Supreme Court Sides With Life
June 27, 2018 | By Clare Venegas
When one of our nurses heard the news yesterday of the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of pro-life pregnancy centers, she asked simply, “Can we take down the signs?”
My answer was an unequivocal YES!
Yesterday marked a great victory for the pro-life movement, especially here in California. The high court ruled in favor of protecting the free speech rights of California pro-life pregnancy clinics against a state law known as AB775.
A bit of background—AB775, labeled with the misnomer of the ‘Reproductive FACT Act’, was signed into law in late 2015 after pro-abortion activists launched an undercover video campaign to discredit pregnancy centers and clinics. The law requires licensed clinics like ours and pregnancy counseling centers, most of whom are faith-based, to post signs or print disclosures about the availability of ‘free or low cost’ family planning and abortion services -- in direct violation of our core beliefs.
In January 2016, when the law went into effect, we reluctantly posted the signs. Why? Because we knew that pro-abortion activists would not stop at the law’s passage, but would step up the pressure on local authorities to enforce the law, which finds clinics up to $1,000 per violation. That’s exactly what happened just a few months later in Los Angeles.
But several brave leaders, representing licensed clinics and pregnancy counseling centers, stepped up as lead plaintiffs to challenge the law. Represented by the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), they sought a preliminary injunction against enforcement of AB 775. Not surprisingly, the 9th Circuit upheld the law, saying the state had the authority to regulate “professional speech” and had a public health interest to do so.
The Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday rejects the 9th Circuit’s arguments, granting pro-life pregnancy centers and clinics a much-needed reprieve from AB775’s enforcement.
But the battle isn’t quite over.
Since the law targeted licensed clinics and unlicensed pregnancy counseling centers in slightly different ways, the Justice Clarence Thomas’ majority opinion concluded that the law “likely” violated licensed clinics’ First Amendment rights, but conclusively found it “unduly burdens” the protected speech of unlicensed counseling centers.
We believe, as I’m sure you do, that no one should be compelled to speak or act contrary to their deeply held beliefs. Our ministry is built on the fundamental belief in the beauty and dignity of every God-given human life. We have always been truthful about the services we provide – our patients are informed up front that we do not refer or provide abortion – so laws like AB 775 have no basis other than to coerce faith-based organizations to tow a pro-abortion agenda.
Justice Kennedy’s concurring opinion gets to the heart of the problem with AB775 –
This law is a paradigmatic example of the serious threat presented when government seeks to impose its own message in the place of individual speech, thought, and expression. For here the State requires primarily pro-life pregnancy centers to promote the State’s own preferred message advertising abortions. This compels individuals to contradict their most deeply held beliefs, beliefs grounded in basic philosophical, ethical, or religious precepts, or all of these.
You see, contrary to how pro-abortion activists will try to portray us, a patient’s decision about their pregnancy has not and will never be about coercion or judgement. Our doctors, nurses, and staff simply follow Christ’s example by loving her and serving her, regardless of her circumstances, so she feels supported no matter what choice she makes.
We are absolutely committed to providing each women facing an unplanned pregnancy the truth about her options – and that includes giving her an opportunity to see her unborn child during an ultrasound. By giving women the full picture, we are giving her the opportunity to truly make an informed choice about her pregnancy, and our experience shows that nearly 80% will choose life after seeing that ultrasound.
One of our nurses once described the work we do as “the last, best hope” for many who walk through our doors. Often times, our patients are living in precarious situations as victims of abuse, neglect, or poverty, and the pressure to abort can be overwhelming.
At Obria, we can only give them the hope, medical care, and compassion they deserve with your support.
Summer is an especially difficult time to meet the needs of our clinics. Unlike abortion providers or other community clinics, 98% of our funding comes from the charity of people like you -- pro-life families, foundations, and individuals, not from taxpayer dollars – and our clinics can only serve more patients with your support.
So, please, join with us in praise and thanksgiving for the Supreme Court’s decision. And stand with us on the front-lines for the protection of life with a gift of any amount today.
His for life,
Interim Executive Director
PS – Listen to my Relevant Radio interview here on yesterday’s “A Closer Look”.
I was not pro-life before. My stance was “Of course I’m pro-choice, I am a woman”.
