Thomas More Society Rallies Illinois State’s Attorneys in Support of Parental Notice

November 22, 2010

CHICAGO (MetroCatholic) — Today, the Thomas More Society took another step toward the long-overdue enforcement of Illinois’ Parental Notice of Abortion Act. Society attorneys filed a “friend of the court” brief in the Illinois Appellate Court on behalf of a bipartisan group of Illinois State’s Attorneys, urging the rejection of the American Civil Liberties Union’s latest attack on the Act’s constitutionality. The ACLU contends that the Act violates the privacy, due process and equal protection guarantees in the Illinois Constitution of 1970.

The parental notice law requires an abortion doctor to notify a parent, grandparent, stepparent living in the household or legal guardian before performing an abortion on a minor, unless the minor states in writing that she is a victim of abuse or secures a confidential “judicial bypass.” Although the Illinois General Assembly enacted the current parental notice law on a bipartisan basis more than 15 years ago, the law has not gone into effect because of the ACLU’s federal and state court challenges. Though upheld by a Cook County judge, the law’s enforcement was still “stayed” by agreement of the ACLU and Attorney General, pending a final ruling on the ACLU’s appeal. Illinois is the Midwest’s only state without a parental notice or consent law in effect.

“We are thrilled that so many county prosecutors throughout Illinois support a parent’s right to know before a minor is taken for an abortion,” said Peter Breen, executive director and legal counsel at the Thomas More Society. “It’s long past time for Illinois to protect its daughters from ’secret’ abortions by affirming the right of parents to be involved in their children’s medical decisions.”

The amicus brief argues the following points:

  • The Illinois Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. On the contrary, the 1970 Constitutional Convention referred abortion issues to the legislature.
  • Numerous other federal and state courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have repeatedly upheld parental notice as constitutional.
  • The Illinois General Assembly properly found that parental consultation prior to an abortion promotes many legitimate state interests.

Thomas More Society special counsel Paul Benjamin Linton drafted the brief, which thirteen State’s Attorneys from across Illinois have joined. For more information or for comment from the Thomas More Society, please contact Stephanie Lewis at 312-422-1333 or [email protected]. For a copy of the brief, please visit www.thomasmoresociety.org.

About the Thomas More Society
Founded in 1997, the Thomas More Society is a national public interest law firm that exists to restore respect for life in law. Based in Chicago, the Thomas More Society defends the sanctity of human life, the family, and religious liberty in courtrooms across the country. The Society is a nonprofit organization wholly supported by private donations. For more information or to support the work of Thomas More Society, please visit www.thomasmoresociety.org.

Catholic Trio Plays Solider Field Prep Bowl

August 30, 2010

by: Tom Danyluk

CSN Staff Writer

For years they played a thing at Soldier Field called the Prep Bowl – public school champs versus Catholic league champs. Chicagoland football wars. The season’s grand finale. In the ’42 game, during the war years, they were raising right hands and swearing players into the service right there on the field.

And in 1937 it was Leo High vs. Austin High and 120,000 swarmed the place and that’s still the all-time record for single-game football attendance. The nearest threat to that total converged during a NFL exhibition in back in 1994, Cowboys versus Oilers and the rowdies of Mexico City. Announced crowd: 112,336.

The Prep title game has long since closed down, but a trio of generous Chicago football men have set up an annual event that honors the tradition of that old playoff. They’ve hosted for six years now, and it’s called The Chicagoland Pre-Season Prep Bowl.

“Three games in one day,” says Jim McHugh, one of the event’s founders. “The whole point is get some of the better teams in the area together – Catholic versus public, ideally – and give them a chance to play in a big venue, a pro stadium. So the kids can look back and say, ‘We had a chance to kick off on the same field that the Chicago Bears play.’”

McHugh has been working the clock at NFL games for 25 years. During the regular season it’s the Bears, then a to-be-determined site for his playoff duty. Last year he worked the Indy-Jets AFC title game, and the year before that it was Seahawks-Packers in the divisional round, in a pretty Lambeau whiteout.

“Snow so thick you couldn’t read the names or the numbers,” says Mchugh. “We had a helluva time keeping things straight for that one.”

McHugh says the Soldier Field thrill is sometimes a bigger deal to the officials assigned to the event than it is to the juniors and seniors out there tearing up the turfs.

“A typical high school game has five officials; we upped it to seven for this event and there are no shortage of volunteers,” he laughs. “They love coming down to work these games.”

