Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?

Randy Alcorn

4th edition, revised November 1999
(1st edition August 1997)

Part One of Three Parts

Part Two of Three Parts

Part Three of Three Parts



Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM)
2229 East Burnside #23
Gresham, OR 97030
Phone 503-663-6481; Fax 503-663-2292
www.epm.org
info@epm.org



"I never knew this-should I feel guilty?"

I know exactly what you're experiencing. If we had known this, Nanci and I would never have used the Pill. But we didn't know, and there's nothing we can do now to change that. If we were still using the Pill, upon discovering these realities, we would immediately stop using it. But I also must deal with my failure in recent years, long after we stopped using the Pill, to investigate the occasional reference I heard to the possibility that the Pill causes abortions.

What about guilt? There is true guilt and there are guilt feelings that plague us even when we are not guilty, or no longer guilty because we have confessed and Christ has forgiven us. Whenever we have done something in ignorance, it is hard to discern our level of responsibility, but Scripture makes clear we are capable of doing wrong even when not consciously aware of it.

"When a person commits a violation and sins unintentionally in regard to any of the LORD's holy things, he is to bring to the LORD as a penalty a ram from the flock . . . It is a guilt offering . . . If a person sins and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands, even though he does not know it, he is guilty and will be held responsible. He is to bring to the priest as a guilt offering a ram from the flock, one without defect . . . In this way the priest will make atonement for him for the wrong he has committed unintentionally, and he will be forgiven." (Leviticus 5:14-18)

We are to seek out before the Lord and come to terms with unintentional and unknown sins:

"How many wrongs and sins have I committed? Show me my offense and my sin." (Job 13:23)

"Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults." (Psalm 19:12)

"Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind." (Psalm 26:2)

"I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes." (Psalm 119:59)

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24)

Scripture clearly teaches we will each stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of what we have done in our lives on earth (Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10). While our salvation doesn't depend on our doing things that are honoring to God, our rewards do.

The Bible teaches that by coming to terms now with our sin and our responsibility, we can to a certain extent preserve ourselves from having to face judgment later: "But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment" (1 Corinthians 11:31).

All of us who have used the Pill may have unknowingly caused abortions, and we certainly ran the risk of doing so. All of us who have recommended it are also accountable.

Because of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross on our behalf, God freely offers us pardon and forgiveness for everything-known sins, unknown sins, and actions taken in ignorance and sincerity that may have terrible and unintended results.

"He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust". (Psalm 103:10-14)

"Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea". (Micah 7:18-19)

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness". (1 John 1:9)

To be honest, I haven't known exactly how to respond to our years of using the Pill, and my recommending it to couples in premarital counseling. My prayer has been something like this-"Lord, I'd like to think this wasn't a sin, given our ignorance. But based on your Word I suspect it probably was. Since I am usually "more" guilty than I think, not less, I should assume I have sinned rather than presuming I have not. Please forgive me. I thank you that the price you paid means I need not labor under the guilt of my wrong choices in the past. Help me "now" to demonstrate the condition of my heart by living out consistently my convictions about the sanctity of human life you have created. Help me never to dare play God by usurping your sole prerogatives as the giver and taker of life. And help me do what I can to encourage my brothers and sisters not to do so either."

I believe in light of our knowledge that the Pill can cause abortions, we should no longer use or recommend it, and should take the opportunity to explain, especially to our brothers and sisters in Christ, why we cannot.

"Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD." (Lamentations 3:40)

"He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy." (Proverbs 28:13)

"We shouldn't lay guilt on people by talking about this"

Someone forwarded to me an email from a Christian physician who is also a Marriage and Family Therapist. Here was his response to this booklet:

"This will do more harm than good. . . . My overall emotional reaction is one of anger. My intellectual reaction is that this material will have a detrimental impact on good, devout Christian couples. It appears to be an example of black or white thinking in an area full of all kinds of shades of gray. The Bible passage that comes to mind is Jesus' comment in Luke 11:46: 'And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry.' A significant part of my work as a therapist for Christians involves helping them overcome the after-effects of religious or spiritual abuse perpetrated by overzealous or misguided religiously motivated individuals. I see this booklet as an example of legalism based on poor science and lack of emotional understanding and compassion."

Interestingly, the writer included no evidence of poor science in this booklet, nor did he offer any good science to refute it. He appears to assume that one cannot set forth truthful evidence in this arena without being guilty of legalism or spiritual abuse. Unfortunately, I believe this therapist doesn't give either truth or people enough credit. Is truth devoid of grace? Are Christians incapable of handling difficult information or accepting God's provision for guilt? Is it compassionate to hold back disturbing truth from people rather than share it with them so they can make their own choice as to what to believe and seek the Lord's guidance how to respond? It may appear compassionate on its face, but in fact I believe it is paternalistic and condescending.

I've been told by many others that it would be better to be silent, to not raise the issue of the Pill's ability to cause abortions. Why? Because it will make people feel guilty. And that is supposedly unkind.

Sometimes, however, a greater sense of guilt and accountability is exactly what we need, for then we can deal with sin in God's way, and be relieved of it rather than ignoring or stuffing it. The same "don't make people feel guilty" logic prompts people not to say what the Bible really says. But ultimately it is never in people's best interests to keep them in ignorance and give them no opportunity to respond to the Lord.

Our mission must be to tell the truth, not to hide it. We are here not simply to help each other feel good, but to help each other be good. Ultimately, the greatest kindness we can offer each other is the truth. The Christian life is not based on avoiding the truth but on hearing it and submitting to it.

Scripture speaks of a sorrow that leads to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:9). It is far better to feel guilty, repent and become obedient than not to feel guilty, and continue to disobey our Lord, endanger the lives of the innocent, and lay up judgment for ourselves. The right way to no longer feel guilty is to lay our guilt at the foot of the cross, not hide or deny it. The time to take responsibility for our actions is now, not later at the judgment seat of Christ.

I believe this truth-centered approach, communicated with grace, is not only right but ultimately compassionate.