But it just didn’t make sense. Even through medical school, all along, we were told that it is a “blob of tissue”. Then it hit me…this is actually a baby. Abortion kills babies. After a great deal of research, I realized that God has a plan for every single baby that He creates and that He creates them from conception (Psalm 139:13). That’s when I became pro-life. I am Christian, how can I even consider not being pro-life?
Combining my medical profession with my pro-life beliefs at Obria So Cal was completely God driven. I’ll never forget the day at Mariners Church, when I heard a speaker from Obria (then Birth Choice) announce the opening of the medical clinics and their need for nurses. I thought, “If they could use nurses then they could use doctors.” After volunteering for almost four years, I was asked to become staff. I knew I could make better money elsewhere so I preferred to stay on as a volunteer while seeking medical work somewhere else. I started praying and I felt God tell me not to pursue other medical opportunities. When asked again to work at Obria Medical Clinics, I said yes! God had given me a clear signal. It’s amazing how God leads you if you listen and let him. He creates a path for you to do His will.
I just love being at a work place where our faith is so intimately involved in what we do. We can be so open with our faith, each other and pray boldly for our patients. Seeing all these ultrasounds and little babies at the young age of six weeks has strengthened my pro-life beliefs. Working with Obria So Cal has also helped me to be bolder in my pro-life stance with non-Christians and pro-choice individuals.
I’ve seen patients choose life and I’ve seen patients who ultimately chose to abort. We do everything we can to equip them to make this life altering decision. Our job is to love them and show them truth. We’ve had many cases where the mother aborted, but when she became pregnant again, she came back to Obria because of how loved she felt here. Having the support and acceptance that we give these mothers, gives them the courage to choose life. There are still more women out there that need God’s love and His truth about their baby.
God has had His hand in this ministry. We’ve had our ups and downs but He always provides. We appreciate your support financially and spiritually because we could not do this job without you. I know there is no way we could do this without our supporters. By giving of your gifts, talents and time, you are actually creating treasure in heaven. The only way we can carry out God’s will in the pro-life ministry here at Obria, is through generosity and prayer. You are the hands and feet of Jesus, just as much as we are. I am so appreciative and grateful for this work.
In Service of Life,
Carol Gardner, MD
Staff Physician, Obria Medical Clinics of Southern California
Save a life today
A gift of $300 can provide one ultrasound for women right here in our own community who are undecided about their pregnancies. Of course, we are grateful for a gift of any amount, or, you can donate in other ways, such as—
A gift of stock; IRA charitable rollover; Brokerage charitable gift account; Or as a bequest or planned gift in your will.
Donate online today OMCSoCal.org/Donate
Watch how your GIFT today SAVES and CHANGES LIVES at OMCSoCal.org > IMPACT or TEXT OBRIA to 91999 today!
Merry Christmas From All Of Us To You!
Thank you for your partnership with Obria this year. The gift of life is truly priceless. The De Lucio family pictured above is one of the miracles YOU helped make possible because of your support.
Alycia and Allen adopted baby Asher last July. Asher, which means "blessed" in Hebrew, just came back from celebrating his first Christmas with his grandma and grandpa in Canada. (Watch their story here.) Some of you met the De Lucios at our November Gala, and one couple in particular, stepped up with a gift to cover the De Lucio's adoption costs. Amazing!
We see miracles like this everyday and because of each and every one of you. Whether it's your monetary gifts, your helping hands, or your prayers--we would not be able to continue to bless women and children without the unending support of our donors and volunteers.
Our goal was to raise $975,000 by Dec. 31 to serve more abortion-vulnerable women in 2018. The numbers are in, and we raised $735,735!! THANK YOU!
If you haven't done so already, you can still make a gift online to ensure we continue making miracles in 2018. Your support will help our local clinics in Orange, Mission Viejo, Long Beach, and our mobile clinic serve more vulnerable women right here in our own community.
On behalf of the entire Obria staff, volunteers and patients, thank you and may God bless you abundantly in 2018!
His for Life,
The entire Obria So Cal Staff
The Best Decision I've Ever Made
December 5, 2017 | By Kathryn Morrison
Dear Obria Supporter,
Abortion or life?
Was I going to take the easy way out or was I really going to have this unwanted pregnancy?
Do I give up my Army career?
