Fr. Michael Giesler

Contracepting America: the real war on women

Fr. Michael Giesler
By Fr. Michael Giesler
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June 18, 2012 (Mercatornet.com) - Last month dozens of Catholic institutions in the United States filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration, challenging the constitutionality of its contraception mandate. There can be little doubt that requiring employers to provide a drug that violates their conscience is against the First Amendment. It violates one of the main reasons for the founding of our country: religious freedom.

But the underlying problem is far deeper than a constitutional or historical issue. The fact is that the federal government has absolutely no right to mandate a drug that is really not a health benefit for anyone, but a health danger—for the woman, and certainly for the little human life inside of her.

The truth is that the contraceptive pill actually alters a human organ and destroys its natural function within the reproductive system of a woman. It is completely different from cancer treatment, or medicines for bodily diseases. It is not medicinal, or health-giving. Other drugs exist to restore or strengthen the organs of the body, or eliminate a toxic element. Not so the contraceptive pill.

Though in the past contraceptives were prescribed for regularizing women’s cycles or other purposes, there are now other medicines available which are just as effective. Certainly some women, for good reasons, may wish to avoid pregnancy. But there are natural and far safer ways to do this today than using contraceptives.

It’s a medical reality that many contraceptives carry serious health risks for women, including hormonal imbalance, future sterility, high blood pressure, depression, and cancer. Even worse: if the pill does not prevent conception, it aborts any developing human life by hardening the uterine wall.

That makes it a killer as well.

The real problem occurs when people (both women and men) consider pregnancy itself to be a disease, particularly if it is unwanted. Though health issues may be involved, pregnancy is not a disease, and to consider it as such is a very deformed and frightening way of thinking.

In light of the above, how can it possibly be construed that contraception is a “preventive service for women” or a health benefit to be guaranteed by insurance policies? The real answer is that contraceptives should not be included in any insurance policy; they only harm women.

But the issue goes still deeper. The pill has been undermining our families and society since its widespread introduction in the 1960’s, and even earlier.  By separating the use of sex from its natural purpose—the union of male and female within marriage, open to love and open to life—our country has been poisoned, and continues to be so. When sex is pursued only for pleasure, separating it from its unitive and procreative nature—men and women are deeply hurt, both psychologically and often physically.

As Pope John Paul II stated in his document on the family, writing for everyone, Catholics or not, contraception is really a falsification of love between a man and a woman. It is not a complete gift of oneself to the other, the union in one flesh. It is really a kind of holding back (see no. 32 of his Apostolic Exhortation on the Family, 1981). Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Humanae Vitae (1968) prophetically stated that contraception would have disastrous effects for all of society. His words have come true in our country and in much of the world.

By seeking only the pleasure of sex without its natural consequence, a deadly mentality has permeated American life. And the victims have mostly been women: their dignity and their freedom have been manipulated, now that sex is meant only for pleasure. It’s a win-win situation for the selfish male. It’s a no-win situation for the female, since she is left with the serious health risks that the pill gives, and if she does get pregnant, she is left with the awful temptation to abort her baby.

I doubt that any woman, deep in her heart, believes that the pill is somehow “liberating” her.

It is true that the male contraceptive—so far, only the condom (no large doses of synthetic hormones for men, despite much talk)—usually does not have any harmful health consequences for the man. Its worst consequence is the negative effect it has upon his character and manhood. In a great many cases condoms only increase a man’s lust and irresponsibility.

With the 1960s sexual revolt (a more accurate word than revolution), fornication became rampant among young people, and continues to be so on many college campuses today. It has produced a mentality of “me first” among young people, a lot of sexual manipulation, and many diseases. Statistics also show that cohabitating couples have a reduced chance of entering and maintaining a stable marital relationship.

And within marriage itself, it’s hard to imagine how the pill or the condom can really help couples in their relationship. Besides preventing them from sharing marital love in a complete and natural way, contraceptives set up psychological barriers of selfishness and withdrawal between husband and wife. The huge increase of divorces and marital alienation in the U.S. over the past fifty years is in direct proportion to the use of contraceptives in marriage. This is perfectly logical, since contraceptive sex is really a form of mutual masturbation, and does not produce true unity between the spouses.

