Friday, February 10, 2012

Virtually all

The interwebs (and TV, and radio) are abuzz with outrage the contraception mandate imposed by Health and Human Services (HHS). My response to HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius' editorial on the contraception mandate is the following:
Today, virtually all American women people use contraception vitamin supplements at some point in their lives. And we have a large body of medical evidence showing it has significant benefits for their health, as well as the health of their children. But birth control vitamins can also be quite expensive, costing an average of $600 a year, which puts it out of reach for many women whose health plans don't cover it.

The public health case for making sure insurance covers contraception vitamins is clear.
You see, more people take vitamins than use contraceptives. And the health benefits of vitamins are long established and well documented. So, free vitamins, right? But wait, we don't want to force everyone to pay for free vitamins - that's too controversial. Let's force coverage instead for something much more healthy and not controversial, contraceptives.

After all, Sebelius' actual words were "And we have a large body of medical evidence showing it has significant benefits for their health, as well as the health of their children." So let's look at some of those health benefits.

First, there is the "morning after" "contraceptive". I put contraceptive in quotes, because the drug has two effects, one contraceptive, the other abortifacient. Yes, you will find pro-choicers debating the fact, but if you look at the insert that comes with the drug it specifically states that it functions as an abortifacient.

From the insert:
12.1 Mechanism of Action

Emergency contraceptive pills are not effective if a woman is already pregnant. Plan B One-Step is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization (by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or ova). In addition, it may inhibit implantation (by altering the endometrium). It is not effective once the process of implantation has begun.
Note that it says it does not affect an existing pregnancy (which is why some folks debate the abortifacient action). However, your government has redefined the definition of pregnancy in humans to begin at implantation (in all other species it remains defined as beginning at fertilization), specifically so that drug companies could lie about these abortifacients and market them as contraception.

So, what's the "health benefit" of abortion? Well, it has a very negative health benefit if you are not yet born. But even for the mother not so healthy. Again, pro-choicers will debate the issue, but to paraphrase Sebelius "we have a large body of medical evidence showing it has significant risks for their health, as well as the health of their children." It speaks to the politicization of the issue when women's health groups are willing to overlook study after study showing how women are harmed, like those found at Were this a different issue, they'd be screaming from the rooftops that we needed to make sure this was safe.

There are many other health risks, to abortion, such as a 500% increase in the rate of ectopic pregnancies, a 233% increase in miscarriage rate, psychological trauma on women, and on children.

Well, that didn't work out so well. How about health benefits of sterilization? For men it is increased risk of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, dementia and heart disease. For women there is tubal ligation syndrome. And, yes I know there are studies on both sides of the issue. My money is on the World Health Organization (WHO), who state that the studies that show increased health problems are significant enough to warrant further research before they conclude that it is safe.

And speaking of the WHO, and the other contraceptive method covered by the HHS mandate, the WHO has classified the birth control pill as a carcinogen.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

As We Know It

I haven't had time to blog in a while. Still busy, but I wanted to let you all know I'm still alive and to pass on a quick message.

The HHS is forcing Catholics and others to violate their consciences. Proposition 8 lost its appeal (no pun intended). My state, NJ, is pushing through a bill to redefine marriage and narrow religious exemptions. The leading Republican candidate is looking more and more like the leading Democratic candidate, leaving little hope for change (pun intended). The US military is censoring Bishops' pastoral letters to their flocks. The NDAA has overturned habeas corpus. Susan G. Komen will continue to fund Planned Parenthood. Religious organizations are barred from renting space in public school buildings in NY.

Sounds like the sky is falling. My message is this. Take heart. the sky is not falling. Relax. Take a deep breath. And pray. As St. Francis said "Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society."