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This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.
Posted on: Tuesday, May 31, 2016
A new metastudy shows increased risks of preterm birth for mothers who have previously had an abortion.
A meta-analysis of 36 international studies involving more than one million women has concluded that abortions are associated with “significantly higher risk” of subsequent premature births, and underweight babies.
Prematurity is, in turn, associated with far greater risk of cerebral palsy and other conditions.
Brent Rooney of British Columbia’s Reduce Preterm Risk Coalition said, “In May 2016 abortion-preemie denial became impossible.”
The study appears in this month’s American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, (behind a paywall) authored by Dr. Gabrielle Saccone and her research associates. It showed that a prior abortion or miscarriage was associated with a 52 percent increased risk of prematurity and also of greater risk of lower gestational and birth weights.
Posted on: Tuesday, May 31, 2016
today’s “trans movement”... takes us back to a time when women were valued based on their appearance, and whether they fit someone else’s preconceived notion of femininity. In essence, all it takes to be a woman today are [fake] breasts and good hair.
As a culture, we are telling women that the feelings and sentiments of a particular group of men – in this case, men who regard themselves as women – matter more than they do. That’s patriarchy by definition, even if women happen to agree to it.Thank you Pia de Solenni. We agree. A bunch of men telling us what it means to be a woman is not pro-woman! Thus does the Sexual Revolution devour its own young.
Posted on: Monday, May 30, 2016
An Australian study came out
with success rates for women over 40, using their own fresh (that is, not frozen from years before) eggs. The figures are shocking:
The latest, Australian-only numbers given to Four Corners by the industry show the chance of a live delivery for initiated cycles by all age groups for the year 2013.
The numbers for women older than 40, who are trying to collect and fertilise their own eggs, are extremely low.
The average Australian woman aged 41-42 years old has a 5.8 per cent chance of having a live birth per initiated cycle.
If you're 43-44 years old, you have a 2.7 per cent chance of having a live birth per initiated cycle.
And if you are over 45, you have a 1.1 per cent chance of having a live birth per initiated cycle — which is almost a 99 per cent chance of failure every time.If you are a twenty-something planning to "have it all," using IVF after 40 if necessary, I beg you to think again. You are being sold a bill of goods.
Posted on: Monday, May 30, 2016
Pro-Family Political Leaders and legislators: here is some low-hanging legislative fruit. Propose that your state standardize the reporting for all IVF clinics in your state. The measure you want is Live Birth per Cycle Initiated. This proposal allow you to educate the public, including women who are being misled by the industry. This proposal also allows you to take the moral high ground as a consumer protection advocate, in opposition to the fertility industry, which really does take advantage of very vulnerable people.
You don't want the number of pregnancies because not all pregnancies make it all the way to the birth of a live child. This is especially true with IVF because the rates of miscarriages and still birth are higher than for naturally conceived children.
You also don't want the number of "embryo transfers" as your baseline number. Not all women make it to the point of doing a successful embryo transfer into the woman's uterus. The woman may have difficulty at the stage of egg retrieval or fertilization for instance. Yet she has been through a cycle. Her body and soul have taken some abuse. It is not fair for the clinics to exclude these women from their "success rates."
This story quote a couple of IVF experts from Australia, but the point is the same everywhere. Women contemplating assisted reproduction have a right to know the actual probability of success, for the amount of money and physical trauma she will experience per cycle.
Fertility clinic websites have a number of different ways of reporting success rates. For instance, clinics may report success rates in terms of pregnancy, or they may report it in terms of live birth rate per embryo transfer.
IVF pioneer Alan Trounson said pregnancy rates were not helpful to the consumer, because some pregnancies were lost.
"What you need to know is the probability of having a baby, because you didn't come in to get pregnant, you came in to have a baby," he said.
On top of that, Professor Norman said clinics defined "pregnancy" differently in their website claims.
If you count a pregnancy at an earlier stage, or a later stage, the statistics change — and that also meant consumers could not make proper comparisons between websites.
"There's [a] big inconsistency," Professor Norman said.
"You'll find some clinics define pregnancy on the basis of an ultrasound.
"Others are included from 12 weeks onwards, so it's a bit of a mess all over the place."
Some clinics also present success rates in terms of live birth rate per embryo transfer.
But this does not reflect all those women who could not make it to the embryo transfer stage. If your eggs could not be retrieved, or fertilised, you are not included in this statistic.
Also, see Dr. Norman's "5 things to ask your fertility doctor."
