Jenn Giroux

Dear physician: The $30 I spent on getting sterilized was the worst money I ever spent

Jenn Giroux
By Jenn Giroux

The Obama Administration is mandating that all insurance providers provide free FDA approved birth control methods to women as well as permanent sterilization procedures. Besides the documented physical harm that hormonal birth control and sterilization does to a woman’s body, there is also another effect that it has which often carries a much high cost: emotional pain and regret. The department of Health and Human Services ignores the post contraceptive regrets of women who later mourn the children they willingly prevented. Below is one woman’s powerful story of the profound regret that came after being offered permanent sterilization by her physician. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), by age 45, at least one partner in every two marriages in the U.S has been sterilized.

Dear Medical Provider:

I am writing this personal story and presenting it to you in an effort to heal some deep emotional wounds. I pray it helps you also. You see, when I was 29 I was pregnant with my third child. This was a blessed and wonderful time in my life. During an appointment you brought up the option of permanent sterilization after delivery. I honestly had never even considered it. But, there it was. I brought the pamphlet home and presented it to my husband. He responded “well, if the doctor thinks it’s best.” Obviously, we are easily influenced. Nothing was mentioned again until a few hours after the delivery of my beautiful baby girl. You missed the delivery but flew into the room exclaiming “so, we are doing a tubal, right?”

I was shocked. I had not given it much thought. I was not in a state of mind to understand the full depth of what that meant. I was thinking the whole time of another child. I know you sensed that. You reassured me it was permanent. At that time I could not fully comprehend what that meant. Then, you said something as you left the room that has painfully echoed and haunted my thoughts for years. I heard you mumble “I’ll do the most reversible type.” I still do not know what that meant. How could something be permanent and reversible at the same time? I did not fully understand what was happening.

Before I knew it, the procedure was done. I realized the next day that I did not want this procedure to be permanent. I always wanted more children. I had hopes and dreams of a larger family. I found it difficult to articulate that. Large families are not “popular” in today’s world. I acted in fear of being judged. Who was I to go against the social norms? It seems there is an unwritten social standard that says family sizes of 2 or 3 is “normal.” This misconception set up by media and a popular social agenda is standard, but not necessarily right or even remotely good for us. I was guilty of buying into this agenda.

Now it has been 7 years since the tubal. I have wanted it reversed since the day that it was done. I realize more than ever that you did me no favors. The tubal cost us $30. It was the worst money I ever spent. The mental and emotional turmoil of self-induced infertility has been beyond difficult. I have cried and grieved the loss of that part of myself for years. I realized that my fertility was a very special gift. Fertility was very much a part of who I was. It defined me as a woman. On a very deep level, fertility was essential to my mental and emotional health. It influenced my relationships with my husband, children, co-workers and friends. Without it I suffered and my marriage suffered the greatest of all to the point where my husband and I sought counseling. The counselor looked at me and recognized that I was grieving. It was then that I realized that he was right. I was grieving! I was grieving the loss of my fertility. Seven years later at age 35 I was able to have a reversal. The procedure cost $11,200.That was the best money ever spent. The procedure was healing beyond explanation…I was wholeagain. I truly felt the mercy and love of God!

Through this entire experience valuable lessons have been learned. We live in a society where we have separated love from life. However, I have learned that this misguided compassion is not in the best health interest of any person.

My challenge for you as a medical provider is to go back to treating the whole person. To treat their fertility as a part of who they are. Not something to be controlled or practiced. Fertility is a central part of being male or female and is a sacred part of the marriage union. When fertility is taken away you deny something very sacred to a person and to that marriage union. Do not be so quick to take that gift away.

My second challenge to you is to learn more about the whole truth of human sexuality through Pope John Paul’s Theology of the Body. This is a very truthful study of who we are as persons. God always has our best health interests in mind. God knows us in a more truthful, meaningful, and healing way than we know ourselves. God truly has you and your patient’s best interests in mind. If you are willing to take that a step farther learn more about NFP (natural family planning) and help those who use this method. Many couples are choosing natural alternatives to family planning and they need your support.

Through all this I have come to realize that when I am fearful of being judged I am missing the point. There is no fear in love. We are called to love ourselves and one another; for God is love. When I am fearful I realize that I am more afraid of what others might think than doing what God desires. I have to remind myself that God is love. Fear does not come from God. Fear comes from popular, often harmful worldviews and my hesitancy to soar beyond them to find the truth. For there is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, so one who fears is not yet perfect in love 1John 4:18. I have found that if I look to the love of God and seek his truth instead of trying what is popular or what my colleagues are doing I am more satisfied, more fulfilled, more content and more loved. Then I have nothing to fear.

