Monday, February 27, 2006

Website Exposes Dangers of Contraception to Marriage and Society

A national campaign to expose the negative aspects of contraception launched today. The web-based campaign, originating out of New York, is called "No Room for Contraception."

Issues surrounding so-called emergency contraception have brought the issue of birth control to the political forefront. In order to contribute to this ongoing debate, the No Room for Contraception team has launched a website to point out the often under-exposed negative effects of widespread contraception use.

"For decades, very few people of reproductive age were aware of negative side aspects of birth control," said Ruben Obregon, co-founder of the campaign. "The campaign will highlight the negative effects of contraception, including emergency contraception."

On the issue of emergency contraception, Obregon said, "Pharmacies should not be forced to fill prescriptions for so-called emergency contraception, especially since these drugs potentially prevent the implantation of a newly created human being. Companies like Wal-Mart need to think twice before caving into the pressure of the abortion rights movement to stock these drugs."

The issue of emergency contraception is just one aspect of a larger campaign to change society's dependence on contraception.

"More and more women are coming forward with stories of regret for the use of artificial contraception and surgical sterilization, stating that it had negative effects on their marriage." said Mary Worthington, the other co-founder of the campaign "No Room for Contraception is dedicated to exposing these stories along with the growing amount of scientific and sociological research showing contraception's adverse side effects."

The campaign's website can be found at

Friday, February 24, 2006

An impossible Pill to swallow

Packaged as reproductive freedom, the birth control pill has been triumphed for decades as the means by which women were able to rid themselves from the bondage of fertility and be able to enjoy sexual relations for mere bodily pleasure. But, a closer look at chemical birth control suggests that maybe it is more of a burden on women than a redeemer.

The irony is that birth control is almost always a sort of necessary evil for women. In exchange for this "freedom," a woman must remember to take a daily pill, replace a weekly patch or a monthly ring, or otherwise keep up with a regular regimen that suppresses her health and fertility. She must suffer the adverse sexual and medical side effects, and she is usually stuck with the financial expense of the chemicals, devices and doctor's visits. Certainly looks like a burden to me.

So where are men here? The only two options for men are condoms or vasectomy. While equally as morally offensive as chemical contraceptives, they do not carry the baggage that women's contraceptives do. Dozens of versions of female chemical contraceptives are available, but where are these options for men?

From the 1940s-1960s while researchers were developing the birth control pill, there were formulas for making both a men's version and a women's version, but ultimately, the women's version was the only one to hit the market. Men noticed in the trials that their pill had adverse physical side effects. Women in the trials died from their pill. The men's version was discontinued, and the dosage of the women's version was reduced.

One of those researchers was Carl Djerassi, and he commented today on the ideology behind this lack of consistency in reproductive destruction.

In an interview published in the Portuguese magazine, "Sabado," Djerassi admitted that medicine is certainly capable of developing such a pill, but said that, "The problem is that men are afraid to lose their virility. Even if taking a pill carries only a remote chance of impotence, they won't take the chance." He also stated that men "don't want to lose [the] privilege" of becoming fathers even into their 60s and 70s.

According to Djerassi's comments, bearing a child is a prized privilege for a man, but the fertility of a woman becomes a disposable and sickening aspect of her.

Here's some more surprising news. In 2002, several researchers were given a $9.5 million dollar grant by the National Institutes of Health for creating a male chemical contraception. No results yet, and that was my tax dollars at work. I'm not surprised.

That would be a hard pill for any man to swallow. Why have so many women been subjecting themselves to this for so long?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Beautiful new song to Mary from Pope Benedict's encyclical

Catholic from Down Under, Nihal D’Silva has sent the prayer to the Blessed Mother at the end of Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est"

The lyrics are verbatim from the encyclical, and they are as follows:

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
you have given the world its true light,
Jesus, your Son – the Son of God.
You abandoned yourself completely
to God's call
and thus became a wellspring
of the goodness which flows forth from him.
Show us Jesus. Lead us to him.
Teach us to know and love him,
so that we too can become
capable of true love
and be fountains of living water
in the midst of a thirsting world.

