by Clare McClean
Co-ordinator of Family Life International NZ’s John Paul II Centre for Life in Wellington and leader of 40 Days for Life in Wellington
With just four days remaining of 40 Days for Life it is time to reflect on some of our experiences at the vigil site.
Fore mostly, the footpath outside Wellington Hospital has been a place of consistent prayer, but it has also been a place of encounter with the public.
We have had some amazing opportunities to pray with, and for, the sick and to also witness to the sanctity of human life. What have been particularly exciting are the few dialogues where an initially angry person has come to understand and accept the need to stand up for our defenceless and innocent unborn brothers and sisters. “You’ve got me,” said one professional hospital staff member who later admitted after a long discussion, “You are right.”
Then there are the public who have stopped to encourage us with statements like:
“Thank you for what you are doing.”
“Keep it up.”
“Hope you are going to have another 40 days after this one.”
“Seeing you here every day has made me consider our duty as Christians to stand up for the defenceless today”
“I am an atheist but what you are doing is right, it’s a matter of logic, and I don’t understand why all Christians aren’t here with you.”
“Can I pray with you?”
We’ve also been made acutely aware of the pain in society inflicted by the culture of death.
People have wanted to come and share their heart wrenching stories with us. Amongst these encounters are someone whose sister committed suicide after two forced abortions; a grandparent who felt helpless to save a grandchild from abortion; and someone who agonises for flatmates who have been changed by abortion and are no longer able to function “normally.”
In these encounters people are able to appreciate what 40 Days for Life is about. They understand the need to stand peacefully and prayerfully keeping watch, waiting for the day when unborn children will be treasured and women will no longer be exploited in our hospital. They ‘get it’. They know we are there to be a loving presence, support for the dying ; a hand of hope and help for the families of the unborn children and a witness to the truth. They know that in a just society the right to life is upheld for all.
However, there are still those who wrongly perceive both us and the reality of abortion. Some of the slogans uttered by passers-by are so ironic. Ponder a moment on these two slogans, particularly in relation to the reality of the abortion procedures,
“no unwanted babies” and “no forced labour”.
Are not both slogans in reality a good description of what abortion truly is: a premature forced labour and the abandonment and rejection of children?
Why is there such a disconnect with logic and reality on our streets?
Why is it that despite our efforts to explain that 40 Days for Life’s visual presence is a prayer vigil, the media and some of the public insist we are “protestors” holding a “protest.”
Why are there rumours spread about (by people who admit they have not yet seen 40 Days for Life) that we are there arguing with people.
Why is it that the feminist blogger referred to our presence as creating an ideological clash!
After all our signs have positive and life-affirming messages eg. “Saving lives, offering hope” ; “We can help 0800 367 5433” ; “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” and even the one that reads “Pray for an end to abortion” simply informs the public of our mission while inviting them to join in. Most of the time we are praying but if we are asked questions we answer them. We have been on the other end of all sorts of loud, rude and annoying retorts. Yet we come to be called the ones described as harassing, argumentative and ideological. What we are doing is being deliberately distorted and misrepresented.
We can though look to Pope Francis for some light on the matter. In Evangelii Gaudium he says “Frequently as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their (= the unborn) lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative.”
We have no ideology to push; no political agenda up our sleeve. We are concerned about a life and death issue affecting the very core of our society: individuals within families. We are standing for what is good, what is true and what is beautiful – the right for everyone to be given a chance at life. The right to life is the most fundamental of all human rights and in fact from the right to life all other human rights spring, including authentic women’s rights.
The difficulty for those who label us as protestors lies in the fact that the truth we speak and the goodness we pray for is at variance with the current ideology of New Zealand’s political parties and those accusing us falsely, that is, secular democracy. Having done away with absolute truth and fallen upon the way of relativism, New Zealand politics fails to recognise absolute truths like the right to life. They fail to look outside of their own wishes and thoughts to seek what is true. Truth changes in a secular democracy according to the current whim of the sitting parliament. If we vigil prayers put our trust in politics alone then we would be protesting!
