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Posts Tagged ‘women’s health’

sweetening the pill coverA woman can learn much from her mother and grandmother. But we learn the most, I think, from the first woman, Eve. From Eve we learn a woman’s identity and value, but also why we must be on guard against deception. Satan—who despises the humans upon whom Christ lavishes so much attention and love—had no good will for Eve or her life as God’s creation. Nor does he have good will for us, the daughters of Eve.

Satan, the world, and our own sinful nature constantly labor against us. They are faithful to nothing but themselves with no purpose other than enticing our bodies and souls away from all God declares us to be. Words like “equality” and “my body, my choice” get our attention but soon take us captive. The woman who believes that she is no different from a man is a woman “taken captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col. 2:8). Captive indeed is what we all are when we live as if God does not matter and “I matter most.”

Doubting God, we are more easily deceived. Fearing insignificance and loss of control of “my” life, we set ourselves in God’s place. Such doubts and fears are associated with The Pill.

In her book, Sweetening the Pill or How We Got Hooked on Hormonal Birth Control, Holly Grigg-Spall shares her personal story as well as the history and medical facts of The Pill taken by millions of healthy women who really know very little about how the drug works. “When the Pill was released, it was thought that women would not submit to taking a medication each day when they were not sick,” writes Grigg-Spall. “Now the Pill is making women sick.”

Grigg-Spall published her book in 2013.  Today, she is working with filmmakers Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein to produce a documentary of her book. (You may preview the documentary at Sweetening the Pill  or Kickstarter.

Grigg-Spall asks, “Who am I when I’m not on the Pill?” She recognized her own disintegrating mental health and physical problems while on the Pill. These included “regular urinary tract infections, sore and bleeding gums, hypoglycemic symptoms, hair loss, and muscle weakness to name just a few.” Going off the Pill, however, “. . . I became stable in both my thoughts and feelings. I felt stronger, more confident and far less fearful. I reconnected with the world. I had clarity of thinking that allowed me to engage again.” Perhaps a man might ask the question differently. “Who am I if I disregard the health and well-being of my wife?”

Sweetening the Pill is categorized as psychology. The author writes about “fertility awareness” and women’s health more than spiritual wellness. She is not hesitant, however, to document the Pill’s dark history. “. . . [S]ex hormones were discovered in the 1920s, but synthetic hormones were developed in Nazi Germany . . . Bayer Schering Corp—now Bayer—developed synthetic estrogen and experimented on Jewish prisoners in the hope of sterilizing them. They found that although women stopped menstruating they were not made permanently infertile. This became an important part of the process of developing the Pill.”

In 1951, Margaret Sanger persuaded endocrinologist Gregory Pincus to work on a birth control pill. The Pill was approved for contraceptive use in 1960, making it easier for women to re-define their identity, reject femininity and, in fact, reject their own bodies. The “female body” became “an object of and a source for fear and oppression.” Still in circulation today is the idea that the ovary and uterus make women inferior to men. The Pill, writes Grigg-Spall, “provided the opportunity to silence . . . rationalizations that had plagued women for so long. The Pill shut down the troublesome organs. Without these organs weakening their bodies and minds the argument for keeping them out of the workplace and the realm of men had shaky foundation. It became a necessary part of the progress of women’s liberation that women deny female biology.”

In 1969, feminist writer Clare Boothe Luce said, “Modern woman is at last free, as a man is free, to dispose of her own body, to earn a living…to try a successful career.” The Pill does, indeed, “dispose” of femaleness and this should make those who put their trust in God—who created male and female at different times, in different ways, and for different purposes—very uncomfortable. Grigg-Spall says there is more to consider. The Pill shuts down the reproductive systems of teenage girls “before they are fully developed,” manipulates their endocrine systems “as they go through volatile puberty,” and impacts their “developing libido and displaces [their] sexuality.”

Sweetening the Pill is a must read for mothers of daughters and every woman who has ever attended a Titus 2 Retreat, been tempted to believe that “equal” means being “the same,” struggled with the physical and spiritual consequences of hormonal contraceptives, or prayed, “Dear Lord, help me to value what You have wonderfully made.”

