OpinionTue Feb 28, 2012 - 11:37 am EST
Dear physician: The $30 I spent on getting sterilized was the worst money I ever spent
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.)
‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’
AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life.
“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September.
“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote.
Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds.
The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again.
After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test.
“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.
The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five.
“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”
“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.
Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.”
“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”
“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.”
“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.”
“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born.
The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well.
UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react
GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads.
The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution.
“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.
“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.
But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it.
The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”
Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.
“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms.
“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added.
Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born.
“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.
“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.
Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’
DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.
“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.
"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.
That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.
“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."
Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.
All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.
Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.
On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”
Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.
At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.
But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.