I asked all of these questions and more at twenty years old. Pregnant and alone, I didn’t know where or who I could turn to. I didn't know who I would tell the three hardest words I’d ever said, “I am pregnant.” It was three years into my Army career and I was passionate about being a soldier. I was a Nuclear Biochemical Specialist and I had plans to become an officer in the United States Army. I loved my life, my youth, my freedom to travel and be me. Life was good.
I knew life was about to change for me, but this was such a shock. I didn't know how to react, I was absolutely devastated. During the first few weeks of my pregnancy, I heavily contemplated abortion. It seemed like the easiest way out. I thought “How hard could it be? Just do it”. But that little voice inside my head kept coming back. Deep down I knew a tiny human being was growing inside me. Since I was a little girl, I had longed to be a mother. Now I was finally there, and ready or not, I was about to become a mom.
I searched for positive feedback and support but it was hard to find. Friends and family told me to get rid of this pregnancy--“You are going to destroy your life” they said.
Torn and confused, I made twelve separate abortion clinic appointments and failed to go to any of them. There was that part of me that didn’t want to have an abortion. One day, I just drove around Irvine, crying out to God asking him if he was really there. I had nobody. My parents didn't talk to me, the father of my unborn child wasn't a part of my life, and the majority of the people I thought mattered were gone at this time.
I came across Obria Medical Clinics (Birth Choice at the time). I went to check it out and was surprised to learn they helped anyone who was facing a pregnancy decision. Being open-minded and vulnerable, I walked in and was greeted with a warm “Hello, how can we help you?”
I explained to them my situation and they told me I came to the right place. I had no medical insurance at the time and I was already 5 months along. They helped me submit my paperwork to obtain the coverage that I needed. I received an ultrasound that day and saw my baby's heartbeat for the first time. The ultrasound, the heartbeat, and the touch of the nurse’s hand on my belly gave me the reassurance that everything was going to be okay.
I will never forget the impact that Obria had on me. The nurse asked if she could pray over me and my situation. I had tears in my eyes -- this was something that I desperately needed; to know that someone in the world was actually on my side. I didn't feel pressured or judged, and Obria became my family, my safe haven, my justification to keep this unborn child. I finally had someone in my corner who understood me. Obria gave me some much needed necessities like gas cards, diapers, blankets, clothes, and parenting classes. They were truly there for me through it all.
Gianna was born two weeks early and I was so excited to hold her. As soon as I gazed into her chocolate brown eyes, I instantly fell in love with her, she was a perfect, healthy baby. I still felt a bit of lingering guilt due to contemplating abortion, but that was in the past now and she was here. I had the drive to press on and become her protector, her mother. In the end, I had to forgive myself because after all, God is gracious!
Being a single mom was challenging, but Gianna brought me so much joy and love. All I could focus on was giving my child the best: love, a warm home, and raising her to one day make an impact somewhere in this big world.
Twelve years later, my daughter delivered a superb commencement speech at her 6th grade promotion. She graduated with all honors classes and is ready to start her own non-profit organization. Gianna has a passion for the less fortunate, she possess a heart of gold.
It scares me sometimes to think…what if I would have made it to one of those twelve abortion appointments? She wouldn’t be here, maybe I wouldn’t be here either. I still believe my daughter came into my life to change me for the better. She made me stronger, she made me love more, and she made me see life in a different light. When she was born, my life truly began and I began to live in a more meaningful way.
The world tells us differently. The world tells us that if you are pregnant at a young age, your life is over or you’ll miss out on too many important things. But you may also miss out on the things that were truly intended for you, like the calling to become a mother. Motherhood has shown me love in a way that I desperately hoped was real -- an innocent, pure unconditional love.
God has blessed me with four amazing children today and a husband who loves me unconditionally and truly loves Gianna like she is his very own.
Making that decision was hard at the beginning, but the day I held my daughter in my arms I knew that I made the best life decision possible.
Thank you for supporting Obria. They helped me make the best decision of my life.
A Special message from Gianna:
“As a middle school student, my favorite subject is History and English. My dream job is to be either a district attorney, doctor, or humanitarian. I have dreams of starting my own business called "Bags of Purpose." This is where I would combine my love of crocheting, and my love of different cultures to make this prosper. This non-profit is in the process of being made, the purpose is to show others real life struggles, appreciation of different cultures, and how we can help one another. My passion is to help the less fortunate and to give the love of crocheting to the less fortunate. When you have purpose, you encounter happiness.”
