugar, Salt or MSG” New York Times. April 6, 2005.

[4] PepsiCo to Debi Vinnedge Executive Director, Children of God for Life. April 26, 2012.

https://cogforlife.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/pepsiresponse042012.pdf

[5] Christ Young, “San Diego Company’s New ‘Sweetness Enhancer’ Draws Scrunity.” Inewsource. KPBS.Org. October 8, 2015

https://www.kpbs.org/news/2015/oct/08/san-diego-companys-new-sweetness-enhancer-draws-sc/

[6] Valerie Robinson, “Aborted fetus cells used in beauty creams.” The Washington Times. November 3, 2009.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/3/aborted-fetus-cells-used-in-anti-aging-products/

[7] Theresa A. Deisher, Phd. “Testimony on Conscience Rights related to biologic drug disclosure and alternative drugs.” President’s Council on Bioethics Archive. Georgetown University. September 8, 2008.

https://bioethicsarchive.georgetown.edu/pcbe/transcripts/sept08/deisher_statement.pdf

[8] Theresa A. Deisher, Phd. “Testimony on Conscience Rights related to biologic drug disclosure and alternative drugs.” President’s Council on Bioethics Archive. Georgetown University. September 8, 2008.

[9] “Dr. Theresa Deisher Guelph, Ontario Canada June 23, 2018.” Vaccine Choice Canada published on YouTube. August 2, 2018.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1k6xLQnJD8

[10] The National Vaccine Injury Act was signed in 1986 so that manufactures wouldn’t raise the price of vaccines due to injury lawsuits. Robert Pear, “Reagan Signs Bill on Drug Exports and Payment for Vaccine Injuries.” New York Times. November 15, 1986. https://www.nytimes.com/1986/11/15/us/reagan-signs-bill-on-drug-exports-and-payment-for-vaccine-injuries.html

[11] “Dr. Theresa Deisher Guelph, Ontario Canada June 23, 2018.” Vaccine Choice Canada published on YouTube. August 2, 2018.

[12] Paige St. John. “Kamala Harris’ support for Planned Parenthood draws fire after raid on anti-abortion activist. Los Angeles Times. April 7, 2016.

https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-kamala-harris-planned-parenthood-20160407-story.html

[13] DEPOSITION OF STANLEY A. PLOTKIN, M.D.CASE # 2015-831539-DM, JANUARY 11, 2018, COUNTY OF OAKLAND CIRCUIT COURT, FAMILY DIVISION, MICHIGAN. Ricardo Beas — RBWorks© — Natural Law Church of Health and Healing© © Common Law Copyright – All Rights Reserved, Without Prejudice.

http://www.cafepeyote.com/files/Plotkin_Deposition_-_Summary.pdf

“King of Vaccines Comes Clean!” The HighWire with Del Bigtree. Youtube. Published. January 17, 2009.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NACBHtFMllA

[14] Dr. Theresa Deisher: Moral Vaccine Development. Saint Michael Broadcasting. YouTube. Published March 5, 2011.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTEh_BsGwZQ

[15] Wesley J. Smith. “Adult Stem Cells Now the “Gold Standard.” National Review. March 15, 2019. 2:40 PM.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/adult-stem-cells-now-the-gold-standard/

[16] Robin Toner. “Settling In: Easing Abortion Policy; Clinton Orders Reversal of Abortion Restrictions Left By Reagan and Bush.” New York Times. January 23, 1993.

https://www.nytimes.com/1993/01/23/us/settling-easing-abortion-policy-clinton-orders-reversal-abortion-restrictions.html

[17] Theresa A. Deisher, Phd. “Testimony on Conscience Rights related to biologic drug disclosure and alternative drugs.” President’s Council on Bioethics Archive. Georgetown University. September 8, 2008.

[18] Terence P. Jeffrey. “HHS Extends Contract to Make ‘Humanized Mice’ With Aborted Baby Parts for Another 90 Days.” CNSNews. March 1, 2019. 5:16 PM.

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/hhs-extends-contract-make-humanized-mice-aborted-baby-parts-another?fbclid=IwAR0NpDMb6W3BVweC0-H4TUza6Ix2aMyjoTn6cOvSmJ9e0YfLk7C6WLueqMw

2 thoughts on “Products That Us

Under New Bill, Wisconsin Pharmacists Could Prescribe Hormonal Birth Control

By Gabriella Patti   

Under New Bill, Wisconsin Pharmacists Could Prescribe Hormonal Birth Control

According to an article published by Wisconsin Public Radio, Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin are introducing a new bill that would allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control pills and patches. As of now, only doctors can prescribe birth control under Wisconsin state law.

Under this proposed law, all that would be required of patients would be to fill out a questionnaire and undergo a blood pressure test in order to receive a prescription. The two lawmakers pushing for this bill, Reps. Mary Felzkowski and Joel Kitchens, “wrote in a memo seeking co-sponsors that they want to give women more choices for reproductive care and reduce unplanned pregnancies.”

Unfortunately, despite these representatives’ intentions, data shows that increased access to birth control does not always decrease unplanned pregnancies but sometimes increases them, by providing couples with a false sense of security that they cannot have a pregnancy when using it. All forms of birth control have a failure rate and when we consider the high number of people are using birth control, the number of those who get pregnant using it is not insignificant.

As former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson describes it to Natural Womanhood, “according to Guttmacher themselves, Planned Parenthood’s own research arm, is that 54% of women who are having abortions are using contraception at the time when they get pregnant. So the idea that contraception is working for women and that it’s preventing [unplanned pregnancies and] abortion is not true. If it were, that number would not be 54%.”

Natural Womanhood, Fertility Awareness Based Methods, Natural Family Planning, NFP, FABM, FAM, birth control side effects, womens health, reproductive health, fertility awareness, hormonal birth control, pharmacist, prescriptions, Wisconsin law, access to birth control

TURNING PATIENTS INTO CUSTOMERS

At present, pharmacists can prescribe birth control in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, Tennessee, Utah, Washington D.C., and Washington state. Each state has different requirements and restrictions, and pharmacists in these states can opt out of providing this service.

This push towards eliminating the step of visiting the doctor’s office to get prescription medication rings familiar, as Natural Womanhood contributor,  Lindsay Schlegel recently wrote about the rise of direct-to-consumer medicine providing websites. In this model, the patient—who is now better described as a customer—fills out an online questionnaire through the website. Their questionnaire is then used to prescribe the customer with the proper medication, which is then mailed directly to their doorstep.

Although this model is certainly convenient, Schlegel addressed the overwhelming concern of where this system might lead us:

“Skipping a visit to the doctor’s office and pharmacy is certainly more convenient than dealing with uncertain wait times. Still, we have to consider that in this model, ‘doctors can’t address secondary issues that surface during a consultation and can’t add information to a patient’s home medical record,’ notes Vishal Khetpal, third-year medical student at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, in his essay ‘The Worrisome Rise of Direct-to-Consumer Medicine’ published at Undark, an editorially independent magazine.”

While we recognize that by having pharmacists prescribe birth control we are not eliminating face-to-face interaction, this does dispose of the aspects of personal care for the whole health of a patient that only a doctor can provide. In general, pharmacists are not permitted to prescribe drugs, only handle and administer them. Whereas a doctor has the opportunity to treat a patient more holistically, the interaction with a pharmacist is brief and puts them in the position to be more of a drug gatekeeper.

As the access to hormonal birth control is made more easily available without doctors’ involvement, we should be concerned with her women will become collateral damage in a system that treats them like customers buying harmless products rather than as patients with individual health needs, considering taking a very powerful hormone-altering drug.

Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FABM), also known as “natural birth control” or natural family planning, allow women to manage their health without putting loosely regulated drugs (that come with many health risks and side effects) into their bodies. While our medical system seems to be becoming less and less patient-oriented, it’s reassuring to know that methods like FABMs exist, which allow women to take their health into their own hands in an empowered and safe way.

Posted by Gabriella Patti Gabriella Patti
Gabriella Patti is a journalist currently located in Michigan.

Fewer Children Than Ever Before

by 

Americans are having fewer children than ever before. According to new data released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), for the fourth year in a row the number of children born in the United States has fallen. Last year, 3,788,235 babies were born in the U.S. – a drop of 2% from the previous year, and the lowest number in 32 years.

Behind the drop in total births, however, is an even more dramatic and troubling statistic. The overall fertility rate (i.e. the number of children born per woman) has fallen to its lowest level everat just 1.72. As a general rule, for a population to replace itself, the average birth rate needs to be 2.1 children born per woman.

Up to a point, birth rates tend to reflect the health of the economy. The healthier an economy, the more confident parents are that they can provide for their children, and the more likely they are to have children. At least, that’s the theory. Demographers had previously linkedthe downturn in the birthrate over the past decade to the effects of the 2008 recession. However, even though the economy has since recovered, birth rates continue to fall – something that has taken population experts by surprise.

“I keep expecting to see the birthrates go up, and then they don’t,” demographer Kenneth Johnson of the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Public Policy told the Associated Press. Johnson noted that if the fertility rate had remained at the same level as it was before the recession, some additional 5.7 million babies would have been born. “That’s a lot of empty kindergarten rooms,” he noted.

Many mainstream media outlets seemed puzzled about how to frame the latest numbers. On the one hand, many clearly felt compelled to try to put a bright face on the data, suggesting that the reduction in birth rate is a consequence of the greater “reproductive freedom” (i.e. access to contraception and abortion) enjoyed by women. However, underneath the façade of celebration, many news reports also contained a pervasive note of concern. As well they might.

One doesn’t need to be pro-life to recognize that a nation without children is a nation without a future. With an aging population, increasing pressure will be placed on an ever-dwindling work force to keep the economy going, to pay the taxes that support social security, health care for the needy and other social programs, and to provide care for aging parents and grandparents. Furthermore, the smaller number of young people carrying this heavier social and economic burden will be the same people we need to produce children for the next generation.

Where There is God, There is Fruitfulness

However, as one demographer pointed out, America’s increasingly bleak demographic statistics are, in fact, nothing unusual. Quite the contrary. “This is an important change,” Dr. Johnson-Hanks told the New York Times about the latest CDC numbers, “but it is not one that is making us extraordinary. It is making us more like other rich countries. It is making us more normal, in a sense. This is what Canada looks like; this is what Western Europe looks like.”

I suppose Dr. Johnson-Hanks meant this observation to be comforting. But the fact is, on the data he’s absolutely right: this is the new “normal” all across the developed world. In many European countries, the number of deaths has long exceeded the number of births, and many countries have birth rates far, far below that of the U.S.

While some politicians and economists are starting to wake up to the dire economic outlook created by shrinking populations, my own concern is the spiritual crisis that precipitated the demographic one. Indeed, this is where I think the demographers go wrong. The reason the U.S. birth rate isn’t rebounding goes far deeper than the lingering effects of a brief recession: at root it’s not an economic problem, it’s a heart problem…and a theological problem.

In a 2017 homily, Pope Francis addressed this issue head on. “Fill the earth, be fruitful! It is God’s first commandment,” the Holy Father noted, adding that where “there is God, there is fruitfulness.” “[S]ome countries come to mind,” he said, “that have chosen the path of infertility and suffer from that bad disease that is ‘demographic winter’. We know them…. They don’t make children.”

