Sunday, 31 October 2010

Did YOU know? Important ethical information

Updated from a previous post from 3 years ago.

This is a sensitive area of discussion, but I'm willing to take the plunge! I hope I do not offend anyone - that is not my intent. My intent is to inform, to encourage your own research (don't just take my word for it!) and to decide what to do with this information (remember - doing nothing is also a decision). I have issued the challenge - are you prepared to take it?

Virtually everyone I have spoken to IRL has not been aware of this - for some reason this news is just not getting out. So, I'm doing my part to spread the word!

So, I'm going to start by providing facts, then I will provide links to some research I have done, and then I will state my opinions - I bet you can't wait for that part! :)

The fact - one of the ways the birth control pill works is to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. Assuming you believe that life begins at conception (as most Christians do) - this is a chemically induced abortion - a fertilized egg is a baby.

The pill works in 3 ways
1) The main way it works is by preventing ovulation. No ovulation = no possibility of pregnancy and therefore, no ethical dilemma. However, this is not 100% effective. Especially nowadays with the lower dosage pills being common, this is not anywhere close to 100% effective - which means the other 2 mechanisms often come in to play.
2) The second way it works is by changing the cervical mucous to prevent sperm from reaching an egg should ovulation occur. This too, is totally fine. Preventing fertilization is not wrong. However, this mechanism is also not always effective. This is when the other mechanism comes into play.
3) The 3rd way it works is by thinning the lining of the uterus so that should fertilization occur, it would make it much more difficult for the five to seven day old baby to attach to the lining in order to receive the nourishment needed to grow. If the baby cannot successful implant, the baby will die and be expelled from the body during menstruation - this is called a chemical abortion.

Assuming that life begins at conception, this is a serious ethical problem.

So, that's it in a nutshell. This is also true with IUDs, Depo-Provera and Norplant (in fact in some of those the abortifacient effect is it's main mechanism)

Here is some research...

The most comprehensive and detailed research I've found was done by Randy Alcorn who actually set out to prove that the pill did NOT work in this way. If you click on this link you can find Randy's article (I think it's broken down into 9 parts) as well as a host of other articles on the topic. Randy Alcorn interviewed everyone from the pill manufacturers, their pharmacists and physicians as well as numerous other medical texts and references.

Here's a few quotes from his article....

On March 24, 1997, I had a lengthy and enlightening talk with Richard Hill, a pharmacist who works for Ortho-McNeil's product information department. (Ortho-McNeil and Searle are the largest birth control pill manufacturers.)

I then asked Hill if he was certain the Pill made implantation less likely. "Oh, yes," he replied. I said, "So you don't think this is just a theoretical effect of the Pill?" He said the following, as I took detailed notes:

Oh, no, it's not theoretical. It's observable. We know what an endometrium looks like when it's richest and most receptive to the fertilized egg. When a woman is taking the Pill you can clearly see the difference, based both on gross appearance -- as seen with the naked eye -- and under a microscope. At the time when the endometrium would normally accept a fertilized egg, if a woman is taking the Pill it is much less likely to do so.

I asked Hill one more time, "So you're saying this is an actual effect that happens, not just a theoretical one?" He said, "Sure -- you can actually see what it does to the endometrium and it's obvious it makes implantation less likely. The only thing that's theoretical is the numbers, because we just don't know that." (emphasis mine)

And how often does this third mechanism come into play? IOW, how many chemical abortions are there every year from the pill? The answer will likely astound you. First to have something to compare to - there are approx 1.5 million abortions a year in the US. (not chemical abortions, "regular" surgical abortions where there is deliberate termination of a known pregnancy). It is impossible, of course, to give an exact number of how many chemical abortions happen due to taking the pill (it could be done, but the tests have not been performed) - however it is possible to scientifically predict the numbers. The numbers are shockingly high - between 834,000 and 4.17 million chemical abortions every year. See this article for details on how these numbers were calculated.

