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Category Archives: Contraception

Vatican Cardinal: If Catholic employers provide contraceptive coverage they cooperate in sin

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by Jenn Giroux

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The upcoming episode of Catholic Action Insight hosted by Thomas McKenna to air on EWTN on Wednesday, April 11 at 2:30pm and April 13 at 9:00pm EST will surely ignite discussion among Catholics on the impending mandate which is an attack on religious liberty.  In this interview, Cardinal Raymond Burke speaks out for the first time in a public interview on matters of faith, religious liberty, and culpability in relation to this threatened mandate for employers. Continue reading…

“What is the big deal about Catholics using birth control?”

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By Jenn Giroux

It is more vital than ever that Catholics who understand the teaching of the Church on Birth Control be ever so patient with those who do not. After all, the sad reality is that for 50 years now there have only been a few Cardinals, Bishops, and priests who have given the proper time to this subject matter from the pulpit. Those who addressed this issue often suffered for it. Some were reprimanded by their Superiors, others were moved out to the farthest, most undesirable location in the diocese. It was so very painful for orthodox Catholics to endure. When 98% of Catholics and non-Catholic alike have used some form of birth control something has gone terribly wrong. Only Satan, himself, is clever enough to have worked his way into that many bedrooms. Yet in an amazing turn of events, something quite unexpected has taken hold of the country and the Church.

I write this for those who are inundated by the media screaming against their Church.They do not understand. Many don’t even know what Humanae Vitaeis. Or they know and just don’t really have the time to read an Encyclical Letter. They wonder internally ‘what is the big deal about Catholics using birth control — I don’t get it’. In order to stand up and defend religious liberty one must first understand what it is that his own church teaches. . Young and old alike are hungry for the truth.

When I was growing up my parents always modeled by their example a blind trust in God. In the worst of circumstances they would say ‘trust God, he knows what he is doing.’ Now that I am a parent I understand how very difficult it can be to, indeed, unconditionally trust what is happening in our lives to God. I also see that it is the most valuable lesson a parent can teach a child. It has been my lifeline. Likewise, here is what I was taught about Church teaching on sex, marriage and birth control:

Sex was a gift from the Creator intended for couples to enjoy inside the sacrament of marriage only.

There are two elements that must be present with every sexual act. The act must be both ‘procreative’ (meaning ‘open to life’) and unitive (meaning ‘the actual physical union of man and wife’). Any interruption of these two basic guidelines deliberately takes the Will of God out of it. It steps outside the rules of the Church which are inspired by God Himself.

Every act of sexual intercourse must be open to the transmission of human life. That is why barrier protection (condoms and spermicides), withdrawal before the completion of the act, and all forms of hormonal contraception and abortifacient drugs are forbidden. It also explains why the use of surrogate mothers, sperm banks, egg donation, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and certain fertility practices are forbidden by the Catholic Church as well. If you apply the two basic elements, “procreative and unitive,” to each one of these controversial practices today you will see that none of them exhibit both the Church required “procreative and unitive” elements. Additionally, direct sterilization (tubal ligation, vasectomy, and other new procedures that render one of the married partners sterile and unable to have any more children) is also not allowed. The lack of understanding of this teaching has led to the following shocking statistic. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every two couples in the U.S. is sterilized by age 45.

The Church does allow married Catholics (with good reason) to abstain from having sex during the fertile time of the woman’s cycle. Those who use birth control often say that natural birth spacing and artificial contraception are the same. They are not.  With artificial birth control the couple engages in a unitive act that is frustrated by a contraceptive. In Natural Family Planning, a couple is showing self-restraint and abstinence during a possible procreative time. Natural Family Planning is a prayerful decision by a couple to exercise self-restraint. In other words, by abstaining the couple does not enjoy the unitive aspect of the marital embrace without the procreative aspect which is what is done when a couple enjoys the unitive part of sex while using birth control. What the Obama administration fails to see is that defending this teaching is not about choice, it is about salvation. The Catholic Church cannot and will not back away from defending it. The ramifications are eternal.

It is important to note that there are several natural birth regulation methods approved by the Catholic Church such as Natural Family Planning, the Ovulation Method, the Creighton Model Fertility Care System, as well as the Billings method. These methods also assist couples to achieve pregnancy.