"We shouldn't tell people the Pill may cause abortions because then they'll be held accountable"

I've had it said to me that as long as people don't know the Pill causes abortions, they're better off. If they do hear the truth and don't stop taking the Pill, one woman told me, by giving them this information I've made them more accountable, increased their guilt, and thereby done them a disservice.

Leviticus 5 and other passages dealing with unintentional and unknown sins fly in the face of this "ignorance is bliss" theology. The concept "if we don't know, we're not held accountable" isn't biblical. If it were true, it could be used to justify failing to warn people about sexual immorality, murder, or any other sin. It could be used to claim heathens are better off never hearing the gospel, because then they wouldn't be held accountable for rejecting it.

While it's true we take greater judgment on ourselves by rejecting truth that has been clearly presented, we will also be judged for what we haven't been told but is nonetheless true. It's not for us to withhold truth from our brothers and sisters because we think they won't listen. It's our sacred responsibility to speak up and try to persuade them, and hope and pray they'll listen. Furthermore, we will be held accountable for whether or not we've obeyed God by telling them the truth and giving them a chance to respond (Ezekiel 33:1-9).

Even the secular world recognizes it's an ethical mandate that physicians not withhold pertinent information from patients. A physician, pastor or anyone in an authoritative or guiding role might personally choose to take whatever risks he believes the Pill presents to a child. But that doesn't mean he should feel free to withhold information about such risks from those who trust him.

Dr. Walter Larimore, a highly respected and widely published medical researcher, teaches Family Medicine at the University of South Florida and is a member of Focus on the Family's Physician's Resource Council (PRC). In a November 1997 meeting, the majority of the PRC reached the preliminary conclusion that there is no direct evidence the Pill causes abortions, and further scientific study is needed. Dr. Larimore and Dr. William Toffler, professor at the Oregon Health Sciences University, are among the PRC minority that has given close attention to the research and is convinced that what we already know about the Pill poses significant risks to the lives of unborn children.

However, regardless of a physician's personal beliefs on this matter, it raises the critical issue of informed consent. In regard to the physician's responsibility to inform women of the possibility the Pill may cause abortions, Dr. Larimore stated to me in a February 26, 1998 email, "True informed consent requires detailed communication. If the physician fails to provide it this seriously jeopardizes a woman's autonomy. Further, if this information is consciously withheld, it is a breach of ethics."

Prolifers have long been critical of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry for their consistent refusal to inform women of the development of their unborn children, or show them ultrasound images of those children, or fully inform them of the risks of abortion. "Abortion providers," who have personal and financial vested interests in the matter, often claim it's not in a woman's best interests to be presented with such information. Prolife physicians, who may have personal and financial vested interests in distributing the Pill, must likewise be careful not to rob women of the right to be fully informed of its potential abortive effects. It seems to me that to not practice informed consent regarding the Pill betrays a disrespect for a woman's intelligence, her moral convictions, and her ability to weigh the evidence and make her choice.

If a physician has evidence that the Pill does not cause abortions, he can present that to his patient as well. (I would like to see it myself.) What is the worst case scenario either way? If a physician makes a patient aware of evidence indicating the Pill may cause early abortions and later research indicates that evidence wasn't valid, what will have been lost? An informed decision has been made on all the available data. But if the physician fails to disclose to her the evidence and it turns out it was true all along, then he has withheld from his patient information that might have kept children from dying and kept his patient's conscience from being violated by a choice made in ignorance.

The "it's better not to say anything" philosophy puts too much emphasis on us and not enough on the two greatest commandments, loving God and loving our neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40). If we really love God we will want to know the truth so we can act in light of it. If we really love our neighbor, we will want him to know the truth so he can do the same. And if we really love our most vulnerable neighbors, the unborn children, we will want to protect and preserve them instead of imperil them through our silence.

Jesus is the truth. Those who serve him are compelled to speak the truth, listen to the truth, and follow the truth in every arena of life, no matter how difficult or inconvenient.

"We've prayed about it and we feel right about using the Pill"

I realize people may sincerely pray and decide it's okay for them to use the Pill. Obviously, everyone must make his own choice. I am not forcing my conclusions on anyone. I am stating my beliefs. One of those beliefs is that the peace or lack of peace one feels after praying can be highly subjective, unless it is specifically rooted in objective truths. There are many people who feel good about do-ing wrong things and others who feel bad about doing right things. I have seen people make unwise and even catastrophic decisions who told me they prayed and felt good about it.

Often the reason we "feel peace" may be because we are doing what is most comfortable, convenient, natural or widely accepted. None of these is a good reason to believe we are doing right. We need to search the Scriptures to see what is true, and subject ourselves to the authority and guidance of the revealed will of God (Acts 17:11). Then when we call upon God's indwelling Spirit to teach and direct us, he can guide us in light of what he has objectively said to us, not merely what we subjectively feel.

I've heard many people respond to this issue by saying "I just don't feel it's a problem." When I ask for any evidence they know of that refutes that presented in this booklet, never do they have any to offer. They say, "I just feel that . . .," as if having a feeling were somehow a good reason to believe something. "I feel" statements are sincere but subjective; they are not always based on reality. "I think this for these reasons, because of this evidence . . ." still leaves room for disagreement, but it is far more objective.

One pharmacist who dispenses the Pill stated "I know it causes abortions, but I pray over each prescription that it won't cause an abortion in the people I'm giving it to." This man should be commended for his sensitive spirit and prayerful attitude. On the other hand, I believe it is unreasonable to dispense a product known to cause abortions and then expect God to answer prayer that it will not work in that way.

If I read studies showing that my family's favorite fruit juice sometimes resulted in fatalities, would I respond by praying they would not die every time I poured them a glass? Or would I just get rid of the fruit juice and never use it again? If I prayed about it and told you I "had a peace" that it was all right to keep serving them this fruit juice despite its proven ability to take human life, if you were my friend, what would you say to me?