However, a lie cannot last forever! The humanity of the unborn child will again one day be recognised; the dignity of women will again be upheld and abortion will no longer be classified as healthcare. In this we hope and pray during all 40 Days and beyond.
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, April 7, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) Controversy has risen over the news that Wellington abortionist Rosy Fenwicke is seeking to represent the National Party for Wellington Central in New Zealand’s general election, which will be held in September.
Dr. Fenwicke’s Facebook page explains that she is “standing for selection to be the National Party Candidate for Wellington Central.” Her Twitter account, @rosyforwellcent, also makes it clear she has put herself forward for selection.
Yet, a NZ Herald article published over the weekend states that Fenwicke “refused to confirm” whether she was seeking nomination for the seat.
Wellington Central is a stronghold for the leftist Labour Party. The National Party is currently in government, but is deemed to be center-right. It would seem unlikely that even if Dr. Fenwicke is to be selected as the candidate for Wellington Central, that she would be actually elected into Parliament that way.
Furthering suspicion of Fenwicke’s political aspirations was atweet on March 31 announcing her departure from Wellington Hospital. In it she encourages her coworkers, saying, “Great team doing good work.”
Dr. Fenwicke has been working in the hospital’s Te Mahoe unit, an abortion clinic, as an “operating surgeon” and certifying consultant. Te Mahoe is the second busiest abortion clinic in New Zealand, performing a total of 2,252 abortions in 2012.
NZ Right to Life spokesperson, Ken Orr, who alerted the media to Fenwicke’s intentions, says her position as a certifying consultant and abortionist at the Te Mahoe unit is a conflict of interest.
Mr. Orr pointed out that “the first duty of Parliament is to uphold effective legal protection for the right to life of every person from the moment of conception until natural death.”
“Dr Fenwicke’s advocacy of and involvement in a culture of death disqualifies her from being a Member of our Parliament. … [She] is responsible for the violent killing of many thousands of innocent and defenceless unborn children.”
Mr. Orr also cited Dr. Fenwicke’s past position with the NZ Family Planning Association as another reason why she would be unsuitable as a National candidate. From 1987 to 1990 Fenwicke was the Central Region medical director for the association, which is an affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).
In addition to her abortion work at Te Mahoe, Fenwicke served on the Abortion Supervisory Committee (ASC) from 2006 to 2009. At the time, her position on the committee was challenged as being a conflict of interest, although this was denied by the authorities.
The ASC oversees New Zealand’s abortion law, ensuring it is carried out correctly. The committee also approves licenses for abortion facilities and appoints certifying consultants.
Due to a push for liberalization of New Zealand’s abortion laws, the practice of abortion is fast becoming a matter of discussion.
Many groups, including the Abortion Law Reform Association of NZ (ALRANZ), Young Labour, and the NZ Family Planning Association, are laying ground work for public support of a liberalized abortion law. How this would look in practice is yet to be seen, however Alison McCulloch of ALRANZ made it very clear in an interview last year that she believes abortion should be legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy for any reason at all.
For these groups to have an abortionist in Parliament would be a real coup.
Last week Auckland 40 Days for Life vigil attendees witnessed a heartbreaking story unfold before their eyes.
A distraught father exited AMAC, paced up and down the footpath before approaching our co-ordinator, Mark. This man did not want his girlfriend to undergo the abortion she was booked in for that day. Mark was able to talk to the man offering the practical help that was needed. He walked off with our Pregnant? Worried? card which explains what help we can offer. Shortly thereafter the Police were called into AMAC (we presume by the staff). They stayed for some time, then left. Later on that day, when the abortions were about to take place, the Police arrived again. It is our belief that this man, who had no say in the fate of his child, was causing trouble in his distress. The Police no doubt were called to restrain him while his girlfriend underwent the “procedure”.
Men have been pushed aside. Abortion has been marketed to society as a “women’s issue”. The bait has even been taken by good Christian pro-life men.
But abortion doesn’t just effect women. Abortion effects men too.