Women have been seduced for 50 years into believing that they should take birth control and become their own god. Some of the bad fruits of this seduction can be seen in the negative physical manifestations of using the Pill and the total rejection of God’s supreme rights and authority over our bodies.

It is not too late to re-educate Catholics of all ages. For anyone who seeks to better understand these difficult issues of our day the Catechism of the Catholic Church provides every answer with full explanation to these hard questions and more. The true teaching of Holy Mother Church on birth control has openly found Her voice and regained Her influence at the pulpits once again. Now, more than ever, the prophetic words of Archbishop Chaput are echoing coast to coast:

“There will be no renewal of America without renewal of the Catholic Church, and no renewal of the Catholic Church without renewal of the Catholic family, and no renewal of the Catholic family without a bold proclamation of the sacred truths regarding the transmission of human life.”

Trust God, He knows what He is doing.

Deadly health risks for women: The unspoken side of the Obama birth control mandate

By Jenn Giroux

For far too long there has been an ominous silence across America on arguably the most controversial and devastating issue of the day — birth control. As so often we see in history, oppression gives rise to courage and, no question, courage is exactly what we are seeing in Church leaders and layman alike in response to the Obama administration’s recent birth control mandate and more recent unacceptable modifications.

The Birth Control Mandate has forced the issue of contraception to move from being the elephant in the room to center stage. Perhaps in time we will see that it was a hidden blessing for our country. For years pro-life organizations refused to discuss or take on this topic despite the fact that free access to birth control increases the number of surgical abortions[1][2]. Most people repeat over and over that birth control decreases the number of abortions. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, today for every child born in the US, there are an estimated 2 children killed in the womb from both surgical and chemical, abortifacient drug abortions [3]. What isn’t being talked about is that the new mandate also pre-disposes women to serious long term and permanent health problems. In conjunction with the defense of both religious liberty and the spiritual well-being of women, we must also refute the absurd and deceptive statement that “women are healthier on birth control.”

Providing free hormonal birth control to women under the guise of ‘preventative services’ and ‘women’s health’ is a lie and women of all faiths deserve to know the truth.

Hormonal birth control methods can enter the body in various ways. These ways include ‘The Pill’ (by mouth), the Mirena IUD (Intrauterine Device), the implant (placed under the skin), ‘the Patch’ (absorbed through the skin), and the Vaginal Nuvaring. There are many other estrogen -progestin name brands that can be added to this list. Any way you name it, these hormone drugs dispense poison into a woman’s body.

Perhaps HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius should inform her President of the following before he makes additional statements to the press like “it is cheaper to prevent than to treat.” Consider this:

— Since 1975 there has been a 400% increase in “in situ” breast cancer among pre-menopausal women under 50 years old. This mirrors the increased use of birth control over these same years. (“In situ” is a medical term which means “at the location” [4].

— A Mayo Clinic study confirms that any young girl or woman who is on hormonal birth control for 4 years prior to their first full term pregnancy increases their breast cancer risk by 52%. [5]

— Women who use hormonal birth control for more than 5 years are four times more likely to develop cervical cancer. [6]

— The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a research arm of the World Health Organization, classifies all forms of hormonal contraception as a Group 1 carcinogen. This group of cancer causing agents also includes cigarettes and asbestos. [7] Why is it that the FDA can require cigarette manufacturers to place warning labels and real life photos of corpses on cigarette packages to warn consumers of the health dangers yet they, in turn, take an equally harmful substance (hormonal birth control) and force companies to give it away free to young girls without parental consent and woman of all ages?

— For high school boys and men to take steroid drugs, it is a crime. Whereas girls and women taking steroid drugs (i.e. hormonal birth control) are now treated as if they are taking a sacred, life preserving vitamin that women cannot live without. [8]

— In October 2010 the NY Times carried an article about Hormone Replacement Therapy drugs. It quoted the America Medical Association (AMA) as warning women that these post-menopausal drugs which were originally marketed as keeping a women “young and sexy” were discovered instead to be more likely to cause advanced and deadly breast cancer.[9] It stopped short of making one other startling revelation: The only difference between hormone replacement therapy drugs which cause deadly breast cancer and the hormonal birth control drugs (now mandated by the Obama administration) is that the birth control drugs are six times the dosage — and are the very same drug!