The event’s other organizers are Tim LeFevour (GM operations, soldier Field) and Frank Lenti. Lenti was Donovan McNabb’s coach at Mt. Carmel High, and he stresses that another appealing part of this Prep Bowl show is luring back alumni from winning times and letting them work their magic with the crowd.

“The recognition of former championship teams,” Lenti says, “gives the fans the opportunity to see the best of our past, along with the best of our current student athletes.

“It’s a non-profit deal for us,” says McHugh. “The goal is to raise enough dollars to pay the bills, the cost of opening the stadium for a day. The satisfaction when it all comes together, that’s for free.”

2010 Chicagoland Pre-Season Prep Bowl Results

Game 1: Simeon 47, Mt. Carmel 41. Back and forth, a day of sprints to the goal line. Carmel falls one sprint short.

Game 2: Morgan 16, Providence 14. Last play – Providence man whacks a 47-yarder, plenty of distance but wide by a pencil length. “On a high school field, that’s good,” moans a voice in the press box.

Game 3: Notre Dame Niles 19, Fenwick 13. ND storms 65 yards late to steal it. Drama abounds. 30 years ahead, 121,000 will claim to have seen it.

Thomas More Society Files Motion for Immediate Transfer of Parental Notice Challenge to Illinois Supreme Court

August 19, 2010

CHICAGO (MetroCatholic) — This morning, Thomas More Society attorneys delivered the justices of the Illinois Supreme Court a motion to immediately transfer the legal case pending against the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995 from the Appellate Court to the Supreme Court. Arguing that pregnant minors at risk for abortion suffer harm every day that the Act is not enforced, the Society invoked the Supreme Court rule allowing transfer of an appeal when the “public interest requires prompt adjudication.” The pending appeal, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), is currently in the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, where a decision is not expected for a year or more.

“More than fifteen years ago, with overwhelming bipartisan support, parental notice was supposedly made the law in Illinois, but as we sit here today, secret abortions on pregnant minors continue unabated,” said Peter Breen, Thomas More Society executive director and legal counsel. “With this motion to transfer, the Supreme Court has the opportunity to immediately and definitively decide the constitutionality of parental notice in Illinois.”

Earlier this year, Judge Daniel Riley of the Cook County Circuit Court allowed the Thomas More Society to appear as “friends of the court” as he rejected the ACLU’s Illinois state constitutional challenges to the Parental Notice Act. However, after the decision, both the ACLU and the Illinois Attorney General’s office agreed to an indefinite stay of the law, extending through the duration of the appeal a temporary restraining order entered earlier by Judge Riley.

Since the Parental Notice Act was signed into law in 1995, more than 50,000 abortions have been performed on pregnant minors in Illinois, including almost 5,000 abortions on girls 14 years of age and younger. Illinois is the only state in the Midwest that does not have a law requiring parental notification or consent prior to an abortion, and more than 55,000 abortions have been performed on non-residents in Illinois since 1995, including an unknown number of out-of-state pregnant minors.

While the Act was passed in 1995, it was in late 2006 that the Illinois Supreme Court issued the Act’s required “judicial bypass” rules, which allow a minor a confidential bypass proceeding in court in lieu of notifying her parents. Notwithstanding the bypass rules, the Act also allows a minor to forego notification if she declares in writing that she is the victim of abuse. In early 2009, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected the ACLU’s federal constitutional challenge to the Act.

It is not yet known whether the Attorney General and the ACLU will support, oppose or remain neutral on the motion to transfer. A copy of the motion to transfer can be downloaded at www.thomasmoresociety.org.

About the Thomas More Society
Founded in 1997, the Thomas More Society is a national public interest law firm that exists to restore respect for life in law. Based in Chicago, the Thomas More Society defends the sanctity of human life, the family and religious liberty in courtrooms across the country. The Society is a nonprofit organization wholly supported by private donations. For more information or to support the work of Thomas More Society, please visit www.thomasmoresociety.org.

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Thomas More Society Back in Court to Enter ‘Not Guilty’ Plea for Second Arrestee Under Chicago’s ‘Bubble Zone’

August 12, 2010

CHICAGO (MetroCatholic) — Tomorrow, Thomas More Society attorney Peter Breen will once again be in a Cook County Circuit Court to enter a “not guilty” plea on behalf of a man arrested for standing on the sidewalk outside the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Chicago. David Avignone is the second arrestee under Chicago’s controversial “Bubble Zone” ordinance, which applies outside an abortion clinic to prohibit approaching within eight feet of a person to present a leaflet, sign or oral message to that person. Avignone, an MBA student at Loyola University Chicago, was arrested on July 8 and has been charged with disorderly conduct.