It is vital that as we work to end abortion people see and hear good strong men speaking up for women and for children. Strong pro-life men need to be there for the men who have no say in the fate of their unborn children. They need to be there to send a peaceful message of disapproval to the men who gladly bring their girlfriends and wives to the abortion clinic. Women need to know that not all men abandon them.
Post-abortive men need to share their stories, so that their experiences can be heard too.
Men are critical to ending abortion because they have a vital part to play in the continuance of abortion.
It suits many men that they can sleep around without the commitment that parenthood or marriage brings. Abortion allows a man to objectify a woman, gives him permission to have an affair, and grants him the ability to wash his hands of the situation when a child is conceived.
The presence of men at our 40 Days for Life vigil outside AMAC has brought both criticism and praise. The criticism comes from those whom you would least likely expect. The praise from women passing by, glad to see men being a voice for women and unborn children.
Would the distraught father mentioned above approached our small group if there had been no man present? Maybe, maybe not. But he needed another man that day to walk with him. It will be a day he never forgets.
Now is the time for our men to speak up, to promote life and to uphold the dignity of women and children. You have a right. Society has a need for your voice. Together we will end abortion.
I remember during my early years at university becoming friends with an exchange student from West Germany. When she left her home country, a wall divided it from the communist country of East Germany, and people had been killed for trying to cross that wall. By the time her year in New Zealand was over, Germans could freely travel across the border between the two Germanys, and official German reunification had taken place within a year.
When she came to New Zealand, the fall of the Berlin wall was a distant hope, with few people expecting it to happen within their lifetime. It seemed beyond reasonable for the wall to fall.
But it did.
The flame of resistance within the eastern bloc countries had been lit a decade before when Pope John Paul II visited his home country of Poland. His battle cry, “Be not afraid”, gave the people of Poland hope. A hope that spread throughout Eastern Europe, and contributed greatly to the eventual collapse of communism in Europe.
That same battle cry was also for the pro-life movement which was always so close to his heart. We have the Lord himself on our side. No matter how strong the opponents of the ‘Culture of Life” might be, they cannot endure. No matter how strong they seem, or how much they influence government policy, they are running on borrowed time. In fact, the war against them has already been won. It was won on the cross.
And victories are happening.
In the US, there have been a record number of pro-life laws being passed1,2, and it’s bringing abortion rates down. Spain is considering ending abortion on demard3.
So how might an end of abortion look? Especially here in New Zealand?
We have seen the numbers and rates of abortions drop here and New Zealand and in the US as well. And the greatest declines in abortion rates are in the youngest age groups. We can expect this to continue.
There are already shortages of staff willing to participate in abortion4. And this has affected abortion services5. The 40 days for life program includes prayer for medical staff involved in abortion, and has seen 88 workers leave abortion providers. This is something that could easily happen in New Zealand, and we know there are abortion staff in New Zealand who have doubts about their jobs6. They need our prayer.
I have noticed a change in public perception of the pro-life movement. We are now seen as the ones who are helping women. The opposition is still there, and they can still dominate the political process and the media. But the general public are more open to the pro-life message than ever before. I’m constantly surprised by the people who are genuinely enthusiastic about our work helping expectant mums. As in Eastern Europe during the last years of communism, hope is rising. And I can feel the change.
There is still more work to do. More prayer and pro-life work is needed. But slowly the public is seeing that abortion isn’t the solution that they thought it was. One day they will see that it isn’t a solution at all.
We need to hope. We need to pray. And we need to “Be not afraid”.
Day 6 of 40 Days for Life is just beginning. Because it is a new week, I thought it might be worthwhile to reflect on a few of the things that have inspired and encouraged me so far. I am sure that others have incredible stories to tell too (please let me know, I would love to share them). Maybe my experiences will inspire and give hope to you too.
1. A woman turned away! On our very first morning outside AMAC, our vigiler’s noticed that a woman went to open the door of AMAC (it is the only door in and out), she hesitated and turned away. After waiting for some time, looking distressed, the woman walked away from this place of death. No one has seen her return. We continue to keep her very close to our hearts as we pray for her and the situation she is experiencing right now.
