The HHS Birth Control Mandate - a Statement for Study

by Erich Heidenreich, DDS The recent decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandates that nearly all private health plans, including those of religious employers, must provide all prescribed birth control drugs and devices for women free of charge. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM "Freedom of religion" extends beyond worship in churches. We cannot force our religious beliefs on others, but neither should the government expect us to act contrary to our religious beliefs. Jesus bids us, ʻRender to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God'sʼ (Mark 12:17). We are to pray for and support our government wherever and whenever we can, but our consciences and lives belong to God. While Christians are called to obey political authorities (Romans 13:1-7), when human authority violates Godʼs will, Christians are bound to “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:28-29). The Lutheran doctrine of the two kingdoms does not promote quietism, but affirms that civil government is to be concerned with things other than the gospel and should not exercise its authority in the church (CA XXVIII.11-12), and commands the Christian to use political laws and public redress for the benefit of temporal life (Ap XVI). It is important, however, to remember as Christians that God does not guarantee us religious freedom in this broken world. In fact, it has been a common "alien work" of God throughout history to allow religious persecution to draw us closer to Him. Christianity has often flourished the most during times when the Church has faced her greatest persecutions. Our consciences belong to God and cannot be taken captive. They can jail us and even kill us, but they cannot take Christ from us or force us to act against our consciences. CONTRACEPTION Few people realize that this mandate is not about "contraception" per se. This government mandate requires that nearly all private health plans, including those of religious employers, must provide all prescribed birth control drugs and devices for women free of charge. What most people do not know is that all of these currently available prescribed birth control drugs and devices for women can act in a way that causes the death of the unborn through silent abortions. So, how can the government claim that abortion-causing drugs are not included in this mandate? Many people define "conception" as implantation rather than fertilization, since "pregnancy" is commonly identified as the point in time when a test detects the hormones which signal implantation. [1] However, even providing non-abortifacient "contraception" would still violate the consciences of religious people of many faiths. This includes not only Roman Catholics, but many other Christians who retain the teaching that all churches shared until just a few decades ago, that preventing conception violates the divine ordinance to "be fruitful and multiply." At least until 1959, the majority of LCMS pastors and seminary professors did not deviate from this teaching that it is a faithless act to refuse the blessing of a child. [2] BIRTH CONTROL To understand that obeying this mandate also would violate the religious consciences of those who have no objection to contraception, it is important to first understand the distinction between "contraception" and "birth control." "Contra-ception" works "against conception." According to this proper definition, contraception only prevents the union of an egg and a sperm.
Erich Heidenreich, DDS March 25, 2012 Page 1 of 5

in response to Christʼs call. BIRTH CONTROL Do not let the language fool you. this is not simply about religious employers being forced to provide free "contraception" . Many methods of "birth control" are. therefore. Pro-life Christians who hold that life begins at conception are. As a backup mechanism. remember that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. [3] Many people are unaware that birth control pills. and for the unborn. Treasure the freedom to put our faith into action in the public square while we still have it and. people have come to use these terms interchangeably. demonstrate His mercy through our love and compassion for all people. CONTRACEPTION VS. 2012 Page 2 of 5 . Erich Heidenreich. In other words they all can also act by causing the death of the unborn through a backup mechanism which causes a silent abortion. but which can also cause the death of a conceived human being." WHAT THEN DO WE DO? Oppose this government mandate and urge all who value religious freedom to contact their elected representatives to urge them to reverse this government action. injections.This process is known scientifically as "fertilization"." ABORTION This distinction makes it clear that. and birth control = the taking of life before birth. believing in Him have forgiveness of sins." One of the newest drugs called "Ella" can also destroy the placenta of a developing fetus in the womb. also compelled to confess that these drugs and procedures violate the commandment of God: "You shall not murder. life and salvation. Here we are using the terms in their literal sense. all of these methods can also work after conception to prevent the implantation of an embryo. causing a "silent abortion.all of which can cause abortion. so that all. improperly referred to by the general public and many doctors as "contraception. [1] "Birth control" includes methods that not only work as contraceptives. Unfortunately. The broader concern to all religious persons who are pro-life is the fact that ALL of the currently available prescribed birth control drugs and devices for women are also abortifacient. And show this love and compassion for the unborn by not being afraid to speak up about the abortifacient nature of all the currently available prescribed birth control drugs and devices for women." A general rule of thumb to help you remember is that all "contraception" (birth control) drugs and IUDs are actually abortifacient methods of birth control. therefore. But don't let the language of the mandate or the common language used in the media fool you. True God and True Man. Pray for your government representatives and leaders. for your friends and enemies. suffered and died on the cross and rose again from the dead on the third day.although that would still violate the religious freedom of many people. DDS March 25. If we were to use terms with their literal meanings. implants. but our consciences will always remain free as we continue to profess before the world the joyful good news that Jesus Christ. like the "abortion pill" known as ru486. contrary to the language used in the government mandate. contraception = prevention of life before it is conceived. This mandate expects religious employers to provide all prescribed birth control drugs and devices for women . conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary. These methods are not just "contraceptive. and IUDs do not only work to prevent conception. They can jail us and even kill us. Most of all. for doctors and pastors.

