How does the Birth Control Pill work?

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It’s amazing how many young women take a mysterious pill almost every, single morning…and don’t know what it is doing to their body.

The Birth Control Pill, aside from being contraceptive, fundamentally changes how a woman’s body was made to function. It basically tricks her body into thinking it is constantly pregnant. When it “works” it prevents a woman’s body from going through her completely natural and healthy hormonal cycle. Isn’t that funny?

I thought medicine was supposed to fix things that were broken. Heal things that are sick. But the Birth Control Pill is one of the only pills that does exactly the opposite. It intentionally breaks something in your body that is working. And while there are some morally acceptable applications of The Pill to fix or help other issues a woman may be having, her fertility is not one of those things! And often those problems, as I understand, can be fixed more effectively by alternative methods that are much healthier.

So ask yourself this: If you aren’t sick, why are you taking a pill every morning? Do you really think this is God’s plan for your life? Or did He perhaps design you with something else in mind?

Another little known fact about the Birth Control Pill is that it can act as an abortifacient. And not only can it, but it is designed to do so.

If you read the fine print about the Birth Control Pill, they all say that they work these three basic ways.

  1. By hopefully preventing the woman from ovulating.
  2. It causes a woman’s cervical mucus to thicken to try and prevent sperm from getting through.
  3. It thins the lining of the uterus so that (if points 1 and 2 don’t work and a sperm happens to fertilize an egg) the fertilized egg can not implant – ending the life of the new human that the woman just created.

From what I understand it’s very difficult to verify how often #3 occurs (if anyone has any numbers please share!). But given the widespread examples of women getting pregnant while using The Pill (i.e. all 3 steps failing), it seems probable that #3 is happening quite a bit (some estimate it to be millions every year just in the US).  Women just don’t realize it’s happening because they wouldn’t be able to tell their normal menstrual cycle from an abortion at this early point.

I wrote a post over at the National Catholic Register about a new documentary on the Pill that talks precisely about this issue and how Pill providers try to hide these facts from women and doctors. Here is the short version of the documentary:

For a comparison, here is Planned Parenthood’s endorsement of The Pill:

You’ll notice that they conveniently leave out step #3. Unconscionable, in my opinion. It’s also sad that they don’t mention the truest and safest way to prevent both pregnancy and STDs: Abstinence. But they don’t make any money off of people controlling themselves.

Additionally, I would encourage every person, man and woman, to learn about Natural Family Planning (NFP). Especially couples! It’s over 99% effective at postponing pregnancy. And the best part is that it respects the dignity and function of a woman’s body the way that God made her. It also has countless other positive points (like being in complete harmony with living a Christian life – as opposed to contraception). Once you are educated about it, it’s a no-brainer.

Do you know what the divorce rate is among couples who practice NFP? 0.2%. Case closed.

Additionally, here are a couple of other good videos explaining more on how The Pill works:

Please share this with everyone you know – especially the women!

84 comments Add comment

Sarah July 15, 2010 at 11:04 am

It’s interesting that you post this today, Matt. Thanks for doing so. I was discussing this with a friend just yesterday. And next week is the National Theology of the Body Congress. I hear it’s sold-out, but I saw on the website they are offering live-streaming of the speakers. TOB really gives a great perspective on this subject for those who want to learn more. I’ll be watching live. If you’re interested too, I went to this website: http://tobcongress.com/register/live-streaming

David July 15, 2010 at 11:37 am

I actually learned about this in an upper level biology course in college. I am a biology major and our professor went into depth about the birth control pill when we studied the reproductive and hormonal control in women. I had always thought (and I have to say after sharing with many friends, they always thought as well) that the pill kept you from ovulating. Women can and do ovulate when taking the pill, thus fertilization does occur given the chance the woman has intercourse. By not allowing the new zygote to implant in the uterus the woman has an abortion without even knowing it! I am happy to see that people are striving to educate the public, in what appears to be a lack of understanding in a highly controversial topic. I know many happily married Christian women, (who are obviously against abortion) who don’t think twice about taking the pill, when in effect they have no idea that their actions may prove contrary to the beliefs they hold in their heart. I’m happy to see someone finally stepping up!

Bobby Bambino July 15, 2010 at 11:42 am

Here is something I have been thinking about recently. I’m not sure if Matt is implicitly making the following case, but I think the point is quite relevant. In some Protestant circles, any birth control pill that may act as an abortifacient is (rightfully) rejected. However, it is sometimes SOLELY rejected on the basis that it acts as an abortifacient. For example, you will find Protestants who sill allow things like condoms. Now I reject all forms of contraception completely. But my question is, is it a sufficient reason to reject the birth control pill based SOLELY on its abortifacient affect?

Given the fact that the actual percentage of abortions that the pill causes seems to be very small, I lean more towards the answer to my question being “no.” For there are many things that have a small percentage chance of harming or even aborting the fetus, but we would not consider them evil because they are an a priori good or neutral. I’m thinking of something like the caffeine in a cup of coffee. Coffee does pose a threat, however minor, to the developing fetus. But since that threat is so small and since there is nothing intrinsically wrong with having a cup of coffee, we do not condemn a pregnant woman for having a cup. Examples of actions which are morally acceptable and which may have a very minor effect on the developing fetus can be multiplied.

So this raises the question: is the birth control pill (or contraception in general) an a priori good? Sadly, it is the case that in today’s society, teh answer is “yes”, even though in objective reality the answer is “no.” So the burden of proof is on us to show that contraception is in fact evil. But if the argument is that “the birth control pill is evil because it can sometimes cause abortions and the reason we do not apply this same standard to coffee is because contraception is intrinsically evil and coffee is not” is to beg the question.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not at all arguing for the acceptance of the pill. But what I do what to do is make sure that we pro-lifers give the best possible arguments, which includes being critical of things we hear in our own circles. Any comments or counter-arguments would be greatly welcomed.

David July 15, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I disagree with your logic here. While I think you were genuine in voicing your concern it is faulty nonetheless. I would think that the answer to your question,”Is it a sufficient reason to reject the birth control pill based SOLELY on its abortifacient affect?,” is a resounding yes! See, this is one of the main pitfalls the abortion discussions take. Many people seem to try to rationalize abortion in making it right. We say, well if a woman was raped it’s okay, or if the baby will be born with disabilities it’s okay. Well, the answer is no it’s not. If we are going to be pro-life, and against abortion, we have to be either for it, or against it 100%, there is no middle ground. The catholic church teaches that you cannot (and correct me if I’m wrong on this) make an evil right, by doing another evil. This is why it does not support abortion in any case be it rape, disability, etc.

Moreover, the whole caffeine is bad for the baby is an ongoing investigation. There is no proof that it actually has any effect in small doses. We simply, do not know. So I think comparing abortion to drinking caffeine is quite the stretch. The truth is, all of the food we eat can be potentially harmful. It may have parasites, microbial agents, or a number of carcinogens that we are not aware about. Should mothers refuse to eat because what she consumes may harm her child? Obviously, the answer is no.

Lastly, you stated that “Given the fact that the actual percentage of abortions that the pill causes seems to be very small.” On what grounds are you basing this? I am unaware of a study that has confirmed this, let alone researching it now. Please provide a source to back up this claim. The simple answer is, we have no idea this is happening. And given the wide variety of symptoms and reactions a woman may experience while on the pill, it is impossible to tell. Everyone’s body responds differently. Even if it is a small percentage, an act that can potentially lead to an abortion can never be rationalized no matter the odds. I don’t think God would say, “the abortion was okay because it was so unlikely.” We know the potential risk, and we have to be responsible for our actions. So, please, everyone, either be for abortion or against it. Don’t fall into the pitfall of rationalization, trying to make an evil…less evil.

Bobby Bambino July 15, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Hi David. Thanks for the reply.

“Moreover, the whole caffeine is bad for the baby is an ongoing investigation. There is no proof that it actually has any effect in small doses. We simply, do not know. So I think comparing abortion to drinking caffeine is quite the stretch. ”

This misses the point I was trying to make. Take any other morally neutral action that may have a small chance of producing a negative side effect on the fetus. In fact, you mention that all food could potentially harm the fetus right after the quote above, which is precisely my point. We would never disallow normal food or drink for a pregnant woman because it has a small chance of harming or even killing the fetus so why hold the pill to that standard if it too has a very low percentage chance of harming the fetus? This, of course, raises the very next point you make.

“I am unaware of a study that has confirmed this, let alone researching it now. Please provide a source to back up this claim.”

I don’t have one, and I don’t like the game that people play where they just quick google search something and then throw up a link without reading it (nor do they even have the exercisable potency to understand it) and then say “ha! this research proves it!” If the percentage is large, then my argument is moot.

So I guess I’m actually just interesting in discussing then if theoretically the birth control pill had caused an abortion as frequently as any other food or drink or whatever that is morally neutral, would we look at it as evil just based on that criteria alone?

“Even if it is a small percentage, an act that can potentially lead to an abortion can never be rationalized no matter the odds.”

I don’t think this is correct. You put your unborn child at risk by driving in a car because you could get into an accident. You can engage in any number of activities that could potentially harm your unborn child. It gets into this odd calculus of how much risk is too much risk? I don’t have the answer. I just wish to discuss it.

“So, please, everyone, either be for abortion or against it. Don’t fall into the pitfall of rationalization, trying to make an evil…less evil.”

I am 100% against it. I am critiquing the argument, not the conclusion. You can have true conclusions but faulty or unsound arguments leading up to those conclusions, and that is what I am trying to investigate. God love you.

Bobby Bambino July 15, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Actually, to try and make what I’m saying a little more clear, let me put it into a syllogism.

1. If an action has the potential to cause an abortion, then that action is evil.
2. The birth control pill has the potential to cause an abortion.
Therefore, the birth control pill is evil.

This is logically valid but unsound since there are many counter examples to the major premise. So I would guess that those who reject teh birth control pill SOLELY on the basis of its abortifacient aspect would tweak teh major premise. And that, I suppose, is what I am interested in knowing. If one rejects the birth control pill based ONLY on its abortifacient aspect, what would the major premise of the syllogism be? In other words, what is the overriding PRINCIPLE on which the rejection of birth control pills is based on? (which of course precludes any arguments about theology of the body or why birth control in general is evil, which it is) For the sake of argument, I am happy to concede the minor premise i.e. that the pill satisfies the major. But that is what I am curios to know. What is the major premise of which the pill is a part of but which all these other activities which can potentially harm the unborn is not?

