Saturday, 7 July 2012

Hormonal contraceptives may cause early abortions and cancer

In the run-up to Melinda Gates' London Summit on Family Planning on 11 July, SPUC argues that critical effects of hormonal contraceptives are being ignored. Fiorella Nash, an SPUC researcher, talks about the issues in this video:



It is widely acknowledged that hormonal birth control causes early abortion in some instances. Studies also suggest a link to adverse health outcomes for women. If this is the case, then how are poor countries often lacking basic health systems, going to deal with these consequences?
  • A 2003 study published in The Lancet systematically reviewed 28 studies on cancer and hormonal contraceptives, including 12,531 women who had cervical cancer. The study concluded that compared with never-users of oral contraceptives, the relative risks of cervical cancer increased with long-term use.
  • In 2005 the World Health Organisation classified combined oral contraceptives as a group 1 carcinogenic (cancer causing) drugs and stated that the use of combined oral contraceptives modifies slightly the risk of cancer, increasing it in some sites (cervix, breast, liver).
  • A 2007 study published in The Lancet found that “Among current users of oral contraceptives the risk of invasive cervical cancer increased with increasing duration of use. The risk declined after use ceased, and by 10 or more years had returned to that of never users. A similar pattern of risk was seen both for invasive and in-situ cancer, and in women who tested positive for high-risk human papillomavirus. Relative risk did not vary substantially between women with different characteristics. The relative risk of cervical cancer is increased in current users of oral contraceptives and declines after use ceases. 10 years' use of oral contraceptives from around age 20 to 30 years is estimated to increase the cumulative incidence of invasive cervical cancer by age 50 from 7· 3 to 8· 3 per 1000 in less developed countries and from 3· 8 to 4·5 per 1000 in more developed countries.”
  • A study from Thailand published in 2008 found women who had ever used or currently use oral contraceptives were almost 1.5 times more likely to develop cervical cancer than the control group. the use of oral contraceptives for longer than 3 years was significantly associated with cervical cancer. Women who had used oral contraceptives for longer than 3 years had 2.5 times increase in risk of developing invasive cervical cancer. Women who had started oral contraceptives before age 20 were almost 12 times more likely to develop cervical cancer than those who started after 20 years old.
  • A 2010 study by Harvard University scientist David Hunter concluded that “Current use of oral contraceptives carries an excess risk of breast cancer. Levonorgestrel used in triphasic preparations [three different doses in a cycle] may account for much of this elevation in risk.
  • Yaz and Yazmin are two common forms of hormonal contraceptive that are sold in America and the UK. Both are now known to increase the chance of blood clots. According to the FDA, around 190 women have died from blood clots. This led to a review and re-labelling of these contraceptives.
  • A 2009 study conducted in Holland at 6 clinics found that currently available oral contraceptives increased the risk of venous thrombosis fivefold compared with non-use. The risk clearly differed by type of progestogen and dose of oestrogen. The use of oral contraceptives containing levonorgestrel was associated with an almost fourfold increased risk of venous thrombosis relative to non-users. The risk of venous thrombosis was positively associated with oestrogen dose.
  • Two 2011 studies published in the British Medical Journal looking at data from the USA and the UK found that there was a higher risk of non-fatal venous thromboembolism in users of oral contraceptives containing drospirenone, relative to levonorgestrel users. This was consistent with the results of two previous epidemiological studies.
  • Concerns about injectable hormonal contraception have arisen as a result of a number of studies showing a higher risk of HIV infection in women who are using an injectable hormonal contraceptive as a method of birth control. Not all studies have found such an increased risk. But several recent studies have: see S McCoy, et al. Oral and Injectable Contraception Use and Risk of HIV Acquisition among Women and R Heffron, et al. Hormonal Contraception Use and Risk of HIV-1 Disease Progression.
SPUC will be issuing further commentaries in relation to the summit in coming days.

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Friday, 6 July 2012

The National Osteoporosis Society's position on end-of-life issues

National Osteoporosis Society is a UK-wide charity dedicated to improving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

It is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC).

In reply dated 27 June 2012 to a letter from SPUC, Claire Severgnini, the charity's Chief Executive, wrote:
"The National Osteoporosis Society is working for a brighter future for people with or at risk of fragility fractures and osteoporosis across the UK, putting an end to unnecessary broken bones and helping people to live without pain and disability.

The charity therefore does not have a policy on matters pertaining to euthanasia and assisted suicide, does not fund or support any campaigns for the legislation of assisted suicide/euthanasia or have a position on advance directives/living wills."
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Angry parents in Tower Hamlets to present petition to mayor calling for an end to explicit sex materials in the borough’s primary schools

9,000 local people have signed a petition calling on Tower Hamlets Council and the Healthy Lives Team to stop funding the Christopher Winter Project – a sex education programme which employs graphic images to teach young children about sex.

