Matt C. Abbott
Pro-life wife pens letter to priests
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By Matt C. Abbott
January 30, 2019

Stefanie Fell of Virginia felt inspired to pen a letter to a number of her diocesan priests imploring them to preach and inform parishioners about abortion-inducing drugs that are usually identified as "birth control." The subject is not one you'll hear from many pulpits, sad to say.

Mrs. Fell wrote, "I sent [the letter and pertinent materials] to 29 priests and three lay pro-life people." Much of the feedback was positive.

Below is a slightly-edited version of the letter Mrs. Fell sent out in late 2018.


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Dear Pastor or Parochial Vicar,

This letter and its contents refer to an issue that has been "on my heart" for a very long time. It seems that the recent expose' of clergy sex abuse of minors and seminarians has eclipsed the pro-life issues. Satan is very adept at switching the narrative. Both issues are very important, and I believe they are related. Underpinning each of them is the fact that the loss of emphasis on the virtues of purity, chastity and continence has resulted in a mushrooming of blatant disregard for personal sexual integrity, respect for others' personal emotional and sexual wholeness, and for the right to life itself.

We see the practices of contraception and abortion extended to infanticide, withdrawal of medical treatment for children, and euthanasia at all ages for any reason, often without the patients' or families' knowledge or consent. People are even being denied basic nutrition and hydration.

My husband and I were married in a Catholic ceremony over 48 years ago. He was raised Episcopalian and completed RCIA instruction in 1993, but has not formally entered the Catholic Church. I can tell you he is a better Catholic than many Catholics I know.

A course in Natural Family Planning (NFP) did not become available to us until we had been married for 14 years. I did not understand the teaching of the Church on contraception, so I did not assent to it. After hearing a couple testify about NFP at a Sunday Mass, we decided to try it and we never went back! I became a Promoter for the Couple to Couple League and acted in that capacity for 16 years. I was selected National Promoter of the Year in 2008. Reading Familiaris Consortio was very illuminating for me.

The use of contraception in our marriage had a detrimental effect. After we began using NFP, we found it improved our relationship considerably. But it was not until we took the NFP classes in 1984 that we became aware of the fact that hormonal birth control products cause early abortions. It's a well-kept secret. In fact, doctors will lie outright about it.

So, that year, I learned that while I was taking birth control pills for two six-month periods in my life, I may have possibly lost one or more children without even knowing it. I was always pro-life, so this was devastating news to me. Ironically, the first time a doctor proposed that I take them, his rationale was that it would be better to take them than to have to have an abortion!

On Holy Saturday Evening of 2011, I wrote and submitted a newspaper commentary to our local newspaper [image below]. The article was reviewed by Dr. John T. Bruchalski of Tepeyac Ob/Gyn in Fairfax before I sent it. The editor (now deceased) was an Episcopalian married to a Catholic. He maintained that he was pro-life, but many readers questioned this based on some of the things he printed. He was suspicious of my claim that hormonal birth control products cause early abortions. I had to furnish him a page of references, and he demanded many edits of my work – so much so, that I wondered if the essence of the message would even come across.

After seven weeks of negotiations, he did publish the piece. He chose the picture and wrote the title, which is technically incorrect, since an unborn baby is not called a "fetus" until after twelve weeks gestation. He also misspelled my first name (Stefanie). Surprisingly, there was no public backlash. Perhaps the readers simply "yawned and drove on by." Since that time, I have tried on numerous occasions to get attention for this issue in Catholic circles. I have not been successful. But as Saint Mother Teresa said, "God does not expect us to be successful, but only faithful."


The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has recently issued statements of concern regarding racism and the plight of migrants. Yet they are strangely silent on the issue of abortifacient birth control products. I have never heard this topic addressed in any Catholic parish I have belonged to or visited. I have attempted to get the information disseminated, but I have met only indifference and resistance.

That is why I am approaching you. I have hope, but I also have a sense of futility. I have "pondered these things in my heart" (Jeremiah 20: 9) for a long time, trying to imagine the very best way to present them to others. But I realize this has been a way for me to put off the action necessary to initialize some change. I now also realize that I'm not responsible for the outcome, but only for the message.