 

Learn about Titus 2-4Life here.
Linda Bartlett is the author of
The Failure of Sex Education In the Church:
Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity
(Amazon) Our Identity Matters

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Millions of healthy women take a powerful medication every day from their mid-teens to menopause.  We call it “The Pill.”  Feminists defend it because it “evens the playing field” for men and women.  They defend it, but without explaining the effects this hormone has on a woman’s mind and body.

Contrary to cultural myth, the birth control pill impacts on every organ and function of the body, and yet most women don’t think of it as a drug.  Depression, anxiety, paranoia, rage, panic attacks… these are a few of the many effects of The Pill on half of the over 80% of women who pop these tablets during their lifetimes.

We talk about this at Titus 2 Retreats.  But what about you?  Do you know the facts about The Pill?  Does your daughter or granddaughter?

Holly Grigg-Spall authored Sweetening the Pill in 2013.  But the documentary film is in the making.  It won’t be popular.  There will be a powerful push against it.  Funding won’t come easy.  Please watch the trailer below… order the book… and pray for the filmmakers Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein.  Lake and Epstein produced the 2008 documentary The Business of Being Born.  “What we did for birth,” says Lake, “we want to do for birth control.”

Women deserve to be informed with the facts.  This isn’t a political issue.  This is a woman’s health issue.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/92756815/sweetening-the-pill-a-documentary/widget/video.html

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unhappy girlThe young women who find their way to the Lighthouse, a pregnancy and parenting resource center in my home town, might seem familiar to you. Actually, they could be your neighbor’s daughter, your pastor’s daughter or your daughter. They are not “bad” girls; rather, they are “normal” girls.

A negative pregnancy test provides opportunity to talk about their “normal” lives. One young woman, with goals of finishing high school and going on to college, opened the door to that conversation with a heartfelt confession. “I don’t understand. I’m not any different from my Facebook friends. I’m not any different from the people on TV. I dress like the models in my favorite magazines and do the things everyone else says they are doing. But if I’m so normal, why am I so unhappy?”

As a campus psychiatrist at UCLA, Dr. Miriam Grossman spent a lot of time with “normal” but “unhappy” young women. These educated women with goals of med school, performing arts or corporate law had little in life to complain about. They had active social lives, enough money and caring families. “Life is good,” they would tell Dr. Grossman, “so why do I feel so depressed? So emotionally stressed? So worthless?”

“If I’m so normal, why am I so unhappy?” This question—asked in small town pregnancy centers and on Ivy League campuses—should tug at the heart and soul of every pro-life parent, grandparent and pastor. “No amount of Prozac or Zoloft,” writes Dr. Grossman, “is going to solve this problem. These young women must, for their physical and emotional well-being, change their lifestyle.”

Change their lifestyle? But aren’t young women today more liberated than ever before? Haven’t the barriers that prevented complete happiness been chipped away? Isn’t it true that women can compete with men in sports, the workplace and the bedroom? It’s true, but all the supposed liberation in the world only puts us in conflict with ourselves.

In Genesis 1: 27, we learn that God created humans to be male and female. Later, and with more detail (Genesis 2), we learn that God created male and female at different times, in different ways and for different purposes. Try to ignore it if you will but a woman is built to bear and nurture children.

Matters of a woman’s heart are influenced by her biological design. Yes, my feminist friends, I said biological design. “The blurring of differences between male and female,” writes Dr. Grossman, “is a radical agenda unsupported by hard science.” One of the failures of nearly every kind of sex education, including Christianized sex education, is that we lump boys and girls together as equally “sexual beings” who just need more information and more comfort with their sexuality. But Dr. Marianne Legato, founder and director of the Partnership for Gender Specific Medicine at Columbia University, sees women’s health as more than a political or feminist issue because women differ from men in every system of their body.

