Tag Archives: abortion

The Hush on Women’s Health

Knowledge is power. However, it seems women have been empowered with methods to post-pone pregnancy, but not empowered with the knowledge of the potential side effects that may accompany these decisions. Politics and morals aside, here is my top ten things every woman should know about her reproductive health.

  1. There is a link between abortion and breast cancer (ABC link). 108 world-wide studies on abortion and breast cancer reveal an overall 30-40% increased risk for those with a history of abortion (1)
  2. Estrogen is a carcinogen (cancer causing agent). When a healthy pregnancy occurs, the body is flooded with estrogen. The further along a pregnancy is at termination the higher the risk of breast cancer until 32 weeks. There is a 3% increase in risk for every week of gestation until 32 weeks. At 32 weeks, breast tissue matures into cancer-resistant cells. Second trimester miscarriages (or abortions), between 12 and 32 weeks, double your risk of breast cancer.  Early miscarriage has not been shown to increase breast cancer as low estrogen often accompanies first trimester miscarriages.
  3. In 2005, the World Health Organization classified estrogen-progestin combination drugs (birth control) as a Group 1 carcinogen. All hormonal contraception is carcinogenic, increasing a woman’s risk of breast, cervical and liver cancer. Hormone Replacement Therapy for post-menopausal women also increases breast cancer risk.
  4. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women 20-59 years old. In North America 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer. Only 20% of breast  cancer cases can be attributed to family history. In 2011, Parkin published a study in the British Journal of Cancer which found 15% of premenopausal breast cancer was attributable to hormonal contraception. In the U.S. over 9,000 new cases of breast cancer could be eliminated if hormonal contraception ceased (2).
  5. There is a petition to the CDC right now for a Black Box Warning on birth control for breast cancer, cervical cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, depression and suicide, venous thrombosis and cardiovascular events. Petition on Hormonal Contraceptives PDF accepted by the FDA in 2019.
  6. Modern Natural Family Planning or Fertility Awareness based Methods, such as the Creighton Method, SymptoThermal, or Marquette Method are an all natural means of avoiding or achieving pregnancy with efficiency rates similar to hormonal contraception (3). Be cautious about using Apps without instruction as they may be based on the age-old rhythm method that is only 70% effective.
  7. The pill and other birth control methods are not 100% effective at preventing pregnancy! The pill for example in actual use is ~92% effective, so with 9-10 million women in the US taking it ~810,000 unintended pregnancies occur each year and about half of those end in abortion.
  8. All hormonal contraception can allow break through ovulation and act as an abortifacient; Abortifacient means the conception of new life (ovulation and fertilization) is possible, but 7-9 days later implantation of that little human being was prevented causing death. The “mini-pill” (progestin only) allows ovulation 50% of the time!
  9. Over 80 studies show abortion as a risk factor for premature birth. Abortion history can account for 18% of premature births. Things such as an incompetent cervix and placenta previa are more common after surgical abortions. Fifteen states don’t even have informed consent laws requiring doctors to be transparent about the risks that come with abortion.
  10. The greatest window of risk or susceptibility for breast cancer is between puberty and a woman’s first full term pregnancy. Waiting until 30 to have your first child doubles your risk of breast cancer. Smoking, hormonal contraception use, and abortion during this window increases one’s breast cancer risk significantly. Appropriate screening should be done in those populations at risk.

Has reading this brief list made you thirsty for more information? Watch the documentary Hush for yourself! It is available to stream for $6 at Hushfilm.com or if you are on Formed it is included with your subscription. (Formed is a Catholic media platform available via the web at Formed.org or on the Formed Channel via a web streaming service like Roku, Firestick, etc) The woman who does the film Punam Kumar Gill is a pro-choice Canadian, so don’t dismiss this as “pro-life propaganda.” You can also learn a lot more from breast surgeon and researcher Dr. Angela Lanfranchi (one of the many experts featured in the movie Hush via the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute. She has an 18 min lecture called “The Pill Kills” or there is also a great interview with her on “At Home with Jim and Joy.”

