Posts Tagged ‘Birth-Control’

Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?

 

A Condensation of Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions? by Randy Alcorn 

 

“The Pill” is the popular term for more than forty different commercially available oral contraceptives. In medicine, they are commonly referred to as BCPs (birth control pills) or OCs (oral contraceptives). They are also called “Combination Pills,” because they contain a combination of estrogen and progestin.

 

The Pill is used by about fourteen million American women each year. Across the globe it is used by about sixty million. The question of whether it causes abortions has direct bearing on untold millions of Christians, many of them prolife, who use and recommend it.

 

In 1991, while researching the original edition of my book, ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments, I heard someone suggest that birth control pills can cause abortions. This was brand new to me; in all my years as a pastor and a prolifer, I had never heard it before. I was immediately skeptical.  My vested interests were strong in that Nanci and I used the Pill in the early years of our marriage, as did many of our prolife friends. Why not? We believed it simply prevented conception. We never suspected it had any potential for abortion. No one told us this was even a possibility. I confess I never read the fine print of the Pill’s package insert, nor am I sure I would have understood it even if I had. In fourteen years as a pastor I did considerable premarital counseling, I always warned couples against the IUD because I’d read it could cause early abortions. I typically recommended young couples use the Pill because of its relative ease and effectiveness.  At the time I was researching ProLife Answers, I found only one person who could point me toward any documentation that connected the Pill and abortion. She told me of just one primary source that supported this belief and I found only one other. Still, these two sources were sufficient to compel me to include this warning in the book:

Some forms of contraception, specifically the intrauterine device (IUD), Norplant, and certain low-dose oral contraceptives, often do not prevent conception but prevent implantation of an already fertilized ovum. The result is an early abortion, the killing of an already conceived individual. Tragically, many women are not told this by their physicians, and therefore do not make an informed choice about which contraceptive to use.”[1]

As it turns out, I made a critical error. At the time, I incorrectly believed that “low-dose” birth control pills were the exception, not the rule. I thought most people who took the Pill were in no danger of having abortions. What I’ve found in more recent research is that since 1988 virtually all oral contraceptives used in America are low-dose, that is, they contain much lower levels of estrogen than the earlier birth control pills.

 

The standard amount of estrogen in the birth control pills of the 1960s and early ’70s was 150 micrograms.  After the Pill had been on the market fifteen years, many serious negative side effects of estrogen had been clearly proven. These included blurred vision, nausea, cramping, irregular menstrual bleeding, headaches, increased incidence of breast cancer, strokes, and heart attacks, some of which led to fatalities.[2]  In response to these concerns, beginning in the mid-seventies, manufacturers of the Pill steadily decreased the content of estrogen and progestin in their products. The average dosage of estrogen in the Pill declined from 150 micrograms in 1960 to 35 micrograms in 1988. These facts are directly stated in an advertisement by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals and Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation in Hippocrates magazine.[3]

Pharmacists for Life confirms: “As of October 1988, the newer lower dosage birth control pills are the only type available in the U.S., by mutual agreement of the Food and Drug Administration and the three major Pill manufacturers.”[4]  What is now considered a “high dose” of estrogen is 50 micrograms, which is in fact a very low dose in comparison to the 150 micrograms once standard for the Pill. The “low-dose” pills of today are mostly 20-35 micrograms. As far as I can tell, there are no birth control pills available today that have more than 50 micrograms of estrogen. An M.D. wrote to inform me that she had researched many pills by name and could confirm my findings. If such pills exist at all, they are certainly rare.

Not only was I wrong in thinking low-dose contraceptives were the exception rather than the rule, I didn’t realize there was considerable documented medical information linking birth control pills and abortion.

The evidence was there, I just didn’t probe deeply enough to find it. Still more evidence has surfaced in subsequent years. I have presented this evidence in detail in my 115-page book Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions? I will now summarize that research.

 

The Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR)

 

The Physician’s Desk Reference is the most frequently used reference book by physicians in America. The PDR, as it’s often called, lists and explains the effects, benefits, and risks of every medical product that can be legally prescribed. The Food and Drug Administration requires that each manufacturer provide accurate information on its products, based on scientific research and laboratory tests.

 

As you read the following, keep in mind that the term “implantation,” by definition, always involves an already conceived human being. Therefore, any agent which serves to prevent implantation functions as an abortifacient.