etc." If you agree and would like to be a part of that group. read: Godly Seed . There are also many Lutherans who still haven't ever deviated from this teaching.. and so-called "morning after pills" (such as Plan B and Ella). No. the same statements apply. and all intrauterine devices (copper and hormone IUDs). and I canprovide a new version when we have completed the update. <> Further resources available at <lutheransandcontraception. There is a group of almost two-hundred like-minded Lutherans. hormone>. 2012 Page 3 of 5 . Attached is a list of currently prescribed birth control drugs and devices for women and the FDA mandated product information statements which clearly point out their abortifacient>. <tinyurl. pp. Keep in mind that drug companies are still coming up with new drugs and devices. mostly pastors and their wives.blogspot.Footnotes: [1] Read Semantics Donʼt Change Truth: The social motivations behind new definitions. DDS March 25. ELS.a book published late last year by prominent historian Dr. and a growing number of Lutherans from the LCMS. please contact ehtoothdoctorgmailcom. and WELS returning to this historic teaching. [2] See Genesis 1:28 and 38:9-10. To learn more about the history and reasons behind this recent change in belief. 303-332. who support each other on a discussion group called "Quiverfull Lutherans. [3] This includes all birth control drugs (various preparations commonly known as "the Pill". implants. and injections. If the formulations are similar to the ones on this list. Erich Heidenreich. 1969). Allan Carlson Birth Control and the Lutherans: The Missouri Synod as a Case Study by Alan Graebner in the Journal of Social History Vol. 2. 4 (Summer. We are in the process of updating this to include all the newest formulations.

and all commonly known as “The Pill”] “Combination oral contraceptives act by suppression of gonadotropins. 0.00 mg norelgestromin. Although the primary mechanism of this action is inhibition of ovulation. March 2012 . In addition. PhD.5% in perfect use vs. 62nd ed. 2390).180 mg norgestimate.035 mg ethinyl estradiol Ortho Tri-Cyclen (Ortho).. 0. a standard compilation of the FDA-required labels for over 4.75 mg ethinyl estradiol Progestin-Only Pills (POP) (also known as the “mini-pill”) “Ortho Micronor® progestin-only contraception prevents conception by suppressing ovulation in approximately half of users.Abortifacient Effects of Chemical. 0. (p. 2012 Page 4 of 5 . other alterations include changes in the cervical mucus (which increase the difficulty of sperm entering into the uterus) and the endometrium (which reduce the likelihood of implantation)” (repeated at pp. 90 mcg levonorgestrel. Brand Name (Manufacturer). 20 mcg ethinyl estradiol Mircette (Duramed). 0. “close to 5%” in typical use (p. 0. it provides information on the most popular methods. 2007). 0. 0. Ortho Micronor (Ortho) 0. Heidenreich. DDS March 25.15 mg desogestrel x 20. 0. Progestational Component. 0.030 mg ethinyl estradiol x 21 Combination Patch “Although the primary mechanism of this action is inhibition of ovulation. 6. Of these pregnancies.This is a work in progress. Erich Heidenreich. 1057 [Seasonique].025 mg ethinyl estradiol Lybrel (Wyeth). and 3367 [Lybrel]). MacPherson. Combination Oral Contraception (COC) Pills [Also known as “Oral Contraception Pills” (OCP). 2399). (Montvale. 0. other alterations include changes in the cervical mucus (which increase the difficulty of sperm entering into the uterus) and the endometrium (which reduce the likelihood of implantation)” (p. slowing the movement of the ovum through the fallopian tube. 3 mg drospirenone. “up to 10%” are ectopic (p. 1056).035 mg ethinyl estradiol Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo (Ortho). it may inhibit implantation (by altering the endometrium).18 mg norgestimate. 3 mg drospirenone x 21.000 approved drugs. Estrogenic Component Ortho Cyclen (Ortho). lowering the midcycle LH and FSH peaks. 0. 2400). thickening the cervical mucus to inhibit sperm penetration. Ortho Evra (Ortho). and altering the endometrium” (p.03 mg ethinyl estradiol Yaz (Bayer).020 mg ethinyl estradiol Yazmin (Bayer). 1046 [Mircette]. NJ: Thompson Healthcare. 777 [Yasmin]. 785 [Yaz].e. Hormonal. While this is not an exhaustive list. The “failure rate” (i. 0.35 mg norethidrone Emergency Contraception Pills (ECP) “Plan B® is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization (by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or ova).15 mg levonorgestrel. July 2008 from: Physicians' Desk Reference.02 mg ethinyl estradiol x 20. DDS.250 mg norgestimate.01 mg ethinyl estradiol x 5 Seasonique (Duramed). and IUD Birth Control Products According to FDA Labeling Compiled by Ryan C. 0. 0. on-pill sustained pregnancy rate) is 0. Partially updated by Erich J. 2402 [Ortho Cyclen and Ortho TriCyclen]. 2399). 2411 [Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo].

