In "Twins on the Upswing" (Courier Times, 1/5/12), Mike Stobbe of the Associated Press reports that "The number of twins born in the U.S. soared over the last three decades, mostly the result of test-tube babies and women waiting to have children until their 30s, when the chances of twins increase." Unfortunately, Mr. Stobbe's piece completely missed the elephant in the room of unnatural "fertility" procedures and "reduction," which did not go unnoticed by the NY Times this past August:
- "reproductive medicine has produced a paradox: in creating life where none seemed possible, doctors often generate more fetuses than they intend. In the mid-1980s, they devised an escape hatch to deal with these megapregnancies, terminating all but two or three fetuses to lower the risks to women and the babies they took home. But what began as an intervention for extreme medical circumstances has quietly become an option for women carrying twins....
- Dr. Richard Berkowitz, a perinatologist at Columbia University Medical Center....[provided] a short history of reduction. Perinatology’s goal is to improve pregnancy outcomes, he said. Reduction began as part of that effort....
- Reduction is hardly the only area in which reproductive innovation has outpaced cultural consensus. Americans disagree bitterly about abortion. They also debate the ethics of egg donation, sex selection, gestational surrogacy and menopausal women being impregnated with younger women’s fertilized eggs. And yet all these options are now available, at least to those who are well heeled or well insured" (New York Times, The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy, 8/10/11).
As "reduction" is clearly a euphymism for abortion, it would scandalize many to know that a published expert and popular "reduction" practitioner (See 1 and 2.) is associated with a Catholic hosptial in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia!
There are absolutely ethical alternatives to such fertility issues as abortion/reduction, contraception, egg donation, and surrogacy. In the NaPro Technology Revolution (Beaufort Books, 2010), the OBGYN Dr. Thomas Hilgers describes devastating impacts brought about by "the release of the birth control pill, the legalization of abortion, and the introduction of in vitro fertilization...[to] the practice of obstetrics and gynecology and the health care of women" (p. 4). In a book which the pharmaceutical and IVF industries would no doubt like to see buried, Hilgers maintains that simple fertility awareness can be taught for postponing or achieving pregnancy.
While it was Hilgers' Catholicism that originally led him to complete rejection of contraceptives, abortion, and IVF in his OBGYN practice, his book demonstrates the devastating impact from all three on women's health. Hilgers' own OBGYN approach has had phenomenal serendipitous value. Chapters of his book share pioneering discoveries on such topics as the Effects of Stress, Recurrent Ovarian Cysts, Premenstrual Syndrome, Postpartum Depression, Infertility, Recurrent Miscarriage, Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Disease, Absence of Menstrual Periods, Male Infertility, Menstrual Cramps & Pelvic Pain, Chronic Vaginal Discharges, Unusual Bleeding, and Prevention of Preterm Birth.
I believe that the NaPro Technology Revolution should be required reading for all health care professionals, pastoral workers, and counselors - indeed for any adult truly concerned about the health of women and social justice. On March 24th at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Southampton, Dr. Kyle Beiter will be speaking on NaPro Technology at the annual conference of the Philadelphia Natural Family Planning Network. Additional information is available at