 

This is the PDR’s product information for Ortho-Cept, as listed by Ortho, one of the largest manufacturers of the Pill:

Combination oral contraceptives act by suppression of gonadotropins. Although the primary mechanism of this action is inhibition of ovulation, other alterations include changes in the cervical mucus, which increase the difficulty of sperm entry into the uterus, and changes in the endometrium which reduce the likelihood of implantation.[5]

 

The FDA-required research information on the birth control pills Ortho-Cyclen and Ortho Tri-Cyclen also state that they cause “changes in…the endometrium (which reduce the likelihood of implantation).”[6]

 

Notice that these changes in the endometrium, and their reduction in the likelihood of implantation, are not stated by the manufacturer as speculative or theoretical effects, but as actual ones. They consider this such a well-established fact that it requires no statement of qualification.

 

Similarly, as I document in my book, Syntex and Wyeth, the other two major pill-manufacturers, say essentially the same thing about their oral contraceptives.

 

The inserts packaged with birth control pills are condensed versions of longer research papers detailing the Pill’s effects, mechanisms, and risks. Near the end, the insert typically says something like the following, which is taken directly from the Desogen pill insert:

 

If you want more information about birth control pills, ask your doctor, clinic or pharmacist. They have a more technical leaflet called the Professional Labeling, which you may wish to read. The Professional Labeling is also published in a book entitled Physician’s Desk Reference, available in many bookstores and public libraries.

 

Of the half dozen birth control pill package inserts I’ve read, only one included the information about the Pill’s abortive mechanism. This was a package insert dated July 12, 1994, found in the oral contraceptive Demulen, manufactured by Searle. Yet this abortive mechanism was referred to in all cases in the FDA-required manufacturer’s Professional Labeling, as documented in The Physician’s Desk Reference.

 

In summary, according to multiple references throughout The Physician’s Desk Reference, which articulate the research findings of all the birth control pill manufacturers, there are not one but three mechanisms of birth control pills:

 

1.      inhibiting ovulation (the primary mechanism),

 

2.      thickening the cervical mucus, thereby making it more difficult for sperm to travel to the egg, and

 

3.      thinning and shriveling the lining of the uterus to the point that it is unable or less able to facilitate the implantation of the newly fertilized egg.

The first two mechanisms are contraceptive. The third is abortive.

 

When a woman taking the Pill discovers she is pregnant (according to The Physician’s Desk Reference’s efficacy rate tables, this is 3 percent of pill-takers each year), it means that all three of these mechanisms have failed. The third mechanism sometimes fails in its role as backup, just as the first and second mechanisms sometimes fail. Each and every time the third mechanism succeeds, however, it causes an abortion.

 

Medical Journals and Textbooks

 

In an article in the research journal Contraception, Drs. Chowdhury, Joshi and associates state, “The data suggests that though missing of the low-dose combination pills may result in ‘escape’ ovulation in some women, however, the pharmacological effects of pills on the endometrium and cervical mucus may continue to provide them contraceptive protection.”[7]

 

Note in some citations “contraceptive” is used to refer to an agent which in fact prevents the implantation of an already conceived child. Those who believe each human life begins at conception would see this function not as a contraceptive, but an abortifacient.

 

Reproductive endocrinologists have demonstrated that Pill-induced changes cause the endometrium to appear “hostile” or “poorly receptive” to implantation.[8] Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) reveals that the endometrial lining of Pill users is consistently thinner than that of nonusers[9]undefinedup to 58 percent thinner.[10] Recent and fairly sophisticated ultrasound studies[11] have all concluded that endometrial thickness is related to the “functional receptivity” of the endometrium. Others have shown that when the lining of the uterus becomes too thin, implantation of the pre-born child (called the blastocyst or pre-embryo at this stage) does not occur.[12]

 

The minimal endometrial thickness required to maintain a pregnancy ranges from 5 to 13mm,[13] whereas the average endometrial thickness in women on the Pill is only 1.1 mm.[14] These data lend credence to the FDA-approved statement that “changes in the endometrium reduce the likelihood of implantation”[15]

 

Dr. Kristine Severyn says:

The third effect of combined oral contraceptives is to alter the endometrium in such a way that implantation of the fertilized egg (new life) is made more difficult, if not impossible. In effect, the endometrium becomes atrophic and unable to support implantation of the fertilized egg…. The alteration of the endometrium, making it hostile to implantation by the fertilized egg, provides a backup abortifacient method to prevent pregnancy.[16]

 

 Researchers have repeatedly and consistently pointed out this abortifacient effect of the Pill. To date, no published studies have refuted these findings.