"This issue will sidetrack us from fighting surgical abortions"

One prolife physician read a few of the citations in this booklet and wrote me this: "I think prolifers should stay away from these theoretical arguments and stick with fighting what we know to be wrong: elective induced abortions. We defeat ourselves if we get carried away on tangents arguing about BCPs."

When I examine this evidence, I do not believe it is theoretical. I believe it is real. We don't know how many children are dying from the use of oral contra-ceptives. It seems apparent that some, likely many, are. Even if you think the evidence isn't conclusive, you must acknowledge that the Pill may be killing children. Isn't that at least worth informing people?

As to sticking with fighting "what we know to be wrong," the question is whether we know it is wrong to kill not just the older preborn children but the youngest ones. Or whether we know it is as wrong to kill children with chemicals as with surgical instruments. The answer to both these questions, I believe, is yes. Both result in the deaths of children created in God's image.

The underlying belief seems to be that surgical abortions are "real" and chemical abortions are not. This is true only if older children are more real or valuable than younger ones. This is a fallacy that, of all people, prolife Christians should never buy into. A child is a child, no matter what his age or size.

If human life didn't begin until implantation or thereafter, then concern about the Pill would indeed be sidetracking us from real abortions. But the truth is this––the difference between killing a seven day old "zygote" and a seven week old "fetus" is exactly the same as between killing a child seven days after birth and killing a child seven weeks after birth. There simply is no difference. Six-day-old children are just as real as six-year-old children, and chemical abor-tions are just as real as surgical abortions, just as deserving of our concern and action. "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins" (James 4:17).

Will we as prolifers "defeat ourselves" by speaking up for children killed by chemicals as we do for children killed by surgeries? Or will we just become more consistent and less hypocritical in our advocacy for the unborn?

Is pointing out the abortifacient nature of birth control pills a "tangent" getting us off track, or is it getting us on track by obeying God's command to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves? (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Earlier I cited the paper signed by twenty prolife physicians, affirming that the Pill does not cause abortions. In its conclusion it makes this point:

"How happy the abortionists must be to find us training our guns on a presumption, causing division/confusion among pro-life forces, and taking some of the heat off the abortion industry. Ought we not rather be spending our energies to eliminate the convenience destruction of the innocent unborn?"

First, our job is to find the truth, even if it causes division or confusion. We should not content ourselves with unity and "certainty" based on ignorance of the truth. (I would also hope that we are mature enough to not be divided simply because we must deal with evidence that is unpleasant.)

Second, we are not taking heat off the abortion industry. I am as much opposed to surgical abortions now as I've been the last seventeen years. In fact, if the Pill causes abortions, what we are doing is putting heat on another aspect of the abortion industry, the one involved in chemical abortions. Unless we believe it is better to kill a child with chemicals than with surgical instruments, we should oppose all abortions, not just some of them. This is especially true when we consider the future of the abortion industry lies more and more in chemical abortions and increasingly less in surgical ones. Desiring to protect the smallest preborn children from chemical abortions in no way takes away from the importance of protecting bigger preborns from surgical abortion. It is not either/or, it is both/ and.

Finally, the statement of prolife physicians appears to limit "convenience" abortions to surgical ones. It seems not to acknowledge that chemical abortions are every bit as destructive to children, and every bit as displeasing to God. Ironically, by choosing to take hormonal contraceptives when the evidence indicates they put innocent children's lives at risk, don't we unnecessarily run the risk of committing the very "convenience" abortions the statement condemns?

"Prolifers lose credibility by opposing the Pill"

I recently received a call from a prolife leader who said a physician friend of hers had heard about this booklet. He told her, "We will all lose credibility if people hear mainstream prolifers opposing the Pill."

What should really make us lose credibility is if we ignore the truth and go right on using the Pill even if it causes abortions. Opposition to abortion demands consistency. We oppose chemical abortions not because we're extremists, but because they do what surgical abortions do: kill children. In many eyes, our opposition to surgical abortions has already lost us credibility. I'm not sure how much credibility we have left to lose in the arena of chemical abortions. But in any case we must never sacrifice truth on the altar of credibility.

The fact that this concern even exists shows how uncritically we as a culture and a Christian community have embraced the Pill. The impression I often get from people's anger and resentment about this issue is, "How "dare" you speak against the Pill?" I'm not talking about the response of nonchristians, but Christians. Is the Pill so sacred that we can't even raise questions concerning it? Is it so much a part of us that we cannot even present scientific evidence and express biblical and ethical concerns without "losing credibility"? If so, then the Pill has taken on the role of a cultural idol, demanding worship and rejecting scrutiny (1 John 5:21).

Even if opposing the abortions caused by the Pill makes us lose credibility with some people, it doesn't change the moral rightness of the position. Integrity before God is more important than credibility before men. We need to carefully and lovingly speak the truth, not bury, ignore or deny it. The Pill's hold on the Christian community has often surfaced when I've tried to lovingly present the concerns of this booklet. One person, who described herself as a committed Christian and prolifer, was very upset by this booklet, and wrote, "We worship God, not fertilized eggs."

Who worships fertilized eggs? Does the writer think those who question the use of the Pill out of concern for newly-conceived children are thereby "worshipping fertilized eggs"? As I've said, the term "fertilized eggs" is dehumanizing, and obscures the humanity of the newly-conceived child. Saying we don't worship "fertilized eggs" instead of we don't worship "children" may reflect a bias that sees the just-created child as inhuman or less human than older, larger children.

In any case, it is a troubling conclusion that speaking up for the rights of children constitutes "worshipping" them. I believe the basis of our concern for preborn children does not contradict the worship of God, but flows from it. Worship and obedience go hand in hand (Daniel 7:27). If we worship God, and he tells us to feed the hungry, we do it (Matthew 25:31-46). This does not mean we worship the hungry. If someone advocates caring for widows and orphans, I don't say to him, "We worship God, not widows and orphans."

This comment reminds me of the former Surgeon General's statement that prolifers "need to get over their love affair with the fetus." In fact, our love affair is with God. That's why we want to honor and obey him by loving and caring for the smallest children created in his image.

