POSITION PAPER ON THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILLS
Highest levels of scientific expertise to resolve issues of the highest importance
Principle: To resolve specialized technical issues of the highest importance, the State has the obligation to trust only the highest levels of scientific expertise.
The Reproductive Health Bills’ proposal for an enforced distribution of birth control devices has raised crucial issues in the realm of science: Does the pill kill children or not? Does it cause health or sickness of women? Does availability of contraceptives strengthen or destroy families? Do they improve quality of life or create more poverty? Do condoms prevent or promote AIDS at the country level? Is population control a solution to poverty or a misuse of limited funds?
These crucial national questions cannot be left to the opinion of just any expert.
Based on rational criteria, the State must choose science experts who possess:
(1) specialized expertise corresponding to the question,
(2) highest international prestige (e.g. Nobel Prize winners, peer-reviewed science journals of prominent science organizations),
(3) objectivity, i.e. the expert should not be influenced by ideology, religion, commercial interests, political advocacy, international pressures. Scientific findings that tend to go against their personal biases are more credible.
We, the undersigned scientists, academicians, scholars, and professionals, would like to share with the State the findings of specialized, internationally recognized and objective scientists on the questions raised by the Reproductive Health Bills.
1. The pill and the intrauterine device kill young human life. The pill has a secondary “postfertilization effect”, according to Walter Larimore and Joseph Stanford who performed a systematic review of 94 studies published at the peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American Medical Association, year 2000. The intrauterine device brings about the “destruction of the early embryo” (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology).
The American Medical Association is the largest medical association in the United States. The main author is Walter Larimore, who begun the study in order to “disprove” claims that the pill has a postfertilization effect after having prescribed the pill since 1978 and used it with his wife. The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology is the peer-reviewed journal of seven American medical associations.
Please take note that among the highest levels of scientific expertise in biology, genetics, embryology there is “overwhelming agreement” that fertilization is equal to conception and that this is the moment when human life begins. Among 57 international experts invited by the US Senate in 1981 (among whom were scientists from Harvard Medical School, Mayo Clinic and the Father of Modern Genetics, Jerome Lejeune), 56 overwhelmingly agreed to this point. The same thing happened (19/20) in the First International Conference on Abortion in 1967, a fact mentioned in the Records of the Constitutional Convention, to which the commissioners also agreed.
2. The pill causes cancer, stroke and heart attacks. The International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2007 reported that the pill causes cancer, giving it the highest level of carcinogenicity, the same as cigarettes and asbestos. This study was conducted by 21 scientists from 8 countries under the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The pill also “confers the risk of first schemic stroke” (Stroke, journal of the American Heart Association), and significantly increases the risk of heart attacks (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism).
3. Wide use of contraceptives leads to the destruction of families, and indirectly to greater poverty. Nobel prize winner in behavioral economics, George Akerlof (a liberal) showed that the contraceptive pill was a “technology shock” that led to more premarital sex. And since the pill is not 100% effective or some women choose to have a baby, it also meant more fatherless children and single mothers, and thus greater female poverty. For women who choose not to have a baby, it has led to more abortions. Akerlof also showed that this new technology led to a decline in marriage, less domestication of men, increase in substance abuse, more arrests for violent crimes and for drinking. All these led indirectly to more social pathology and poverty.
4. Countrywide condom use is not effective in stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS, and can worsen it. The “best evidence” proves this conclusion, according to the Harvard Director for AIDS Prevention, Edward C. Green, an agnostic. Green said: "There is a consistent association shown by our best studies, including the U.S.-funded Demographic Health Surveys, between greater availability and use of condoms and higher (not lower) HIV-infection rates.” He explained that “this may be due in part” to the fact that availability of condoms provides a sense of security that makes people take wilder sexual risks, thus worsening the spread of the disease.
5. There is “no clear association” correlation between population growth and economic development. This is the conclusion of the studies of Simon Kuznets, Nobel Prize winner in the science of economics. Many later studies confirmed this. Indeed there are many other economists who say the contrary, like Jeffrey Sachs, Head of the Millennium Development Project. However, there are no Nobel Prize winners who have studied this issue and have established a correlation.
6. Population control is not one of the ingredients for high economic growth. 2008 Commission on Growth and Development headed by Nobel prize winner Michael Spence found five factors for growth: governance, openness to knowledge, stable finances, market allocation, investment and savings.
Because of the strength and validity of these findings, and the highest levels of scientific authority possessed by the experts and organizations who pronounced them, we submit that the State should abandon, once and for all, the Reproductive Health Bills.
Raul Nidoy et al
Science and Reason for Human Beings
Science and Reason for Human Beings is a group of scientists, economists, doctors, academicians, lawyers and other professionals who have united to protect and enhance the life of human beings with the use of science and rational discourse.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
POSITION PAPER ON THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILLS