Jenn Giroux

If every life is worth saving, the pro-life movement must now oppose hormonal birth control

Jenn Giroux
By Jenn Giroux

September 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - August 1, 2012 the new government-mandated guideline for ‘free birth control’ will be forced upon our nation.  It seems to have taken the aggressive agenda of the left to force us to recognize that it is time for a drastic strategy change within the pro-life movement.   

How will pro-life activists and organizations react to a new and necessary challenge to overcome their fear of opposing abortifacient birth control in order to protect and preserve every single unborn life?

First it is vital that we dispel the myths that we are now hearing ad nauseum:

  • “Increased access to birth control decreases the number of abortions.” Even Planned Parenthood admits through the research of their very own Guttmacher Institute that approximately 50% of women that show up for abortions do so because of failed contraception. To be clear, there is no question that increased access to birth control only increases the number of abortions.
  • “Women are healthier on birth control.“ While it is true that being on hormonal birth control can decrease the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer, it significantly increases a woman’s risk of getting breast, cervical, and liver cancers.  According to the American Cancer Society, out of 100 women with cancer, 31 have breast cancer, 6 have endometrial (uterine) cancer and only 3 have ovarian cancer.  As you can see this is flawed reasoning and it is not a good “trade-off” in health benefit versus risk.

Unfortunately, the majority of pro-life organizations have taken a pass on babies lost through chemical abortions.  In order to understand how hormonal birth control can actually take a human life it is necessary to understand the physical mechanism of what it does to the body to cause a chemical abortion.

What is a chemical abortion?  Does it actually take a human life?  If it does, isn’t it time for everyone to stop cowering away from the issue of hormonal birth control and truly embrace a consistent, ‘no exceptions’ pro-life position?

There are many different forms of hormonal methods of birth control now available on the market. The differences depend on the amount of hormone, the type of hormone, and the way the hormone enters a woman’s body.  Hormonal contraception can be taken by mouth (“The Pill”), implanted into body tissue (‘The Rod”), absorbed through the skin (“The Patch), Injected under the skin (Depo-Provera),  dispensed from an Intrauterine device (Miranda), or placed inside the vagina (Nuvaring). There are specific and intended actions that these pharmacologic chemicals have on a woman’s body to achieve their intended action of ‘birth control’. 

These can include:

  • a change in the cervical mucus (which decreases the likelihood of the sperm reaching the egg)
  • suppressing ovulation, or
  • preventing implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterus where it is intended to grow for nine months until birth.

Because of the negative and undesirable effects on a woman’s body, the chemical combination of these hormonal contraceptives have been altered over the years.  While they achieved their goal in reducing the unpleasant symptoms that result from massive amounts of unnatural hormones entering the woman’s body, they unfortunately increased the likelihood of ovulation occurring while a woman is on birth control.

As if it was not enough, the increased likelihood of ovulation was accompanied by a literal war on the uterus. Scientists and doctors have provided us with the easiest explanation on how we know that women are unknowingly self-aborting their own babies by using hormonal birth control. 

In an effort to determine why women who were trying to get pregnant by artificial insemination were unsuccessful, it was discovered that the lining of a woman’s uterus (called the endometrium) must be at least 8mm thick in order for a baby in its tiniest form to implant and grow.  What they found was that the use of hormonal contraception (in any of the forms mentioned above) generally keeps the uterus lining below 6mm. 

Therefore, if women are having sexual relations during the time of ovulation, they have the possibility of conceiving a child but instead of being able to implant and grow the newly-conceived embryo slides right out of the uterus. The uterine wall is too thin to allow the baby to implant.  The woman thinks she is experiencing an unusually heavy monthly period when, in fact, she is self-aborting her child.

There is no difference in the results of what happens once a woman conceives after taking hormonal birth control and what happens after she takes the so-called ‘morning after pill’ except that the latter is more malicious and intentional. Likewise, the only essential difference in a chemical abortion and surgical abortion is the size of the baby.  Both a surgical abortion and a chemical abortion (induced by taking hormonal birth control) take the life of a baby.

Shouldn’t this information change everything for the pro-life movement and its resistance to stand up and show the connection between birth control and abortion?  Since Roe vs. Wade in 1973 countless men, women, and children have marched on Washington to protest and mourn the 55 million+ surgical abortions in the United States. It is now estimated that an additional 250 million chemical abortions can be added to this abortion holocaust as a result of women taking “the pill” and other hormonal contraceptives.

In the minds of many a chemical abortion does not have the same level of violence as a surgical abortion, but a chemical abortion still deliberately causes the death of innocent human beings—on a massive scale. Will the pro-life movement ever march for these tiny victims of injustice? 