"This puts medical professionals in a very difficult position"

This is something that deeply troubles me. I don't want any of my countless physician friends, brothers and sisters to be made uncomfortable or put on the defensive. Unfortunately, this is one of those issues that inevitably puts them on the spot, especially Ob/Gyns and family practitioners. Other than talking with them, sympathizing with them, and praying for them, I'm not sure what else to do.

I do know that some medical professionals have taken a stand on this issue, and God has been honored by it. One of the physicians who evaluated this booklet before publication told me she shared the information with a patient, who listened and appreciated hearing the facts. An Ob/Gyn told me that years ago, after coming to realize the Pill causes abortions, he decided he could no longer prescribe it. He informed his patients why. At first, he lost a significant number of patients and income. Ultimately his practice started thriving again, since many prolife people respected his stand and believed they could trust him on matters of principles and ethics. Therefore they sought him out as their physician. Of course, even if he had never regained the lost patients and income, the important thing is he made a decision that honored God.

Similarly, there are pharmacists who are committed not to distribute the Pill because of their prolife convictions. This can create difficulty and controversy, but sometimes taking a stand for what is right inevitably does that, and people are ultimately informed, challenged and benefited.

California pharmacist John Boling refused to dispense OCs as a "morning after pill," on March 29, 1997. The story was picked up by Time, Associated Press, and ABC, CBS, and CNN. Boling was reprimanded by his employer, Long's Drug Stores, when he refused to refer the client to another pharmacy for abortifacient pills. Not only Pharmacists for Life but the California Pharmacists Association supported Boling's right of conscience not to dispense chemicals which violate his religious, moral or ethical standards.

Mike Katsonis is a pharmacist for K-Mart in Woods Cross, Utah. He had resigned from the campus dispensary at the University of Florida at Gainesville in 1991 when he refused to fill prescriptions for the "morning after pill." Katsonis has invoked the Pharmacist's conscience clause and refuses to fill abortifacient prescriptions at K-Mart.

K-Mart's spokesman Dan Jarvis has responded to this refusal by stating "K-Mart will distribute these pills when a doctor prescribes them. We will not tolerate a pharmacist who, on his own because of his own beliefs, will not distribute these medications" (N. Wagner, "K-Mart pharmacist refuses to fill prescriptions for 'morning after' pill, The Salt Lake Tribune, June 5 1997, pages B1, B4).

In December 1996 K-Mart fired Indiana pharmacist Karen Brauer for refusing to dispense MicroNor, a progestin-only pill that causes abortions. (Information on the Pharmacist's Conscience Clause is available at Pharmacists for Life's website at http://www.netcom.com/~pfli/cc.html.)

I realize there are some professional sacrifices that might be made by those who act on the belief that the Pill causes abortions. But I am convinced God can be trusted to guide and provide for those willing to make such sacrifices. I also believe the rest of us should be the first to applaud them, stand beside them and support them in every way we can.

Conclusion

The Problem: A Spiritual Stronghold?

It is a tragic irony that we who are Christians try to persuade people not to have a single surgical abortion, while as a result of our choice to take the Pill we may be having two, three, a half dozen or more chemical abortions ourselves.

My intention is not to finger-point. I take no glee whatsoever in writing this. Assembling and presenting these materials has not been enjoyable for me. I do not wish to put my brothers and sisters on the defensive. Nor do I assume the worst of them, that they will all ignore this evidence and be callous to the lives of unborn children. If we'd had the information then that we do now, I am convinced Nanci and I would have stopped using the Pill. In the face of the evidence, I think many others will make the same decision. Of course, I am not naive-I realize that many otherwise prolife people will continue to take the Pill and many Christian physicians will continue to prescribe and recommend it. I do hope that over time this will change, as we become more informed and our consciences become sensitized.

I have spoken with many Christian physicians, brothers I deeply respect, asking them their opinions on this research. Some have said "we need further studies." One said, "I've never heard of any of this before." Another said, "I didn't know about this, but now that I do I can no longer recommend the Pill to my patients." Still another said, "I've heard rumors about this, but no one has ever pointed me to any hard evidence."

I concur that further study is needed and I would be delighted if that study contradicted the existing evidence and somehow demonstrated that the Pill is incapable of causing abortions. I would like nothing more than to say, "though it appeared for a time that the Pill likely causes abortions, new findings refute that notion and assure us it does not." I would gladly retract this booklet and announce through every means available, "Great news, spread the word-children have not been dying as a result of the Pill; they are not at risk!"

Unless and until such study surfaces, however, the evidence I've presented here, though indirect, is cumulatively very substantial. Some will say "Indirect evidence isn't good enough." My response is, "Show me the evidence, direct or indirect, that the Pill never causes abortions." (Don't show me evidence that it sometimes doesn't cause abortions, since that isn't the question.)

Can we live with ourselves if we disregard this evidence and say "I won't speak out against the Pill until I have incontrovertible proof it causes abortions and lots of them"? If there is doubt, shouldn't we give the benefit of the doubt to children?

"Does the birth control pill cause abortions?" I do not want to believe it, but I do believe the answer is "yes." But even if I wasn't sure I would have to say the evidence compels me to oppose the Pill unless definitive evidence is produced to indicate it does not cause abortions.

"Then, does that mean we should believe something when there's no direct proof of it?" No matter which position we take, we already believe something there's no direct proof of. Is there direct proof the Pill causes abortions? No. Is there direct proof the Pill doesn't cause abortions? No. Is there indirect evidence the Pill causes abortions? Yes, a lot of it. Is their indirect evidence it doesn't cause abortions? I'm not certain there is, but if there is I believe it is less than persuasive.

In the face of the evidence, our position on the Pill offers a great test of our true convictions. Do we really believe God creates every human life at the point of conception, six days before implantation begins? And will we exercise this conviction even at the cost of our personal convenience?

Perhaps what we thought was a conviction will be proven to be no more than a preference. Maybe the truth is, if we can avoid abortion without inconvenience to ourselves we will do so, but if it requires extra effort on our part, we will go ahead and risk the lives of our children. (In fact, they are really not "our" children to risk-they are created by God and owned by God, and entrusted to us by him to protect and nurture.)

