Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Homestead to bring hope to Kansas sex trafficking victims

he state of Kansas is best known for its industries, rural plains, wheat and other agriculture, and solid mid-western values. But there is an industry that operates in secret, one that affects nearly every state in America–and most countries around the world.
Human sex trafficking does exist in Kansas, the Sunflower State. And some who attend Manhattan’s Westview Community Church (Wesleyan) have actually been among the victims of trafficking.
Deb Kluttz, Westview’s executive pastor since 2006, attended the Wesleyan Women Hands of Hope anti-trafficking training at The Wesleyan Church Headquarters in Fishers, Indiana, in September 2009. At the time she attended the training, she’d just begun to do her own research on the topic because she’d had family members in the sex industry.
After that weekend, a passion developed for Deb, who has attended Westview for 33 years and been in leadership there for 16. She returned home to Manhattan (located in northeastern Kansas) and told the women’s ministry team about human trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery that generates billions of dollars in profits through the sex trade.
Initially, many of the people wanted to open a safe house for trafficking victims. But Deb suggested they begin first with prayer, asking God what He wanted them to do.
“We went into focused prayer mode for two years,” says Deb. Group members continued to educate themselves and began to be intentional about taking opportunities to promote awareness of the issue. They read books on trafficking. They traveled to nearby Junction City, KS, where they prayed on-site at strip clubs, truck stops, and the juvenile center.
Almost two years after the Hands of Hope training, one of Westview’s own members unexpectedly passed away. After her tragic death, the woman’s husband gave Westview’s women’s ministry a generous monetary gift in her honor.


Melinda Gates' False and Dangerous Solution to Poverty

Empowering women, reducing poverty and improving the overall health and well-being of women and children are noble goals. As with all great visions, however, the devil is in the details. Melinda Gates claims that the key to reducing poverty is to flood the developing world with contraceptives and abortifacients.
A cornerstone of this effort is the development of a new injectable contraceptive that would be analogous to the currently available medroxyprogesterone acetate also known as DMPA, or by its brand name Depo-Provera. Unlike Depo Provera, which requires an intramuscular injection and must be administered by a medical professional, this new form is a self-administered subcutaneous injection. Ms. Gates hopes that her efforts will bring contraception to at least an additional 120 million women worldwide, with the primary focus being in sub-Saharan African and South Asia.
But what exactly is Ms. Gates offering these women? Her “solution” will result in the death of countless newly conceived children, it may double the transmission rates of HIV and it will certainly increase the risks for breast cancer. In addition, progestin-only contraceptives are associated with a significant risk for blood clots and strokes.
There are two mechanisms of action for injectable contraceptives like Depo Provera to prevent pregnancy. The first is to prevent ovulation so that conception does not occur. However, if this mechanism is unsuccessful and conception does occur, Depo Provera keeps the lining of the uterus so thin that implantation will not occur. The result is that the newly conceived life is aborted.
In promoting her cause, Ms. Gates links her efforts to expand contraceptive use to the fight against HIV/AIDS. However, use of an injectable contraception offers no protection against HIV transmission. In fact, researchers from the University of Washington studied women in Africa and found that the use of DMPA doubled the transmission rates of HIV. They cited three mechanisms to account for this increase. First, the hormonal contraceptives cause the vaginal lining to thin and develop small tears that increase the exposure to HIV during sex. Secondly, the hormonal contraceptives weaken the immune system and reduce a woman’s ability to repel HIV infection. Finally, women who are HIV positive and take hormonal contraceptives shed more HIV virus, making them more infectious.
Clearly, increased use of an injectable hormonal contraceptive is not going to help the fight against AIDS.
Hormonal contraceptives are also associated with a significantly increased risk of breast cancer. In a 2012 study published in the Journal of Cancer Research, researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center looked specifically at DMPA and found that it doubled the risk of breast cancer. Pushing for expanded use of a drug that doubles the breast cancer risk in developing countries with limited capacity for routine screening for breast cancer is illogical and borders on reckless. So why would the Gates Foundation advocate such a medically risky solution to the poverty of developing countries?