Tag archives: Womens Health

To save the life of the mother

by Family Research Council

December 19, 2014

To save the life of the mother.” It’s one of the conundrums that advocates of elective abortion use to justify a woman’s decision to compromise the health or end the life of her unborn child in favor of protecting her own. But while ethicists and advocates may discuss and debate the relative morality of these decisions, most of us look in awe when a mother puts her own life on the line, in order to protect her unborn child.

The stories are often tragic and complex. For some, it may be the fatal decision to decline chemotherapy to address an aggressive form of cancer. But for some, like Darlene Pawlik, the prospect of an abortion was angrily presented as the only safe alternative to her own (likely violent) death at the hands of a small time organized crime boss, the father of her child. Ms. Pawlik’s story reads like the script of an excruciating, modern, R-rated Dickens novel. She herself was conceived during a brutal rape and sexually abused as a young child. By 14 years old, she was dabbling in drugs and alcohol and sold into prostitution. Before she reached legal adulthood, Ms. Pawlik found herself sold hundreds of times, bought by local businessmen, a city councilman, and a candidate for sheriff in her small city.

Purchased as a “house pet” by a local crime boss, Ms. Pawlik found herself pregnant and given an ultimatum—face an abortion or he’d kill her. After a vivid dream about the impending abortion, Ms. Pawlik fought—quietly and tenaciously—to leave her captor and keep her child. With the help of a social worker, Ms. Pawlik faked an abortion so she could leave the lifestyle. She reached a new home and began a new, restored life and eventually became a nurse, business owner, married mother of 5 children, and pro-life advocate.

Ms. Pawlik’s story is instructive. In this season of advent—of penitence, longing, and of hope—what is your calling?

-Will you educate yourself on the dangers and prevalence of human trafficking? Will you consider redirecting or enhancing your vocation to protect vulnerable individuals like Ms. Pawlik?

-Will you support the local ministries of your church, pregnancy care centers, or other nonprofits in your area?

-Will you take the time to steer your well-intended friends away from organizations that profess to help, but push vulnerable individuals towards more abortion and greater sexual license, brokenness, and pain?

-If you, or someone you know, struggle with addiction to pornography, will take your struggle seriously? Will you acknowledge the links between pornography and human trafficking and fight for healing and restoration and listen to the voices of those who have survived?

-Will you notice the young woman with a frightened look in her eyes, cowed by a much older man, hovering in her vicinity? Will you take the time to learn the signs of a trafficked individual, and the trafficker? If you see something, will you say something?

Will you pause not only to save the life of the child, but the life of the mother?

Women’s Health, right? The Right’s response: Wrong! Yep, that’s right.

by Family Research Council

July 16, 2014

All this talk about S1696 protecting women’s rights? Down-right deceiving. If passed in the Senate, what has been referred to by National Right to Life’s President as “the most radical pro-abortion bill ever considered by Congress” would undo pro-life laws across the nation. It is because of the carefully-drafted and rightfully enacted pro-life laws that currently exist that women’s health and unborn children are protected.

Hundreds—yes, hundreds—of pro-life laws have been passed in states, including 21 measures this year alone.

The very essence of this bill is destruction, not protection. What would be the ramifications of passing S1696?

This bill would overturn these pro-life and pro-woman laws—laws that protect babies who are capable of feeling pain—laws that prevent sex-selection abortion—laws that ensure the medical competency of health providers—laws that hold abortion clinics to the same standards of ambulatory clinics. These laws are important and are being passed in states across the country.

S1696 is a serious unconstitutional attack on states’ rights. Last year, I was on the grounds of the Texas Capitol when HB2 and SB1 were debated. These measures have helped to protect the lives of numerous Texan mothers and their unborn children. It was a year ago when the Lone Star legislature demonstrated to the nation the truth of Lt. Governor David Dewhurst’s words, “At the end of the day, life can’t be stopped.”

However, S1696 seeks to end life. It seeks to stop the heartbeat of the child who is being nurtured in his or her mother’s womb. It seeks to make profit off of the woman in crisis. Is this protecting? No, it’s degrading. After all, what is honorable about intentionally lowering medical and health standards? Friends, this bill seeks to silence the voice of states like Texas that have raised their voice for life. It’s time to kill the bill and protect the mother and her unborn child.

Each of us has been blessed with mothers who showed us true love and protection when they made the choice to grace us with the gift of life. This bill is not about health rights; it’s about destroying the very inalienable right that we all have been given—the right to life.