There are some very disturbing questions we need to ask.

Can God, who creates each human life at the point of conception, fully bless the efforts of prolife organizations, volunteers and staff members, of sidewalk counselors and pastors and doctors-and any of us-when we turn right around and use, prescribe or recommend a product that sometimes takes the life of an unborn child?

Are we consistently prolife or only selectively prolife? Do we oppose later abortions while not really caring about the earliest ones? Is the only difference between us and those we call "proabortion" that they are willing to embrace the killing of bigger and older children while we are willing to embrace the killing only of smaller and younger children? Are we moral relativists and gradualists different only in degree but not in kind with those we call abortionists?

Because we have grown so accustomed to the Pill, will we turn our heads away from the risks it poses to our children? Do we dare to play God by infringing upon his sole and sacred prerogatives over human life?

We often encounter proabortion people who deny the basic medical and moral realities of the issue, and sometimes we shake our heads in wonder at the extent of their denial of the obvious, that abortion kills children and that it is therefore morally repugnant. Even many who are otherwise prolife live in denial when they say, "I oppose abortion, except in cases of rape, incest and deformity." (Of course, an unborn child is a child; regardless of how he was conceived and what his handicaps are, it is wrong to kill a child.)

When it comes to something so deeply entrenched in our society and in the Christian community as the Pill, even the most prolife people are fully capable of denial. Looking back, I believe I was in denial on this issue from the time I first heard about it six years ago. Why didn't I dig deeper? Why didn't I research it more carefully?

I can come up with many other reasons to explain it away, but perhaps the bottom line is, I just didn't want it to be true. But there are many things I don't want to be true that still are. I don't want to believe there is an eternal hell; or that as a Christian I will be held accountable for my works at the judgment seat of Christ; or that millions of children go to bed hungry each night; or that abortion kills children; or that the Pill causes abortions. I don't want to believe any of these things, but I believe each of them nonetheless because the evidence demonstrates them to be true.

Is there a supernatural reason for our ignorance and denial on this issue? As much as I believe in the spiritual realm and the spiritual battle, I am not quick to attribute every misunderstanding or problem in the church to demonic influence. However, consider what Jesus said: "the devil . . . was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44).

When Satan carries out murder in an outwardly "civil" society, inevitably he must bury the murder in a huge grave of lies so that no one sees the corpses. (As Stalin put it, "One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.") When Satan convinces the church of these lies he has achieved his greatest victory- it's hard to imagine a more horrid irony or a more crippling blow to the church than that we, followers of Christ, would make choices that result in the deaths of our own children.

The biggest threat to Satan's success in killing the innocent is that people become aware of the truth, then act on it. When I consider my own ignorance and lack of motivation to pursue and act on the truth that the Pill kills children, I am forced to conclude this may well be a spiritual stronghold that the evil one has on the church. Until we come to grips with, repent of and abstain from the chemical abortions we ourselves are having, I wonder how effective we will be as Christ's representatives in general, and in particular in our efforts to prevent abortions. (Looking back, we haven't been very successful in our efforts to curtail surgical abortions–perhaps this is one of the reasons.)

The Trend: Chemical v. Surgical Abortions

Many surgical abortions happen in Christian churches, far more than most people realize. According to the latest Guttmacher Institute study, nearly one out of five women getting surgical abortions claims to be a born again Christian. At least in thousands of churches across the country there is some voice against surgical abortions. But chemical abortions are going almost completely unchallenged, even in the most prolife churches and organizations. Ironically, it is chemical abortions that are the clear direction of abortion in America and around the world.

Trends indicate that in years to come there will be fewer surgical abortions, mostly because of the popularity and "ease" of chemical abortions. If the church herself is committing chemical abortions as a way of life, then we are woefully unprepared to fight the abortion battle at any level, and certainly not this one.

Many prolife groups that have exclusively targeted surgical abortions will celebrate as great victories the fact that in years to come more and more abortion clinics will shut down and there will be fewer doctors doing surgical abortions. But it will only be a true victory if it means less children are being killed.

It appears this is not what it will mean. Every indication is that more physicians who did not do surgical abortions will dispense chemical abortifacients to their patients. A 1995 Kaiser survey showed that many doctors who would not perform surgical abortions would prescribe the abortion pill, RU-486 (Kaiser Family Foundation, 1995 Survey of Obstetrician/Gynecologists on Conception and Unplanned Pregnancy: Attitude and Practices with regard to Abortion, Menlo Park, California; cited by Lawrence Roberge, "The Future of Abortion, Life Advocate, March 1997, page 30).

Celebrating the demise of surgical abortion clinics while chemical abortions take their place would be like celebrating the fact that less Jews were being killed in the gas ovens because most were now being killed by lethal injections. Our point should not be merely to oppose a certain method of killing babies, but to oppose the killing of babies by any and all methods.

Ironically, the move to chemical abortifacients brings us full circle, since it is actually a return to the ancient way of doing abortions. In times when surgical abortions were very rare, certain herbs, chemicals and poisons were given to women by abortionists, who were often apothecaries or unethical doctors with a knowledge of what chemicals induced miscarriages.

That's why the ancient Hippocratic Oath taken by physicians stated, "I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest such counsel, and in like manner, I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce an abortion." A pessary was an oval stone inserted in the vagina, which could be used to cause an abortion.

As the IUD is parallel to the "pessary" (a physical device) prohibited by the Oath, so the Pill and other chemical abortifacients are parallel to the "deadly medicine" ethical physicians would not prescribe.

Chemical abortions: History and Scripture

It was in the face of such chemical and device-caused abortions that Christian leaders in the first few centuries consistently denounced all abortions. For instance, in about AD 200, Minucius Felix wrote in Octavius, "There are women who swallow drugs to stifle in their own womb the beginnings of a man to be- committing infanticide before they even give birth to the infant." In the fourth century Basil the Great wrote, "Those who give abortifacients for the destruction of a child conceived in the womb are murderers themselves, along with those receiving the poisons." (See Appendix C, Abortion: Perspectives of the Early Church Leaders.)

