Wednesday, July 02, 2014

My take on the Hobby Lobby Issue

1. What the ACA Mandate Says
"Through the Affordable Care Act, women’s preventive health care services – such as mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer, and other services – are already covered with no cost sharing under some health plans. The Affordable Care Act also makes certain recommended preventive services free for people on Medicare.  The law also recognizes the need to take into account the unique preventive health needs of women throughout their lifespan.
On August 1, 2011, HHS adopted new Guidelines for Women’s Preventive Services (Guidelines) – including well-woman visits, contraception, and domestic violence screening and counseling. These preventive services are required to be covered without cost sharing in most non-grandfathered health plans starting with the first plan or policy year beginning on or after August 1, 2012."1

2. What Hobby Lobby is opposing.
The Green Family, who are Christians and believe in the sanctity of human life from conception to birth (please raise your hand if you know for sure when exactly does life start), are opposed to the contraceptives that prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. "According to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Christian Medical Association, Catholic Medical Association, National Catholic Bioethics Center, Physicians for Life, National Association of Pro-Life Nurses include the Emergency Morning After Pill and the copper IUD (Intrauterine Device)"2
Did you notice that the only two methods of contraception they are opposed to are just those two? Meaning there is a whole host of contraceptive methods and devices they are NOT opposed to. Meaning "Women's Health" is not being threatened after all (but of course if you're in the business of selling news it makes for a more profitable gain to make those claims).
Lacking in all of this media attention has been a careful look at the facts of this case apart from the views of ones political preference, and I am here to offer those facts.

3. Emergency Contraception. Morning After Pill, IUD. Mechanism of Action.
So how does the morning after Pill and Copper IUD device work?
According to Williams Obstetrics (not catholic or religious by the way, just part of Med school's curriculum):
1. Morning After Pill or Levonestregel, which is a progestogen. "Progestogens prevent ovulation by suppressing the luteinizing hormone. Furthermore, progestogens increase the thickness of cervical mucus, which makes the passage of sperms more difficult. Likewise, they make the endometrium unfavorable for implantation."3.
2. Copper Intra Uterine Device. "The intense inflammatory response induced in the uterus, especially by the copper IUD, produces lisosomic activation and other inflammatory actions that are spermicidal. In the unlikely case that fertilization has occured, the same inflammatory actions are directed toward the blastocyte. Finally, the endometrium is transformed into a hostile environment for implantation."4 
And according to Novak's Gynecology (Again, not religious in any way):
1. Intrauterine devices
"Its contraceptive efficacy does not depend on the interference of implantation, although this phenomenon is also produced and it is the basis for the use of copper IUD for emergency contraception."5
2.  On Emergency Contraception
"It is believed that implantation of the fertilized egg occurs on the 6th day after fertilization. This interval offers the opportunity of preventing the pregnancy even after fertilization. This can be obtained by hormonal agents alone or combined, or with an IUD."6

4. Women's Health
I keep reading in the media and on facebook, and more specifically in an article a most shocking statement "Regulations made under the act rely on the recommendations of the independent Institute of Medicine (IOM) in its July 19, 2011 report Clinical Preventive Services for Women: Closing the Gaps, which concluded that birth control is medically necessary "to ensure women's health and well-being."7
Which begs the question, since when is pregnancy considered detrimental to women's health? Because that is the main use and purpose of contraception, to prevent pregnancy. Although in this country, in my opinion, hormonal contraception is overused for convenience, because who on earth wants to have the period every month? and certain medical issues like dysmenorrhea (painful periods) and endometriosis which is one of the major causes of painful periods, but I digress.
Back to my question, are there risks involved with pregnancy? yes there are many risks but on the other hand our bodies were created to birth babies. The changes that our bodies go through just to protect, nurture and grow that little baby is amazing. But aren't there risks with just about everything under the sun? There are risks with the hormones in your contraceptive device or pill of choice. Those hormones can be harmful to our bodies, you are at a higher risk of a blood clot while on birth control, you are at higher risk of certain cancers with prolonged use of hormonal birth control. You are at a risk of having pelvic inflammatory disease on the IUD, and at a higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy or even loss of a pregnancy while on the IUD. Those are the facts people. And we are calling that Women's Health? Now don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to all contraceptives, but I am opposed to the straw man arguments being used in this ridiculous debacle.
What about dieting? Dieting is absolutely necessary for men and women's health and yet I don't see anybody making a big fuss about our work paying for nutritionists. My husband's insurance only covered about 30 some dollars of  an almost 300 dollar bill for one nutrition class out of three that my husband is required to take if he wants to get an insulin pump. My insurance through work does not cover visits to the nutritionist.
What about exercise? Being fit and healthy is absolutely necessary for men and women's health as well. Why doesn't our insurance pay for gym subscriptions?
See it is all a matter of perspective. And nowadays, apparently, it is all a matter of liberals vs conservatives. It is like children whining to their mommy, "but he started it!" what sad hypocritical people we have become. Pretending to be all in favor of religious liberties except for when it opposes my political party's agenda.