To have such countries “empty of children” is “not a blessing” he lamented. Because “fruitfulness is always a blessing of God.” In concluding his homily, the pope asked: “How is my heart? Is it empty? Always empty, or is it open to continuously receive life and give life? To receive and be fruitful? Or will it be a heart preserved as a museum object that has never been open to life and to give life?”

Pope Francis is right. Children are a blessing from God. The fact that couples are no longer interested in having children, and deliberately prevent them from coming into being, is a sign that – as the Holy Father warned – the hearts of many in the developed world have become museum objects. Our hearts are hearts of stone, and not of flesh.

Nowadays, rather than opening their hearts to new life, many couples prefer to jealously guard their love, viewing children as threat to their relationship, personal wellbeing and autonomy. What these couples fail to understand, is that, as St. Thomas Aquinas said, love, by nature, is diffusive. Love is a fire, and like a fire it yearns to spread, and must spread in order to live and be healthy. Many couples soon learn, the hard way, that by stifling the natural creative fecundity of romantic love, they have also stifled the love itself: the result is disillusion and divorce. This is why I say the demographic crisis is a heart problem.

It is also a theological problem, because the ultimate source of love is God, who is Love itself. However, in the developed world we have thrust God out of public and private life. The three theological virtues of faith, hope, and love are the surest sign of God’s presence in our hearts. They are also interrelated. Without faith in the living God, hope dies, and love withers. Without theological hope – the steadfast assurance that, in the end, all things work to the good, and that our destiny is perfect happiness – our fears overwhelm us. Many couples now are so crippled by fear, that all they can see are the “risks” involved in having children – the financial burdens, the possible illnesses and suffering, the limits of their own characters. And without the burning fire of a generous love for God – and the inevitable experience of God’s infinite love in return – many couples can only put their trust in human love, only to find human love, apart from Love itself, is petty and fallible. Without the experience of God’s infinite love, many couples simply do not see the point or the attraction of fruitfulness.

The Contraceptive Mentality

This is the great evil of the “contraceptive mentality” that I wrote about a few weeks ago. Contraception is sold as a means of enabling greater expression of erotic love: but even as it frustrates the natural consequences of sexual behavior, so too does it frustrate the love it is supposed to feed. It does this by quietly replacing the self-sacrificial, outward-looking, self-transcendent nature of authentic love, with a cheap and lifeless verisimilitude.

As I pointed out the other week, in an audience with Pope John Paul II in 1979, Father Marx foretold the collapse in the birthrate with the triumph of the contraceptive mentality. “[O]nce contraception is widespread, the rest is predictable,” he said. “[O]nce you have contraception and legalized or widespread abortion, birthrates fall; nations collapse; young people follow their parents in the abuse of sex; and increasing numbers live together without the benefit of marriage.”

This is the logic of the Culture of Death. If where there is God, there is fruitfulness, then we should not be surprised that inverse is also true: that where God is ignored and banished, there is barrenness and sterility. Further, just as love is self-diffusive, so, in a sense, is sterility. And so we now see the great scandal of developed Western countries that long ago embraced the hopelessness of the contraceptive mentality and the Culture of Death feverishly working to spread their self-destructive ideology elsewhere.

Pope St. John Paul II warned about this in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae. “In the rich and developed countries there is a disturbing decline or collapse of the birthrate,” he wrote. The opposite is true in poorer countries, where couples have many children. However, he said, the powerful and rich nations of the world now behave in the same way as Pharaoh did towards the Israelites, killing their children out of fear of their ascendency.

The powerful elite, said the late Holy Father, “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 program 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.”

As I have suggested, many people who look at the demographic collapse see only the impending financial repercussions. I see the personal and spiritual repercussions: couples who were called to a great love, but who turned their back on their vocation, to their own personal and spiritual impoverishment; children murdered in abortions and their mothers physically, emotionally, and spiritually scarred; a whole generation of elderly people yearning for the love of children and grandchildren, and living out their final years in loneliness and regret.

In his 1994 Letter to Families, Pope St. John Paul II spoke of the need for families to contribute towards building a “civilization of love.” As Pope Francis observed in his homily, love is inherently fruitful. At this time in history, when so many people are deliberately preaching an anti-Gospel of sterility, we need courageous couples to open their hearts to new life, to recognize the truth that “fruitfulness is always a blessing of God.” In my travels I have met many such families, which evidence an infectious joy that comes of living in God’s love. It is from families such as these that the civilization of love will emerge.

As Pope St. John Paul II explained in the Letter to Families: “The civilization of love evokes joy: joy, among other things, for the fact that a man has come into the world (cf. Jn 16:21), and consequently because spouses have become parents. The civilization of love means ‘rejoicing in the right’ (cf. 1 Cor 13:6). But a civilization inspired by a consumerist, anti-birth mentality is not and cannot ever be a civilization of love.”

Ectopic pregnancies can’t be reimplanted, and removing one isn’t abortion

  |

Ohio House Bill 182, introduced in April, aims to limit insurance coverage for abortion procedures in which the life of the mother is not at risk. In addition, it would ban birth control drugs or devices such as IUDs that do not prevent fertilization but rather the implantation of the human blastocyst — meaning they technically cause an abortion. But, oddly, the bill also calls for health insurance to cover the re-implantation of an ectopic pregnancy — a procedure that is currently not possible.

An ectopic pregnancy is one that occurs outside of the uterus. Most are located in a fallopian tube, but some are found in the mother’s abdomen. One to two percent of all pregnancies are ectopic, and risk factors include pelvic inflammatory disease due to chlamydial infection, smoking, tubal surgery, history of infertility, and in vitro fertilization — which actually increases the chances of experiencing a tubal pregnancy. While the future of medicine is wide and hopefully someday babies involved in ectopic pregnancies can be saved along with their mothers, the technology simply doesn’t exist today.

The odds of successfully carrying an ectopic pregnancy to term are non-existent if the baby is growing in a fallopian tube, and just one in three million for babies developing in their mother’s abdomen. An ectopic pregnancy is one of the most common causes of death among women during the first trimester. The danger exists in the ectopic pregnancy going undiagnosed and the fallopian tube rupturing. If a procedure existed to save both mother and child, doctors would be performing it. Unfortunately, such a procedure doesn’t exist.

The bill also removes a section of the current law that states women can be reimbursed for the “termination of an ectopic pregnancy.” It’s important to note that surgically removing an ectopic pregnancy is not an abortion.

Abortion is a violent act intentionally committed with the purpose of ending the life of the preborn child. In an ectopic pregnancy, the preborn child is removed in order to save the life of the mother. It is not the intentional killing of a preborn child. If the child was left in the fallopian tube, the mother and baby would both die; therefore, by removing the baby, the mother has a chance of surviving. The baby’s death is an unintended and tragic side effect of the surgery performed to save the mother.

Ectopic pregnancy is a tragedy, but abortion isn’t needed in order to save the mother’s health or life; in fact, abortion is never needed to save a woman’s life. And as medical science advances, we hope that someday both mothers and babies involved in ectopic pregnancies can be saved.

Marie Stopes: the air-brushed heroine of birth control

Philippa Taylor

For some, the name Marie Stopes speaks of an organisation, one of the biggest abortion providers in the world. For others, it speaks of a person, a feminist icon and pioneer of birth control and family planning.

Both are true, but few people know the full story about Marie Stopes the woman, the author, palaeobotanist, family planning pioneer, and eugenicist. It is Marie Stopes the woman that I focus on here because she is key to understanding the organisation  that bears her name today.

Marie Stopes is widely lauded today as a feminist hero and women’s rights campaigner.

The BBC history page dedicated to Marie Stopes introduces her as a “campaigner for women’s rights and a pioneer in the field of family planning” and says nothing negative about her. A biography on the Manchester University website describes her as  “truly an extraordinary woman. Despite the hardships she had faced from her opponents, she continued to pursue the causes she believed in, and remains to this day as a much loved and respected figure. In honour of her name the charity Marie Stopes International [was] established in the 1970s.”  Readers of The Guardian voted Stopes Woman of the Millennium in 1999. In 2008 she was chosen by an all-female, all-feminist committee to be one of six women pioneers in the Royal Mail’s Women of Distinction collection.

The organisation named after her, Marie Stopes International (MSI) is clearly proud of its link to her, their website making clear that their present work is built on her legacy:

“The way we provide contraception and safe abortion services has been shaped, to a large extent, by our history. And by the lives of two pioneers of the family planning movement, Dr Marie Stopes and Dr Tim Black. Both built reputations for their client-centred approach and their willingness to push boundaries – qualities that are central to how we work today.”

Stopes the eugenicist

However, both the MSI website, the BBC historical figures page dedicated to Stopes, and many other biographies leave out a great deal of interesting information. In particular, her openly racist and eugenic beliefs and practices have been largely overlooked and ignored or, at best, framed as an embarrassing footnote to her achievements.

Here are some less well-known facts about Marie Stopes and her beliefs:

1. From 1918 to the early 1930s she published several books on marriage and birth control. One of these was Radiant Motherhood (1920) and in a chapter headed ‘A new and irradiated race’ Stopes reveals her underlying (and repulsive) agenda behind her push for widespread birth control: ‘it is the urgent duty of the community to make parenthood impossible for those whose mental and physical conditions are such that there is a certainty that their offspring must be physically and mentally tainted…’ She wants their sterilisation made immediate and made compulsory otherwise there will be an: ‘…ever increasing stock of degenerate, feeble-minded and unbalanced who will devastate social customs…like the parasite upon a healthy tree.’

2. She did not just write, but actively lobbied the Prime Minister and Parliament to pass Acts to enforce compulsory sterilisation in order to: ‘…ensure the sterility of the hopelessly rotten and racially diseased…by the elimination of wasteful lives.’

3. Stopes also urged the National Birth Rate Commission to support the compulsory sterilisation of parents who were diseased, prone to drunkenness or of ‘bad character’.  To use a selection of her words, the: ‘hopelessly bad cases, bad through inherent disease, or drunkenness or character’, ’wastrels, the diseased…the miserable [and] the criminal’, ’degenerate, feeble minded and unbalanced’, ’parasites’, and the ‘insane’. In Wise Parenthood she explains: ‘Our race is weakened by an appallingly high percentage of unfit weaklings and diseased individuals.’

4. Marie Stopes’ first family planning clinic was in North London in 1921 and was run by an organisation she founded: The Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress. It was no coincidence that her birth control clinics were clustered in deprived areas, to focus on reducing the birth rate of the poor lower classes and prevent the birth of those whom she considered to be ‘the inferior, the depraved, and the feeble-minded’.

5. Her views were not a passing fad. In 1934 she publicly stated that ‘the half-caste’ should be sterilised at birth. In 1956, two years before she died, Marie Stopes asserted that one-third of British men should be forcibly sterilised, ‘starting with the ugly and unfit’.

6. Stopes cut her own son out of her will simply because he married a girl who wore glasses. Instead, the bulk of her estate went to the Eugenics Society.