2. Mark, the co-ordinator of 40 Days for Life in New Zealand, spoke to the abortionist. On the very first day, a man (whom we believe to be the abortionist) walked out of AMAC and approached Mark. He said that we “embarrass” the girls, he also attacked the faith of those gathered. While this may seem like a negative, it is unusual for anyone to come out across the road and engage with people standing outside of AMAC. It shows our presence has an impact on the staff.
3. Committment. So many wonderful people have taken time out of their very busy days to stand at this place of death and pray for the unborn, their mothers and fathers, the staff, and for an end to abortion in New Zealand. A number of people have stood literally for four, five or more hours a day, every day since Wednesday. Others, like Peter, have had to navigate the buses to get there. Still others arrive for an hour, but linger on… Thank you.
4. Random acts of kindness. It can be a little disconcerting standing outside the clinic. Abortion after all is one of those silent issues that you don’t speak about, who knows what people will say or do. While there’s been the odd angry person walk or drive past, and people do like to express their opinion (often in foul language), in my experience the good far outweighs the bad. Here’s a few examples:
a woman stopped to say how she walks past often and admires those that stand here and asked us to please keep it up (we have a group that keeps a weekly Wednesday morning vigil throughout the year too);
another woman had just been to the supermarket and had a big bunch of fresh grapes, she walked past, saw the signs, stopped and gave us the grapes – it was her way of supporting us;
a security guy approached me while I was standing alone with the signs wondering what I was doing – it turns out that 13 years ago, he and his now wife almost aborted their daughter. “We were young he said, we didn’t know what to do”. But they didn’t have her aborted. They gave life to their baby and now she is a pre-teen with two siblings. “Keep it up” he said as he went on his way;
a Christian man stopped (while I was alone) to talk about how his wife had had an abortion before they were married. I could see how deeply this had affected their lives, the love he had for his wife and his sorrow at the pain she suffered. “We were young” he said, “we didn’t know, but we do now”. He prayed for me. I appreciated his story, his honesty. I can’t help but wonder, if there had been people standing witnessing when his wife went for her abortion, would they have gone through with it?
5. Universal Prayer. It has been incredible knowing that this isn’t just a small group of people in Auckland making an effort for Lent. 40 Days for Life is universal. There is another vigil outside Wellington Hospital, where I know they are experiencing all sorts of blessings and graces. There are thousands of people praying throughout New Zealand for the end of abortion. These prayers support those who vigil outside the places of death. They are very necessary. But what I find truly amazing is that there are thousands of people storming heaven, asking for God’s mercy and being a sign of hope in 253 locations in 12 countries. So far 38 babies and their mums have been saved from abortion because people have been there at that greatest hour of need. This is a time of great grace.
6. God’s Grace. This was never supposed to be about me. But standing the few hours I have managed outside AMAC has been filled with unexpected grace for me. I can feel God working in my heart, changing me, molding me, making me more like Him. I am more patient at home with my children. I am acutely aware of my own sins and failings. I want to reach out and love each person who walks past as I see their pain, their anger, their loneliness and their indifference. Standing at this calgary, the enormity of the passion of Jesus Christ, is becoming so real, so tangible in a way I have never experienced before.
Recently I have been reflecting on the importance of speaking up for what we know to be right, despite knowing that the consequences may very well be: ridicule, scorn and humiliation.
But for Christians, we know that in it’s darkness, in it’s fascination with death, it is light our world needs. That light of course, is the light of Christ. For those of us who profess to be Christian, we are called to bring that light into the darkness. We cannot hide our light under a bushel.
That doesn’t mean that we “bible bash” as the old saying goes, but we must bring hope to those whom we meet. We must not be afraid to speak with great compassion and love when evil abounds around us.
If I had been around in the time of Nazi Germany, when the Jews, the disabled, the gypsies, the Christians and the homosexuals were being taken away to be killed in the death camps, I would hope that I would have had the courage to speak up or to be one of those who hid their fellow human beings from the Gestapo. I would hope that I would have had courage to do what was right, what was just.
