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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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A report on rising cancer rates in Africa delivered at a conference in Namibia last week warned that oral contraceptives and engaging in sexual activity from a young age lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers.

Researchers presented the "2014 Integrated Africa Cancer Fact Sheet & Summary Score Card" during the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference, held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 20 to 22, noted that cancer is a growing health problem in many developing countries and that breast and cervical cancer are the most common forms affecting African women.

The report said that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) play a major role in reproductive system cancers and that young girls who engage in sexual activity risk getting, among other STDs, the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are linked to cervical cancer.

The report said although HPV infections are common in healthy women, they are usually fought off by the body’s immune system, with no discernible symptoms or health consequences.

The Cancer Association of South Africa points out that of the scores of HPV types, 14 of the more than 40 sexually transmitted varieties are considered "high risk" for causing serious illness, while two, HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to cervical cancer.

“Long-term use of oral contraceptives is also associated with increased risk [of cancer], and women living with HIV-AIDS are at increased risk of cervical cancer,” the report said.

Dr. Thandeka Mazibuko, a South African oncologist, told the conference attendees that when an 18-year-old is diagnosed with cervical cancer, “this means sex is an important activity in her life and she indulged from a young age.”

Mazibuko said the standard treatment for cancer of the cervix is seven weeks of radiation therapy.

“After the treatment they cannot have sex with their husbands or partners. They cannot bear children because everything has been closed up. Some may still have the womb but radiation makes them infertile,” Mazibuko said, according to a report in The Namibian.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Namibia show that cases of cervical cancer have risen from 129 in 2005 to 266 in 2012.

The SCCA Conference theme was, "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention."

In his keynote address, host and Namibian President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged African countries to help each other to expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.

"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the president, according to AllAfrica.

The Namibian leader urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.


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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

Allow ‘lethal injection’ for poor to save on palliative care: Lithuanian health minister

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By Hilary White

Euthanasia is a solution for terminally ill poor people who cannot afford palliative care and who do not want to “see their families agonize” over their suffering, Lithuania’s health minister said last week.

In an interview on national television, Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė added that the Belgian law on child euthanasia ought to be “taken into account” as well. 

Šalaševičiūtė told TV3 News that Lithuania, a country whose population is 77 percent Catholic, is not a welfare state and cannot guarantee quality palliative care for all those in need of it. The solution, therefore, would be “lethal injection.”

“It is time to think through euthanasia in these patients and allow them to make a decision: to live or die,” she said.

Direct euthanasia remains illegal in the Balkan state, but activists tried to bring it to the table in 2012. A motion to drop the planned bill was passed in the Parliament in March that year in a vote of 75 to 14. Since then the country has undergone a change in government in which the far-left Social Democrats have formed the largest voting bloc.

Šalaševičiūtė is a member of Parliament for the Social Democrats, the party originally established in the late 19th century – re-formed in the late 1980s – from Marxist principles and now affiliated with the international Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.

Fr. Andrius Narbekovas, a prominent priest, lecturer, physician, bioethicist, and member of the government’s bioethics committee, called the suggestion “satanic,” according to Delfi.lt. He issued a statement saying it is the purpose of the Ministry of Health to “protect the health and life, instead of looking for ways to take away life.”

“We understand that people who are sick are in need of funds. But a society that declares itself democratic, should very clearly understand that we have to take care of the sick, not kill them,” he said.


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Islamists in Mosul mark Christian homes with an Arabic "N" for Nazarene.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

We must open wide our doors to Iraq’s Christians

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D.

On July 18, the largest Christian community in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholics of Mosul, were given a grotesque ultimatum: leave your ancestral home, convert to Islam, or die.

All but forgotten by the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world, these last Christians who still speak Jesus’ native tongue of Aramaic and live in the land of Abraham and Jonah are being wiped out before our very eyes.

As a way of issuing a thinly-veiled threat, reminiscent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Arabic letter “N” (for Nazarean) has been painted on the outside of the homes of all known Christians in Mosul.

These threats, issued by the fanatical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known for its bloodthirsty rampage of executions, have been taken very seriously by the several hundred thousand Christians in Mosul who have left with little more than the clothes they were wearing. 

At least most of these Christians were able to flee and find temporary protection among the Kurds in their semi-autonomous region.  However the Kurds do not have the resources to defend or shelter the Chaldean Christians for much longer.

On Monday, during an interview on Fox News, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently joined with 54 other members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama asking him to act to protect these communities, stated that while Iraqi President Maliki had sent military flights to Mosul to evacuate Shiite Muslims, the US has done nothing to protect the Chaldean Christians.  Rep. Wolf also stated emphatically that President Obama has done “almost nothing” about the genocide taking place.

The silence from the White House is deafening.  But the lack of leadership from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America has been shocking as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of these Iraqi Christians is beginning to be taken seriously.   This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of local Iraqi religious leaders like Chaldean Patriarch Sako, who has gone on a whirlwind tour of the world to alert us all of the plight of these Iraqi Christians.  In a statement demonstrating his character, he told the Christians of Iraq last week, “We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices.”

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched there were approximately 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Today, there are believed to be less than 200,000.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Now that the world is beginning to be aware of the genocide in Northern Iraq, many of us ask ourselves: what can we do?  As citizens and as Christians blessed to live in nations with relative peace and security, what can we do?

The answer is quite simple and unexpected.  Demand that our government and church pull its head out of the sand and follow France. Yes, France.  

Yesterday, in a heroic gesture of Christian solidarity that would make Joan of Arc proud, the government of France opened wide its doors to the persecuted Iraqi Christians.  

”France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said in a joint statement on Monday.

"The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region," they added. "We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.  We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them.”

The French statement drives home three crucial elements that every government, especially the United States, should communicate immediately:

  1. Recognize the genocide and name the perpetrators and victims.

  2. Officially condemn what is happening in the strongest terms.

  3. Offer a solution that includes cooperation with local authorities but which leads by making solid commitments such as offering asylum or other forms of protection.

With regard to the Church, we should look to the Chaldean Patriarch and the Iraqi bishops who shared their expectations explicitly in an open letter to “all people of conscience in Iraq and around the world” to take “practical actions to assure our people, not merely expressions of condemnation.”  Noticeably, the last section of the letter from the Iraqi bishops, before a final prayer to God, is an expression of thanks to the Kurdish government, which has welcomed them not just with “expressions” of goodwill but, like France, with a sacrificial hospitality.

On Friday, July 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did issue a statement, but unfortunately it lacked much in terms of leadership or solutions.  We should encourage our bishops to do better than that, be bolder and stronger for our persecuted brothers and sisters, name names and offer concrete sacrificial aid. In a word, be more like the French.

In 1553, Rome welcomed the Chaldean church into the fold of the Catholic Church.  Nearly 500 years later, Catholic Americans must find ways to welcome these persecuted people into our country, into our churches, and into our own homes if need be.

I say, I am with you St. Joan of Arc.   I am with you, France.  I am with you, Chaldeans!

Gualberto Garcia Jones is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to advance the fundamental rights to life, the natural family, and religious liberty through international law and international relations. 


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