 

Dr. Walter Larimore is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine who has written over 150 medical articles in a wide variety of journals. In two major medical journal articles, he has addressed the issue of the Pill’s capacity to cause early abortions.[17] In 2000 Dr. Larimore and I coauthored a chapter on this subject in The Reproduction Revolution: A Christian Appraisal of Sexuality, Reproductive Technologies and the Family.[18] In the same chapter, four Christian physicians present their belief that the Pill does not result in early abortions. We respectfully suggest that their case is not based solidly on the medical evidence. (In February 2001 Dr. Larimore was brought on the staff of Focus on the Family, as a broadcaster and “an ambassador to the public on medical ethics, procedures and practices.”)

 

What Does This Mean?

 

As a woman’s menstrual cycle progresses, her endometrium gradually gets richer and thicker in preparation for the arrival and implantation of any newly conceived child. In a natural cycle, unimpeded by the Pill, the endometrium experiences an increase of blood vessels, which allow a greater blood supply to bring oxygen and nutrients to the child. There is also an increase in the endometrium’s stores of glycogen, a sugar that serves as a food source for the blastocyst (child) as soon as he or she implants.  The Pill keeps the woman’s body from creating the most hospitable environment for a child, resulting instead in an endometrium that is deficient in both food (glycogen) and oxygen. The child may die because he lacks this nutrition and oxygen.  Typically, the new person attempts to implant at six days after conception. If implantation is unsuccessful, the child is flushed out of the womb in a miscarriage. When the miscarriage is the result of an environment created by a foreign device or chemical, it is in fact an abortion. This is true even if the mother does not intend it, and is not aware of it happening.

 

Despite all the research, including much more presented in my full booklet, there are those who insist that these contentions are incorrect and should not be taken at face value by those concerned about early abortions. In the case of the Pill manufacturers, those who say their FDA-approved assertions are false should, in my opinion, prevail upon the FDA to change their statements, and not simply ask people to disregard them.

 

Confirming Evidence

 

When the Pill thins the endometrium, it seems self-evident a zygote attempting to implant has a smaller likelihood of survival. A woman taking the Pill puts any conceived child at greater risk of being aborted than if the Pill were not being taken.

 

Some argue that this evidence is indirect and theoretical. But we must ask, if this is a theory, how strong and credible is the theory? If the evidence is only indirect, how compelling is that indirect evidence? Once it was only a theory that plant life grows better in rich, fertile soil than in thin, eroded soil. But it was certainly a theory good farmers believed and acted on.

 

Some physicians have theorized that when ovulation occurs in Pill-takers, the subsequent hormone production “turns on” the endometrium, causing it to become receptive to implantation.[19] However, there is no direct evidence to support this theory, and there is at least some evidence against it. First, after a woman stops taking the Pill, it usually takes several cycles for her menstrual flow to increase to the volume of women who are not on the Pill. This suggests to most objective researchers that the endometrium is slow to recover from its Pill-induced thinning.[20] Second, the one study that has looked at women who have ovulated on the Pill showed that after ovulation the endometrium is not receptive to implantation.[21]

 

Arguments Against the Pill Causing Abortion

 

I have received a number of letters from readers, one of them a physician, who say something like this: “My sister got pregnant while taking the Pill. This is proof that you are wrong in saying that the Pill causes abortionsundefinedobviously it couldn’t have, since she had her baby!”

 

Without a doubt, the Pill’s effects on the endometrium do not always make implantation impossible. I have never heard anyone claim that they do. To be an abortifacient does not require that something always cause an abortion, only that it sometimes does.

 

Whether it’s RU-486, Norplant, Depo-Provera, the morning after pill, the Mini-pill, or the Pill, there is no chemical that always causes an abortion. There are only those that do so never, sometimes, often, and usually.

 

Children who play on the freeway, climb on the roof, or are left alone by swimming pools don’t always die, but this does not prove these practices are safe and never result in fatalities. We would immediately see this inconsistency of anyone who argued in favor of leaving children alone by swimming pools because they know of cases where this has been done without harm to the children. The point that the Pill doesn’t always prevent implantation is certainly true, but has no bearing on the question of whether it sometimes prevents implantation, which the data clearly suggests.

 

People also often argue, “The blastocyst is perfectly capable of implanting in various ‘hostile’ sites, e.g., the fallopian tube, the ovary, the peritoneum.”

