I have struggled for quite a while over whether or not to post about this. I don't want to ruffle feathers or start a big heated debate. I simply want to provide information that I have recently found about birth control pills.
It's no secret that Sean and I are Catholic now and hold to the Church's teaching of natural family planning. When we started thinking about becoming Catholic, this topic was one of the first that we researched because we were so interested to know why the Catholic Church was so out of the mainstream with its stance on BC. It didn't take long for both of us to realize that any unnatural form of birth control was the wrong path for our family.
We have had many debates with friends and family (some heated, some contained) about birth control. The most common argument that our loved ones give us is that NFP is no different than taking birth control. Well, simply stated, it is. First of all, it is the Church's teaching, and we must abide by it. I know this leaves out all non-Catholics because most other churches say it's okay.
But even more importantly is what I found when I did a little research on Google. All I did was type in "Does birth control cause abortion?" I got 1,870,000 hits. I didn't have the time to look through all of the sites obviously, but what I found left me feeling weak in the knees to say the least.
This is just some information from one of the many websites that say birth control can cause abortion (rated PG 13):
How does the Pill work?
The Pill has three mechanisms of action which can easily be looked up in the Physician's Desk Reference.
1) Sometimes, the Pill suppresses ovulation. When this happens, an egg is not released and conception cannot occur. (It's important to read on and find out about the high rates of breakthrough ovulation. When ovulation is not suppressed, pregnancy can occur.)
2) The Pill also works to thicken the woman's cervical mucus which can "restrict" sperm from moving up the reproductive tract toward the egg.
3) One way the Pill causes early abortions is that it interfers with the flexing motions and the cilia movement of the fallopian tubes. These changes slow the transportation of newly conceived child from the fallopian tubes to the womb. Unfortunately, many small babies starve to death in the fallopian tubes because chemicals caused changes that prevented them from reaching the womb in time to be nourished.
4) Another way the Pill causes early abortions: If your tiny baby survives the ride down the fallopian tube to your womb, the Pill will almost always cause the endometrium (the lining of your uterus) to reject your child. Chemical reactions often cause the lining of your womb to become thin, shriveled and unable to support implantation of your newly conceived child.This means that in almost every case, your new child will not be able to attach to the wall of your womb where he or she would normally live, grow and receive nourishment for 9 months. This means your tiny baby will starve to death and his or her remains will be passed along in your next bleeding cycle. (The "Study of Abortion Deaths Commission" estimates that this happens in women in America who use the Pill approximately 1 to 4 million times each year.)The chemicals that cause these early abortions are called abortifacients which is the medical term for any chemical agent that causes an abortion.
Breakthrough ovulation proved long ago . . .
Birth control advocates and manufacturers of the Pill have known these facts for years. Have they done a very good job of informing women about how the Pill really works? (Please email us and let us know if you were aware of how the Pill worked before you read this.)When chemists devised the Pill that debuted in 1960, they gave it a huge dose of a chemical that caused most women's ovaries to stop secreting eggs (i.e., to stop ovulation). The theory was "no egg, no pregnancy."However, some women continued to release eggs and get pregnant while on the original Pill. (Studies have shown that an even higher percentage of women release eggs while using today's newer, re-formulated Pills. More about today's Pills in a moment.)In her award winning study of women taking the earlier high dose Pills, Dutch gynecologist Dr. Nine Van der Vange showed "proof of ovulation based on ultrasound exams and hormonal indicators occurred in about 4.7% of the cycles studied." (Source: Sterns, Dr. David, "How the Pill and the IUD Work: Gambling with Life," American Life League, PO Box 1350, Stafford, VA 22555)And the "Textbook of Contraceptive Practice" states that, "Among women who have been followed over a considerable number of cycles, breakthrough ovulations occur in 2 to 10 percent of cycles." (Source: Dr. J. Peel & Dr. Malcolm Potts, Textbook of Contraceptive Practice, 1969, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press) Please note that these references are to the lower breakthrough ovulation rates of the Pills of the 1960's. The new Pills of the 1990's work differently and have much higher breakthrough ovulation rates. This will be explained as you read on.
Why the big secret?
Why the big secret?
Why aren't most women aware that the Pill causes early abortions? Let's look at the large pharmaceutical companies who advertise, market and sell the Pill. They make huge profits from the Pill -- and they'll continue to make mega-profits -- if women are convinced they're not getting pregnant and they keep buying and taking the Pill everyday. But are they being honest with you? Have they clearly explained that their products cause millions of early chemical abortions each year?
The New Pills: Much Higher Rates of Breakthrough Ovulation . . .The original Pill of the 1960's had to be modified due to harmful side effects that women were experiencing because of the powerful chemicals. All versions of today's "Combination Pill" have a reduced hormonal content. When compared to the Pills of the 1960's and 1970's, this reduces the chance of harmful side effects for women, but it also increases their chances of ovulating and conceiving a son or daughter.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). With these newer Pills, simply missing one tablet, or failing to take the Pill at the same time each day increases the chances of breakthrough ovulation. Reactions with other drugs increases the chances of breakthrough ovulation, especially with caffeine and nicotine, or some prescription medicine (Source: "Abortifacient Contraception: The Pharmaceutical Holocaust" by Dr. Rudolf Ehmann, Human Life Intl., 1993, p.15).Makers of the new "mini-pill" claim it does not have the side effects of the combination pill. However, they don't tell you that scientific research shows the mini-pill does not stop ovulation at all in 67-81% of the women who use it, so the probability of conception is much higher. (Source: Tonti-Fillippini, Nicholas, Linacre Quarterly, 1995)
Isn't that scary?!?!
Of course I don't know if some of the websites claim that the pill can't cause abortions. I probably looked at the top 7-8 sites on the page, and they all claim the pill can and does cause abortions. I am sure there are some that say otherwise, though. BUT even if those articles are out there claiming "no harm" to a potential pregnancy, there is no denying the ones that say there is potential harm. The what if factor is way too huge in my book.
One of the most informative websites that I found about contraception in general can be found here. If you're gonna contracept, this is the best website because it'll let you know which forms of contraception can cause an abortion and which won't. The scary thing for me was seeing how quite possible the mini-pill can cause an abortion. I took the mini-pill after having Hattie for several months before we decided to do NFP. No doctor has ever told me about any of this either. It is so enraging!
My whole point in posting this blog is not to point my finger at anyone. I have been on the pill before, and I never thought twice about it. I just want the information to be known. That's all. I was SHOCKED with what I found, and the only thing that led me to my research is all of the conversations that Sean and I have had with friends and family. And my whole point in posting this is that I couldn't stay silent once I knew.
So now I've said it. And hopefully now you've read it. Go look for yourself if I have struck a chord at all.......and as I hit publish post (GULP!), I hope my conscious will grow a little quieter.