Today we have our own death camps. They are the abortion clinics. The people who work in them are enslaved by lies and deception, the men and women who walk into them, thinking there is no other option to their situation are deprived of hope. The babies that are carried into these death camps, in what should be the safety of their mother’s wombs, do not, in most cases, leave alive.
The devil rejoices at the abortion clinics. He rejoices because he has power over them. He resides there. He sucks the life out of all those who enter the doors. He rejoices because there he has the power to turn souls from Christ. There he has power to destroy God’s creation, made in His image and likeness.
When we, as Christ’s body, stand outside these death camps and publicly witness to God’s love, we bring hope to those inside. When we stand there asking for God’s forgiveness, for his intervention, many blessings abound.
We are called to be the light in the darkness. We are called to bring Christ to the world. We are called to do this no matter how hard it is, how busy we are or how fearful we may be.
Imagine Jesus hanging on the cross. He is in an agony that defies belief. There are two people at the foot of that cross – Mary and John. How alone he must have felt. When we feel embarrassed, or alone, or afraid of what is to come, remember that scene. What we have to suffer for what is right, what is just, is only a slither of that which Christ suffered for each and every single one of us.
So, on this eve of the 40 Days for Life vigil, I urge you to not be afraid and come to the death camps if you can. Come pray, come be a sign of hope, come and be a light in this world of darkness.
Is it possible for someone to exist before their mother was even pregnant? Sounds like I’m are talking about IVF, but I’m are actually talking about normal, natural pregnancy. If your local contraceptive promoter is correct, then you existed before your mother was pregnant with you. Here’s the (il)logic of it:
Not long after the pill was discovered, it was found that it could prevent an embryo from implanting into the uterus. By the definition of pregnancy used back then (and commonly used now), this is an abortion. One solution to the ‘problem’ was to redefine pregnancy to start at implantation. This is exactly what ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) and many pro-abortion organisations did.
So how widely is this definition of pregnancy used? Pretty much exclusively for the promotion of abortifacient contraception, and human embryo research.
It’s not the definition that’s used for estimating due dates in maternity care.
When a pregnant women has her due date worked out by her doctor or midwife, the calculation starts from her last menstrual period. This is her gestational age. It’s a convenient measure of pregnancy, because the last menstrual period is a notable event to start calculations. Conception (fertilisation) is a hidden event, and generally takes place approximately 15 days after the ‘start’ date. But the counting here is a convenience, and no one tries to mislead the women that she was ‘with baby’ before fertilisation. Most online pregnancy calculators even calculate an estimated date of conception (fertilisation)1. Any good doctor or midwife will explain this to the pregnant women.
The second way of dating pregnancy is foetal age (sometimes called embryonic age or fertilisation age). It’s used in ultrasound, because in early pregnancy its possible to use the size of the growing baby to work out his or her age. This is the age from fertilisation. Although for convenience, it’s often converted to gestational age.
Both measures of pregnancy include fertilisation.
So why this new, and not so well used definition of pregnancy?
It’s purely political. And it leads the ridiculous situation when a women is told that she wasn’t pregnant for about the first week of her baby’s existence. This isn’t a simple convenience in dating the pregnancy, it’s actually meant to mislead women. If she’s considering using an IUD or taking the morning after pill, and asks if it can cause an abortion, she will be told “No”. That might suit the definition of pregnancy of the person giving the answer. But it’s not addressing the concerns of the women. And by the commonly held and used definition of pregnancy, that answer has the moral equivalence of a lie.
This is also an issue when interpreting the consumer information on ‘contraceptives’ too. When a medication can prevent implantation, the manufacturer’s description almost always says that it ‘prevents the implantation of a fertilised egg’. That’s when they bother to mention it at all. At this stage of human development, the ‘fertilised egg’ is called a blastocyst. And just before implantation the blastocyst has 200-300 cells, not just the single cell of a fertilised egg. There is even differentiation of tissue into cells that will become the placenta. A ‘fertilised egg’ isn’t a good decryption anymore. It’s an attempt to dehumanise the baby, In the IVF industry, they use the more generic term of embryo at this stage. They reserve the term ‘egg’ to describe the ova that they collect from women undergoing IVF.