The song in mp3 format is free for you to download.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Happy Birthday Donum Vitae!!

Today is the 19th anniversary of the promulgation of the document Donum Vitae. This document by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith addresses in detail the problem of in vitro fertilization.

Equally as urgent as the problem of contraception is the problem of artificial procreation. Both of these acts separate the generation of life from the sexual act, cheapening the sexual act and making children into a commodity. In reality, however, children are a responsibility to be accepted lovingly from God as a result of the sexual expression of marital love. If by God's design the procreation of a child is not possible, no sin or offense against nature has taken place, yet if permanent or temporary sterilization is sought, a grave offense against marriage, God and nature has happened.

On the other hand, when procreation is not possible because of God's design, a couple ought not believe that it is their right or privilege to create a child artificially because technology makes it possible. This technology is actually an abuse of life, not at life's service.

IVF is also not medically safe. Babies created through IFV have a greater susceptibility to health problems. Mothers who undergo IFV treatment have a more difficult pregnancy, more difficult post-partum depression and more difficulty with bonding with the child.

Another problem of IVF is that there are often too many babies created than can be prudently brought to term. These tiny persons are then frozen into a physical limbo state and present an ethical dilemma. The options are: keep the babies frozen; donate them to research; defrost them and allow them to die; or allow other couples to "adopt" them and bring them to term, which is called snowflake adoption. None of these options seem morally acceptable except maybe the last. (The Catholic Church has not yet made a decision about the last option, in case you are wondering.)

Donum Vitae is presented in a user-friendly question and answer format. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Ugandan bishops get to root of abortion problem

In late January, the bishops of Uganda gave an open letter addressing their concerns about the UN "Protocol to the African Charter on Human Rights and People's Rights: On the Rights of Women in Africa." This charter would basically assure unrestricted abortion within the African nations that adopted it.

To the defense of life, the bishops cite the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda that assures the right to life of the unborn, therefore condemning abortion. "Abortion is always a defeat of humanity" and a "fundamental evil," the bishops stated. They go on to say, "In the history of humanity, never has such an objective evil been presented and approved as a right."

The bishops even take a hit at the so-called "hard cases" of pregnancy, which are usually result in abortion due to physician influence, social pressure, and legal allowance. "The situations of severe distress… (rape, incest, sexual assault) cannot create the right to suppress an innocent life." The reason for this is simple: abortion after these sad abuses do NOTHING to solve the problem rape, incest and sexual assault. In fact, they only serve to help the oppressor, driving the victim into further despair.

After outlining the drastic measures that the charter takes, especially in a broad definition of "women's health," the letter addresses the continued need for a respect for human sexuality.

In conclusion, we say to our fellow Ugandans: the greatest gift of the Creator to humanity is the gift of life. Accepting that gift means also welcoming the beautiful gift of human sexuality, through which the Creator has chosen to channel His gift of new life. Only a full understanding of the precious, yet complex, gift of human sexuality, and the consequent efforts to protect and value it, can build a healthy society. The legislation of our country cannot be ambiguous on this point. This is the task we all have.

These bishops have it right: understanding the complexity of the gift of human sexuality is the only way to build a healthy society!

Monday, February 20, 2006

It's finally here!!

Friends, please visit a new website, No Room for Contraception!! This is what I have been working on for the past week, hence the lack of regular posts. Regular posting will resume this week.

God bless you!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Special project in progress!

I am currently working on a special project to be announced soon. Posting will resume next week!

God bless!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Hunger strike or stricken with hunger?

Another situation like Terri Schiavo's happened in Florida last week. A New York man named Ted Stith died after 8 days without food or water in a Port Charlotte hospice facility. On the opposite end of the spectrum, officials at a detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba have been developing strategies recently to prevent detainees from engaging in suicide-bound hunger strikes.

