Live Action President Lila Rose discussed the dangers of hormonal contraceptives, common myths surrounding these products, and concerns associated with women’s health in the following Q&A with Radiant Magazine.
The Catholic Church takes a tough stance against the use of contraceptives, but let’s take a step further and explore why hormonal contraceptives are not only morally wrong, but also medically harmful for our bodies.
It’s time to take back control and let our bodies run as God created and intended them to function. Lila Rose, president of Live Action, a new media movement dedicated to building a culture of life and to ending abortion, tells us what these contraceptives can do to our precious bodies.
1. How did you discover the negative health effects of a contraceptive lifestyle?
It’s been a journey that has spanned across the years. I’ve done a lot of research on the abortion industry, particularly Planned Parenthood, and in reviewing the way they operate, I’ve discovered that many of these organizations are structurally positioned to push hormone drugs onto women as a way of life. And typically, this starts for women at a very young age.
The kinds of expectations, problems and risks that this can pose for women often begin a cycle that ends with the same women returning to the same organization for an actual abortion. In other words, young women who initially were provided hormone drugs to prevent a life, at some point, return to the same place to terminate a life.
There is a link between those who begin a sexually active lifestyle before marriage and seek contraception with those who eventually decide to get an abortion. The statistics are startling: Over half of women are on a form of contraception when they get an abortion. In 2000, 54 percent of women had been using a contraceptive method during the month they become pregnant.
2. Given it is such a sensitive topic, how can the dangers of contraceptives be discussed in social conversation?
I think women are ready for the conversation. For example, just last year, Vanity Fair released an entire exposé on the NuvaRing. There have been class-action lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies that push birth control pills and hormone drugs on women because of the risks that they produce, and the deaths that they have caused. So, women are aware.
You can go online and read through the chat room conversations and see that women are discussing their fertility; there are a lot of conversations about the dangers and the problems with hormone drugs.
This is something that is a real problem for millions of American women, but there are self-proclaimed “pro-women groups” that try to silence the conversation because they are afraid of challenging the pharmaceutical status quo.
That is why it is so important for us to speak out, to draw attention to the risks and the dangers of hormonal contraceptives. We must ask the bigger question: Is this really the way to approach our fertility?
3. We understand the Catholic Church is against contraceptives morally, but from a medical perspective, why do you believe hormonal contraceptives are the wrong choice for our bodies?
First, it’s helpful to look at the history of some of the most popular drugs on the market, as well as drugs that have more recently made their way onto the scene. This history very clearly shows a pattern of severe problems that women have encountered because of these drugs.
I think it also helps to understand the role of hormone drugs, so that you can see the impact this has on the body’s natural process. Because synthetic hormones are emulating natural hormones, but are not actually natural, an imbalance in the body takes place that doesn’t solely impact fertility.
Our bodies are holistic in nature – our fertility does not exist in a vacuum. For this reason, hormone drugs impact everything the body encompasses, including mood, appetite, sense of self, emotional and psychological health, as well as physical health. The beautiful thing about the way we are created is that everything is intertwined. This also means that everything is impacted when we put unnatural things into our bodies.
As women, there are many ways we care about what we put into our bodies. Especially right now, there are a lot of great trends, some of which I love.
For example, many people are focused on eating organic, going vegan, avoiding processed food or certain chemicals in skin products, or even skipping the TSA at the airport. All of these behaviors are steps people take to care for their bodies. It seems like, more than ever, there is a priority we are placing on how we treat our bodies.
Yet, at the same time, there are millions of women who are refusing to look at contraceptives under the same microscope. There seems to be a disconnect, and it proves to be very harmful for women.
I really encourage women to be aware of their fertility. It’s unfortunate that so few women are truly aware of how their body’s fertility works. We are called to be self-aware and responsible, and this can start long before we are married with families.
God gave us our cycle, our bodies, and the way they operate for a reason – they are something for us to understand and appreciate. I think a really important message for women is to become aware of their fertility because it is something we can manage.
I encourage this well before marriage because it helps us to manage our lives as women by understanding our bodies, our own hormones, and the impact that they have on our emotions and psychological health. That’s something we as women should embrace and really take time to study.
Contraceptives are not the answer; the answer is natural family planning and fertility awareness.