Dr. Hilgers featured on EWTN

The work of the Pope Paul VI Institute was in the spotlight on Women of Grace in February! Dr. Thomas Hilgers, Leslie R. Buckley, DMD, FCP, and Felricia Brown, FCP were the guests of host Johnette Benkovic, and they indiscussed infertility issues and topics related to the CREIGHTON MODEL FertilityCare™ System and NaProTECHNOLOGY. The programs originally aired on EWTN Feb 10–14, 2014, but if you missed them, you can watch each of the five episodes via the links below!

  1. Part 1, Feb. 10, 2014, 11 am
  2. Part 2, Feb. 11, 2014, 11 am
  3. Part 3, Feb. 12, 2014, 11 am
  4. Part 4, Feb. 13, 2014, 11 am
  5. Part 5, Feb. 14, 2014, 11 am

Response to UN’s Claim of Access to Contraception as a Basic Human Right

The Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction, Omaha, Nebraska offers the following critique of some of the principal claims and conclusions set down in the 2012 Annual Report of the United Nations Population Fund (released 11.14.12):

First, because we concur with Article 16 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: all “men and women of full age, …, have the right to marry and to found a family,” we also believe couples have the right, by logical extension, to responsibly plan their family [also promoted in the 2012 U.N. Annual Report]. We differ, however, with the Report’s definition of responsible family planning. To responsibly plan a family means that married couples should have the right to voluntarily access a means to space their children that is not only reliable but also moral, that is, one that promotes genuine human fulfillment for the couple, their family, and the society. We also disagree with Annual Report’s conclusion conflating the universal human right of “access to family planning” with “access to contraception,” ostensibly doing so on grounds that contraception is the only or only “reliable and high quality” means of planning a family. Hence, access to family planning through competent education on human fertility is a universal human right, but access to contraception is not.

Second, we understand how contraception can appear to empower women by providing them a way to space children so that they can more easily work outside the home and increase family income. However, thousands of couples using the Creighton Model FertilityCare System (CrMS), testify that this natural system of regulating fertility provides an even better way to empower a woman. It provides her with a) woman-specific biofeedback—on any given day in any given cycle—about her body and her fertility; b) a means of treating OB/Gyn abnormalities such as unusual bleeding, premenstrual syndrome and infertility, c) an effective means of avoiding or achieving a pregnancy, and d) a basis for healthy communication between her and her husband about family planning goals.

Third, we reject the Report’s allegation that contraceptive use improves the user’s health. Our 40+ years of clinical data show the exact opposite: oral contraceptives (OCs) have a devastating potential to compromise a woman’s reproductive and overall health. Echoing our results, the World Health Organization not only classifies the OC as a carcinogen but warnings from package inserts of many OCs also specify that the pill “may increase risk of breast cancer and cancer of the reproductive organs.” Take the claim that the OC lowers the risk of ovarian cancer. Again, what women need to know are the specific risks and benefits of the pill. For example, compared to a woman not using hormonal contraception, it is true that the woman who uses the combined OC for five years incurs the benefit of a 40% decreased ovarian cancer mortality risk. But here’s the tradeoff: the same woman faces increased risks from the use of that same OC over the same 5-year period—a 100% increased risk for venous thromboembolism, a 24% increased risk of breast cancer, and at least a 100% increased risk of myocardial infarction. Furthermore, women who use OCs experience many (and sometimes debilitating) side effects from the Pill: bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, irregular bleeding, mood changes, and nausea.

Fourth, our secondary research data contradict the Report’s claim that increased access to contraception limits abortions. For example, the November 2006 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology reported, based on data from 23 studies, that greater access to emergency contraception increased rather than decreased the incidence of unintended pregnancy and abortion rates. The sad truth, then, is that the surge in contraceptive use has resulted in more unplanned pregnancies which, in turn, have resulted not only in the increased backup-contraceptive-choice of abortion, but also in devastating post-abortion psychological sequelae.

