July 22, 2011

Arland Nichols HS sm
Arland K. Nichols





Friends of life and of the family,

On Wednesday, contraception again became the urgent topic du jour. What happened Wednesday? The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that ‘ObamaCare’ include a mandate that all contraception and sterilization be covered free of charge – as preventive care. This is a grave travesty as the Health and Human Services (HHS) is virtually guaranteed to accept this recommendation, forcing taxpayers to pay for women of all ages and relationship status to use contraception, and to mutilate their reproductive system.

When I heard Wednesday morning, that the IOM announcement was to be made on Thursday, I asked three of our team members to preemptively write articles addressing the issue for our Truth and Charity Forum. Bringing their unique perspective and professional expertise to their research and writing, our team made a strong contribution to the discussion as indicated by the fact that each of the three articles made the front page of a major online pro-life, pro-family news outlet.

The recommendation by the IOM is very troubling. As HLI America Fellow Denise Hunnell, M.D. emphasized, “preventive medicine implies the prevention of a pathological condition. Pregnancy is anything but pathological. Artificial contraception is an elective medical therapy for those desiring to block a totally normal and healthy physical condition.” Dr. Hunnell’s medical insight causes me to note that there is a certain irony that our society considers both infertility and pregnancy a pathological condition.

Pro-abortion group NARAL praised the announcement as “great news” and a “monumental step forward for women,” while asserting the mantra that “ultimately, fewer unintended pregnancies can reduce the need for abortion.”

But, does contraception reduce the need for abortion? The major studies answer, emphatically, “No!” As HLI America Fellow Bob Laird points out in his article picked up by our friends at and, approximately 50% of women who seek abortions do so because their chosen means of contraception failed. Furthermore, all the major studies on Plan B (the morning after pill) show that instead of reducing unexpected pregnancy, Plan B either keeps pregnancy rates stable or increases them! Why does this happen? A phenomenon called “risk compensation.” When a given population believes a behavior is less risky, they engage in that behavior more often, which ends up compounding their total risk. It’s quite simple, really.

Both HLI America contributing writer Gerri Laird and Dr. Hunnell emphasized another key element that must be highlighted: Tax-payer funded contraception for all women amounts to government encouragement and public defense of fornication. As Dr. Hunnell put it: “If an unmarried woman makes the conscious decision to be sexually active, it seems she should also bear the consequences of such a decision. Her partner should be willing to share any burdens of the relationship, including the financial cost of sexual relations. If a woman is not in a marital relationship, it seems unreasonable to demand that someone else pay for the consequences of her sexual dalliance.”

I also must draw our attention to the very real concern: Physicians, other healthcare professionals and for that matter, all taxpayers, face a very real chance of being forced to violate their consciences. Daniel Cardinal DiNardo shares this concern: “Without sufficient legal protection for rights of conscience, such a mandate would force all men, women and children to carry health coverage that violates the deeply-held moral and religious convictions of many.”

Many pro-lifers do not see contraception as a significant issue. I think, however, that many in the movement to protect human life are beginning to see contraception as the “Trojan Horse” that it is. At HLI, we believe, with Pope John Paul II that the contraceptive mentality is a central issue. To that end, I think it is helpful to look at the organizations that are praising the IOM for its recommendation that all contraception and sterilization be free coverage: Planned Parenthood, NOW, NARAL – the biggest promoters of abortion in our county.  With Cardinal DiNardo, “I can only conclude that there is an ideology at work in these recommendations that goes beyond any objective assessment of the health needs of women and children.”

We must stand strong in defending women’s health and well being, and the unborn children who innocently suffer. I encourage you to read all the articles written by our team in the Truth and Charity Forum. Please pass them on to your friends and family. Let’s help one another stay informed. We we are disappointed in the IOM’s recommendation, but with your support, our team who will continue to stay on top of this and other issues that impact our families and our country.

For proof of how our new team is effectively making the case for women and children, let me conclude with a line from Gerri Laird’s compelling article:

On the one hand, Planned Parenthood wants the government out of the bedroom so women can engage in whatever sexual behaviors they desire; on the other hand, Planned Parenthood wants the government back in the bedroom to pick up the tab for all the unintended consequences for such actions. This is an irresponsible and schizophrenic position.


Saint Mary of Magdalene, Pray for Us.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Nichols Signature

Arland K. Nichols

National Director, HLI America

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas