13 October 2010

Hard to swallow

"It was as if, every month of that former life, I had walked into an abortion clinic and said, 'I’m probably not pregnant, but if I did conceive, take care of it,'" Mrs. Kevin Golden writes in the current issue of the Missouri Lutherans For Life newsletter.

I am not a scientist. When I read something about how a particular drug works, I can't assess the scientific accuracy of that statement. But any lay person can consider the implications of scientific statement and make a personal decision about potential risks.

7.5 years ago I had my life overhauled by Randy Alcorn's booklet "Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?". Not everyone agrees with the case Alcorn makes. But there is evidence that the birth control pill can cause abortions. I speak not as a scientist but as a Christian when I say that the pill is not a risk married (or fornicating) Christians can be willing to take. This is not a statement about contraception, but about hormonal contraceptives (pills, rings, patches, IUDs, etc.). Don't want to get pregnant and don't buy the anti-contraception business? That's an argument for another day. This post's argument is that non-abstinent Christians cannot take the pill. A scientific ambiguity with implications for morality (and morality here means human mortality) requires Christians to err on the side of caution. There are other ways to engage in intercourse and avoid its results.

Thank you, Missouri Lutherans For Life, for publishing Mrs. Golden's candid article, and Joy, thank shrew. I mean you.


Leah said...

That article clearly articulates my own feelings about our choice to use birth in our first years of marriage. I keep wondering about those children we denied ourselves, either through ignorant abortion, or simply because we refused to allow God to give us good gifts. God's Law has mighty sharp teeth.

Leah said...

Joy, that is a very thought provoking article. Thank you.
Some of these things I am just hearing for the first time these last few months.

(Excuse my ignorance but is Joy Golden AKA "Untamed Shrew" then?)

Untamed Shrew said...

The pill, the mini-pill, the patch, the shot, the ring, and IUDs all work the same way. Ideally they prevent ovulation. As a back-up they prevent implantation (causing abortion). At worst they fail completely and you have (oh, sweet Lord, NOooo!) a heritage, a reward, an arrow in your quiver.

We are too blessed to be depressed, but I want people to realize that this worldly choice of ours haunts us over a decade later. In addition to my wondering about the babes we denied ourselves, my husband wonders how he could allow his wife --his rib, his helpmeet whose well-being takes precedence over his own-- to take a pill every day that increased her risk of stroke and a host of other life-threatening ailments. Godly men don't like it when their wives harm themselves.

Mrs. O'Connor,

Guilty as charged. ;-) But these days, people are much more concerned about the identity of my husband.

Megan173 said...

As one plagued with monthly drama since the beginning of menstruation when I went on the Pill it was a magical medicine whose birth control measures were really only secondary. I went off it so we could conceive and bore our first child six months before my husband entered seminary. My doctor gave me a stash of free samples and sent me on my way to Fort Wayne.

It was at seminary one of my sisters in Christ pointed out the abortificant possibilities of the Pill. I had never heard about it and got online did some research. I saw it was a possibility, but I continued to take those free ones. Finally I ran out and it was time to go fill my prescription. The idea made me feel sick to my stomach, after much discussion we decided that I just could no longer take them.

Months like last one I miss them. Every so often I am crippled for about two weeks. And due to the fact that I can not breast feed, and struggle with depression we use our knowledge of my body and the occasional piece of latex to put some space between our children. As it is my oldest is four and a half, and I have three living children and one that rests in his makers arms.

With much thanks to this blog my attitude is changing from one of "God, I don't want to be pregnant again" to " Thy will be done" My husband and I are still talking and praying about all this. With my health we struggle with the line between trusting and testing the Lord.

Christ has always changed my heart slowly. It will be interesting to see where he takes it in the next couple years. We had always planned a permanent end to child bearing. I used to be excited at the possibility of being done by the time I was 30, now the idea breaks my heart...

I'm sorry for my ramblings, my husband has been at the district conference for a couple days and I haven't had an adult to talk to in a while.

Gauntlets said...

Oh, Megan. :( I will remember your struggle in my prayers.

MooreMama said...

Much love for Joy and her reminders from around these parts.

And much love for the husband, teetering on the edge, who ... isn't quite as close to the edge anymore.

Rebekah said...

Megan, you are the person with a true cross (not all the people who think the pill is just, like, way too convenient to give up). God grant you comfort and healing.

Shrew, good point. Between getting out of the BC loop and not seeing many commercials I forget that hormonal contraception comes in many more packages these days. I'm going to edit the post for clarity.

Reb. Mary said...

In case anyone missed it when they clicked on the above link, the entire booklet is available not only for purchase, but also for free download. Really worth the read--and great for pastors to have on hand for premarital counseling!

I have yet to hear anyone give a good response to the thrust of this post. A selling point in the booklet for my former sorry self: "But let’s assume you are genuinely uncertain. Is it a Christlike attitude to say “Because taking the Pill may or may not kill a child,I will therefore take or prescribe the Pill”? If we are uncertain, shouldn’t we take the ethical high ground by saying our uncertainty should compel us not to take or prescribe the Pill?"

Megan, I'll echo Rebekah--yours is the true cross! May God grant you increasing joy in your children, health in your body, and peace in His presence.

Rachel said...

Isn’t it just like those sins that sneak up on us, slyly and quietly? Of course there isn’t going to be a huge warning on the side of the Pill box: “This will extinguish a precious life.”

And because there is no such blatant sign, that evil serpent whispers in our ear the familiar lie: “Did God really say it’s wrong to take control of this issue? After all, it might not even cause an abortion! It works before conception!”

Not that I can excuse myself from the responsibility. Personal anecdote: my mother told me how the Pill really worked. Yet I pushed that fact to the back of my mind, after doing some half-hearted research. It was never spelled out in black and white, so I easily moved on to other wedding plans.

Thanks for your words and sharing with us your choices for life. Thank you for pushing this issue to the forefront of my mind. This blog and your testimonies have touched more lives than you know.

Kristi said...

I am definately going to download the article so I can read the whole thing.
I, however am on the other side of the fence. It is a constant struggle for us because if it was "easy" for us to get pregnant we would have probably 7 kids by now! I think I struggle with the fact that some people do not want to have children, yet have them. And we would welcome more in a heartbeat, yet sadly my 2 yr old will probably be our last :(

Untamed Shrew said...

Rachel, I originally had a phrase in the article about the serpent's hiss, but had to edit due to space constraints. When friends, family, and fellow seminary students are echoing that lie, it's all but impossible to hear the truth. One pastor-to-be assured me he had four godly men to whom he was accountable for marital faithfulness. Well, isn't that convenient? As long as you are only accountable to like-minded people, no one will tell you you're sinning!

I have learned (in many and various ways) not to judge too quickly, though. A friend is on the pill because she has a hormone problem that not only leaves her infertile, but leaves her void of any physical female traits.

Marie said...

Thanks for this post. I linked to it on Facebook, and it's gotten LOTS of comments (mostly good=) I guess technology can sometimes be a good thing!