1. http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/factsheets/2011/08/womensprevention08012011a.html
2. Wyam Kristen (AP) (June 27, 2013) "Hobb Lobby won't have to pay millions in fines as it challenges Obamacare birthcontrol mandate. Huffington Post.; Smith, Mailee (February 19, 2013)"Amicus Curiae Brief of Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetritians & Gynecologists, Christian Medical Association, Catholic Medical Association, National Catholic Bioethisc Center, Physicians for Life, NAtional Association of Pro-Life Nurses" Washington, DC.: Americans United for Life"
3. McGraw Hill. Williams' Obstetrics. 22nd Edition. Mexico DF. 2006. Pages 728-729. Emphasis Mine. Translated from spanish to english by me.
4. McGraw Hill. Williams' Obstetrics. 22nd Edition. Mexico DF. 2006. Page 738. Translated from spanish to english by me.
5,6. Berek, Jonathan S. McGraw Hill. Novak's Gynecology. 13 Edition. Los Angeles, CA. 2004. Pages 202,223 respectively. Translated from Spanish to English.
7. Dept. Health and Human Services (February 10, 2012). "Group Helatg Plans and Health Insurance Issuers Relating to Coverage of Preventitive Services Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - Final Rules" (77 FR 8725) Federal Register, GPO. Emphasis theirs.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

El temor de Dios

Alguien hizo la pregunta ¿porqué debo enseñarle el temor de Dios a mis hijos?
Aquí les dejo con las palabras del autor de Proverbios:
PROVERBIOS 2:1-15 RVR60-ES

Hijo mío, si recibieres mis palabras,
Y mis mandamientos guardares dentro de ti,
   Haciendo estar atento tu oído a la sabiduría;
Si inclinares tu corazón a la prudencia,
   Si clamares a la inteligencia,
Y a la prudencia dieres tu voz;
   Si como a la plata la buscares,
Y la escudriñares como a tesoros,
   Entonces entenderás el temor de Jehová,
Y hallarás el conocimiento de Dios.
   Porque Jehová da la sabiduría,
Y de su boca viene el conocimiento y la inteligencia.
   Él provee de sana sabiduría a los rectos;
Es escudo a los que caminan rectamente.
   Es el que guarda las veredas del juicio,
Y preserva el camino de sus santos.
   Entonces entenderás justicia, juicio
Y equidad, y todo buen camino.
   Cuando la sabiduría entrare en tu corazón,
Y la ciencia fuere grata a tu alma,
   La discreción te guardará;
Te preservará la inteligencia,
   Para librarte del mal camino,
De los hombres que hablan perversidades,
   Que dejan los caminos derechos,
Para andar por sendas tenebrosas;
   Que se alegran haciendo el mal,
Que se huelgan en las perversidades del vicio;
   Cuyas veredas son torcidas,
Y torcidos sus caminos.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Pursuing Holiness

Today I began going to a women's bible study at my church. We are studying a book by J. C. called The Pursuit of Holiness. It was such a blessing to me, to be surrounded by other women who love the Lord. We talked about how as Christians we have been delivered from the power of sin and are no longer slaves to it (Romans 6:1-12). It was refreshing to think about the implications of that, and convicting as well because although we have been freed from the power of sin, we still dwell in this body of flesh. This body of flesh in which, Paul tells us, dwells no good thing (Romans 7:18-25; Gal 5:16-17). So it's so easy to slip into this mediocre moralistic life in which outwardly we seem to be doing plenty good works and trying to be good, but inwardly we've become complacent and no longer actively pursue holiness. We justify our sin, succumb to temptation and try to excuse it. We talked about how our desires play such an important part in us succumbing to sin and temptation.(Tit 3:3, James 1:14-15, Eph 4:20-21)
So it gave me a lot to think about. In psalm 139:23-24 David asks the Lord to search his heart, but how many times do we search our heart, or ask God to search our hearts? maybe we don't because we know what we will find in there. But that is why remembering that we have been freed from the power of sin and Satan becomes so important, so crucial. Because it reminds us that we can say NO to sin, it reminds us that we should be daily seeking to honor and glorify God, it reminds us that God's mercies are NEW every morning, it reminds us that we are not alone in this battle, that we have the Holy Spirit indwelling in us who empowers us with the gospel, it reminds us that we have an advocate in Christ Jesus. It reminds us that we are to pursue holiness actively and that our desire should be to glorify God in all that we do. God has commanded us to be holy as He is holy.
So knowing this should lead us to repentance and trust in the work that Christ accomplished at the cross of Calvary and joy for how God has loved us(Romans 5:8).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Without Excuse

This Saturday we decided to go to Philly and do evangelism with our brothers from Grace Missionary Church at Center city Philly, at the Galleria Mall. There we met a group of young musicians, waiting at the train station in the mall. We had the opportunity to ask them if they believed that God exists, but they all answered that He did not.One girl said she knew God did not exist because she had never seen God. That it was all just a fairy tale.
This is what I would have said to her, had it not been for the circumstance of the encounter (they were annoyed by our presence and walked away).

