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Contraception



Contraception

The word contraception is derived from the two words 'contra' meaning against and 'conception' meaning to conceive at the point a single male sperm cell fertilises a single female egg (or ovum).  Hence, contraception means against the conceiving of a new human being.  This may seem so obvious as to warrant the question why should it need explaining?  The answer, however, needs careful contemplation.

Firstly, we have the question of 'what' is not to be conceived.  Again, a seemingly obvious answer - a baby.  So, if conception is not to take place, then the sperm and egg must not be allowed to meet and to fertilse.  Once conception has taken place not only has a new individual been created, but this new individual has parents who have supplied the new human being's genetic makeup.  The time for 'choosing' to become a parent has past.  Parenthood has occured.  After this point 'contraception' no longer can prevent a baby from being created.

Some so-called forms of 'contraception' are still offered, however, that will PREVENT the pregnancy from continuing by ensuring the newly created child is deprived of nourishment.  Fertilisation normally takes place in the fallopian tubes and the developing child then makes his or her way, taking about six days, to the womb where, in ideal circumstances, s/he will implant into the lining and produce a placenta that will be the lifeline until the baby is ready to be born.  This womb environment is often made hostile to the developing child by the use of 'contraception' so that the lining of the womb comes away, similar to the menstrual period, and the baby with it.  The baby thus dies.  The mother is no longer pregnant, but that does not stop her being 'a mother'.  It just makes her a mother of a dead baby.

For those who argue that 'it' is not a baby until x time after conception need to be able to then explain why they used contraception in the first place.  What else are they trying to prevent from being conceived?

Implantation

Some people say a woman is not 'pregnant' until implantation.  They accept that fertilisation has taken place in the fallopian tube, but still insist the woman is not a mother as she is not yet pregnant - the baby or 'it' has to implant in the womb first.  How do they then explain an ectopic pregnancy?  This is when a child grows in the fallopian tube, normally due to a blockage that prevents the journey to the womb taking place.  The mother's body normally displays all the symptoms of 'being pregnant' as the relevant hormones have been working since the moment of conception as in any normal pregnancy.  The baby has been known to grow for about six weeks in the tube.  Although, sadly, in these circumstances the baby and the fallopian tube have to be surgically removed to ensure the life of the mother is not put at risk.  But implantation in the womb never took place.  Does that mean the woman with an ectopic pregnancy was never pregnant?

(NB: An ectopic pregnancy operation is NOT an abotion as the aim is to save the mother's life and not to kill the child although invariably the child does die as we do not yet have the technology to save his or her life.  An abortion HAS to end with a dead baby whether or not the mother's life is 'at risk'.  Ectopic figures do not come into the abortion figures, and women who have had an ectopic pregnancy are allowed and encouraged to grieve their dead child.)

IVF (Invitro Fertilisation - More commonly called 'Test Tube Babies')

We then need to consider IVF.  A woman who cannot conceive naturally takes drugs that will make her 'super ovulate'.  This means that instead of naturally producing one egg from each ovary, normally every other month, she produces many eggs.  These eggs are then removed, examined and the 'best' ones are selected and fertilised in a laboratory.  After checking for 'perfection' two or three of these 'eggs' (a few days old embryos) are then introduced into the woman's womb in the hope that they will implant and go on to develop normally.  If this is not a human being that is being placed into the womb then what is it?  Although in this day and age we have the prospect of genetic engineering, cloning and possible hybrid (human/animal) technology, at the moment we can assume that a mother would only be willing to accept a 'pure' human being into her womb for a baby at the end of the gestation period.

Please note that the Human (note the word 'Human') Fertilisation and Embryology Authority - HFEA are only permitted by UK law to allow any newly laboratory created individual to live for 14 days in the laboratory before s/he has to be destroyed if s/he has not already been implanted into a womb, or frozen and stored for possible future use.  This 14 days is taken from the moment of conception or fertilisation - day 1 of a new child's life.  The vast majority of spare embryos are used for experimentation purposes before being destroyed.

For anyone who is considering IVF treatment, please check out the pro-life FertilityCare Programme ethical alternative.

Chemical Contraception

We then come onto the question of 'why' any woman would willingly take a drug (the Pill) on a daily basis when she is only able to conceive on one day every menstrual cycle - which is on average one day every 28 days.  Each egg, following ovulation, only lives for about one day unless it is fertilised and sperm can remain alive in a woman's body for 2-4 days.  To dispense with the need for artificial chemical alterations to the body, women can be taught to recognise and understand their naturally occuring menstrual cycle - see Billings Ovulation Method of natural family planning for further information.  Natural Family Planning is also used to help infertile women conceive by recognising when they are about to ovulate naturally.

Other forms of artificial chemicals that women take to prevent conception occuring (or to prevent a pregnancy continuing) include Depo-Provera which is an injection every six months or so, and Norplant which are a number of 'rods' inserted under the skin.  Once an injection has been given there is no antidote.  Rods placed under the skin are extremely difficult to remove.  One further method that is used is the IUD or Coil that is chemically coated and placed directly into the womb.  These last three methods all have a 'slow release' capacity which is why they can last up to six months.  However, any adverse reaction may mean emergency treatment to try to reverse the chemical imbalance in the body.