Fifth, we agree that spacing children allows mothers to secure employment outside the home, thereby contributing to economic prosperity for family and country. Nonetheless, improved economic productivity should never be secured at the expense of the view that children are a country’s greatest resource

Sixth, we object to the Annual Report’s silence on the need for conception of children within the context of a mutual permanent commitment on the parents. Children have the absolute right to be conceived, gestated, born into, and raised within marriage.

Follow Us in the News

Have you followed us in the news lately? We have had articles written about the Institute and about the Creighton Model System and NaProTechnology recently featured in the Chicago Tribune, Legatus Magazine, and Columbia Magazine!

Also, the NaPro approach to diagnosing and treating infertility will be the topic of discussion on the upcoming August 10th broadcast of Catholic Answers!

Follow the Pope Paul VI Institute and the Creighton Model System and NaProTechnology in the news at www.popepaulvi.com/inthenews.htm!

Physician Couple Retreat — You and I = We

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This February, we held our first-ever physician-couple retreat, which was specifically for physicians and their spouses/fiance[e]s to strengthen these physician couples in promoting a culture of life. Our retreat master, Fr. Jaroslaw Szymczak, tailored the retreat lectures, workshops, and couple dialogue times to physician couples. I had the opportunity to present two continuing medical education lectures on NaProTechnology. We look forward to offering the second retreat in this series later this year and to offering other retreat opportunities for those whom we serve.

Pope Paul VI Institute Celebrates 25 Years ~ Celebrate Love & Life

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This year, the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction–the home of FertilityCareTM and NaProTechnology–celebrates its 25th anniversary! Over Labor Day weekend, many staff, former employees, patients, friends and benefactors of the Institute joined together for a weekend of festivities here in Omaha.

Preceeding the festivities, we held a two day-long conference series. On Thursday, September 2nd, intellectuals and moral theologians presented on the pastoral directives in Pope Paul VI’s life-changing encyclical Humanae Vitae. On Friday, September 3rd, medical professionals from around the world and other interested lay people attended an international conference on the new women’s health science of NaProTechnology.

The culmination of the weekend was Saturday’s Family Fun Day. Families and friends of the Institute enjoyed inflatables, pony rides, a fire truck and smoke trailer, a police car, face painting, clowns, music, unicyclists, arcade games, testimonials, book signings, and much more! A tiered birthday cake and a drum battle between Dr. Hilgers and two of his sons crowned the day’s events!

Saturday evening was marked by a special reception and gala banquet. Raymond Arroyo, a newscaster on Eternal World Television Network and author of best-selling novels on Mother Angelica, gave a lively and enlightening talk. The weekend also included two special Masses, an opening Mass celebrated by Cardinal Justin Rigali and a closing Mass celebrated by Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski.

For coverage on the weekend’s events, visit Zenit and search for “NaProTechnology” and for “Zimowski” (articles range in dates from September 2, 2010 through September 11, 2010).

Celebrate Love & Life

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This year, the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction–the home of FertilityCareTM and NaProTechnology–celebrates its 25th anniversary! We have festivities planned for this occasion in September. The Labor Day Weekend Celebration of Love & Lfe will be held here in Omaha, Nebraska, where the Institute was founded. There will be two day-long conferences preceeding the celebration.

On Thursday, September 2nd, we will hold the first-ever conference on the Pastoral Directives of Humanae Vitae. On Friday, September 3rd, medical professionals and other interested lay people can attend an international conference on the new women’s health science of NaProTechnology.

The culmination of the weekend will be Saturday’s Family Fun Day. The day of free fun to celebrate the 25th anniversary will have activities for the whole family including inflatables, pony rides, a fire truck and smoke trailer, a police car, face painting, clowns, music, unicyclists, arcade games, testimonials, book signings, and much more!

Saturday evening, there will be a special reception and gala banquet. The weekend will also start and end with two special Masses.

An amazing line-up of speakers are scheduled for the event. For more information, check out the Institute’s web site dedicated to The Labor Day Weekend Celebration of Love & Life: http://www.popepaulvi.com/celebrate-love-life.htm .

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