Sources: These sources all have more resources and sources on the webpages

  1. Hush, hushfilm.com
  2. Breast Cancer Prevention Institute- www.bcpinstitute.org
  3. Naturalwomanhood.org

The overall increased risk may be small at 30%, but a small risk taken by millions of women results in tens of thousands of women affected. When it came out in 2002, that Hormone Replacement Therapy in post-menopausal women increased breast cancer by 27%, half of the millions of women taking it used that information and chose to discontinue use. Since the passage of Roe v Wade breast cancer in premenopausal women has risen by 400% (SEER data, The Pill Kills). Women have rights over their reproductive health, but they also have the right to transparent information so they can make not just choices, but informed choices.

Let Abortion Break your Heart

The other day (Oct 11) the Idaho Statesmen, a newspaper based here in Boise, ran an article that took my breath away. A friend sent me the link asking if I’d seen it and it opens with this from the AP:

Hevan Lunsford, a nurse in Alabama, was five months pregnant when a doctor told her that her fetus was severely underdeveloped and had only half of a heart. She was told the boy, whom she and her husband decided to name Sebastian, would need care to ease his pain and several surgeries. He may not live long, they were told.

Lunsford, devastated, asked about ending the pregnancy. But the doctor said Alabama law prohibits abortions after five months. He handed Lunsford a piece of paper with information for a clinic in Atlanta, Georgia, a roughly 180-mile drive east.

“The procedure itself was probably the least traumatic part of it,” Lunsford said. “Most of the laws I navigated, there was no reason for them. None of them prevented my abortion. It just made it where I had to travel out of state.”

If you don’t know my story the parallels are uncanny. We also received the devastating news at 5 months that our son had a severely underdeveloped heart, only half a heart. We also named our unborn son Sebastian. Both of our sons were loved. Both of them suffered. Both of us feel convicted to be advocates for others.

“My grief is complicated so deeply by the unnecessary stigma and regulation of abortion. I can’t just be a mother grieving the loss of her son. I have to be an advocate for my son. I have to be an abortion educator. I have to be a political activist. It’s exhausting.” Hevan Lunsford.

I wish I knew more about Hevan’s son Sebastian. I wonder what would cause pain in the womb of an underdeveloped baby, and how would they know it is in pain? Or was the choice to terminate made more out of the very real fear of pain or suffering. I was surprised to learn that one of the myths of doctor-assisted-suicide is that it is often chosen in cases of pain and suffering. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition did a documentary The Euthanasia Deception pointing out that our medical practices are generally very good at controlling pain, but it is a fear of pain, decline, and/or being a burden, that more often motivate people to end their lives. They are not in a current state of pain. In searching other articles about Hevan’s story she is quoted saying, she “took the pain upon herself so that he would not ever feel a moment of agony.”  This makes me think the baby wasn’t in a current state of pain, but that if she went through with the necessary surgeries for survival with half a heart he would be.

A couple things annoy me about the way this is presented. First off, it talks about “ending her pregnancy.” Birth ends pregnancy. In abortion what ends is the very real life of a baby that has not been born yet. In the other article, she says it was “palliative care.” She is a nurse, she should know how misleading it is to use the term “palliative care.” Palliative care is not a cure, but a medical plan to make patients as comfortable as possible as they live out the days God numbered.  It does not unduly prolong life, but the intentional termination of life is prohibited. Part of the very long definition of palliative care that many institutions use includes:

Intends neither to hasten nor postpone death, affirms life, and recognizes dying as a natural process.

In Janet Morana’s book, “Recall Abortion” she dedicates an entire chapter to fetal anomalies. Reading her book years ago was the first time I had ever heard of “perinatal hospice.” Even in situations where the outlook is grim, the baby may not make it to birth or may only survive minutes, hours, or days, there are choices better than abortion. Perinatal hospice allows babies to be loved and cherished for as long as he or she lives naturally. It is better for the unborn child not to be poisoned, shot through the heart with digoxin, or worse. But it is also better for the parents. As Morana points out, “Parents are able to plan for the birth with the support of doctors, nurses, counselors, clergy, and family. Babies are bathed, dressed, cuddled, and surrounded by the love every baby deserves, and when they die, it is with the dignity every human being deserves. Parents who choose perinatal hospice still have to deal with the grief that comes from losing a child, but studies have shown they can deal with that grief much better than women who choose late-term abortion.” Dr. Byron Calhoun, a pioneer of perinatal hospice in the 90s, discovered that when offered 75% of couples choose life over abortion.  I can’t help but wonder if Hevan and her husband had been offered perinatal hospice.