It would seem that this important piece of biblical and scientific truth has been withheld from the young women who carry the burdens of depression, disease, fear, and broken hearts in the door of the Lighthouse and every other pregnancy center across this country.

Matters of a woman’s heart, by design, are connected to the love of one man, home and family. At the Lighthouse, however, we see young women who’ve been disconnected from all that is naturally womanly—most especially anything related to motherhood and childbearing—as something to be managed, minimized or even overcome. They have been shot up with Gardacil and soon after, like a right of passage, ceremoniously prescribed the Pill. They are prodded onto the football field, wrestling mat and arena of combat—no “holds barred”—which puts them at odds with their own biological and psychological functions and renders them more vulnerable. In abstinence class, they are reminded over and over again that sex is the most wondrous of all earthly gifts but not to be opened until marriage after first getting their degree, securing a good job and paying off loans. However, next to their heart is a biological clock that “tick, tick, ticks” the years of fertility away.

Girls have been told that they are no less sexual than any boy and have every right to enjoy the pleasantries of intimacy. But most girls have not been told about oxytocin, the neurochemical that floods a woman’s brain during a cuddle or a kiss. By design, oxytocin promotes trust and serves to bond a woman to the man she is with. Oxytocin at work in a wife who is sexually intimate with her husband helps produce long-term connectedness which is good for children.

But bonding is like glue. It can’t be undone or ripped apart without great emotional pain. Once, I asked a young woman why she was spending nights with her boyfriend. She responded, “Well I was hoping that if I did, he would ask me to marry him.” During another visit, she told me how much she liked tending “their” garden and decorating “their” house. “But,” I asked, “when it’s the end of the day and you sleep over, whose bed do you sleep in? Do you think of it as his… or ‘ours’”? Her eyes dropped. Her shoulders slumped. She whispered, “It’s his.”

A great many young women, despite the cultural acceptance of multiple partners, want to be married to one man and make a nest for their children. But a woman’s consent to play house without commitment of marriage actually encourages many young men to postpone marriage.

“I’m just doing what everyone else is doing. I’m normal.” So then why is this girl so depressed and unhappy? Because it is simply abnormal for a woman to be in conflict with the design of her own body. “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, who frustrates the signs of liars . . . who turns wise men back and makes their knowledge foolish” (Isaiah 44:24-25).

At the Lighthouse, we take matters of the heart very seriously. We want to guard the physical and spiritual health of a young woman just as we want to guard her right to a childhood, right to girlhood, and right to maidenhood.

This was first written as an article for LifeDate (LFL).
Linda Bartlett is co-founder/president of the Lighthouse Center of Hope
and author of The Failure of Sex Education in the Church:
Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity

(Amazon – Our Identity Matters)
Miriam Grossman, M.D., is the author of Unprotected (Amazon).

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A well known and conservative talk show host recently failed to control his tongue.  More importantly, he failed to be a gentleman.  On public radio, he used words to boldly but negatively describe a young college woman.  The words used are not dissimilar to the words a father uses in Proverbs 7 when warning his son away from the woman of the night who says, “Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love.”  But, the woman is not married to the one she entices for pleasure.

I am disappointed that a man who values “the high road” lowered himself to less than a gentleman.  But, I am also disappointed in the young woman and those who are using her to build a false argument for the cause of women’s health.  Thinking back to my high school and college days, I know for certain what a girl was called when the boys knew she was sleeping with someone and looking for contraceptive hand-outs.  

Really, women.  Let’s be honest.  What the HHS did in mandating that the insurance providers of religious organization cover the cost of contraceptives — including drugs that end a human life — was an assault on religious liberty and freedom of conscience.  That’s my liberty.  My conscience.  To take a stand against churches paying for birth control and drugs that might abort children in the womb is no infringement on women.  If a woman believes that contraceptives will improve her health, then she is free to visit Planned Parenthood where drugs and procedures will be provided (unfortunately with the help of my tax dollars).

Men, please practice self-control and act like gentlemen (that means watching your language and respecting even foolish women).  Women, practice the same self-control and act like ladies.  Ladies who respect themselves and men.  Ladies who don’t calculate that they need $3000 worth of insured contraceptives during their unmarried years at the university.