Last December, I came across an article written by a Protestant minister, Randy Alcorn, on the same subject. He wrote his article (which is far superior to mine) in February of 2010, sixteen months before my commentary was published. We were both writing at about the same time without even realizing it. His article is a condensation of his book of the same name. Three years later, he published an article about the abortifacient effects of the IUD, Norplant, Dep-Provera, Nuva-Ring, RU-486 and the Mini-Pill.

I requested permission to share these articles. It was granted to me under the following conditions:
  • The articles must be shared free of charge.

  • The author's name must be included.

  • There may be no edits.

  • The link to the website for Eternal Perspective Ministries must also be included: www.epm.org.
Randy Alcorn and Eternal Perspective Ministries have Facebook pages. There is a

resource catalogue as well. His book sells for $2.50, but there are bulk prices. There is also a good pamphlet on abortifacient birth control available.

I'm enclosing a copy of Randy Alcorn's book, Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions? It's about 200 pages long and is well researched and well-sourced, with over a dozen physician endorsements, and scriptural references. The author began his treatise as an effort to prove the opposite claim that hormonal birth control products do not cause abortions, but he had to reverse his beliefs after completing his investigation. I have looked for more recent documentation, but have found nothing after 2014 (Human Life International). We should not have to re-invent the wheel to know exactly how these products affect unborn human beings.

It's hard to imagine that we have been fighting the scourge of abortion in America for over 46 years. But abortionists are very crafty. Their shift is now from surgical methods to pharmacological methods. Dr. Bogomir Kuhar has estimated that for every surgical abortion, there may be as many as twelve "silent" abortions.

Indeed, in England, in some Canadian provinces, and in the U.S., women are being furnished free abortion pills for "do it yourself" at-home procedures, which are not only lethal for the babies, but also extremely dangerous for the mothers. And we know that African countries are targeted for genocidal contraception and abortion by the so-called progressive Western nations. That is a flagrant example of blatant racism, in my opinion. In fact, in the U.S., abortion is the greatest cause of death for blacks (source).

Silence on abortifacient birth control continues. Babies are dying every moment of every day.

We have known about the potential for these products to cause early abortions since the 1960s, which is why the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (ACOG) changed the definition of when human life begins from fertilization (conception) to implantation or nidation at that time. If Dr. Bogomir Kuhar is correct, that there are about twelve silent abortions for every surgical abortion, how many babies have died in the last six decades? How many will die today? Yet, this reality is not being addressed.

I found a Jan. 22, 2018 article written by Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute – a very credible source – showing "[t]he US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) have once again written to Congress requesting 'robust funding' for two agencies deeply committed to the promotion and distribution of contraception, one of which provides millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood." Another report on CRS can be found by clicking here.

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is also suspect. Supposedly, it funds anti-poverty projects and gives "those on the margins a hand up, not a hand out." To see what they actually do, please read the article from The American Catholic by Donald R. McClarey titled "Not One Thin Dime." You will find it by clicking here.

To say I'm shocked is an understatement. In our parishes and Catholic diocesan newspaper, CRS is touted as a legitimate charitable organization, and we are encouraged to "sacrifice" to make Rice Bowl contributions during Lent. I truly wonder how much sacrifice is engendered by throwing a few coins into a cardboard box every once in a while? The fact that our contributions are being used to fund activities – contraception and abortion – that are explicitly forbidden by the Magisterium for almost 2,000 years, by the USCCB, and that they are lobbying our Congress to use our tax money to further this agenda, is despicable. It's an outright betrayal of the laity and those clergy who may be unaware that this is happening.

Much of this money is targeted for Africa, which is, in my opinion, the last bastion of authentic Catholic family values. The global elitists have already persuaded most of the US, Canada, Latin America, and Europe that Catholic sexual morality is outdated and oppressive. They have not succeeded with the Muslims, but they have their eyes on Catholic Africa because population control in that continent gives them access to the rich natural resources there. And millions of African girls have been sterilized, without knowledge or consent, through the administration of vaccines (source). On the horizon loom, "Milestones in contraceptive vaccines development and hurdles in their application" (Gupta, Shrestha and Minhas), in a newly published report from the National Institutes for Health. See this report.

