The Birth Control Debate

*This post is about to get ADULT-CONTENT oriented. If you’re too young to read about sex, go play outside with your toys and stop reading here.*

In many Christian circles (mostly very conservative ones), there’s an on-going debate not just about abortion, but about birth control.

Is birth control wrong to use?

I think what I found so frustrated after leaving the ministry and leaving church was that I was only prepared for adult life inside the “bubble” of the church. I only knew how to act and think inside the bubble, and with those friends and acquaintances who were also as devoted to their faith as I was.

Otherwise, I had no idea how to make decisions or live life.

For example, I had to one day decide if I wanted to have sex (so taboo!). Which also meant, I had to think about what a contraceptive was (something that wasn’t talked about in church).

I found it frustrating that churches either close the dialogue to the birth control topic or they talk about sex, condoms and the pill like they’re creatures from the black lagoon that we shouldn’t touch, think about, or use or we will die.

I’d appreciate it if churches were either silent on the issue, letting a person decide for themselves what they wanted to do in their own personal time in the bedroom, or if they taught responsibly and practically.

Abstinence only education is irresponsible and I don’t consider it education. It’s a form of proselytizing and it’s also a way of saying, “You’re too stupid to think, so I want to tell you what to do with your own body.”

Think of it this way, consider that just about everyone who is taught about or who follows “abstinence only” teachings is eventually going to have sex–ONE DAY, some day. I know that the idealist abstinence-only teachers and clergy who push the idea forward think that those who abstain are all going to be virgins who marry other virgins, but let’s face it, that’s not the case.

So, I think it’s irresponsible NOT to teach young adults about sex, contraceptives, and sexually transmitted diseases. One day, little Miss Virgin (or Secondary Virgin) is going to meet Mister Virgin (or Secondary Virgin) and they’re going to have to figure out a) how to plug one thing into another b) how not to get pregnant before they’re ready and c) how to prevent and recognize an STD.

Who’s “right” is it to teach their children? I don’t know and I don’t care. If a parent wants to teach their children, they should have every right. If a school wants to talk about it from a public health standpoint, I could care less and I think it’s fair to say that they should in order to prevent diseases and unwanted pregnancies.

Another issue that’s real taboo to talk about is abortion. Did you know that there are several ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies? No, I’m serious. Some people really don’t know, or are misinformed about how to prevent a pregnancy.

So, I’m about to get real Kindergarten here, and very “health class” on you, because I think it’s pretty responsible to talk about.

For one, you can use a condom. This protects you from some, not all, STDs and pregnancy if you use it correctly.

For two, a woman can use a variety of birth control pills, rings, implants that work to prevent pregnancy when used correctly. If you use it incorrectly, or use it while on some other medications (like anti-biotics) you can get pregnant. These don’t prevent STD’s.

For three, there’s Emergency Contraception (EC) or one popular brand of this EC is called Plan B, also known as the morning after pill. It’s in the event that a condom breaks, or your birth control method failed, or you had unprotected sex. You can’t take this regularly…it’s just a once in a great while kind of thing.

I mention this #3 specifically, because some people believe that the morning after pill, Plan B, is an abortion pill.

Do you?

Did you know that the morning after pill is not an abortion pill?

According to their website, “Plan B One-Step™ is one pill that has a higher dose of levonorgestrel, a hormone found in many birth control pills that healthcare professionals have been prescribing for more than 35 years. Plan B One-Step™ works in a similar way to prevent pregnancy. Plan B One-Step™ will not affect an existing pregnancy.”

Another Q & A from their site:

Is Plan B the RU-486 (the abortion pill?)

No. Plan B® One-Step is not RU-486 (the abortion pill). It is an emergency contraceptive (EC) that helps prevent an unplanned pregnancy after contraceptive failure, or unprotected intercourse. Plan B® One-Step will not affect an existing pregnancy.

So, let’s talk about what an abortion is. An abortion is terminating an existing pregnancy.I know some quacks talk about the “sanctity of life” like it’s an egg or a sperm, but we’ve all already realized that if you didn’t use all of your eggs, or all of your sperm, or “killed them” by allowing them to go unfertilized and shed from your body, then we would ALL be killers.

Killer! haha

Totally kidding.

So, back to the lecture at hand:

Emergency contraception is similar to a birth control pill, and works primarily by:

  • Preventing ovulation
  • Possibly preventing fertilization by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or egg
  • Altering the endometrium, which may inhibit implantation

EC is not effective once the process of implantation has begun. It will not affect an existing pregnancy or harm a developing fetus.

So, the basic way it works is that it may prevent ovulation, or inhibit implantation. That is not an abortion. That’s more similar to using a condom or a birth control pill. I’m no doctor, but it sounds like it’s not letting Mr. Sperm and Mrs. Egg get together and make a baby.