God said that it wasn’t good for man to be alone.  He needed a helper.  Women, there are a lot of good men out there who want to do the right thing by us.  Let’s help them — and future generations — by focusing less on our “rights” and more on our responsibilities.

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Dear Planned Parenthood,

You say you care about women’s health.  That being the case, do you educate girls and young women about their sensitive ecosystem?  Do you tell them that their bodies, quite different from men’s, are more at risk for infections?  Do you explain that the cervix, for example, is an area of the female body that more easily allows bacteria and viruses to grow?  That being on the birth control pill may actually increase the risk of infection?  (Dr. Miriam Grossmen, Unprotected, p. 27)

You say you have the best interests of young women at heart.  So, how do you protect them from themselves?  “An adolescent is like a fully mature car that’s turbo-charged, but its driver is unskilled, and his navigational abilities are not yet fully in place.” (Dr. Ronald Dahl, quoted in You’re Teaching My Child What? by Miriam Grossman, M.D., p. 75)  You insist on providing teens with all information so that they can make informed decisions, but how can you produce a sexually responsible girl if her wiring isn’t finished?  Circuits aren’t complete?  If the “feeling” part of her brain is functioning, but the “thinking” part of her brain is not yet fully developed?

You say you want to help women make informed decisions.  Then why do you resist showing expectant moms a sonogram of their baby?  Why, if there is any possible link at all between abortion and breast cancer, don’t you mention this?  What do you say about the risk of cervical cancer that can be caused by the human papilloma virus possibly passed on during the act of sex?

You say you want to prevent abortions.  Once again: Why do you resist showing expectant moms a sonogram of their baby?  Why do you insist on telemed abortions which are not only unsafe for the women and kill more babies, but increase your annual revenue?  According to your own 2009-10 annual report, PP performed more than 329,000 abortions.  Conservatively estimating that each abortion is $450, abortion services brought in $148 million of PP’s overall $320 million in clinic revenue, representing 46% of your budget.  Why do you insist that each of your affiliates must have at least one clinic offering abortion services by 2013?  Why do you have “abortion quotas” that your clinics are to reach every month?   

You say you want to provide services for poor women of every ethnicity.  What kind of services?  78% of PP clinics are set up in minority communities.  African-Americans make up 12% of the U.S. population, but 35% of U.S. abortions.  PP founder Margaret Sanger created the Negro Project designed to sterilize unknowing black women and others she deemed “undesirable.”  Sanger said, “Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.”  (Source: Black Genocide

You say you want to help this country help its families.  Does single parenthood ever bother you?  Why do you force your way into schools with your “services” and clinics but resist parental consent for minors?  How do you build generational relationships between sons or daughters and their moms and dads?

You call yourself “Planned Parenthood.”  Why don’t you just admit that you’re not very fond of parenthood at all.  In fact, looking at your TeenWire web site (X-rated), I see that you encourage the practice of homosexuality as a way to avoid parenthood altogether. 

You insist that the U.S. government force religious  institutions to pay for insurance plans offering “free” contraception, abortion-causing drugs, and sterilization.  You say that churches have no right to deprive women of access to free “birth control.”  But, have you ever stopped to consider the ethics of The Pill, abortion pills (RU-486 or mifepristone, the “morning after pill,” or telemed/pill-in-a-drawer), and sterilizations on ethical or medical grounds?  Fact is, you and people from all walks of life — pastors, physicians, psychologists, and social workers — have agreed  that The Pill has been responsible for massive social changes which have crippled the economy; increased promiscuity, STDs, and teen pregnancies; decreased marriage rates; and lowered birth rates to barely replaceable levels.

You say you exist simply to offer a choice.  Then why do you resort to “gangster tactics” when that choice is questioned and funds are stopped? (Sheila Liaugminas in Mercatornet)

In what way, Planned Parenthood, are you helping to build a vibrant and hopeful civilization?