Posted on: Monday, May 30, 2016
Leave it to pro-choice political operatives to make a blackmail threat against a pro-life politician and his family. And leave it to the King of Kings to bring light out of darkness and to write straight with crooked lines.
It seems that "an unnamed source" told Michigan State Rep. Lee Chatfield, a pro-life Republican, that they planned to make public information about his wife's abortion years ago. I suppose this was supposed to embarrass Rep Chatfield and his wife Stephanie that they would, do what, exactly? That he would stop calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood? That he would withdraw his sponsorship of a bill to ban abortions that dismember the child?
In any case, Mrs. Chatfield made her own decision to not allow herself and her husband to be manipulated by her past. She beat them to the punch and told her own story of her high school abortion. She told the story on her own terms: a story of rape, abortion, regret, forgiveness and healing.
When I read her story, I could not help but think how clueless the person who threatened must really be. Or maybe she/he/ze did not know the full story. The young Stephanie, a high school student, was obviously a victim of rape, the very sort of person the Sexual Revolutionary feminist claims to be trying to help. Stephanie did just what the feminist/sexual revolutionary playbook called for: she had an abortion. But the abortion did not solve her problem, as advertised.
I made a decision that I’ve thought about and regretted nearly every day since. It’s haunted me. It’s made me weep. It’s made it difficult to look in the mirror at times. I knew that what I did was wrong at the time, but I never imagined the weight and guilt that I would carry as a consequence.
I give Stephanie Chatfield a lot of credit for how she is handling herself. This is exactly what the Ruth Institute hopes more people will do: tell the truth about what happened to you. Reveal the lies of the Sexual Revolution. You will take the sting out of them. You will heal yourself, and heal others. As Mrs. Chatfield said:
No matter the intentions of anybody wishing to see this story go public, this I am certain of: God meant it for good and will glorify Himself through this....And to everybody reading this, remember what I had forgotten – that God is greater than our sin. I am confident that God can continue to use an imperfect person like me to bring Himself glory. And while the life vs. choice debate will continue to wage on, this I know for certain: I made the wrong choice. Yet, I plan to use my story to help girls, love others and serve as a living testimony of God’s grace and forgiveness.
This is the real, Christ-like solution to the problems of the Sexual Revolution. As I have said many times in my talks, if it is not Christ-like, I'm not the slightest bit interested in it. And if it is not Christ-like, it won't last anyway.
Share your story with us. We may include it on the Tell Ruth the Truth blog. You have no idea who may benefit from your experience.
Posted on: Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Politicians want power and to pass on their genes at any cost.
by Alana Newman, from her newsletter Coalition Against Reproductive Trafficking, sent May 15, 2016.
Let me tell you about my Senate committee hearing experience.
In the last several weeks, I have had my first legislative experience. For a decade now, I have focused my energy on story-telling, speaking, and publishing articles. I tell the truth—mine and others'—when and where I am invited. My skills don't naturally synch with political strategy, but regarding Louisiana's current surrogacy bill, HB 1102—I feel a great responsibility to share what I've learned and rescue my beloved state before the legislature makes a huge mistake.
I am greatly disappointed by the behavior of the proponents of this bill. They claimed that the provisions in their updated bill would not allow sophisticated people to exploit surrogate mothers (for example, not "allowing" commissioning parents to pay a surrogate to abort)—yet every move they've made thus far proves that sophisticated and powerful people will do whatever it takes to get what they want.
May 4th was the House Floor vote. It passed. The next step— the Senate Committee vote—appeared on the schedule for May 17th, which would have allowed for opposition voices to prepare, organize, and make childcare and travel arrangements to come to the capitol. However, on Monday May 9th at 4 pm, the schedule was changed and the committee hearing was rescheduled for Tuesday, May 10th at 9:30 am.
This was a shady move that gave opposition less than 18 hours (including sleep) to get it together and have their voice heard. I knew of at least four experts who were willing and wanting to testify, who could not because of the impossible logistics. This included former Yale professor, President of The Ruth Institute and author of Smart Sex, and Love & Economics, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse as well as Staci Gulino—a psychiatric mental health expert and former labor and delivery nurse specializing in attachment and maternal-infant health. Also wanting to attend and testify were two LA family life experts, David Dawson and Rickard Newman.
