Friday, February 27, 2009

(Mis)informed Consumers

"You have no doubt heard stories about a possible link between birth control pills and breast cancer. Whether or not this link is real is difficult to determine, however, since the results from various studies are conflicting.

Yes, the more hormones you put into your body, the greater your risk of getting breast cancer. But if you're on birth control pills for short periods of time, your risks are minimal. Even if you're on the Pill for more than 10 years, your risk of breast cancer may increase, but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll get it.

The birth control pills on the market today contain a lower dose of hormones than they did previously, so Pill users of today face a somewhat lower risk of breast cancer than Pill users of decades ago. Also, girls who start their periods when they're really young and stop them when they're really old are more at risk of breat cancer.

Many factors come into play when talking about breast cancer. The best we can say right now about a link between birth control pills and breast cancer is....maybe."

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,243098,00.html?sPage=fnc/health/sexualhealth

Dr. Manny Alvarez is the managing editor of health news at FOXNews.com, and is a regular medical contributor on the FOX News Channel. He is chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Additionally, Alvarez is Adjunct Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York University School of Medicine in New York City.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Whatever you Choose...

I'll support you.
It's your choice, really.
I want you to know I'll be here for you no matter what you decide to do.

Disgusting, deceitful and empty platitudes. Imagine the following scenario: a young girl approaches her boyfriend carrying a positive pregnancy test, and, thrusting it into his hands, pats him worriedly on the back while making soothing comments like, "I'm here for you" and "whatever you choose, I'll support you 100%."

Can you imagine the incredulity, the loneliness, the fear such a reaction would surely incite in someone facing an "unplanned" pregnancy. To be told, essentially, it's your problem... but I'm here to help you deal with it.

This is such cowardice, and every day it happens to 13, 14, 15 year-old girls who are facing life-altering (and too frequently, life-ending) decisions about their futures. And dad? That's right, the other party responsible for participation in the creative act that, along with the uncompromising cooperation of Almighty God, resulted in the unique generation of an immortal human soul. Oh, well, he'll support whatever decision you arrive at, he'll even pay for it if you really press him.

I'm not being fair. It's common knowledge that abortion is a complex issue, a difficult decision for anyone to arrive at. But it shouldn't even be an option. It shouldn't be in the vocabulary of a 17-year old girl or a 16-year old boy, terrified of the consequences of their actions and swallowing a lie that our culture would further poison them with. Abortion is not a solution, it is an end. It is final, it is fatal, and it cannot be undone.

After abortion, you will not be "unpregnant". Pregnancy is not a condition that can be cleared up with a pill. The pro-choice argument is fueled by a misconception that things can "go back to the way they were" before the unplanned pregnancy. This is false on every level. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, metaphysically (if we can go so far in our modern thought), everything about a woman is dramatically altered after conception. Where there was one, now two are. It is certainly possible to destroy the life of one or both, but what can never be accomplished is a rewinding, a reversion to the original solitude before conception, before the creation of life.

So many women choose abortion out of fear and ignorance. Assuming that a first trimester abortion will be less complicated, less traumatic, many go forward blindly in a desperate attempt to undo what has already been done, creating a lifetime of pain and regret in an attempt to regain control of one's life. The decision to carry an unplanned pregnancy to term is a difficult one, to be sure. It's a life-altering one as well. But it's not a life ending one.

Having a baby does not generally end anyone's life. An abortion, by definition, always ends someones life. If you are pregnant, you are going to be inconvenienced for 9 months (or possibly longer if you choose to parent), after which you have the choice to either raise your child or entrust his or her upbringing to someone else. This is the real freedom of choice, because a choice for abortion is a right we have wrongly asserted. No one, not even a parent, has the right to take the life of another human being.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Let Me Explain...

Okay, okay... so I've been a negligent blogger lately.

Honestly, I didn't think anyone would notice if I just... took a little breather. I mean, I couldn't think of anything to write about, and it was starting to feel like more of a chore to post something. Hence the proliferation of random internet delicacies and links to interesting news stories.

But I'm here to say... I'm sorry. I'm sorry for getting selfish and forgetting the reason I started this thing in the first place ... to speak out on matters of morality that were being maligned or mistreated by the mainstream media. And to bring a bit of ... hope... (the theological, virtuous kind) to a cold, cruel world that uses sex to sell and discards human beings like so much rubbish.

So I've refocused a bit, and while I may not be posting as regularly, be assured of a marked increase in the quality of content in the days to come.

Because otherwise, Elizabeth is going to kick my ass. Happy Saturday!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Some Choices Are Wrong

"She's a child, not a choice" has long been a catch phrase for the pro life movement. It's pithy and straight to the point. More importantly, it's accurate.