--Watch more stories at OMCSoCal.org > IMPACT and TEXT OBRIA to 91999 to give more young women the chance to choose life today!--
Obria's 13th Annual Gala 2017
November 8, 2017 I By Amy Brehm
It’s hard to believe another Gala has come and gone!
Thank you to ALL who sacrificed watching Game 7 of the World Series to come and celebrate life with 450 fellow pro-life believers.
And to those who couldn’t join us, we missed you! Here are two videos we showcased that evening that you can watch now:
- Alycia and Alan’s Adoption Story: See how God led this Obria family through infertility to adopt beautiful baby Asher
- Who We Are: Learn about how our Obria family helps those in their greatest hour of need
There is still time to help us reach more abortion-vulnerable women and save more lives!
Help us reach our goal of $650K. We have raised over $450K so far, and YOU can join our mission.
Text OBRIA to 91999 or click this link to give!
Your gift says you are willing to PARTNER with us to SAVE and CHANGE more lives:
- A gift of $100,000 can help us open a new clinic in underserved Anaheim or Santa Ana, two communities that have the highest rates of unintended pregnancy;
- A gift of $50,000 or more will help us expand to full prenatal care in our other clinics;
- A gift of $25,000 helps us buy a new ultrasound machine for our Mission Viejo clinic;
- A gift of $2,500 can provide the medical care needed to save one child from abortion, or provide funding for an entire year of one Beginnings program that equips new parents with basic skills to become successful parents;
- A gift of $1,000 can save 3 babies from a medication abortion, or fund 10 clinic appointments ;
- A gift of $300 can provide a single, 12-week supply of progesterone for women seeking to reverse a medication abortion or 2 ultrasounds for women who are undecided about their pregnancies.
We are grateful for a gift of any amount. You can also donate in other ways, such as the gift of stock or IRA rollover – see details HERE.
A gift of any amount shows that you are making our mission, your mission: to give young men and women, right here in our own communities, the chance to CHOOSE LIFE and build successful families.
On behalf of our entire Obria family, thank you for your partnership. You are in our prayers!
Abortion Pill Reversal is Real
October 11, 2017 I BY CLARE VENEGAS
Pro-abortion activists are launching a new fight to make the ‘abortion pill’ even more widely available. Last week, the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging a longstanding FDA regulation that requires Mifeprex, the abortion pill, to be dispensed only at a medical facility under a provider’s care, and only up to the 10th week of pregnancy.
Sadly, medication-induced abortions are becoming increasingly common; some estimates say one-third of all abortions are chemically induced.
But what activists and the mainstream media won’t tell you, is that medication abortions can actually be stopped – and the baby saved – by prescribing women progesterone, the naturally occurring hormone in a woman’s body needed to sustain the pregnancy.
The Abortion Pill Reversal (APR) protocol is real, and offers women who regret starting the abortion process new hope. Since Obria Medical Clinics of So Cal began offering APR in 2015, our doctors, nurses and staff have helped 38 mothers successfully carry their babies to term—healthy babies with no abnormalities; babies who would have been died in the womb without APR.
You can learn more about this life-saving work at our 13th Annual Gala on Nov 1 featuring keynote speaker, Dr George Delgado, the medical director for AbortionPillReversal.com, a 24-hour international hotline that connects women to APR providers in their community. Register online here for tickets, or to sponsor a table.
Amazon Smile For Obria Medical Clinics
JULY 7, 2017 I BY KELLY TRANCHI
By shopping at AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to Obria Medical Clinics of Southern California.
Support Obria Medical Clinics and start your shopping by clicking on the link above or go to smile.amazon.com.
Wonder Women 5K: Walk For Life
JULY 7, 2017 I BY KELLY TRANCHI
Over 100 walkers gathered in historic Old Town Orange for the first Wonder Women 5K Walk for Life on Saturday, June 24. Obria Medical Clinics, partnered with Casa Teresa, Mary’s Shelter, and the Lestonnac Free Clinic to organize the community event, which included the 5K walk, kids games, and a bounce house at Chapman University’s Musco Center for the Arts.
The ‘Wonder Women’ theme highlighted the organizations’ common mission– to serve pregnant and single mothers who need medical care, shelter, and other critical services that empower them to create the best futures for themselves and their families, often against tremendous odds. Walkers showed their support by donning capes with even some wearing costumes. Several Knights of Columbus councils, including from St Thomas More, La Purisima, Holy Family, and St John the Baptist, as well as support from local business sponsors helped make the first-time event a success, raising nearly $10,000.