I heard about the schedule changes at 7:30 pm, and at 8 months pregnant, and even though my family is in the middle of moving, I woke up at 5 am to drive
to Baton Rouge and testify. I was mocked and literally laughed at during my testimony shockingly by Senator Gary Smith—who is the original author
of this bill and used two surrogates in order to have his two children with his wife, a long time state lobbyist.
The truth is that the authors of this bill felt that oh-so-intense need to pass on their genes, and were willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars
to use a stranger as a surrogate to do it. They are now using their power and political skills to change state law to appease their consciences.
The bill's authors claim to be pro-life, but they do not seem at all concerned about the sanctity and humanity of the many embryos that will be destroyed with this bill. They claim to be Catholic, but they have completely disregarded Pope Francis's condemnation of surrogacy along with clear statements from the LA conference of Catholic Bishops. They claim to be conservative, but they are at ease venturing into this massive social experiment on children whereby mothers are dehumanized as "gestational carriers" and the maternal-infant bonds are nowhere given consideration.
I tremble for the future of Louisiana. The law teaches—and this law teaches that birthmothers are unimportant and disposable.
People will go to great lengths to pass on their genes—that desire is what it is. But while families are good and every child a worthy human being worth infinite dignity—not every form of conception should be celebrated. Surrogacy involves serious health risks, human trafficking, eugenics, systematic abortion, and broken maternal-infant bonds. Therefore, we don't need it in Louisiana.
Please reach out to your state senator.
Posted on: Monday, May 16, 2016
I spent less than 24 hours in Tasmania.Yes, there really is such a place. I have a dear friend, Dr. Christine Wood who lives there. She is the director of evangelization for the Archdiocese of Hobart. That means she works for the heroic Archbishop Julian Porteus.
I got to stay with her and her husband. (For those San Diego friends of Christine, she is a newlywed: they got married on July 4 last year.) It was quite cold in Hobart, as it is winter there. Hobart is as far south of the Equator as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or Minneapolis/St. Paul is above the equator. We were glad we had our winter coats!
This is Dr. Wood and I in the Hobart airport, posing with a statue of a Tasmanian Devil. Sadly, I did not get to stay long enough to see one in the wild. I shall just have to go back!
Posted on: Monday, May 16, 2016
It's been a whirlwind tour so far! I have barely had time to sleep, much less write anything on this blog. I will tell this one story before I go for breakfast. I have done a couple of radio interviews with the Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC). After one of them, we dashed out to catch our plane. We left our badges with the security guard at the door. As we left, he said to me, "Round one to you!" I didn't quite understand what he meant. He said it again with a big smile. Then I realized: he had been listening to the interview and he agreed with me!
Never forget that the Sexual Revolution is now and always has been about the Elites imposing their sexual values on the common man and woman. Or as they would say Down Under, the ordinary bloke.
Posted on: Friday, May 13, 2016
Yes, I’m in Australia! My son and I traveled Down Under to be part of the Marriage Alliance educational campaign. The Australians are going to have a vote on the marriage issue later this summer. Australia is the largest English-speaking country that still recognizes marriage as a child-centered, gender-based social institution. We aim to help them to keep it that way!
Nick and I did get to do a bit of sightseeing today. We drove off to Dallas on Wednesday May 11. We boarded an Airbus A380 at 10:15 PM. We spent
the next 17 hours on the plane, and actually got quite a bit of sleep. By the time we landed in Sydney, it was nearly 7 AM on Friday, May 13!
We were rested enough to get going! We saw some of the iconic sights of Sydney, including the Opera House, the Harbor Bridge and the Royal Botanical Gardens. Saw some very cool birds we've never seen before!
Tomorrow, we'll get started. I’ll be speaking at churches, visiting people at barbecues, going to meetings in private homes, and giving media interviews. Please keep us in your prayers!
Friday, May 13, 2016, 7:33 PM, Sydney time.
Posted on: Wednesday, May 11, 2016
From the Cardinal Newman Society and a collection of Pro-Life Leaders on May 11, 2016.
Concerned by recent high-profile events at Catholic colleges featuring pro-abortion leaders — including Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, Bill Clinton, Wendy Davis and Vice President Joe Biden — 29 Catholic and pro-life leaders joined a statement urging Catholic colleges to “stand firm in defending truth and the Catholic identity of their institutions.”
The statement, released today by The Cardinal Newman Society, argues that such events betray the mission of Catholic education and endanger the spiritual well-being of students.
“We urge the leaders of Catholic colleges and universities to reject the culture of death” and refuse “to honor and award speaking platforms to public advocates of abortion and same-sex marriage,” the signers of the letter stated.
