Saturday, February 25, 2012

AAPLOG Conference

As I started to write this post, I had trouble labeling it. "Pro-life," obviously applies, as does "ob/gyn" and "research," but so does "ethics," "spirituality in medicine," "vocation," "advice," "surrender...." I had to stop myself from clicking almost all of them.

Today was the 2012 annual education meeting of the American Association for Pro-Life OB/GYNs. It was in Washington, D.C. (my first time in the capital); it snowed this morning, and the conference was great. I was impressed with the high and rigid standards for publications, recommendations, and protocols. I was fired up to start healing our culture, now!

The highlights:
  • 8:45 Maureen Condic, PhD. “Defining the Beginning of Human Life”
    • Dr. Condic was at the Vita Institute. She condensed several of her lectures into one (because the audience had a more uniform education) on when human life begins.
    • Dr. Condic's white paper probably contains her arguments, although I freely confess I did not read it!
    Credit: euthman
  • 9:45 Theresa Deisher, Ph.D. “Current Ethical Issues in Drug Development”
    • I had no idea that some cosmetics, several vaccines, and some drugs are made in cell lines derived from aborted fetuses (and they contain contaminants from those lines). I'm not advocating chucking all vaccines, but I agree with Dr. Deisher that we should make an effort to find ethical, economical, and technological superior alternatives. Check out some of these companies:
  • 10:30 George Delgado, M.D. “Reversing Mifepristone: Case Reports”
    • Repeated doses of 200mg IM progesterone in oil = stop a chemical abortion. He went through six cases (publication pending). Amazing.
    • You know, it's impossible to reverse a surgical abortion, so I feel that the increasing use of RU-486 is almost a boon.
  • 11:00 Paul Gray, M.D. “Medical and Surgical Naprotechnology”
    • Naprotechnology is incredible. Mainstream gynecology treats menstrual disorders and infertility very quickly with birth control or IVF, without finding the cause; naprotechnology finds the cause of a woman's problems and addresses them to correct the symptoms or infertility (when possible). It corrects a cycle instead of suppressing it. Besides being a theoretically better approach, it also doesn't involve carcinogenic pills predisposing the patient to thromboembolism!
    • If you want to learn more about naprotechnology, you can read up at or Please note, I haven't explored these sites, and they weren't mentioned by Dr. Gray.
  • 11:45 Priscilla Coleman, Ph.D. “The Psychology of Abortion: Addressing the Critical Questions to Maximize Patient Care in 2012”
    • WECARE 
    • Dr. Coleman carried out the largest meta-analysis to date on abortion after-effects. She's met with a lot of resistance, but she concluded that (yes; surprise) there is psychological morbidity following abortion, especially in high-risk groups (unsupportive relationship, hx of previous mental illness, ambivalence about the decision...).  
  • 1:15 Frederick Dyer, Ph.D. “Horatio Robinson Storer, M.D. and the Physicians’ Crusade Against Abortion, with implications for the current practicing doctor’s responsibilities toward the abortion issue.”
    • Interesting historical sketch of a gynecologist in the mid-1800s who advocated against clandestine abortion because of the harm it does. I didn't know there was abortion in the 1800s! 
    • Dr. Storer was supported by the AMA and his work led to the laws against abortion that disappeared in 1973.
  • 2:00 Michael New, Ph.D. ‘Analyzing How State Level Anti-Abortion Laws Impact Fertility Outcomes.”
    • Dr. New was at the Vita Institute as well! Never hurts to hear it again.
  • 2:45 George Mulcaire-Jones, M.D. “Safe Passages Program: Confronting Maternal Mortality in Rural Nigeria, Update.”
    • Magnificat Maternal Health Project 
    • Awesome teaching tool; reminds me of the Worth the Wait program, because it treats the disease, not the symptoms (it heals the culture and the family and doesn't just hand out contraceptives to African couples).
    • My thoughts: it works in Africa? Good. Bring it here. I desire to touch the poor here.
  • 3:30 Angela Lanfranchi, M.D.: “The Abortion Breast Cancer Link: The biologic basis and a review of the literature 1957-2011
    • Breast Cancer Prevention Institute 
    • There is a link all medical professionals already agree on: an abortion stops a full-term pregnancy, which has a protective effect.
    • The link people debate about is the "independent" link: an abortion not only removes positive effect, but has negative effect on breast cancer risk. Just look at the physiology! Data supports this, too. (For instance, every time a study finds a statistically significant correlation, it's positive.)
  • 4:15 Byron Calhoun. M.D. “Premature Labor: The At-Risk Patient”
    • Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    • This presentation mostly went over my head. It was the only one that was purely clinical and all about management recommendations for patients, so there were lots of terms and acronyms that I didn't catch.... I learned what a cerclage is, but only because I looked it up on my phone in the middle of the session!
    • The point of this talk was: 127 studies show that women with a previous abortion (surgical, medical, or spontaneous) show increased risk for preterm delivery. It's above a 300% increase for women with combined medical/surgical abortions (e.g. incomplete medical abortion requiring D&C) according to a study from China (Laoi).
I also enjoyed briefly meeting with someone from Students for Life, and also talking with some old OB/GYNs about being countercultural, not being afraid of lawsuits, and doing God's will. It's late and I've got to get up at 4:30am tomorrow to fly back home, so good night!

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