A great sponsor of the event, Orange City Councilman Hon. Fred Whitaker, welcomed and encouraged walkers to continue to support a ‘culture of life’ in the city. Planning is already underway for next year. For more info on becoming a sponsor, contact Clare Venegas with Obria Medical at email@example.com or 949.916.0763.
Knights: Real Superheroes
May 22, 2017 I By KEITH COTTON
Over the past ten years, Hollywood has made a tremendous investment turning comic book heroes into live-action, highly profitable movies. Our culture is drawn to characters like Superman, Ironman, and the like in part because they are the only ones who can fight villains, embodying the classic narrative of good fighting evil.
One of my favorite heroes is Batman. I’m drawn to him because he is a superhero with no super powers. He can’t fly. He doesn’t have superhuman strength. But he works hard to develop himself emotionally and physically to do what’s right. He lives by a moral code -- he won’t kill the villains he fights -- but he protects the innocent, the weak, and those who can’t defend themselves from evil. He fights for justice because of what is right, not for personal fame or glory.
These characteristics perfectly describe the men that I regularly encounter at Catholic churches right here in Orange County -- the Knights of Columbus. They’ve made the fight against abortion and for the unborn as one of their primary causes. Like Batman, they don’t have super powers, but they work tirelessly and selflessly to defend the weak and innocent. They do so because they have hearts for true Christian service and a genuine desire to do what is morally right.
The Knights have been instrumental to Obria’s mission to give women who face unplanned pregnancies, by donating the ultrasound machines in our clinics. When women see an ultrasound, nearly 80% choose life. They have always been there to help Obria raise much-need funds to sustain our life-saving work, including offering Mother’s Day Roses at numerous parishes and providing funds to purchase medical supplies. The funds they donate go directly to supporting all of the critical programs we offer our patients, from free parenting classes, to pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and prenatal care, as well as abortion pill reversals, which have alone saved 28 babies since 2015.
In fact, just this year, Knights groups around the Diocese of Orange are rallying yet again to raise funds to replace two of our ultrasound machines that have been damaged beyond repair. The new machines cost nearly $30,000 and we know the Knights will once again come to our rescue, just as they have over so many years.
Thanks to the efforts of Knights councils such as St. Timothy’s in Laguna Niguel, St. Nicholas in Laguna Woods, St. John the Baptist in Costa Mesa, St. Thomas More in Irvine, St. Edward the Confessor in Dana Point, Our Lady of Fatima in San Clemente, St. Martin de Porres inYorba Linda, and many others, Obria has been able to save 7,338 babies and counting from abortion, as well as provide support to new moms and dads who choose life.
Thank you to the Knights of Columbus in Orange County, our superheroes, who continue to stand up for justice and who protect the lives of the unborn.
Our Amazing Nurses
May 10, 2017 I by Clare Venegas
Obria is blessed to have an amazing staff of medical professionals, from doctors who volunteer to staff and volunteer nurses, and medical assistants. In honor of National Nurses Week, I thought you'd enjoy getting to know these amazing professionals who have a genuine heart for serving those in need:
Why did you go into healthcare?
Kenzie, RN: "It sounds cliche, but to help and serve people. There are so many ways to serve and be a part of people's lives."
Megan, RN/Clinic Manager: "I lived with my grandmother and when she got sick, we took shifts to care for her. I learned what a beautiful thing it can be to share in that time of life with someone."
Dottie, volunteer RN: "My mom was a nurse, and ever since I was little, I always knew wanted to be a nurse. My daughter is a fourth generation nurse."
What is the best part about working at Obria?
Kenzie: "The relational aspect, and getting to know that we're involved in a patients' life, especially our prenatal patients."
Megan: "I have a lot of autonomy in the clinic, and I love the patient population we serve. It's different every day, and you never know what types of patients you're going to see."
- Marie: Anything outdoors, waterskiing, snow skiing
- Kenzie: Being active, running
- Dottie: Travel
Long Beach Clinic
Why did you go into healthcare?
Kerri, RN / Clinic Manager: "I love working with people and it's a practical way to serve others."
Diana, LVN: "I love to hep people, and I've always been drawn to science, health, and understanding the way the body works."
