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Francis’ Laudato Si’ Sparks Debate: Is Birth Control in Our Water Systems Causing Infertility, Gender Issues?

Photograph courtesy of CNA

Tebaldo Vinciguerra

Diane Montagna - published on 06/25/15


Scientific studies have shown that synthetic hormones from contraceptives and birth control pills, particularly EE2, are passing into the water system and causing male fish to mutate and change sex (so-called intersex fish). Studies have uncovered similar threatening abnormalities in wildlife. Scientists have suggested that the presence of synthetic hormones in the water system is also causing health problems in humans, such as premature or irregular sexual development. Some hypotheses even link the presence of these synthetic hormones in the water supply with the growing prevalence of gender issues and homosexuality. Nobody speaks about this.

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is informed about these studies and has sought to shine light on this troubling question in its recent book Terra e Cibo (§ 50, the English version Land and Food, will be released soon). Some important organizations, such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Food Safety Authority are monitoring this issue and have already released alarming reports.

In recent months I have also received material on the problem from North American universities; from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), who have been following this for years; from individual European and South American experts; and from religious.

Specifically, it’s feared — and the body of scientific evidence is growing — that certain chemical substances may have negative side effects on the human hormonal system, also known as the endocrine system. This system plays a crucial role in maintaining the physiological equilibrium of the human body, as well as in regulating body growth, metabolism and sexual development and function. It is believed that chemical substances called endocrine disruptors can have troubling effects on human health and organisms in the environment, particularly at critical stages of development. Some are found in nature, others are manmade, such as pesticides and cosmetics, and they can also be the effect of certain hormonal therapies and drugs, such as the contraceptive pill. Their acting mechanism is still being examined, but the fact that they could seriously threaten human health and sexuality and pregnancies is a source of great concern. It is a direct threat to mankind. So yes, the problem does involve contraceptives and birth control pills, but also other substances.

Isn’t there a paradox in this? Major international organizations, think tanks, environmental groups, and governments mainly of wealthy nations, as we know, are promoting a depopulation, pro-abortion agenda, and imposing birth control policies on poor and developing nations, especially though not exclusively in Africa. Laudato si’ puts it this way: “At times, developing countries face forms of international pressure which make economic assistance contingent on certain policies of ‘reproductive health’” (§ 50). Often, these same institutions claim to be the most concerned about the environment, and yet the contraceptives they are seeking to impose are a threat to human life, human health, and the environment.

Sadly, it’s true. These agendas are being put forward under the cover of “reproductive health” or a distorted vision of “human rights.” Often, then, those who devise and promote them use “a green rhetoric” (LS § 49) and a misleading neo-Malthusiansim what leads a privileged few cynically to do everything possible to conserve “the present level of consumption in developed countries and wealthier sectors of society, where the habit of wasting and discarding has reached unprecedented levels” (LS § 27).

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Tags:
ContraceptionPope Francis
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