Disclaimer #1 - This post is meant to be something of a clearinghouse for the jumble of thoughts that have been tangling up my brain's productivity for over a month now. In my dreams, I have tons of things linked here to back up and illustrate everything I mention. In reality, I have an (almost) 3 y/o and an (almost) 1 y/o, and it's already 10:45 pm. So, here are my thoughts, take them or leave them.
Disclaimer #2 - If you disagree with me about something, or if I name something as wrong/evil in this post that you have done, please do not assume that I therefore hate you/look down on you/don't like you/am calling you names/couldn't embrace you as a brother or sister in Christ. This is the internet, and it's easy to say things quickly, and assume motives elsewhere. I am intending to name truth here, and I stand in the light of this truth exposed just as much as the next person. I am far from perfect, and claim nothing but that Christ saves me anyway, and is enabling me to become more like Him.
Disclaimer #3 - All truth is God's truth. If you think I'm dead wrong about _________, I would love for you to prove me wrong (in a reasoned, footnoted, respectful way). If you're right and I'm not, I'm completely open to having my mind changed (at least, I want to be.... at this point in my life, I'm hoping that "wanting" makes up for any areas in which emotional attachments would make it hard to recognize truth).
The "anti-birth control" blog post that started it all.
As a Christian, who is deeply convinced that 1) children are a BLESSING from the Lord (no if's, and's or but's), 2) Life begins at conception, 3) Life is sacred and therefore we are called to a) not end it*, and b) preserve it and bless it to the best of our ability, 4) God is Sovereign and works His good will with our lives in whatever way He deems best (we are the clay, He is the potter, yet we still have "free" will - get over it)
4) Abortion in all its forms (plan B/morning after, early term, late term, partial birth, etc...) and for any reason is EVIL. It is murder. It is deciding that you know better than God, and that He made a mistake in letting this happen, or cannot possibly bring enough good out of this to make up for ruining a woman's perfectly good life with inflicting this baby(ies?) on her. Yes, I'm talking about all the exceptions too, like a) in cases of rape, b) where the woman's life is in danger, c) where the baby is somehow "not perfect" or d) supposedly "won't live outside of the womb."**
5) I addition to being pro-life, I am also pro-child (thank you Randy Bohlender), pro adoption, pro giving every life every chance I can, because God did not put me in charge of deciding who lives and who dies. Thank goodness.
The Issue of birth control is very sticky. And there are a wide range of opinions on chemical birth control, even among real Christians. Behind any woman's decision to take chemical birth control, there are many issues. Let's assume, for the sake of this discussion, that any people in these scenarios are Christian, actively trusting God, trying to follow Him to the best of their abilities, praying for Him to show them sin in their lives and the direction He wants them to go, etc...., etc... In short, we're talking about a specific issue at this point, not other issues where birth control shows up as come kind of collateral damage (control). For example:
--> I don't believe that "family planning" in ANY SENSE WHATSOEVER is a sin, like I think some Catholics might (feel free to correct me, friend Catholics). I think God creates us with brains that are meant to be educated and matured and then gives us responsibilities and decisions and priorities to keep straight. I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with wanting to wait 2 years to have the next child instead of getting pregnant again 2 months after giving birth. I am, at the very least, ambivalent about birth control methods that involve stopping pregnancy before it happens, like condoms, gel, not having sex when ovulating, etc....
--> It is the case in recent, recorded medical history, that chemical birth control methods of all kinds have caused the deaths and permanent injuries of both mothers and their babies. If this were not the case, there would not be warnings about these things published by the drug companies who make them. I am not making a claim in this particular paragraph about how much/often this has happened, but it HAS HAPPENED. It DOES happen.
--> There are claims that chemical birth control can and does do nasty things to the female body, above and beyond stated potential side effects and warnings. Obviously, this kind of thing happens on the periphery, probably not the majority of women who take CBC, but who knows who will be on the periphery before they start taking it? I have not personally researched this, but I have heard many things If you think the "eat organic" argument has any merits at all, this is along the same lines. If you don't, that's ok, my point still stands ;)
I am extremely leery of the idea of CBC. Mainly for the #1 reason that - it is possible that, if I put this chemical in my body, it could cause a child of mine to die, whether I knew it or not. It has been pointed out to me by multiple medically trained professionals that (for example) the low level basic birth control pill that you take every day or week or whatever is meant to trick your body into NEVER OVULATING, and that, if your body ignores the tricky hormones being fed to it and DOES ovulate, it also takes care of making your uterus ready to receive the potentially fertilized egg. Therefore if the pill fails, it fails all around, not just at the "release the egg" stage (which allows conception to happen) while not failing at the "get the uterus ready to receive it" stage (which, if the uterus wasn't ready, would result in the death of the fertilized egg). Even assuming this is true 100% of the time, this does not mean that chemical birth control would never cause the baby harm after it implanted. For example, in Mirena's prescribing information (see the top of the page), there are multiple warnings about an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy (where the baby implants somewhere in the fallopian tube and not in the uterus, causing probable complications and potential death of both mother and baby).
If I'm supposed to avoid smoking, drugs and alcohol during pregnancy (which MANY women take all the way to "do NOT do ANY of them AT ALL just to be safe", and which I think is a perfectly great idea), why wouldn't I add birth control to that list? In my mind, the potential risk of harm to an unborn child of mine, small though it may be, means that chemical birth control is out. It's not worth it to me.
If this is just a matter of conscience, then I can make no sweeping pronouncements or condemn anyone. I don't really want to do that anyway, except for the sweeping pronouncement of - if you are a woman who takes chemical birth control without prayerfully researching and considering the issue, I think you are making a grave mistake. Anyway, if this isn't a matter of conscience, I would refer you to the Catholic Church and what many Catholics on the internet have to say on the matter. I haven't researched that myself, but I'm sure it's out there.
My #2 reason is a vague and general leeriness of messing with my body's perfectly healthy hormone balance. Trust me, I enjoy not having a period every month just as much as the next woman (huge perk of breastfeeding, just fyi), but stopping something annoying just because you CAN makes me nervous. And there are many women out there who would LOVE to tell you all about how chemical birth control messed up their bodies. I've seen their comments on websites and posts all over the place. I don't really want to be one of them. Not to mention the fact that, at the very least, this study seems to indicate that birth control can cause infertility. I suspect there are more studies, but again, haven't done the research. Feel free to prove me right/wrong.
Two hours later, I think I'm done. If anyone is still reading at this point, thank you. I'm now going to bed.
*Except in cases where God makes exceptions, obviously, like governments enforcing a death penalty.
**Like Sherlock Holmes says, when you have eliminated the impossible [or, in this case, the possibility of ending a child's life on purpose], whatever remains, however improbable, [i.e., hard, unappetizing, inconvenient, or life changing] must be the truth? a. How many mothers who bore children, impregnanted through rape, regret that their child lives? And how many children, conceived in rape, regret that they exist? b. I have a friend who is alive today because while she was inside of her mother, the mother refused cancer treatment that would have harmed her baby. The mother died of the cancer, but my friend is partway through a wonderful life and will see their mother again in heaven. c) Find me a parent who regrets not taking the life of their special needs child in the womb. Go here to see many testimonies of parents who name their child a blessing many times over. d) There are countless miracle stories of babies who the doctors thought would die who ended up being fine! And, if worst comes to worst and the doctors are right, wouldn't you rather give birth to your child at the right time, and have time to meet them and say hello and goodbye, rather than just killing them?