A small newspaper in rural New York has followed the heartbreaking and cruel story of Mr. Stith's death. Mr. Stith, a 73 year old farmer, left his home near the Finger Lakes last month for a short vacation in Florida and while there suffered a stroke. His son immediately traveled to Florida and ordered that his father be given no rehabilitation, medication, food or water. According to reports, he then took his father's wallet and headed back to New York, leaving his father to die.

He did die. He died alone in a place far from home, and as he was dying, his son was auctioning off his belongings in the auction house that he owned and used to make a living. A place where he used to give to other families in need, especially through food donations. Read a complete story of his death, which includes links to previous stories.

In Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, prisoners on hunger strike have been force fed through feeding tubes to prevent vomiting, and prevent their own suicide as a protest for their detention. The efforts have been successful, and the number of strikers has dropped from 84 to 4. Ironically, the interventions to keep these detainees from committing suicide has been called "most brutal and inhumane types of treatment" and "a disgrace" by a Washington based lawyer who is "representing" some of the detainees.

So, with this sad story of Mr. Stith fresh in my mind, when I heard of the hunger strikers, it was an occasion for reflection for me. The "quality of life" argument that is frequently used to justify acts of suicide, abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide just doesn't seem to make sense anymore. How can one say that the quality of life of a prisoner is any better or worse than the quality of life of the elderly, a child with a disability or a child conceived despite the protests (ie, use of contraception) of his mother and father?

Yet, while selfish people are fighting to kill the disabled, elderly and unborn, US military officials are concerned that the detainees do not succeed in killing themselves. Who steps in to criticize? A silly group of lawyers who say that it is inhumane to strap down a prisoner to feed him. Did it ever occur to these lawyers that if the hunger strikers had succeeded in their suicide plans, they'd be out of a job? I guess so-called human rights are that important.

Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr. recently questioned the moral complexity of feeding tubes by saying, "Do you allow a person to commit suicide? Or do you take steps to protect their health and preserve their life?" Of course, Dr. Winkenwerder was speaking about the life of a prisoner, but what if physicians, families, social workers and other specialists had this attitude toward those who feel tempted or pressured to commit suicide or to allow euthanasia in the face of severe illness? Do we allow them to commit suicide? Or, do we preserve their lives?

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Discerning two plans

Abortion testimonies, especially those of women who are abortion-bound but still pregnant, are riddled with the idea that adoption is the most painful and least rewarding decision that can be made. Why? Adoption is presented in such bad light thanks to America's domestic terrorists- the abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. These organizations are so firmly convinced that the "liberation" of an abortion is a far better decision than adoption that they have created this mentality and instilled it in the youth of America.

A testimonyon the Priests for Life site from a woman who had experienced both abortion and parenting before her current pregnancy. Knowing that she could neither handle the despair of another abortion nor the challenges of parenthood, she turned to a counselor who helped her to devise two plans: one for parenting and one for adoption. The counselor also helped to guide her in her decision making, respecting her decisions.

Let's take a look at an excerpt of her testimony:

The first person I called was my ex and his first suggestion ...abortion. It looked like I was in for another lonely, depressing pregnancy. Here I was again, scared, ashamed, disappointed confused. What in the world was I going to do? That was my question to God as I sat in the back of the sanctuary sobbing, feeling completed humiliated. The Lord was merciful. That very day, He answered that question with just one word, ADOPTION. "When, who, how, where?" I thought.

When I finally confided in a lady I met at the women's retreat, she directed me to a counselor at church. She lovingly, but firmly discipled me and helped me to develop two plans. One for adoption, another for parenting. The next nine months were spent praying, crying, researching, studying, crying, talking, growing, and crying some more. God became very real to me. His hand was as clearly involved in the whole adoption process than mine was. He led us every step of the way, from deciding on what avenue to use, to what family, to the name.

This is an encouraging testimony! From a seemingly impossible situation with the cloud of discouragement from the father of the child looming overhead, she was able to find hope and peace in an adoption plan simply because she was able to consider both options side by side.

Recommended reading: Real Choices: Listening to Women; Finding Alternatives to Abortion by Frederica Matthewes-Green. Available on her website.