Most women and young girls today are very concerned with how their body looks.  They exercise and eat a healthy diet, yet they continue to ignore the dangers, both short term and long term, of taking the contraceptive pill.  If the Pill is so 'safe' why must it NOT be used by women who smoke, women who are over 35, women who suffer from migraine, and women who have breast cancer or thrombosis (blood clotting) in their family?  Why do some women gain weight once they go on it?  Why is it blamed for the death of some women and girls - see Parents Against Oral Contraception for Children?  Why is it considered 'essential' to give a constant dose of body changing hormones to anyone who is already healthy and in cases of young girls, whose bodies are still maturing naturally?  There are many people who would prefer to take no drugs of any description for fear of what it may do to their body, yet women quite happily 'pop the pill' on a daily basis.

The Pill has to be taken at the same time of day, on a regular basis, for it to work (see Bible and Birth Control for the three ways in which it works).  What happens when the daily routine changes at the weekend?  What happens if after taking it you vomit or have an upset stomach?  How does alcohol, smoking, other drugs or even concentrated orange juice affect the way the Pill works?  What happens if conception takes place despite being on the Pill, which can happen?  How might this affect the development of the unborn baby?

The Pill has been linked to cancer of the cervix, breast cancer, blood clots, birth defects and infertility (see A Consumer's Guide to the Pill).  The quote (which goes back to 1985) from the front of this book says "In an age in which preventative medicine has high priority, it is distressing to have women exploited as guinea pigs in order to establish with absolute certainty the causal relationship of the Pill to cancer and other complications." by Dr Margaret White.

Three Main Reasons Why Contraception is Taken

Now we come onto the question of 'why' anyone should try to prevent babies being conceived in the first place.  There are three main reasons.

  1. Some would say that they just want to have a healthy sex life without the fear of pregnancy.  They will have children later.

  2.  
  3. Others may say that the world is already over-populated.

  4.  
  5. Another reason may be that their particular family is complete - they have all the children that they want, could afford or planned for.

For some, these may seem good reasons.  But are they?

  1. Is it really 'healthy' to take the Pill or other chemical 'contraceptive'?  The earlier a girl takes the Pill and becomes sexually active, the more likely she is at risk of contracting cancer of the cervix or breast cancer or becoming infertile.  If she has more than one 'partner' then there is more likelihood that she will also contract any number of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, some that she will have for life and could lead to an early death.  Men too, can contract and pass on the sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, even if they use a condom (see Could Condoms Leak HIV?).  They may then actually be unable to have children when they want to.

  2.  
  3. There used to be an advert on the UK TV (about the 1980s) that said the whole population of the world could stand on the Isle of Wight - a tiny island (23 x 13 miles) just off Southampton in the South of England.  Whether or not that is still the case is irrelevant.  What is relevant is that there is no over-population problem, (see Population ) there never has been, nor will there ever be.

  4.  
  5. Everyone wants the best for their own child or children, and there is nothing wrong with that.  Except, what you or I want for our child(ren) may not be what God wants.  In fact, He may well have had plans for each individual's life that has not occurred because 'each went their own way'.  It is extremely common nowadays for couples to decide how many children they intend to have even before they set up home together and for most, their plans succeed.

    Children, however, should not be seen as a commodity.  Something to obtain 'when we can afford one or two', or when we have sorted out the house, car and furniture or saved enough that having a child will not affect the standard of living that has been achieved.  A 'wanted' child, if s/he doesn't live up to expectations can very soon become an 'unwanted' and possibly even an abused child.

    Even Christian couples who pray about how many children the Lord wants for them, seem to regularly hear with increasing accuracy the answer that they had already decided would be right for them.  Yet, just to ensure they have heard right, they use some form of contraception.  Is this because they haven't heard how many children God wants them to have, or do they not trust that the Lord is really in control of their lives and can open and close wombs, as stated numerous times in the Bible?  Before contraception was so easily available, it was seemingly more 'hit and miss' how many children each couple had.  At that time any child that came along was seen as a blessing from God, even if s/he was an 'unwanted' or surprise blessing.  Children were, and still are, our inheritance.  Yet many people, for their own reasons, nowadays see children as a 'curse'.  Something to be avoided at all costs, or at least until 'the right time'.

In the meantime, chemicals are taken daily to change the natural functions of the body in a bid to stop babies being conceived.  These chemical contraceptives have long term adverse side effects, not only on the person taking them, but society as a whole, and probably including the environment as well.  Could forty years of Pill use have anything to do with the current low sperm count in men, or that some fish are known to be changing sex - from male to female?  What other effects could there be that have not been recognised yet, but are due to vast quantities of female hormones getting into the water supply?

Contraceptives are man-made chemicals that women take.  Scientists are currently working on a male Pill.  Anyone who really cares about what happens to their bodies should seriously consider the implications of their actions, and particularly for Christians who use, support and promote contraception, maybe it is now time to look into the history of contraception, why it has developed and who really benefits.  To help you understand more go to Bible and Birth Control, Eugenics and Protestant View of Birth Control.

There is one further reason why many promote and use condoms as contraceptives, and that is to prevent STDs or HIV.  See Could Condoms Leak HIV? and STDs to see why we believe this to be a dangerous action.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.
Isaiah 55:8


Please visit our Healing page if you have had an abortion or supported someone who has.



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