And again, for the record, I completely agree with the conclusion. I’m just trying to make our arguments as tight as possible.

David July 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Thanks for the reply. Bobby, I think you have an interesting perspective. I see your point in calculating potential risks at “aborting” a baby. But, I think you are missing a key point when it comes to the pill. The pill is an ARTIFICIAL product which is meant to eliminate the chance of pregnancy, which in case causes the zygote (it is not yet a fetus) to be ARTIFICIALLY aborted.

This is a huge difference when comparing it to day to day activities that are necessary. The simple truth is, yes, food may be harmful, driving in a car across town to get to work may be harmful, just about everything we do “may be harmful.” But one cannot go without food, you still have to go to work, in short, you still have to live your life. However, one CAN go WITHOUT the pill. I believe this is the whole miracle of childbirth. Taking into account everything that can go wrong during gestation, the birth of a child praises God all the more. I believe the pill is contrary to God’s plan concerning marriage and parenthood. And in an answer to your question, no I cannot justify using a device that is deliberately designed to prevent a pregnancy, or kill a zygote, over eating an apple or driving to the bookstore.

I’m sorry that you don’t like the idea of sources backing up a claim. An argument is only as good as it’s sources, and unfortunately making claims that can or cannot be backed up by research, and in fact do not, must be taken with a grain of salt. And if you do not have the capacity to understand it (as you say: “nor do they even have the exercisable potency to understand it”) then maybe the said person should think twice about presenting an argument.

If you are as you say “100% against it [abortion]” then how can you justify a PILL that is not necessary that can lead to it.

“Given the fact that the actual percentage of abortions that the pill causes seems to be very small, I lean more towards the answer to my question being “no.””

Bobby Bambino July 15, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Hey David.

“The pill is an ARTIFICIAL product which is meant to eliminate the chance of pregnancy, which in case causes the zygote (it is not yet a fetus) to be ARTIFICIALLY aborted. ”

Actually, it would be a blastocyst, right? :)

Okay, I think this is on the right track. So the problem is that the pill is artificial? Is it the combination of artificial and that it has the potency to kill that makes it problematic?

“This is a huge difference when comparing it to day to day activities that are necessary. The simple truth is, yes, food may be harmful, driving in a car across town to get to work may be harmful, just about everything we do “may be harmful.” But one cannot go without food, you still have to go to work, in short, you still have to live your life. However, one CAN go WITHOUT the pill.”

But see, this is the problem with the pill ITSELF though. This is why the pill is wrong. This doesn’t address the fact that it is abortifacient. This is my whole point that the argument is question begging. It assumes the truth of the evilness of the pill based on the more general argument of the immorality of contraception.

“I believe the pill is contrary to God’s plan concerning marriage and parenthood.”

Indeed. All contraception is. But that hypothesis is smuggled into the argument concerning the abortifacient nature of the pill. So why don’t we just argue that the pill is evil because it is contraception and contraception is evil because of teh reasons (and others) that you outlined above?

“no I cannot justify using a device that is deliberately designed to prevent a pregnancy…”

Exactly! It is wrong to thwart the conjugal act through artificial means, and this is why the birth control pill is evil.

“I’m sorry that you don’t like the idea of sources backing up a claim.”

I do like the idea. IWhat I don’t like is the way the internet has turned everyone into a scholar. Again, I’m not going to do a quick google search and act like I’m some expert in the field. As I mentioned above, I’m only interested in this as a theoretical argument. Then whatever teh data happens to be, we can go from there. Did I make a claim that I can’t back up? Yes. Do I make that same claim now? No. Let’s just assume it’s true for the sake of argument.

“And if you do not have the capacity to understand it (as you say: “nor do they even have the exercisable potency to understand it”) then maybe the said person should think twice about presenting an argument.”

I didn’t say I couldn’t understand it. I’m simply not interested right now enough in what the actual data might say to thoroughly read research papers. Hopefully my above syllogism made it more clear what I am trying to get at. If hypothetically both the pill and caffeine cause abortions .3% of the time, what is it that allows a pregnant women to consume caffeine but not teh pill? Is it because the pill is unnatural amongst teh other arguments you made? I agree. But then that is an argument against all contraception, having nothing to do with the pill’s abortifacient effect.

“If you are as you say “100% against it [abortion]” then how can you justify a PILL that is not necessary that can lead to it.”

I have never once in any way shape or form justified use of the pill, and I think I have made this abundantly clear by stating numerous times that I think contraception is evil. the last quote of mine that you quoted is an answer to the question that I posed:

“But my question is, is it a sufficient reason to reject the birth control pill based SOLELY on its abortifacient affect?”

The key word here is SOLELY. Again, I am critiquing the argument, not the conclusion that the birth control pill is evil. The pill is evil. The pill is evil. The pill is evil. All contraception is gravely and inherently evil. Let that be known that that is my position. God love you.

David July 15, 2010 at 4:33 pm

“Actually, it would be a blastocyst, right? :)”

Yes, Bobby, it is technically known as a blastocyst. I am sorry for using the term zygote loosely (which is often the case unless you want something more technical) The zygote becomes a mass of 8 cells called a morula, which divides further into a hollow ball called a blastocyst, which in turn (as you have pointed out) implants in the uterus. I am actually studying embryology right now so thanks for clearing that one up. I digress…

I understand your argument. I understand you are against abortion. Do I need to say it again? I understand you are against abortion. I guess I am just not following the rest of your logic.

If by abortifacient, you mean a substance that inherently causes abortions, then yes I believe the pill as an abortifacient alone makes it wrong. I am unaware of something being called an abortifacient (pill, medicines, etc) that is not used to purposefully cause abortions. (I will go ahead and not google this so I won’t seem like an expert :) )

In actuality, if by contraceptive we mean an unnatural device used to prevent pregnancy, wouldn’t all abortifacients be contraceptives? So, yes, the pill’s SOLE abortaficient qualities make it wrong, at least to me.

By eating contaminated foods, or foods that have carcinogens (or what have you) in them that causes an “abortion” would be a miscarriage to me. The mother did not DELIBERATELY kill her baby. I think the fact that the pills deliberate (it’s designed to do it) act of causing an abortion is a reason enough to make it wrong.

God bless.

Bobby Bambino July 15, 2010 at 4:57 pm

“I am unaware of something being called an abortifacient (pill, medicines, etc) that is not used to purposefully cause abortions.”

I think the term is used precisely how you describe it above. Matt used it in this article in that way as well.

“I will go ahead and not google this so I won’t seem like an expert”

LOL. You can (like you need my permission!) google a word to find out a definition. A pet peeve is of mine is just teh constant citing and posting of scholarly articles by people who don’t understand them just to win an argument. If someone doesn’t understand the literature, then all that happens is the following: Someone posts a link to a study. The person responds by either saying 1) The study is biased or 2) Correlation does not imply causation or 3) A study done by someone else with the opposite results. It just ends up going no where, and the problem is that one needs to read teh studies with a critical eye and take a lot of time to do so, which message boards are not good mediums for.

“In actuality, if by contraceptive we mean an unnatural device used to prevent pregnancy, wouldn’t all abortifacients be contraceptives?”

No because it is an unintentional side effect. And see, that is what I am worried pill supporters will counter with, essentially invoking the principle of double effect. The INTENT (they would say) is to contraceptive, but a rare and unintended side effect is an abortion (or they to may even use the term miscarriage), just like food or whatever. So then this raises the question- is the intent to contracept okay? And of course the answer is no, but that is what we need to argue with them.

“The mother did not DELIBERATELY kill her baby. I think the fact that the pills deliberate (it’s designed to do it) act of causing an abortion is a reason enough to make it wrong.”

So again, I think the argument would be that the pill’s intent is to contracept (a good action in the minds of contraceptors) through either the prevention of the oocyte being released or through the slowing down of sperm. Pill supporters would argue that they have no intention to kill nor is the pill’s purpose to kill. True, it has this third effect, but it is [possibly] so rare and unintended that it falls under the principle of double effect, much like a food which has a small chance of harming the unborn.

So it seems to me that this all goes back to the question of whether or not the intent to contracept is good, which of course it is not. But then the argument is that all contraceptives are evil, regardless of whether or not they are an abortifacient.

Bobby Bambino July 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Maybe I’m not being as clear as possible… does anyone else see what I”m trying to say and can you explain it more coherently than I can?

David July 15, 2010 at 5:44 pm

“No because it is an unintentional side effect.”

I guess what I would argue it is not an unintentional side effect. The pill is specifically designed to prevent implantation if fertilization occurs. I think the argument, it’s an unintentional side effect, would be an excuse to justify it.

I appreciate your replies, I would like to hear what other people thought as well, being it’s an interesting topic

bethanne July 15, 2010 at 11:49 am

i took the pill for a VERY short time to address other issues, not as a contraceptive. my doctor even prescribed one of the lower dose of hormones. in less than 6 months was in the hospital due to blood clots caused by this pill. i went through a lot because of this illness, including losing my job at my paris, and am still on blood thinners a year later. it is possible that the hormones actually permanently affected the blood proteins. permanently. which means i may have to be on blood thinners for the rest of my life. i really don’t fault my doctor, who is at a catholic hospital, for prescribing the pill because he really was trying to address some other problems. the sad part is that, since then, a high dose of iron has corrected all but one issue i was having. iron. that’s it. now, there are health issues associated with taking iron when it is not needed, so there are still risks. but my point is that the Pill is not always necessary. i don’t share this story with everyone, because i feel ashamed that i was on the pill, even for such a short time and for reasons that have nothing to do with contraception, but i do think that women should really discuss this extensively with their doctors before accepting this prescription for any issue. in the end everything that happened turned out to be blessing after blessing after blessing and am thankful to be where all of this led me.

Jill July 15, 2010 at 2:15 pm

My main concern for use of the pill to treat other medical problems is that is doesn’t treat the problem at all–only symptoms. I have struggled with hormone and gynecological issues for 10 years now and finding a doctor to treat me without throwing the pill at me is a daunting task. I will be making a 4 hour drive next month just to see such a doctor! Thanks, Matt for bringing this information about the pill to the surface. It is about time our voices be heard on this matter. Too many woman are causing harm to their bodies (and babies) without even knowing that it is happening.