But the widespread use of contraceptives has done even more damage. It has gotten to the point of legitimizing sexual relations between persons of the same sex. Since sex is considered something for pleasure only, eliminating any possibility of having children, why shouldn’t gay men and lesbians be allowed to have a pleasure similar to that which contracepting couples experience? Logically, you could argue—as the gay lobby has successfully done and convinced many people—that gay sex and gay marriage are human rights, and that it is discrimination to deny them the same rights as heterosexual couples have.

Even in economic terms, the price of contraception has been devastating to this country: diseases that have cost billions of dollars, millions of divorces and broken homes with very traumatic effects on children, millions of lives destroyed through legalized abortion—which underwrites the anti-child nature of contraception. In strictly financial terms, the effect of so many children being eliminated has deeply crippled the U.S. economy, as well as the economy of Europe where contraception is also widely used.

One need not be a brilliant economist to realize that without young people there are neither consumers, nor a growing work force. The economy becomes stagnant, or must rely on foreign workers instead. We are left with an aging population that has fewer and fewer young people to support it, or to pay for its own social security.

A little known fact, rarely reported in the media, is the negative effect that contraceptive waste is having on the environment. The earth’s water is being continually contaminated by the huge amount of pill-produced estrogen through the excretions of millions of women. It has affected the life of marine animals, and of course, the life and health of human beings who drink water that has been contaminated.

All of this has amounted to one fact, and the title of this brief article: Contracepting America. You can see why the Catholic Church is opposed to contraception. Every right-thinking person with a conscience, Catholics or not, should know that it is a poison, both physical and spiritual.

The real freedom is to be rid of it.

Father Mike Giesler is a priest in Saint Louis, Missouri. This article reprinted with permission from Mercatornet.com.


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Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

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Arguments don’t have genitals

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

“As soon as he grows his own uterus, he can have an opinion.”

That was a comment left on The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada’s Facebook page by a woman who presumably opposes men speaking out against misogyny, domestic abuse, rape culture, and female genital mutilation as well. Apparently, you see, male genitals disqualify people from speaking out on various human rights issues deemed by women who define themselves by their uteruses while protesting angrily against being defined by their uteruses as “women’s issues.”

Which abortion isn’t, by the way. It’s a human rights issue.

To break it down really simply for our confused “feminist” friends: Human beings have human rights. Human rights begin when the human being begins, or we are simply choosing some random and arbitrary point at which human beings get their human rights. If we do not grant human rights to all human beings, inevitably some sub-set of human beings gets denied protection by another group with conflicting interests. In this case, of course, it is the abortion crowd, who want to be able to kill pre-born children in the womb whenever they want, for any reason they want.

Science tells us when human life begins. Pro-abortion dogma is at worst a cynical manoeuvre to sacrifice the lives of pre-born human beings for self-interest, and at best an outdated view that collapsed feebly under the weight of new discoveries in science and embryology. But the abortion cabal wants to preserve their bloody status quo at all costs, and so they make ludicrous claims about needing a uterus to qualify for a discussion on science and human rights.

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In fact, feminists love it when men speak up on abortion, as long as we’re reading from their script, which is why the carnivorous feminists have such a support system among the Deadbeat Dads for Dead Babies set and the No Strings Attached Club.

Male abortion activists have even begun to complain about “forced fatherhood,” a new cultural injustice in which they are expected to bear some responsibility for fathering children with women they didn’t love enough to want to father children with, but did appreciate enough to use for sex. Casual fluid swaps, they whine, should not result in custody hearings.

This is not to mention a genuine social tragedy that has men forcing or pressuring women to have abortions or abandoning them when they discover that the woman is, indeed, pregnant.

Or the fact that abortion has assisted pimps, rapists, and misogynists in continuing the crimes of sex trafficking, sexual abuse, and sex-selection abortion.