There are numerous other sites that state that this is how the pill works - everything from non-Christian organizations like Planned Parenthood (who recently revised their website to make it appear more theoretical), to Christian organizations like Crisis Pregnancy centre. All you have to do is google "abortifacient effect birth control pill" and tons of links will show up.

Here are a few more links for you....
Growing Debate About the Abortifacient Effect of the Birth Control Pill and the Principle of the Double Effect - written by Walter Larimore, MD (formerly on staff with Focus on the Family)
The Birth Control Pill Documentary: 28 Days on the Pill
Resources for 28 Days on the Pill - a huge list of resources used by the documentary
LifeSiteNews article - pro-abortion advocates confirm the pill prevents implantation of embryos
Review of Randy Alcorn's research book
"Birth Control" Pills Cause Early Abortions - article by Prolife America

In your own research, don't just ask you doctor and accept a quick "oh no, it's not an abortifacient" and think you've done your duty, even if your doctor is a Christian.

First of all, not all doctors are aware of this effect of the pill (Dr Walter Larimore was unaware of this effect, and it took a lot of his own time and research to convince him of it's reality). If they dismiss your concerns, tell them about this research and ask them to perform their own and that you'd like to discuss it again.

Secondly, not all doctors define life as beginning at fertilization (especially non-Christian doctors). Some define life as beginning at implantation in which case they obviously would not consider the pill abortifacient.

Frankly, I've been amazed and disappointed at the apathetic response I've gotten from many of the people I've talked to about this affect of the pill. The only reason I can think is that they feel like if they don't research it themselves they don't have to act on the information. After all, the pill is a super convenient method of birth control. Unfortunately it is birth control, and not conception control. Another reason for the "head in the sand" response is the desire for it not to be true. Believe me - I understand that desire. We used the pill for 5 yrs, completely unaware of this affect. And it grieves me to think that I may have unknowingly caused the death of a child. But, how much more wrong would it be to continue to use it blindly, after knowing about the possibility of chemical abortion?

One thing I want to mention. There are many women that need to take the pill for medical reasons - having nothing to do with conception. I don't see an ethical problem with this provided that an additional, alternative method of true conception control is used to negate the abortifacient effect of the pill.

So, what to use instead?

When done correctly, Natural Family Planning or NFP (NOT the rhythm method) is even more effective than the pill. It does take work, and you need to educate yourself in order to do it correctly, but it's effective - over 99% effective!

Other options include barrier methods, spermicide, etc. And of course, for the truly paranoid, more than one option can be used at the same time! :)

So, my encouragement to you (should you believe in life at conception), is to cease using the pill (or use it in combination with another method) and research it yourself. I'm sure you will find that the risk is simply too high - especially when alternative methods of conception control are available that work and that have NO risk of causing an abortion. I know some of the other methods are not as convenient, but is convenience a valid reason to risk a life?

I highly encourage you to read Randy Alcorn's book (available for free download in its entirety here).

If you have any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer any that I possibly can. Please feel free to forward this to everyone you know. The word needs to get out. As in any medical situation, people need to be informed - especially since lives are literally at stake.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

My Husband Rocks!

Those of you who know me on Facebook are already familiar with me bragging on my husband and then ending with "My husband rocks!". Yesterday, I blogged about a great company, Union28, that celebrates marriage and communicates this message positively in fun and stylish ways (also where I got that catch-phrase).

And my husband does rock! To be perfectly honest, I think he is a better husband than I am a wife. Here are just a few of the rockin' things he does for me and our kids.

He works very hard to support me and the children so that I can be a stay at home mom.

He is also blessed to work as his own boss, so he is able to determine his own work hours and he has made it a priority to be home at a decent time so that we are able to eat dinner together as a family virtually every evening, despite our rather busy schedule.

He is always thinking of me and trying to do things to make life easier for me. He does 99% of our grocery shopping, as well as most of our trips to Costco and Walmart - and he always asks me which of the kids I want him to take with him, so I can have a break while he's gone. He virtually never goes anywhere without taking one or all 4 kids with him.