 

Their point is that the child sometimes implants in the wrong place. This is undeniably true. But again, the only relevant question is whether the Pill sometimes hinders the child’s ability to implant in the right place.

 

Imagine a farmer who has two places where he might plant seed. One is rich, brown soil that has been tilled, fertilized, and watered. The other is on hard, thin, dry, and rocky soil. If the farmer wants as much seed as possible to take hold and grow, where will he plant the seed? The answer is obvious–on the fertile ground.  Now, you could say to the farmer that his preference for the rich, tilled, moist soil is based on theoretical assumptions because he has probably never seen a scientific study that proves this soil is more hospitable to seed than the thin, hard, dry soil. Likely, such a study has never been done. In other words, there is no absolute proof.  But the farmer would likely reply, based on years of observation, “I know good soil when I see it. Sure, I’ve seen some plants grow in the hard, thin soil too, but the chances of survival are much less there than in the good soil. Call it theoretical if you want to, but we all know it’s true!”

 

Some newly conceived children manage to survive temporarily in hostile places. But this in no way changes the obvious fact that many more children will survive in a richer, thicker, more hospitable endometrium than in a thinner, more inhospitable one.

 

(In other publications and in a much more detailed fashion, we have discussed these and other lines of evidence, with hundreds of citations of many scientific studies, as well as researchers and experts in numerous fields. We encourage interested readers to look more deeply into these studies and arguments.[22])

 

Despite this evidence, some prolife physicians state that the likelihood of the Pill having an abortifacient effect is “infinitesimally low, or nonexistent.”[23] Though I would very much like to believe this, the scientific evidence does not permit me to do so.

 

Dr. Walt Larimore has told me that whenever he has presented this evidence to audiences of secular physicians, there has been little or no resistance to it. But when he has presented it to Christian physicians there has been substantial resistance. Since secular physicians do not care whether the Pill prevents implantation, they tend to be objective in interpreting the evidence. After all, they have little or nothing at stake either way. Christian physicians, however, very much do not want to believe the Pill causes early abortions. Therefore, I believe, they tend to resist the evidence. This is certainly understandable. Nonetheless, we should not permit what we want to believe to distract us from what the evidence indicates we should believe.

 

I have mentioned my own vested interests in the Pill that at first made me resist the evidence suggesting it could cause abortions. Dr. Larimore came to this issue with even greater vested interests in believing the best about the birth control pill, having prescribed it for years. When he researched it intensively over an eighteen-month period, in what he described to me as a “gut wrenching” process that involved sleepless nights, he came to the conclusion that in good conscience he could no longer prescribe hormonal contraceptives, including the Pill, the Minipill, Depo-Provera, and Norplant.

 

Conclusion

The Pill is used by about fourteen million American women each year and sixty million women internationally. Thus, even an infinitesimally low portion (say one-hundredth of one percent) of 780 million Pill cycles per year globally could represent tens of thousands of unborn children lost to this form of chemical abortion annually. How many young lives have to be jeopardized for prolife believers to question the ethics of using the Pill? This is an issue with profound moral implications for those believing we are called to protect the lives of children.

 

