Christina Martin

Refusing to back down at the OB/GYN

Christina Martin
By Christina Martin
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July 18, 2012 (LiveActionNews.org) - Like most women, I’m concerned about my health. That’s why I recently made an appointment to see an OB/GYN.

As I talked with my new doctor, I shared my history of severe menstrual cramps. As a remedy, she suggested I take birth control pills. I politely told her I was “adamantly opposed” to the pill; I took it as a teenager to alleviate cramps, though it proved ineffective. Aside from that, I’m aware of the history of Planned Parenthood, which was formerly known as the American Birth Control League. I mentioned that Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist who plotted to use birth control as a means to decrease the black population.

The doctor informed me that she had researched Sanger as well, yet she didn’t refute what I said. Instead, she remarked, “So you don’t take birth control because of principle.” Yes, I replied, but also because of the negative effects it has on a woman’s body. I mentioned there is a connection between birth control and breast cancer. Quickly the doctor denied that claim. She said research had proven those assumptions false. She told me the birth control pill could actually help prevent ovarian cancer. Then she said, “If you could take something that prevents cancer, wouldn’t you want to?”

Although my OB/GYN claimed the birth control/breast cancer risk was false, other doctors would disagree. The National Cancer Institute admits “A number of studies suggest that current use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills) appears to slightly increase the risk of breast cancer, especially among younger women. However, the risk level goes back to normal 10 years or more after discontinuing oral contraceptive use.” Their website has a fact sheet titled “ Oral Contraceptive and Cancer Risks“, which references studies and research on the topic.

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Dr. Kathleen T. Ruddy is a breast cancer surgeon, Founder and Medical Director of the Breast Service at Clara Mass Medical Center in Belleville, New Jersey. Dr.Ruddy has been in practice as a breast surgeon for over fifteen years. In a 2011 article she writes:  In 2007, the World Health Organization, after having reviewed the world’s literature, determined that oral contraceptives were Group I carcinogens, capable of causing several cancers in women, including breast cancer.

As for the pill reducing ovarian cancer, there is research that shows women who use birth control for ten years or more may be less likely to contract that type of cancer. However the pills could increase their chance of getting cervical cancer.  The American Cancer Society’s website declares: ‘There is evidence that taking oral contraceptives (OCs) for a long time increases the risk of cancer of the cervix. Research suggests that the risk of cervical cancer goes up the longer a woman takes OCs, but the risk goes back down again after the OCs are stopped. In one study, the risk of cervical cancer was doubled in women who took birth control pills longer than 5 years, but the risk returned to normal 10 years after they were stopped.”

I mentioned the other side-effects of the pill (mood swings, blood clots, risk of infertility) to my doctor but she didn’t respond. She admitted it was refreshing to see someone who strongly stands for what she believes in. Yet she simultaneously continued to push me to change those beliefs. She insinuated that I got my research from unreliable websites, shared some “myths” against birth control, and finally warned me in her exact words to not “cut off my nose to spite my face.” Or, as she further explained, “don’t do destructive things for the sake of principle.”

After talking with some married friends, I realized that they also have felt pressure at their OB/GYN appointments. One of my friends went in for a checkup after finding out she was pregnant again. She became pregnant with her second eleven months after her first. The doctor’s response to her exciting news was, “We’ve got to get you on birth control!” Another friend told me she went to her doctor for a prenatal exam with her second child. During the exam, her doctor spent 5 minutes of her 8-minute appointment telling her how to avoid getting pregnant in the future and asked her if she was interested in terminating the pregnancy or wanted to be sterilized postpartum. My friend switched physicians as she wondered, “Where is the celebration of life?”

I live in Connecticut. The landmark case Griswold v. Connecticut struck down an 1879 law that stated, ”[A]ny person who uses any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purposes of preventing conception shall be fined not less than forty dollars or imprisoned not less than sixty days.” The law also said that “any person who assists, abets, counsels, causes, hires or commands another to commit any offense may be prosecuted and punished as if he were the principle offender.” Prior to 1965 in my state, it was illegal for married couples to use forms of birth control.

