Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pleading for the Voiceless

I have yet to meet a true Christian who is not concerned with or at least wrestling with the issue of abortion. Of all of the issues that seem to motivate us, not one of them seems to drive us into a frenzy like this issue of abortion.

I look at abortion and see it as being no different than the child sacrifices to the detestable god Molech, and any Israelite who committed these acts was to be put to death (Leviticus 18:21; 20:2-5; 1 Kings 11:7; 23:10; Jeremiah 32:35). Almost all people today would agree that the killing of infants as a sacrifice to a pagan (or any) god is detestable and would be an offense of the first order. Abortion is not a sacrifice to a fertility god, a harvest god, or another sort of the ancient gods. Abortion is a sacrifice to the more palatable gods of today; the god of commerce and the god of self.

The god of commerce is appeased in two ways, apparently. It is a major money making business to snuff out the life of the most helpless little ones. The doctors and nurses whose consciences are either silenced because of their continued rebellion in this unholy act of murder, or they try to console their nagging consciences with a steady paycheck, benefits, and by buying into the rhetoric of “women empowerment” and that this is an issue that is primarily about sexist oppression.

Now, I am a huge fan of banging the drum if it needs to be pounded a bit, but this issue is pretty much a no-brainer for any Christian who is aware of the current cultural trend of abortion. Now I’d like to notch it up a bit.

I am going to start with a word and a definition.

Abortifacient: an agent (as a drug) that induces abortion

Did you know that all forms of hormonal birth control methods have this effect? The “pill” (in all of its forms) has the potential to cause an abortion in an unsuspecting mother. Without getting into the depths of the medical facts and arguments about this, I would like to appeal to your common sense.

“The only sure way to not get pregnant is to not have sex.” That is the standard line about abstinence when the issue of “safe sex” comes up in any debate. The reason we say that is that we know that the chances are small (but they are real) that a woman can become pregnant even when she is using the pill correctly. This is not a shock to anyone who has ever thought about birth control. The fact is that if a woman can become pregnant by using any form of birth control, then we need to know what effect this same method of birth control can have on the young child and if it can contribute to the death of this child in it’s early stage of life. This would be the abortifacient effect of the birth control method.

To cut to the quick, let me say that again that all hormonal types of birth control pills or shots can have this effect. The pill (specifically) has 3 functions: (a) to thicken a natural barrier at the opening of the cervix, (b) to suppress ovulation, and (c) to make the lining of the womb harden. “This effect is on the lining of the womb. What this does is to harden the lining of the womb—we say, make it hostile to implantation to this one-week-old embryo. If this is the function that prevents “pregnancy” that month, then it is implantation that is prevented. And this implantation, if prevented, kills a tiny one-week-old baby.1

If you prefer an "unbiased" look at what the pill does, try this description from WebMD, a non-Christian medical web site. "The hormone in the pills also changes the lining of the uterus, so that implantation of a fertilized egg is much less likely to occur."2 Even when it is not in pro-life lingo, it is undeniable to see the known effect of the birth control pill.

Normally I would just talk about the pill or other similar hormonal birth control methods, but recent events and a conversation with someone close to me compelled me to go further. A less popular form of birth control is called the intrauterine device (IUD) which is a “T” shaped implant into the woman’s womb. It is known to be an abortifacient3 even if some dispute how likely a conception is to occur. “However, in the very unlikely event of successful fertilization, the ‘sterile inflammatory response’ provides a rather foreboding endometrial environment for implantation.4

If you (my lady reader) or your wife (my gentleman reader) or any of your good friends are using any type of birth control that has an abortifacient effect5 do you know that there is a real possibility that your choice has contributed to the death of your child who you didn’t even know was alive? You know that the pill or the IUD are advertised as being 98% effective at preventing pregnancy6 but remember, if it is possible to become pregnant while on one of these methods, then it is very likely that some of the “prevention” is in a post-conception mode.

It is my conviction that we, as Christians, cannot utilize these forms of birth control because of the possibility that it might be the cause of the death of a child. Some would respond saying, “We don’t know if we ever have been pregnant and that there’s no guarantee that if we did that it was the use of this method of birth control that caused the child to die.” My answer to that is that I agree. We don’t know. And not knowing for sure is not a license to “hope” for the fact that we won’t contribute to this happening.

Like many people, I had no idea about any of this until I had been married for a while. In that time, my wife and I used “the pill” and were none the wiser. My wife’s doctor never even mentioned the fact that it had an abortifacient effect, and we were na├»ve to even this possibility. I thought that if you got pregnant, that the pill had no other impact upon a growing baby since it didn’t stop conception. Once we were confronted with this reality about the possibility, and yes it is a small possibility, that our choice of birth control could cause an abortion, we stopped using anything like it all together.

I have not ever hidden the fact that my wife and I lost a child 2 years ago. This child died while still in the womb. The loss of my child and my anguish over it is simply hard to describe. Having experienced this – the loss of a child that I had never held, seen, or heard cry – is something that I will never forget. One of the consoling facts is that this child didn’t die because my wife consumed food or drink or participated in activities that are known contributors to miscarriage. I pray that my careless decisions to use the pill did not cause others of my children to die, because that would be more than I could bear.

I urge you to wrestle with this issue. It may not be as convenient or inexpensive to use condoms or other non-abortifacient types of birth control…but is that really the issue? If we are truly pro life, and we truly believe that life begins at conception, then hormonal and internal barrier device birth control (IUD) is not a valid option for any of us.

May God forgive the silence and laziness of the Church in speaking out about this horrible and deadly issue, and may those Christians who knowingly compromise the lives of innocent children for the sake of convenience plead with God for their willingness to put someone else’s life in danger as well as potentially being responsible for the death of the innocent.


1 http://www.lifeissues.org/abortifacients/pill.html

2 http://www.webmd.com/content/article/9/2953_523.htm

3 http://www.greenjournal.org/cgi/content/full/99/2/275

4 http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/408817_3

5 Condoms do not have an abortifacient effect. My rule of thumb is that if your form of birth control works at the time of intercourse and not after, then you’re ok. However, if it affects the woman’s body and works with the hormones…be careful, because more than likely it has the potential to kill a young child.

6 Whether pregnancy is the right word here or not is questionable. The real question is how much do they stop conception, and then what part of that percentage are the children who are killed after conception.

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