“David did nothing wrong — he was exercising his First Amendment rights on a public sidewalk, and this arrest is another sad attempt at scaring pro-life people away from Planned Parenthood,” said Breen, executive director and legal counsel at the Thomas More Society. In 2009, Breen presented testimony on behalf of the Society that the “Bubble Zone” ordinance is unconstitutional during committee hearings.

On August 3, the City of Chicago dismissed the same charges against Joe Holland, a Northwestern University graduate student who was arrested as he prayed the rosary outside Planned Parenthood’s Near North Side facility. Video of the incident showed Holland standing outside the entrance to the facility and praying, not approaching any individual to leaflet, picket or engage in “sidewalk counseling.”

Breen commented, “David and Joe, arrested within a week of one another, were arrested even though they were both standing still, which is perfectly legal under the ordinance. We call on the City of Chicago to end this pattern of illegal arrests and repeal its ‘Bubble Zone’ ordinance.”

The court previously granted the Thomas More Society permission to serve subpoenas on Planned Parenthood for relevant security footage and on the City of Chicago for relevant “911″ call tapes. The responses to those subpoenas are due tomorrow in court.

About the Thomas More Society
Founded in 1997, the Thomas More Society is a national public interest law firm that exists to restore respect for life in law. Based in Chicago, the Thomas More Society defends the sanctity of human life, the family and religious liberty in courtrooms across the country. The Society is a nonprofit organization wholly supported by private donations. For more information or to support the work of Thomas More Society, please visit www.thomasmoresociety.org.

Pro-Life Groups Praise ‘Real Reform’ at Chicago CCHD

August 9, 2010

By Patrick B. Craine

CHICAGO, Illinois (LifeSiteNews.com) — Pro-life groups are rallying behind the Chicago branch of the Catholic Campaign Human Development (CCHD), praising the organization for instituting real reform that they say should be taken as an example by CCHD nationwide.

CCHD, the U.S. bishops’ domestic anti-poverty program, has come under intense fire in the last year after reports that they have been funding numerous groups that promote abortion, contraception, same-sex “marriage” or other activities at odds with Catholic teaching.

But the Chicago diocesan office “went on the offensive for reform” after director Rey Flores came on one year ago, said Mary Strom, executive director of the Women’s Center, which is a Chicago-based network of crisis pregnancy centers.  Flores committed himself to defunding any group opposing Catholic teaching, particularly on life and family issues, and to giving funds to local pro-life groups, contrary to previous CCHD practice.

“Rey actually reached out to his greatest critics,” said Strom, “and he challenged them to recommend groups that they felt met the goal of CCHD and were worthy of receiving grants.”

Normally, 75 percent of the CCHD funds collected in a diocese are sent to CCHD’s national office for distribution nationwide; but with many concerned about the use of funds by CCHD national, Flores has made it possible for people to mail in their donation and request that the funds stay in Chicago.  Donations can also be directed specifically to life and family initiatives, economic development, or human development.

Flores has been successful so far in reducing the national cut to 50%.

Cardinal Francis George, the Archbishop of Chicago and president of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference, has supported the changes, changes which are particularly significant in light of the fact that Chicago is where CCHD first started in 1969; Chicago also still receives the largest collection among the dioceses every year.

Through CCHD’s support, Strom’s Women’s Center will be upgrading to a 4D ultrasound machine.  “It’s such a great teaching tool,” said Strom.  “It gives the women the opportunity to know the truth before they make such a devastating choice.”

They have also awarded a grant to Aid for Women, which operates the only pro-life pregnancy resource center in the downtown area.  Susan Barrett, the center’s executive director, said they recently had a gathering of the Chicago CCHD grantees and she was impressed by the quality of the groups.  “It was very impressive, and definitely all the organizations seem to be in line with the values and teachings of the Church,” she explained.

In addition to pregnancy resource centers, they have also committed to supporting pro-life activism.  The Pro-Life Action League, which is specifically dedicated to witnessing and sidewalk counselling outside abortuaries, also received a $15,000 grant this year.  Founder Joe Scheidler, renowned as one of the pro-life movement’s pioneers, had nothing but praise for the reforms at CCHD Chicago, emphasizing that they are working to change their whole image.

Scheidler noted that his group has boycotted CCHD in the past, but said they are now intent on supporting Flores’ efforts.  While he realizes that Catholics will continue to be wary of CCHD, Scheidler said his group is “trying to publicize the fact that there’s been a big change [in Chicago].”