In fact, a strong case can be made for understanding the Greek word translated "sorcery" in Galatians 5:20 as a reference to administering drugs to commit abortions. This word is "pharmakeia," from which we get our word "pharmaceuticals," or drugs. The administering of drugs and potions was common in sorcery, and hence the word sometimes took on that secondary connotation. But it is also used in the Greek literature of the day with its original primary meaning of drugs, chemicals or medications. The most prevalent social example of the evil use of chemicals was administering them to induce abortions. Pharmakeia was used early in the second century by the physician Soranos of Ephesus in his book Gynecology, referring specifically to drugs which cause abortions.

Galatians 5:20 lists pharmakeia, translated "witchcraft" in the NIV, as one of the "acts of the sinful nature." It precedes it with listing sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery and idolatry. All of these relate to the sexually immoral practices that led to many unwanted children and therefore many abortions, giving further credence to the idea that pharmakeia may in fact refer to, or at least include, using chemicals to kill unborn children.

The same word is used three times in Revelation. In Revelation 9:21 it says: "Nor did they repent of their murders, their pharmakeus, their sexual immorality or their thefts." In 21:8 it states: "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, the pharmakeus, the idolaters and all liars-their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur." In Revelation 22:15 it says, "Outside are the dogs, the pharmakeus, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood."

Even if these Scriptural passages do not refer to chemical abortions––we cannot be certain one way or the other––everything else we know of Scripture and church history tells us we should oppose all forms of abortion with vigor and consistency.

As the devil loved the sacrifice of children in the ancient heathen cultures, so he loves the sacrifice of children in our modern culture. Whether children are sacrificed to a heathen god called Molech or to the god of our own convenience, he does not care. (See Appendix F: The Shedding of Innocent Blood.) Whether these children are born or unborn does not matter to the Murderer from the beginning, for each of them is equally created in the image of God, and by killing them he comes as close as he can to striking out at God himself. In killing those created in his image, Satan kills God in effigy.

The evil one's vested interests in our blindness on this issue cannot be overstated. The forces of darkness desperately do not want us to see these newly-conceived children as their Creator sees them. If we are to come over to God's way of thinking about them, it will only be through searching the Scriptures, praying, examining the evidence and openly and boldly addressing this issue in our churches and Christian organizations.

Time to search our hearts and ways?

Christian couples who are using the Pill, isn't it time to sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk? As a matter of conscience and conviction, do you believe you can or should continue with the Pill? Is it time to consider other alternatives? Time to search the Scriptures together, pray together, look at the facts presented here, and ask God's guidance for your family? The choice is yours to make- make it prayerfully, with a Christ-centered commitment to putting principle above convenience.

Pastors, counselors, physicians, nurses, pharmacists and others: what will you do with this information? Our churches, our patients, our counselees, our families look to us for leadership. Let's take our God-given role seriously and provide that leadership. At the very least we must present people with both the scientific facts and the biblical principles, so they can be informed enough to make wise and godly decisions. We dare not be silent in the face of the lives of children created in the image of God. "Speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves; defend the rights of the poor and needy" (Proverbs 31:8-9). (See Appendix H: Defending the Weak and Helpless)

I have deep empathy for my Christian brothers and sisters who are Ob/ Gyns and family practitioners. For many years, most of them have recommended and prescribed the Pill to their patients, unaware of its abortifacient aspects. I know this information places them in a terribly difficult position. I realize it would be extremely difficult for them to present the evidence to their patients and explain why they can no longer do so. I also know that God will bless those who make such sacrifices for what is right and true, not only in this arena but in others.

I encourage pastors to counsel and stand beside medical professionals who face misunderstanding and resistance from patients and public. We should admire, commend and encourage their principled actions.

I also encourage pastors to speak out directly on this issue in their churches. I was a pastor for fourteen years, and I realize this will not be easy. Some people will be angry and defensive-I know, I've gotten some of their letters. But others will be thankful and appreciative, and will seek God's face and genuinely deal with this issue. We owe our people the truth, and the opportunity to respond to it. In any case, the issue is not whether people will applaud our decision to address this subject. The issue is whether the Audience of One desires us to do so. If he does, all other opinions are irrelevant.

If you are not satisfied with the evidence presented here, will you commit yourself to find out the truth? Go to the Scriptures first, then go to the medical journals and textbooks. Call the Pill manufacturers. Of course, you must be prepared for the fact that they have been trained to deal with questions in a way to minimize or eliminate concerns about abortion. Even then, if you persist in your questions, most of them will acknowledge that their literature is correct-the Pill does sometimes prevent implantation of a newly-conceived human being. They will still say that even when the blastocyst, whom you recognize to be a person created in God's image, is prevented from implanting "there is no pregnancy" and "the Pill is not an abortifacient." You will know better.

If after investigating the issue, you still are not convinced, ask yourself "If this evidence doesn't convince me, is there any evidence that would?" Is it possible- I ask this cautiously and not critically-that your own vested interests in this issue are blinding you to the truth? In other words, if you didn't have something to lose by believing and acting upon this evidence, would you still reject it? Is the real problem lack of evidence or is it that you are determined not to change your beliefs and practice despite the evidence?

It's always better to live in the light than the darkness, even if for the moment the darkness may be comforting to the eye. Ultimately, facing the truth will set us free. Denying it will put us in bondage. The evidence concerning the Pill may disturb us-it certainly disturbs me-but if we respond prayerfully to what we know, we can make informed choices to affirm Christ's Lordship over us, our families and our churches. God will surely bless us for that.

Let God's Word be the final one: "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live" (Deuteronomy 30:19).