Matthew Warner July 18, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I agree with your sentiment there, Jill! The pill seems to be very over-prescribed to simply handle symptoms and avoid solving the real root of the challenges a woman may be facing.

Bobby Bambino July 15, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Thank you too, David, for indulging me and my “devil’s advocate” discussion. I mean, the truth is, I think there might be something there to the fact that the pill is an abortifacient, but I certainly can’t articulate it and I’m not satisfied with the current arguments I’ve heard in that regards. I think it can be articulated properly, but I certainly don’t know how to. Take care, bro. God love you.

Annie July 15, 2010 at 8:53 pm

The problem with step #3 is that it occurs naturally in women not on the pill. Many many women become pregnant without ever knowing because a womans own body self aborts. It would be very difficult to find numbers on #3, but I imagine that they would be very similar to the number of times it happens to women on the pill.

Erin July 17, 2010 at 10:58 am

I fail to see how naturally occurring miscarriages (NOT “self abortions”) make step #3 a problem. They are completely unrelated. The bald fact is that women on the pill can never know for certain which of the 3 mechanisms is at work within their bodies and could in fact be repeatedly aborting their own unborn children. The reality of my complicity in such actions by continuing to be on the pill is what finally allowed me to acquiesce to the teaching of the Church on the immorality of all birth control — a true moment of the presence of the grace of the Holy Spirit in my life. My husband and I now practice NFP and the joy of knowing I am obedient to God’s command outweighs all my guilt and shame (which I had to give over to Him in confession, of course). I know now that there could very will be the souls of my children in heaven already, and I want to make sure I get there.
On a side note, since this personal revelation, I have been wanting to find a Catholic doctor who lives and practices within the truths of the Catholic Church, but have been unable to find one even remotely close to wear I live. I believe this needs to be a concurrent prayer to our prayers to end abortions caused by birth control — that the Lord raise up more doctors who will minister faithfully to His truth.

Bobby Bambino July 19, 2010 at 6:47 am

HI Erin.

Have you tried this website?

http://www.aaplog.org/aaplog-physician-directory/

It is a serach for pro-life physicians, which of course does not necissarily mean Catholic, but it might be a good place to start. God love you.

David July 15, 2010 at 9:40 pm

I was very curious about how often this occurs in women, and a study was actually performed called the “Study of Abortion Deaths Commission.” They estimate 1 million to 4 million babies are aborted by the pill each year. In 2005 there were 1.21 million surgical abortions performed in the United States. Even their more “conservative” estimate is almost as high as the national average for surgical abortions. Moreover, they have proved the new pill causes even more “breakthrough ovulations” than they once did. Just thought I would throw some numbers out there.

David July 15, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Oh last thing… If you want the numbers they found for breakthrough ovulations for pills they tested… (Breakthrough ovulation is just a way of saying the pill doesn’t cause the woman to stop ovulating)

Norplant: 50-65%
Depo-Provera 40-60%
IUD: 100%

Paolo Merolla July 16, 2010 at 2:11 am

As a doctor, and without judging the reason the pill is taken, I can only say risks overcome the benefits by far, read the literature.

Kayla Cox July 17, 2010 at 11:19 am

Great topic, once again Matthew!

I’m not Catholic, but I did stop taking the pill after hearing about the possibility of it being an abortifacient. I have done tons of research and have come across a few studies that delved into the statistical probability of the pill causing abortions. To Bobby: You might find this study interesting, http://www.aaplog.org/position-and-papers/oral-contraceptive-controversy/hormone-contraceptives-controversies-and-clarifications/ It basically found that there was no statistical evidence to suggest that the “hostile endometrium” theory is plausible. Also Bobby, I liked how you framed the argument. Pregnant women indeed do things that are incredibly dangerous for the unborn child, like driving. And to David, a pregnant woman doesn’t really HAVE to drive. If it is truly immoral to put the embryo at any risk, then a woman should simply sit in her house for 9 months. Of course, I’m exaggerating. The point Bobby was trying to make is that you can’t say don’t take the pill because there’s a chance it could cause an abortion. There’s also a chance that driving a car would directly cause an abortion.
David, you also said, “The pill is specifically designed to prevent implantation if fertilization occurs.” The study I linked to above shows that really the pill doesn’t work in that way. It appears it’s more of a marketing technique on the part of the pharmaceutical companies than it is scientific fact, if that makes sense.

So then like Bobby said, the thing we have to prove is that contraception is evil. And that’s the argument I’m interested in hearing. I guess you could say I’m a bit on the fence about it. I don’t think it is evil, but I want to hear the argument as to why it is. Here is why I don’t think it’s evil: it seems to me that God has already put a sort of natural birth control in place. A woman can only get pregnant a few days out of the month, and all a couple must do is abstain during the highly probable fertile time. So, how is this different than say, using a condom? Is it because it’s artificial? Because if that is the case, then is it also morally wrong to take Tylenol when you’ve got a headache? Is it morally wrong to use all medication, including prosthetic limbs? I’m not trying to bait anyone. These are sincere questions that I have, and that I think about a lot. I’d really like to hear the Catholic side of this, as most of my friends are Protestant, and therefore support artificial birth control.

Matthew Warner July 18, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Kayla, Thank you so much for sharing that link! I am in the middle of reading it and am going to study it a bit more. But I will plan on updating this post appropriately with this great info once I am finished! This seems very convincing so far to the contrary of my previous position.

Matthew Warner July 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Kayla,

I recently was able to speak with a very qualified pro-life OB/GYN on the link you sent me from the AAPLOG. After further analysis, it doesn’t seem they have any evidence at all to back up what they are claiming. Unfortunately, it seems like it may just be the pill-prescribing pro-life doctors trying to massage their conscience on the issue and prevent division within the community. But they actually avoid the problematic issues addressed in this blog post and admit buried down in the paper that they have no evidence at all that “step 3″ does not occur and cause abortions as a result of use of the BCP.

David July 28, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Thanks for researching this Matt. I will stick with my views as the pill being an abortificient.

Bobby Bambino July 17, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Thank you for the reply and the link, Kayla. You’ve brought up some great points and asked some really great questions, and I”ll do my best to answer them.

“So, how is this different than say, using a condom? Is it because it’s artificial? Because if that is the case, then is it also morally wrong to take Tylenol when you’ve got a headache? Is it morally wrong to use all medication, including prosthetic limbs?”

Right, excellent point. What we should first do is understand what we mean by the word “natural.” Many people understated the word “natural” to mean something along the lines of “occurring ion nature” which is basically the way I think you’re thinking about the term above, Kayla. However, when we talk in this context about something being “natural”, we mean that it “acts in accord with the essence or the purpose of an object.” So while it seems a little odd to call Tylenol “natural”, it would certainly not be unnatural when you use it for a headache. Why? Because it cures or diminishes an aliment; in other words, your body is not functioning properly when you have a headache- there is a defect there. What Tylenol does is to help restore the proper function of your body to you i.e. the cause that Tylenol brings about is in accord with the purpose or proper function of the human body.

Now when you look at the question of contraception from this point of view, one immediately sees that contraception actually thwarts teh proper function of one’s fertility. When a women is fertile, her body is functioning properly. There is nothing wrong with a women’s body when it is fertile a few days of the month nor is there anything wrong with a man’s body when he is fertile continuously. The bodies are functioning properly in accordance with nature. Yet what does contraception do? It purposely destroys that proper function designed into our bodies by God himself.

Now let’s look a bit more at the difference between contraception and abstinence during certain times of the month. Both contraception and periodic abstinence (NFP) have the same ends- avoidance of a pregnancy. Now there is nothing wrong with wishing to avoid pregnancy. There can be certain cases and instances where a couple mutually decides that having children right now would not be prudent. Okay, so let us establish that the avoiding pregnancy right now is desired and that this ends is good. We have an ends we would like to achieve (lack of being pregnant). Let’s look at the two possible MEANS by which to bring about this ends; contraception and NFP. Both having the exact same good ends, but the different means. And herein lies the issue. With contraception, the means is purposefully and willfully thwarting the procreative nature/purpose of the sexual act. With NFP, what is the means? It is abstinence. It is choosing NOT to engage in the conjugal act so that there is no thwarting of the purpose of the conjugal act since there is no conjugal act taking place to thwart! This is a key point. With contraception, you will the pleasure of the sexual act but without the consequences. An analogy with contraception vs. NFP is often made with bulimia vs. dieting.

You have two people who wish to lose weight or get in shape, but one who does it through inducing vomiting and the other through dieting. Same ends, different means. The bulimic wishes the pleasure of food without the consequences of that food, so she forces herself to vomit, thereby thwarting the purpose of eating. The dieter uses the natural rhythms found in the body and takes advantage of what her body can do on its own by exercising, eating more healthy foods, and abstaining from snacking or desserts. The overarching idea here is that one always should be doing things that act in accord with the proper function and purpose of the body.

Let me give a few brief other reasons, without going into too much detail. In the bible, you will find that children are always a blessing. In the OT, it seems that the greatest promise God could make to someone is that their tribe would increase and that their descendants would be numerous. On the other hand, one of the worst punishments seems to be barenness. We see this with Sarah and Rachel, just as a couple of examples. True, there is no one single bible passage that condemns contraception, but the whole overarching context of children in teh bible is that they are a blessing and a gift. No where is it ever suggested that they are anything but that. Now that of course does not prove that contraception is wrong, but the fact that the bible has nothing but good things to say about pregnancy and children and only bad things to say about being barren is evidence of the awesome gift that children are and how it seems contrary to God’s law to try and thwart that.

Kayla, let me also recommend a couple of great books about this subject. First, Charles Provan wrote a book called “The Bible and Birth Control.” Provan is a Protestant, but he came to see the numerous biblical passages that testify to the evil of contraception. His short book is FULL of passages. Not only that, but he has quote after quote after quote from the reformers rejecting contraception. Calvin, Luther, Zwingli, etc. They all rejected contraception. In fact, contarception was universally rejected by EVERY SINGLE Christian denomination until 1930. It wasn’t until the Anglican Lambeth conference in 1930 that they said you could use contraception in marriage under really really extreme circumstances. Yet it didn’t take long at all for every single denomination to cave on this and allow contraception for any and all reasons. If it was 100 years ago, all Christians groups would be unanimously rejecting contraception. A good question to ponder is “what has changed in the past 100 years that makes it so that while contraception was once evil, it is now morally permissible?”

