Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Sunday, February 18, 2018

stgerard-bkfst 4679The Mena family of Hartford takes a moment during the annual Mother’s Day fund-raiser for St. Gerard’s Center for Life on May 19 at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell. They are dad Didier, baby Didismay and mom Dismary. They also have a daughter, Dadier, 9. The family came to this country from Cuba in 2006 and were helped by St. Gerard’s Center, they said. (Photo by Maria G. O’Donnell)

HARTFORD – Biology and theology intersected during the featured talk at St. Gerard’s Center for Life’s ninth annual Mother’s Day event at Holy Apostles College and Seminary.

Dr. Gerard Nadal, academic dean at Holy Apostles, told the 200 people at the center’s annual Mother’s Day Banquet, Holy Hour and Fund-raiser on May 19 about the connection between breast cancer and contraception use. Also on St. Gerard’s board, Dr. Nadal is the national director of Med Students for Life of America.

Dr. Nadal, who holds a doctorate in molecular microbiology from St. John’s University, recalled that colleagues encouraged him to research the link between breast cancer and abortion and contraception use. He read paper after paper published by top-tier professionals and discovered that the World Health Organization considers the estrogen and progestogen in hormone replacement therapy and oral contraceptives as the “highest-level-known carcinogens, with uranium, arsenic and tobacco on the list, as well,” said Dr. Nadal.

He illustrated the carcinogenic effect with what occurs during pregnancy. A pregnant woman who has never been on contraceptives will have a 2,000-percent rise in estrogen. Breast size doubles to prepare for milk production causing a “cellular proliferation” of immature cells that are very breast-cancer-prone, Dr. Nadal explained.

In the last trimester, through the placenta, the baby causes the release of human placental lactogen, which stimulates milk production. The breast cells become more mature cells that are cancer-resistant, 85 percent of which are resistant for life, he said.

“The beauty of this reciprocal love between a mother and child is that it protects a mother from breast cancer,” said Dr. Nadal, adding, “The remaining 15 percent of breast cells turn to [the resistant type] during nursing.”

But, most abortions occur during the first and early in the second trimester. Human placental lactogen never gets produced, so the breast cells do not mature, causing a 40 to 80 percent increase in the risk of breast cancer, he said.

Meanwhile, the estrogen/progestogen pill simulates pregnancy followed by abortion; now, there is a 50 percent increased risk of breast cancer, he said. Additionally, the progestogen-only pill has a three- to five-time higher incidence of the complication called ectopic pregnancy than estrogen only or the estrogen/progestogen combination.

Dr. Nadal challenged the validity of the idea that condoms protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). He read from a public health sheet distributed to Center for Disease Control (CDC) personnel: “Consistent, correct use of condoms can reduce, though not eliminate, the risk of STD transmission. The most reliable way to avoid STDs, including AIDS, is to abstain from sexual activity or by being in a long-term, monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner,” it said.

Calling “can” a “squishy” word, Dr. Nadal emphasized the weak nature of the protective qualities of the condom. In fact, it doesn’t fully protect against human papillomavirus (HPV), he said, because the surrounding area of both male and female genitalia can harbor the virus and pass it along.

“Did I quote the Catechism of the Catholic Church or Thomas Aquinas? No,” said Dr. Nadal. “It’s science for all the world to see and has nothing to do with religion.” He made this distinction because when he’s spoken to members of Congress about these issues, they charge him with being a pro-life Catholic, “then I show them the CDC and science information, and they’re horrified,” he said. “Quoting from the Church won’t work. Science is the ‘state religion.’”

He encouraged his audience to contact their lawmakers and to spread the facts to other people, especially at the local level.

He said, “The scientific community has answered the radical pro-aborts; speak to the truth with science and technology. God reveals himself through creation; good science equals good theology.” He said it’s time to “ruffle people’s feathers; young people’s lives are on the line. That’s why I’m so grateful for St. Gerard’s for saving babies and mothers from abortion.”

St. Gerard’s Center for Life pregnancy resource center is dedicated to assisting mothers to make life-affirming decisions by providing emotional, spiritual and material support.

The center’s director, Theresa Krankowski, said, “In this Year of Faith, we’re committed to mothers to choose life and grow in faith. Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and not yet seen. This is the theme we live.”