Note from the author:

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Appendices

Appendix A: When Does Each Human Life Begin? The Answer of Scripture

"The babies [Jacob and Esau] jostled each other within her [Rebekah]." (Genesis 25:22)

"In the womb he [Jacob] grasped his brother's heel; as a man he struggled with God." (Hosea 12:3)

"Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit." (Job 10:8-12)

"Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?" (Job 31:15)

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . . My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139:13-16)

"Surely I was sinful at birth; sinful from the time my mother conceived me." (Psalm 51:5)

Note: Only a person can have a sin nature. David's statement clearly shows he was a person at the point of conception.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5)

"His mother Mary . . . as found to be with child through the Holy Spirit . . . [the angel said] 'what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.'" (Matthew 1:18-20)

"But the angel said to Mary 'you will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. . . . The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.'" (Luke 1:30-31, 35)

Summary of Luke 1:39-44: After the angel left, Mary "hurried" (v. 39) to get to Elizabeth. Unborn John the Baptist (in his 6th month after conception) responded to the presence of unborn Jesus inside Mary. Allowing for travel time, Jesus was no more than eight to ten days beyond conception when they arrived. Implantation doesn't begin until six days after conception and isn't complete until twelve-most likely Jesus was not yet fully implanted in his mother's womb when unborn John responded to his presence.

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

When did the Word (Christ) become flesh? When did he leave heaven and come to earth? Was there generic soul-less flesh conceived in Mary waiting for Christ to inhabit it later in the pregnancy? No-it is basic Christian doctrine that Christ became flesh at the moment the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, at the moment of fertilization. He became human at the exact point all others become human, the point of conception. The "blastocyst" is an eternal human soul, literally "the least of these [vulnerable people]," Christ's brethren (Matthew 25:40)

Appendix B: When Does Each Human Life Begin? The Answer of Science

Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni, professor of obstetrics, University of Pennsylvania:

"I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception. I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life."

Dr. Jerome LeJeune, genetics professor at the University of Descartes in Paris (discoverer of the Down Syndrome chromosome):

"After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. . . . This is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception."

Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth, Harvard University Medical School:

"It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception."

Professor Hymie Gordon, Mayo Clinic:

"By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception."

Dr. Watson A. Bowes, University of Colorado Medical School:

"The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter-the beginning is conception."

Dr. Landrum Shettles, pioneer in sperm biology, fertility and sterility, discoverer of male- and female-producing sperm:

"I oppose abortion. I do so, first, because I accept what is biologically manifest- that human life commences at the time of conception-and, second, because I believe it is wrong to take innocent human life under any circumstances."


Appendix C: Abortion: Perspectives of the Early Church Leaders

"Do not murder a child by abortion or kill a new-born infant." (The Didache 2.2)

"The Way of Death is filled with people who are . . . murderers of children and abortionists of God's creatures." (The Didache 5:1-2)

Note: The Didache was a second century (AD 120) catechism for young Christian converts. The inclusion of these statements shows that instruction not to commit abortion was a basic and essential Christian teaching, not a fringe or secondary issue.

"You shall love your neighbor more than your own life. You shall not slay a child by abortion. You shall not kill that which has already been generated." (Epistle of Barnabas 19.5; 125 AD)

"We say that women who induce abortions are murderers, and will have to give account of it to God. For the same person would not regard the child in the womb as a living being and therefore an object of God's care and then kill it. . . . But we are altogether consistent in our conduct. We obey reason and do not over-ride it." (Athenagoras, Legatio 35, AD 165)

"The fetus in the womb is a living being and therefore the object of God's care." (Athenagoras, A Plea for the Christians, 35.6; AD 177)

"It does not matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to the birth. In both instances, the destruction is murder." (Tertullian, Apology, 9.4-6; second century)

"Our whole life can go on in observation of the laws of nature, if we gain dominion over our desires from the beginning and if we do not kill, by various means of a perverse art, the human offspring, born according to the designs of divine providence; for these women who, in order to hide their immorality, use abortive drugs which expel the child completely dead, abort at the same time their own human feelings." (Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogus 2, AD 175)

"Reputed believers began to resort to drugs for producing sterility and to gird themselves round, so as to expel what was conceived on account of their not wanting to have a child either by a slave of by any paltry fellow, for the sake of their family and excessive wealth. Behold, into how great impiety that lawless one has proceeded by inculcating adultery and murder at the same time." (Hippolytus, Refutation of all Heresies 9:7, AD 200)

"The wealthy, in order that their inheritance may not be divided among several, deny in the very womb their own progeny. By use of parricidal mixtures they snuff out the fruit of their wombs in the genital organs themselves. In this way life is taken away before it is born. . . . Who except man himself has taught us ways of repudiating children?" (Ambrose of Milan, Hexameron, c. AD 350)

"Those who give abortifacients for the destruction of a child conceived in the womb are murderers themselves, along with those receiving the poisons." (Basil the Great, Canons, 188.2; fourth century)

"Thou shalt not slay thy child by causing abortion, nor kill that which is begotten. For everything that is shaped, and has received a soul from God, if slain, it shall be avenged, as being unjustly destroyed." (The Apostolic Constitutions 73; AD 380)

"Why sow where the ground makes it its care to destroy the fruit? Where there are many efforts at abortion? Where there is murder before birth? For you do not even let the harlot remain a mere harlot, but make her a murderer also. You see how drunkenness leads to whoredom, whoredom to adultery, adultery to murder; or rather something even worse than murder. For I have no real name to give it, since it does not destroy the thing born but prevents its being born. Why then do you abuse the gift of God and fight with His laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the place of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter?" (John Chrysostom, Homily 24 on Romans, c. AD 375)

Jerome called abortion "the murder of an unborn child" (Letter to Eustochium, 22.13; fourth century). Augustine used the same phrase, warning against the terrible crime of "the murder of an unborn child" (On Marriage, 1.17.15; fourth century).