“Hopefully within a few years other dioceses will follow suit and clean it up,” he added.

All three pro-life leaders insisted that their work is fundamental to CCHD’s aim to “end the root causes of poverty,” pointing out that single motherhood is the greatest indicator of poverty.

Barrett explained, for example, that they offer a mentoring program through which they help women develop a plan for their future.  “Quite often there are economic reasons for why they are considering abortion, … and so we’re trying to address that,” she said.

Ann Scheidler, Joe’s wife and League vice president, explained that for women seeking abortion, sidewalk counselling is “almost the only place that they are treated with dignity.”  “The sidewalk counsellor gives her that dignity that she needs to be able to hold her head up and take control of her life and be empowered to make the choice for life,” she said.

“I hope that [the reforms] will spread to the national level and I think there will be a lot of good fruits that result,” said Strom.  “People need to be supportive of this type of effort. … [Flores has] taken a lot of heat on both sides, and I think he’s done a great job of really focusing on the whole picture.”

Michael Hichborn of American Life League, who has been a key member of the Reform CCHD Now coalition, said they are encouraged by the steps being taken in Chicago.  “Chicago CCHD is taking real reform seriously and has already taken steps to ban several pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, and pro-Marxist groups from funding,” he said.

“National CCHD would do well to follow Chicago’s lead,” he added.

LifeSiteNews.com did not hear back from CCHD National Director Ralph McCloud by press time.
Contact Information:

Catholic Campaign for Human Development, National Office
3211 Fourth St. NE
Washington DC 20017
v: 202-541-3210
f: 202-541-3329
[email protected]

Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago
PO Box 1979
Chicago, IL. 60690-1979
Phone: 312-534-8230
Fax: 312-534-6379
E-Mail: [email protected]

Thomas More Society Enters ‘Not Guilty’ Plea for First Arrestee Under Chicago’s Abortion Clinic ‘Bubble Zone’ Ordinance

July 28, 2010

Grad Student Prayed Rosary on Sidewalk Outside Chicago Planned Parenthood

CHICAGO (MetroCatholic) — Yesterday morning, Thomas More Society attorney Peter Breen entered a “not guilty” plea to the charge of disorderly conduct on behalf of Joseph Holland, the first person arrested under the new Chicago “Bubble Zone” ordinance, which prevents certain types of picketing activity outside local abortion clinics. Holland, a Northwestern University graduate student, was praying the rosary on a public sidewalk outside the Planned Parenthood Near North abortion facility on July 3 when staff called the police, claiming that he had violated the new ordinance.

The “Bubble Zone” ordinance prohibits approaching within eight feet of a person, without consent, “for the purpose of passing a leaflet or handbill to, displaying a sign to, or engaging in oral protest, education, or counseling.” According to witnesses and available video, Holland was engaged solely in prayer activity and not in leafleting, picketing or “sidewalk counseling.” Video of Holland’s alleged disorderly conduct can be found online here.

“This arrest was about one thing: trying to scare pro-life people away from Planned Parenthood,” said Peter Breen, Thomas More Society executive director and legal counsel. “Joe Holland did nothing wrong — his only ‘crime’ was having the temerity to exercise his First Amendment rights on a public sidewalk. We look forward to defending Joe and others like him against the City of Chicago’s false charges.” During consideration of the new ordinance, Breen presented testimony that the “Bubble Zone” ordinance is unconstitutional, a position with which the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois agreed.

Thomas More Society attorneys today also served subpoenas on Planned Parenthood for security footage of the alleged disorderly conduct and on the City of Chicago for the 911 tapes of the calls placed by Planned Parenthood. The Thomas More Society is also representing David Avignone, the second arrestee under the “Bubble Zone” ordinance. Holland’s next appearance is August 3, and Avignone’s first appearance will be August 30.

About the Thomas More Society
Founded in 1997, the Thomas More Society is a national public interest law firm that exists to restore respect for life in law. Based in Chicago, the Thomas More Society defends the sanctity of human life, the family and religious liberty in courtrooms across the country. The Society is a nonprofit organization wholly supported by private donations. For more information or to support the work of Thomas More Society, please visit www.thomasmoresociety.org.

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Thomas More Society Backs Down West Chicago to Allow Pro-Life Demonstration Tomorrow

July 9, 2010

CHICAGO (MetroCatholic)- Yesterday, attorneys from the Thomas More Society, on the eave of seeking emergency injunctive relief in federal court, secured an agreement from the city of West Chicago to allow a pro-life protest to proceed there Friday morning.

