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The Doctor's Corner: The Right to Bear Harms - The War on Thinking Women

By Dr. Dominic Pedulla, MD, FACC, CNFPMC, ABVM, ACPh
September 8th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In crafting our own "women's rights and well-being" argument, we ought first to note that the pro-abortion ideology, commonly known as "reproductive rights and health,"  is very - I mean extremely - threatened by the newer research showing that abortion, despite being touted as a woman's right (we normally think of a "right" as something of benefit to the person exercising it), is something uniquely harmful and traumatic to women. 

EDMOND, OKLAHOMA (Catholic Online) - Seemingly few commentators have noticed the deeper or more fundamental  conflict at stake in the phony and much politicized recent "war on women." 

Remember that phony charge? It targeted conservatives and others who oppose President Obama's HHS mandate, even though they for the most part framed their opposition strictly in terms of the defense of religious freedom, strictly avoiding the question of what benefits and harms women.

By framing the issue within these narrow confines, thus far conservatives have avoided a substantive answer to the charge that they are jeopardizing the real interests and rights of women. I say "so far", because while up to this point it may have been, for a number of reasons, tactically and strategically prudent to have proceeded in this way, the day is certainly coming when conservatives' own argument in favor of women's well-being will be articulately and intelligently made, and in that day, they can win back the ground they have inadvertently ceded -- simply by having not shown up to defend it -- to liberals.

In crafting our own "women's rights and well-being" argument, we ought first to note that the pro-abortion ideology, commonly known as "reproductive rights and health,"  is very - I mean extremely - threatened by the newer research showing that abortion, despite being touted as a woman's right (we normally think of a "right" as something of benefit to the person exercising it), is something uniquely harmful and traumatic to women. 

I think here of the frantic, screaming, hyperbolic responses of numerous supposedly objective scientists in response to the groundbreaking, scientifically unassailable, paper by Priscilla Coleman published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2011, showing that induced abortion is associated with excesses of suicides and other mental health difficulties.

Objections seemed to fly in from every conceivable direction, and reading them offered the very unseemly impression that the objectors were under severe emotional pressure to find every available nearby stick with which to beat Coleman, all the while trying to appear objective. Coleman seems to be saying "let the science speak for itself," while her science-by-popular-acclaim interlocutors seem to be saying "we'll let the science speak when it suits our cause - then, and only then!"

And what about the ongoing battles over the very well-documented finding that across numerous diverse countries, populations, and researchers, abortion seems to be associated with a substantial increase in breast cancer rates?

The irony of this hit me pretty strongly when Romney was recently being accused of being the reason that a woman died of cancer, when the very policies pursued by his opponents very likely lead, worldwide, to thousands and possibly even millions of cancers and suicides combined, with the evidence suggesting all of it potentially attributable to the promotion of this very strange "right".

All of this alone is damning and indicts the reproductive rights crowd of falsely seducing the average woman into thinking it is the authentic guardian of women.

But there's more.

What about contraception itself?

When was the last time you heard any politician, commentator, or author of any kind feel as though he owed his audience a reason for promoting contraception as being necessary for women's well-being?

Who had a chance to rebut the infamous "scientific report" offered by the Institute of Medicine, which supposedly gave sanction to the HHS mandate on scientific grounds of benefit to women, but was created by an unaccountable group of ideologically driven appointees, as was even pointed out by one of its members?

Should this all just be accepted uncritically?

Are we seeing here an unchallenged tyranny of consensus?

Well, to borrow from a recent and popular statement: "we want this debate; we will have this debate; and we will win this debate!"

For too long women have been offered approaches which at the very best force them to choose only those rights the dominant culture will allow them to exercise, and at worst, lie to them about the true meaning of womanhood and the way to true well-being, health, and happiness.

Well, that is beginning to change.

Just as with the finding that abortion is uniquely harmful and traumatic to women, so to more recent research shows consistently that women are harmed in a variety of ways by choosing the contraceptive path to birth prevention.

This is especially alarming when there are highly effective non-contraceptive methods of birth prevention available, none of which - I mean none! - come close to doing any harm to women.

These, however, offer no huge profits nor secondary kickbacks for scientists and doctors, and solely focus on the well-being of women. How long will we put up with that? How long will women put up with that?

So what are the liberals who oppose the truth afraid of?

Do they want to shut down any discussion of what is truly in the best interest of women? Are they even willing to have that discussion?

Let's have that debate, and let the thinking women of our country decide.

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Dominic M. Pedulla MD, FACC, CNFPMC, ABVM, ACPh, is the President of The Edith Stein Foundation, Social Science Researcher, Interventional Cardiologist

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