Never before has the US government mandated that private companies must provide services and it adds insult to injury when this mandate includes substances that harm women and cause them to unknowingly self-abort their babies a certain percentage of the time when they are using these substances.

How is it possible for women to self-abort when birth control is meant to prevent pregnancy? It is possible because many of these birth control methods still allow the woman’s body to ovulate every month. If sexual relations occur during that time, it is possible to get pregnant. Recently doctors tried to figure out why some women could not get pregnant using artificial insemination. They conducted a study which discovered that the lining of a woman’s uterus must be at least 8mm thick in order for a baby, in its tiniest form, to implant and grow in the womb. They found that the use of hormonal contraception (in any of the forms mentioned above) generally keeps the uterine lining below 6mm.[10] To be clear, if a baby is conceived by a woman on hormonal birth control the embryo cannot implant and grow to full gestation of 9 months if the integrity of the uterine lining is too thin. Instead the baby, in its tiniest form, is unknowingly self-aborted by its mother. This is what is meant by the word “abortifacient.” It isn’t just the “morning after” pill or “Ella” that is in the abortion inducing drug category. It is nearly all of the hormonal birth control that is being mandated.

Since Roe v Wade there has been over 55 million surgical abortions. These chemical abortions add an estimated 250 million additional abortions to our nation’s holocaust. [11]

This is not information that should be kept from the public. Women deserve to be told the truth. They are not being warned that birth control methods are causing breast, liver, and cervical cancer. They are not being told about the “silent killer” effect which is causing them to unknowingly abort their babies. They are instead being told that they are healthier on birth control because it decreases ovarian and uterine cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, out of 100 women with cancer, 31 have breast cancer, 6 have uterine cancer, and 3 have ovarian cancer. This is not a healthy tradeoff of risks that is worth taking. [12]

If, indeed,” it is cheaper to prevent than to treat” then it is time for the White House, Kathleen Sebeilius, and all health agencies within the government to sound the warning trumpet to warn women on hormonal birth control about these devastating medical consequences.

Clearly, birth control does not help women at risk, it places women at risk.

Jenn Giroux has been a Registered Nurse for 26 years where she has seen both the physical and spiritual harms of contraception. She also founded the “Speaking of Motherhood” project in an effort to educate women of the harms of birth control and to elevate the profession of motherhood. She and her husband, Dan, live in Cincinnati, Ohio and have 9 children.

NOTES:

[1]  http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html ;

 

[2]  Jones RK, Darroch JE and Henshaw SK, Contraceptive use among U.S. women having abortions in 2000–2001, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2002, 34(6):294–303.

 

[3]  International Pharmacists for Life 2003;http://www.prolifephysicians.org/abortifacient

 

[4]  http://www.cancer.org

 

[5]  Kahlenborn et al., “Oral Contraceptive Use — as a risk factor for pre-menopausal breast cancer: a meta analysis,” Mayo Clinic proceedings 2006 pp. 1290-1320, 2006

 

[6]  Bosch, et al, “Effect of oral contraceptives on risk of cervical cancer…” International Agency of Research on Cancer, 2002

 

[7]  International Agency for Research on Cancer, a research arm of the World Health Organization, 2010

 

[8]  http:www.mayoclinic.com/health/performance-enhancing-drugs/SM00045

 

[9]  New York Times, Oct. 19, 2010

 

[10]  Rabe T etal The Effects of Monophasic and triplasic Oral Contraceptives on Ovarian Function and Endometrial Thickness Eura J Contra Reproductive Care 1997 2, 39-51

 

[11]  Kuhar et al,”Infant Homocides through Contraceptives,” International Pharmacists for Life, 5th Edition 2003

 

[12]  http://www.bcpinstitute.org

© Jenn Giroux

Jenn Giroux Offers Brochures on Contraception and Sterilization

In light of the recent HHS Mandate issued by our government, stay informed on the dangers of contraception and the impact of sterilization.