"You say that you know God doesn't exist because you haven't seen Him. But we cannot say that just because we cannot see something therefore it doesn't exist. Take music for example, I cannot see a sound wave yet I know it exists because of it's effects and that it can be measured. But an uneducated person unaware that sound waves can be measured and who is deaf, could say that sound doesn't exist because he/she cannot experience it nor knows that it can be measured. But we know that just because this person cannot hear sound, and is unaware that it can be measured, sound doesn't exist.
see in the same way, you would have to know all that there is to know to say that you are certain that God doesn't exist. And we both know that you don't know all that there is to know. So in fact it is simply not possible for you to say with certainty that He does not exist. But I am here to tell you that He does exist and He has made himself known through His Creation(Romans 1:20), His revealed truth in Scripture (Heb 1:1-2) and His Son Jesus Christ(John 1:1-5), and now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.(Acts 17:30-31 ESV)"
Instead at the prayer meeting after the afternoon ended we prayed for her and the rest of the young musicians and we prayed for Philadelphia, that the gospel may go forth and God may bring salvation to many.



*Image by: David Castillo Dominici Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday, October 10, 2011

What if?

After we left occupy Philly Friday night, my husband asked "can you imagine if these people ruled our country?" And this not in a positive light. Here's an article that explains very well the sentiments of my husband's question: http://gostandspeak.com/OccupyWallStreetArticle.pdf
Us Christians have been so distracted with the entertainment of this world, being numbed by the entertainment that even the church brings us, and we have forgotten how the early Christians were "turning the world upside down" (Acts 17:6) with the gospel and NOT conforming to it or even imitating it. We admire missionaries for the work they do in foreign countries yet, completely ignore or forget how we can transform the world around us with the gospel right here at home without having to travel thousands of miles to a foreign country.
While I disagree with the underlying motives and worldviews of many of the protestors, I applaud their desire to go out and try to make a difference, to stand up for what they believe is wrong. Christian have the gospel, the power of God unto salvation(Romans 1:16). The Gospel is what transforms wicked hearts, and we should be out there proclaiming the goodnews of the gospel and pray that God will save and transform many. Always doing it for God's glory and not hoping in this world but in the next. And having full confidence that God will make all wrongs right, the wicked will be punished and Christ will reign(Rev 11:15).

Friday, September 30, 2011

Why do we sit still?: 180 Movie




Three years ago I was on my last year of medschool rotating through the Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital for my internship. I wrote a blogpost about a beautiful baby girl who was born premature at 24 weeks. The baby survived, but because her little lungs were not mature enough, and we didn't have the respirators she needed to be on, the baby only lived for around 18hours. It was an amazing thing to see her crying and trying to breathe, at barely 24 weeks. It begs the question, when does the baby become a human being? When it is out of the womb? after 30 weeks as some would love to say to justify their sin, or calm their conscience? After he/she has a heart beat? Who knows? This movie parallels perfectly the holocaust that is abortion with the holocaust of Germany. The same excuses that can be given for one can be used for the other. "Well I don't think jews or blacks or down syndrome or mentally challenged people are human so I think I will kill them. Well poor people or aids infected people will have a bad quality of life so I think it's better to just kill them." Sounds far fetched right? well that is the same logic behind abortion.
Please do not sit still any longer while thousands of babies are being killed in the womb. Do something! Spread the word.
But I do think that we need to do more than just spread the word, but to provide actual solutions to the problem of abortion. We need more counseling clinics, some of these mother's are poor and cannot support their babies even if they did want to keep them, something should be done about that as well. Education is needed, liberalism teaches that promiscuity is fine because morality is just based on what feels good, or as long as it doesn't hurt anybody(anybody but the baby in the womb of course). Just handing out condoms doesn't do it, it doesn't slow down promiscuity, it just makes it easier and acceptable.
But more than social reform what the world needs is the gospel, and good works such as social justice should accompany the preaching of the gospel.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

October Unprocessed 2011


I have signed up for a challenge for the month of october to eat unprocessed foods. I thought it might spur me to write more on my once-cherished-but-now-abandoned blog, and to help me make wise, conscious decisions about what I eat and cook for my husband. While I try to lean towards healthy foods and home cooked meals, it is very easy to go for sweet treats and processed foods to cut my cooking time in half and whip up a delicious dinner or breakfast or dessert. So with this challenge I will be sticking to healthy, whole foods recipes and a little creativity, while trying to stick to our monthly budget. I also want to think about doing things more for the Glory of God than for my superficial and physical benefits. Which brings me to the question, how can I during this month glorify God through eating unprocessed foods? Soon you will find out as I blog about my experience.