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My mother died of breast cancer.  My aunt died of breast cancer.  My cousin died of breast cancer.  My niece, at age 28, was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy because she wants to beat the disease.  Dear friends of mine are bravely battling breast cancer.

With these women in mind, and in good conscience, I haven’t been able to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  That’s because Komen helps to fund Planned Parenthood.  This has always concerned me for a number of reasons, one of which is the connection between abortion and breast cancer.  I can’t support any organization that wants to prevent something as life-threatening as breast cancer by giving to an organization that makes a profit doing abortions.

PP has claimed, over and over, that it provides mammograms for poor women.  It claims to help poor women most especially in Hispanic and African-American neighborhoods.  However, PP doesn’t do mammograms.  Apparently, at PP locations nationwide, only manual palpations are provided.  That’s sub-standard for low-income women, especially black women whose incidence of breast cancer is higher than any other demographic.  Instead of funding PP, I wonder if Komen would purchase mammograms for caring pregnancy centers like the one in my community?   Then, Komen could be sure that their money wasn’t going to a monolithic, already government-funded, profit-making provider of abortions.  Abortions which put women at risk perhaps of breast cancer, but most certainly of some other physical, emotional, or spiritual harm.

The debate over the abortion/breast cancer connection may continue for years.  That’s because it can be difficult to honestly examine all the facts when two ideologies are opposed.  Or when money and politics hold sway.  Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, a Clinical assistant professor of Surgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey, has seen firsthand how abortion hurts women.  Dr. Lanfranchi has extensively explained how abortion increases breast cancer.  She has treated countless women facing breast cancer.  Angela Lanfranchi, M.D., was named a 2010 Castle Connolly NY Metro area “Top Doc” in breast surgery.  She testified under oath in a 2002 California lawsuit against PP that she had private conversations with leading experts who agreed abortion raises cancer risk, but they refused to discuss it publicly, saying it was “too political.”   

If you’re willing to study the connection between abortion and breast cancer for yourself or a loved one, there are other doctors like Professor Joel Brind, endocrinologist at Baruch College in New York who, together with others, published a 1996 paper in the Journal of Epidemiol Community Health showing a 30% greater chance of developing breast cancer for women who’ve had induced abortions.  You might also visit the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer.

There was a glimmer of hope earlier this week.  Komen announced that it was going to stop their annual grants to PP.  But, now it appears they have changed their mind.  PP had a little something to do with that.  PP doesn’t like it when communities or congressmen like my own Steve King or Florida’s Cliff Stearns stand up to it.  PP doesn’t like it when they are exposed for covering up under-age prostitution and sexual abuse.  PP doesn’t like it when clinic directors walk away because they can’t deceive women any longer.  PP doesn’t like it when American taxpayers tell the government to stop pouring more money into their already overflowing coffers.  PP’s annual report of 2008-2009 notes that they received a record $363 million from government grants and other taxpayer funds.  They set another record that year by performing over 324,000 abortions.  As Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana said, “The largest abortion provider in America should not also be the largest recipient of federal funding under Title X.”  But, apparently, U.S. tax dollars aren’t enough.  When it appeared their partnership with Komen for the Cure might be broken, PP moved quickly.  What happened this week is a powerful message from PP to the country: Don’t mess with us. 

PP is like any organization.  It has a mission.  PP started under the direction of Margaret Sanger and has remained true to the ideology and mission of eugenist Sanger.  Sanger specifically set up her clinics in black communities.  Today, PP has located nearly four-fifths of its American clinics (79%) in minority neighborhoods.  Abortion has killed more black children than the totaled numbers of AIDS and violent crimes.  PP is in the population control business.  It also works to separate children from parents and train adolescents to “follow their sexual instincts.”  Visit PP’s TeenWire web site (www.teenwire.org) to learn that PP considers boys with boys and girls with girls as a “normal” sexual choice and an effective form of birth control. 