7. Stopes was a Nazi supporter. In 1935, she attended a Nazi Congress for Population Science in Berlin. Four years later she sent Hitlera gushing personal letter along with a volume of her love poems: ‘Dear Herr Hitler, love is the greatest thing in the world: so will you accept from me these that you may allow the young people of your nation to have them?‘ A poem of hers from 1942, at the height of the Jewish Holocaust, has this to say:  ‘Catholics and Prussians, The Jews and the Russians, All are a curse, Or something worse…’ The irony of people today praising Stopes is captured by Anthony Ozimic of SPUC: ‘Praising Marie Stopes as a woman of distinction should be as unacceptable as praising Adolf Hitler as a great leader. Both promoted compulsory sterilisation and the elimination of society’s most vulnerable members to achieve what they called racial progress.’

8. The BBC website states that the Catholic Church was Stope’s fiercest critic. They fail to clarify it was actually the Catholic Church that most opposed her appalling eugenic beliefs. In the 1920s, a legal victory against the rising eugenic tide was won by Dr Sutherland, with the support of the Catholic church, over Marie Stopes. Sutherland actually opposed eugenics long before he became a Catholic. Yet Stopes is lauded today as a feminist hero, while the story of the eugenics libel trial, and the Catholic role in trying to stop eugenics, has been either overlooked or dismissed as simplistic Catholic opposition to contraception.

9. Moreover, Dr Sutherland and others were actively trying to prevent and cure tuberculosis, (the disease of poverty) while at the same time influential eugenicists decried their efforts as a waste of time. Eugenicists considered tuberculosis was a ‘friend of the race’ because it was a natural check on the ‘unfit’ and poor, killing them before they could reproduce.
How ironic that Stopes, who describes poor children as ‘puny-faced, gaunt, blotchy, ill-balanced, feeble, ungainly, withered’ is the one now feted as a feminist heroine, and Sutherland who tried to treat and heal them is forgotten.

10. The deliberate excision of Stopes’ eugenic legacy has made her a secular saint. The abortion industry in particular, and liberalism in general, have effectively erased Stopes’ racism and hatred of the poor (such inconvenient historical facts) from their collective memory. Yet the truth is, Marie Stopes was not motivated by a kind of early feminism but rather ‘by the urge to reduce the numbers of the ‘burgeoning Lumpenproletariat.’

Stopes and other eugenicists endorsed legalised birth control because the working class was too ‘drunken and ignorant’ to be trusted to keep its own numbers down.

This all helps to explain why today, Marie Stopes International, arguably the biggest abortion and birth control provider in the world, focuses on providing cheap abortions in developing countries directly to the poorest women in the world.

Recall, as I quoted above, the MSI website: ‘The way we provide contraception and safe abortion services has been shaped, to a large extent, by our history. And by the lives of two pioneers of the family planning movement, Dr Marie Stopes and Dr Tim Black.’

I agree with them: Marie Stopes’ eugenic and racist goals in family planning shape MSI even today:

The truth is, liberal abortion legislation and ‘safe abortion’ provision in developing countries has no effect on maternal mortality rates ie. women’s health. (An attempt to discredit these findings had to be retracted!).  Liberalising abortion laws increases numbers of abortions but what genuinely improves maternal mortality rates and health and thus truly helps women (and their unborn children) is education, nutrition, clean water, sanitation and maternal health care for women.

It seems that a neo-colonial and eugenic agenda carries on, with a different cloak and mantle and exported to a different part of the world, but with the same underlying agenda that Marie Stopes had. ‘History repeats itself, but in such cunning disguise that we never detect the resemblance until the damage is done.’

Philippa Taylor is Head of Public Policy at Christian Medical Fellowship. She has an MA in Bioethics from St Mary’s University College and a background in policy work on bioethics and family issues. Republished with permission from the CMF blog.

Babies Conceived in Rape Shouldn’t be Aborted Just Because of Their Father’s Crime

KRISTAN HAWKINS

When it comes to gun violence in schools, people get outraged about children in danger of losing their lives. It’s a worthy concern. According to Education Week, in 2018 28 students were killed in school shootings, while so far in 2019, 2 children have been killed.

That is tragic. But it’s not about the math; it’s about the loss of life … and 30 lives forever gone are 30 too many. But have you noticed that when it comes to babies born during abortions — or viable babies aborted after 20 weeks — all you hear is that it’s not that many? But how many are there?

Consider this, according to the Centers for Disease Control and the abortion-industry think tank the Guttmacher Institute, “only” about 1.3 percent of abortions are late-term (after 21 weeks). With an abortion rate of 879,000 in 2017, that’s more than 11,400 increasingly viable babies at risk.

Those increasingly viable babies face pain, suffering and loss of life.

And what of those who may be exposed to infanticide, allowed to die only because they were born during an abortion, how many might there be?

USA Today notes: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 143 deaths between 2003 and 2014 involving infants born alive during attempted abortions,” with CDC also reporting “it is possible that this number (143) underestimates the total number of deaths involving induced termination.” In another report, the CDC also notes, “Although unlikely, the induced abortion procedure may result in a live birth.”

May? Many abortion survivors are alive and available to tell their own stories. Articulate people like Melissa Ohden, the founder of the Abortion Survivors Network, Josiah Presley or Claire Culwell, speak eloquently about life after almost death at the hands of an abortionist.

In fact, Ohden’s Abortion Survivors Network reports that 279 people have come forward saying that their birthday began in an abortion vendor’s office, in a life and death struggle from their first breath of life.

And how many infants lose their lives because of what happened on the night of their conception?

The New York Times proudly has proclaimed an often-reported number, that babies conceived in rape or incest are “only” 1 percent of those targeted with abortion. With an abortion figure of 879,000, that’s at least 8,790 people who were discriminated against based on the night of their conception.

Children conceived in rape are still children, unique and valuable, deserving of their own chance to make a mark on the world. A civil society does not execute children for the crimes of their fathers, yet when it comes to abortion the knee-jerk assumption is that they should pay the ultimate price rather than putting the focus on the criminal guilty of violence.

Consider that if my father commits a sexual assault today society would not allow his victim to legally kill me tomorrow. The sins of the fathers are not passed on to the children under our system of justice, and my ability to be seen and heard makes that kind of death unthinkable. As it should be. Yet children conceived in rape must endure the constant messaging that the world would be better off if they were dead, and many do end tragically through abortion.

Alabama legislators made a courageous and counter-cultural choice when they said that they cared most about mother and preborn child by focusing their law on the abortionist preying on women, by putting in protections for mothers whose lives were at risk and by telling the world that they loved the children whose stories began in a moment like rape or incest. That moment did nothing to detract from their worth or right to enjoy a chance at life.

In the United States, birth certificates are not issued with points awarded based on your parents’ race, income, marital status or the events on the night of your conception. Birth certificates note one thing: a unique human being has entered the world.

And as we look at the math, it’s clear that the victims of abortion for even the most “rare” cases still number in the thousands. How many need to die before the math just doesn’t add up for a civil society?

When it comes to gun violence in schools, people get outraged about children in danger of losing their lives. It’s a worthy concern. According to Education Week, in 2018 28 students were killed in school shootings, while so far in 2019, 2 children have been killed.

That is tragic. But it’s not about the math; it’s about the loss of life … and 30 lives forever gone are 30 too many. But have you noticed that when it comes to babies born during abortions — or viable babies aborted after 20 weeks — all you hear is that it’s not that many? But how many are there?

Consider this, according to the Centers for Disease Control and the abortion-industry think tank the Guttmacher Institute, “only” about 1.3 percent of abortions are late-term (after 21 weeks). With an abortion rate of 879,000 in 2017, that’s more than 11,400 increasingly viable babies at risk.

Those increasingly viable babies face pain, suffering and loss of life.

And what of those who may be exposed to infanticide, allowed to die only because they were born during an abortion, how many might there be?

USA Today notes: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 143 deaths between 2003 and 2014 involving infants born alive during attempted abortions,” with CDC also reporting “it is possible that this number (143) underestimates the total number of deaths involving induced termination.” In another report, the CDC also notes, “Although unlikely, the induced abortion procedure may result in a live birth.”

May? Many abortion survivors are alive and available to tell their own stories. Articulate people like Melissa Ohden, the founder of the Abortion Survivors Network, Josiah Presley or Claire Culwell, speak eloquently about life after almost death at the hands of an abortionist.

Click here to sign up for pro-life news alerts from LifeNews.com

In fact, Ohden’s Abortion Survivors Network reports that 279 people have come forward saying that their birthday began in an abortion vendor’s office, in a life and death struggle from their first breath of life.

And how many infants lose their lives because of what happened on the night of their conception?

The New York Times proudly has proclaimed an often-reported number, that babies conceived in rape or incest are “only” 1 percent of those targeted with abortion. With an abortion figure of 879,000, that’s at least 8,790 people who were discriminated against based on the night of their conception.

Children conceived in rape are still children, unique and valuable, deserving of their own chance to make a mark on the world. A civil society does not execute children for the crimes of their fathers, yet when it comes to abortion the knee-jerk assumption is that they should pay the ultimate price rather than putting the focus on the criminal guilty of violence.

Consider that if my father commits a sexual assault today society would not allow his victim to legally kill me tomorrow. The sins of the fathers are not passed on to the children under our system of justice, and my ability to be seen and heard makes that kind of death unthinkable. As it should be. Yet children conceived in rape must endure the constant messaging that the world would be better off if they were dead, and many do end tragically through abortion.

Alabama legislators made a courageous and counter-cultural choice when they said that they cared most about mother and preborn child by focusing their law on the abortionist preying on women, by putting in protections for mothers whose lives were at risk and by telling the world that they loved the children whose stories began in a moment like rape or incest. That moment did nothing to detract from their worth or right to enjoy a chance at life.

In the United States, birth certificates are not issued with points awarded based on your parents’ race, income, marital status or the events on the night of your conception. Birth certificates note one thing: a unique human being has entered the world.

And as we look at the math, it’s clear that the victims of abortion for even the most “rare” cases still number in the thousands. How many need to die before the math just doesn’t add up for a civil society?

Growing Violence Against Pro-Lifers

by 

I am troubled by what appears to be a growing trend of violent attacks on peaceful pro-life activists.

Perhaps the most famous recent instance was caught in a dramatic video last fall. The video shows a twenty-something-year-old man wearing a purple sweater, with a pentagram (a pagan symbol) on a necklace around his neck. He asks the pro-life woman behind the camera what should happen if a 16-year-old gets pregnant by rape. From his tone, it is clear that he doesn’t really want an answer. Still, the woman begins to explain that the child is still a child, and should not be murdered, regardless of how the baby is conceived. Before she can finish, however, the young man sticks out his tongue, winds up, and kicks her. The camera falls and clatters on the ground. A female voice is heard crying, “Someone call the cops!”

The woman who was assaulted, Marie-Claire Bissonnette, described in a written account the astonishing indifference of the Toronto police who arrived on the scene. Eventually, however, the attacker was identified, and charges were filed. As it turns out, the same man was responsible for another violent assault on a pro-life activist some months before.