Do pro-life individuals and organizations believe that every life is worth saving?  If the answer is yes, isn’t it now necessary to oppose all forms of hormonal contraception? And if the answer is no, don’t we open ourselves up to the accusation of the worst kind of hypocrisy?

Birth Control has always been a ‘taboo’ issue of discussion among most pro-life organizations. Reasons range from “it’s too hard to explain”, “it’s a no win issue” and “it’s a Catholic thing”.  I understand that is a sensitive and challenging issue for those who themselves use birth control, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have the discussion from a theoretical and pragmatic point of view. While it is true that the Catholic Church has been the most consistent voice in opposition to birth control for centuries, we can’t afford to mislabel a pernicious medical phenomenon with religious polemics of the past.

In all reality, the passage of time has yielded undeniable scientific facts that reveal that babies conceived by women of all faiths are being aborted through the use of hormonal contraceptives. If we fight only one type of abortion injustice while ignoring the more extensive killing influence, we diminish both our righteous cause and our effect on the most innocent members of our society.

The God who said, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” (Jer 1:5) and proclaimed that each and every human being is “wondrously created” from the womb, (Ps 139: 14) is the same God who inspires the hearts of the heroic members of the largest grassroots mobilization of conscience in history: the pro-life movement. We, as a movement, are now faced with the challenge of deepening our principles and opening our eyes to see the injustice at the root of every contraceptive act.

How can we possibly continue down the road of pretending these forgotten souls do not exist?

Ignoring the truth that lies before us does not make the senseless loss of human life through hormonal contraception go away.  Just as the heinous act of partial birth abortion had its “aha” moment which led to full scale support for passing a bill to outlaw it,  the time has long since passed to aggressively and effectively echo a new message from all corners of the pro-life movement for all future generations to come: “when you hear birth control, think abortion”.

Jenn Giroux is a Registered Nurse, wife, and mother of 9.  She has been active in the pro-life movement for over 30 years.

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PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

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By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received more than $400 million in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

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By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
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German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

One year to the day since a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, and forcibly removed all four of the family’s children, aged 7 to 14, a state appeals court has returned custody of the children to their parents.

The reason given for the removal was that parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were returned three weeks after being taken, following an international outcry spearheaded by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

However, a lower court imposed the condition on the parents that their children were required to attend state schools in order for them to be released, and took legal custody of the children in order to prevent the family from leaving the country.

In a decision that was still highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court in putting the children in the custody of the state was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the parents, according to a statement by the HSLDA.

The Wunderlichs, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, said they were very pleased with the result, but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.

“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said.

“The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate—only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”

The Wunderlichs are now free to emigrate to another country where homeschooling is legal, if they choose, but they said they intend to remain in Germany and work for educational freedom.

“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” Dirk said. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

Petra Wunderlich said, "We could not do this without the help of HSLDA,” but cautioned that, “No family can fight the powerful German state—it is too much, too expensive."

"If it were not for HSLDA and their support, I am afraid our children would still be in state custody. We are so grateful and thank all homeschoolers who have helped us by helping HSLDA.”

HSLDA’s Director for Global Outreach, Michael Donnelly, said he welcomed the ruling but was concerned about the court’s troubling language.

“We welcome this ruling that overturns what was an outrageous abuse of judicial power,” he said.

“The lower court decision to take away legal custody of the children essentially imprisoned the Wunderlich family in Germany. But this decision does not go far enough. The court has only grudgingly given back custody and has further signaled to local authorities that they should still go after the Wunderlichs with criminal charges or fines.”

Donnelly pointed out that such behavior in a democratic country is problematic.

“Imprisonment and fines for homeschooling are outside the bounds of what free societies that respect fundamental human rights should tolerate,” he explained.

“Freedom and fundamental human rights norms demand respect for parental decision making in education. Germany’s state and national policies that permit banning home education must be changed.

"Such policies from a leading European democracy not only threaten the rights of tens of thousands of German families but establish a dangerous example that other countries may be tempted to follow,” Donnelly warned.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said that acting on behalf of the Wunderlichs was an important stand for freedom.

“The Wunderlichs are a good and decent family whose basic human rights were violated and are still threatened,” Farris said.

“Their fight is our fight," Farris stressed, "and we will continue to support those who stand against German policy banning homeschooling that violates international legal norms. Free people cannot tolerate such oppression and we will do whatever we can to fight for families like the Wunderlichs both here in the United States and abroad. We must stand up to this kind of persecution where it occurs or we risk seeing own freedom weakened.”

Visit the HSLDA website dedicated to helping the Wunderlich family and other German homeschoolers here.

Contact the German embassy in the U.S. here.

Contact the German embassy in Canada here.

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