He makes breakfast for the kids every Sunday morning so I don't have to get up earlier in order to get ready for church on time. He also makes breakfast for the kids on the Saturdays that he's home so that I can sleep in.

He reads Bible stories to the kids and prays with them every evening. If he has hockey in the evening, he usually makes sure to still do this before he leaves.

Before bed, he often takes the time to just chat with the kids, or tease them, or tell them made up stories (they love this!).

He takes the kids out for one on one dates.

If he's not going to come home for lunch on a workday, he phones me to see how my day is going.

He compliments me on my looks.... a lot!

He makes it a priority for us to go on dates regularly.

He initiates us reading devotions and praying together before bed.

My husband rocks!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Friday Favourites - Union 28!

I think it was my friend Pam who first introduced me to the company Union28 and inspired me to purchase one of their products.

Union28 represents strong marriage and the pursuit thereof. They convey a positive image of marriage in a fun and stylish way.

I love their products and have purchased several of their t-shirts myself.

Directly from their website....

One of the great and wonderful mysteries of life is that loving each other in action--what we do and say--produces romance. Everything in our culture today teaches the opposite, that romance turns into love, but nothing could be further from the truth. Love is a choice and we decide how we're going to treat each other in the good and in the not-so-good times. What a hope-giving reality that a strong, loving, thriving relationship can be built, simply by changing how we interact with our spouse.

Marriage was created to be a blessing and a little kindness, selflessness, and respect goes a long way. Accept the fact that your spouse isn't perfect and then start taking notice of all the good things they bring to the table! Pretty soon you can train your mind to be grateful for who they are as opposed to feeling disappointed about who they are not. When you allow yourself to believe that your spouse rocks, you will free yourself from the downward spiral and temptation of self-pity, disappointment, and even despair. The fact is, your spouse is probably a greater blessing than you allow yourself to lay down your expectations and praise your spouse for his/her attributes. After all, the key is to change yourself! And you'll be surprised at the positive affect it has on the one you choose to love...and you!

Our Mission: It is our mission to encourage marriages and to honor the sacred covenant between a husband and his wife by communicating a positive image of marriage in a fun and stylish way. Formerly implementing the name From*me Tees, we wanted our company name to better reflect our passion - seeing marriages grow and thrive.

In order
to grow and thrive, a marriage needs to be strong to compensate for the imperfect husband and wife involved. We wanted our new name to represent this idea of strong marriage and to be a visual reminder and encouragement of just that! So we took three aspects of a strong marriage and thus created Union28!
Union: Marriage is a sacred Union - two becoming one.
(Union - the act of uniting or an instance of being united in marriage; the state of matrimony; marriage: The act of uniting or joining two or more things into one; agreement and conjunction of mind, spirit, will, affections, or the like; harmony; concord.)
A man and a woman leave their single life, give up attachments to anyone else, and bind themselves to each other; the two now become one flesh as they join in physical union and commit to be on each other's team for life - loving, honoring, respecting, forgiving.
2: Marriage is an exclusive relationship between 2 - a husband and his wife.
The intimacy shared in marriage is holy and private. A husband and wife commit to offering the best of themselves (their time, emotional energy, affections, etc) to each other, not allowing any other earthly relationship, thought, or thing to come between them.
8: ("forever") Marriage is marked by covenant and steadfastness.
The marriage covenant is a binding promise, made between a husband and wife, to stick together and to remain through the good times and the not-so-good times.
(Life can be hard. Sometimes marriage feels even harder! Our mission at Union28 is not to judge or condemn; we know strong marriages don't just "happen" and sometimes people suffer from broken promises. Rather, we are about cheering on marriage, because we think marriage is worth it.)
I have the first four shirts pictured on this blog (click on the pictures to go directly to that item on their site) and I love wearing them! I have gotten way more compliments on any of these shirts than I ever have on any of my other clothes put together. Strangers come up and talk to me about these shirts!