During that time, Estelle Griswold,  the executive director of Planned Parenthood of CT,  was arrested and found guilty for providing illegal contraception. She appealed to the Supreme Court and won her case.

I’m not arguing that selling birth control should be illegal again. However, I am commenting on the extreme change in mindsets and public opinion that has taken place over a relatively short amount of time. In just 47 years, we have gone from birth control being illegal for married couples to abortion on demand being legal.  My doctor told me I was being “destructive” because I am opposed to birth control. Yet I am quite sure she wouldn’t have argued with me if I told her I was pregnant and considering an abortion. If we want to label something as destructive, I’d start with Roe v. Wade, which has led to over 55 million abortions in our nation.

As pro-lifers, we must be armed with knowledge, bold, and unapologetic in our convictions. We can’t always depend on our doctors, politicians, pastors, or even the president to help us make good decisions. We have to stand up for what we know is true, no matter what the cost. I kindly told my doctor that while I valued her opinion, I wasn’t going to be changing mine.

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Brian Fisher

Birth mothers: real heroes of the pro-life movement

Brian Fisher
By Brian Fisher
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What does it mean to be brave? Is it the doctor who dedicates himself to improving the health of a third-world nation? Is it the woman who faces her third round of chemotherapy to fight the progression of cancer? Is it the teacher who forgoes the comforts of a suburban school to reach minorities in the inner city? All of these are examples of bravery demonstrated in exceedingly challenging circumstances. And our society longs for stories of bravery to inspire us and fill us with hope.

As someone who works day in and day out with those on the front lines of helping rescue babies from abortion, I’m no stranger to stories of bravery. I see courage every day in the eyes of the men and women who sacrifice their time and energy to help women facing unplanned pregnancies. I see it every time a young mom — despite being pressured by her parents or significant other to get an abortion — chooses LIFE. And perhaps more profoundly than in any other situation, I see it when an expectant mom with no relational support, job, or income chooses to place her baby for adoption rather than abort her son or daughter.

This was Nicky’s situation.

When Nicky found herself pregnant with her boyfriend’s child, her life was already in shambles. During her 26 years, Nicky had already given birth to and surrendered sole custody of a little girl, committed several felonies, lived in her car, lost several jobs, and barely subsisted on minimum wage. So when she met up with an old boyfriend, Brandon, Nicky believed she was being given a second chance at happiness. “Our first year together was beautiful. We were getting to know each other and deciding if we would stay together forever.” Unfortunately, a positive pregnancy test result changed everything.

“When I told him I was pregnant, Brandon sat down on the bed, looked me in the eyes, and told me to ‘get an abortion’.” Nicky says those three little words changed everything for her. “I became depressed living with someone who wanted his child ‘dealt with.’”  Like thousands of women every day, Nicky began searching online for information on abortion, hoping her boyfriend would eventually change his mind. Through our strategic marketing methods, Online for Life was able to guide Nicky to a life-affirming pregnancy center where she received grace-filled counsel. “The woman I sat with was beyond wonderful. She helped me to just breathe and ask God what to do….And so I did.”

Nicky left the pregnancy center that day with a new resolve to choose life for her child, even though she still wasn’t sure how she’d financially support a child. “I was alone with just $10 in my pocket…and without any type of plan for what I was going to do.” So Nicky relied on the support of the staff she met at the life-affirming pregnancy center. With their help and through a chain of fortunate events, Nicky was put in contact with the couple who would eventually become her daughter’s adoptive parents.

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After meeting this couple face to face and coming to terms with her own desperate situation, Nicky conceded that the best thing for her unborn child would be to place her in someone else’s loving home. She told Brandon about her plans and he agreed that adoption would give their child the best chance at a happy and secure future. He even returned home to help Nicky prepare for the birth of their child. “The weeks leading up to my delivery were filled with a mixture of laughter, tears, protectiveness and sadness,” Nicky recalls. But one sentiment continued to be shared with her. “Brave…so brave.” That’s what everyone from the life-affirming pregnancy center to the adoption agency to the birthing center kept calling Nicky. “The nurses kept coming up to me and telling me they were honored to care for and treat someone like me.” After several weeks of preparation, Nicky finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and she made the dreams of a couple from the other side of the country come true.