[1]Randy Alcorn, Prolife Answers to ProChoice Arguments (Multnomah Publishers: Sisters, OR: 1992, 1994) 118. [2] Nine Van der Vange, “Ovarian Activity During Low Dose Oral Contraceptives,” published in Contemporary Obstetrics and Gynecology, edited by G. Chamberlain (London: Butterworths, 1988), 315-16. [3] Hippocrates, May/June 1988, 35. [4] Oral Contraceptives and IUDs: Birth Control or Abortifacients?, Pharmacists for Life, November 1989, 1. [5] Physicians’ Desk Reference (Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics, 1998). [6] The PDR, 1995, page 1782. [7] “Escape Ovulation In Women Due To The Missing Of Low Dose Combination Oral Contraceptive Pills,” Contraception, September 1980; 241.[8]. Abdalla HI, Brooks AA, Johnson MR, Kirkland A, Thomas A, Studd JW. “Endometrial Thickness: A Predictor Of Implantation In Ovum Recipients?” Human Reprod 1994;9:363-365. 738 Bartoli JM, Moulin G, Delannoy L, Chagnaud C, Kasbarian M. “The Normal Uterus On Magnetic Resonance Imaging And Variations Associated With The Hormonal State.” Surg Radiol Anat 1991;13:213-20; Demas BE, Hricak H, Jaffe RB. “Uterine MR Imaging: Effects Of Hormonal Stimulation.” Radiology 1986;159:123-6; McCarthy S, Tauber C, Gore J. “Female Pelvic Anatomy: MR Assessment Of Variations During The Menstrual Cycle And With Use Of Oral Contraceptives.” Radiology 1986; 160: 119-23. [10]. Brown HK, Stoll BS, Nicosia SV, Fiorica JV, Hambley PS, Clarke LP, Silbiger ML. “Uterine Junctional Zone: Correlation Between Histologic Findings And MR Imaging.” Radiology 1991;179:409-413. [11]. Abdalla, et al., “Endometrial thickness”; Dickey RP, Olar TT, Taylor SN, Curole DN, Matulich EM. “Relationship Of Endometrial Thickness And Pattern To Fecundity In Ovulation Induction Cycles: Effect Of Clomiphene Citrate Alone And With Human Menopausal Gonadotropin.” Fertil Steril 1993;59:756-60; Gonen Y, Casper RF, Jacobson W, Blankier J. “Endometrial Thickness And Growth During Ovarian Stimulation: A Possible Predictor Of Implantation In In-Vitro Fertilization.” Fertil Steril 1989;52:446-50; Schwartz LB, Chiu AS, Courtney M, Krey L, Schmidt-Sarosi C. “The Embryo Versus Endometrium Controversy Revisited As It Relates To Predicting Pregnancy Outcome In In-Vitro Fertilization-Embryo Transfer Cycles.” Hum Reprod 1997;12:45-50; Shoham Z, et al. “Is It Possible To Run A Successful Ovulation Induction Program Based Solely On Ultrasound Monitoring: The Importance Of Endometrial Measurements.” Fertil Steril 1991;56:836-841; Noyes N, Liu HC, Sultan K, Schattman G, Rosenwaks Z. “Endometrial Thickness Appears To Be A Significant Factor In Embryo Implantation In In-Vitro Fertilization.” Hum Reprod 1995;10:919-22; Vera JA, Arguello B, Crisosto CA. “Predictive Value Of Endometrial Pattern And Thickness In The Result Of In Vitro Fertilization And Embryo Transfer.” Rev Chil Obstet Gynecol 1995;60:195-8; Check JH, Nowroozi K, Choe J, Lurie D, Dietterich C. “The Effect Of Endometrial Thickness And Echo Pattern On In Vitro Fertilization Outcome In Donor Oocyte-Embryo Transfer Cycle.” Fertil Steril 1993;59:72-5; Oliveira JB, Baruffi RL, Mauri AL, Petersen CG, Borges MC, Franco JG Jr. “Endometrial Ultrasonography As A Predictor Of Pregnancy In An In-Vitro Fertilization Programme After Ovarian Stimulation And Gonadotrophin-Releasing Hormone And Gonadotrophins.” Hum Reprod 1997;12:2515-8; Bergh C, Hillensjo T, Nilsson L. “Sonographic Evaluation Of The Endometrium In In-Vitro Fertilization IVF Cycles. A Way To Predict Pregnancy?” Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 1992;71:624-8. [12]. Abdalla HI, et al., “Endometrial thickness”; Dickey, et al., “Relationship Of Endometrial Thickness”; Gonen, et al., “Endometrial Thickness And Growth”; Oliveira, et al., “Endometrial Ultrasonography As A Predictor”; Bergh, et al., “Sonographic Evaluation Of The Endometrium”.[13].The 5mm figure is from Glissant, A, de Mouzon, J, Frydman R. “Ultrasound Study Of The Endometrium During In Vitro Fertilization Cycles.” Fertil Steril 1985;44:786-90. The 13mm figure is from Rabinowitz R, Laufer N, Lewin A, Navot D, Bar I, Margalioth EJ, Schenker JJ. “The value of ultrasonographic endometrial measurement in the prediction of pregnancy following in vitro fertilization.” Fertil Steril 1986;45:824-8 [14].McCarthy, et al., “Female Pelvic Anatomy”. [15].Physicians’ Desk Reference; Kastrup, Drug Facts. [16] Kristine Severyn, “Abortifacient Drugs and Devices: Medical and Moral Dilemmas” Linacre Quarterly, August 1990, 55. [17].Walter L. Larimore and Joseph Stanford, “Postfertilization Effects of Oral Contraceptives and their Relation to Informed Consent.” Archives of Family Medicine 9 (February, 2000); Walter L. Larimore, “The Abortifacient Effect of the Birth Control Pill and the Principle of Double Effect,” Ethics and Medicine, January 2000. [18] Walter L. Larimore and Randy Alcorn, “Using the Birth Control Pill is Ethically Unacceptable,” in John F. Kilner, Paige C. Cunningham and W. David Hager (eds), The Reproduction Revolution (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000), 179-191. [19] Susan Crockett, Joseph L. DeCook, Donna Harrison, and Camilla Hersh, “Using Hormone Contraceptives Is a Decision Involving Science, Scripture, and Conscience,” in John F. Kilner, Paige C. Cunningham and W. David Hager (eds), The Reproduction Revolution (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000), 192-201. [20].Stanford JB, Daly KD. “Menstrual And Mucus Cycle Characteristics In Women Discontinuing Oral Contraceptives (Abstract).” Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 1995;9(4): A9. [21].Chowdhury V, Joshi UM, Gopalkrishna K, Betrabet S, Mehta S, Saxena BN. “‘Escape’ Ovulation In Women Due To The Missing Of Low Dose Combination Oral Contraceptive Pills.” Contraception 1980;22(3):241-7. [22]. Alcorn, “Does The Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?”; Larimore WL, Stanford JB. “Postfertilization Effects Of Oral Contraceptives And Their Relation To Informed Consent.” Larimore WL. “The Growing Debate about the Abortifacient Effect of the Birth Control Pill and the Principle of the Double Effect.” Ethics and Medicine: in review. 23]. DeCook JL, McIlhaney J, et al. Hormonal Contraceptives: Are they Abortifacients? (Sparta, MI: Frontlines Publishing, 1998).

 

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: by Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries, 39085 Pioneer Blvd., Suite 206, Sandy, OR 97055, 503-668-5200, www.epm.org, www.randyalcorn.blogspot.com [http://www.randyalcorn.blogspot.com/]

 

For our story, check out the following blog posts…

What God thinks about Birth Control

First comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage

You want more?

Planned Barren-hood

Family Un-Planning

My home, My mission field

 

 

Family Un-Planning

 

IMG_0456

Blessing #5

If you are just now joining this post please take time to read the Introduction, Part One & Part Two first.

We are not collecting Children!

Most of the comments we get from strangers about our large family are either positive or reflect their confusion. We often hear things like…

“You just don’t see families this big anymore.”  (They forget we are only 1 generation away, 2 at most, from large families)

“Do you know what causes that”  (Like children are a disease)

“You homeschool, right?”  (As if large families are a requirement to homeschool!)

“You have your hands full!” (of BLESSINGS!)

“Are they all yours?”  (No we just collect children!)

People are confused about a lot of things, and most of that confusion comes from not being in the Word.  We get a few nice comments about our family, but mostly we receive strange looks, and bobbing heads (as they count to see how many we have)  We are somewhat shocked at the responses from people, because to us, a family of 7, seems small!  

IMG_3216

Blessing #4

Children as Pets…

When people get to know us a little better, conversations often go to things like…

“So how many do you WANT?”  (as to which we reply…as many as the Lord wants us to have!)

The widespread mind-set about children is that, overall, they exist to fulfill the needs of adults. The world says if you don’t feel a need to  have any children, then don’t.  If your not “ready”, whatever that means, then wait.  If you do choose to have them, then you must stop when you “feel done”.  The overall consensus is that when children are no longer fulfilling a need, then they become at best an inconvenience and at worst, a burden. This is a common attitude towards children, even inside the church.  Children are like pets…people desire them to fulfil a need and they tire of them pretty quickly.  It’s no wonder women get frustrated in motherhood when the kid takes from her instead of fulfilling her needs and desires.

We WANT what God WANTS…

We are not in a baby race.  We are not trying to out-conceive the Duggars!  Most people, even Believers, determine their own family size based on selfishness, fear and human reasoning.  They might say something like…

“How will we ever afford to send that many kids to college?”
“Our house isn’t big enough.”
“ The two I have drive me crazy.”
“My friends (or parents) will think we’re crazy if we have more than two or three.”
“We can’t possibly let the Lord decide how many kids we should have or we could end up like the Duggars!”
“No thanks, I like my sleep, privacy, freedom,  ____________________.”

We choose to walk by faith.

