Monday, October 22, 2012

Redefining Life

Once upon a time I was a birth control user and called myself pro-life. Little did I know that made me a hypocrite.

How so you ask? Don’t women by taking birth control prevent unwanted babies and thus possibly abortion? Nope. But don’t ask your doctor that because you’ll get a different answer. I know. I asked.

Prior to 1965 conception was considered to occur at fertilization or when the egg is fertilized by a sperm thus creating an embryo, which has all the necessary DNA of a human being.

In 1965 the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (per Planned Parenthood’s suggestion) redefined conception as the implantation of an ovum, or when the embryo attaches itself to the uterine lining.

Why’d they do that? Because this newfangled pill was coming out, but people weren’t jumping on the bandwagon because it ended pregnancies. How many times are we going to be fooled by semantics?! The pill works like this:

First it releases a synthetic version of progesterone. Progesterone naturally occurs in a woman’s cycle only after ovulation (when the egg is released to be fertilized) to prepare the body for a potential pregnancy. By releasing this hormone earlier it tricks the body into thinking it’s pregnant and therefore does not ovulate. No ovulation means no chance to make a baby.

Thanks for the graphics!
However, because the pill originally had extremely high dosages of progesterone that were causing serious issues in women (like cancer and death) developers of the pill have cut back on the amount of progesterone thus allowing ovulation to occur (though we still get many of those nasty side effects). If ovulation happens, the egg can become fertilized. Ovulation occurs 28 percent of the time with regular hormonal contraceptives (that means the pill, the patch, IUDs, and other contraceptives that use synthetic hormones to trick the body). Ovulation occurs 33-65 percent of the time in progestin-only mini-pill cycles. *

So backup function of the pill is to thicken cervical mucus and slow tubal motility so the two halves of a whole person can’t meet. But still, that might not be enough to prevent new life from forming.

The pill has a third function and it’s abortificant in nature. It thins a woman’s uterine lining, aka the “embryo food”. So, if an egg and sperm were to meet and create a baby, the pill makes a woman’s body inhospitable to that life continuing, thus causing an early term chemical abortion. That means hundreds, thousands, millions of babies have been aborted due to hormonal contraceptives according to the definition of life that starts at fertilization.

Don’t believe me; ask your doctor. Ask, that if your definition of life begins at fertilization (and science has proven that it does), if the pill (the patch, IUDs, etc.) causes the embryo to be unable to implant (aka die). Their answer should be yes and that means that hormonal contraceptives can have an abortificant effect.

I asked my doctor at the age of 18 if the pill caused abortions, and I got ‘no’ for an answer. I didn’t know that her definition of when life started was later than mine. And it was because of that answer, and my own unwillingness to investigate into the issue, that I went a year and a half on birth control while married. That devastates me looking back and wondering about the possible lives I might have ended because the pill seemed somehow easier and more effective than the other options out there. I thought I wasn’t hurting anyone, but I had no idea I was potentially ending life … life that my husband and I created … my own children. I don’t know if that happened and I might not ever know until I leave this world, but that’s my burden to bear. I just hope I can help others realize this truth so they can embrace life when they are ready and exercise responsible parenthood and make adult decisions before they are.

If you are pro-life, you don’t use hormonal contraceptives. That’s that.

Want to learn more about this from an NFP doctor or teacher, visit to find one in your area.

* Larimaore W Standford J. Postfertilization Effects of Oral Contraceptives and Their Relationsihp to Informed Consent, Arch Fam Med 2000; 9:126-133

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