Discriminatory Murray Bill is anti-constitutional and anti-civil rights, anti-business, anti-religion, and anti-women

by Travis Weber

July 10, 2014

I’m not sure whether the title of the bill just introduced by Senator Murray—the “Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act of 2014”—or its stated purpose—“[t]o ensure that employers cannot interfere in their employees’ birth control and other health care decisions”—is more misleading and contrary to values Americans hold dear. Perhaps they are equally wrong. But not only is this bill misleading, it is anti-constitutional and civil rights, anti-religion, anti-business, and anti-women. In all these areas, the bill is just downright discriminatory.

Anti-constitutional and anti-civil rights

When Congress overwhelmingly passed RFRA in 1993, it demonstrated support for robust Free Exercise rights by requiring the government to meet a high threshold before burdening Americans’ exercise of religion—a civil and constitutional right. RFRA is not just a statute. RFRA enshrined in law the high standard of strict scrutiny when measuring free exercise claims. For decades, courts had applied this standard. Only recently had its application been questioned by the Court’s Smith decision. Thus Congress passed a law providing a high bar for measuring constitutional rights in this area.

Senator Murray doesn’t seem to care about any of this. If she did, she wouldn’t try to denigrate constitutional rights by trying to pass a law which lowers constitutional protections for all Americans. Instead of using her Article I powers consistent with what Article III courts have said, she ignores the Supreme Court’s guidance and flouts the checks and balances the Constitution put in place.

But even if this anti-constitutional law managed to get out of Congress, President Obama would be foolish in signing it instead of just authorizing the drugs as suggested by the Court.

And even if this law passed, it would be subject to a challenge under the Free Exercise Clause. This bill’s overt and direct discrimination against religion—which is very obvious coming right on the heels of Hobby Lobbyobb

would not be permissible under the First Amendment. Page 8 of her bill says, “[t]his Act is intended to be consistent with the Congressional intent in enacting the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act of 1993 … .” In RFRA, Congress evinced the intent to proclaim a broad and robust vision of free exercise, and clearly intended to reinstate strict scrutiny as the standard for Free Exercise claims. Senator Murray can’t have it both ways. She can’t proclaim support for the congressional intent of RFRA while gutting a protection RFRA clearly put in place.

Anti-business

In its Hobby Lobby decision, the Supreme Court made abundantly clear that businesses could not deny access to contraceptives, but only that the government had to find a less restrictive means of ensuring this access than forcing unwilling businesses into providing it themselves. One less restrictive means would be for the government to directly provide this birth control. But rather than working with the government to ensure this happens, Senator Murray and her cohorts are still trying to ram the HHS mandate down business owners’ throats, despite the fact that this was already rejected by the Court in Hobby Lobby. Senator Murray doesn’t care about access. If she did, she would follow the Supreme Court’s guidance, which would ensure quickest access to birth control. Instead, her measure will fail for numerous reasons, and will only waste time she could spend on providing birth control to women—an issue she claims to care about.

Anti-religion

Senator Murray goes out of her way to target religion in her bill. If she cared about access to contraceptives, she would work with the executive branch (which the Court explained could provide access) to provide these drugs. Instead, she has explicitly declared her antagonism to religion by opposing RFRA and the Court’s interpretation of RFRA for no reason related to “access” whatsoever—as access to these birth control methods can be provided other ways besides the HHS mandate. Instead, she wants to amend the law to achieve a result which has already been determined in violation of religious liberty by the Supreme Court. On page 6 of her bill, she claims that not covering contraceptives costs businesses more money. Why would she want to prevent businesses from incurring costs in order to remain true to their consciences? The only explanation is that she wants to force them to violate their consciences.

Anti-women

Plenty of women oppose the HHS mandate being used to stifle their religious exercise, and plenty of women judges agree that their claims have merit. 100 cases have already been filed against the HHS mandate. Many of the plaintiffs in these cases are women—women who run charities, like the Little Sisters of the Poor, but also women who run businesses. Nearly one-third of the business plaintiffs in these cases are women. In addition, women judges have voted to halt implementation of the mandate 24 times. In only 15 cases have they voted in favor of the employer mandate. Finally, more women oppose the mandate than support it in poll after poll across the United States.

How can Senator Murray and this bill’s supporters claim to be supporting women when they are directly opposing the sincere religious claims of so many American women?

Protecting Women from Virginia’s Gosnell

by Arina Grossu

June 12, 2014

When the public found out about the atrocities going on in abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s “house of horrors,” there was widespread disbelief. Pro-abortion activists claimed he was the exception to the rule and that most abortionists were not like Gosnell. But other abortionists just like Gosnell are still wreaking havoc on women and are a danger to society.

