What does it take to be a member of the board of directors of the
prestigious Society of
Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, especially its Executive
Vice-President? From the
looks of it, one would say a strong anti-life attitude and a penchant for
deceit are strong assets. In
most other professional associations this state of affairs wouldn`t
necessarily carry the same
grave implications as it does in a profession where trust play such a vital
role. Voicing this
opinion to Dr. André Lalonde, the Executive Vice-President of the Society,
would be - and
understandably so - interpreted as an insult against what has traditionally
been a highly respected
professional association. However, my harsh assessment of the SOGC is simply
an expression of
the deep shock I experienced from reading a letter Dr. Lalonde wrote on May
12, 2000.

In his letter, the SOGC`s long-serving administrator, makes a startling
assertion concerning
Preven - a brand of morning-after pill (MAP) - shortly to be marketed in
Canada. With all the
authority vested upon him by the Society, Dr. Lalonde boldly states that
"Preven should not be
considered an abortive drug." He further affirms that "There is presently no
scientific evidence
in any literature in the world to indicate that the morning after pill such
as Preven causes a
problem with implantation or prevents a pregnancy once fertilization has
occurred." Hello!!
Must we also add functional illiteracy to the list of criteria for the job
he holds on the board of
directors? I`m not a doctor, merely a layman, but one who is nevertheless
familiar with several
peer-reviewed studies that make a lie of his categorical statement denying
the abortifacient
effects of these potent ovarian hormones. One wonders what Dr. Lalonde`s
response would be
to the following:

"After fertilization, the preimplantation embryo remains extremely
vulnerable. The 'morning-
after' pill, with its high estrogen content, alters the endometrium so that
implantation fails to
occur." Bruce M. Carlson, MD, Ph.D., Human Embryology and Developmental
Biology (St.
Louis, MO; Mosby, 1994), p. 110.

"Ovarian hormones (estrogen) taken in large doses within 72 hours after
sexual intercourse
usually prevent implantation of the blastocyst, probably by altering tubal
motility, interfering
with corpus luteum function or casing abnormal changes in the endometrium.
These hormones
prevent implantation, not fertilization. Consequently, they should not be
called contraceptive
pills. Conception occurs but the blastocyst does not implant. It would be
more appropriate to
call them 'contraimplantation pills.'" Moore and Persaud, The Developing
Human, Clinically
Oriented Embryology (6th ed.), p. 532.

"Emergency contraception pills...act by delaying or inhibiting ovulation,
and/or altering tubal
transport of sperm and/or ova (thereby inhibiting fertilization) and/or
altering the endometrium
(thereby inhibiting implantation)." Food and Drug Administration, Federal
Register Notice,
Vol. 62, No. 37, Feb. 25, 1997.

"As outlined in a 1994 review article in the American Journal of Obstetrics
and Gynecology, the
predominant effect of the morning after pill is in the disturbance of the
normal development and
function of the endometrium which renders the nidation site unsuitable for
Robert Pankratz, MD, Medical Post 35, No. 24, 22 June 1999, citing F. Gron
and I. Rodrigues,
"The morning after pill - how long after?," Am. J. Obstet. Gyn. 171 (6)
[Dec. 1994]; 1529-1534.

The SOGC has consistently and shamelessly lobbied on behalf of a "morning
after" therapy
consisting in taking two double dosages 12 hours apart of the birth-control
pill (estradiol-
levonorgestrel), within 72 hours of suspected impregnation, saying it would
"stop abortion rates
from going higher. We can even bring them down significantly." Apart from
the likely harmful
effects on women who repeatedly ingest this powerful hormone cocktail, that
contention is
wrong, not to say intentionally deceitful. The estradiol-levonorgestrel
combination, like its close
cousin RU 486, is unquestionably an abortifacient. The abortion-rate
"reductions" claimed
would merely reflect the fact that the unborn are being killed earlier and
less messily than by
current surgical methods the SOGC promotes.

It is quite interesting to note a statement Dr. Lalonde made a few years
ago - again in his role as
official spokesman of the SOGC - which demonstrates his contemptuous
"merchant of death"
philosophy toward the helpless pre-born. He stated: "A physician cannot
take the view that he
will protect an unborn child. That would lead to the end of therapeutic
abortions in Canada. As a
gynecologist, I have to uphold the woman`s complete and full control over
her own body." What
about the Hippocratic Oath? What school of bioethical obscurantism did the
good doctor attend
that would make him uphold the absurd position that it is all alright to
abort but not to harm?

Here is more of what he had to say: "I think (this question of fetal rights)
it`s very dangerous and
it could push back women`s rights to the 1930s. If you try to extend fetal
rights, then where are
you going to stop? You`re going to get back to the issue: 'Is the fetus
alive? Is it not alive?'" Is he
implying it isn`t? Or, yes, but only if the 'fetus' is wanted. From a
strictly biological (and
medical) perspective, it`s a very strange circumstance when you end up
treating only one patient
if the baby is unwanted, but two patients if the baby is wanted. But then,
of course, anything
goes when what the SOGC advances is not necessarily related to modern
understanding. Undoubtedly acting under this man`s pro-abortion advice, the
Canadian Medical
Association (CMA) has consistently refused to deal with the question of
fetal rights at its AGMs.

In closing, it would be nice for someone to single out to these OB/GYN
bureaucrats an important
piece of medical literature - which, as Dr. Lalonde`s statement on the
non-abortive nature of
Preven would indicate, he doesn`t peruse - that warns of still another
serious consequence
associated with induced abortion. It can be found in the 1999 December
edition of Obstetrics
and Gynecology - reporting on a Danish study of more than 61,000 women -
which linked
abortion to preemie birth. He would be astounded to discover that women
with two abortions by
the evacuation method (you know, the one in which the child is cut up and
removed in pieces)
were 12 times more likely to have a pre-term baby. Even women with just one
abortion by the
vacuum method, generally considered the safest, were twice as likely to
deliver a preemie than
women with no history of abortion. These, I`m sure, are not quite the
results the Canadian
Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists want for the women who have
entrusted its doctors
with their well being.

The Society doggedly refuses to heed the words of Dr. F.H. Morcos (an
obstetrician/gynecologist) on what, until only decades ago, represented the
universal, untainted
by ideology belief of the medical profession: "Abortion does not treat
disease but disrupts a
normal, natural physiological process. It cannot be justified from a medical

Thaddée Renault
Fredericton, New Brunswick

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