PP is a place women turn to in times of fear and desperation.  PP may bring momentary relief, but it brings no joy.  Someone dear to me still carries the PP receipt of her abortion in her wallet together with a photo of what her child might have looked like cut out from a magazine.  That child is her only child.  There were no more.  This woman also mourns another life, that of her sister who died from breast cancer.  I know my friend wants to help raise awareness and fund cancer research.  But, she also wants to help lead women away from other harmful things.  Like cervical cancer, STDs, and sterility.  For that reason, she supports advocacies for women that don’t partner with PP.

Sources: Concerned Women for America
and LifeNews, 1-2-2012

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In March, I posted some observations on Planned Parenthood.  At the same time I invited any readers to contact their senator with a request not to fund PP with tax dollars.  Yesterday, I received a comment on  my post.  The gentleman wrote:

“I noticed the religious overtone to your perspective on the issue of abortion.  You have every right to your views and ideologies, but consider an “abortion” is no longer specifically a medical procedure.  It is most commonly a prescription of two pills.  It is now an induced miscarriage.  Your life  may be stable, as your health may be, but not everyone shares the experience of your comforts and bliss life.  These induced miscarriages save lives.  There is no regard for the living breathing woman from PP opponents.”  Mike.

Compelled to respond, I began writing.  I clicked a key and my text disappeared.  I started in again.  Once more, the text disappeared.  Still compelled, I started in again, saying:

Mike… It is because I have “regard for the living breathing women” that I warn against abortion  That I cannot endorse the profiteering of Planned Parenthood.  Thirty some years out and about across this big country have taught me valuable lessons.  I may have been the one invited to speak, but I also became a listener.  I have yet to meet a woman who wanted an abortion.  Instead, women tell me that they felt “trapped,” alone, and without support during a very vulnerable time in their lives.  They knew other choices had been made in their lives which led to pregnancy.  Sex is not recreational; it is, rather, procreational.  A woman who has an abortion is no different from me.  In a moment of temptation, she chooses to become her own “god” and decide for herself what is right or wrong.  I am guilty, far too many times in a difficult situation, of trying to take control and be my own “god.”  But, I am a believer in Hope after my wrong and hurtful choice.  Yes, you recognized the “religious overtone” correctly.  My hope is in Jesus Christ.  Without Him, I’m left to despair in my own miserable mess.

A last count, 24 of my friends, relatives, or acquaintances have shared their abortions with me.  They asked me to speak up.  To warn.  To help other women avoid what they experienced following their abortion choice.  It is precisely because of “living breathing” women that I became a part of a “hope and healing” ministry for post-abortive women called Word of Hope.  It is because of “living breathing” women that I co-founded a caring pregnancy center where we walk with women throught their pregnancy and offer help to them and their families during the months following birth.  It is because of “living breathing” women that I started a small, but caring ministry called Titus 2 for Life in order to help older women confront the mistakes of their past and help mentor younger women to avoid similar life-changing mistakes.

Abortion is not an “induced miscarriage.”  It is not natural.  It is the intentional choice to end the life of a fetus (Latin: “young one”).  The “common prescription of two pills” as you mention, reveals that action is being taken on the part of the doctor and mother to intentionally end a pregnancy or, more honestly, the life of a “young one.”  Miscarriage is very, very different.  It is not the choice of the mother.  It is something that happens beyond the mother’s control.

You are correct that I, as you, have “every right to [my] views and ideologies.”  That’s the beauty of living in a land where freedoms of religion and speech are protected.  It is because I believe in the God who creates, loves, and redeems life that I speak up.  Warn.  Help and support others in times of difficulty.  Because, you see, I believe I am more than body and mind.  I am also soul.  My soul, and therefore my relationship to the Creator of my soul, matters.  All may not be well with my physical life or with my emotional life (after all, it’s a hard and sinful world), but I most certainly desire that all be well with my soul.  I desire this, also, for every “living breathing woman” and man.  Our souls become right because of Jesus.

I appreciate the fact that you cared enough to comment, Mike.  Thank you.

Word of Hope — The Lighthouse Center of Hope Titus 2 for Life

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