Steven Brigham, for example, is another Kermit Gosnell. Recently, newly elected Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe requested a review of abortion facility health and safety standards by the Commissioner of Health. These measures have been put in place to protect the health and safety of women. My comments to the VA Board of Health concerning Gov. McAuliffe’s plan to rescind the new abortion facility safety rules can be found here.

Steven Brigham is an unscrupulous abortionist who has had his license suspended in six states, faced countless lawsuits, been caught operating without a medical license, and personally injured and killed multiple women by his dangerous abortion practices. He currently starts late abortions in Virginia, then transports women across state lines to his facility in Maryland to finish the abortions.

His unethical practices are a menace. The Family Foundation in Virginia exposed his unethical conduct in this video. Even NARAL has called Brigham’s actions “egregious and unscrupulous”.

If Gov. McAuliffe succeeds in revoking Virginia’s regulation of abortion facilities, public health risks to vulnerable women will increase substantially. Among them: there will be no oversight of abortionists like Brigham.

Let’s urge Gov. McAuliffe to stand with women and keep the health and safety measures in place.

Another Maternal RU-486 Fatality - This Time in Ital

by Chris Gacek

April 21, 2014

The Family Research Council has tracked safety news about the abortion drug, mifepristone (RU-486; also, Mifeprex®), since its approval as an abortifacient in 2000 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is with sadness that we learned on April 11 of another fatality from the use of the RU-486 abortion regimen. (RU-486 is the first drug administered in a two-drug abortion-producing regimen in which the second drug is misoprostol (Cytotec®).)

An Italian news source (The Local) carried an online article about the death of a 37-year-old woman who was treated at theMartiniHospital inTurin. The woman had taken the mifepristone but only started to experience difficulties four hours after taking the misoprostol – which she did two days after taking the first pills. The misoprostol is needed to induce forceful uterine contractions to expel the dead baby (a human embryo at that point) and other tissue from the uterus.

After taking the misoprostol, she complained of not being able to breathe normally. Shortly, thereafter, she began to experience atrial fibrillation, an irregular, rapid heartbeat. Her heart then stopped and could not be revived. She was in good health and the mother of a four-year-old boy.

I believe there have been about 15 cases of death following the use of the mifepristone abortion regime of which we are aware. Nations likeChinaare not even on the adverse event reporting grid, and the drug is used heavily in the PRC. Hemorrhage, infection, and incomplete abortions are common failures of all chemical abortion regimens.

LifeNews has posted an excellent story on this Italian death that contains more information on the safety of RU-486. Also, in May 2012 the Family Research Council published a paper containing a safety profile for the mifepristone-misoprostol regimen from 2000-12.

Cohabitation: Everyones doing it?!

by Family Research Council

August 30, 2012

But, mom, everybodys doing it?!

It might have been your favorite childhood expression as you lobbied for that new toy or extra handful of cotton candy.

But for todays millennials its an underlyingif unstatedreason why so many decide to pack up their belongings and move in with their significant other.

According to the CDCs March 22, 2012 National Health Statistics Report, cohabitation (before first marriage) has risen significantly over the past 25 years and contributed to a delay in first marriage for both women and men.

Bloomberg.com reviewed at the data through a personal finance lens in their article, Living Together Trumps Matrimony for Recession-Wary Americans. Quoting theUniversity ofVirginias Brad Wilcox, the article noted that In todays economic climate, many young adults are reluctant to pull the trigger…. They may be unemployed or underemployed or not know what the future looks like. Theyre hedging their bets.

But the cohabitation-trend isnt limited to the younger generation. According to a new study, more and more Americans over age 50 are choosing to live with their partner instead of getting married.

If everyone is doing it, why discuss the trend; or to put it bluntly, who exactly cares?

Since the creation of marriage itself, the Christian tradition has clearly taught that sexual intimacy outside of marriage (and cohabitation, by definition), is a step away from the holiness and commitment that God intends for his people.

Modern Christian leaders, therefore, wrestle through their role in how to council church members or other believers who are cohabiting, but desire to marry. Last September, Christianity Today invited various Evangelical leaders to weigh in on the question: Should Pastors Perform Marriages for Cohabitating Couples?

But the questions surrounding cohabitation continue, even in the public space outside of our churches. In an April NY Times Opinion piece, clinical psychologist Meg Jay warned that far from safeguarding against divorce and unhappiness, moving in with someone can increase your chances of making a mistake or of spending too much time on a mistake.