Courtesy of Lifesite – Marie-Claire Bissonnette, Youth Coordinator for Campaign Life Coalition

As Bissonnette points out, the attack on her is far from an isolated incident. And while the video of the assault against her was viewed millions of times, most of these assaults receive little to no public attention. On the very same day that Bissonnette was attacked, for instance, a woman walked up to a pro-life man who was silently praying at a location just West of Toronto and poured paint down his back. This was mild in comparison to what happened just days before, also in Toronto, when Gabby Skwarko, a member of the Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective, walked up to pro-life activist Blaise Alleyne and proceeded to repeatedly punch her, attempted to grab her bag, and threw a metal dolly at her.

One elderly woman recently had her leg broken when she was assaulted outside Kentucky’s only abortion facility, in Louisville. Another elderly man, participating in the recent Lenten 40 Days for Life campaign, was thrown to the ground and viciously and repeatedly kicked. Then there’s the woman who was left bruised after being punched outside a clinic in Alabama. Or the young man who was repeatedly punched by a pro-abortion woman during a pro-life demonstration at the University of North Carolina.

As a life-long pro-lifer, Bissonnette has participated in pro-life demonstrations for years. She says she has repeatedly suffered physical and verbal assault. “Rocks have been thrown at me,” she writes. “I’ve been spat upon multiple times and pushed. Men have aggressively asked how I would like it if they raped me and forced me to have an abortion.”

Brian Sims’ Contemptible Attack

Thankfully the issue of aggression and violence against peaceful pro-life activists is receiving some (but still shockingly limited) media attention right now, thanks to the contemptible antics of Pennsylvania Democratic Representative Brian Sims. Earlier this month Sims posted a video of himself harassing a pro-life woman who was praying the rosary outside an abortion facility, calling her “shameful,” “disgusting,” “racist,” as well as “old white lady.”

Even worse, he also filmed himself approaching two young girls (aged 13 and 15), calling them “a bunch of pseudo-Christian protesters who’ve been out here shaming young girls for being here.” Sims then offers $100 to anybody who can identify the girls. This is called “doxing” – that is, publicly identifying ordinary citizens in order to subject them to systematic shame and harassment. It’s a terrible practice. Coming from an elected politician, aimed at young, minor girls, it’s downright evil.

Ironically, in posting the footage of his harassment of the girls, Sims accused the pro-life activists of “prey[ing] on young women.” People who protest Planned Parenthood” use white privilege, & shame,” he claimed. “They’re racist, classist, bigots who NEED & DESERVE our righteous opposition.”

Got that? According to Sims, young pro-life girls “need” to be harassed by grown men such as himself. Astonishingly, at the time of this writing, Sims has neither resigned, nor been dismissed from office, though he did record and release a video apology. If instead of a pro-abortion Democrat, it had been a pro-life Republican who berated and doxed young teen girls I think this story would have ended quite differently.

Democratic State Representative Brian Sims has harassed pro-lifers on more than one occasion.

Both Discouraging and Hopeful

Obtaining reliable statistics on assaults against pro-life activists is difficult, and so I can’t say with certitude that there are more of these types of attacks than in the past. What is certain, however, is that reports of these attacks have been coming out with surprising frequency these past few months, and that many of them have been unusually brutal. I’m far from the only one to notice this.

What does this trend mean? On the one hand, it is clearly a discouraging sign of the spiritual sickness of our culture, the growth of a violent underbelly in our national discourse, a testament to the woundedness of so many men and women, and evidence in many cases that pro-abortion activists are held to a completely different standard than pro-lifers by the media, politicians, and the public.

Sims, for instance, clearly believed that pro-life activists were “fair game” for his vicious anger. Why else would he have proudly broadcast his harassment to the world? From his perspective, pro-life women had forfeited their rights to be treated with even a modicum of decency and respect.

This kind of dismissive attitude towards just about anyone who holds traditional moral values is becoming alarmingly common. Consider, for instance, the fact that, as far as I can find, no prominent liberal politicians, media figures or activists have publicly condemned Sim’s misbehavior. Truth be told, many so-called “progressives” now see almost no difference between ordinary social conservatives who believe such things as that marriage is between a man and a woman, and neo-Nazi skinheads.

On the other hand, one senses that the desperation that motivates these attacks stems in part from anger in the face of the fact that the pro-life movement is succeeding as never before. And this is cause for hope. One of the recent attacks, for instance, was in Alabama, which just last week passed the single-most restrictive abortion bill in the country, a bill that would ban almost all abortions in the state, and that was designed directly to challenge Roe v. Wade. This was only the latest of several strongly pro-life bills explicitly crafted as a test to overturn Roe v. Wade.

There are further reasons to think that the growing instances of assault on pro-lifers are a cause for hope. Consider, for example, the obvious fact that in order for pro-life activists to be assaulted in the first place, they need to be in a public space, proclaiming their pro-life beliefs, and trying to prevent abortions from taking place. As it turns out, on any day of the week, all across the country, in rain, shine, snow or hail, thousands of peaceful pro-life activists are gathering outside abortion clinics to pray. Others are holding signs on public streets, or demonstrating on college campuses. That so many are willing to sacrifice their time, and to take the risk of boldly defending human life, is a great sign of hope.

2019 Walk for Life, San Francisco

Another reason for hope is the response of the pro-life activists who are the victims of these assaults. Consider Donna Durning, the pro-life woman whose leg was broken after she was shoved to the ground. “I believe that the lady who caused this injury needs prayers,” Durning said after the attack, “and I’m forgiving her and I would hope that people would also pray for her.” Abby Johnson, who recently spoke at a public rally protesting Brian Sims’ harassment, had much the same message. “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anybody that needs Jesus more than that man right there,” she said about Sims.

Indeed, it is very likely that many of those perpetrating these assaults are themselves deeply wounded by abortion. Perhaps they themselves had an abortion, or paid for an abortion; or perhaps some close loved one, perhaps even their own mothers, had abortions. Their anger and their violence against pro-lifers is evil, but I strongly suspect that in many cases they are the products of deep pain, pain that only love – above all the love of Christ – can heal. Clearly the pro-life message is Gospel-motivated. However, it is deeply encouraging to see how thoroughly the Gospel has penetrated into the pro-life movement, so that even those pro-lifers who have been violently assaulted by our ideological opponents can say, along with Christ, that most Christian of all prayers: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Walk for Life 2019, San Francisco

I hope that you will join me today in praying both for the victims of these attacks, and for the perpetrators. Furthermore, I hope that these incidents, far from discouraging our efforts, will cause us to redouble them. Though more common than I should like, such violent attacks are still relatively rare in comparison to the number of pro-lifers participating in peaceful prayer vigils and the like. Certainly, these attacks should not frighten us away. We need more and more pro-lifers to listen to the call of Christ, and to physically place themselves where the killing of innocents is taking place, so that they can serve as a voice for the violence against pro-lifers///. Thanks to the many silent prayer warriors who participate in 40 Days for Life vigils, or other peaceful protests, untold numbers of babies have been saved, and mothers and fathers spared life-long regret. Will you respond to Christ’s call, and join their life-saving efforts?

 

 

We Ought to Think Twice About Getting a Prescription without Seeing a Doctor

by Lindsay Schlegel

As a busy woman with a lot on her plate, I am all for streamlining where possible and making time to focus on the things that are important to me: my family, my work, and my health. I’m often for it when technology makes daily tasks quicker, easier, and cheaper. Grocery shopping from home? Yes, please. Buying a gift online when my child is invited to a birthday party? Absolutely. Working out to a video in my living room rather than driving to the gym? Let’s do this.

And yet I can’t help but see a forest of red flags raised at the prospect of women buying hormonal birth control online or via an app, without having an in-person consultation with a doctor.

Natural Womanhood, Fertility Awareness Based Methods, Natural Family Planning, NFP, FABM, FAM, birth control side effects, womens health, reproductive health, fertility awareness, buying birth control online, direct to consumer medication, birth control without a doctor, online prescriptions, hormonal birth control, the pill, birth control, menstrual cycle, fertility, doctor consultation, interpersonal treatment, in person care, doctors visit, birth control side effects,

The Virtues of the Middleman

Direct-to-consumer medicine” is a new and rapidly growing e-commerce market that seeks to improve our existing healthcare model in terms of efficiency and convenience by offering prescriptions to reverse hair loss, treat erectile dysfunction, treat skin conditions, and prevent pregnancy by mail. According to an article via Yahoo! (sponsored by Nurx, one of the sites offering the service for birth control), “Gone are the days of being blindsided by unexpected costs, judgy doctors or pharmacists, long waits for appointments and other health care woes.”

A more objective article at the New York Times puts it this way: “The sites invert the usual practice of medicine by turning the act of prescribing drugs into a service. Instead of doctors making diagnoses and then suggesting treatments, patients request drugs and physicians serve largely as gatekeepers.”

In one of the testimonials in that Nurx-sponsored article, Ilena writes, “The customer support team is incredibly helpful. Every time I have a question, like if I’m getting weird symptoms, I always hear back right away.”

We should be concerned about replacing patient-doctor conversations with those of customer support teams—because the priorities of each are inherently different. At my doctor’s office, there are doctors and nurses, but no “customer support team”—because in my doctor’s care, I’m a patient whose health is the first priority, not a customer to whom my provider is looking to sell a product. And because my doctor knows more about me than a survey can communicate, she can help make recommendations for my care as a whole, not with only one concern in mind.

Until recently, advertising for pharmaceuticals—whether online, on TV, or in magazines—concluded with, “Talk to your doctor about…” Now, the doctor is virtually cut out of the equation. Sites like HimsHersNurxThe Pill Club, and PRJKT RUBY are more like online retail shopping than a trip to the doctor.

Skipping a visit to the doctor’s office and pharmacy is certainly more convenient than dealing with uncertain wait times. Still, we have to consider that in this model, “doctors can’t address secondary issues that surface during a consultation and can’t add information to a patient’s home medical record,” notes Vishal Khetpal, third-year medical student at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, in his essay “The Worrisome Rise of Direct-to-Consumer Medicine” published at Undark, an editorially independent magazine.

Khetpal says that his conversations with patients usually begin with what brought them in, but typically broaden to include previous diagnoses, new concerns, end-of-life care, and evidence-based preventative measures such as improving diet and scheduling screenings. “We [act] on the concerns of the present,” he says, “but also anticipate the needs of the future.”

Is This the Path We Want to Be On?

The future, indeed. We know that we skim more than read on our screens, so reading that a writer at Slate who used the Pill Club got a list of side effects via text message to which a reply was not required, is less than ideal. We should be concerned that changing access to birth control in this way means there will likely be less informed consent in receiving medications that have a proven history of serious side effects and other possible abuses that are yet to be seen.

Hormonal birth control is often touted as being a safe, healthy choice for women to take control of their sexual lives. That claim has been proven false, by reports of deaths caused by blood clots and the increase in depression in women on hormonal birth control. Too often, hormonal birth control is prescribed to mitigate symptoms of other conditions, rather than seeking out and treating the root cause. This is one of the reasons I use and encourage my family and friends to consider the natural birth control alternatives known as fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs), whether they are sexually active or not. Making access to hormonal birth control even easier and even less concerned with the person popping the pills (or inserting the shot, or giving herself the injections—seriously) seems to me a dangerous road to travel down, particularly when there are other options available.

