HHS contraceptive mandate threatens more than religious freedom

It’s an assault on sensibilities. Worse, it’s perpetuating the real ‘war on women’ along with the myths about a phony one. Because the drugs being claimed under the umbrella of ‘women’s preventive health services’ are actually dangerous for women’s health. Who’s talking about that?

Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, for one. She’s president and co-founder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute and one of the nation’s leading authorities on the causes of breast cancer and reasons for the soaring incidence of it over the past several decades. Her interest in investigating the abortion-breast cancer link started when she began seeing younger and younger women in her office with breast cancer and discovered abortion was a common denominator. Through seminars and reports and anything else she can disseminate, Dr. Lanfranchi has been trying to point people to this link as a warning, with science and scientific studies proving its cause and effect. Resources on that are available on the BCPI website.

So is the latest information on the risks of birth control drugs to women’s health. Video of Dr. Lanfranchi’s presentation at ‘The Pill Kills National Symposium’ and the Q&A followup are found here, along with a concise brochure making the most important points clear and punctuated. It’s called ‘The Pill Kills: The Life Threatening Medical Consequences of Oral Contraceptives’ and answers basics like ‘What is the “Pill”? and lists ‘The 4 Ways The Pill Kills’ among other essentials. And with about 82 percent of American women taking these drugs, they are essentials.

 I talked with her Monday, in light of the ruling last Friday by a federal judge requiring the government to make the morning-after pill available over the counter to women and girls of all ages without a prescription.

Dr. Lanfranchi said in the time since the FDA approved the birth control pill over 50 years ago, we’ve learned a lot about it’s effects and “we’re only beginning to understand the impact” it has had on women’s health. “A lot of people know something is wrong,” she said. “But they’re not being told by their doctors.”

By contrast, look back to 2002, she said, when ‘hormone replacement therapy’ was proven – and reported – to cause a 26 percent increase in the risk of breast cancer. “At the time, there were 30 million women on hormone replacement therapy,” she told me. “After this news came out, about 15 million of them stopped abruptly.” And a follow up report in 2007 showed a markedly lower incidence of breast cancer.

So why the silence on the risks of ‘The Pill’? “It’s a group 1 carcinogen,” Dr. Lanfranchi said emphatically. “It can cause blood clots that can be lethal. Women are fertile only about 100 hours a month, but they’re putting this molotov cocktail in their bodies the other three weeks and nobody is talking about the dangers.”

She is, and her voice has been added to amicus briefs in lawsuits filed by Hobby Lobby and others against the federal HHS mandate requiring employers provide access to contraceptive drugs including the morning-after pill, which threatens not only the religious freedom and conscience rights of employers, but the health of the women taking these drugs. The BCPI newsletter has more information on that action in its current issue, found online at their site.

This needs more coverage. Women are finding out the hard way, and trying to warn others because it seems no one else will. Help them. At least check out the information, even if you’re skeptical. Some people are paying a terrible price now for the deception and coverup of these facts. Countless others will, down the road. That need not happen.

Plan B for the ages

Funny, what relativism does to public tolerance for acceptable behavior.

In the relatively recent past, the “morning after pill” was controversial for use by women of any age. See

Emergency contraceptives prevent a pregnancy by preventing a fertilized egg from embedding in the uterus. They are intended for use within 72 hours after sex, but are most effective if taken within 24 hours. Proponents say requiring a prescription can delay access to the drug. 

But opponents point out the biological fact that “preventing a fertilized egg from embedding in the uterus” de facto constitutes an abortifacent that ends the nascent human life. Call it a fertilized egg, but it’s the beginning of a pregnancy when a woman becomes a mother and, as Barack Obama pointed out in a Father’s Day talk to men just a few years ago, responsibility does not end at conception.

So the proponents of Plan B who want no delay in accessing the drug want to end any human life that resulted from any sexual activity. This reporting plays on the misperception that pregnancy begins only at implantation of the fertilized egg. When it comes to human biology, you can’t move the goal posts.

But proponents keep defining standards down.

In July 2009, Plan B was approved for use without a prescription for females aged 17 and older, but girls under 17 needed a prescription.

Because of this aggressive campaign to aid and abet the sexualization of young girls, today’s announcement by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was frankly surprising.

The secretary of Health and Human Services overruled Wednesday a Food and Drug Administration recommendation that would have made the emergency contraceptive pill Plan B One-Step available over the counter to girls younger than 17.

Which is the first time I recall Sebelius acting against the forces driving to liberalize health laws and mandates to provide contraceptives, abortifacents and sterilizations to all ‘girls.’

The move by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius came as a surprise, controverting the advice of her own experts.

The FDA, which had lowered the minimum age of girls accessing Plan B over-the-counter to 17 in April 2009, was poised to make a decision Wednesday to make the drug available to girls of any age. FDA Administrator Margaret Hamburg in a statement said she had decided the drug was safe for young girls, but that the decision had been overruled by Sebelius…

In a memorandum explaining her decision, Sebelius expressed concern that the “label comprehension and actual use studies submitted to FDA do not include data on all ages for which the drug would be approved and available over-the-counter.”

“Yet,” she continues, “it is commonly understood that there are significant cognitive and behavioral differences between older adolescent girls and the youngest girls of reproductive age, which I believe are relevant to making this determination as to the non-prescription availability of this product for all ages.”

Popular pro-life writer Jill Stanek called the decision by the pro-abortion Sebelius “a shocking dose of sanity.”

Accurate description.

Human Life International President Father Shenan J. Boquet said the Plan B decision was “welcome,” but that his group remained “very concerned” about the impending birth control mandate.

“If this decision by Secretary Sebelius is truly about protecting the health of young women, then she will reconsider the HHS rule forcing private insurers and employers to pay for services to which they are diametrically opposed,” said Boquet.

“But, if this move is intended as a pragmatic one to alleviate concerns of those, such as the Catholic bishops, who are rightly concerned with her department’s activist promotion of contraception, then it will fail in its objective. The mandate must be reversed, and soon.”

At the moment, I’m sufficiently shocked by Sebelius’ decision to give her the benefit of the doubt. For all the leaps forward, this is only one step back. But one step in the right direction.