There was once a defence for the ‘pregnancy at implantation’ claims. When the claim was first made, it wasn’t possible the detect pregnancy until after implantation. That is no longer true. There is an assay that can detect pregnancy 24-48 hours after fertilisation. It’s called the Rosette inhibition assay. Unfortunately it isn’t commercially available. But it has been used in research, and it allows scientists to eavesdrop on part of the early biochemical conversation between the child and their mother. A conversation that begins before implantation.
During this time the tiny baby (blastocyst) announces their presence biochemically to his or her mother. And the mother responds by altering her immune system so she can nurture and protect her child. It’s intimate and nurturing interaction.
“Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.” G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
Something about ‘tolerance’ has always made me uncomfortable. I’ve long been aware that the loudest preachers of tolerance are the ones who are the most intolerant of my own beliefs. I’m well aware of that, and the contradiction of it, but somehow it never really was the reason.
And those who preach tolerance are full of conviction. It’s their followers who they expect to abandon their convictions, or conform to what is politically correct. We all know plenty of them. I’ve also been aware of this for a long time, but it was never the whole source of what was bothering me about ‘tolerance’.
There was always something else that I could never put my finger on.
Then I was blessed enough to hear Fr Jim Brand from Vatican radio talking about ‘tolerance’, and my eyes were opened. “What might we tolerate?” he asked, “A fly buzzing around…”
Essentially he was reminding us all that when we only ‘tolerate’ something bad or irritating. When we declare our tolerance of a person, it’s actually a put down. And that’s a problem for a Christian. The worth of each and every person comes from them being made in the image and likeness of God. Whether it’s a ‘reproductive rights’ protestor, an expectant mum at a pregnancy centre, or her preborn child. Another human being is never a ‘thing’ to be ‘tolerated’, but a chance for us to practice our Christian vocation of love.
So tolerance is far below the standard required of a Christian. If an expectant Mum came into our centre, and I merely tolerated her because of her beliefs about abortion, then I have failed her, myself and our Lord.
Her, because she will pick up the difference between a ‘tolerant’ attitude and a true Christian attitude of unconditional love. It’s the reason that faith based crisis pregnancy centres have been so effective. I’ve failed myself because I’ve failed to live up to my Christian vocation, and it doing so, I’ve failed our Lord too.
But there is the call to be intolerant. Yes, Christians are called to be intolerant. Our Lord himself showed a great deal of intolerance towards the practice of ‘money changing’ in the temple.
While we are not to be intolerant of people, there is plenty we are called to be intolerant too: Abortion, contraception, poverty, human trafficking, violence and anything that robs people of their God given dignity.
It’s our mission and vocation to bring the Gospel of Life, a world where everyone experiences God given grace and dignity, from conception to natural death. And it’s our job to be intolerant to a culture of death that robs people of their God given dignity, and then so often, their lives too.
And in this, may we never be that man without a conviction!
“All men are equal as all pennies are equal, because the only value in any of them is that they bear the image of the King.” G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, February 17, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A pro-euthanasia campaigner has called for New Zealand to follow Belgium’s lead by legalizing euthanasia for children.
Lesley Martin, who was convicted for attempting to murder her mother, believes the practice is already happening in New Zealand, although “covertly” and “without official sanction.”
“It’s because doctors are compassionate people and they can see a terminally ill child suffering and still administer excessive doses of medication in the same way that they do with adults,” Martin claimed in an interview with 3News.
However this assertion has been contested by Dr. David Richmond, emeritus professor of geriatric medicine and spokesperson for Euthanasia-Free NZ. He believes that the Australia and New Zealand Society for Palliative Care “would strenuously deny that terminally ill children are deliberately overdosed with medication so as to bring about their early death.”
Martin’s allegation, he says, is a deliberate attempt at “trying to convince the New Zealand public that there is already widespread use of euthanasia in New Zealand,” in order “to soften them up for the re-introduction of the End of Life Choice Bill or its successor.”