Personal Decisions Made in an Impersonal Way

For those who have current prescriptions, direct-to-consumer sites offer discreet, unmarked packaging; free shipping (sometimes with treats like chocolate and stickers thrown in); and recurrent deliveries to keep users in supply. In the 38 states where it’s legal, sites also generate new prescriptions. In the latter case, customers fill out an online questionnaire, which the organization says will be reviewed by a licensed medical professional. The customer will be contacted if there are any questions, but the implication seems to be that ideally, most cases will receive the stamp of approval without any direct interaction between the provider and the customer. What’s more alarming is that on these sites, I found it difficult or impossible to find background on the doctors and nurse practitionerswriting the scripts.

I get that waiting in line at the doctor’s office is a pain, and that it can feel like we have better things to do. But as Khetpal makes clear, there’s a difference between filling out a questionnaire and discussing the responses with a human being.

Furthermore, a common theme on the sites I researched was that they were not intended to replace primary care physicians. Maybe not intended, but I can see it happening pretty easily. Half the customers at one site said they used the service to get their first hormonal birth control prescription. And if it’s that much easier and costs the same or less, many people would say, why not?

We can’t forget that there’s good reason prescription medications typically allow only a certain number of refills before the patient needs to check in with her healthcare provider. Again, note my use of “patient” here, rather than “customer.” If we get used to healthcare being this expedited, yearly screenings and simply establishing care with a doctor could fall by the wayside without much of a second thought, creating more damage to public health than good.

Supervision TBD

Because this technology is new and developing, the legal system hasn’t quite caught up yet. Customers should be aware that “there is no single federal or state agency in charge of overseeing online prescription drug services.” These services claim not to be “health providers,” which means they quite literally don’t have to play by the same rules as physicians.

What does that look like? Well, for one thing, researchers who have tried out the services to gauge the quality of the sites found, more than once, that important usage information was delivered inconsistently. For another, we’ve been taught since we were children never to take another person’s medication. Yet one site, Kick, sells a blood pressure medication to customers who are interested in its potential side effect of calming performance anxiety. These issues, I fear, are only the beginning. Without instituting ethical and consistent practices, this industry could cause a lot of harm in a field whose focus is supposed to be healing.

At the end of the day, when it comes to something as important as our health, convenient isn’t always better.

We Ought to Think Twice About Getting a Prescription without Seeing a Doctor

Contraception has led to ‘diabolical’ experiments on human life: cardinal

ROME, Italy, May 17, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The Church of England’s endorsement of contraception at its 1930 Lambeth Conference has led to the “diabolical monstrosity” of “procreative medicine,” German Cardinal Walter Brandmüller told the Rome Life Forum on Friday (read full talk below or here).

It also led to the American Protestant Federation of Churches collectively endorsing contraception in 1961 as “morally justified if the motives are just,” and essentially obliged the Catholic Church to “tackle the matter of contraception” at the Second Vatican Council, Cardinal Brandmüller said in an address delivered in Italian on “The Prehistory of Humanae Vitae.” His talk was given in Rome at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum).

By that time, a “number of Catholic theologians, to a greater or lesser extent” had also endorsed contraception, and the “concept of situational ethics” on which that position is based had “penetrated Catholic moral theology,” said Brandmüller, a dubia cardinal and president emeritus of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences.

Thus Pope Paul’s 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae reaffirming Catholic teaching, which had been affirmed by Pius XI in Casti Connubii and by Pius XII and John XXIII, that contraception is intrinsically evil, “triggered a fierce storm of protest within the Church.”

The acceptance of contraception — which separates the sexual act from procreation — has now resulted in practice of “procreative medicine” — in-vitro fertilization, genetic engineering, eugenic prenatal screening, abortion — in which “man has seated himself on the throne of the Creator,” Cardinal Brandmüller said.

Practitioners of reproductive medicine carry out experiments that “sacrilegiously violate the sanctity of human life” and interventions “of an almost diabolical monstrosity, today heralded as spectacular breakthroughs,” he observed.

“We hope for a renewed reception, adoption and more profound transmission of the truly prophetic teaching of Paul VI in our days,” the cardinal concluded.

The theme of the 6th Rome Life Forum is “City of God vs. City of Man — Global One World Order vs. Christendom.” The two-day conference is hosted by Voice of the Family and co-sponsored by LifeSiteNewsAssociazione Famiglia Domani (Italy), Family Life International New Zealand, and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (UK).

***

Talk by Cardinal Walter Brandmüller
Give at Rome Life Forum, Rome, May 17, 2019
Pontificia Università di San Tommaso d’Aquino (Angelicum)

An insight into the pre-history of Humanae vitae 

Last year we commemorated Pope Paul VI’s Encyclical Humanae vitae, published in July 1968, in the midst of the cultural revolution in that year.

Among other things in this encyclical, Paul VI put an end, in doctrinal terms, to disputations pursued with great fervor even within the Catholic Church on the lawfulness and moral reprehensibility of artificial contraception. The encyclical therefore triggered a fierce storm of protest within the Church.

The matter became a subject of controversy in the Catholic world when, at the 1930 Lambeth Conference, the Church of England reached a decision, based on a vote of 193 in favor and 67 votes against, entirely in keeping with the secular spirit of the time, in favor of contraception. The first person to be open to neo-Malthusian propaganda after the First World War was probably the Anglican Bishop of Birmingham, Russell Wakefield. Conversely, in 1920 the Lambeth Conference  —  the Church of England’s assembly of Bishops — decisively opposed any attempt to put forward medical, financial or social justification for birth control.

Nevertheless, a poll of priests showed that half of the lay people interviewed did not use contraceptives, while the other half used prophylactics or coitus interruptus. However, the personal physician to the head of the Church of England, Lord Dawson di Penn declared, in contradiction of the decision of the 1921 Lambeth conference, that birth control should not be refused from either a medical or an ecclesiastical standpoint. Hence a barrier had been broken down and the Anglican Church assumed a leading role in influencing opinion in the non-Catholic world.

At the beginning however, this was not the case. Eminent representatives of Lutheranism and the Methodist Episcopal Church South saw in contraception one of the “most repugnant modern travesties”, a return to morally ruinous paganism. On 2 April 1931 The Presbyterian wrote as follows on the adoption of the Lambeth Resolution by the USA Federal Council of Churches: “Its recent pronouncement on birth control should be sufficient cause, even if there were no others, for the withdrawal of its support from that body, which declares that it speaks for the Presbyterian and other Protestant Churches in ex cathedra pronouncements.”

Surprisingly, on 22 March 1931 the Washington Post joined with the protests against the adoption of the Lambeth decision: “Carried to its logical conclusion, the [Lambeth] Committee’s report, if carried into effect, would sound the death-knell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality. The suggestion that the use of legalized contraceptives would be ‘careful and restrained’ is preposterous.”

The Encyclical of Pius XI, Casti connubii, published on 31 December 1930, which presented the Catholic position with great clarity, met with an impressive ecumenical consensus.

However, this fortuitous period came to an abrupt end. In spite of the Encyclical, disputations multiplied, in the Catholic world also, to be interrupted only by the Second World War. A number of Catholic theologians, to a greater or lesser extent, endorsed the position of the USA Federal Council of Churches and its resolution of 23 February 1961:

The majority of Protestant Churches regard contraception and periodic abstinence as morally justified if the motives are just. It is generally believed by Protestants that the motives, rather than the methods, constitute the principal moral problem, providing that the methods are limited to the prevention of conception. Protestant Christians are in agreement in condemning abortion and any method which destroys human life, unless the health or life of the mother is at risk.

The fact that behind this statement was the concept of situational ethics cannot be ignored: illustrious names such as J. Paul Sartre, Albert Schweitzer, Martin Buber and finally A. T. Robinson denied the existence of permanently binding moral standards. This idea then penetrated Catholic moral theology.

These, in broad terms, were therefore the circumstances under which the Second Vatican Council was obliged to tackle the matter of contraception. During the debates, Catholic voices were raised in the Council chamber calling for endorsement of the American Protestant position described above.

The ingenuity with which Cardinal [Leo] Suenens [of Belgium] believed he could compare the development of modern contraceptives to the discoveries of  Galileo Galilei is to be noted.

We also recall in this regard the warning from Cardinal Suenens — in fact the spokesperson of  Döpfner, Alfruk and Hélder Câmara,  The Rhine flows into the Tiber — issued with terrible pathos to the Council fathers, that the Church should not, for the love of God, create a new Galileo case, by once again opposing the discoveries of modern science through its refusal of contraception, an utterance which certainly failed to demonstrate any great knowledge of the Galileo affair.

Today however, we are confronted with the results of a process of erosion initiated at the 1930 Lambeth Conference which, from the approval of artificial contraception, has led us to the monstrosity of what is today known as procreative medicine, by which man has seated himself on the throne of the Creator.

Goethe’s Prometheus said: “I am here and I create men in my image …”.

These words, written more than two hundred years ago, in fact mirror this notion of self which, today, is driving the protagonists of so-called reproductive medicine to carry out these experiments, through which they sacrilegiously violate the sanctity of human life.  These are interventions — and there are almost no words to describe them — of an almost diabolical monstrosity, today heralded as spectacular breakthroughs … It only remains for us to wait until these Prometheic persons arrive at the same destiny as their mythical hero.

It is therefore, and in the context of these circumstances, that tribute should be paid to the Encyclical Humanae Vitae published in 1968, a doctrinal document whose prophetic nature has, over time, also been acknowledged by leading non-Catholic thinkers. One of the most illustrious of these was Max Horkheimer, first among the leaders and then among the critics of the Frankfurt School, who allied himself with Paul VI. The journalist Malcolm Muggeridge, at that date still a Communist, gave a favourable welcome to the Pope’s Encyclical.

In this encyclical, Paul VI brought temporary closure to a series of doctrinal affirmations on the matter of contraception, instigated by Pius XI in Casti Connubii and continued by Pius XII and John XXIII. These were ultimately taken up, developed and deepened by John Paul II.

Humanae Vitae provides an extraordinary example of the workings of the process of parodosis, which means transmission of the doctrine of the Church. When the truth of faith is received, adopted and transmitted, what happens is that what is received, when adopted and transmitted, responds with deeper understanding and more precise expression to the needs of the respective present, while continuing to be identical to itself. In all of this, contradiction between yesterday and today is impossible: it is the Holy Spirit who acts in the Church of Jesus Christ to guide this process of paradosis. It is the Holy Spirit who ensures that the faith of the Church develops in the course of time, just as an adult person continues to be identical to the infant it was in the past, an intuition formulated by Vincent of Lérins as early as 430 and elaborated upon by Blessed John Henry Newman.

*

Today, we hope for a renewed reception, adoption and more profound transmission of the truly prophetic teaching of Paul VI in our days.

Govt.-funded lab seeks to buy ‘fresh’ aborted baby heart, pancreas from almost anyone

IRVINE, May 15, 2019 (Center for Medical Progress) – The Center for Medical Progress (CMP), the citizen journalism organization responsible for the undercover video series exposing Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby body parts, revealed today that over the past month, government-funded researchers at University of California San Diego (UCSD) have sought to purchase hearts and pancreases from aborted fetuses from CMP.

CMP is a well-known citizen journalism organization that advocates against the commercial exploitation of aborted fetal body parts. The Frazer Laboratory at UC San Diego runs in part with NIH grants—but the NIH spending database does not classify the Frazer grant money as related to human fetal tissue experimentation.