Annisa, Medical Assistant: "I love helping people and getting them what they need."
What is your favorite part about working at Obria?
Kerri: "Being able to connect and care for those who are under-served."
Favorite hobby or food:
Kerri: Outdoors - hiking, kayaking, camping-- and pizza
Annisa: Rock climbing
What is the best thing about working at Obria?
Lynette, volunteer RN: "I've been working at Obria either as a staff nurse or volunteer since 2005. The best thing has been the contact with patients, and being involved earlier in their pregnancy."
Colleen, Nurse Practitioner: "The best part is helping women with prenatal care and seeing them with their babies after caring for them."
Why did you become a nurse?
Colleen: "I've been with Obria since 2011 and as a child was always drawn to math and sciences. I've always been curious, especially when we'd visit people in the hospital. I was just drawn to wanting to help children."
Favorite hobby or food:
Colleen: Travel and poke bowls
Lynette: Travel and spending time with grandkids
Alycia, Telemed RN / Nurse Administrator
Why did you chose healthcare as a profession?
I was encouraged to do it as the responsible choice and was always fascinated by the sciences.
What is the best part about your job?
The best part of my job is mentoring younger nurses as they develop their management skills and watching them grow into what God has for them. The other part is the honor of saving babies from abortion through the abortion pill reversal process and getting to meet that little miracle once they are born- there is nothing more beautiful than that.
I love photography, leading abortion recovery groups and serving as the medical team lead at church
I love and miss everything with gluten or dairy in it
It’s been a good day when ____(fill in the blank).
It’s been a good day when someone’s life was changed (no matter how little) through our staff’s love and support and when they meet Jesus in us.
Last month, we celebrated the graduation of new moms and dads from our free 16-week Beginnings and Dad's Project parenting programs. We are blessed to offer these classes, taught by nurse educators, at churches near our clinics, and they are offered to both patients and anyone in the community seeking help for a healthy pregnancy and to better equip them to care for their newborns.
Our Orange graduates are pictured above with RN Educator Sarah (second from left) at Calvary Church in Santa Ana, and our Long Beach graduates are pictured with RN Educator Coco below (right) with our Long Beach staff, nurse manager Kerry and medical assistant Anissa, (second and third from right) at the Salvation Army.
If you would like to volunteer for Beginnings or the Dad's project, complete our Volunteer Interest Form here.
Can you support a mom who chose life?
March 18, 2017 I in Buena Park Clinic, Long Beach Clinic, Mission VIejo Clinic, Orange Clinic | by Clare Venegas
Some of you may remember Angela, the single mother of three, who shared her journey at our Gala. Angela had been a single mother of two in an abusive relationship when she became pregnant with baby number three. Read her story here.
Ultimately, after finding an Obria nurse who was able to provide an abortion pill reversal, beautiful baby Zoey Rosewas born last November.
Our nurse Alycia has kept in touch with Angela since then and just yesterday we learned that Angela lost the housing assistance she had been receiving through Interval House, a domestic violence shelter. So, she must move into a new apartment before April 1. While she can afford the monthly rent (she works as a paralegal), she cannot afford the $3,500 required for a security deposit and moving expenses. Our Obria staff will be volunteering to help the family move, but we are asking that you consider helping in a small way.
Obria’s Toby’s House fund exists to provide women like Angela with housing and other assistance. Can you donate $25, $50, or $100 to this fund to help Angela during this transition? You can donate today and in the “Please Designate My Gift” field, select “Toby’s House – Help for Angela”.
Too often, pro-life advocates are accused of caring more about savings babies and not about supporting mothers after the baby is born. We know this is simply not true, but we can prove our commitment and compassion for mothers who make the brave decision to choose life by supporting Angela today.
On behalf of all of the Obria staff, thank you in advance for your support!
Lower Abortion Rates? There’s More to the Story
Yesterday, the Guttmacher Institute released researchshowing that declining abortion rates can be attributed to dramatically lower rates of unintended pregnancy.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, identifies the higher use of long-lasting contraceptives, including IUDs and birth-control implants, as the key driver for the drop in unintended pregnancies —
Overall use of contraceptives increased slightly among women at risk of unintended pregnancy between 2008 and 2012, while use of highly effective methods—such as the IUD and implant—more than tripled between 2007 and 2012.