"The fetus, though enclosed in the womb of its mother, is already a human being and it is a most monstrous crime to rob it of the life which it has not yet begun to enjoy. If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man's house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light." (John Calvin, sixteenth century reformer)


Appendix D: God is Creator and Owner of all people (and therefore has sole rights over all)

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." (Genesis 1:27)

"Know that the Lord Himself is God: it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture." (Psalm 100:3, NASV)

"For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son." (Ezekiel 18:4)

"Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." (Isaiah 64:8)

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)


Appendix E: God has exclusive prerogatives over human life and death

"See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand." (Deuteronomy 32:39)

"The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up." (1 Samuel 2:6)

"You shall not commit murder." (Exodus 20:13)

Note: Except when he specifically delegates that right to men (e.g. capital punishment, self defense, just war), God alone has the right to take a human life.

"And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. . . . And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man." (Genesis 9:5)

"If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise." (Exodus 21:22-25)

"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." (He-brews 4:13)


Appendix F: The Shedding of Innocent Blood

"Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD." (Leviticus 18:21)

"The LORD said . . . 'Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him. . . . by giving his children to Molech, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. . . . If the people of the community close their eyes when that man gives one of his children to Molech . . . I will set my face against that man and his family and will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him . . .'" (Leviticus 20:1-5)

"Do this so that innocent blood will not be shed in your land, which the LORD your God is giving you as your inheritance, and so that you will not be guilty of bloodshed." (Deuteronomy 19:10)

"The LORD sent Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him. He sent them to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the LORD proclaimed by his servants the prophets. Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord's command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, including the shedding of innocent blood. For he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD was not willing to forgive." (2 Kings 24:2-4)

"The LORD said, 'What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground

"For God will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight." (Psalm 72:12-14)

"There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood . . . ." (Proverbs 6:16-19)

"Therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I will give you over to bloodshed and it will pursue you. Since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you." (Ezekiel 35:6)


Appendix G: How God Sees Children

"See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven." (Matthew 18:10)

"But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." (Luke 18:16)

"Your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost." (Matthew 18:14)

"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him." (Psalm 127:3-4)


Appendix H: Defending the Weak and Helpless

"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." (Psalm 82:3-4)

"Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, 'But we knew nothing about this,' does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?" (Proverbs 24:11-12)

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." (Proverbs 31:8-9)

"Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." (James 4:17)

"House of David, this is what the LORD says: 'Administer justice every morning; rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done-burn with no one to quench it.'" (Jeremiah 21:12)

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come . . . take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. . . . I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me . . . . For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me'. . . . 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'" (Matthew 25:31-46)


Addendum: Other "Contraceptives" that Cause Abortions

The IUD, Norplant, Depo-Provera & RU-486

Prolifers have long opposed using the IUD, because it does not prevent conception, but keeps the already-conceived child from implanting in his mother's womb.

A 1995 paper by Irving Sivin challenges this understanding ("IUDs are Contraceptives, Not Abortifacients: A Comment on Research and Belief," Studies in Family Planning, Volume 20, Number 6, November-December 1989, pages 355-59). Since other evidence has suggested it is an abortifacient, the jury appears to still be out on the IUD.

RU-486, the anti-progestin abortion pill. RU-486 is a human pesticide, causing a mother's womb to become hostile to her own child, resulting in an induced miscarriage.

Depo-Provera is a progestin (medroxyprogesterone) injected every three months. It sometimes suppresses ovulation, but also thins the lining of the uterus, apparently preventing implantation.

Norplant is another progestin (levonorgestrel) enclosed in five or six flexible closed capsules or rods, which are surgically implanted beneath the skin. It often suppresses ovulation, but sometimes ovulation occurs, and when it does an irritation to the uterine wall may often prevent implantation.

The Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP) also known as the "Morning-After Pill," can suppress ovulation, but its main function is to keep any fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

All of these birth control methods either sometimes or often alter the mother's womb in a way that causes it to reject the human life which God designed it to nourish and sustain.

Christians properly reject these methods because they know that human life begins at conception, six days before implantation begins. Therefore, anything that interferes with implantation kills a person created in the image of God.

These birth control methods are often referred to as "contraceptives," but they are not exclusively contraceptives. That is, they do not always prevent conception. Either sometimes or often they result in the death of already-conceived human beings.

The Mini-Pill (Progestin-only)

Progestin-only pills, which have no estrogen, are often called "Mini-pills." Many people confuse Mini-pills with the far more popular combination estrogen-progestin pills, which are the true "Birth Control Pill."

Drug Facts & Comparisons is a standard reference book for physicians. In the 1996 edition (page 419), it says this under "Oral Contraceptives":

"Oral contraceptives (OCs) include estrogen-progestin combos and progestin- only products. Progestin-only [pills] . . . alter the cervical mucus, exert a progestational effect on the endometrium, apparently producing cellular changes that render the endometrium hostile to implantation by a fertilized ovum (egg) and, in some patients, suppress ovulation."

Note that progestin-only pills have as a primary effect to make the uterine lining, the endometrium, "hostile to implantation by a fertilized ovum." In other words, they cause an abortion of a human being roughly a week after his or her conception.

I have been told that many users of the Mini-pill think their ovulations are being suppressed. In his book Gynecology: Principles & Practices (YearBook Medical Publishers, 3rd edition, 1979, page 735), R.W. Kistner says, "Certainly the majority of women using the progestin-only pill continue to ovulate."

In his book Hormonal Contraception: Pills, Injections & Implants, Dr. Joseph W. Goldzieher, states, "Endometrial resistance to implantation is an important mechanism of the minipill" (Essential Medical Information Systems, PO Box 811247, Dallas, Texas, page 35).

A 1981 Searle leaflet, packaged with their progestin-only pill, says that product "makes the womb less receptive to any fertilized egg that reaches it."

The Physician's Desk Reference, 1996 edition (page 1872) describes "Progestogen-Only Oral Contraceptives" by saying they "are known to alter the cervical mucus and exert a progestational effect on the endometrium, interfering with implantation."

Clearly the progestin-only pill, by its effects on the endometrium, causes abortions and must be added to the list of abortive birth control methods. Like all the aforementioned products, the changes the Mini-pill creates in the mother's endometrium make the womb hostile to the newly-conceived child, instead of hospitable to him, as God designed the mother's womb to be.


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