In April, UCSD’s Frazer Laboratory emailed CMP “searching for human fetal pancreas from 4-5 donors.” CMP investigative journalists then engaged in an email dialogue with the Frazer Laboratory to learn more about the Lab’s demand for fetal body parts from abortions. While never promising to provide fetal tissue, CMP asked the Frazer Lab for more details about the project and probed the Lab’s engagement with the market in aborted fetal organs and tissues.

Startlingly, while asking for body parts from first trimester aborted fetuses, the Lab also wrote that fetuses up to six months “should be compatible with our experimental design.” When informed that the “market price” for fresh fetal organs was $500 to $750 per specimen, the Frazer Lab was not fazed, replying “please let me consult the pricing with Prof. Frazer. We are indeed in contact with a few other organizations in California however it is critical for us to find a reputable and reliable source which could provide the samples.” The Lab continued, “we will most certainly choose the option of the fastest possible delivery of fresh (not frozen) samples.”

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

CMP@CtrMedProgress

Apparently the government-funded laboratories at @UCSanDiego are so greedy for “fresh” aborted baby body parts, they will try to buy them from ANYBODY–even without bothering to check who they are emailing. @HHSGov please STOP this now! http://www.centerformedicalprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/UCSD_email.pdf 

79 people are talking about this

Later in April, the Lab left multiple voicemails for CMP seeking to discuss options for ordering aborted fetal body parts. By then the Frazer Lab had increased its request, writing, “Also, would like to ask for heart specimens from 3 donors (ideally pancreas and heart specimens from the same donors).”

CMP Project Lead David Daleiden notes, “Government-funded laboratories are so greedy for fresh aborted baby body parts that they will try to buy them from anybody—without even bothering to check who they are emailing.”

Daleiden continues, “Even as the Department of Health and Human Services continues an agency-wide audit of fetal experimentation and the U.S. Department of Justice investigates the sale of aborted fetal tissue at Planned Parenthood and their business partners, government-funded researchers do not seem to have curtailed their appetite for aborted baby body parts one bit. It is far past time for HHS to end the barbaric practice of taxpayer-funded fetal experimentation, and for the Department of Justice to do their job and hold Planned Parenthood and other baby body parts traffickers accountable to the law.”

What Links Contraception to Abortion?

by 

Amina Khamis Juma is 22 years old and lives in Mbande-Kisewe, near Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. After delivering her first child in 2016, she was persuaded by her sisters to begin using contraception since the couple did not wish to have another child. Her sisters suggested using condoms, but they caused pain and discomfort, so Amina and her husband soon stopped. When Amina became pregnant, the couple was unwilling to have a child at that time and tragically opted to abort.

Amina Khamis Juma, a Tanzanian wife and mother.

When sexual partners rely upon technology to prevent conception and the technology fails, they often expect they will not have to deal with the “unwanted” consequence – a baby. This way of thinking is called the “contraceptive mentality.” When sexual partners with this mentality engage in a sexual act while inhibiting the procreative element, they are unwilling to consider pregnancy. It is expected that the contraceptive method employed will do what it claims, prevent conception. However, when the contraceptive fails and they become pregnant, the couple often succumbs, like Amina and her husband, to fear and opts for abortion as the “backup choice” – the method of correction.

Father Paul Marx, who held a doctorate in sociology, spent his life affirming Church teaching on life, marriage, and family, testifying to the toxic mindset created by the “contraceptive mentality.” “The foolproof contraceptive does not exist,” said Father Marx, “and sociological stud­ies have shown, almost without exception, that intensive contraceptive programs, by emphasizing the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, also reinforce an intention not to bear an unwanted child under any circumstances; that is, there is a greater likelihood that women expe­riencing contraceptive failures will resort to abortion.”

During a papal audience with Pope St. John Paul II in 1979, Father Marx offered his insights with the saintly pope saying that “once contraception is widespread, the rest is predictable. In every country contraception always leads to massive abortion.” He further emphasized that “once you have contraception and legalized or widespread abortion, birthrates fall; nations collapse; young people follow their parents in the abuse of sex; and increasing numbers live together without the benefit of marriage.” As if capable of looking into the future, Father Marx also discussed the intimate link between contraception, abortion, and euthanasia. For “if you can kill before birth, why can’t you kill after birth? So, euthanasia is inevitable.”

Fr. Paul Marx, the Founder of Human Life International.

Colonization of the Mind

Hamidou Kane, a Senegalese novelist, coined the expression “colonization of the mind.” He said there are two ways to control a people: through brute force by waging war with bombs and guns; or through a more permanent and less costly method, to get the people to accept new attitudes through propaganda directed at breaking down the two most important custodians of a nation’s and culture’s values – Faith and the family.

The Church of England, at its 1930 Lambeth Conference, was the first Christian denomination to suggest that the use of artificial contraception by married couples might be morally licit in certain difficult circumstances. It is important to note that leaders at the Conference assumed that the non-use of contraception would be the norm for believing Christians and that its use would only be resorted to in “extreme” cases. But as we know, the “hard case” mentality always leads to greater perversion. It makes for bad law – gradually the lines become blurred. Contraception became respectable, even touted as “good” for married life and society. What was once considered shameful and unmentionable to a great majority of Christians (and even within the general population) became acceptable and even “necessary.”

This growing acceptance of contraception rapidly transformed the culture with the seductive idea of uninhibited “free sex,” made palatable – even virtuous – by an ever-expanding list of seemingly lofty rationales: If reliable contraceptives could not be used, how could married couples express their love for one another without the possibility – threat – of a baby? How could parents (especially the poor) raise a large family with today’s social and economic conditions? What about the threat of an ever-expanding population? How could any woman find fulfillment while she is enslaved to her “biology?”

The minds and hearts of the nation and its people had been corrupted. Whatever reasons Christians might formerly have had for condemning contraception became irrelevant!

Formation of a Contraceptive Mentality

Contraception is the direct intention of preventing by mechanical or chemical means the possible natural and procreative consequence of sexual intercourse – the conception of another human being. The purpose, therefore, is to separate intercourse from procreation so that contracepting partners can enjoy the pleasures of sex without the fear that their sexual activity could lead to pregnancy.

A “mentality” is an attitude of mind, a way of thinking. It is established when a person (group or society) reacts automatically to a situation without thinking of the consequences. A “mentality” is very difficult to correct since it is shielded by unconscious assumptions and preserved by consistent behavior and habit.

The “contraceptive mentality” exists when: (1) sexual intercourse is separated from procreation, (2) the rational is assumed to be normative, and (3) in employing contraception, the couple sever themselves from all responsibility for a conception that might take place as a result of contraceptive failure. This is a pervasive “mentality” that is aware of the immediate benefit but fails to consider the future repercussions. The “contraceptive mentality” implies that a couple has not only the means to separate intercourse from procreation, but also the right or responsibility to do so. It is also important to remember that at the very core of the “contraceptive mentality” is a fear or rejection of something perfectly natural as a result of sexual intercourse – a baby.

Many wrongly believe contraception prevents abortion. This belief is not borne out by studies and statistics. Research clearly shows that contraception leads to riskier behavior, more unplanned pregnancies, and consequently, more abortions. Dr. Malcolm Potts, former Medical Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) openly stated, “As has been pointed out, those who use contraceptives are more likely than those who do not to resort to induced abortion … the epidemiological evidence points to the fact that induced abortion services are most needed by those adopting any form of fertility regulation.” When contraception fails – as it inevitably does – couples, and especially single mothers, are tempted and even pressured to eliminate the “unwanted” life.

Scandalously, national studies reveal that around 72 percent of all married Catholic couples of childbearing age in the United States use some form of artificial contraception or sterilization to limit childbearing. Studies also reveal that nearly 41% of high school students are sexually active, supported by contraception and its deceptive offer of so-called sexual freedom. How many Planned Parenthood facilities and private abortion clinics now exist to “serve” these young people with the consequences of failed contraception? An entire industry has developed in response to an ever-expanding market – i.e. more sex, more contraception, greater need for abortion.

Pope St. Paul VI, in his landmark encyclical Humanae Vitae, prophetically spoke of some of the consequences of the “contraceptive mentality,” warning that “responsible men… [should] reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards… [men] —and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.”

Warning about the coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments – scandalously, a reality today as seen in massive government-sponsored programs of contraception, forced abortion, and sterilization – he added:

“Finally, careful consideration should be given to 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 blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? 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. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.”

Because of successful propaganda and the rejection of Judeo-Christian values concerning marriage, human sexuality, and family life, many people in our society have the attitude that human life is sometimes inconvenient and an unnecessary burden. Pope St. John Paul II saw this “mentality” as a root cause of abortion. When we see any human life as a troublesome burden that we must manage, rather than a sacred gift entrusted to our care, there is a dangerous temptation to get rid of the burden by any means necessary. As Father Marx predicted, we see this same attitude and behavior today with the euthanasia movement.

Indoctrination

Proponents of the “sexual revolution,” supported by legalized contraception and abortion, have successfully inflicted upon this generation the burdensome and insidious manifestations of their revolution. Faith and the family are no longer the custodians of our nation’s (our world’s) and culture’s values. Sadly, many of today’s youth have embraced a secular, laissez-faireattitude toward religion, life, sex, marriage, and family life.

Sex is now seen primarily as a matter of “self-expression” or “self-fulfillment.” Responsibility, morality, self-mastery, self-giving, and sacredness which belong to any Christian view of the human person or human sexuality are absent and outwardly rejected. The inevitable consequence of such a point of view is the “contraceptive mentality.” One can’t, after all, have sex without being “free” from the burden of conception and “free sex” is clearly incompatible with any sound idea of marriage and family life. Sexuality is thus divorced not only from possible procreation but also from marriage itself. This explains why many young people delay marriage or opt not to marry at all.

Contraception laid the groundwork for this evolution of thought.

Radical sex ed is being forced on children as young as 5 around the world, often without parental consent.

The indoctrination has been successful in creating a sex-saturated culture – I would dare say a sex-addicted culture – fixated upon satisfying any and all urges, supported by the “contraceptive mentality.” This indoctrination is now being systematically introduced into school classrooms, mostly through courses in so-called “sex education or family life education,” in social science courses, and in “population education.” I have personally witnessed these programs in action. I have seen children as young as five being introduced to sexual experimentation and modern contraceptive devices. Our young are being indoctrinated, propagandized, and convinced that contraception, like abortion, is a positive good. They are taught that it is good for themselves and for society in general, and that they have a “moral” obligation to embrace these so-called “truths.” The moral judgments of religion and their parents are passé; “anything goes” is now in vogue.

Lest We Forget

In this great battle for life and family, we can no longer ignore the proverbial skunk in the room – the “contraceptive mentality.” Our effort to end the violence and plague of abortion requires that we address this fundamental, underlying issue. The “contraceptive mentality” is the root from which abortion flows, and failure to address it enables juggernauts like Planned Parenthood Federation of America and IPPF to flourish. As Father Marx said, “while we need a variety of pro-life groups hacking away at the anti-life monster, it is enormously futile and indeed grossly short-sighted to overlook the chief source of baby-killing, which is contraception.” To come full circle to Amina Khamis Juma at the beginning of this article, she outright rejected contraception after her abortion, a failed marriage, terrible effects on her health and even forcibly implanted birth control. After hearing HLI Tanzania on the radio, she reached out and our staff got her immediate help at a Catholic hospital; she is now recovering and learning safe, natural natural family planning (NFP), which is fully open to life.