The firestorm of controversy surrounding Nadya Suleman, the single CA mother who gave birth to babies numbers seven through fourteen via in vitro fertilization, has sparked outrage- murderous in some cases - and left me scratching my head and wondering, since when do people care so much about babies?

Today I turned on my tv (shudder... won't be doing that again for a good long while) and subjected myself to about 20 minutes of the Dr. Phil show. What I learned during that time was that #1. People are really, really angry about the perceived problem of "overpopulation" and #2. the term "breeder" is henceforth to be used as a derogatory term inciting the same level of snide derision and vitriol formerly reserved for "fundamentalists" or "fascists" or "conservatives."

The point being, I suppose, that anyone who doesn't have the good sense to get their tubes tied and keep their legs crossed after babies #1 and #2 should be, oh I don't know, forcibly spayed.

Don't get me wrong, I think this woman is deeply disturbed and most likely struggling with mental illness. If nothing else, she has certainly displayed an abhorrent propensity for selfishness that doesn't seem likely to lend itself to the task at hand: parenting 14 children to maturity.

But why load the blame and the burden onto her frail shoulders alone? Can she - does she - bear the burden for having made the decision to carry 8 babies to term following a "successful" in vitro implantation? Whose responsibility is it to determine how many fetuses (feti?) are "too many?"

Not the mother's, it would seem. Nor the doctor's, whose careful practice facilitated her fecundity. It would seem, rather, that no one is willing to take the blame for the apparent lack of any and all common sense that factored into this equation.

But boy, are they willing to let loose their fury as hell hath not.

Dr. Phil was "kind" enough to play some of the voice mails left for Nadya on her former PR rep's answering machine, and the audio was chilling:

"She should...***** have her uterus torn out"

"I hope you and your family rot in hell"

"You disgusting filthy breeder, I hope you ******** die"

All charming sentiments any young mother would no doubt welcome on her return home from the delivery room. But sarcasm aside, what kind of double standard is being upheld here?

I mean, when "John and Kate + 8" sign up for fertility treatments and quadruple their family size, it's adorable and worthy of commercial endorsements. When a poor single mother from Southern California does the same, it's a crime.... Can anyone say class warfare?

How is it that if I am married, wealthy, and/or socioeconomically stable, I am entitled to have a family, but otherwise, it's a "desperate cry for help" or a sign of someone who is "seriously unbalanced"? Um, hello people... taking life into our own hands is ALWAYS unbalanced. We can't control it, can't possibly account for every possible outcome or variable. It simply is beyond our human capacity to control the means and the method by which immortal human beings come into being.

There's a reason it's tied intrinsically to marital sex. NOT that it can't happen outside the context of such; it can and it does. Every day. That's not the point. The point is, should it?

Should these children have to live their lives with the omnipresent reality of their mother being the recipient of global derision and death threats? Is it "fair" that they are developmentally disabled because of the failure of that same mother's human womb to carry eight unborn children simultaneously to term? Is it right that they will most likely end up in the foster care system at some point during their childhood, as raising one child - let alone fourteen - on one's own is neither ideal nor easy?

No.

But it strikes me that the timing's a bit "off" on these questions. This woman Nadya is being lambasted for not "selectively reducing" her octuplet pregnancy upon discovery of the gargantuan "success" of her most recent in vitro treatments. How is destroying one or all of the children any more humane? Seems a little deterministic to me.

But then, so does controlling one's own fertility to the extent which doctors - and parents - become as gods, knowing the difference between good and evil.

Or perhaps not knowing. Not knowing at all.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The long anticipated "25 random facts about me list..."

Because I'm so fabulous, you want to know all about me. (Let's be honest, that's why people respond to these things...)

Since these are all the rage on facebook, I figured I'd share my answers with you fine people. Enjoy!

1. I am the very definition of competitive. If there's a score being kept, you can be I'm watching it. If there's no official scoring in place.... well, rest assured I'm keeping tabs in my head.

2. I am a hot tempered choleric. It's the Irish in me...

3. I would literally kill for any one of my siblings. I welcome the opportunity to defend any or all of them against a physical/verbal/spiritual threat.

4. I really like to drink. I can consume approximately two alcoholic beverages at this point in my life and remain in control of my faculties, but I adore the taste and effects of a good beer.

5. I have a ridiculous number of girl friends... literally 8 or more whom I would consider a "best friend." It's just amazing.

6. In high school I was a pole vaulter/discus thrower/cross country runner/swimmer/diver... and I ate whatever I wanted. Things are a little different now...

7. I am dating my best friend, and it's the most amazing gift I've ever been given.

8. I read during movies. Unless it's a date or a long-anticipated red box purchase, I will always have some specimen of the written word on my person during the feature presentation. It drives Lizzie crazy.

9. I love to run. Even on the treadmill, but particularly in Wash Park. Saturday morning brunches consisting of coffee and/or Bloody Mary's are some of the best times in life.