And coming against these disgusting trends are thousands of men in the pro-life movement who believe that shared humanity means shared responsibility, and that when the weak and vulnerable are robbed of their rights, we have to stand up and speak out.

We are not at all convinced by the feminist argument that people should think with their reproductive organs or genitals. We think that the number of people currently doing that has perhaps contributed to the problems we face. And we refuse to be told that protecting the human rights of all human beings is “none of our business” and “outside of our interests.”

Arguments don’t have genitals, feminists. It’s a stupid argument trying to protect a bloody ideology.

Reprinted with permission from CCBR.


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Rachel Daly

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Gvmt strikes UK Catholic school admission policy that prefers Mass attendees

Rachel Daly
By Rachel Daly

St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Epsom, England, was ordered to change its admissions policy after it was ruled discriminatory by the nation's Office of Schools Adjudicator, according to Your Local Guardian. St. Joseph's reportedly had been granting preferred acceptance to students whose families attended Mass at the affiliated church.

St. Joseph’s School is for students from age 4 to 11 and describes itself as “enjoy[ing] a high level of academic success.” The school furthermore places high priority on its Catholic identity, affirming on its homepage that “We place prayer and worship at the center of everything we do.”

The school states in its current admissions policy that it was "set up primarily to serve the Catholic community in St Joseph’s Parish" and that when the applicant pool exceeds 60 students, its criteria for prioritizing students includes "the strength of evidence of practice of the faith as demonstrated by the level of the family's Mass attendance on Sundays." 

Opponents of this policy reportedly argue that since donations are asked for at Mass, it could allow donation amounts to influence acceptance, and that forcing non-accepted local students to seek education elsewhere imposes a financial burden upon their families. 

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As Your Local Guardian reports, the adjudicators dismissed claims that donation amounts were affecting school acceptance, given that it is impossible to track donations. Nonetheless, the adjudicators maintained that "discrimination ... potentially arises from requiring attendance at the church rather than residency in the parish."

The Office of Schools Adjudicators, according to its website, is appointed by the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State of Education, to perform such functions as mediating disputes over school acceptances. The Office's ruling on St. Joseph's will require the school to release a revised admissions policy, which is expected in the next few days.

Reprinted with permission from the Cardinal Newman Society.


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Carolyn Moynihan

African women at risk of HIV, hostages to birth control

Carolyn Moynihan
By Carolyn Moynihan

Which should be the priority for a health organisation: preventing an incurable disease, or preventing a natural function that might have adverse physical consequences?

Preventing the disease, you would think. But the World Health Organisation would rather expose African women to HIV-AIDS than withdraw its support from a suspect method of birth control, arguing that childbirth is also risky in Africa. Riskier, apparently, than the said contraceptive. And at least one of WHO’s major partners agrees.

This is one of the stories you will not have read in coverage of the International AIDS Conference held in Melbourne last week, despite the fact that WHO made an announcement about it during the conference and the findings of a highly relevant study were presented there.

The story is this: there is increasing evidence that the method of contraception preferred by family planning organisations working in Africa (and elsewhere) facilitates the transmission of HIV. The method is the progesterone injection in the form of either DMPA (Depo Provera, the most common) or NET-En (Noristerat).

Millions of women in sub-Saharan Africa receive the injection every three months. The method overcomes problems of access. It can be given by nurses or health workers. A wife need not bother her husband for any special consideration; the teenage girl need not remember to take a pill.

But for 30 years evidence has been accumulating that, for all its “effectiveness” in controlling the number of births, the jab may also be very effective in increasing the number of people with HIV.

Three years ago at another AIDS conference in Rome, researchers who had analysed data from a number of previous studies delivered the disturbing news that injectables at least doubled the risk of infection with HIV for women and their male partners.

That study had its weaknesses but one of the experts present in Rome, Charles Morrison of FHI 360 (formerly Family Health International, a family planning organisation that also works in AIDS prevention), considered it a “good study” and subsequently led another meta-analysis that addressed some of the issues with previous research.