I pray this helps as you consider the challenge to change your practice.

I also want you to know that I have forgiven you. I hope you can learn something from this personal testimony. I pray it encourages you to consider how you care for your patients.

Through the love of Christ we welcomed one more soul into our family.

Our blessed baby boy arrived May 29th 2009. He brings true joy to all who meet him.

May the Love of Christ touch the hearts of all who have shared this story with me. May it help you to understand and embrace the truth found in the love of God.

Michele Brown and her husband are now expecting their second child after her successful tubal ligation reversal in 2008. Michele hopes her story will provide a helpful insight for other women who are considering sterilization. (Re-printed with permission.)


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African denounces Western elites pushing population control in his country

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By Ben Johnson

An op-ed in one of the leading publications in Uganda has denounced the promotion of IUD use and other long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) in the nation as a colonialist form of population control.

An article published in New Vision, which bills itself as “Uganda's leading daily,” and which was posted online after being translated into broken English, contradicts the frequent claim that there is a desperate cry from Africans and brown people generally to provide the “unmet need” for contraception in the Third World.

Programs to convince African women to use the IUD or other forms of contraception “are projects of multibillion international agencies distributing them under the guise of helping the poor countries to control birth rates,” Stephen Wabomba wrote.

The use of the IUD leads to an increase in “the spread of STIs/HIV/AIDS, infections or increased rates of Pelvic Infection Diseases (PID),” and other maladies, he said. The IUD, which is inserted into the uterus and may work for years at a time, offers no protection against sexually transmitted diseases and often does not prevent fertilization.

Western governments and NGOs are very much “aware of the side effect[s] but still force them on us through sensational marketing strategies by claiming that there is unmet need” for contraception “in Uganda,” he wrote.

He instead suggested the use of Natural Family Planning methods as the “best alternative” for married couples, as well as increased “funding of chastity and abstinence education in Uganda.”

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He called on every citizen of Uganda “to stand up and be counted as a lover of life” and become a “protector of the voiceless and defenseless unborn children being aborted every day.”

Wabomba is heeding his own advice by acting as director of the Pregnancy Help Center in Jinja, the second largest city in Uganda. The town of 87,000 is perched on the shores of Lake Victoria.


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Guilherme Ferreira Araújo

UN tells Chile and Peru to legalize abortion

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By Guilherme Ferreira Araújo

On July 7 and 8, the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHCR) discussed Chile’s abortion laws and issued a report asking for liberalization of those laws.

According to the report, Chile “should establish exceptions to the general prohibition of abortion, contemplating therapeutic abortion and in those cases in which the pregnancy is a consequence of a rape or incest.”

Chile is one of the few countries that prohibits abortion in all cases.  So far, the country has managed to stand against internal and external pressure to legalize abortion.

But during her campaign, President Michele Bachelet promised to make the legalization of abortion a priority.  Indeed, last May she stated that her intention was to reopen the debate so that the government could approve therapeutic abortion before the end of this year.  The U.N. report also said that Chile “should make sure that reproductive health services are accessible to all women and adolescents."

One of the reasons the UN is using to pressure Chile’s government to change their abortion laws is the high number of clandestine abortions allegedly taking place in Chile. The UNHRC points to “official data” showing 150,000 annual clandestine abortions. However, not only is it impossible to corroborate that figure, but other sources show that this number could be exaggerated by a factor of 10.  According to an article published in the Chilean news publication, Chile B, the annual number of clandestine abortions in Chile may vary between 8,270 and 20,675.

Inflating the number of illegal abortions and maternal mortality is a common tactic of the pro-abortion movement’s effort to legalize the deadly practice. Dr. Bernard Nathanson, founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), famously admitted the tactic after becoming pro-life.

“We claimed that between five and ten thousand women a year died of botched abortions,” he said. "The actual figure was closer to 200 to 300 and we also claimed that there were a million illegal abortions a year in the United States and the actual figure was close to 200,000. So, we were guilty of massive deception."

Chile has also been used as a prime example that legalized abortion does not reduce maternal mortality.

A study published in 2012 by Plos One Institute found that since 1989 when Chile banned abortion, there has been an annual decrease in maternal death. That study, and others compiled and published by the Chilean MELISA Institute strongly challenge the myth that abortion is safe or even necessary to increase maternal health.

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Notwithstanding the empirical data, the United Nations is also hard at work to pressure Chile’s neighbor to the North, Peru, to liberalize its own abortion laws.  In the case of Peru it is the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) that has issued the report, not the UNHRC.  CEDAW representatives examined Peru’s case on July 1 and suggested that Peru should legalize abortion in case of rape and severe abnormalities of the unborn child.

