I’ve had a couple questions lately, in real life and via email, about what I think about hormonal contraceptives. While I remain undecided in the larger, grander debate concerning contraception (at all) for married Christians, I DO have a pretty solid opinion on the pill, patch, nuva-ring, things like that – hereafter collectively referred to as The Pill.
Most people have it figured out that I don’t like “artificial” things, nor “chemical” things, and certainly I won’t put in my body artificial chemicals. But aside from that generality, there are very specific problems with The Pill. We’ve all heard the commercials that state that “hormonal contraceptives increase your risk of blood clots, heart attack, stroke, and death.” Yay, sounds like good stuff to me! I know of two young women (one in her early twenties) who have had strokes due to this stuff. Not good.
A good portion of what makes up The Pill are pseudo-estrogens. Too much estrogen is not a good thing, and I don’t mean that as a joke. Living with that added to your body increases other risks, like breast cancer, among others. Ask any breast cancer survivor if they’re allowed to touch birth control pills – or even soy (which is evil) for that matter. Estrogen feeds breast cancer cells.
Now they’re finding an increase in arterial plaque and heart disease with Pill usage.
Does that give you an idea that I’m not into The Pill? Those are all very important medical and health-related reasons, but they’re not the only reasons. Some reasons are aesthetic (at the very least). The ‘annoying’ side effects of decreased libido and increased weight. One could argue that pregnancy increases weight as well, but c’mon. 🙂
Beyond health and aesthetics (as though they weren’t enough), I’m personally unwilling to take on the moral risks associated with The Pill. Years ago when I looked into it, I’d heard “rumors” of The Pill possibly causing early abortions. I was skeptical, so I asked my ob/gyn about it, who happens to be a good man, religious and with position in his church. I was completely surprised to hear him say, “I don’t know.” (Was I the first Christian patient to ask that???) However, unlike most other doctors I’ve dealt with, he didn’t stop there. He left the exam room, found some Pills, and took out a 3-foot long information sheet in tiny print to read. Bless his heart, he read and read. There in black and white, put there by it’s manufacturer, the last few lines confirmed it. The Pill is designed to prevent pregnancy in 3 ways:
- Preventing ovulation by hormonal manipulations
- Thickening mucus as to compromise sperm motility
- Making the uterine wall inhospitable to a fertilized egg, thereby preventing implantation
That was enough for me. A (healthy) fertilized egg is supposed to be a baby, eventually, and I couldn’t justify even the tiniest chance that I could be responsible for that.
That said, I’m confused that the whole “Emergency Birth Control, Plan B, Morning-After Pill” detractors (which of course, I’m one) aren’t equally up-in-arms over The Pill – to say nothing of IUDs (intra-uterine-devices). IUDs work ONE way, and that’s to kill-off that already-fertilized egg (see line-of-defense #3 for The Pill, above). I know a dear Christian woman who used one for years, and was quite upset when she learned what was happening. She hadn’t questioned it, and no doctor bothered to fill her in. I know other Christian girls using them, because they’re “too undisciplined” for any other method of birth control. I can only assume they have no idea what they’re doing.
So – in case you also were wondering (hm, not likely, eh?), now you can scratch from your list “What does EllaJac think about hormonal contraceptives?”