Do you take a position on the issue of birth control?
The Pro-Life Action League opposes artificial birth control (contraception), not only because it destroys the inherent meaning of the sexual act as a sign of permanent, life-giving love, but because of the disastrous consequences it has wrought on our society.
We are often told that in order to reduce the number of abortions, we ought to promote birth control, distribute condoms and demand so-called “comprehensive” sex-ed. At first glance, these proposals seem reasonable, but ultimately contraception actually increases abortion for several key reasons:
- Contraception increases risky sexual behavior among those who use it.
- Contraceptives often fail to work, especially among the young and unmarried.
- Using contraception predisposes a woman to abort her child when contraceptives fail.
- Contraception distorts the cultural sexual environment even for those who don’t use it.
- Condoms are not the answer
- What’s wrong with comprehensive sex-ed?
- Contraception is unhealthy
- What are the alternatives to artificial contraception?
Contraception Increases Risky Sexual Behavior
Chemical contraceptives provide zero risk against STDs; condoms provide some protection, but not enough to prevent transmission of many STDs. In the days before the sexual revolution, there were only twelve STDs. Now there are dozens of STDs that come in hundreds of varieties. In fact, about 19 million Americans become infected with an STD each year, according to the CDC. The multiplication of the number of STDs and of the number of infected people shows that providing condoms has led to an increase in sexual encounters and risky sexual behaviors, rather than simply making already occurring sexual encounters safer, as condom advocates claim.
“Comprehensive” sex-education, which promotes use of birth control, contributes to this problem. Rather than telling teens to rechannel their sexual desires, they encourage them to become sexually active—so long as they use condoms and contraceptives.
While abstinence education cannot 100% stop all teen sexual activity, it does delay its onset, thus preventing . According to a study conducted by the Heritage Foundation, “individuals who took a virginity pledge in adolescence are some 25 percent less likely to have an STD as young adults, when compared with non-pledgers who are identical in race, gender, and family background.” This means that young people who commit themselves to abstinence—rather than contraceptives or condoms—are safer and healthier.
Contraceptives Often Fail To Work
No method of artificial birth control is able to prevent 100% of pregnancies. The best any of them can claim is 99% for “perfect use”—that is, it is always taken exactly as prescribed without ever missing any doses. “Typical use,” or the way most people use it, is always significantly less. Studies show that 8-9% of women taking oral contraceptives (“The Pill”) will become pregnant each year. That means that, with 11.6 million women taking the pill regularly, 928,000 of them will become pregnant each year. Even with “perfect use,” 1%—or 116,000 women—would become pregnant while on the Pill each year.
Other methods of contraception report higher success rates of preventing pregnancy. These methods, though, are usually longer term and more difficult to reverse when a woman does decide to become pregnant. And, again, they cannot prevent 100% of pregnancies. These methods also carry substantial health risks to the woman taking them.
Using Contraception Predisposes a Woman To Abort
The contraceptive mentality opposes life; you view pregnancy as a disease to be prevented. Thus, when you find yourself pregnant, you need to do something to return your life to the way you wanted it to be. Some women do this by changing their views on pregnancy (they decide it’s OK to be pregnant after all), while others choose to eliminate their pregnancy.
Steve Patton of One More soul explains well how contraceptives lead to abortion and destroy relationships when they fail:
Because most contraceptives are designed to be used by women, when they fail, and a pregnancy occurs, it is “her fault.” She is expected to “deal with” her mistake, usually by having an abortion. The father of the child, although he is as responsible for this child as the mother, feels free to abandon both of them. After all, since the contraception wasn’t his responsibility, why should he be responsible for the result of the contraceptive failure?
Contraception Distorts the Cultural Sexual Environment
It used to be that only men could be promiscuous without consequences. Women like Margaret Sanger, desiring equality with men, sought to create pills and devices that would prevent pregnancy. Sanger’s research led to the development of the birth control pill as we know it today. Women on the pill are able to have sex freely with whomever they want, whenever they want, without fear of becoming pregnant—just like men.
But perhaps the problem isn’t that women should be able to have sex without consequences just like men but that men shouldn’t be able to have sex without consequences. The Pill and abortion have become, in many instances, excuses for men to shirk their responsibilities as the co-creators of life. Now no one must take responsibility for the lives that are created during intercourse, since a man can tell any woman he impregnates to go get an abortion.