Earlier this month, Huffington Posts Women Blog highlighted offered the following: Cohabitation? 5 Questions To Ask Before Moving In Together. The author offered no moral qualms about cohabitation but, throughout her piece. noted the inherent obstacles to a successful move, considering how many couples do not survive that first year of living with one another.

Does cohabitation matter? On Thursday, August 30 marriage expert Mike McManus revealed the myths and risks of cohabitation and offered solutions for your church and your community.

Everybodys doing it, never saved you from the childhood bellyache. It may also fall short when it comes to more adult decisions.

Click here to view the video recording.

International Womens Day: An Endangered Sex

by Robert Morrison

March 8, 2012

I love women. That should be obvious. If I dont get to talk to my sister at least once a week, Im blue. Im forever pestering my wife to let me talk to our daughter when she checks in, almost daily. And dont ask about my infant twin granddaughters.

When my wife was named as the commanding officer of the Naval Academy Clinic, she refused to let the public affairs office announce the first female, CO; (she was like Margaret Thatcher in that respect). Still, I was bursting with pride for her achievement.

I shouldnt need to say these things. It should be assumed that a gentleman of mature years will take a courtly interest in the fairer sex. But I do need to say them because Im being daily accused of waging war against women.

You see, the Left thinks that because I dont approve of a womans right to choose abortion, Im a domineering, patriarchal, male chauvinist pig. Hogwash. They say if I dont accede to their demands for legalizing unmarriage and agree to pay for elective surgery to change ones sex, then Im a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal.

Today is International Womens Day. Google has a special logo. And the Washington Post has a full-page article explaining in depth the importance of this 101st anniversary.

I called our daughter to congratulate her. She was fretting over not voting in her states primary. She agrees with a young friend who said women have a duty to vote here because so many women around the world are denied that right.

Generally, I agree. But in the case of that primary, when there is no other question on the ballot, you have no duty to vote when you disapprove of both candidates and of the questionable means of restricting voter choices.

Sec. of State Hillary Clinton knows more about elections and primaries than I do. And she will doubtless be observing International Womens Day. She has made promoting womens issues central to her tenure at State.

Madame Secretary once said that abortion is wrong (Newsweek, October 31, 1994). Only once. Before that single statement, and ever after, she has done all in her power to promote abortion around the world. Kenya, a mostly Christian country, was pressured into legalizing abortion in its new constitution by Madame Secretarys State Department and by not very subtle pressures from Joe Biden. And Madame Secretary gave our Canadian good neighbors a public tongue-lashingin Ottawa!for not pushing abortion in Africa. The only place the administration in which Mrs. Clinton serves has actually made abortion rare is on the Moon.

I am waiting for Madame Secretary to speak out against sex selection abortions. Can she at least stand against forced abortion in China? Surely, with her well-advertised concern for women, she can argue that forcing tens of millions of women to have abortions is against their freedom to choose. Her silence is deafening.

Dr. Nick Eberstadt is not silent. This scholar at the American Enterprise Institute published a powerful study of the worldwide war against baby girls. This widely respected demographer, writing in The New Atlantis, shows how in many cultures, the preference for boys is having a drastic effect on the sex ratio at birth (SRB). Hundreds of millions of women are being killed as unborn baby girls because pre-natal testing has determined they are female. This is genocide.

This is the lethal cultural contradiction of radical feminism. They say a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. They say if men could get pregnant then abortion would be a sacrament. To these unfeminine feminists, abortion is a sacrament. So how do these radicals respond to the incontrovertible evidence that what they view as a fundamental human right is being deployed daily to bring about an historic human wrong?

Abortion is a global danger to women. No one understood this better than the late Pope John Paul II. He issued an encyclical titled On the Dignity and Vocation of Women.

The formal title of the document is Dignitatis Mulieribus. That has a certain ring to it. Im not Catholic and I dont speak Latin, but that phrase, the dignity of women, has to touch the hardest of male hearts.

And heres what John Paul the Great wrote to the UN Womens Conference that met in 1995 in Beijing, of all places:

As most women themselves point out, equality of dignity does not mean “sameness with men”. This would only impoverish women and all of society, by deforming or losing the unique richness and the inherent value of femininity. In the Churchs outlook, women and men have been called by the Creator to live in profound communion with one another, with reciprocal knowledge and giving of self, acting together for the common good with the complementary characteristics of that which is feminine and masculine.

We have just gone through a wrenching and ugly episode in our national life. Rush Limbaugh has apologized for saying a word about a woman he should never have said.

