Tag Archives: contraception

Billionaire’s Wife Attacks Catholic Teaching on Birth Control

By Timothy Herrmann

NEW YORK – C-FAM) Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a Catholic, is telling governments to dismiss the controversial link between contraception and population control and explicitly rejects Catholic social teaching along the way. Her rhetoric is part of her multi-billion dollar foundation’s new “NoControversy” campaign to reinforce universal access to birth control as a priority in the developing world.

Speaking at a TedxChange conference in Berlin, Germany, Gates argued that contraception has been mistakenly associated with population control, abortion, forced sterilization, and mortal sin and insisted they are “side issues” that “have attached themselves to the core idea that men and women should be able to decide when to have a child.”

Yet even Gates herself admitted that for years population control and contraception have become synonymous in the developing world, with countries like India “adopt[ing] unfortunate incentives [and] coercive methods as part of their family planning programs” in the 1960s and indigenous women in Peru being “anesthetized and sterilized without their knowledge” as recently as the 1990s.

Though these coercive practices may have fallen out of favor, it may be far harder for organizations like the Gates Foundation to separate their own promotion of contraception entirely from population control.

In their Annual Letter for 2012, the Gates Foundation draws a direct connection between “unsustainable” population growth and poverty and posits contraception as an essential tool to ensuring that “populations in countries like Nigeria will grow significantly less than projected.” Even recent history shows that governments that make fertility reduction a priority can easily slip into coercive modes such as what Gates recognized happened in Peru not long ago. The US government has said that even goals and timetables for contraceptive use are inherently coercive.

Gates was particularly critical of the Catholic Church. She singled out Catholic social teaching as an obstacle to access to contraception throughout the world, stating that “as a practicing Catholic,” and “in the tradition of the great Catholic scholars,” it is “important to question received teachings,” in particular “the one saying that birth control is a sin.”

Along with the Gates Foundation, organizations like UNFPA blame religious beliefs and contraception’s association with population control for creating a situation in which over 215 million women in the developing world experience what they call an “unmet need” for contraception. They define “unmet need” as “women and men who say they want no more children or want to delay their next birth by more than two years, but are not practicing contraception.”

However, claiming that women who do not want children immediately and who report not using contraception as in “need” of contraception is misleading, as was shown in a landmark study by economist Lant H. Pritchet, currently professor of the Practice of International Development at Harvard.

The study finds that access to contraception has little effect on fertility and that women will have the number of children they choose whether they have access to contraception or not. The study also explains that factors such as dislike for the side effects of contraception and religious objections are just as important as the cost and availability of contraception.

Timothy Herrmann is Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute’s (C-FAM)representative to the United Nations. His article first appeared in Friday Fax, an internet report published weekly by C-FAM, a New York and Washington DC-based research institute (http://www.c-fam.org/). This article appears with permission.

Pro-Lifers Will Fail Unless We Confront the ‘Corruption of Innocence’

By Patrick B. Craine

If the pro-life movement is to gain any headway, pro-life leaders must confront the root of the attack against the culture of life – the corruption of innocence through sex education and contraception, says Mercedes Arzu Wilson, founder and president of Family of the Americas and a pioneer in the natural family planning movement.

“We have been ignoring the root of the problem all these years,” says Wilson. “The diabolical forces don’t care how much we fight abortion, as long as you don’t touch the source that brings women to abort.”

According to Wilson, the source is the “corruption of innocence that eventually leads to the devaluation of human life, which is manifested through abortion and other sinful deeds.”

The “graphic sexuality ‘education’” taught by Planned Parenthood and its collaborators “is actually indoctrination,” she says. “We’re promoting all kinds of perversions to little children. … If parents really saw what is being taught to their children, they would be horrified.”

These programs encourage children to experiment sexually and purport to teach them methods of “safe sex,” she explained. By handing out or encouraging the use of condoms and the pill, she said the schools encourage a mentality that expects sex without procreation. When the contraceptives fail, abortion is used as the final solution.

“As long as pornographic sex information continues being taught in public and even Catholic schools, abortion will continue,” she said.

She noted further that two out of three women who obtain abortions were using contraception when they got pregnant. “Planned Parenthood knows that it’s not going to work, so they’re ready to offer the next service, which is induced abortion,” she said.

Far more abortions occur through contraception than induced abortion, she added, noting that the pill and other contraceptive methods are designed, in part, to kill the newly-conceived embryo by preventing implantation in his or her mother’s womb. “Why is it that so little effort is made to stop the widespread use of artificial methods of birth control that cause more abortions, and have been responsible for the moral decay worldwide?” she asked.

Wilson has been teaching natural family planning since 1968, and her organization, Family of the Americas, has been teaching her Ovulation Method since it was founded in 1977. Her book on the simple method, which is based on observing cervical mucus, has been translated into 23 languages. They are active in over 100 countries, including China, where their method is being promoted by the government.

According to Wilson, pro-life approaches that focus strictly on abortion and ignore sex ed and contraception will fail because they are missing the root of the problem. “If you don’t go back to the source, you’re wasting your time,” she said. “They will be fighting abortion for the rest of their lives.”

Originally published by LiteSiteNews.com, October 1, 2010.

Ohio Right-to-life Opposes Ohio House H.B. 333

H.B. 333, which was introduced by State Rep. Dan Stewart (D, Columbus) in October, has been advancing in the Ohio House Health Committee. A hearing was held for proponents of the bill on February 24 and the bill is scheduled for proponent, opponent and interested party testimony on Wednesday, March 3.

The bill tramples on the conscience rights of medical professionals and religious hospitals.

Under H.B. 333:

  • Hospital emergency rooms, including those at religiously-affiliated hospitals, are required to provide the morning-after pill (referred to as “emergency contraception”) to victims of sexual assault.
  • Hospitals would be required to inform the women that emergency contraception “does not cause an abortion” or “interrupt an established pregnancy”. (Because “emergency contraception” in some cases may cause the death of an early human embryo by preventing implantation after fertilization has occurred, this information would be very misleading to any pro-life person who believes that life begins at fertilization.)
  • If a hospital violates these requirements, the Department of Health can impose a civil penalty of at least $10,000 with no limit on the maximum penalty. If there is a second violation, the State can seek an injunction to close the hospital.

H.B. 333 – Key Arguments

  • The bill violates the conscience rights of pro-life health care workers and religiously-affiliated hospitals by forcing them to distribute the morning-after pill, which, in some cases, might cause the death of a living human embryo.
  • The State of Ohio should not coerce health care providers into violating their religious and moral objections against ending a human life.
  • The bill requires hospital emergency rooms to give women misleading information that the morning-after pill does not cause an abortion or interrupt an “established pregnancy”.
  • This information would only be relevant in obtaining the informed consent of persons who had moral concerns about abortion, and those are precisely the persons who are most likely to be misled by it.
  • Although supporters of this bill claim to be “pro-choice”, their bill would deny pro-life people in the health care professions the “freedom to choose” not to participate in the destruction of human life.
  • This bill would require health care providers to violate the original Hippocratic Oath which stated: “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.”
  • If the State of Ohio decides that the desire for immediate access to the morning-after pill for rape victims requires health care providers and facilities to provide it despite their moral objections, it will set a precedent for using a similar argument to require health care providers and facilities to provide surgical abortions.
  • The morning-after pill is already widely available at many pharmacies (over-the-counter for adults and by prescription for minors under age 17), yet the proponents of this bill want to force even pro-life hospitals to dispense it.
  • Although proponents of the bill claim it is needed to improve access to health care, the bill allows the State to close a hospital for failing to distribute the morning-after pill. How would closing a hospital improve access to health care for anyone?