Sadly, there is much confusion and dissent within the Church regarding contraception, but as faithful Catholics (Christians), we must reclaim an authentic understanding of the human person, life, marriage, and human sexuality, along with the language to articulate these truths to an errant culture. If we truly want to put a permanent end to the violence of abortion, heal the deep wound it causes, and protect the sacredness of human life, marriage, and the family, then we must continue to confront contraception head-on, along with its “mentality” feeding the entire abortion industry.

Man says father with Down syndrome inspired him to be the ‘best person’ possible

 

Sader Issa, a third-year dentistry student living in Syria, credits the love and support of his parents for his success and happiness in life. In fact, he is so proud of his parents, especially his father, that he wants everyone to know that he grew up happy and well-cared for by a father who has Down syndrome. He says it might not have been easy, but his father made it seem like it was.

“A child who grows up in the lap of a person with Down syndrome will have all the love and tenderness that anyone can offer,” said Issa in the video below, shared by Symphony homeland. “This will lead up to a person who has an emotional and social well balance and is able to achieve anything he wants.”

Unfortunately, the majority of men with Down syndrome cannot have children or have a lower fertility rate than the average male. Only about half of women with Down syndrome are able to have children.

Issa said that his father, Jad Issa, is like any other father and worked hard to provide for him at the wheat factory. But his father is also a vulnerable person and that has inspired Issa to be the “best person for the sake of this person who worked hard.”

READ: Dwayne Johnson: Friend with Down syndrome is ‘The Rock’s rock’

When his father introduces him to someone new, Issa said he is full of pride. “It’s like he’s saying: ‘I have Down syndrome, but I raised my son and did everything to help him become a doctor who treats people. I’m proud of him.’”

Issa says his parents’ relationship is just like any other couple who has been together for decades. Married for 23 years, they may disagree at times, but they enjoy “a life full of love, simplicity and humility in all respects.”

down syndrome

Issa and his parents when he was young. Photo via Facebook.

Because of his upbringing, Issa has a unique perspective on life with Down syndrome. He said his father is loved and respected by everyone in their community, and he is using his life experience to ask the government to respect people who live with the condition, even those who are still in the womb.

“For many people, the idea of a woman pregnant with a baby with Down syndrome may be the worst scenario,” he said. “You can expect a number of people can resort to abortion. If my grandmother was convinced of this idea, I wouldn’t be here with you.”

Through the video above as well as social media and at least one radio interview, Issa has dedicated himself to sharing the truth about Down syndrome and fighting for the right to life for those diagnosed with the condition before birth.

With countries such as Iceland bragging about having a 100 percent abortion rate of babies with Down syndrome and the United States aborting 67 percent (or higher) of preborn children with the condition, it is vital that people like Issa speak up. The truth is that abortion kills people with Down syndrome through a violent act of discrimination. When we see that people with Down syndrome are capable of living what society deems to be “normal” lives, it becomes apparent just how inhumane abortion is and that we need to rethink how society views persons with disabilities.

Lawmakers call on FDA director to crack down on illegal online abortion pill sales

  | 

Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., are calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to crack down on illegal online sales of the abortion pill. According to information from Rep. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) and Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), the Congressional letter, sent to Dr. Norman Sharpless, Acting Commissioner of the FDA, was signed by 117 members of Congress. It comes on the heels of information showing that Aid Access and Rablon, two foreign companies, have been distributing the chemical abortion drug Mifeprex by mail-order to U.S. customers in violation of the FDA’s safety protocols. Live Action News previously documented a larger push by pro-abortion organizations to lift the FDA’s safety requirements, known as REMS, to expand abortion pill dispension to mail order and online sales, via self-managed abortions.

Image: FDA warns consumers to not buy abortion pills over the internet (Image: FDA)

FDA warns consumers to not buy abortion pills over the internet (Image: FDA)

The Congressional letter urges the FDA to “continue to conduct oversight” of the entities following FDA warning letters to Aid Access and Rablon ordering them to halt dispensing the pills. Lawmakers point out that the pills are prescribed by an abortionist in the Netherlands and filled by a pharmacy in India. A fact sheet published by Charlotte Lozier Institute research organization found that “72 unique websites” were selling the pills online.

An email from the FDA to Live Action News clarified that “Mifeprex may only be supplied directly to healthcare providers who are certified to prescribe Mifeprex….”

READ: As more women die from abortion pill, the FDA approves a generic version

The FDA stated the drug is “only available to be dispensed in certain healthcare settings, specifically, clinics, medical offices and hospitals, by or under the supervision of a certified prescriber. It is not available in retail pharmacies, and it is not legally available over the Internet.” They added:

FDA has warned consumers not to buy Mifeprex over the Internet because doing so bypasses the distribution restrictions that are in place to ensure the safe use of the drug. Drugs purchased from foreign Internet sources are not the FDA-approved versions of the drugs, and they are not subject to FDA-regulated manufacturing controls or FDA inspection of manufacturing facilities.

Congressman Burgess expressed his concern, “As an OB/GYN who practiced medicine for nearly three decades, I am concerned about the consequences of unapproved mail-order abortion drugs. The dangerous business that Aid Access is conducting is harmful to the health of American women, who deserve quality health care throughout the course of a pregnancy.”

Rep. Martha Roby stated, “By violating the FDA’s safety protocols, Aid Access and other European mail-order abortion companies endanger the health of American women and their children. The FDA must take decisive action against these illegal activities immediately…. Aid Access circumvents the Food and Drug Administration’s safety requirements, placing the lives of women and their children at risk. We would like to… voice our support for ongoing oversight of this and any other rogue mail-order abortion operation.”

Watch as SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser discusses the illegal sale of the abortion pill online:

 

Weeks ago, the FDA updated its adverse events report through 2018, documenting “24 deaths of women associated with Mifeprex since the product was approved in September 2000….” The FDA also noted additional adverse effects in the thousands. Under 2016 changes, the drug’s manufacturer, Dancono longer has to report non-fatal adverse effects, so we can only imagine what the number really is.

Live Action News previously documented that Danco itself is incredibly secretive about its stakeholders and controlling parties, who (from the limited information we can glean) appear to stand to gain financially from a broad abortion pill expansion. And a previous Live Action News report revealed that the FDA recently approved a generic version of the abortion pill Mifeprex known as GenBioPro.

Image: FDA reported deaths for abortion pill December 2018

FDA reported deaths for abortion pill December 2018

In an e-mail exchange with Live Action News, FDA officials assured us that, “FDA monitors sponsors’ compliance with REMS, including assessment evaluations and on-site inspections. In addition… Mifeprex is not legally available over the Internet. The agency is aware of media reports regarding the sale of unapproved mifepristone in the U.S. through online distribution channels and is actively evaluating the reports in order to assess potential violations of U.S. law.”

An FDA representative told Live Action News, “The agency is aware of media reports regarding the sale of unapproved mifepristone in the U.S. through online distribution channels. We assure you that the agency is extremely concerned about the activities described in these reports and is actively evaluating the reports in order to assess potential violations of U.S. law. As I’m sure you understand, however, the agency is unable to discuss potential or pending investigations, if any such exist.”

Full text of the Congressional letter can be found here.

Editor’s Note: Learn more about Abortion Pill Reversal here.

U.N. Committee Launches Attack on U.S Pro-Life Laws


Bureau du siège de l’ONU à Genève

The U.N. Human Rights Committee has taken broad aim at pro-life laws and policies in the United States.

Meeting last month, the Committee called on the Trump administration to “review” a number of its pro-life policies, suggesting that these were incompatible with international law.  The Committee singled out for criticism President Trump’s Mexico City Policy,[1] his executive order “Protecting Free Speech and Religious Liberty,” and his executive order which protects religious employers like the Little Sisters of the Poor from being forced against their religious beliefs to pay for contraceptives in their employer-sponsored health plans.

Specifically, the Committee called for the Trump administration to explain the “compatibility” of these pro-life policies with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), suggesting that the U.S. is bound by its own Constitution and by international law to observe the Committee’s interpretation of this international human rights treaty as legitimating abortion.

What is driving this new assault on American efforts to protect the unborn is the Committee’s General Comment no. 36—a document adopted late last year by the Human Rights Committee that claims that every country that has ratified the treaty “must provide…legal and effective access to abortion” in cases of rape, incest, health of the mother, and when the pregnancy “is not viable.”

The Committee has ordered the Trump administration to respond to its inquiry “in the light of the Committee’s General Comment No. 36.” What the Committee did not say was that General Comment No. 36 is the very first document ever adopted by a U.N. treaty body to suggest that the ICCPR treaty, or any other U.N. treaty, requires countries to legalize abortion.  Nor did it mention that its radical interpretation of the treaty has been rejected by a number of countries.

The Committee also took sweeping aim at the hundreds of pro-life laws that have been passed in the U.S. on the state level over the past few years. Explain how these pro-life state laws are in compliance with U.S. obligations under the ICCPR Treaty, the Committee told the Trump administration.

The U.N. Committee did not specify which state-level abortion restrictions it wanted the U.S. Government to review in particular, but broadly requested that the administration include any pro-life laws which “restrict women’s access to reproductive health and abortion services and create new barriers to them in practice.”

One can understand why international abortion advocates are in panic mode over state-level initiatives to protect life. Literally hundreds of pro-life laws have already been enacted by various states over the past few years. Just since January 1 of this year, more than 250 new pro-life laws have been introduced in state legislatures.  And these laws restricting abortions have been saving many lives, as Michael New has recently documented.

While the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey prevent states from banning abortion outright, states have successfully banned abortion after 20 weeks when a child can feel pain, required basic health standards for abortion facilities, prohibited taxpayer funding for abortion, provided women seeking abortion with informed consent.  States have also banned certain kinds of abortions, such as sex-selective abortion and or the abortion of unborn children diagnosed with Down Syndrome or other congenital defects.

While the U.N. Committee rejected in General Comment No. 36 the imposition of criminal sanctions on abortionists, many of the state-level pro-life laws in the U.S. do just this to ensure compliance.

Another area where the U.N. Committee’s positions are at odds with current U.S. practice is in the area of conscience rights. In 2016, the Committee called on Poland and Colombia to require that doctors who conscientiously object to performing an abortion provide abortion referrals, even if it violates their conscience to do so. General Comment No. 36 returns to this issue, instructing countries to remove “barriers” to abortion, “including barriers caused as a result of the exercise of conscientious objection.”

The Trump administration has just done the opposite.  The U.S. now has in place a broad-based policy of protecting the conscience rights of healthcare entities and individuals.

The U.N. Committee justified its request to the Trump administration by pointing to Article 40 of the ICCPR, which authorizes it to periodically request reports from countries on their progress in implementing the treaty. The Committee has long used such reviews as occasions to harass countries into loosening restrictions on abortion.