Last week at the Melbourne conference he presented the results. His team had re-analysed raw data on the contraceptive use of more than 37,000 women in 18 prospective observational studies. Of these women, 28 percent reported using DMPA, 8 percent NET-En, 19 percent a combined oral contraceptive pill, and 43 percent no form of hormonal contraception. A total of 1830 women had acquired HIV while in a study.

The analysis showed that both injectables raised the risk of infection by 50 percent:

Compared to non-users [of any hormonal contraceptive], women using DMPA had an elevated risk of infection (hazard ratio 1.56, 95% CI 1.31-1.86), as did women using NET-En (1.51, 95% CI 1.21-1.90). There was no increased risk for women using oral contraceptives.

Similarly, comparing women using injections with those using oral contraceptives, there was an elevated risk associated with DMPA (1.43, 95% CI 1.23-1.67) and NET-En (1.30, 95% CI 0.99-1.71).

Morrison also noted:

The results were consistent in several subgroup and sensitivity analyses. However, when only studies which were judged to be methodologically more reliable were included, the increased risk appeared smaller.

Morrison acknowledged that observational studies such as the FHI analysis depended on have their limitations. He is looking for funding to conduct a randomised controlled study – something that, after 30 years of suspicions and evidence, still has not been done.

So what is his advice to the birth control industry? Stop using this stuff in regions with a high prevalence of HIV until we are sure that we are not feeding an epidemic?

No.

One reason is that FHI is at least as interested in contraception as it is in HIV prevention. Though its website reflects a broad range of development activities, its core business is integrating birth control programmes with HIV prevention. The WHO – one of its partners -- describes the US based, 83 percent US government funded non-profit as “a global health and development organization working on family planning, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS.”

Another reason is that FHI 360 has a vital stake in precisely the kind of contraceptives that are under suspicion. Its annual report refers to:

Our trailblazing work in contraceptive research and development continues, as we develop and introduce high-quality and affordable long-acting contraceptives for women in low-income countries. Research is under way to develop a new biodegradable contraceptive implant that would eliminate the need for removal services. We are also working with partners to develop an injectable contraceptive that would last for up to six months. Currently available injectables require reinjections monthly or quarterly, which can be challenging where health services are limited.

That project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID.

So Morrison did not argue in Melbourne for restrictions on the use of injectables, and neither did the WHO, whose representative at the conference outlined the UN body’s new guidelines on contraception and HIV. Mary Lyn Gaffield said a review of studies up to – but not including Morrison’s – did not warrant a change to WHO’s policy that DMPA and NET-En should be available, without restriction, in areas of high HIV prevalence.

The most WHO will advise is that women should be informed of the risk:

“Women at high risk of HIV infection should be informed that progestogen-only injectables may or may not increase their risk of HIV acquisition. Women and couples at high risk of HIV acquisition considering progestogen-only injectables should also be informed about and have access to HIV preventive measures, including male and female condoms.”

Condoms? How do they defend such cynicism? By equating the risk of HIV with the risks of motherhood – complications of pregnancy or childbirth, maternal death and the effect on infants... And yet motherhood remains risky precisely because 90 percent of the world’s effort is going into contraception!

Seven years ago a meeting of technical experts convened by WHO to study the injectables-HIV link showed the reproductive health establishment worried about that issue, to be sure, but also concerned that funding was flowing disproportionately to HIV-AIDS programmes, setting back the cause of birth control. The integration of family planning and HIV prevention spearheaded by FHI 360 looks like they have found an answer to that problem.

Whether African women are any better off is very doubtful. They remain pawns in a game that is, above all, about controlling their fertility. They and their partners are encouraged to take risks with their health, if not their lives, while researchers scout for funds to do the definitive study.

FHI had an income of $674 million last year, most of it from the US government. Couldn’t it give Charles Morrison the money to do his research today?

Reprinted with permission from Mercatornet.com.


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