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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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

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