A second short book is by a Catholic named Patrick Coffin and titled “Sex Au Natural.” It is brand new, and it looks at the issue of contraception from a variety of angles. It is very well written, very easy to read, and DEFINITELY worth giving a chance for anyone who is looking into this issue.

So that is all I have for now, Kayla. Please let me know if you have any other questions or clarifications or couter-points or anything. God love you.

David July 18, 2010 at 12:18 am

While I do NOT agree with the previous argument regarding birth control being an abortificient. This is really well explained and I DO agree with it. Nice job Bobby and God bless.

Matthew Warner July 18, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Bobby – very nicely explained! Also, I’m going to steal the bulimia vs dieting analogy. That’s a good one!

Bobby Bambino July 17, 2010 at 1:17 pm

This looks like a REALLY interesting paper, Kayla. I’ll look through it over the next few weeks.

Kayla Cox July 17, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Bobby, Thanks for articulating the argument so well. I will definitely try to get my hands on the books you mentioned. You make a great point about contraception not being acceptable until the 30s. Seems like so much has been deemed “acceptable” in recent history that shouldn’t have been.

Great Biblical examples too.

So one wonderment I have now is, “Is it thwarting God’s design if we don’t have sexual relations with our spouse during the fertile time?” Again, not trying to be argumentative, just trying to look at all angles. God’s definitely made it so we “want to do it” given hormones and such, so wouldn’t it be thwarting God in a way, if we’re married, and we ignore those feelings? I hope I’m articulating my question well.

Beate July 17, 2010 at 2:32 pm

For me, a primary argument against contraception is that it encourages relationships which are not conducive to parenting. In other words, people have relationships with people with whom they have no intention of every parenting a child. Oh, this is awkward phrasing :-/ This leads to the necessity of abortion and many fractured and unstable relationships.

As far as abstinence goes, it isn’t easy. Because it isn’t easy, it pretty much insures that the couples are making a decision (hopefully in prayer) on wether or not to ask for another child or not.

Bobby Bambino July 17, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Yes, your question is articulated quite well, Kayla. And indeed, it seems that women are most often inclined to engage in the conjugal act when they are fertile. Let us also assume that this is a MUTUAL decision for both members to withhold sexual relations for the sake of postponing pregnancy, as one spouse forcefully withholding from the other is a completely different topic.

I think we can best come to an answer by considering the more general question that this problem falls into. And that is, is it permissible to do a good action instead of a better action? Here the good action is postponing pregnancy, but the better action would be attempting pregnancy (or at least leaving it completely in the hands of God.) We see this kind of situation all the time. I want to give money to teh Church or a charity. It would be best if I could give all of it, which would be a good, but I can’t give all because then I can’t provide support for my family, which I NEED to do. Although this may be a bit esoteric given your non-Catholic background, Kayla, my favorite theologian of the 20th century Fr Garrigou-Lagrange takes up this question in his book “The Love of God and the Cross of Jesus Volume 1.” Here Fr G-L looks at the case of a doctor who finds himself with some free time on his hands in the morning. He is confronted with the following dilemma: he could spend the extra time studying his field and therby becoming a more competant doctor and helping people more (which is obvioulsy a good) or he could spend that time attending daily mass (which in Catholic theology is the probably THE greatest good anyone can do because we understand it to be an action which man can performs which glorifies God the most). One could just as easily replace going to mass with spending time in prayer or reading scripture and the point would still be the same. Giving glory to God is by far a greater good than the good of improving your trade and helping people here on earth, but would it be WRONG to choose to study over praying/mass? I think the answer here is a pretty clear “no.” For although we are first and foremost required to love God with our whole mind, soul, and strength (Luke 10:27), the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves. If we focused 100% of all our energies on God alone, we could not fulfill the second greatest commandment. So in a situation like this, prudence must be shown.

But more to the point, if you WERE required to pray/attend mass rather than study, then we would be in the absurd case of it being a SIN to do something GOOD. In other words, you would be sinning by becoming a more competant doctor. This is simply absurd. It is never a sin to do good, even if you could be doing a greater good. It is a form of what is called situation ethics championed by Joseph Fletcher to have morality change depending on circumstance to such a degree. I don’t know if you’ve heard of situation ethics, but it is an ethical theory which I believe would be rejected by all strips of Christians.

Thus, applying this principle to your question, we see that although it would be a higher good to attempt preganncy, there would be nothing wrong with choosing a lower good or abstaning, assuming that there is a legitimate reason. Hope that makes sense, Kayla. God love you.

Yvonne July 17, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Kayla,

I came into the Catholic Church due to the contraception issue. Please allow me to give you the basic line of reasoning I followed. First, I believed strongly that we are put on this earth to do God’s will. After my first child was born, social pressure increased from all directions to prevent another birth. My first question was what is God’s will. And so, I went to the elder women in my church (non-denom) to seek their advice (after all the Bible tells young women to do this). I asked them what is God’s will concerning having children? Their answers were similar and disturbing. Combined, they all sounded like this: “Oh yes, we should follow God’s will. I had X number of children and then he got fixed.” One woman told me that she got fixed, but it was only because her husband refused to do so. I was confused. These were God-fearing women in solid marriages. God’s will was all-important to them- except when it came to having children. This was their domain; their decision only. I went back to the Bible. As an earlier post mentioned, the Bible is clear: children are a blessing; the more the better. Never once is mentioned a couple who complained about having too many children. Some would say, “Well modern times give us different circumstances.” If this is true, then perhaps we should throw out the entire outdated Scriptures and make up our own version of God’s plan. To continue…
I wanted to have more children and my husband did too. We both refused any surgical removal (including tying and burning) of our private parts. As an avid reader of labels, I did not fancy any of the side effects of the pill, depo-provera or norplant (a real scary read). We were left with the most useless pregnancy prevention ever known to man- the condom. And so, soon after I was pregnant again. I really had to solve this spiritual dilemma fast. I needed a church that would recognize this basic occurrence in marriage.
I was very disturbed about this, mostly because I knew the only Christian church that stood up against birth control was the Roman Catholic Church (Some would mention that Mormons also have large families. Yes, they often do, but there are no rules in that church against using contraception or getting fixed). And so, I kept searching. While I spent some time in the Eastern Mennonite Church, my husband was looking in church history. He shared his historical findings (pointing towards the Catholic Church) and I shared my family life lessons learned from the Mennonites. Oddly, I thought then, the Catholic Church seemed to right on target about a lot of things. The Eucharist (John 6) was a major revelation.
But, you asked about birth control…
That was several years ago. We now have a wonderful, happy and large family and love our faith- despite the sinners like us who abound in it. It is the one Christ Himself founded and He has not let it go astray, especially in the issues that mean the most- the basic family unit.
God bless you.

Yvonne July 17, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Kayla,
One more thing you mentioned- artificiality. I also wondered about that one. As I understand it, the issue is not about being artificial- it’s about being open to God’s will. Not all sexual acts produce children even during the fertile time. God makes it happen with us as co-creators. It’s, pardon the expression, magical and marvelous. Contraception is our will only and does not give us an opportunity to work with God in the most intimate way. It also hinders our marriages. The women I spoke with seemed to have good marriages and yet they also seemed to hold their husbands in disregard when this subject was broached.
The best ever explanation of this is by Dr. Janet Smith. It’s called “Contraception, Why Not?” Give it a listen (along with your husband, of course). Here’s a link: http://catholicipod.stblogs.com/2008/03/05/contraception-why-not-janet-smith-mp3s-audio/
Please listen to the whole thing as she covers sexuality and marriage fully in its true context.
God bless you.

Matthew Warner July 18, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Also – I just wanted to say thank you very much to all of you for the outstanding comments! You contribute so much to this blog and it would not be near as valuable for people without your input and discussion. I learn a lot from all of you and I know that others reading do as well.

God bless you,
Matthew Warner

Jennifer July 20, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Okay, I am not sure if this was mentioned but the answer to why “ANY” contraception is wrong in whatever faith you may be this isn’t just for Catholics this is what God said and applies to everyone, that’s the first point so just because you are not Catholic does not mean you get to use contraception, second the act in which produces a child should only be in the Sacrament of Marriage and you are not to get married unless you are open to receiving children (thats why you say it in your vows), so point is that is why contraception is bad, you can use NFP (Natual Family Planning) if for the only reason is that it is a grave matter to which a child should not come into your family, it is not Catholic birth control, it is wrong to use it for such a thing, because it is of a selfish reason.

The other point is people are eating up the lie that birth control can stop you from getting pregnant hence that is why it is only whatever percentage effective, what you must realize is that no life in created without God, pregnancy is not a side effect of sex, I have been married for almost 12 years and have not used anything and I have ZERO living children, I do have a son that at 20 weeks when I was pregnant passed away, and that was almost nine years ago, so anyway the point is any birth control is bad because, 1) you should only be having sex in a Sacramental Marriage and should be open to life, 2) it is not for you to be able to have pre-marital sex. On the point for medical reason which I hear all the time, be proactive in your health, I had doctor after doctor tell me the reason I wasn’t getting pregnant was because I was not regular so they wanted to put me on the “PILL” go figure, however there is a wonderful pill that is peanut oil and progestrone and that is what most women are lacking and that worked just fine, I actually only had to take it for a few months and haven’t been on it for years now.

So anyway that is my two cents on the matter ; God Bless to all!!

Marie G July 22, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Much agreed! You said everything right. Good points.Thanks for sharing!

Kayla Cox July 21, 2010 at 6:30 am

Bobby, once again, thanks for articulating so well. Even though I’m not Catholic, I enjoy the esoteric. Gives my brain something to chew on during the day.

So here’s the next question: how do we judge the legitimacy of the reason a couple is choosing to delay pregnancy?

For example, right now my husband and I are in the middle of selling our house, and we’ve already bought the other piece of property. We have 2 mortgage payments, and virtually no savings. This would seem, at first blush, to be a legitimate reason to delay, but is it really? Wealth is extremely relative. There are people who live in mud huts, and there are people who live in huge mansions. I guess what I’m asking is, is lack of money really a good excuse? Wouldn’t it be arbitrary if we excused a person for not having a baby based on finances?

Jill July 21, 2010 at 9:36 am

Kayla,

In short, there is no easy answer to your question about when it is legitimate to postpone or avoid pregnancy. It is only through prayful discernment between your husband, yourself and God. I have 8 children, 7 still at home. My youngest is 5 months. I am feeling my age and my body. In today’s society, people tell me all of the time that I have “had enough (children)” and can stop. Still, each month my husband and I pray and talk and talk and pray. God will put the answer in your hearts. I have been wanting an easy answer for years ;-) But, more than the easy answer, I want to only do God’s will–He is so much wiser than I!! As far as financial reasons, we must be prudent with our finances at all times and live within our means. God does provide when we seek His Will. So again, turn to prayful discernment.

Yvonne July 21, 2010 at 10:19 am

Kayla,
“So here’s the next question: how do we judge the legitimacy of the reason a couple is choosing to delay pregnancy?”

Good question. This is best answered in retrospect. Which of my living children would I choose not to have had? This pretty much solves the issue of when to use NFP for not having children. The fact is, although we would love to believe otherwise, we simply do not know what the future holds. God, however, does know. Now, if we decide to be completely open to God’s will, which in marriage is the procreating and raising of children, will He not provide all that we need? God is good and faithful (I heard a quote from somewhere saying that with every child God sends a sandwich).
NFP is wonderful and everyone should know how it works because it shows the marvels of creation. I love knowing that I have a good chance of conceiving a new child with this particular act at at this particular time and my husband does as well. It is a special moment not to be denied for merely material reasons. No car, house or vacation can replace the years of joy given by even one child. And the more the better. I am pregnant with my 13th child (lost two to miscarriage and one was born alive long enough to receive Baptism). My older children (a few are adults) are as excited as we are and do everything they can to prepare for the blessed event.
One issue no one seems to remember is that these children do not stay helpless and dependent; they grow up to love God and build a life and a home with you and your spouse. They do not end up like the world’s children- depressed, dysfunctional and rebellious. My teenagers are a joy to be around. They are always looking to create things and help each other (except when stubbornly acting like their parents).
NFP should be used to delay pregnancy when children may come a little too close together- like women who ovulate despite breastfeeding. But why delay such a joy? If we really see children the way God sees them, we would not care so much about our busy schedule and financial concerns. Jesus said: “Let the children come to Me.” Shall we obey the Lord’s command?

Yvonne July 21, 2010 at 10:31 am

Jennifer,

May God bless you. I know the pain of losing children through miscarriage and infancy. There is nothing to describe it, especially in a world that is pleased for your loss and allows no grief to be expressed. You are a witness to God’s plan for marriage, whether or not you are able to bear children. Your experience shows those who would consider birth control how different they would feel should they not be able to have a child. It gives us the proper prospective in life. Being open to God’s will is one of the greatest virtues- obedience. “To obey is better than sacrifice.” Be strong as the others who came before you. And pray for those of us who would deny our wombs for the sake of material goods.
God bless you and your husband.

MisterH July 31, 2010 at 4:15 pm

This week (July 25-31) is National Natural Family Planning Week. Relevant information and helpful links can be found at the link below.
http://allhands-ondeck.blogspot.com/2010/07/national-natural-family-planning.html

MisterH July 31, 2010 at 4:20 pm

This week also marks the 42nd anniversary of Humanae Vitae (On Human Life), the prophetic encyclical of Paul VI which reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s opposition to artificial contraception.

Excerpts and a reflection on its significance can be found here:
http://allhands-ondeck.blogspot.com/2010/07/42nd-anniversary-of-humane-vitae.html

Olivia October 16, 2010 at 7:11 am

I have read everyone’s responses to this post as well as the paper on contraceptives and would like to bring up a topic no one has thus far in the conversation: what if it is dangerous to the mother to become pregnant?

This question is applicable in my life. I am 27 years old and have been fighting mental illness for the last eleven years of my life. At age 16, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression, and an anxiety disorder. Over the years, I’ve also been diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder as well. I have struggled with self-injury and suicidal tendencies for years. It is only after three psychiatric hospital stays, steady therapy with a Christian psychologist, eleven years of continuing treatment by a Christian psychiatrist, and an array of different psychotropics that I can say I am finally stable and have been for a year now. However, when I married my husband at 22, my psychiatrist wanted to make sure I used some form of birth control and told me it would be in my best interest to avoid pregnancy. Four and a half or so years later, she continues to tell me the same thing, warning me that it would be dangerous for me. Were I to become pregnant, I would have to stop taking all of my psychotropics because they are harmful to the baby. It had taken literally 10 years to find the right combination and stopping my meds would greatly increase my chances of relapsing. In addition to my mental illness, I have a genetic defect that affects my blood’s ability to clot. In 2007, I suffered severe and life-threatening Deep Vein Thrombosis or a major blood clot in my leg and in March of this past year, I suffered several Pulmonary Embolisms or blood clots in my lungs. Because of this blood disorder, I have to take Coumadin for the rest of my life – another drug that causes harm to an unborn child. All this adds up to the fact that I cannot physically carry a child. Here’s a breakdown of my pregnancy options:

~ I continue all of my medication and cause unknown and possibly irreparable harm to the unborn child.
~ I stop my psychotropic meds, which could cause severe disruption and damage to my mental state (possibly making me suicidal and start to self-injure again) and spend many more months trying to even me out again once the baby is born.
~ I stop taking Coumadin and risk having another blood clot, which is something pregnant women run a risk of having anyway.
~ I continue my psychotropic meds, but continue the Coumadin, which makes my blood more difficult to clot, and risk bleeding to death during birth.

And that doesn’t include the mental wear and tear having a child entails. My anxiety disorder prevented me from completing college (only four credits short!) and forced me to stop working at age 23 due to the stress and have been on Disability ever since. If I can’t handle the stress of a job, how am I going to handle a baby that’s screaming at the top of its lungs simply because it needs to?

I’m not here to make you feel sorry for me or to burden you with my problems. I’m simply trying to make a point: sometimes, a woman simply cannot have children and birth control is a necessity. Due to my blood clotting disorder, I cannot use birth control, but my argument still stands. There are times when a woman cannot rely on Natural Family Planning because the risk is just too high that it will fail. I have seen it in my life time and time again: my best friend, my own mother. And while I know for a fact that both women love their children fiercely and don’t ever wish for a life without them, I simply cannot take that risk.

Erin October 23, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Hi Olivia,
I gasped in compassion upon reading your story. My prayers are with you in your many struggles. However, to answer your question, birth control is never allowed according to Catholic teaching. Not in any circumstances. Not even yours. Like abortion, the act of using birth control is always morally wrong in itself, and the circumstances are irrelevant.
Of course, I know this does not seem fair. It seems Christ has given you a very particular cross to carry, but the moral laws are still the same. If pregnancy is absolutely off-limits, and natural family planning is too risky, your only choice, if you wish to remain in God’s grace, is to live chaste in your marriage. Every marital act has to be open to life or it violates God’s design for our marriages and our sexuality.
I know! Another cross to bear. But you are not alone. I have a friend who was diagnosed with cancer. During her time of radiation and chemo and recovery, she and her husband did not have intercourse — a period of about a year, I think — because the life of any child conceived would be in danger.
The life of a Christian is hard. I constantly have to remind myself that it is not my struggles that matter, but how I respond to them. Do I respond to them how I want to? Or do I respond to them according to the way of Christ? In the end, do I want to say to the Lord, MY will be done? Or do I continue, every day, to pray for the grace to say, Lord, THY will be done. No matter the cost.
God bless you.

lozen March 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Jesus never said women should not take the birth control pill! It is a sin to bring children into the world that you cannot feed, house, cloth and educate! That’s all I have to say.

Bobby Bambino March 10, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Hi there Lazen

“Jesus never said women should not take the birth control pill! ”

Where does Jesus say that we should only not do something if he commands that we should not do it? This argument only works if you can prove that the only way we can not do something is if Jesus commanded that the only time we not do something is when he commands it.

“It is a sin to bring children into the world that you cannot feed, house, cloth and educate!”

Indeed, as 1 Tim 5:8 says
“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
But it is also a sin to contracept and to have sex outside of marriage. So the way you avoid bringing children into the world that you cannot feed, educate, etc. is by not engaging in the sexual act. It is no good to avoid one sin by engaging in a different one. God love you.

Kathrine March 18, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I would like to place my opinion on this discussion. Not only am I a believer in God, but I take the birth control pill every day, and I have for a little over a year. I would also like to point out that I have had very few encounters with men that lead to sexual intercourse. I do not use the pill to prevent pregnancy alone. In fact, that is not the reason I requested it from my doctor. The pill actually lessens menstrual cramps, and, for those women who do receive cramps monthly, this is a good thing.

Now, I am just as much against abortion as any of you. My main question that I have always asked, however, is this: Why do we criticize every single thing? I personally believe that if you don’t like something because of what it does, then don’t use it. There is no need to be constantly concerned about everything that it does. Sure, the pill may cause abortions, but who is to stop everyone on Earth from using it?

However, not knowing how something works is a person’s own fault. Not only did my doctor tell me what birth control did (like you said, leaving out “Step #3″), in high school, my wellness teacher told me how it works. If so many people in the world are unaware of how the pill operates, then they are not worried about finding out, or they feel no need to find out. If you haven’t noticed, our society is all about fixing things and preventing all bad things(Not saying pregnancy is a bad thing). Every single medication in the world will cause something horrible. Nothing is perfect.

Once again, I’m one hundred percent against abortion. I do not believe a woman who is “too young” or who was raped has the right to an abortion. I just believe that sometimes things aren’t meant to be evil. How are we really supposed to know how many women ‘abort’ a child because of the pill? Do those researchers walk around asking women if they can study them? Of course not. It’s a bunch of guesstimations. Nothing is ever a true fact.

So, to conclude my endless rant, I would like to state that birth control is not an evil. The people who use it incorrectly and who are sexually active more often then needed are evil. The people who actually visit a doctor for an abortion are evil. A clueless soul using a medication for her own good is not.

Not only will I thrust my opinion into your thoughts, I will welcome yours into mine.

Sage March 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm

From reading these posts it seems to me that catholics:
Teach it’s a sin to use birth control
Never give a thought to over population especially in Africa
Teach it’s always a sin to have an abortion. Someone who’s raped at 9 or 10 just needs to follow through with that pregnancy and have her father’s/grandfather’s/uncle’s/brother’s/rapist’s kid.
Teach it’s a sin to have sex if you’re not married, ignoring facts about teenage hormones, 40 year olds who just don’t want to be married, everyone who does not have that piece of paper from the state.
Believe a blob of tissue in the womb at 6 weeks is already “an innocent little baby”
Believe all women, catholic or not, should not be able to control their own bodies, use birth control, decide when to end a pregnancy.
Believe women can’t be priests or popes or make the most important decisions about their own lives.
Believe the catholic institution should make those decisions, catholic religious beliefs should be law, and catholic beliefs should be forced on women who are not catholics.
If I’m wrong about any of this, please enlighten me.

Jennifer March 24, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Hi Sage, let me take a few minutes to explain why we as Catholics believe what we believe:

Teaching it’s a sin to use birth control:
The teaching of birth control as a sin goes like this, first we will take it from marriage because the first part is that if you are not married you should not be having sex, not matter what age, so why you should not take birth control is when you get married you are to not hold anything from your spouse including your fertility, now say there is a medical reason, then you can take birth control, how the kind that does not cause a baby to abort should you get pregnant, now this doesnt mean that because you may have irregular periods that its okay to take the pill, there are other drugs that work better and do not prevent pregnancy, this also includes not using condoms, again marriage is to be completely open to your spouse through every aspect of you and that includes your fertility, say that there are other strains that are involved, then the church teaches that you can obstain during the times that you may be fertile, say a husband and wife have questions in regards to whether something is for a right reason or not it is always best to speak to a priest.
Second point say that you are not having sex and are taking the pill as long as you are living a life without sex it is not a sin to take the pill, however once you are getting ready to be married this will need to be dicussed and what you will need to do to live through God’s plan. The pill is not for you to say well its okay to have sex outside of marriage both become a sin and that is where that teaching comes from, one having sex outside of marriage is a sin and then also using birth control.

Never give a thought to over population especially in Africa – the thing about the population in Africa is we have to first realize that most are not living according to God’s plan, in that no sex outside of marriage, however the ones that do also need to be educated on obstaining when fertility is high, however their culture is not taught this, some are but most are not. Either way this does not give them an okay to with hold their fertility.

Teach it’s always a sin to have an abortion. Someone who’s raped at 9 or 10 just needs to follow through with that pregnancy and have her father’s/grandfather’s/uncle’s/brother’s/rapist’s kid.
Unfortunately horrible things happen, that is the down side of free will, however even though someone took their free will and violated someones else’s will does not give that person the right to end someone else’s life, it is difficult and they need lots of support and love and help in deciding wether they want the child to raise or give the child up for adoption, a lot of people in this country would love to adopt however, due to the cost it is not possible for most, if people chose adoption a lot of children would have loving homes to grow up in, the thing is God is always good, even when we have bad things happen, so God greats this beautiful goodness out of a bad situation, and that is hard for most people to understand, but that child could be the child that a couple adopts who have been married forever and are unable to have children.
Teach it’s a sin to have sex if you’re not married, ignoring facts about teenage hormones, 40 year olds who just don’t want to be married, everyone who does not have that piece of paper from the state.
This actually has two things to answer in I will take the first part of this, having sex outside of marriage:
Waiting til marriage is a way to have self control when you are married, if you could not wait for your spouse who is to say you will only be with your spouse, does not mean everyone cheats just that say your spouse is no longer capable of having sex and you never learned self control it becomes very difficult when you are no longer having sex with your spouse, also again this take off from the pill, when you are having sex outside of marriage you can not freely give yourself including your fertility to that person, you cant freely give yourself to many people either, you only get one chance, it is difficult when you have hormones, loneliness, but sex is not the answer ultimately you are wanting companionship, and that is why most people feel a part missing in their relationships even if they do not want to admit it.
Marriage in the Church is more than a piece of paper, it is a sacrament where you make a vow to God and you are bound by this vow, imagine if God took back his vow of never flooding the world again, and did so, we would be very upset, this is why it is serious to maintain your vows.
Believe a blob of tissue in the womb at 6 weeks is already “an innocent little baby”
It is a baby, not only is it cells developing it has a spirit, we are the only creation that God created that we get to take part in creating another spiritual being, even though they are a part of you they are not you, they have their own dna, they have their own beating heart, lungs, brain, women are given the privilage to be the care takers of life , be able to have a special role that men dont get to have, even when it is not at the “right moment” no life is ever created without God, just because two people have sex does not mean life will be created, it also is God’s will.
Believe all women, catholic or not, should not be able to control their own bodies, use birth control, decide when to end a pregnancy.
As a Catholic woman I feel I have the most control of my body I know what is right and know that I can and should say no to the pill, it has so many negative effects on a woman’s body, I know what is in the best interest in my body, because God created my body and he knows best.
Believe women can’t be priests or popes or make the most important decisions about their own lives.
The reason for woman not as priest is because they are in persona Christi, which means in person of Christ, Jesus Christ was not female, he was male. Woman do get to make the choices, you choice wether you do or not do what God has called all of us to do, just like men.
Believe the catholic institution should make those decisions, catholic religious beliefs should be law, and catholic beliefs should be forced on women who are not catholics.
The Catholic church is the church Jesus started and it is guided by the Holy Spirit, even when man sins which many Catholics have the church still stands after 2,000 years, its not the Catholic church laws, it is the laws of God, which He instituted and the church teaches and follows, everybody is held to these laws, even if you are not Catholic not because the Church is supreme ruler but because God has said so.
If you really want to dig deeper in this read The Good News About Sex and Marriage by Christopher West it answers all what you have said and even more.

Bobby Bambino March 23, 2011 at 3:51 pm

HI Sage. I will briefly respond to each one of your questions, but only in one sentence or two. I do not have the time to write long defenses of each point you make, but if you have other questions, please limit it to one issue at a time. It is simply not in good form to shoot off half a dozen or so objections and expect a careful, thorough response.

“Teach it’s a sin to use birth control.”

Yes.

“Never give a thought to over population especially in Africa.”

No, but we believe birth control is intrinsically evil, meaning that it can never be used under any circumstances. Hence doing an evil action does not justify a good outcome.

“Teach it’s always a sin to have an abortion. Someone who’s raped at 9 or 10 just needs to follow through with that pregnancy and have her father’s/grandfather’s/uncle’s/brother’s/rapist’s kid.”

Yes. The hardship that a 10 year old who is raped must endure does not justify killing an innocent human being.

“Teach it’s a sin to have sex if you’re not married, ignoring facts about teenage hormones, 40 year olds who just don’t want to be married, everyone who does not have that piece of paper from the state.”

Yes. I realize you’re going for the “teenagers can’t control themselves” argument, but this of course is not a good argument at all. If something is intrinsically disordered, people can control themselves from not doing what is wrong. You also reduce marriage to simply a piece of paper, which on the level of naturalism, I might agree with. However, we have a different worldview which views marriage as an intrinsic good and something that is ontologically real, transcending the state.

“Believe a blob of tissue in the womb at 6 weeks is already “an innocent little baby””

Is blob of tissue a scientific term? What science can back that the unborn is a blob of tissue. In reality, we are all blobs of tissue if, once again, you wish to be a reductionist. The embryo is a unified whole whose growth comes from within. Given teh proper environment and norishment, it goes through all stages of development. The fact that it is alive, grows, and is a member of the species homo sapiens makes it a human being, Please note that in discussing abortion with pro-choicers, I never once have ever used the term “baby” to describe the unborn. This is why I never refer to teh unborn as a baby. Pro-choicers will ignore any and all arguments you give an concentrate on teh word “baby.” I have no interest in arguing whether or not teh unborn is a baby. What I am interested in is arguing that it is a human being with intrinsic value just like you or me, and hence it is prima facie wrong to kill it.

“Believe all women, catholic or not, should not be able to control their own bodies, use birth control, decide when to end a pregnancy.”

We believe birth control is intrinsically evil, but you will find varying degrees of opinions as to whether or not it should be illegal. I would fall on teh side of saying no, it should not be illegal. I realize that by “control your own body” and “end a pregnancy” you mean obtain an abortion. Yes, no one should be allowed to kill an innocent human being. However, I am all for allowing a woman to decide when to end a pregnancy. My wife, for example, decided to end her both her pregnancys when she was induced into labor. After the baby was born, her pregnancy was ended/terminated.

“Believe women can’t be priests or popes or make the most important decisions about their own lives.”

Women cannot be priests as John Paul II’s Apastolic 1994 letter ordinatio sacerdotalis put a definite answer to once and for all. Just like it is a biological fact that men can not be mothers and carry a fetus, so too it is a theological fact that women cannot be priests. We believe this has been revealed to us by God through divine revelation via teh deposit of faith. Sorry, I don’t like it anymore than you, but we believe that this is what God has decreed, not us. Hence this is an internal question to Catholicism, not something that outsiders can really argue with. We definitely believe that women can make the most important decisions of their lives. However, I assume you once again mean the right to kill their unborn. In that case, no, they should not be able to do that just as I should not be able to kill any of my colleagues.

“Believe the catholic institution should make those decisions, catholic religious beliefs should be law, and catholic beliefs should be forced on women who are not catholics.”

This is all definitely wrong.

lozen March 24, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Thank you Bobby for your reply. I guess we just have to agree to disagree. I am not catholic but I’ve always had a fondness for the the church since attending a catholic school for half a year in 2nd grade. I considered becoming catholic in high school but then in college I studied religious history. I learned about the inquisition, the stand the church took against just about all scientific discovery and progress, the church’s desire to control women, their sexuality and their reproductive power, and the idea that the pope’s word is god’s word. Of course I disagree with the stand on birth control, women being priests, no abortion no matter what, the way the church has protected pedophile priests, the idea that priests shouldn’t marry. In short, it is the total patriarchal authoritarianism of the institution that I do not understand. We don’t have kings anymore (except in name only) and, IMHO, we should’t have any religious leader left over from the age of kings trying to control everyone in the 21st century. It is totally ridiculous for any man to think for a second he has the right to tell a woman what to do with her power to reproduce.

sage March 25, 2011 at 10:48 am

Hello Jennifer, thanks for taking the time to answer. I appreciate your comments although we disagree. I would never try to force you to follow my beliefs about birth control, abortion, marriage, and religion; all I ask is that you not try to force me to follow your beliefs. Blessings.