What the study does not note, and what abortion advocates don’t seem to see is the explosion of sexually transmitted disease rates, especially among young people. The Centers for Disease Control’s own website highlights the alarming trend:
CDC estimates that youth ages 15-24 make up just over one quarter of the sexually active population, but account for half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted infections that occur in the United States each year.
And earlier this year, right here in Orange County, health department officials released a bulletin warning of dramatic increases in STD infection rates — a 300% increase in syphilis, 138% increase in gonorrhea, and 46% increase in chlamydia — over the last five years.
Health officials and subsequent news coverage didn’t identify the cause the increases, but if use of long-acting contraceptives like IUDs has also tripled roughly over the same time period, it seems logical to suggest a correlation between higher contraceptive use and alarmingly high STD infections. IUDs and implants may be effective at reducing unintended pregnancies, but they, in fact, do not protect against diseases, including HIV, which are transmitted through sexual contact.
Unsurprisingly, the Guttmacher study’s author concludes that the reduction in abortion rates should lead lawmakers to “focus on making contraceptive care more available” by increasing government funding and “stopping attacks on all family planning providers.”
Yet, the negative effects of contraceptive use, especially hormonal contraceptives, have been well documented. Women using IUDs are at greater risk of increased menstrual bleeding and cramping, uterine perforation, and pelvic inflammatory disease. According to The National Cancer Institute, studies have shown that prolonged use of the birth control pill, still the most popular form of contraceptive, has been linked toincreased risk of cervical cancer and a small increased risk of breast cancer, not to mention other side effects, such as increased risk of blood clots, stroke, and fertility problems.
Ironically, another Guttmacher study noted in 2008 that over half — 51% — of women who had abortions reported using contraceptives in the month they became pregnant– an indication that contraceptives, including barrier methods and the pill, fail to prevent pregnancy more often than not.
Unintended pregnancies may indeed be down because of wider contraceptive use, but contraceptives give a false sense of protection from STDs and have arguably led to astonishingly high infection rates, especially among young people.
So while this study may be cause for abortion advocates to justify a push for more contraception, at taxpayer expense, read between the headlines and ask yourself: will that really improve women’s health?
Meet a Miracle #GivingTuesday
November 29, 2016 | in Buena Park Clinic, Long Beach Clinic, Mission VIejo Clinic, Orange Clinic | by Clare Venegas
Sometimes we forget that miracles are real.
At our annual gala earlier this month, Angela, an Obria patient, shared her very personal, miracle story. A single mother trying to make ends meet for her two young boys, Angela struggled in an abusive relationship and found herself pregnant in April — “As I sat in that office, I struggled with even being there because my boys are the light of my life, but I was very conflicted with how I could do it all by myself. “
She made an appointment at Planned Parenthood, and was given information about a medication abortion, which require taking pills to end the pregnancy before 9 weeks.
The decision Angela faced was agonizing — “I really could not believe I was even considering an abortion. 1) Because I am an adult 2) because I had an abortion when I was 15 and still feel guilt and shame over it. When I was 15, my mother told me it was my decision to have the baby or not, but she would not support me in any way if I decided to keep the baby. I felt pressured into that decision and I still grieve to the day over my actions.”
Still unsure, Angela went back to the clinic to proceed with the abortion– “I swallowed the pill, left, got into my car, and sat there for 30 minutes crying. I knew what I had done was wrong.”
But when she got home, and saw a picture of her two boys as toddlers, she dropped to her knees crying. “All I could think was what if I had an abortion with either one of them. I immediately googled ‘abortion pill reversal’ I could not believe what I was reading. There was hope and a procedure that could possibly save my baby’s life. I did not hesitate and called the hotline. They were so fast to connect me with a local clinic that could help. I received a call from Alycia at Obria within 1 hour. She was compassionate, non-judgmental, and willing to help in any way. She made me feel so comfortable and within 30 minutes I had the progesterone needed to reverse the effects. I was amazed how everyone went out of their way to help and their lightning response. They were constantly checking up on me and set an ultrasound within a few days to check on the baby. By the grace of God, my baby survived the process and I could not be more excited to welcome her in 2 weeks.”
Meet a miracle– beautiful baby Zoey Rose! Born 4 days ago, healthy and happy. She was saved from abortion through the grace of God.
Miracles are real. Just ask Angela.
Help us create more miracles by supporting Obria this #Giving Tuesday.