“There is no sensible appeal to ‘freedom of speech’ or ‘academic freedom’ to justify university-sponsored events or activities that hold up opponents of known moral truths for special honor, as if falsehood and immorality are to be celebrated and not firmly rejected,” the letter states.
Noting that “special honor” by a college can include awards, honorary degrees, commencement speeches and invitations to deliver prominent lectures, the signers of the letter assert, “[T]here is no ‘freedom’ in presenting lectures that include one-sided advocacy for evil; the university’s free choice to present such lectures has the consequence of binding young people in the chains of falsehood and sin.”
Citing Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Vatican constitution on Catholic colleges, the letter reminds Catholic colleges of their responsibility to teach truth and to conduct all official actions in accord with their Catholic identity:
We, the undersigned, urge Catholic colleges and universities to “consecrate [their selves] without reserve to the cause of truth” by teaching and upholding the sacred dignity of all human life and of the divinely ordered institution of marriage … The truths of the Catholic faith—and indeed, all human experience—are also clear: innocent human life must be protected, and the institution of marriage between man and woman is essential for children, family, and community.
The full text of the letter follows, along with the names of those who signed in support of the statement:
Committed to the Truth of Life and Marriage
An Appeal by Catholic and Pro-Life Leaders to Catholic Educators
We, the undersigned, urge Catholic colleges and universities to “consecrate [their selves] without reserve to the cause of truth” (Ex corde Ecclesiae, 4) by teaching and upholding the sacred dignity of all human life and of the divinely ordered institution of marriage, and by refusing to honor and award speaking platforms to public advocates of abortion and same-sex marriage.
Most recently, we are gravely concerned by scandals at three Catholic universities:
The Church’s expectations for Catholic education are clear: “A Catholic University’s privileged task is ‘to unite existentially byintellectual effort two orders of reality that too frequently tend to be placedin opposition as though they were antithetical: the search for truth, and thecertainty of already knowing the fount of truth.’ …Any official action orcommitment of the University is to be in accord with its Catholic identity” (Ex corde Ecclesiae, 1; General Norms, Art. 2, §4).
The truths of the Catholic faith—and indeed, all human experience—are also clear: innocent human life must be protected, and the institution of marriage between man and woman is essential for children, family, and community.
There is no sensible appeal to “freedom of speech” or “academic freedom” to justify university-sponsored events or activities that hold up opponents of known moral truths for special honor, as if falsehood and immorality are to be celebrated and not firmly rejected. (Such honors include awards, honorary degrees, commencement speeches, and invitations to deliver prominent lectures.) Moreover, there is no“freedom” in presenting lectures that include one-sided advocacy for evil; the university’s free choice to present such lectures has the consequence of binding young people in the chains of falsehood and sin.
We urge the leaders of Catholic colleges and universities to reject the culture of death and instead stand firm in defending truth and the Catholic identity of their institutions.
[NOTE: The following sign in their individual capacities. Titles and affiliations are provided for identification only.]
Father Shenan J. Boquet
President, Human Life International
L. Brent Bozell, III
President, Media Research Center
President and Chief Counsel, Thomas More Society
President, National Organization for Marriage
President and co-founder, American Life League
Dr. E. Christian Brugger
J. Francis Cardinal Stafford Professor of Moral Theology, St. John Vianney Theological Seminary
Executive Director, National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools
Mary Rice Hasson
Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
President, Students for Life of America
Founder, And Then There Were None
Jennifer Kimball Watson
Director, Culture of Life Foundation
Stephen M. Krason, J.D., Ph.D.
President, Society of Catholic Social Scientists
Philip F. Lawler
Editor, Catholic World News
Maria McFadden Maffucci
Editor, Human Life Review
Jeanne F. Mancini
President, March for Life Education and Defense Fund
Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D.
Founder and President, The Ruth Institute
Nikolas T. Nikas
President and General Counsel, Bioethics Defense Fund
President and CEO, Healing the Culture
Father Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
Patrick J. Reilly
President, The Cardinal Newman Society
Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg
Senior Fellow, American Principles Project
President, Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM)
Andrew T. Seeley, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Institute for Catholic Liberal Education
President, Catholic Advocate
Executive Director, Human Life Alliance
Executive Director, Children of God for Life
President, Ethics and Public Policy Center
Eugene J. Zurlo, KCHS
Chairman Emeritus, Catholic Radio Association