Monday, February 6, 2006

Post-contracption syndrome

Ever since Janet Morana, the co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign publicly gave her testimony of the grief caused by contraceptive use, more and more people are beginning to realize the complexity of grief after contraceptive use. While Christians must grieve for any sin that is committed, grieving for the sin of contraception is especially important because a woman does not know whether she has inadvertently aborted a child.

Along with Dr. Theresa Burke, the director of Rachel's Vineyard retreats for post-abortion healing, Janet has written a book called “The Contraception of Grief.” It explains in detail the devastation caused by extended contraception use or sterilization.

When abortion first became legal and many women subjected themselves to this horror, little was known about post-abortion grief or suffering. Many women who were obtaining abortions were not aware that their child was growing and developing or that they were even pregnant with a child. This is a sad reality of the public knowledge of unborn life: women were (and still are) encouraged to abort a child while at the same time being told that it is not even a child yet.

The same is true of the use of chemical contraceptives. When “The Pill” was first invented, women were kept in ignorance as to the functioning of the chemicals contained in it. Through medical research and honest physicians, educators and ministries, women are beginning to realize exactly how devastating the use of contraceptives has been, and that they most likely have aborted one or more children while on the pill. This is the cause of much grief, and that grief needs to be recognized. As long as the Planned Parenthood and mainstream medical practice are lying to women, the pro-life movement needs to step forward to recognize their hurt and help them come to peace and healing in Jesus Christ.

Yes, all mortal sins are to be mourned. Along with that mourning should also come the realization that human life was destroyed through the sin, and this loss should be mourned as well.

Friday, February 3, 2006

Slang medical terms and pharmacists' rights

The debate regarding pharmacists' rights to refuse to fill a prescription is heating up, and with that comes lots of confusion over terminology, legal rights, right to life issues and more. This whole mess revolves around dangerous birth control drugs and emergency contraception that many pharmacies have an uneasy conscience about dispensing. What exactly is "emergency contraception?" Though there are many things to discuss on this topic, I am going to discuss the confusing terminology created by slang words for medical terms.

But, before we get to that, let's look at a few of these instances in the news lately.

So much for the props I gave to Target in an earlier post; on Monday, a woman broke the news that she had been fired for refusing to provide a referral for the drug. Irony is that her employer didn't even stock the drug!

This new national controversy was egged on by the governor of Illinois who I mentioned in an earlier post on his new program that requires all pharmacies and all pharmacists to fill birth control and emergency contraception. Three pharmacists from a Walgreen's in Illinois were fired for refusing to fill prescriptions, and now the American Center for Law and Justice (a pro-life legal association) is suing them.

Another major chain, Wal-Mart, is being sued by three women in Massachusetts, likewise for refusing to dispense emergency contraception.

So, now that we understand the buzz about pharmacists' rights, let's look at terminology. Many people think that emergency contraception is synonymous with the abortion pill RU-486. The mainstream media has done a good job confusing all of us, because that is not accurate. Emergency contraception refers to "Plan B," a pill taken literally the morning after sex to "prevent" pregnancy.

The morning after pill and RU-486 are two distinct pill regimens. The one that has been deemed a requirement for all Illinois pharmacies is the morning after pill. This is a super-dose of the birth control pill, and the non-generic name for it is Plan B. It is meant to prevent both ovulation and implantation. It can result in a very early abortion (when a newly conceived human being is prohibited from implanting in the wall of the uterus, this is called the abortifacient effect), but only the pro-life movement recognizes that. The abortion movement insists that it does not prevent implantation of a newly formed human being, and even if it does, that's okay because to them, pregnancy doesn't start until implantation and an unborn child isn't a human person with rights until… well, whenever they decide.

The morning after pill is taken with no regard to actual risk of pregnancy. The manufacturers and the abortion providers insist that all women must always take the pill immedietly after all "unprotected sex," however injecting one's body with these dangerous chemicals is extremely dangerous. The abortion providers never inform women that she can actually only get pregnant a few days out of the month, and therefore taking this after every time she has "unprotected sex" is far from necessary. This is one reason why Natural Family Planning is a much safer bet- even if just for women's health.