You can’t imagine the pride I have in my son, my warrior, my great adventure, my hero with half a heart.

Half a heart (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome – HLHS or could have been a hypoplastic right side which is easier to correct surgically) is fatal after a few days without intervention. When our Sebastian (we call him Ian for short, get it? SebastIAN) received the prenatal diagnosis of HLHS we were given “compassionate care” as an option. Compassionate care would let our son die naturally days after birth, we could even take him home if we wanted. We chose to let him fight! Ian had his first open-heart surgery when he was one week old. He suffered, we suffered. Though I will say I don’t think he was in excessive pain, fentanyl does a pretty good job! The things he will never remember -and we will never forget! Praise God, our reality now is so far removed from the pain in the past! But in that darkness, we found a new appreciation for the light. Christ our light and our love who has prepared a place for all of us. Christ is Love personified. And those who work for Love, Truth, Peace, Beauty, and Goodness work for Christ! They may not acknowledge or recognize Him but He is all those things! Those who love Truth or love authentic Beauty love Jesus!

The story of the Lundsfords and their little Sebastian is heart breaking. It breaks my heart not only for Sebastian himself, but also for his parents. God’s plans are hard to understand sometimes. It is hard to trust a plan that involves suffering, a plan that involves a heavy cross on a little baby, a heavy cross on Mommy and Daddy. Finding out such devastating news at 5 mo pregnant gave me 4 months of agony in the garden. My constant prayer was for a miracle, if possible Lord let this cup pass, heal our son, if it be according to Thy will.

He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father,* if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39

I know that God has a plan and infinite contingency plans! I know that abortion breaks God’s heart. I know God’s heart breaks for Hevan Lundsford as well, He feels her pain too. He wants to heal her pain and extend his bountiful mercy. There are people he is sending through ministries like Rachel’s Vineyard that can help. I don’t look down on her, I look up to God and see how he wants to shower her with his grace and fill in all her wounds and holes with love.

Many Fridays during 40 Days for Life I would pray at 3pm. The hour Christ died, and darkness fell over the land. Meditating on the Passion, the Stations of the Cross, the last moments of Jesus’ mortal life on earth is sad. The lamb led to slaughter. (Though we know the happy ending!) Praying outside an abortion facility while abortions are going on like I did this past Friday is dark. It is okay to feel sad and lament, it is good to let abortion break your heart because as I’ve said I believe it breaks Jesus’ heart too. You’ve perhaps seen the recent coverage that David Daleiden’s undercover work at Planned Parenthood has exposed more gruesome details about the sale of aborted baby parts. The fetal hearts were harvested alive. It’s not just your heart that breaks but your stomach that turns. How can we combat this evil?

As Fr. Frank Pavone reminds us, we aren’t fighting for victory, but from victory. How sweet the victory Christ won for us through his own suffering! My husband and I have endured quite a few rough patches on this journey with our own warrior Sebastian and have paths unseen ahead, but we’ve been graced with God’s friendship. Now we enjoy “Joy unspeakable, faith unsinkable, love unstoppable, anything is possible!” as Casting Crown’s song Thrive puts it.

Revisit that song. Such a powerful positive light-filled message! Lyrics: “It’s time for us to more than just survive, we were made to thrive!” To spread that joy, is to make God’s heart happy! How many people can you help to heaven? Can you help others find peace on earth? Sometimes, God calls us to dark places, like abortion facilities, to bear his light, his love, and his truth. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! Ian, you are a light in the world and I will not hide God’s story in you under a bushel, and I’m certainly glad I didn’t let the devil blow you out!

Sources: same as links embedded in story.

(1) Idaho Statesman   https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/investigations/watchdog/article235765327.html

(2) The Euthanasia Deception Documentary- http://www.epcc.ca/dvds/

(3) AL.com https://www.al.com/opinion/2019/05/i-cant-just-be-a-mother-grieving-the-loss-of-her-son-hevan-lunsford.html

(4) International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care – https://hospicecare.com/what-we-do/projects/consensus-based-definition-of-palliative-care/definition/

(5) Fetal Hearts Harvested Alive – https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/only-hearts-harvested-from-living-babies-can-be-used-for-research-expert-tells-daleiden-hearing

(6) Casting Crown’s Thrivehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ71RWJhS_M