Nicky’s adoption story continues to be riddled with a strange combination of pain and joy. “I cry every day, but I know my baby, who came out of a very bad time, ended up being loved by people from across the country.” When asked what message she’d like to share with the world about her decision to give up her child for adoption, Nicky responds, The voice of the mother who gives up a baby for adoption isn’t heard. We need to change that.”

To learn more about Online for Life and how we’re helping to make stories like Nicky and her daughter’s story a possibility, please visit OnlineforLife.org.

Author, speaker, and business leader Brian Fisher is the President and Co-Founder of Online for Life, a transparent, metric-oriented, compassion-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rescue babies and their families from abortion through technology and grace.

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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New York farmers stop hosting weddings after $13,000 fine for declining lesbian ceremony

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

New York farmers Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who were ordered last week to pay $13,000 for not hosting a same-sex "wedding," say they are closing that part of their operation.

"Going forward, the Giffords have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract," said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer James Trainor. ADF represented the Giffords in their legal fight against New York's non-discrimination law.

Last week, the Giffords were ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the state of New York and $3,000 in damages to a lesbian couple, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, who approached them in 2012 about hosting their "wedding." The Giffords, who are Roman Catholic, said their religious convictions would not let them host the ceremony, but that McCarthy and Erwin could hold their reception on their property.

Unbeknownst to the Giffords, lesbian couple recorded the two-to-three minute conversation. After declining to hold the reception on the Giffords' farm, on which they live and rent property, the lesbian couple decided to make a formal complaint to the state's Division of Human Rights.

Eventually, Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that the Giffords' farm, Liberty Ridge Farm, constitutes a public accommodation because space is rented on the grounds and fees are collected from the public. The Giffords argued that because they live on the property with their children, they should be exempt from the state law, but Pares said that this does not mean their business is private.

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Trainor told TheBlaze that the Giffords' decision to end wedding ceremonies at Liberty Ridge “will hurt their business in the short run," but that was preferable to violating their religious beliefs.

“The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples,” he said.

However, "since the state of New York has essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions," Trainor explained to LifeSiteNews. "No American should be forced by the government to choose between their livelihood and their faith, but that’s exactly the choice the state of New York has forced upon the Giffords."

"They will continue to host wedding receptions," said Trainor.

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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

South African mom files ‘wrongful life’ lawsuit on behalf of Downs son

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A South African woman has launched a "wrongful life" lawsuit against the Cape Town-based Foetal Assessment Centre, claiming a failure to inform her that the child she was carrying was at risk of having Down Syndrome prevented her from aborting her baby.

A twist in this lawsuit is that, unlike other "wrongful birth" lawsuits, the mother in this case missed the time limit to file the claim on her own behalf, so she is asking the South African Constitutional Court to allow her to sue the center for “wrongful life” on behalf of her now-born son.

“You have a duty to tell my mother carrying me that I'm malformed so that she can make an informed decision as to whether or not to carry me to term,” the statement of claim against the Foetal Assessment Centre reads, according to SABC News.

“It is not as if the foetus is sort of putting up its hand and saying why you didn’t destroy me," the mother's lawyer, Paul Hoffman, explained to Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke. "The foetus is complaining that its malformation, its development is the result of the bad advice that was given.”

The SABC report did not say what compensation the woman is seeking.

The scope of the case is similar to that of a New Zealand couple who won a lawsuit claiming monetary compensation after a routine 20 week ultrasound scan failed to discover that their daughter had spina bifida.

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The mother, whose name has not been released, claimed that the continuance of the pregnancy was a “personal injury,” and, had she been given the correct diagnosis after that scan, she would have aborted her daughter.

"We consider that the continued pregnancy of the appellant following a misdiagnosis in the 20 week scan is capable of being an injury suffered by the appellant,” the court ruled, and directed the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) to make the woman eligible for compensation for the ongoing surgical and physiotherapy expenses incurred by their child.

New Zealand disability advocate Mike Sullivan said the underpinning attitude behind the decision is that those with disability, both born and unborn, are seen as a burden on society.

“This is what happens,” Sullivan said, when “the children become reduced to nothing – wrong even to exist.”

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