Caring for Mother and Child…Disturbing Trends

Did you know that one of the most remarkable opportunities for me, as an obstetrician-gynecologist, is taking care of both a mother and her child? OB/GYNs attend to the unique needs of women and to the care of mothers and their children surrounding the time of birth. Over the past few centuries, an incredible amount of progress has been made in women’s health. There has been a significant decline in childbirth-related maternal death and the decrease in infant mortality during the past several decades. This is because of better antibiotics and anesthesia, improved surgical procedures and blood transfusions, and new medications. However, some disturbing trends can be seen in the health care of women, children and families. These truly disturbing trends have been on the rise for at least the last forty years.

The “sexual revolution” of the 1960s is related to major increases in such things as use of contraception, abortion, divorce rates, births to unmarried women, teenage pregnancy, teenage sexual activity, teenage alcohol use and depression, drug use, violent crime rates, child abuse and neglect, prematurity, multiple pregnancy [sic] rates, infertility, sexually transmitted diseases, and even sexually explicit literature and videos. A major rise in contraceptive use has occurred since the 1960s. The increased use of contraception has occurred as a parallel rise in the number of abortions in the United States. Abortion is often widely used as a backup for contraception. Many of the other trends are increasing in a parallel manner to the increases in contraception and abortion. Also paralleling the increases in contraception and abortion is divorce, which has drastically increased and is known to adversely affect adult relationships as well as the children involved. Child abuse and child neglect is increasing as well. Can you believe there has also been a six- to seven-fold increase in the number of unmarried women who have given birth!  Among teenage women, the pregnancy rates and the rates of sexual activity have both been increasing significantly. Teenage sexual activity is also strongly correlated with alcohol use and with depression. Likewise, there has been an increase in new teenage cocaine users and juvenile crime. The estimated violent crime rate has risen dramatically. Like a domino effect, these disturbing trends have been increasing with the rise of contraception and abortion.

Since the 1960s, despite advances in medicine, we have seen increased prematurity, babies born with low birth weights, and multiple pregnancies. Many of you know that along with multiple pregnancies, especially those resulting from the artificial reproductive technologies, selective reductions are increasingly performed. Selective reduction is a well-crafted, deliberately deceptive term for abortion of one or more of the babies. Sadly, we have also been witnessing an increase in infertility and impaired fertility, and a dramatic increase in sexually transmitted diseases, related cancers, and AIDS. I believe—and the studies are backing this belief—that these disturbing trends are related.

Women’s health care and the care of children and families is an exciting field for an obstetrician-gynecologist, but some disturbing trends have been developing over the past forty years. The shifts in sexual behavior, far from being revolutionizing, have really been sexually retarding. These disturbing trends must be halted. Women must lead the action, and all of society must join them. Because the Creighton Model FertilityCare System and NaProTechnology help to build respect for women, for fertility, for life, and for children and because they help to create a different world view of the human being and sexuality, the Creighton Model System and NaProTechnology are our ways of helping to reverse these trends! They are real solutions to real problems.