Holly April 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm

You people are mentally retarded!!!!!! Go take care of your 19 kids and pay for them with a reality show!
Some people who are not religious or who are pro-choice use this as a perfectly acceptable means of ensuring that they don’t overpopulate the world any more than it is.

Miss Lady April 30, 2011 at 8:34 pm

I don’t believe that birth control is intrinsically evil. I believe Christianity is intrinsically evil.

Isis May 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Miss Lady, I tend to agree.
It’s obvious to anyone who studies the Abrahamic religions that religion, in general, has never cared about women and their lives. It was founded by men for men. It’s those with the testicles and the religious power who are important. (Catholics still argue that a woman can’t be a priest because she doesn’t have testicles! Only those with testicles could be apostles and disciples of christ back in that sexist time, so only men can be priests now they claim!)
Margaret Sanger and other women had to fight for our right to use birth control in this country. Too bad she isn’t honored as a saint! She saw so many women being worn out by pregnancy after pregnancy and children living in dire poverty because their parents could not provide for all their children. Birth control is a gift to women giving us power over our own lives; I know this from my own experience, so I really don’t care what the church teaches.
We should never forget there was a time in history when religion ruled the world; it was called the Dark Ages.

Matthew Warner May 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Isis – that is pretty much all entirely untrue…the reasoning behind Catholic teaching and the priesthood, your history about the “dark ages”, etc. And viewing birth control as a “gift” that gives women control over their own lives is a dangerous perspective that has further enslaved women as sexual objects and fed an illusion that Man can be his/her own god with any kind of ultimate control over one’s life.

Either way, that still doesn’t change how the birth control pill works, which was the topic of this post.

Kayla May 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Isis,
I suppose it’s pointless to answer your comment, being that you were completely disrespectful to the original poster, but I’ll go ahead and point out a few flaws in your statement.

Myth: Christianity was founded by men, for men.

If you have read the Old and New Testaments, it is entirely obvious that women were put on an equal footing with men. Go through and read the Old Testament laws, and you will find that were vast protections for women, among those the death penalty for a man who raped a woman. Furthermore, the Old and New Testaments are filled with examples of women in positions of authority in religion. Deborah, Jael, Huldah, and Phillip’s seven virgin daughters are just a few examples. Proverbs 31, upheld by most as the gold standard for a wife, mention many good qualities that feminists like yourself would find quite “liberated” (for example, considering a land purchase, and then following through with it on her own).

Margaret Sanger was both a racist and a eugenicist. Look it up.

Isis May 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Matthew, I’ve noticed how many times you respond to people on your blog with “… that is entirely untrue…” or “that doesn’t make any sense” “you are wrong” or “it’s a mystery”. You don’t feel any need to back up your claims with facts, but then, that’s typical closed minded religious response to debate and one of the big reasons I began questioning religion as a young person!
I am a woman and I know what birth control has done for women, thank you, young man. My grandmother had no birth control and went through at least eight pregnancies while working just as hard as my grandfather on the farm. She lost five through miscarriage or early death and died at 49! My mother used a diaphram which didn’t work all the time; she had three children and one miscarriage. She lived to be 83. I got married in 1961 and my first son was born 10 months later before my 19th birthday. I certainly was not ready for motherhood at that young age. It was a tragedy for both of us. The pill was not available at the time; it was 1965 when it became available to every woman . I had another son, planned, in 1965 and then began taking the birth control pill. I was free to go on with my life, go to college and graduate school and contribute financially to my family. I did not have to worry every month about whether I’d be able to continue my education, lose time at work, have to go through another pregnancy or stretch a small budget to cover the needs of another child. Yes, birth control is a gift to women who want more from life than being “barefoot and pregnant”.
I do not expect you to understand this because you are a man who has never faced having to choose between having another child or continuing the life you want! Of course, the church “fathers” do not understand this either since they are men who never face such a choice. I am very healthy at 68 and have two upstanding sons who had the attention they needed rather than having to vie for attention from 6 or 8 other siblings. They had the things, emotional, spiritual and financial that they needed also.
To tell women they should not use birth control, cannot decide if they can emotionally or financially afford another child, cannot have a life without constant worry of pregnancy, is so disrespectful toward women. We are the ones who give life yet men want to tell us we cannot control our reproduction? My god does not want modern women to continue to be brood mares without choice. This is why some people call you a misogynist pig.

Matthew Warner May 2, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Isis – I say things are “entirely untrue” when they are entirely untrue. If I went around trying to disprove every crazy, ridiculous claim (like incorrectly identifying the Dark Ages or attributing the reasoning of not allowing women priests to whether or not they have testicles) that somebody makes on the internet I’d never do anything else. And I don’t think I’d convince you of anything different anyway. However, on my own blog, I at least try to point out when things are absolutely ridiculous so that if any young people are reading who haven’t had, for example basic history at school yet, they know to question the information.

The other reason I don’t bother to disprove obviously untrue things is because anyone who truly wants to know the answer can easily look it up.

I do sympathize with you and your family, however, that doesn’t change the fact of how the birth control works (sometimes as an abortifacient). It also distorts and abuses the natural function of sex – to be open to life. Our lives (as is every life) are gifts to be treasured – not for us to use and abuse to get whatever WE want out of them. It’s a fundamental difference in how Christians view the human person. Having sex is a choice. And when you engage in it you should be open to and ready for the natural consequences of it – babies. That’s a choice you make. So don’t pretend you don’t have a choice.

Additionally, with advances in science, Natural Family Planning has become a healthy and moral alternative to birth control should you discern that you are not ready or able to have another baby. So that’s a good thing for everyone.

Life is hard. There are lots of difficult situations that all of us are faced with throughout our lives. The Catholic Church does (and has historically done) more than probably any other organization to help relieve that – serving the poor and others in need. However, we don’t think we should go about doing all of that and helping people via immoral actions. And in the end, we usually cause more problems with the consequences of those immoral actions. And I believe we see exactly that with the widespread use of birth control.

Jill May 2, 2011 at 5:19 pm

How sad this makes me feel. I can speak to this as a woman–a mother who has just given birth to her 8th biological child. I am not at all a “brood mare” but a follower of Christ. I try on a daily basis to follow Him and in doing so have come to know the truth about contraception and abortion–and they are EVIL. It is not at all about the men of the Church controlling women. In fact, since my husband and I stopped the evil of contraception 17 years ago our marriage has become strengthened and we have a deep, loving and respectful relationship. Each child was planned by God and is a blessing to our family. Each child has taught and continues to teach us how to be less selfish and has brought out certain vices into the light so that we make turn them into virtue. Of course, this always requires the will to do so. Please do not be fooled by thinking that BC pills are freedom giving. They are in fact enslaving. They are harmful to the body as well as the spirit. I cannot argue you into believing. Please just pray for your heart to know the truth. That is what has given me peace and joy, even on the days when I am tired and feel like my body cannot even move. (I’m feeling this a lot with a month old preemie ;-) And you, though trying to stand up for women, have slapped motherhood straight in the face with the comments of “wanting more from life” and “being able to provide emotionally for one or two children without them having to compete.” My children are happy, healthy and well balanced. They are well prepared to live as independent adults when that time comes. Please be careful in using arguments to defend women’s choices that remove the choice for life and large families.

I am curious as well: which of your grandparents’ children did you descend from? If it was the 3rd or latter, then–by your standards–all the children and grandchildren that descended from those lines would no longer exist. You would not even have life to be arguing against it.

I do not blame Matthew for just answering with “that is not true” in response to the previous email. The author was throwing out her beliefs and stated a lot of mistruths. To defend each one takes much emotional and physical time and energy and they were off-topic as well. Ie: the Dark Ages does not refer to the fallen Church. Look it up!

Also, couples should enter into marriage with an openness to life. If one or both are not ready to become parents, then marriage should be postponed until that time arrives. We have to get away from “sex for pleasure” only mentality as it is so dangerous to our well being.

Chris May 11, 2011 at 1:00 am

The author and several contributors refer to “contraception” when they really mean “artificial contraception;” that is, NFP is the natural and morally acceptable method of contraception.
Other than that, you are right on target. Thank you for preaching the good news! Abortion and artificial contraception are evil! Please tell everyone in your life!!!

Matthew Warner May 11, 2011 at 1:33 am

Chris – Actually, NFP is not really considered “contraception” because it doesn’t prevent conception during a sexual act (the definition of contraception). If NFP is considered “contraception” then so is abstinence…which doesn’t make sense.

A contraceptive is something that prevents fertilization (conception) by interfering with the normal process of ovulation or fertilization. NFP doesn’t do that at all.

If you read the theology of the body, Church writings or any good commentators on the subject, they will clarify that the reason contraception is wrong is not because it is “artificial.” There is nothing inherently wrong with something being “artificial.” The reason contraception is inherently wrong is because of the choice and action to render sterile a potentially fertile union (the part that makes it “contraceptive”). Again, NFP doesn’t do that at all.

Thanks for the comment!

Jen August 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I agree that taking a pill for something that essentially breaks your body is wrong. Additionally, the fact that the pill can end a babies young life is tragic.
However, I am a bit upset at this sentence from your article:
“ending the life of the new human that the woman just created”
A woman and MAN created this life. It is not only the woman’s responsibility. I think the concept that its the woman’s fault and a man has no responsibility has left many single mothers and fatherless children out there. This also makes it harder to convince women that abortion is not the answer.

sarah September 16, 2011 at 1:56 pm

You all are a bunch of ignorant, church huggers. It is unfair for women to have to feel guilty about choosing to take the pill because she has the right to have sex with who she wants and when she wants. WHY is it always okay for men to have multiple partners and not have to worry about the burden of possibly getting pregnant or aborting a child? Because men can’t/don’t know what that responsibility is like. SO MEN, stop trying to speak on the behalf of what a woman should do with her body because you have no idea of what your talking about. This post is complete bullshit and I am not buying any of it. All you brainwashed Christians think that it’s not right, it goes against God…. blah blah blah. Grow up. If the embryo is still microscopic, then it’s not an abortion. I assume that none of you are doctors or specialists and can prove that this happens when you take the pill anyway. It’s a new day and age where women have the choice to enjoy sex with multiple partners and not have to risk getting pregnant. Stop trying to take that away from them! The pill is not evil and I thank GOD everyday for it.