God PROVIDES…

Why is it so wrong to want what God wants?  Why is it so wrong to have faith and trust that the living God cares about the concerns of man.  We trust that He will provide for us just like He provided a sacrifice for our sins in the blood of Jesus Christ.  Having a large family isn’t easy, but what is  that’s worth doing?   I’m sure another question people have is if we are on “government assistance” , I’ll answer that one real quick…NO!  God provides for what He gives!  We want our children to be a blessing to others and we want to be part of the solution to our countries problems, not part of the problem. 

Family Un-Planning…

In conclusion, we do not “make” our babies, we do not schedule their delivery or “space” them to fit our needs.  We do not “try for a baby”.  I do not calculate my fertility cycle to increase our chances of conception.  We simply take what God want’s to give us, in His timing.  He knows the number of children that is best for us, He knows the timing that is best, and he can strengthen us in the journey.

 Next Post in this series…My Home, My Mission Field

 

First Comes Marriage…Then Comes Baby in the Baby Carriage

 

This week the Lord has laid on my heart to do a series of posts on babies.  There is such an attack in our culture on babies and life in general.  This is nothing new, Satan has been against God’s creation since the very beginning.  You don’t have to read very far into your Bible to see that! The war against life did not begin with the invention of the pill, It began in the Garden of Eden.

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One of our “blessings”

Many never even consider that using birth control could be anything but common sense, but I truly believe it is a spiritual war (Eph. 6:12). The birth control pill was conceived in the mind of Margaret Sanger who said, “The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” 

God is the creator, author and giver of life. It shouldn’t surprise us that as the  enemy of God, Satan hates life.
In the Old Testament the people sacrificed their children to idols like Molech. Today we sacrifice them for freedom, self-indulgence and convenience.  We buy the big boat, the big TV, build the big house, then if a baby won’t take too much money from us, we go ahead and have one, maybe too, after all, we wan’t to keep all our stuff!  Satan has come to steal, kill and destroy life and that is just what he is doing.

Let’s get a few things straight…

By writing this series, I intend to bring clarity to the ideas of family planning, to bring to light the spiritual battle we are in for the next generation, and to help others to see that children are a blessing.  We should all want God wants!

By writing this series, I do not intent to imply that having a large family makes you closer to God.  You can have 20 children and still die and go to hell, and drag your children in the fiery pit with you.  Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved from hell.  Click here to read more.  I also do not mean to imply that ALL women who do not have children, or many children, are not walking with the Lord.  Many women’s wombs are closed and can never bare children.  God only knows why.  My heart breaks with you. Many women only have one or two children because of their lack of faith or because they are blinded by the world, or listen to well intentioned elder Christian women or Pastors.  Many women are in obedience to their husband (as they should be) and limit their family size.  I praise you for your submission, God will honor you.  Whatever your reasons I hope you will be open minded and have an open heart.  Get out your Bible, search out what God thinks about family and children.  Let Him change your heart.

In the very least, I hope this series sheds light on what we are, why we do the things we do, and the blessings that children are to us!  Please feel free to post questions and share with us what you think.

 More baby posts coming up this week…

 PART TWO – You Wan’t More?

PART THREE – Planned Barren-hood

PART FOUR – Family Un-Planning

PART FIVE – My Home…My Mission Field

 

 

You Wan’t More?

 

This post is 2nd in a series on babies, please take time to read the Introduction first!

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Children are a blessing, dispite what the world tells us.

Last Sunday, at church,. something was mentioned about Clara getting older and I always say “Yep, time for another baby!”  Someone asked if I was really ready, and I said SURE!  They then asked Don If he was ready and he said SURE!  I followed up with “We are praying for twins, next time!”  I think they thought we were joking! 

No mater what the world tells us, we do consider children a blessing.

Most people consider children a hassle, even in the church.  I have often heard the counsel of  aged women telling young married women that they should “wait a while”  before having children, that they should “get things in line first” or that “they don’t need a child now.”  These same people would not deny someone a million bucks, but they would deny a woman the blessing of a child.  Which one of us would decline the blessing of good health of that million bucks mentioned above?  But the blessing of children? Many would say, “No thank you!”

What has become conventional wisdom in the world is now conventional wisdom in the church. We quip about longing for school to start, about dreading when they outgrow children’s church. We make the same stupid jokes- Do you know what causes that?, flaunting our folly. We are so biblically illiterate in the church we have no idea we are calling God a liar, who tells us children are a blessing from His hand (Psalm 127). We are so historically illiterate we don’t know that every denomination in Christendom condemned practices designed to avoid blessings from the beginning of the church until little more than fifty years ago. ~R.C. Sproul Jr.

