Women’s Health

Women's Health

The Effects of Contraception and Abortion on Women

Posted October 1, 2013

The Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan, as a religious institute dedicated to comprehensive health care, would like to respond to the culture of silence about the effects of contraception and abortion on women.

Last year, Helen Alvare, JD, Associate Professor of Law at George Mason University, published a widely circulated letter referring to “the large body of scholarly research indicating that many forms of contraception have serious side effects [and]… that some forms act at some times to destroy embryos…” available at www.womenspeakforthemselves.com

For the ordinary person who tries to find citations for this scholarly research, the path is very difficult for two reasons. First, the technical language and scientific ability to evaluate research is missing; and second, most sources readily available to the general public promote the so-called ‘good effects’ of contraception and abortion for women and down play any contrary evidence.

Another way to learn about particular side-effects of the different means of contraception which could harm a woman’s health would be to read carefully the inserts that are provided in each package for different chemical or mechanical means of birth control. Each company provides these inserts which list all possible dangerous side effects of their product in order to encourage a person to see a doctor if any of them occur and to protect the company from libel through informed consent.

Therefore, as a health care community we are offering here a sample of the serious side-effects of contraception and abortion for women.

“Reproductive Research Audit”

Reproductive Research Audit exists to shine a light on the methodology of scientific studies on reproductive health issues, exposing their bias, flaws and propensity to ignore data that does not support a pre-determined political agenda. Access Website Here

“Attraction 101: How the Pill Affects Your Dating Choices”

Artificial contraception promises women sexual freedom to be able try out multiple partners before finding the “right” one. It prevents conception, but does it also drive men away? Watch this video which explains the scientific research behind the frequent complaint of women that it seems hard to find “good men” to date.

Natural Family Planning: Want to learn more? Check out these resources.

Pope Paul VI Institute: The Pope Paul VI Institute has scientifically studied the fertility cycles of women to help them either to achieve pregnancy or space pregnancies. Their Creighton Model of Natural Family Planning can help couples achieve a wanted pregnancy even when in vitro fertilization has failed OR help them space pregnancy with better success rates than artificial contraceptives.

NFP and More: Natural Family Planning International was started by a married couple to share educational and spiritual resources regarding Natural Family Planning.

“Postfertilization Effects of Oral Contraceptives and Their Relationship to Informed Consent” by Walter L. Larimore, MD and Joseph B. Stanford, MD, MSPH

The primary mechanism of oral contraceptives is to inhibit ovulation. However, it is possible for a woman to ovulate on oral contraceptives. This is called breakthrough ovulation. Breakthrough ovulation rates vary by the different preparations and the dose of the oral contraceptives. Breakthrough ovulation is more likely with lower doses of estrogen and with women who miss one or more days of taking the pill. The research for the rate of ovulation varies greatly, but the main point is that ovulation and conception does happen on oral contraceptives.

This article presents the research for the mechanisms of birth control pills for preventing a live birth after ovulation that results in fertilization (conception). It is documented in the Physicians’ Desk Reference, in Drug Facts and Comparisons, and in most standard gynecological, family practice, nursing, and public health textbooks that birth control pills prevent pregnancy not only by preventing conception but also by preventing implantation after conception. In this regard the term “birth control pills” is a more precise term than “contraceptive pills” because at least some of the time the live birth is prevented by mechanisms other than preventing ovulation.

The authors conclude that the postfertilization effects of oral contraceptives have implications for informed consent. “Physicians should understand and respect the beliefs of patients who consider human life to be present and valuable from the moment of fertilization.” “Failure to disclose information that might lead a patient to choose a different method of treatment is generally considered to be unethical. Therefore, it seems clear to us that failure to inform patients of a possible postfertilization mechanisms of an oral contraceptive is a failure to provide informed consent.”

Click here for the full article
Click here for a summary of the article written by Sr. Marie Paul Lockerd, RSM, DO for persons with no medical background.

“Natural Family Planning: Overcoming Original Sin with Grace” by Sister Marie Paul Lockerd, RSM, DO

Sister Marie Paul Lockerd describes how she uses the 7 steps of original sin and grace to explain Natural Family Planning. Full text of the article


Helen Alavare’s 3-part series on the contraceptive debate.

“Planned Parenthood and the Government v. Religious Liberty and Women’s Wellbeing” by Helen Alvare J.D.

In Part One, Helen Alavare exposes an unprecedented campaign against religious liberty, characterized by a formidable alliance between the White House and Planned Parenthood, bolstered by money, power, and market branding, is threatening women’s well-being. Full text of the article

“Contraception and Women’s Wellbeing: NFP, Disillusionment, and the Poor” by Helen Alvare J.D.

In Part Two, she describes how contraception isn’t the only way to plan a family, and it certainly isn’t cost-free: contraception leads to sexual disillusionment and weakens the marriage culture at the expense of the least well-off women. Full text of the article

“Contraception and Women’s Wellbeing: Physical Health, Happiness, and Religion” by Helen Alvare J.D.

In Part Three, she explains how poor women will bear the brunt of government promoted contraceptive programs, along with its problematic side-effects. While contraception does not manufacture female happiness as its proponents suggest, religion can. Full text of the article

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