Jennifer January 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm

It saddens me to see that you have bought in to the lie that it is okay for ANYONE (men and women) to have multiple partners, your body is not designed that way, hence why people are diagnosed with HPV, the continual chemical change of each partner you have had sex with disrupts your body and brings you closer to the risk of cancer, which is why you see all these women being diagnosed and when ask how many partners it is more than one, so that alone outside of the Christian way of thinking is thought alone to make you pause, second there is something to say about when you are looking to get married or be in a relationship with someone and that person you want to marry or start dating has had sex with x amount of people, that makes you one in a long list and how can you say that this person would know how to be faithful, and then you add in your x amount of partners so that when you and them get together based on the “free love concept” and have sex you are having sex with xx amount of people because each person leaves a little piece of them self so if you have had sex with conservatively say 3 people which is on the low average and your partner say is on the high end so they have had 7 people you are now having sex with 10 people where is the specialness in that, sex is not for recreational use, it is to be shared with one person for the remainder of your life for the two if you to become one not the 10 of you that is not possible. Each time you have sex with someone else (men and women) it creates cracks in your self esteem invisible at first but becomes notice more and more for every time and break ups or one nighters make those cracks even larger, don’t believe the lie you will not be happier in life if you get to have as many partners as you want, you will start feeling used and discarded, you deserve a lot more than that everyone does.

Kayla September 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Sarah,
If you read the comments, you obviously realize that there are many many women who agree with Matthew. Your pro-abortion arguments are extremely weak. If something is human, even if it is microscopic, it is still human. Arguing that because something is simply small it is not human does not have any kind of logical or scientific merit to it.

Most Christian women do not think it is okay for men to have multiple sexual partners, in the same way it is not okay for women to have multiple sexual partners.

I am a woman, and therefore I know firsthand the “worry about the burden of possibly getting pregnant or aborting a child” as you put it. I am still staunchly anti-abortion.

Your arguments for wanting to have multiple sexual partners and not have to worry about the whole killing a baby thing are quite shallow, and your entire post makes you sound quite young, which you may very well be.

Being promiscuous brings on a host of mental as well as physical health problems, even if we don’t even touch on pregnancy. Also, I hate to be the barer of bad news, but your statement “It’s a new day and age where women have the choice to enjoy sex with multiple partners and not have to risk getting pregnant” is flat out wrong. Even the birth control pill is only 92% effective in normal use conditions. Having sex, unless you are biologically sterile, brings on the possibility of pregnancy every single time.

Alyssa Odiorne January 28, 2012 at 2:58 am

I can not describe how great this was to read. It’s so informative and respectful. I’ve been deciding on what steps to take since my fiance’e and I are waiting until after we are married, which is comming up soon. This post helped me form an educated opinion on birth control. I want to say thank you, very much!

Amy R. January 30, 2012 at 12:44 pm

This post is in response to Kayla’s link to the research paper that supposedly refuted the evidence that hormonal contraceptives cause early abortions. Trying to put this as charitably as possible, the physicians who authored the paper are deluding themselves. I would ask each of them, if hormonal contraceptives DO NOT prevent the endometrium from thickening, why is that the Pill is the #1 prescribed treatment for women suffering from endometriosis? If any of you do not know, endometriosis is a condition where cells from the endometrium migrate or form (for unknown reasons) outside the womb. In response to the increase in estrogen in a normal reproductive cycle, these cells grow in size (just as they do in the womb) and cause significant pain, sometimes extremely severe, because they are growing in the wrong place. And the reason why hormonal contraceptives, especially the Pill, is the most common treatment? Because it is *universally recognized* that the artificial hormone doses prevent not only the endometrium, but the errant endometrial cells, from growing – thus reducing/preventing the pain women with this condition suffer. As a matter of course, any woman who is diagnosed with this condition will be prescribed the Pill to treat it. Period. The ONLY other treatment available is the one pioneered by Dr. Thomas Hilgers – which is actually the only cure. The Pill only prevents the effects, but Dr. Hilgers treatment involves non-invasive surgery to remove the errant endometrial cells from wherever they are growing in the abdomen.

Andrellita January 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I found this info on women who ovulate while on Birth Control. There are different rates for different types ranging from 30-100%

Dr. Ronald Chez, a scientist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), publicly stated that the new Pills of today, with their lower estrogen dose, allow ovulation up to 50% of the time! (Source: Sterns, David, M.D., Sterns, Gina, R.N., B.S.N., Yaksich, Pamela, “Gambling with Life, How the I.U.D. and ‘The Pill’ Work” (www.top.net/vitalsigns).

“Birth Control: Why Are They Lying to Women?” By J.C. Espinoza, M.D. (page 27) cites research which showed a 30% ovulation rate in women taking a combined Pill preparation.

“The Pill – How Does It Work?” By Albert D. Lorincz, M.D.: Cites a study of 1,200 women given a daily amount of progestogen equivalent to many birth control pills. 60% of them ovulated.

Breakthrough Ovulation Estimates for other “Birth Control” Methods:

1) Norplant has breakthrough ovulation 50-65% of the time.

2) Depo-Provera has breakthrough ovulation 40-60% of the time.

3) The IUD has breakthrough ovulation 100% of the time.

(Sources for the four points listed under Breakthrough Ovulation Estimates above are as follows: 1) Hilgers, Dr. Thomas, “Norplant” Linacre Quarterly, 1993, p.64-69. 2) “Infant Homicides Through Contraceptives,” 1994 by the Study of Abortion Deaths Ad Hoc Commission – Bardstown, KY. Ph: 502-348-3963. 3) ibid.)

All the info came from this site: http://www.prolife.com/BIRTHCNT.html

NAna April 18, 2012 at 12:33 am

Of course this was written by a man… let see if this person would say the same thing if he was a 35 year old woman in a healthy monogamous relationship with 1 man but getting constantly pregnant every year. It takes about 3 years for a woman’s body to really heal from having a child, its a HUGE ordeal. The pill PREVENTS pregnancy from happening altogether, and does not abort the child during the pregnancy. How is it killing anybody? If you are counting sperm as a human, then you as a man are probably killing a whole bunch without you really even knowing it (like even by putting a laptop over your lap)

Kitty December 20, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Nice one Nana. I forgot how long it takes a woman’s body to truly heal after having a child as well. That and the fact that if a guy has ever masturbated or like the laptop….standing near a microwave… etc. has killed a child as well then. Let’s remember that the sperm is an actual living creature. Mind it one track minded but still living and carries half of the child. With out both that baby would never make it. So if condoms are wrong so is using or doing anything to stop the sperm or killing the sperm. Oh this was written by a man of course. That is why the women that are not brainwashed are saying no way. I am not a brood mare and if that is what God wanted me to be i am so checking out. I know in my heart that God gave me three amazing boys and does not expect me to have more kids. He gave me that free will to decide that.

Matthew Warner December 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I think there is a very basic misunderstanding of the difference between a sperm and a human life. This is a matter of scientific fact. You can read more about that here. That will hopefully clear up some of this confusion.

Kitty December 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Nice one Nana. I forgot how long it takes a woman’s body to truly heal after having a child as well. That and the fact that if a guy has ever masturbated or like the laptop….standing near a microwave… etc. has killed a child as well then. Let’s remember that the sperm is an actual living creature. Mind it one track minded but still living and carries half of the child. With out both that baby would never make it. So if condoms are wrong so is using or doing anything to stop the sperm or killing the sperm. Oh this was written by a man of course.

Kitty December 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm

That is why the women that are not brainwashed are saying no way. I am not a brood mare and if that is what God wanted me to be i am so checking out. I know in my heart that God gave me three amazing boys and does not expect me to have more kids. He gave me that free will to decide that.

Kitty December 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Wow I am sorry but you are crazy right? I went to NFP and really??? You all are nuts. I had my tubes tied after having three, get it THREE, amazing boys. I am sorry but I am not putting my health in danger to try for another child. I will not leave my boys without a mother and I did not feel depressed for all those other children I could have had. I have perfectly good eggs but have no intention of having more even if my reproductive system was intact. So my marriage is safe thanks to getting a my tubes tied. Otherwise my hubby would learn what abstinence was real fast because he would get nothing from me ever. That talk about using the natural cycle is a crock, 99% effective my butt. I used it for our second and oops guess what….he exists so it did not work. I know it was the 1% chance right??? please. The offer birth control mostly to help poor girls out there who have really messed up menstrual cycles and seriously??? teach abstinence?? I do teach my child and so do parents all over the world but that does not mean we should not teach them safe sex and birth control as well. Wow you are a nut. People like you are the reason this world is messed up. I can not believe they use this sight to explain birth control since you are troll looking for attention for your misguided beliefs.

Kitty December 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Wow, miss guided people and very few on this site as well. I feel sorry for all here because you are not Roman Catholic or any other Catholic I have ever been too. I am now Presbyterian as well because of the insanity of Catholic and Christian churches. One is different then the other fights. God and Jesus/ Christ did not make the Catholic Churches first. This is the stuff God must have warned true followers of, those that talk of God and his beliefs, etc. but are actually the forked tongue of Satin. He would not tell a woman that she has to have child after child after child. He would leave the choice to her since he made all in his image and gave to them free will. Just as a being is someone that can live on their own and does not need to feed off another to live. I love all three of my boys but would not have more so they could suffer and starve and die. For anyone you to tell a woman to just keep having kids because it must be Gods plan in a world where there are so very many that need love and homes are fools and sorry but plain nuts. Instead of have 8+ kids why don’t you really do Gods will and give all those children that need homes, you know the ones that were given up, etc. due to no contraceptives and give them a home. Sorry preaching all about not using birth control because it is Gods will works right but who cares about all those unloved, unwanted babies and children you said God wanted to be born are suffering and have no one. WOW! Really?? So instead of having more babies I plan to do Gods will and give a home to some of those lost children. You all keep spewing that no birth control thing. Maybe you will get somewhere but I doubt it.

lozen December 22, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Kitty, yours is the most sensible and sensitive post I’ve seen on this blog. Yes, what about all those unwanted children that are out there because their biological parents didn’t use birth control? There are religious people who follow the teachings of Jesus and love and do not judge anyone. Then there are those who see God as the big judge in the sky and he always judges just as they would! The catholic church is so behind in its thinking based on the ideas of old men who never have to even support a family, let alone face the prospect of wearing themselves out having baby after baby as women did before birth control. The church will get nowhere, as you say, telling people not to use bc.

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