Life Cycle Books offers my brochure, “The Harms of the Pill”

And, “The Grief and Regret of Sterilization”

 

Religious Liberty is the American Way

By Jenn Giroux

For many years there has been an ominous silence here in America about arguably the most controversial and devastating issue of our day: contraception. It is also a topic that has been intentionally avoided by many pro-family organizations. Medical science has now revealed both the physical harm that birth control causes to women and the ‘silent killer’ element of most forms of contraception that cause women and young girls to self-abort their babies often without even knowing it. I have long wondered just how, in God’s timing and mercy, the issue would ever take center stage. As a result of the aggressive attack by the Obama administration on Religious Liberty, the hour is now upon us. It is a defining moment for our country and Americans of all faiths. Standing together for the truth will make all the difference. We are very grateful to Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan for his eloquence and clarity in speaking out this past week in USA Today:
Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan: HHS contraception mandate ‘un-American’

      USA Today
      January 25, 2012
      Americans are nothing if not fair. We share with those who are down and out. We salute excellence and the honest effort to achieve it. And something in our character draws us to the underdog. That’s why the new federal edict mandating sterilization and contraception coverage in all health care plans has set off alarm bells around the country. And for the record, the contraceptives mandated as “preventive services” will include abortifacients.
      Critics charge that this is an attack on the cornerstone First Amendment freedom that is the very foundation of our democracy. It is. Others assert that it threatens a violation of conscience for millions of Americans. It does. And still others insist it will force an unprecedented choice for many employers to either subsidize what they believe to be immoral, or withdraw health care coverage for their own families and those of their employees. It will. But the new Health and Human Services ruling is wrong for another reason. It is egregiously unfair, and as such, it cuts against the grain of what it means to be American.
      The great and historic 236-year American achievement has been built on a broadly accepted social understanding. Working Americans pay taxes on what they earn. In return, their government protects them from external dangers, and from threats to the rights that our Declaration of Independence held to be God-given.
      In a word, Americans expect government to be fair in how it governs, with respect for the exercise of the liberties and rights guaranteed all citizens under the U.S. Constitution.
      Indeed, this basic American notion of fairness, the principle of equality under the law, was the animating force behind the great Civil Rights movement and the expanded recognition of rights for women and minorities in this past century. Americans, when presented with all the facts, support what is fair.
      Which is precisely why the Obama administration’s decision to force Catholic and other religious employers to violate their conscience will not stand. Americans will recognize it for the unconstitutional detour that it is, and urge their elected representatives to repeal it.
      I believe the trigger for this will be a very simple question. Americans will ask themselves: If this, what next?
      What other constitutionally protected freedoms might an increasingly powerful federal government revoke? What other mandated violations of conscience lie ahead for other groups of American citizens, in pursuit of what their government declares is in the common interest? For whom doth the bell toll next?
      There are many reasons to decry this HHS mandate. But perhaps the most important reason is that it is simply un-American.

Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan is archbishop of New York City and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.© Jenn Giroux

Jenn Giroux Announces New Brochure Series

Jenn Giroux has begun work on a new series of educational and inspirational brochures that address the life issues of contraception, abortion, sterilization, and motherhood.  The first three of the series have been published and can be ordered through Life Cycle Books.  Check them out here…

If every life is worth saving, the pro-life movement must now oppose hormonal birth control

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.  Continue reading…

Birth control use by women with common vein condition raises deadly blood clot risk to 1,700%

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by Kathleen Gilbert

Wed Aug 10 3:28 PM EST

August 10, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) –  While use of the birth control pill raises the risk of deadly blood clots by 500 percent, the risk shoots to over 1,700 percent for U.S. women with a common vein malformation, California researchers have found.

In the study published by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford University School of Medicine’s Dr. Lawrence Hofmann and his team noted that up to 25 percent of the population has a vein malformation or narrowing, known as stenosis, in the left common iliac vein.

Comparing 35 women with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot that is potentially fatal, against 35 women without the condition, the Stanford group found the risk of DVT in women with a 70 percent venous stenosis who also use combined-oral contraceptives (COC) – containing both the hormones estrogen and progestin –  to be nearly 18 times. This finding compares with a risk 3.5 times for women with venous stenosis and 5 times for women with COC-use. Continue reading…

Government mandated birth control coverage: Who pays for the regret?

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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 higher 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 WHOLE again. 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 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 world views 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.) 

Jenn Giroux

Jenn Giroux on Catholic Connection

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Join Jenn Giroux and Teresa Tomeo on Catholic Connection on August 9th discussing the contraception mandate.

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