And they have more than just shirts (both fitted and non-fitted) - they have shorts, pants, dresses, hats, a bag and even underwear! They have products for husbands, wives, fiances, and children.

So, I'd like to encourage you to check out their website and consider supporting this company and their mission by purchasing something to share your thoughts on marriage and, in particular, your spouse!

What's your favourite item?

I think I'm going to get one of these next!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Summer Chore Charts

Here are the chore charts we used over the summer....

Not sure yet which one of these creative chore charts we're going to use next, but it should be fun! I think I'll do one for Jacob too - there were a couple really cute toddler ones in that list.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Chore Chart Bonanza!

I posted the other day about chores and allowance, and how we have decided not to link the two together. Anyway, I also promised to share with you some chore charts I found whilst scouring the internet.

So, time to deliver! I'm sure there are even more ideas out there, but surely this will be enough, just check it out....

In no particular order, I am posting pictures to various chore chart options, as well as links to the original blogs so you can see the instructions for putting it together yourself.

Simple chore cards by Wardeh

Kristi Lea has a very detailed post about her chore chart system which incorporates a dice game to decide which children do which chores. She also explains their reward system - some great ideas here!

As you can see, we are leaving simple behind us now. Kierste has two fabulous chore chart ideas. The one on the left is a dry erase chore chart and the one on the right is an adorable burlap chore chart.

Julie created this chore chart (aka anti-boredom device) for her five children using a cookie sheet and some magnets.

Katherine had a really cute idea, especially for moms with young kids.

MyLittleGems posted a great tutorial on how to make this crafty chore chart using a placemat, popsicle sticks, felt stars and paper clips.

Jennifer also had two great ideas - the one on the left is here and the tutorial for the one on the right is in two parts, here and here.

Pretty creative so far, right? Oh, we're just getting started baby!

For all y'all cowgirls out there, this one's for you and your Howdy Helpers!

Now these are some classy looking chore boards!

Another magnetic chore board - I'm not entirely sure how it's supposed to be organized, but it looks like a fun idea.

Monica made this beautiful chore chart, but it looks like they take up a lot of space, so if you have a lot of kids this probably is not the best option.

Melissa made this key chain chore system - simple and fun!

No tutorial for this one, you can buy it from Lil Luna on etsy, but it looks pretty easy to make. I'm assuming magnets again. Oh wait, I did a little more digging and found the tutorial after all - here it is!

Tiff's chore chart is colour coded by kid.

Amy created this cute framed magnetic rotating chore chart and has another post detailing their rewards points system and "home store".

Cami claims to have created the ultimate chore chart.

Amber's is similar to Cami's, but both of them would also take up a lot of space as you make one per child. Amber had another idea pictured on the right.

Michelle made a very creative, yet simple, chore chart with a clipboard, some scrapbooks supplies and clothespins.

Jolanthe has a chore chart for those that like lists!

Martha Stewart's magnetic job chart - not as impressed as I thought I'd be Martha.

If you're a little more ambitious, this is a really stylish and fun idea - if you're a diy handy-woman, this one's for you!

Liz made this cute wooden heart flip chore chart.

Erin made these dry erase chore charts - simple yet cute!

For you sewers out there, this chore ticket pocket system might be for you!

Mandy created a really cute chore chart for little kids with a Noah's ark theme.

Another magnetic chore chart idea.

Shabby Spot Boutique put a family spin on the chore chart - teamwork!

Jeanie created this chore chart - it uses a lot of velcro!

Jennifer uses a tag and folder system.

Paul and Ines created this random system - doesn't get much simpler than this!

There's also cool online chore charts like this one that you can do.

If you're looking for some age appropriate chores for your kids - here's a list I found that should help you out.

Another simple idea to involve the whole family is a Focused 15 (x4) minutes of cleaning "go time"!

Whew! That's it!!

I was going to include a picture of our girl's summer chore charts (just printed from a Word document), but something got really messed up with my file, so I may have to do that another day.

So, which one do you like the best?!


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