So…once again I’ve been facing a blogging dilemma (sheesh… here’s a tangent for you… how do you spell dilemna?! Google that.).
ANYWAY. I feel compelled to write a FYI sort of blog about birth control. But it can be controversial, and so a part of me doesn’t want to get my hands dirty. My husband thinks this blog is meant to be kind of a family journal, so why do I need to use it as a forum? I don’t know. But I keep thinking about this and thinking about this and thinking about this, and I feel like if it informs even one woman, it’s worth turning my little family journal into a forum. And seriously… since when can I keep information and opinions to myself?! Especially when it comes to something that offends my sense of right and wrong… keeping my big mouth shut has never been a strong point of mine. 😉
So. What do you know about how the average birth control pill works? In 2003 I got married and in blissful ignorance I began taking the pill. There was never a question, it was just THE option for monogamous relationships. Happy bonuses like lighter periods and clearer skin were thrown in as additional reasons to choose the pill. The actual function of the pill and possible side effects and health risks were either never discussed or seriously downplayed. In 2003 I stopped taking the pill for 2 weeks, got pregnant, and had a miscarriage. I went back on the pill until the fall of 2004 when I began experiencing SEVERE nausea and repeat yeast infections as side effects from the pill. Prior to this, the summer of 2004, a co-worker mentioned to me that the birth control pill can cause chemical abortions. I looked at her like she had 2 heads, and thought she was a legalistic, over reactive, crazy lady. I had NEVER heard that before and didn’t even want to consider it. The pill is a CONTRACEPTIVE device. You can’t have an abortion if you never get pregnant. But when I began to experience side effects I started looking into my contraceptive options which led me to take a closer look at the actual function of the birth control pill.
I was shocked, dismayed, and felt that I had been deceived. At the time I wrote a paper about it and shared it with a number of friends. But mostly, I didn’t feel any confidence to go around spreading controversy and popping Christian’s contraceptive bubbles. The pill is simply the most reliable and convenient choice! But I was given a book last week by Randy Alcorn that confirmed all my previous research and again brought this issue, this deception, to my heart and mind. And I’ve just gotta tell you about it.
The birth control works in these 3 ways (as summarized from the Physicians Desk Reference):
1.) inhibiting ovulation (the primary mechanism)
2.) thickening cervical mucus, thereby making it more difficult for sperm to travel to the egg
3.) thinning and shrivelling the lining of the uterus to the point that it is unable or less able to facilitate the implantation of the newly fertilized egg.
The first 2 mechanisms are contraceptive, the third is abortive.
Now… it is completely unknown how often the first 2 mechanisms fail. We know that all 3 mechanisms fail at least 3% of the time, as at least 3% of women on the pill get pregnant. The pill manufacturers marketing department will try to convince you that because it fails 3% of the time, the third mechanism fails every time. But that is simply not factual or reasonable. Some of the time the first 2 mechanisms fail, and the third works. FACT. Chemical abortion. (In fact, the morning after pill is simply high dosage birth control, because it works THE SAME WAY.)
And some more food for thought:
Did you know that in 1976 the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) changed the definition of the term contraceptive (which used to mean “an agent that prevented the union of sperm and ovum”) to now mean anything that prevents implantation of the blastocyst, which occurs 6-7 days after fertilization. And conception came to mean “the onset of pregnancy marked by implantation of the blastocyst”. So now it’s acceptable for abortifacients such as IUDs, combination pills, minipills, progestin-only pills, injectables and implantables to all be defined as contraceptives.
(the rest of the medical community still generally defines conception as occurring at fertilization.)
And that is the real question. When do you believe conception occurs? If you believe (as I do) that a new life begins when the egg is fertilized, and you are taking the birth control pill, then you SHOULD know that your birth control pill works as both a contraceptive and an abortifacient. The reality is that our low estrogen pills (and they really all are these days), simply cannot suppress ovulation 100% of the time. And the thickening of the cervical mucous does not work 100% of the time. So for today’s birth control pill to be effective, it now prevents implantation as well. (and as a side note, did you know that tubular (ectopic) pregnancy is 70-1390% higher in pill takers than non pill takers?! If that doesn’t give you a hint of how often the first 2 mechanisms fail but the third works…)
I’m not going to delve much further than this. It should be enough to make women take notice. Christian women in particular. I personally believe that the birth control industry is an assault against women. (and yet I believe in birth control, Taking Charge of Your Fertility changed the way I understood my body and should be mandatory sex-ed reading for ALL women! So CLICK THAT LINK!!) I successfully used Natural Family Planning as birth control for 2 years (and between babies), and I am a highly fertile woman. You have healthy, natural options that work. But I won’t get into all that. Just… look into it for yourself. Don’t take my opinion as fact or pass me off as a crazy. Think about it. Pray about it. Don’t put your head in the sand. You are responsible for your choices, so REALLY choose carefully and thoughtfully. Be informed.
There. Conscience cleared. 🙂