Lo/Ovral. Read her remarks at the FDA hearing on Ella: http://www. which prevents follicular maturation and ovulation and causes endometrial thinning. Possible mechanism(s) by which copper enhances contraceptive efficacy include interference with sperm transport or fertilization. 0.frcblog. is a member of Emmaus Lutheran Church (LCMS) in South Bend. “The local mechanism by which continuously released levonorgestrel enhances contraceptive effectiveness has not been conclusively demonstrated.e. Next Choice and generic Levonorgestrel Tablets are the only dedicated product specifically marketed for emergency contraception. levonorgestrel (progestational component). Enpresse. Low-Ogestrel. The likely primary mechanism of action of ulipristal acetate for emergency contraception is therefore inhibition or delay of ovulation. a leucocytic infiltration and a decrease in glandular and stromal mitosis” (p. LoSeasonique. Nordette. glandular atrophy. However. and alteration of the endometrium. 765).“When taken immediately before ovulation is to occur. Note: Important information on the deadly effects of “Ella” on the placenta of a developing fetus: http://www. 2012 Page 5 of 5 .frcblog. Levora. Progestational Component Plan B One Step (Duramed). Sronyx and Trivora have been declared safe and effective for use as ECPs by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Plan B One-Step and Next Choice are available over-the counter to women and men aged 17 and older. Indiana. These actions produce its contraceptive effect” (p.” which is not said to be established until implantation in the uterus]: thickening of cervical mucus preventing passage of sperm into the uterus. Ella is available by prescription only. MD. Studies of MIRENA prototypes have suggested several mechanisms that prevent pregnancy [i. DDS March 25. 176 mg copper wire coiled around a polyethylene T-frame Mirena IUD (Bayer). Portia. and prevention of implantation” (p. Ella postpones follicular rupture. Jolessa. 0. Progestin-Only Injections “Depo Provera … inhibits the secretion of gonadotropins. alterations to the endometrium that may affect implantation may also contribute to efficacy. You can buy these pills by prescription if you are younger. 2612).65mL medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) Intrauterine Devices (IUD) “The contraceptive effectiveness of ParaGard is enhanced by copper continuously released into the uterine cavity. Progesterone agonist/antagonist Ella (Watson Pharma). ParaGard Copper T380A IUD. Depo Provera (Pharmacia.” (08/2010 FDA approved labeling) Brand Name (Manufacturer).com/tag/donna-harrison/ Donna Harrison. 104 mg/0. Quasense. Lybrel. She is an OB-GYN and the current president of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians.. released at 20 mcg/day from a polyethylene T-frame Erich Heidenreich. 30 mg ulipristal acetate Note: Ella. Lutera.75 mg levonorgestrel Next Choice. Upjohn). … MIRENA has mainly local progestogenic effects in the uterine cavity. 1052). Seasonale. prevent “clinical pregnancy. Morphological changes of the endometrium are observed. inhibition of sperm capacitation or survival.75 mg levonorgestrel Brand Name (Manufacturer). Ogestrel. Aviane. however. including stromal pseudodecidualization [endometrial thinning]. Seasonique. Lessina. Plan B One-Step.

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