West Chicago officials had notified the Thomas More Society early Thursday that the Pro-Life Action League’s “Face the Truth Tour” protest, which involves people holding abortion signage at busy intersections in various municipalities, would not be permitted to take place Friday morning in that city, due to a new ordinance for demonstrations and protests. Adopted just this past Tuesday by the city of West Chicago, the ordinance requires would-be demonstrators to apply for a permit at least 90 days prior to a demonstration. The ordinance also allows denial of a permit based on the city administrator’s determination whether he believes a demonstration will negatively affect public “comfort, morals, and welfare.”

After pointing out the various constitutional deficiencies to the city’s attorneys, Thomas More Society attorneys prepared federal court papers to secure an injunction to allow the protest to proceed. Just prior to the initiation of court proceedings, the attorneys for the city agreed to allow the protest and to take a fresh look at the West Chicago demonstration ordinance, with the assistance of the Thomas More Society.

“The West Chicago demonstration ordinance illegally restricts core speech protected by our federal Constitution. By agreeing to allow the peaceful pro-life protest tomorrow and to take a fresh look at that ordinance, the officials of West Chicago have wisely recognized the primacy of our sacred free speech rights,” said Peter Breen, Thomas More Society executive director and legal counsel. “Due to the increased legal action being taken against pro-life people around the country, we will continue to oppose ordinances like these to ensure that pro-life individuals can continue to exercise their rights to peacefully speak, pray and protest.”

About the Thomas More Society
Founded in 1997, the Thomas More Society is a national public interest law firm that exists to restore respect for life in law. Based in Chicago, the Thomas More Society defends the sanctity of human life, the family and religious liberty in courtrooms across the country. The Society is a nonprofit organization wholly supported by private donations. For more information or to support the work of Thomas More Society, please visit www.thomasmoresociety.org.

Does Natural Family Planning Hinder Spontenaity?

June 30, 2010

GLENVIEW, IL (MetroCatholic) - The following articles are from the Jan.-Feb. 2010 issue of “Family Foundations,” the publication of the Couple to Couple League International (CCL).

>>Does NFP prevent spontaneity by restricting intimacy?<<

They Say: Isn’t it unnatural to confine intimacy to certain phase of a woman’s cycle? Doesn’t using Natural Family Planning (NFP) to avoid a pregnancy prevent couples from freely expressing their love for each other?

CCL Says: This could be true if a couple only expressed love through sexual intercourse. But times of abstinence can teach couples to show love in other ways. A long conversation or a romantic date night develops emotional intimacy – which, in turn, enhances physical intimacy.

Times of abstinence also unite a couple in a shared goal. Galatians 5:21-23 lists both patience and self-control as fruits of the Spirit. When a couple must abstain during fertile times, they foster these virtues together. And many find that periodic abstinence actually increases their appreciation of physical intimacy.

There will be times in all marriages when physical intimacy is impossible: postpartum, during an illness, business travels, recovering from an injury. A solid relationship needs love expressed in multiple forms.

>>Does NFP fail to connect with modern couples?<<

They Say: My grandmother practiced the rhythm method. My peers contracept. How is NFP relevant to a modern couple?

CCL Says: NFP is fertility awareness and connects with the people in the pews today. CCL has risen to this challenge by revising its curriculum and teaching materials. As part of an inductive approach, teaching couples share personal testimonies with student couples, putting a face to the practice. We recognize the difference between a 2010 audience and a 1970 audience, and we are striving to help modern couples apply the consistent teaching of the Church.

Finding creative ways to relate NFP to contemporary desires does result in more effective communication with the culture. For example, the diocese of Madison’s “Go Organic” campaign successfully connected NFP with the organic food movement. One blogger wrote that NFP is “by far the most natural and green choice.” This is only one of many secular voices acknowledging the physical and environmental benefits of NFP. Repackaging the message can help achieve common ground with couples who are fed up with the alternatives.

At the same time, we look for new ways to communicate, the content of the message remains the same. NFP is the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church for valuable spiritual and physical reasons. It is timeless because God’s plan for marriage and sexuality is timeless. We simply seek out new ways to present these ancient truths.

* * *

Sign up for a membership at Couple to Couple League International at www.ccli.org, and receive “Family Foundations.”

