Culture Challenge of the Week: “Women’s Health”
The past few weeks have been alive with talk about the urgency of “women’s health.” First came the Department of Health and Human Services’ regulations mandating coverage of contraception and abortion-causing drugs, with little room for religious objection. President Obama spoke gravely — paying his dues to the pro-abortion lobby — and announced that women would receive free coverage of contraception, sterilization and abortion-causing drugs, at no cost to them. No matter what.
All in the name of “women’s health.”
To the pro-abortion choir over at HHS, it mattered not that religious employers or those with conscientious objections to abortion-causing drugs would be required to pay for morally repugnant procedures. Their only song is an endless little ditty that proclaims that contraceptives and abortion benefit women’s health.
Funny how the liberals rarely question that mantra. Few proponents of teen contraceptive use mention the health complications that may accompany early contraceptive use.
For example, according to the NIH’s National Cancer Institute, women who contract HPV (an increasingly common sexually transmitted virus) quadruple their risk of cervical cancer if they’ve used oral contraceptives for more than five years, and young women who begin contraceptive use before the age of 20 also face increased risk of cervical cancer.
Oral contraceptives, such as Yaz, have been implicated by the FDA in causing a 75 percent increase in the risk of blood clots. And recent statistics put to rest the old argument that contraceptive use will reduce the rate of abortions: According to a 2011 report issued by the Guttmacher Institute, 54 percent of women who seek an abortion report they were using birth control in the month before they became pregnant.
In their haste to co-opt the field of “women’s health” for the abortion industry, liberals gloss over vital information about risks and side effects often associated with contraceptives and abortion, particularly for teens.
And if they stomp on the First Amendment in the stampede for free birth control and abortifacients, well, so be it. Nothing is more important than the abortion agenda.
With the HHS mandate still in the headlines, next came the Komen fiasco. A charitable organization, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation made a reasonable judgment — to avoid making grants to organizations under investigation and to prefer to give grants to direct providers of mammogram services rather than to organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, that simply refer women elsewhere for mammograms.
But the decision to defund Planned Parenthood provoked an angry outcry and demands that the funding be restored. Why?
To protect women’s health, of course.
The controversy — which ultimately led the Komen foundation to reverse itself and restore Planned Parenthood to its list of eligible grantees — proved once again the power of the abortion lobby. Karen Handel, the Komen executive who resigned because of the mess, called Planned Parenthood a “gigantic bully, [that used] Komen as its own personal punching bag.”
Are we going to let them get away with it?
How to Save Your Family: Take Back “Women’s Health”
I have supported Komen due to my own mother’s untimely death from breast cancer, but will no longer give it a penny. Why would I donate to an organization that funds both saving lives and killing them? My dollars will now only go to cancer causes that believe in the sanctity of all human life. Please join me in this commitment.
And both women and men need to insist that women’s health encompasses a whole lot more than sex and reproduction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists the top causes of women’s death as heart disease, cancer, stroke and respiratory disease — these and the host of other illnesses on the list should have first claim on our attention, support and funding.
But let’s also work to dispel the lie that women’s health and well-being require abortion. Abortion is not a matter of “women’s health.” It’s an evil that inflicts more pain and damage than the problem it pretends to solve.
And while many Americans hold differing views on the morality of contraception, the health consequences of hormonal contraception are a decidedly mixed bag for teens and young women.
Moreover, contraception that’s passed out like candy lulls young, single women into a false sense of sexual security: They believe the hollow promise that they can pursue sexual promiscuity (or “serial monogamy” as it’s called these days) with few consequences. But too often, STDs, abortion and broken hearts are the result. That’s not good for women’s health.
The best benefits to women’s health will accrue to those who conduct their sexual lives in accord with timeless moral prescriptions — not by the lies of the abortion-peddlers.
• Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.