The End of Life Choice Bill, was introduced into the private member’s ballot by Labour MP Maryan Street in 2012. It was withdrawn in September 2013 amidst pressure from her party, which did not want such an emotive topic debated in 2014, an election year.
Had the bill passed into law, adults would have been able to request euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide for an “irreversible physical or mental medical condition that, in the person’s view, renders his or her life unbearable.”
Euthanasia for children is a possibility that Street has not ruled out. At a 2013 public meeting in New Plymouth, she commented on the issue saying that it “was a bridge too far in my view at this time,” but “that might be something that may happen in the future.”
Dr Richmond believes that this indicates “she and other proponents of legalising euthanasia” are “planning behind the scenes to extend the indications as soon as they think the public will stomach them.”
Concerned about children’s vulnerability, Richmond contests that they will “have no power to counter the opinion of adults, especially doctors” who believe “that their best option is death.”
He warns that Belgium’s move to legalize child euthanasia “is showing us that once legalised, euthanasia spreads like an epidemic to include everyone from the youngest to the oldest in its fearsome grip.”
As I have been reviewing the literature related to life issues, one thing has struck me, how much we don’t know.
Here I’m primarily talking about how ‘contraceptives’ work. And it is concerning just how comfortable people, especially pro-abortion people are in using and advocating the use of contraceptives when some of the key pieces knowledge of them is missing.
Some things are easy to study in contraception. Ovulation isn’t hard to detect. It can be inferred from analysing a woman’s hormones over time, or it can be observed directly by ultrasound. However, many modern ‘contraceptives’ aren’t effective in inhibiting ovulation. And some don’t inhibit it at all.
Once ovulation occurs, so called ‘contraceptives’ have several mechanisms to pregnancy or birth.
Many cite the changes to the cervical mucus as a major mode of action. The pill and the morning after pill both cite this as one of their mechanisms of action. The evidence for the morning after pill is weak. Where changes are found, although the changes are substantial, the effects were not absolute. Unlike inhibiting ovulation, the effect causes a reduction in fertility, not a complete absence.
Hormonal methods with synthetic progestins (the pill, the morning after pill and some IUDs) can affect the transport in the fallopian tube. If it’s gametes, the effect is contraceptive. If the transport of the embryo is affected, the effect is likely to be abortifacient.
There are a number of other effects on male gametes that are contraceptive, but no one knows what contribution these have to the contraceptive effect. At best they would only seem to cause a reduction of fertility.
The final effect is the endometrium becoming unreceptive to a human embryo. This causes early abortions. The human embryo is a new human being. He or she is genetically different from his or her mother, and clearly and individual human in their own right.
The language used by drug companies to describe this abortifacient affect is often obscure. One example is “the endometrium is rendered unreceptive to implantation” or even as obscure as, “controlling the monthly development of the womb lining so that it is not thick enough for you to become pregnant”. Some organisations have redefined pregnancy to only start after implantation, and refuse to use the word ‘abortion’ before then, even when it most clearly describes the death of these tiny human beings. This definition is one of semantics. All of the people who use that definition existed before they were implanted in their mother’s womb.
But how often do the synthetic hormones in contraceptives cause these early abortions? The answer is that we just don’t know. There are some ways to find out, but no one is doing that research, or if they are, they aren’t publishing it. Does the mini pill cause early abortions in 50% of cycles, or in only 1%? We just don’t know. And most women using these medicines and devices have no idea that they can cause early abortions.
Many of them would be concerned if it was clearly explained to them. But the companies who sell these medicines and devices jump through linguistic loops to make sure you can read their information, and not realise it causes early abortions, unless you know exactly the language to look for.
When a women is taking these synthetic chemicals, she has no idea of how they work on any given cycle. And thanks to the deliberately vague manufacturer information, she may have no idea that they can kill tiny humans before implantation. This isn’t empowerment. It’s exploitation.
It a just world, the exact modes of action of these synthetic chemicals would researched, quantified, published and then clearly explained to the users.
And in a truly grace filled world, we would all use the women friendly methods of Natural Fertility Regulation if we needed to avoid pregnancy.