Monday, June 30, 2014

How Hobby Lobby Got It Wrong

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard about the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby today. This ruling was a huge deal in that it supported both religious liberty and personal freedom. While I am very happy with the outcome, I have been bothered with many of the details of Hobby Lobby's stance on contraceptives. See, the whole case is about how Hobby Lobby refused to comply with government mandates on providing certain drugs through insurance. Hobby Lobby does not want to provide "emergency contraceptives" because they believe them to be abortifacients. It is their position that life begins at conception therefore they do not support the use of drugs which could abort a fertilized egg (after conception but before implantation--which is when it's generally agreed upon that pregnancy begins). Here's a screenshot of an article I read where their representatives express this viewpoint: 


Specifically they refuse to pay for the contraceptives Ella and Plan B as well as IUDs. I agree with them on their stance that life begins at the moment of conception and that these two drugs could cause a fertilized egg (the earliest form of a baby) to be unable to implant and therefore die. But why are they okay with the use of the 16 other mandated contraceptive forms which work in the same way?

Let me share my personal story with you. After Jackie and I married, I chose to use birth control because that's what married people are supposed do. We were advised by many well-meaning friends to wait to have children and enjoy the freedom of our newlywed days together. Had I known then what I know now, I would have delighted in focusing on our new relationship as a FAMILY instead of indulging in the "freedoms" of being a COUPLE, however I listened to what culture dictated. I chose to use the Mirena IUD because I liked that I didn't have to think to take a pill everyday, and it was also appealing to me not to have a period at all. Eventually we decided to have a baby, I had my IUD removed, and several months later I became pregnant with Jathan. After his birth I again used the Mirena IUD. Then I began hearing talk among Christian circles calling IUDs abortifacients. I did the research and decided I was not comfortable with the way that the IUD prevented pregnancy. So I researched other forms of birth control to see which would be suitable for me and my religious beliefs. Much to my surprise ALL forms of hormonal birth control worked in the same three possible ways. First, they may work to suppress ovulation so that no egg is released to be fertilized. Secondly, they may work to thicken cervical mucous making it difficult for sperm to enter the cervix and head towards an egg. Thirdly, they may thin the lining of your uterus so that in the event that an egg is fertilized (conception), it will not be able to implant and will die. 

I went ahead and did that research again today and took some screenshots for you guys. 

Implanon (implanon-USA.com) is a implant that goes in your arm. Here's what it's website says about how it works (note: "it changes the lining of your uterus):


Nexplanon (nexplanon.com) is also an implant that goes in your arm. Here is a screenshot of its website:


It changes the lining of your uterus.

Othro-Evra is "the patch." (Orthoevra.com) It changes the lining of your uterus to "reduce the chance of implantation." 


Nuvaring is a vaginal ring. (Nuvaring.com) No page on its direct website said that it worked to change the uterine lining but if you read the prescribing information (the stuff the doctor is SUPPOSED to tell you) then you would find this under mechanism of action:


And of course if you choose a Mirena IUD like I did, please read their prescribing information (because your doctor probably won't). It indicates that it does indeed work to reduce the likelihood of a FERTILIZED egg implanting. 


Birth control pills come under many brand names but they all generally work in the same way. Here is a list of common brands and an explanation. You can visit your brand's website and read it there directly if you wish: 


So what about emergency contraceptives? I took the time to visit Ella.com, planbonestep.com, and mynextchoiceonedose.com as well. Can you figure out what they all have in common? 

Plan B:




Ella:


Next Choice:


They are all shouting, "Chill out! There's nothing wrong with us--we work in the same way regular birth control does!" 

Christians, we have been fooled into believing hormonal birth control is safe and morally upstanding. If you believe life begins at the moment of conception when egg and sperm are united, hormonal birth control is not for you. If you would not use an emergency contraceptive because you belief they work as abortifacients, none of these hormonal birth control products are for you. Please, please prayerfully consider what you are putting into your body and research how it achieves it's goal. 

Please, please, please also understand that using hormonal birth control increases your risk of cancer (especially breast cancer). Every single website that I visited mentioned this, and cancer.gov mentions this as well. We wonder why so many young women are being diagnosed with cancer; I believe this is a huge contributing factor. This is why I found the President's response to the Hobby Lobby decision so absurd. He asserted that this was putting women's health at risk. Quite the contrary, Mr. President, any woman who takes these drugs is at an increased health risk! (Interestingly enough do you know what cancer.gov lists as a way to REDUCE your cancer risk? Having "many" children and breastfeeding them!)

I am not sharing any of this to judge anyone for their choices or to try to push my personal beliefs on anyone else. I am sharing this because I wish someone would have told me. 

If you would like to hear more of my personal story or learn about alternative methods of birth control, please feel free to contact me! 



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Two Things

Two thoughts have been rolling around in my head lately. 

First, Proverbs 22:6. "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." If when you look around this world you see a lot of people who are not going the way they should be going, then you can almost be certain that no one trained them as children. Then you should not make that same mistake. TRAIN your children. Every day. Intentionally. 

Second, when considering grown ups who make decisions contrary to decisions you would make it's important to remember that they are grown ups. And grown ups have the right to make their own decisions. And most likely that doesn't affect your life as much as your lack of self-discipline and faith. Example: Christians who want to point out how everyone else is not living right but who have yet to ascend to heaven as a result of having achieved perfection themselves. (Talking to myself, too, here.) I say, live and let live. But REALLY live! Empty yourself of self and be filled then pour out the Spirit of true love. Others will have to deal with the consequences of their actions should they choose to reject the love you offer them through Christ but don't get hung up trying to micromanage people's lives. 

I guess what I'm saying is be real. Live fully. And leave a legacy worth sharing. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Keeping Toddlers Busy

I've seen and pinned lots of ideas on Facebook and Pinterest about keeping babies and toddlers busy. I love the idea of sensory bins and busy bags and water tables but today I thought I'd share a few things that have been working for us. 

If you have toddlers you might...

Keep a basket next to your bed filled with books you'd like to read, your journal, etc. and of course pens. 


Skip cabinet locks.


Keep your costume jewelry in a low drawer.


Hand them a coloring book and crayons. Watch them throw them down one at a time saying uh oh each time. 


Sadly I didn't get a picture of their banana smashing adventure or their favorite educational activity: tearing the entire toilet paper roll into tiny pieces and/or putting an entire roll of toilet paper directly into the toilet. 

What are some of your favorite ways to keep baby busy? 

Anyone want to babysit?