Bill Maher will soon apologize for calling a conservative woman a word I cannot even print. (Mr. Maher will apologize, wont he?)

Both of these prominent men should read Dignitatis Mulieribus. We should send a copy to Madame Secretary. Perhaps by the next International Womens Day, we can all do more for endangered unborn women. We need to do more to defend the dignity of women. That dignity is, after all, endowed by God.

A New Study Finds Abortion Safer than Giving Birth

by Krystle Gabele

January 24, 2012

As thousands were on the national mall in Washington, D.C. for the March for Life, Reuters reported on a study that suggests abortion is safer than giving birth. I find it odd that the release of such a study was timed to coincide with an event that celebrates and vows to protect the sanctity of life.

There are some interesting findings from this study commissioned by the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. One is the fact that the authors of the study, Drs. Elizabeth Raymond and David Grimes, used estimates from the Guttmacher Institute, which is tied to Planned Parenthood. Another finding that was particularly interesting is that they claim abortion is safer due to the amount of deaths that occurred during live childbirth.

There are some medical risks with childbirth, but the effects of abortion are much more dangerous and long-lasting. Jeanne Monahan, Director, Center for Human Dignity at FRC, recently published an editorial that appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which focused on abortions devastating impact on mental health. According to Monahan:

In the fall, a meta-analysis was published in the prestigious British Journal of Psychiatry. The report was the most extensive of its kind to date — the author looked at 22 published studies and data from more than 870,000 women. The results showed that women who have an abortion are at an 81 percent increased risk for mental health problems, including anxiety disorders, depression, drug abuse and suicidal behaviors. The study revealed the shocking statistic that close to 10 percent of all mental health problems in women can be directly attributed to abortion.

There are other impacts, as well, that are worth noting. FRC also released a brochure, The Top Ten Myths About Abortion, which provided some insight into the medical complications from abortion. A surgical abortion could impact whether a woman would be able to conceive and have a healthy pregnancy in the future.

Physical complications include cervical lacerations and injury, uterine perforations, bleeding, hemorrhage, serious infection, pain, and incomplete abortion. Risks of complications increase with gestational age and are dependent upon the abortion procedure.

Long-term physical consequences of abortion include future preterm birth and placenta previa (improper implantation of the placenta) in future pregnancies. Premature delivery is associated with higher rates of cerebral palsy, as well as respiratory, brain, and bowel abnormalities. Pregnancies complicated by placenta previa result in high rates of preterm birth, low birth weight, and perinatal death.

This does not include the physical complications from RU-486, which is prescribed to women who seek a chemical abortion. These include: hemorrhage, infection, and missed ectopic pregnancy. The Food and Drug Administration recently reported that in the ten years since RU-486 was approved in the U.S., at least 11 women have died as a result of complications related to taking the drug.

Additionally, 612 women have been hospitalized, and 339 women required blood transfusions as a result of taking RU-486. (Food and Drug Administration, Mifepristone U.S. Postmarketing Adverse Events Summary through 04/30/2011).

Additionally, government compiled statistics from Poland confirm that the number of abortion-related deaths significantly decreased when abortion was essentially outlawed. The fact that this study was released to coincide with the March for Life activities is not surprising, considering that the pro-choice lobby will do anything to ensure that abortion is in the forefront.

Response to New York Times Erroneous Editorials on Women and Babies

by Family Research Council

February 28, 2011

On Saturday, February 26th, the New York Times ran two pieces on the topic of abortion and womens health that were misleading and erroneous. The War on Women ignored critical facts on the recently released Planned Parenthood videos related to human trafficking. This editorial leaves one with the wrong impression that PPFA had one recent questionable instance related to the sex trafficking of minors and immediately fired this employee. However, in truth, the problem is deeply systemic: five videos with questions related to the sex trafficking of minors featuring a number of PPFA employees and clinics across the U.S. have been released, leading to serious questions about the ethical and legal conduct of Planned Parenthood. It is especially noteworthy that PPFA relies heavily on federal funding, having received $363 million in 2009. This amount composes roughly one-third of PPFA’s budget.

The second piece, The GOPs Abandoned Babies, by columnist Charles Blow, missed an acutely critical point in that one of the physiological consequences for women who choose to have an abortion is that their ensuing pregnancies frequently result in pre-term deliveries, leading to a higher infant mortality rate in the U.S. Despite the rhetoric of abortion-proponents, scientific fact supports the reality that abortion is not good for women — physiologically or psychologically — much less their developing babies.

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