>>Natural Family Planning Classes Taught<<

Classes in Natural Family Planning are taught in 17 locations in the Chicago metro area, including southeast Wisconsin and northeast Indiana. The next series of classes will begin Sunday, Aug. 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm at Holy Trinity Church in Westmont, taught by Chris & Debbie Lillig.

To register, and for a list of classes throughout the U.S., go to CCL International at www.ccli.org , (800) 745-8252. Chicago area NFP information is at www.naturalfamilyplanningchicago.com .

On Pill Anniversary, Pro-Life Action League Encourages Confident Opposition to Contraception

June 23, 2010

CHICAGO, (MetroCatholic) — To mark the day the U.S. Food and Drug Administration first approved the birth control pill 50 years ago, the Pro-Life Action League is encouraging pro-life activists across the nation to speak out against contraception.

“Contraception has radically altered sexual behavior in our culture and ultimately leads to more abortion, not less,” said Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League. “We want to empower pro-life activists to confidently articulate to the case against contraception, especially as we remember the day it was first approved for use in America.”

The Pro-Life Action League has assembled the following points to equip pro-life activists with the information they need to speak out against contraception.

  • The mentality of contraception opposes life. The unborn child is not seen as the natural consequence of sex but as a “mistake” to be avoided. When a woman does become pregnant, this mentality predisposes her to abort.
  • Contraception encourages risky sexual behavior, contributing to the 19 million Americans who become infected with sexually transmitted diseases every year, according to the Center for Disease Control.
  • No form of birth control is 100% fail proof. Consider this — even when the birth control pill is taken exactly as prescribed, 116,000 women still become pregnant every year. What happens to these 116,000 babies?
  • Just like birth control, condoms are not the answer. In fact, a comprehensive study by the Consortium of State Physicians Resource Councils found that as the use of condoms has increased, so has the rate of out-of-wedlock births.

“When the FDA approved the pill for contraceptive use in 1960, a chain of events was set in motion that led straight to the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that struck down laws protecting unborn babies in all fifty states. History has proved that — far from reducing the need for abortion — contraception only increases abortion,” said Scheidler. “We hope to educate more people about birth control and all forms of contraception and help them communicate this opposition more clearly.”

Additional information on these points can be found on the Pro-Life Action League website, http://prolifeaction.org.

About the Pro-Life Action League
The Pro-Life Action League was founded by Joseph M. Scheidler in 1980 with the aim of saving unborn children through non-violent direct action. Through prayer vigils outside abortion facilities and sidewalk counseling, the League reaches out to abortion-bound women and couples with abortion alternatives, confidential counseling and access to pregnancy resources. The League has closed eight abortion clinics in Chicago alone and nearly one hundred across the country. The Pro-Life Action League is a nonprofit organization, supported solely by private donations. For more information, visit http://prolifeaction.org.

Is Natural Family Planning Really Safer than the Birth Control Pill?

May 28, 2010

GLENVIEW, IL (MetroCatholic) - The below is from the May/June issue of “Family Foundations,” a publication of the Couple to Couple League.

THEY SAY: At the American Cancer Society web site, a January 2008 article called “Birth Control Pill Use Cuts Ovarian Cancer Risk” analyzes a comprehensive study published in The Lancet. This study found that the longer a woman takes the birth control pill, the lower her risk for ovarian cancer. Why not take the pill if it has preventative effects?

THE FACTS: While the pill may help lower the risk of ovarian cancer, even the authors of this article accept that increased risk of both cervical cancer and breast cancer have been linked to long-term use of the birth control pill, and the evidence of these links is stronger than this article acknowledges.

In an article on the One More Soul web site called “Breast Cancer Risk from the Pill,” Dr. Chris Kahlenborn delves deeper into this connection. He cites a Mayo Clinic meta-analysis indicating that women who took an oral contraceptive before the birth of their first child incurred an increased risk – by as much as 52 percent – of developing pre-menopausal breast cancer. Hormonal contraceptives may decrease the risk of ovarian cancer, but studies indicate that they significantly increase the risk for breast and cervical cancers.

As for the natural methods, there are absolutely no adverse health effects.

* * *
Sign up for a membership at Couple to Couple League International at www.ccli.org, and receive “Family Foundations.”

Natural Family Planning Classes Taught

The next series of classes in Natural Family Planning in northeast Illinois will begin Friday, June 4, 2010 at 6:30 pm at Holy Cross Church in Batavia, taught by Jill and Dustin Schadt.

To register, and for a list of classes throughout the U.S., go to CCL International at www.ccli.org. Chicago area class information is at www.naturalfamilyplanningchicago.com .

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