Parents are calling Tower Hamlets council to account for this use of taxpayers' money and to bring an end to local authority intervention in teaching sex education in primary schools. Schools need a clear message that sex education must be delivered in line with parents' wishes and the ethos of the community.

Mayor Luthfur Rahman has been asked to receive the petition on Wednesday 11 July at 1pm at the Town Hall, where leading parents from the Tower Hamlets Parents' Action Group on SRE will hand him the petition.

Parents will be meeting 10am to 11am on 11 July at the London Muslim Centre, where they will hear from Dr Lisa Nolland, a social historian, family issues expert and leading figure in Anglican Mainstream.

Also speaking will be parents from the Tower Hamlets Parents' Action Group, formed to campaign against explicit sex education in the borough. Mrs Emma Clarke, a parent from Northampton, will address the meeting. Mrs Clarke campaigns against graphic sex education in her area.

Yusuf Patel of SREIslamic and Antonia Tully of SPUC's Safe at School have been supporting the parents’ campaign.

The NHS paid £78,000 to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to train teachers to deliver the Christopher Winter Project. Tower Hamlets Council spent £2,277 plus VAT on DVDs. Both training and DVDs were offered free of charge to schools in the borough.

For more information, please contact Antonia Tully of SPUC Safe at School on telephone 020 8407 3463 or email safeatschool@spuc.org.uk

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Thursday, 5 July 2012

Support the Rally for Life, Belfast this Saturday

Liam Gibson, SPUC Northern Ireland's development officer, has sent me the following notice about this Saturday's Rally for Life in Belfast:
"The annual All-Ireland Rally for Life will take place this year in Belfast on Saturday 7th July and SPUC is encouraging anyone who can to come along to Custom House Square at 2 pm for what is always a very colourful and enjoyable event. The rally provides an important opportunity for pro-lifers to demonstrate publicly their opposition to the culture of death. In previous years the rally has played a vital role in the campaign against the extension of the Abortion Act as well as highlighting the threat posed by the Northern Ireland health department's misleading guidance to doctors on the Province's abortion laws. Recently Jim Wells, the deputy chairman of the Stormont health committee, referred to SPUC's successful judicial review of the guidance as the cavalry riding to the rescue. But as Jim has also pointed out the victories of the pro-life movement in the North could be wiped out if abortion on demand becomes available south of the border.

The Republic of Ireland is one of the last nations in Europe to maintain a complete ban on abortion. The only other country is Malta and like Malta, Ireland also leads the world in the prevention of deaths arising from pregnancy and childbirth. This is positive proof that women's lives can be protected without the legalisation of abortion. It is for this reason the international abortion lobby are more determined than ever to overturn Ireland's constitutional protection of unborn children.

Ireland has never been in greater danger than it is at present. Developments in the Republic in the next 12 months will be decisive. The battle has already begun and it's up to the pro-life people in Northern Ireland as well as the Republic to ensure that culture of death is defeated. Anyone who wants to find out more about how they can help save women and children from abortion should make a point of being at the Rally for Life this Saturday."
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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Order the new version of SPUC's real marriage flyer

Abortion statistics show that marriage helps to protect unborn children. This is why SPUC, together with other pro-life and pro-family groups, is opposing the government’s plans to redefine marriage to apply to same-sex couples.

The government consultation on so-called “equal civil marriage” ended on 14 June. Thank you very much to all those SPUC supporters who responded to the consultation. The government have said that they plan to issue a response by the end of the year.

In the meantime, we must concentrate our attention on MPs. We must not wait until the government produces its proposed legislation. We must get ahead of the game.

Order the revised Real Marriage leaflet (see sample picture above) and distribute it – door to door, through churches, etc. The previous version which encouraged people to respond to the consultation is now redundant.

Branches should distribute the revised Real Marriage leaflets in a systematic, organised way in local areas. This means asking supporters to leaflet particular streets in your neighbourhood with a view to reaching as many homes as we possibly can.

You can order a supply of the leaflets by contacting SPUC HQ:
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Monday, 2 July 2012

Must-read pro-life news-stories, 2 July

Top stories:

Number of IVF babies passes 5m worldwide 
The number of babies born following conception via IVF has reached five million worldwide, according to estimates. Around 100,000 IVF babies are estimated to have been born in the UK since the first IVF baby was born in 1978. [Mail, 2 July] Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, commented: "What is largely overlooked is that many millions more embryonic children have been killed following IVF, a quality-controlled process which is also intrinsically abusive of human beings. If the countless millions of pounds given to IVF had been given to the much-more successful ethical alternatives, many more children would have been born."

Other stories:

Abortion
  • Prince secures landslide victory in referendum on royal powers including abortion veto [Independent, 2 July]
Euthanasia
Population
Sexual ethics
  • Schools could be made to teach pupils about gay marriage once it is passed into law [Mail, 2 July]
  • Civil partners should get honorary title just like wives do, MP argues [Telegraph, 2 July]
  • Filipino Catholic Church head says government should spend money not on condoms but on ending child labour [UCAN, 2 July]
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