No one could expose this evil better than Obianuju Ekeocha in her newly published book, Target Africa: Ideological Neocolonialism In the Twenty-First Century (2018; Ignatius Press). She is a brave, brilliant and beautiful Catholic Nigerian pro-life woman with a background in medical research. Her book is the most current one on the subject and is well-sourced. I beg you to read it yourself. You will find it easy to read, but disturbing to contemplate. She has also released a documentary based on her book called Strings Attached. It demonstrates how Africans must accept birth control and abortion in order to receive other necessary aid.

I have Facebook friends who are Catholic priests in Africa. They tell me, "Yes, this is happening, and it is evil. We are praying." What else can they do in these poor regions? Can they fight the actions of the very people who should be on their side, our Catholic bishops?

When I see that there are clergy in the Vatican that want to modernize Humanae Vitae, and allow contraception, I wonder if they realize that the only true family planning methods left that are not abortifacient are barrier methods, sterilizations, and fertility awareness methods, such as Natural Family Planning? If they persuade the pope to abandon the constant teaching of the Church on this matter, they will then be endorsing abortion. Today, the most important value of natural methods is their protection of unborn life from conception. This aspect of natural methods is rarely stressed. Natural methods also protect women from dangerous side-effects as well.

We have excellent encyclicals by previous popes regarding these issues. The titles put people off, but the contents are well worth reading. I know that Casti Connubii was the most recent teaching when my parents married in 1950. I know I owe my own life to them for respecting it. I want to know why these well-thought-out and prayerful treatises are cast aside and forgotten? The laity rarely hears anything about them. No wonder most Catholics do not understand Catholic moral theology in this area, and no wonder they do not observe the "rules."

I've heard priests say, "I don't have anyone right now" (engaged couples). They're overlooking the vast numbers of married parishioners who were never grounded in this subject and who are ignoring the teaching of the Church because they believe it's irrelevant. Consequently, many Catholic babies are being lost, often without their parents' knowledge or consent. What about the souls of those using these methods?

In 2016, I attempted to resume promotion of NFP in my area of our diocese. I wrote to and followed up with phone calls to nine parishes. The result was that one engaged couple said they were interested in learning the method. This tells me that the subject of NFP is not being addressed in our churches. Perhaps priests are uncomfortable with the topic, but it is something that engaged and married couples need. There are people and resources available to help priests in this area.

The task of addressing chastity and abortifacient birth control is vital to saving lives, marriages and souls. We need you, our shepherds, to participate in this most crucial decision, the decision to abandon silence on these issues. It may be difficult to be persuasive in light of the recent scandals, but it should be obvious to everyone that the dismissal of these topics is what has led us to the place we are now, no matter which state in life or vocation we have.

The mantra of our times is, "What difference does it make?" It has made all the difference in the world to grant license to everyone for every choice available. It's no accident that the words, "license" and "licentiousness" are related. Being married is no license for adultery or contraception. Being single is no license for fornication or cohabitation. Being celibate is no license for impurity or pornography.

I remember Phil Donahue asking, "Who is it (premarital sex and cohabitation) going to hurt?" We observe that granting everyone license for everything hurts everyone. Now we can see that our children, born and unborn, pay the heaviest price for our licentiousness. It's time to address this philosophy of unbridled freedom. The slogan of those protesting clergy sexual abuse is, "The silence stops now." The silence about licentiousness in every area of our sexual relationships needs to end. It's literally a matter of life and death.

With all due respect and with prayers,

(Mrs. Stefanie R. Fell)

© Matt C. Abbott

 

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 'Unsolved' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback and story ideas. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if those emails are marked confidential. Also, if you give me permission to publish a quote of yours, please do not contact me at a later time to request that I delete your name. Only in limited circumstances will I quote anonymous sources. Thank you and God bless!)

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