10. I was once the person inside of the giant bird costume at Red Robin's. I was fired for skipping work to go skiing.

11. I once gave the following answer during a performance review - Boss: "If you could be any animal, what kind of animal would you be and why?" Me: "a mountain lion, because they're bloodthirsty." I was later promoted.

12. I have spent countess hours of my life on my knees, venerating a piece of bread encased in gold, metal and glass. Either He's the real deal, or I'm absolutely unbalanced. I'll take my chances...

13. I feel alive when I write. God is good enough to have given me a job where a prodigious amount of my time is spent cranking out various forms of text.

14. I can tell my parents anything. And much to their dismay, I generally do.

15. I'm a sucker for the latest beauty product/health trend/nutritional supplement. If it's been featured on Oprah or written up in a woman's magazine, I've probably tried it. Just ask Elizabeth...

16. I would eat Chipotle every single meal of the day, were it a financial and nutritionally viable option.

17. I am terrified by horror movies with satanic themes. I had recurring nightmares for 2 years after watching the Exorcism of Emily Rose.

18. I love to play football, and I have the scars to prove it. But I still don't really understand most of the plays.

19. I will spend my last dollar on good hair product rather than suffer the consequences of Suave. A traumatic, limp-haired childhood has rendered me unable to wash with less than $20 shampoo. Which is deeply unfortunate.

20. I believe Karol Wojtyla to be the greatest philosopher of the twentieth century. I agree with Dr. Janet Smith that "Love and Responsibility" will one day be considered among the great modern philosophical texts.

21. I love to argue. I appreciate a good verbal sparring match. I'm usually right.

22. When I'm wrong, I apologize quickly and sincerely.

23. I think pregnant women are the most beautiful thing in the created world.

24. I love coffee, but it makes me a little nuts. I've cut back to one cup a day... and it's killing me.

25. It is my singular goal in life to promulgate the truth of the profoundly damaging effects of contraception on the human person. I hope to share the truth with 50,000 women before I die.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Got Hope?

Real hope. Not "hope lite" being hyped by our hypocritical media, but authentic hope bred from a profound understanding of reality, and an expectation that God wants good things for us. For the sake of argument, I'd like to offer a brief analysis of real hope vs. hope lite.... with the "hope" of shedding some light on the matter. See if you can spot the differences...

Waiting around for life to begin/situations to improve/magical butterflies to fall from the sky and fill your pockets with government-issued stimulus checks: hope lite.

Getting up with the sun to face another day at a job that may or may not fulfill you, and choosing to keep your head down and fulfill your duty to provide for yourself and your family with a far reaching vision for a better future: real hope.

Attempting to fill the gaping ontological void in your life with a newer car/more money/better sex/the latest social cause: hope lite.

Striving to find real meaning in suffering; gritting your teeth and offering up discomfort or discouragement with the expectation that this too shall pass, and looking outside your self to find real happiness: real hope.

Saving the planet/whales/rain forests/arctic foxes by donating online or purchasing limited edition lattes at Starbucks while turning your head at the sight of grave injustices being perpetrated against the human person in the name of convenience: hope lite.

Going to an abortion mill to pray and offer sidewalk counseling to women and girls in traumatic, life-threatening situations, offering comfort and alternative options when only fear and death seem possible: real hope.

Venerating a political figure/celebrity/social justice movement as the answer to humanity's woes: hope lite.

Standing before the Cross and embracing the reality that until (and without) Him, all true hope was lost: priceless.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lost and Insecure, You Found Me

Women desire to be loved.

Not only that, but to be loved without condition and without end. This kind of love is promised in every chick flick worth it's salt, emblazoned on the cover of every check stand magazine, and proclaimed in earnest by love-struck adolescent males the world over on prom night... but is it real?

I don't think so.

Not in human form, anyway. Or not entirely in human form.

The Fray has a song out right now that speaks to my feminine heart, perfectly capturing that longing, that desire to be loved and wanted, and the seeming impossibility of ever feeling truly fulfilled:
Where were you, when everything was falling apart?
All my days were spent by the telephone that never rang
And all I needed was a call that never came...

Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me...
Lying on the floor, surrounded, surrounded
Why'd you have to wait? Where were you? Where were you?
Just a little late, you found me, you found me.

But in the end everyone ends up alone

Losing her, the only one who's ever known
Who I am, who I'm not and who I wanna to be
No way to know how long she will be next to me.

Maybe guys feel just as strongly about this. Maybe there's an aching longing deep within the masculine heart that I'm not as intimately acquainted with. After all, a guy wrote those lyrics.

I can't say for sure, but I have a sneaking suspicion we all want this. And a similar suspicion that there's only One place we can truly find that fulfillment. And that's in His arms.