The world thinks a family that contains more than two or three children, is foolish. But:

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?    1 Cor. 1:20

We have to remember that as a Christian we are not of this world. We are called to be a peculiar people, set apart, that are called to proclaim Jesus Christ, the one who called us out of darkness (1 Peter 2: 9) . There will always be areas that seem foolish to the mind of carnal man.  We have to remeber that Satan is in opposition to anything of the Lords doing, and children belong to the Lord.  Satan attacks wherever he can and it is his goal to end the proclaiming of the gospel to the next generation.  That is so easily done when Christians are limiting their family size and not bringing their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 

We believe that God said children are a blessing and we intend on acting like it, even without the encouragement of others.  We know what the word of God says, and we intend on receiving all the little blessings He wants to give us, especially CHILDREN!

Part 3 – Planned Barren-hood

 

Planned Barren-hood?

 

If you are just now joining this series, please take a moment and read the Intro & Part 1, first.

Family planning is the mother of abortion. A generation had to be indoctrinated in the ideal of planning children around personal convenience before abortion could become popular. We Christians raise an outcry against abortion today, and rightly so. But the reason we have to fight those battles today is because we lost them thirty years ago…  Mary Pride (The Way Home)

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What about the pill?

 There are three different ways the pill operates. #1 usually works. The first mechanism is designed to prevent ovulation = no chance of fertilization = no baby. This is the one most physicians want you to believe works and a lot of the time it does. When #1 fails, #2 may work by causing thickening of the mucus, preventing or at least increasing the difficulty of the sperm to enter the uterus where the egg is (no sperm reaching the egg = no fertilization = no baby). When #1 and #2 fail, #3 may work (and will work unless God intervenes) by also thickening of the mucus forming a barrier in the wall of the uterus, preventing an already fertilized egg (= a baby, a new life, according to the Bible), from implanting. Because this new life cannot implant in the wall of the uterus, it can receive no nourishment to sustain life and continue to grow. The baby has already been alive for 6-8 days at this point. If it cannot implant due to the characteristics of the pill, it suffocates and dies and passes through the body, perceived as a normal period. As far as I’ve been able to tell, ALL birth control pills work the same way and have these three components. It just eases our mind to believe the first one always works. We don’t know for sure because God doesn’t give us the insight to see what “He does in secret;” therefore, we don’t know if the egg was already fertilized and #2 or #3 kicked in.

What about Birth Control?

The subject of birth control is and always will be a very sensitive and controversial subject. The very words suggest that “someone” is going to be in control of how many babies you have. The truth is, even if you never take a pill, someone is in control. That someone is God.

God alone holds us accountable for the truth we have been shown. He uses all kinds of things in our lives to make us take a closer look.  Some truths come through human beings. Sometimes it takes a circumstance to cause us to take a closer look at things and question our belief system.  We were caught up in this mess when we first got married.  Just like a good little girl who “should wait” until we newlyweds got on our feet, we signed up for the pill.  No one told us what it did, or we never would have taken it!  I thank God for opening my eyes one day and causing me to read that little paper enclosed in my pill case.  I talked to Don, and I never took another pill.  Later, we came to realise that God is the one who opens and closes the womb.  Many people take life for granted, and the gift of fertility for granted.  People assume they can order their children to come only when our timing  and life circumstances best suit the situation. God is the one who opens and closes the womb. Even if we think we have “planned” the baby, it is still God that has done it. 
Many have been surprised and heartbroken to learn that God is the one who opens and closes the womb and that children are not there for the taking whenever they “choose” to have one.  Children are His. He creates them. He forms them. He sustains them.

So what are children?

They are either a blessing created and formed by the living God and Creator of the Universe, who chose them to be born “for such a time as this”

or they are of a man’s manufacture, to be disposed of or denied.

…Children as God’s gifts whom we humbly receive are one thing; children as article of our own manufacturing are another. You can do anything you like with what you yourself have made…Mary Pride (The Way Home)

As for me and my house…there will be NO PLANNED BARRENHOOD, only thankfulness to God, my Creator & Saviour, for a fruitful womb!

Read Part 4 – Family Un-Planning

 

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“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” — 1 John 5:14-15 Listen to chapter Public Domain. Powered by BibleGateway.com.
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