The Committee’s request last month to the Trump administration is unprecedented, however. It represents the first time the Committee has officially criticized U.S. laws protecting the

unborn — under the guise of “requesting” the Trump administration to comment how such laws comport with the Committee’s radical interpretation of the ICCPR treaty.

It will be interesting to see how the Trump administration will respond.

We recommend that it simply reject General Comment No. 36 altogether, along with any other interpretation of the ICCPR treaty that undermines American sovereignty and democracy.

 

[1] The Mexico City Policy is a policy that prohibits U.S. foreign aid in global health programs from being used to financially support foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that perform or promote abortion. The Mexico City Policy was reinstated in 2017 as one of President Trump’s first acts in office and has since cut millions of dollars in U.S. funding to international abortion groups such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International (MSI).

How many children should you have?

Shannon Roberts

As parents of three children (currently 6, 4 and 13 months), how many children my husband and I should have – and what would be best for our children themselves – is a question we have thought about.

We have contemplated whether or how a range of factors should affect our decision about each pregnancy.  These include the temperaments and health of our current children, how far away our extended family lives, how our children might benefit from another sibling, how much money we have, how much stress or anxiety we currently feel, how much community support we have, work, the cost of school or necessary expenses (and what are necessary expenses?), how strong our marriage feels, how sick I get in pregnancy, and how many adult children we would like to have in the future.

And then there is the absolute amazingness of having the power to create a whole new human being and another beautiful little newborn baby to cuddle, and the expansion of love, sacrifice, growth and community that comes with each new family member.

Joe Pinsker of The Atlantic interviewed economist Bryan Caplan to see what he considers the optimum number of children.  Over and above being an economist, he is described as “a dad who has thought a lot about the joys and stresses of being a parent”, and is author of the 2011 book, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids.  He said,

 “If you have a typical level of American enjoyment of children and you’re willing to actually adjust your parenting to the evidence on what matters, then I’ll say the right answer is four.

Though Caplan himself does currently have four children, apparently he even suspects that more than four would be optimal for him.

He suggests that parents should revisit their child-rearing approach and then, if they can afford to, consider having more kids, because kids can be fun and fulfilling.  He also considers that many of the time- and money-intensive things that parents do in the hope of helping their children succeed, such as multiple extracurricular activities and sending them to private schools, don’t actually contribute much to their future earnings or happiness.

Since having a child at school, it is interesting to me how much the emphasis on extracurricular activities really does affect parents.  One parent told me that having a third baby was “an excellent advertisement for a fourth,” were it not for the fact that she then hit extracurricular activities, ‘taxi driving’, and a very busy household.  (By the way, in my experience parents seem to really enjoy third babies, and I am one of those parents!  At this point, we are often not worrying as much about the intensity of the baby years as we might have been the first and second time around.)

According to Ashley Larsen Gibby, a Ph.D. student in sociology and demography at Penn State, the societal norm also affects how many children will make you happiest. So, if the norm changes, the number of children that will likely make parents happiest changes as well.

It is much harder to have a big family in a society where the norm is small (currently two children in most places).  This makes sense because a lot of community and business services won’t be aimed at meeting your family’s needs in the way they would be if bigger families were the norm.  You will also likely feel different to many of the parents around you (and maybe even endure regular amazed comments about your family size), something which is harder for some temperaments than others.

Pinsker writes:

In general, the experts I consulted agreed that the optimal number of children is specific to each family’s desires and constraints.

“When a couple feels like they have more interest in kids; more energy for kids; maybe more support, like grandparents in the area; and a decent income, then having a large family can be the best option for them,” says Brad Wilcox, the director of the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project.

“And when a couple has fewer resources, either emotional, social, or financial, then having a smaller family would be best for them.”

However, one thing is certain from the research.  Women are measureably less happy when they are unable to have as many children as they would like to; something to bear in mind for the many women who now put off having children until their thirties, or those contemplating an additional child.

Per the General Social Survey, in 2018, 40 percent of American women ages 43 to 52 had had fewer children than what they considered ideal.

“Part of the story here is that women are having children later in life, compared to much of human history, and they’re getting married later in life as well,” Wilcox says.

“So those two things mean that at the end of the day, a fair number of women end up having fewer kids than they would like to, or they end up having no kids when they hoped to have children.”

Though the root causes can differ, this mismatch between hope and actuality is seen worldwide, and appears to make women measurably less happy. So, while people’s ideal family size may vary—and is highly individualized—they’ll probably be happiest if they hit their target, whatever it may be.

Two children is currently the preferred option for most, but it seems from the research that many families may actually be happier with more — especially if they rethink some of their unproven intensive parenting practices.  And the more people who do have one more (thereby contributing to a change in the norm), the more happy those with a slightly larger family will be.

Shannon Roberts is co-editor of Demography is Destiny, MercatorNet’s blog on population issues.

Success with prenatal surgery: Caring for the ‘patient within the patient’

 

A recent paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Issues in Law and Medicine details lifesaving treatment and prenatal surgery being given to babies in the womb. The study, titled “Perinatal Revolution” affirms that the preborn child is a unique and separate patient from the mother. When doctors treat both the mother and the “patient within the patient,” successful treatment of conditions that might otherwise be severely life-limiting are possible, increasingly so as technology continues to advance.

The paper’s authors are Drs. Colleen Malloy, Monique Chireau Wubbenhourst, and Tara Sander Lee. Two of the study’s authors are associate scholars with The Charlotte Lozier Institute. The research is being publicized so that doctors and other health care professionals are made aware of these lifesaving procedures, so that they are less likely to recommend or coerce patients into aborting their children rather than carrying to term. The study notes that a doctor’s personal views about abortion and the availability of prenatal treatment can directly affect whether a mother decides to end her child’s life in an abortion or carry to term. The authors write, “In several studies of families receiving diagnoses of Trisomy 13 or 18, a majority of parents (61%) felt pressured to terminate the pregnancy.”

Doctors and other medical professionals are not the only ones who can benefit from this information about the emerging treatment for babies before birth. If parents are unaware of life-affirming treatment options, they are more likely to fall prey to coercion to terminate a child with a potential disability. However, knowing about the rapidly developing field of prenatal treatment and the dramatic increase in the successful treatment of premature babies empowers families to make life-affirming decisions for their children.

READ: Abortion doesn’t help babies with spina bifida, but prenatal surgery does

The paper details how advances in genetics and medical technology have made it possible for doctors to treat babies more effectively while still in the womb. Prenatal surgery has been available for decades, but with technological advances, treatment can be better and less invasive, and may be done at even performed at earlier gestational ages. Some of the conditions discussed in the paper that can now be treated or mitigated in the womb include cerebral palsy, fetal hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, spina bifida, and cystic fibrosis.

The authors write about these technological developments:

“With the ability to see the fetus in real time came the ability to diagnose problems and to consider how best to help the affected fetus, to follow affected fetuses and to monitor treated fetuses, over the course of pregnancy. This shifted the focus from the newborn, with a severe disorder that could not be corrected after birth, to the possibility of prenatal medical or surgical intervention that could help ameliorate the clinical manifestations of disease…These diagnostic capabilities led to further research and clinical trials and the realization that the fetus was, and is, a patient.”

Successes with these prenatal surgeries have far surpassed conventional treatments given to newborns with these conditions. Study author Tara Sander Lee wrote in another paper about a peer-reviewed study of prenatal surgery for spina bifida published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The babies who received prenatal surgery fared so much better than babies who received the conventional surgery at birth that the study was halted before completion so that all babies would receive the superior prenatal surgery.

The most recent paper notes that the types of surgery and interventions available continue to evolve. The authors write that cellular therapy for babies before birth, tissue engineering, gene therapy, and the artificial womb may be available to treat babies soon, as these methods are rapidly developing. They note that these therapies are uniquely suited to treating preborn babies, writing, “Many of these cell-based techniques take advantage of the fact that the fetal environment is constantly remodeling and ideal for accepting stem cell therapies that facilitate regeneration.”

Despite these dramatic advances in lifesaving treatments for mothers and their preborn babies, many people, including doctors, are not aware of the potential. The more people know about these technologies, the more families may have the courage to give each child a chance at life. Not every child with a medical condition diagnosed prenatally will be cured through these emerging techniques, but the study notes that even in these cases abortion is not the only option. The rapid expansion of perinatal hospice, and the much better mental health outcomes for families, demonstrates that abortion is not a solution.

Finally, the study authors note that these emerging technologies have ethical implications that require oversight and ongoing engagement in public discourse. In this area, pro-lifers have contributions to make, as these emerging technologies reveal what pro-lifers have already recognized: the preborn child in a human being worthy of life, protection, and care.

Population Control Activist Paul Ehrlich: Human Extinction Will Happen if People Don’t Start “Having Fewer Children”

MICHAEL BASTASCH

CNN interviewed discredited environmental catastrophist Paul Ehrlich in its coverage of the United Nations’ latest warning of ecological collapse due to human activities and climate change.

Humanity will need to start “consuming less, polluting less and having fewer children” if it’s going to stop mass extinction in the coming decades, CNN correspondent Nick Watt said summarizing the U.N. report, which was released Monday.

Ehrlich, a Stanford University professor, told CNN he was “pessimistic” that countries could solve predicted ecological disaster in part because of President Donald Trump pledging to leave the Paris climate accord.

Embedded video

Tom Elliott@tomselliott

CNN: If we don’t start “having fewer children” a million species will die.

Note that the “expert” they interview is Paul Ehlrich, the discredited “Population Bomb” prof who’s been predicting imminent mass starvation since the 1960s.

The U.N. report blamed “rapid population growth” and the development and pollution that entails for putting 1 million plant and animal species at risk of extinction.

“The other organisms of the planet are our life support system,” Ehrlich, a Stanford University professor, told CNN. “You don’t have to worry about them if you don’t care about eating, if you don’t care about breathing, if you don’t care about having fresh water and so on. Then you can just forget about it and die.”

Ehrlich’s writings came out as environmental concerns were beginning to become top priorities for western countries, including the U.S. and Europe. In general, Ehrlich is a leading predictor of mass starvation and collapse of nature because of rapid population growth.

Ehrlich’s 1968 book “The Population Bomb” called on the U.S. government to take “whatever steps are necessary to establish a reasonable population size.” His ideas included taxing children, mass sterilization and abortions to limit population growth.

John Holdren, President Barack Obama’s science czar, co-authored pieces with Ehrlich, warning the human population was growing too quickly for the planet to sustain. Lawmakers criticized Holdren during his confirmation for his past writings.

But the mass starvation and ecological collapse predicted by Ehrlich and others never came to pass. However, Ehrlich maintains his dire predictions are certain to happen in the coming decades.

LifeNews Note: Michael Bastasch writes for Daily Caller. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience.

Death by Organ Donation – Euthanizing patients for organs.

Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, May 2, 2019

 Wesley Ely, who, among his other professional accolades, holds The Grant W. Liddle Chair in Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, wrote an insightful article that was published in the USA Today titled: Death by organ donation: Euthanizing patients for their organs gains frightening traction.

Dr Ely has written his article from the point of view of a former co-director of Vanderbilt University’s lung transplant program and a practicing intensive care unit physician. His article is a response to presentations made at International medical conferences concerning organ donation and euthanasia and the ethical debate concerning euthanasia by organ donation. Ely writes:

At international medic