The Pill causes male infertility, says the Vatican
By Simon Caldwell
The contraceptive Pill is polluting the environment and is a major cause of male infertility in the West, the Vatican has said.
It claimed there was substantial evidence available to show that the environment was being flooded with synthetic female hormones because of widespread use of oral contraceptives and the morning-after pill.
According to L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s official newspaper, the result has been a 'devastating' increase in male infertility and in the rising numbers of couples struggling to conceive children.
In Britain, an estimated one in eight couples is considered to be either infertile or sub-fertile, with people increasingly relying on in-vitro fertilisation to have a family.
Scientists acknowledge that chemicals mimicking female hormones may partly be to blame for plunging sperm counts but say they such substances originate from a wide range of sources, including pesticides, plastics, shampoos and cosmetics.
The Vatican, however, has laid the blame squarely on the contraceptive Pill and the morning-after pill, a powerful steroid drug taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse.
In the newspaper article, published with the approval of high-ranking Vatican officials, Pedro Castellvi, president of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, said that the Pill 'has for some years had devastating effects on the environment by releasing tonnes of hormones into nature' through female urine.
'We have sufficient evidence to argue that one of the considerable factors contributing to male infertility in the West - with its ever decreasing numbers of spermatozoa in men - is environmental pollution caused by the byproducts of the pill,' he said.
'We are faced with a clear anti-environmental effect which demands more explanation on the part of the manufacturers.'
The article was based on a 100-page report published by the federation to mark the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, the controversial1968 encyclical by Pope Paul VI that forbade married couples from using contraception.
The report, entitled 'Forty Years of Humanae Vitae From a Medical Perspective', drew on studies which have revealed the fish feeding near sewage have changed sex, and birds feeding in some river estuaries have changed developed sexual abnormalities.
It analysed scientific data on the effects of the Pill and included 300 bibliographic citations, mostly from specialised medical journals.
But its claims were dismissed by pharmaceutical organisations in Italy. Such hormones as oestrogen, which are contained in the contraceptive Pill, 'are present everywhere... in plastic, in disinfectants, in meat that we eat,' said Flavia Franconi of the Society of Italian Pharmacology.
Gianbenedetto Melis, a scientist involved in research on contraceptives, said: 'Once metabolised, the hormones contained in oral contraceptives no longer have any of the characteristic effects of feminine hormones.'
The Vatican newspaper article also raised concerns about the 'abortive' actions of the morning-after pill and some types of birth control pills.
It said that the report 'clearly demonstrates' that low-dose hormonal birth control pills work not only by preventing ovulation but also by impeding the implantation of a very young human embryo into its mother’s womb.
The report, it said, also noted that the International Agency for Research of Cancer, an agency of the World Health Organisation, reported in July 2005 that the oral preparations of combined oestrogen-progestogens common in birth control pills are classified in a group of carcinogenic agents.
'The sad thing in all this is that if it is to regulate fertility, these are not the products required,' said Castellvi.
'The natural means of regulating fertility, NFP or Natural Family Planning, are equally effective and also respect the person.'
He said: 'the means of contraception violate at least five important rights - the right to life, the right to health, the right to education, all right to information (their spread is at the expense of information on natural resources) and the right to equality between the sexes (the burden of contraception falls mostly on women)'.
You know, I wonder if the Church realizes that they are quickly becoming the laughingstock of the religious community. Between PanzerPope's speech on gays being as dangerous as deforesting the rain forests ( I am still waiting on the "gay agenda" documents so I can do my part to take over the world) and this wonderful bit of information, you have to wonder just what in the hell they are all smoking in the Vatican. I particularly like the bit about the hormones being released into the environment in women's urine. No more potty breaks for the girls, if you have taken or are currently taking the pill, you need to hold it in from now on so you don't pollute the environment.