Note these quotes from a pro-Sanger biographer:
“Sanger broadened her arguments for birth control claiming it would fulfill a critical psychological need by enabling women to fully enjoy sexual relations, free from the fear of pregnancy.”
“Sanger separated from her husband, William, in 1914, and in keeping with her private views on sexual liberation, she began a series of affairs with several men”
Condoms Are Not the Answer
Because we are told so often that we ought to go out on the street and distribute condoms, it is appropriate to address the condom issue in some detail. It is widely believed that condoms help reduce unplanned pregnancies, but they don’t. In fact, as the use of condoms has increased, so has the out-of-wedlock birthrate. (See CSRRC Study [PDF].)
Condoms fail. Even when used “correctly and consistently”—which is uncommon among those at greatest risk of unplanned pregnancy and sexually trasmitted diseases—the World Health Organization admits that a pregnancy will occur 3% of the time. For typical use, the WHO admits that the rate of pregnancy is much higher—anywhere from 10% to 14%. (See WHO Fact Sheet.)
Not only are condoms less effective for preventing pregnancy than is commonly believed, but they are even less effective in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Condoms have been repeatedly shown to be relatively ineffective in protecting against HIV/AIDS. A massive study co-sponsored by the NIH, CDC, FDA, and USAID issued findings in July 2001 that condoms, even when used “correctly and consistently,” provided only 85% protection against the spread of AIDS. (See Government Study.)
The same study revealed that while condoms provide some increased protection against the transmission of gonorrhea from women to men—which almost never happens anyway—there is “insufficient evidence” despite dozens of studies that condoms do anything to prevent the spread of any other STD.
HIV/AIDS and gonorrhea account for 2% of STD cases in the U. S. It is tremendously irresponsible—not to mention dishonest—to encourage condom use considering that there is “insufficient” evidence regarding their effectiveness in preventing against the vast majority of STDs.
What’s Wrong with “Comprehensive” Sex-Ed
So-called “comprehensive sex education” programs teach children about and promote various practices such as premarital sex, oral sex, solitary and mutual masturbation and contraception—all under the guise of providing personal health information. Such programs are pose serious dangers to impressionable young people. The decision to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage is extremely risky for many reasons, and it must never be condoned.
Parents have a duty to talk to their children honestly about sex. The cornerstone of this conversation must be explaining why sex belongs only within marriage and should never be deprived of the fruitfulness that is naturally a part of it. Parents should teach their children about the negative consequences associated with sexual activity outside of marriage—as well as the serious physical side effects associated with the pill and numerous other contraceptives—in much the same way that the negative consequences of drug use are taught.
Contraception is unhealthy
There are a number of side effects associated with the Pill and other chemical contraceptives.
The Pill and the birth control Patch contain steroids that trick the body into believing they are naturally occurring hormones. They then override the body’s natural cycle, forcing the body to remain in a false, permanently infertile stage, rather than allowing it to progress through its natural cycle. During the infertile phases of a natural cycle, a special type of mucus (“G mucus”) forms a plug to keep out the sperm as well as any foreign bacteria. Chemical contraceptives prevent mucus (and therefore this plug) from forming, leaving women who use contraceptives at higher risk for STDs/STIs and yeast infections.
Additionally, contraceptives increase risk for blood clots, high blood pressure, breast cancer, cervical cancer, ectopic (tubal) pregnancies and more. They can also cause weight gain, migraines, depression, nausea and vomiting—the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, many women also find that they are either temporarily or permanently infertile after they stop using their contraceptives.
What are the alternatives to artificial contraception?
We urge all unmarried people to remain chaste. Only by abstaining from sexual activity can a person avoid a crisis pregnancy and STDs. Also importantly, chastity shows the high value you place on yourself—you deserve better.
Married couples that need to avoid pregnancy should look into Natural Family Planning. Methods like the Billings Ovulation Method or the Sympto-Thermal Method have been shown to be just as effective as chemical contraceptives at preventing pregnancy. They have no negative health effects and couples report feeling closer to each other as a result of using these methods.