RU-486 is actually an abortion pill that can be taken up to about two months into a pregnancy. This is usually not available at a pharmacy, but only at health clinics like the abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. RU-486 is a two-pill regimen; the first pill kills the child, and the second causes him to be expelled from the womb. At least four women have died in the US as a direct result of taking this regimen of pills.

This pill regimen may only be taken in the instance of confirmed pregnancy with the primary purpose of killing the child that actually is there.

As the pro-life movement continues to thrive on our adrenaline rush from the March for Life, Justice Alito's confirmation and other events, the abortion movement is going to try harder and harder to promote and popularize these chemical methods of abortion.

The pro-life movement has been focusing for a long time on using graphic images of aborted babies to prove the point that abortion is wrong. We've succeeded all-right, but only in the area of surgical abortion, where gory, yucky photos can actually be shown.

Now with these dangerous abortion-causing pills on the rise, there is no convincing or brutal picture to argue our point. It is only a proper understanding of personhood and human sexuality that will survive the test of time and really promote the pro-life message- that life begins at the union of sperm and egg. This is why the pro-life movement must be firm in opposing not only abortion, but also, and of equal importance, contraception.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Can't make history without people

Schools, libraries non-profits and other groups celebrate February as Black History Month. Though Americans of every color- white, black, brown, red, whatever- are created equal, I'd like to highlight the disproportionally high rate of abortion among black women as we celebrate their heritage and history this month.

The statistically reliable organization, Guttmacher Institute, which is also an arm of the Planned Parenthood, has statistics showing that "black women are more than 3 times as likely as white women to have an abortion." This means that of the 1.3 million abortions in the US last year, roughly .5 million were black women and black babies.

Despite this sad evidence, there are few leaders, let alone activists in the pro-life movement from within the black community. Dr. Alveda King, Rev. Clenard Childress, Charnette Messe, LeShawn Barber, Lillie Epps to name a few… Let's take a look at each of these black pro-life leaders.

Dr. Alveda King widely popular presentations center on her family's involvement in the Civil Right's Movement of the 1960s and her own personal abortion story. That's right, she is the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. Attending one of Alveda's talks is special because she will often make us stand together and lock arms and sing the freedom march songs from the Civil Rights movement.

Pastor Childress is the director of the Life Education and Resource Network, which is an effort to expose the agenda of the Planned Parenthood against blacks and other minorities. His work is an invaluable asset to the pro-life movement.

Charnette Messe's abortion experience led her to a battle with breast cancer, and now she is dedicated to exposing the link between these deadly horrors. "I love this scar" is how she starts her testimony, given at many Silent No More Awareness Campaign events. She and her husband are a dynamic duo in the pro-life movement. Her husband is a physician in the US Navy, and has been firm to the point of jeopardizing his position about not prescribing contraceptives.

LeShawn Barber is a free-lance writer, speaker and avid blogger. At the March for Life where I met her for the first time, she expressed her concern for the lack of black activists in the pro-life movement. I agree, but if anyone is going to influence a young black person to become active in the pro-life movement, it is going to be her!

Lillie Epps of Care-Net spoke about the lack of pro-life leadership and involvement in a recent article that I highly recommend reading. This article gives many reasons for the lack of black activists in the movement, such as the fact that the main face of the movement is young white people. It also spoke about the fact that most of the photos splashed on the media of the March for Life were white kids, not minorities.

But, on a happy note, the Family Life/ Respect Life office of the NYC Archdiocese brought almost 400 youth from the South Bronx to the March for Life. Sporting bright green scarves and mingling with the Sisters of Life and CFR sisters and brothers, these kids were a great sign of encouragement to myself and others. I have also see so many young black and Hispanic teens come to the monthly vigils held by the Helpers of God's Precious Infants in Brooklyn and Queens. These vigils are the largest I've been to outside of my experience at college, and the young people fill the entire Church. Very, very encouraging.

Happy Black History Month- please keep making history!!