The organism suggested that the government eliminate all laws that punish women who abort and asked that Peru “urgently” adopt a law to fight violence against women, a notion often used as a euphemism for legalizing abortion.  

The CEDAW commission presented the conclusions of the report on July 22 and put special emphasis on the abortion issue. This happens despite the strong opposition to abortion in Peru. A recent survey showed that 79 percent of Peruvians support the Catholic Church’s position on abortion.

The CEDAW pressure on Peru is not new. In 2011, after the UN sanctioned Peru for denying an abortion to a teenager, Carlos Polo, Director of the Population Research Institute’s Latin American office, stated that the UN organism doesn’t have the right to force Peru to approve abortion.


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People ask me all the time, “How do you live with your past?” My answer is silly, but it is a true story. Youtube screenshot
Abby Johnson Abby Johnson Follow Abby

I helped so many women abort their babies. Now how do I live with that?

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By Abby Johnson
Abby Johnson business card Planned Parenthood

I have many memories of my time with Planned Parenthood. I spent eight years of my life there. Some memories are good, some are not. But they are contained in my mind. It’s easy to forget them. I have forgotten so much about my time there in just four and a half short years. 

I found my old business card the other day. That is a tangible memory for me. It made me think of the day that I heard I had been promoted to direct the clinic. I was so happy…hugging and jumping up and down with my supervisor. She was so proud of me.

I thought about the day I moved everything into my new, big office. I put pro-choice stickers all over my file cabinet. I called my parents to share the news. They were, of course, proud of me, but hated my work. I can’t imagine how conflicted they were in their minds and hearts. Human resources sent me my new paperwork. There was my new title, my new and amazing salary. 

A few days later, my new business cards came. I remember putting them in my new business card holder on my desk. I filled up the business card holder that I kept in my purse. I had already become used to hearing myself say my new title.

I was proud of myself. I was proud of the hard work I had put in to earn that new title. I worked so many hours, sacrificed so much time from my family. But I knew it would be worth it. And now I had the job title to prove it.

I remember proudly passing out my new business cards to anyone that would take one. Being pro-choice was not just a movement to me; it was a lifestyle. I wholeheartedly embraced that lifestyle and loved being a part of it. 

These tangible reminders that I occasionally find are sometimes hard to work through. I remember receiving the records from my medication abortion. That tangible reminder of my past was difficult to manage. I look at my “Employee of the Year” award that I received from Planned Parenthood and think back to the night I received it. I ended up putting that old award on my desk as a reminder of where I came from and how much my life has changed. Seeing that plaque no longer brings back those tangible memories. 

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One of the reasons I was so taken aback when finding my old business card was not just because it was a reminder of how proud I had been to run an abortion clinic…something I find deplorable now. It was because of the things I took part in while I had that big title.

The memories of handing women small monetary checks in order to pay for their silence after we had left them with a serious infection after their abortion. The memories of watching women bleed out on our abortion table and being instructed not to call the ambulance because we didn’t want to let the pro-lifers know that we had a medical emergency. The memories I have of “joking” about the babies that died in our facility by abortion. The memories I have of training our abortion facility employees on the “normalcy” of abortion and how to convince women that abortion is the best choice for them.

Part of being a former abortion clinic worker is learning how to deal with your past sin. It may be the lady who came to your clinic for an abortion that you bump into at the store. It could be standing in front of your former abortion facility and remembering all of the damage your words and actions did to so many women. It could be finding that old business card that reminds you of the pride you felt when you became the director of an abortion facility. 

People ask me all the time, “How do you live with your past?” My answer is silly, but it is a true story. 

One day I was watching the kid’s movie “Kung Fu Panda” with my daughter. In the film there is a wise, old tortoise named Oogway. He is talking to one of his students who is frustrated with his current situation. Oogway asks his student, “Do you know why today is called the present? Because it is a gift.”

That little line by an animated tortoise hit me like a ton of bricks. Today is a gift. There is absolutely nothing we can do with our past. And there is very little we can do to control our future. We live NOW. We serve NOW. We choose to move on from our past NOW. 

I don’t know what your past sins are. And I don’t know how frequently you are reminded of them. But as someone who has to face their past sins on pretty much a daily basis, I can tell you that you can be free from their burden. Being reminded of your past doesn’t mean that you have to live with constant grief. It simply means that you have been given the opportunity to transform your past into something positive…maybe you can help others make different choices than you did, maybe you can help others heal from the same struggles that you lived through. I don’t know what you are being called to do, but as the saying goes, “God can turn our mess into a message.” 

Carrying around past burdens doesn’t help us in any way. Know that you can be forgiven. Accept that forgiveness. Use your life to help others. The present is indeed a gift.

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