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everyday life inside the fishbowl

Thursday Thoughts: How Pro-life Really Are You?

on January 24, 2015


Some of the arguments for abortion that I’ve heard or read multiple times from those who are “pro-choice” (the mother’s right over her body includes terminating the life of a fetus within her) are that having a baby could be (1) very inconvenient (e.g., a teen having a baby) or (2) emotionally painful (e.g., a raped woman becoming pregnant). And we pro-lifers vehemently respond that, no matter what the inconvenience or pain, the unborn child is a person, and to abort this person before birth is wrong, because  “a person’s a person no matter how small,” whether just conceived or 90 years old.

I have become increasingly concerned for many Christians who are not as pro-life in practice as they make themselves out to be with their words. Whether knowledgeable or not, they actually terminate newly-conceived life for the sake of avoiding inconvenience. My goal in what follows is to help them avoid this unwitting abortion. Let me explain. . .

When my husband and I were engaged, we had many discussions about children and birth control. We knew we wanted children, but my husband was in seminary full-time and working only part-time at our church. We strongly believe that children are a blessing from the Lord, yet we also wanted Dave to complete his seminary training quickly, so he could minister in a full-time capacity. We decided that I would continue working full-time as a RN. We also both assumed that I would take the pill, just not the “abortive one.”

I decided to do some research on the topic first (I am a registered nurse and greatly appreciate medicine, yet I also like to have at least a general knowledge of medication I take). In my research I came upon this pdf version of a booklet that Randy Alcorn wrote. (You can read a shortened version here.) I quickly found out some disconcerting facts. Alcorn summarizes his own research on the pill (all quotes taken from his shortened version):

In summary, according to multiple references throughout The Physician’s Desk Reference, which articulate the research findings of all the birth control pill manufacturers, there are not one but three mechanisms of birth control pills:

  1. inhibiting ovulation (the primary mechanism),
  2. thickening the cervical mucus, thereby making it more difficult for sperm to travel to the egg, and
  3. thinning and shriveling 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 two mechanisms are contraceptive. The third is abortive.

Alcorn continues to describe the endometrial changes in detail. He cites arguments for and against his belief that the pill can be abortive. His full booklet describes phone calls with pharmaceutical companies and all of his research. I would encourage you to read it for yourself.

After much study, prayer, and discussion, Dave and I chose not to use the pill. But we felt that this was a decision we would keep to ourselves unless people asked. We considered this to be a “keep between yourself and God” issue (Rom 14: 22). It is a touchy subject, because how many devout believers and pro-lifers have used the pill and perhaps been the cause of unknown abortions? We didn’t want to cause guilt. As a pastor’s wife, I have to especially be very careful about how I counsel. I have had people ask, and I have had some continue to use the pill and some who have chosen not to.

Interestingly, Alcorn also states (emphasis added),

Dr. Walt Larimore [a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine] has told me that whenever he has presented this evidence to audiences of secular physicians, there has been little or no resistance to it. But when he has presented it to Christian physicians there has been substantial resistance. Since secular physicians do not care whether the Pill prevents implantation, they tend to be objective in interpreting the evidence. After all, they have little or nothing at stake either way. Christian physicians, however, very much do not want to believe the Pill causes early abortions. Therefore, I believe, they tend to resist the evidence. This is certainly understandable. Nonetheless, we should not permit what we want to believe to distract us from what the evidence indicates we should believe.

Imagine someone who had once used the pill, but now realizes that it can be abortive and wishes someone had told her before. Wouldn’t she have wanted to know ahead of time? Assuming there may be many women who wish they would have known because life is at stake, I have now decided to pass this information along. If life is involved, it’s more than just a “just me and God” situation. At the least, I can share this knowledge and leave it for readers to decide for themselves.

It is, to a degree, an inconvenient truth to know that a pill may kill. Sure, it would have been easier to pop a pill and not worry about pregnancy (although, for what it’s worth, all three of our kiddos have been born just about when we planned, our first 2-1/2 months after we both completed our masters degrees!). If we who are pro-life are as truly pro-life as we say, I think we will at the very least research this topic very carefully. If there is even the slightest chance that a child could be killed because we simply want convenience, then the pill should not even be an option. I would hope that believers would at least give as much attention and research to something concerning life and death as they do topics such as organic vs. non-organic, dyes in foods, vaccines, etc.

Alcorn concludes his brief article:

How many young lives have to be jeopardized for prolife believers to question the ethics of using the Pill? This is an issue with profound moral implications for those believing we are called to protect the lives of children.

May God give us courage to research this important issue, make the right choices, and have wisdom and grace as we discuss this difficult topic.

{On Thursdays, I share some thoughts about what God is teaching me in my various roles as a Christian, a woman, a wife, a mother, and a pastor’s wife.}


One response to “Thursday Thoughts: How Pro-life Really Are You?

  1. […] child. Perhaps your loss has even been your own doing, through an abortion (whether intended or not). Perhaps you have a child, who–like my sweet 3 year old nephew, Evan–has severe mental […]

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