Truth About Birth Control, Part I

The Truth About

Birth Control, Part I

How Birth Control Works

(This article was taken from Catholic Exchange)
Written by Patti Maguire Armstrong (note: the full version of this article can be found here)



The pill has become a symbol of freedom to those who have been told they can “have it all”.  And it has become a symbol of destruction to those who support a “Theology of the Body,” philosophy, the essence of Catholic teaching that artificial means must not disrupt God’s natural order of things.

The first birth control pill received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 1960.  Using a synthetic estrogen hormone, the pill tricked a women’s body into thinking it was pregnant.  No egg would be released thereby preventing the opportunity for conception. 

Although the pill was initially introduced with the idea of affording women a reliable way of limiting their family size, it soon became the ticket to the Sexual Revolution that began in the Sixties and never really ended.  The pill promised something it’s never been able to deliver: sex with “no strings attached”.  There are always emotional and moral consequences to thwarting God’s purpose, but women discovered physical problems too.  Blood clots, heart attacks and strokes were some of the side effects caused by the Pill’s high estrogen levels.  Drug manufacturers lowered these levels in order to reduce the side effects but that also increased the incidence of breakthrough ovulation.  With the lower levels of estrogen, eggs would sometimes still get released and pregnancies resulted. 

The drug companies tackled this situation by adding the synthetic hormone progesterone, which makes the uterine wall (the endometrium) inhospitable to implantation by an embryo.  So if an egg was released and became fertilized by a sperm, thus creating life, the pill would have actually failed to prevent a conception, meaning it failed as a contraceptive.  But, through preventing implantation of the embryo, the pill acts as an abortifacient and stops life from continuing to the next stage.  (A clear and simple demonstration of this can be seen here.)



There is no way of knowing what percentage of pregnancies result in abortion through the pill.  The woman using the pill with this scenario never even knows that she conceived a child.  Her cycle will continue on schedule with no realization that an embryo is being flushed from her body.  The Catholic Church has never wavered on the teaching that life begins at conception.  […]

The issue of birth control is a big one where misunderstanding and ignorance often misguide people.  But when it comes to the pill, the ignorance that many women fall prey to is lack of understanding of its abortifacient properties.  Most women don’t consider that while taking their birth control, they may also be aborting a life within them.  As Pope Paul VI predicted when he issued his encyclical Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life) in 1968, the use of artificial contraception would lead to abortions.

Although it seemed to many to be an overdramatic prediction, it proved to be prophetic.  In hindsight, its logic in saying that widespread use of contraception would lead to “conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality” was prophetic.  Since the Pill began to be sold in 1960, divorces have tripled, out-of-wedlock births jumped from 224,000 to 1.2 million, abortions doubled, and cohabitation soared 10-fold from 430,000 to 4.2 million.

Sex both inside and outside marriage ceased to be about a bond of marital love in which a couple became one in union with God.  It became merely an activity for personal satisfaction devoid of anything more.  The Pope predicted man would lose respect for woman, considering her “as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.”

Society as a whole moved from recognizing sex as something reserved for married couples to something for everyone, since the possibility for pregnancy was greatly reduced (although never completely removed).  Thus, people completely opposed to having children could have sex with others whom they had chosen as bed partners but would never chose to co-parent their children.  The most intimate experience intended to be shared in love and self-giving with the potential for creating life became merely a form of recreation.  And if life sprang forth, such a life was easily regarded as nothing more than an unintended problem that could legally be disposed of through abortion.



In his booklet, titled Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?, Randy Alcorn states: “The question of whether it causes abortions has direct bearing on untold millions of Christians, many of them pro-life, who use and recommend it.  For those who believe God is the Creator of each person and the giver and taker of human life, this is a question with profound moral implications.”

Alcorn was a Protestant pastor who not only used the pill in his married life, but also counseled other married couples to do so.  He had a vested interest in not recognizing the pill as an abortifactient.  But when confronted with the facts through his own research, it demanded changes in his own behavior and philosophy.  His booklet was written in 1998 to inform others of the truth.

[…] (W)e must cut through the false teachings and erroneous opinions to reach the truth.  Our lives, our bodies and our souls are all we have.  They are gifts that must be safeguarded. Christopher West, author and speaker, has written books and articles explaining the beauty and truth of God’s plan for men and women.  In his book, Good News about Sex and Marriage, he asserts that the Church’s teaching on sex and marriage is good news because it’s the truth about love and true love is the fulfillment of the human person.  He also admits that the news is challenging.  “This is so because the truth about love is always challenging.”

This entry was posted in Birth Control Series, Elements of Faith, pro-life. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Truth About Birth Control, Part I

  1. Eileen Scruggs says:

    Is it ever permitted to take the birth control pill? I was told last week it is.

  2. Eileen Scruggs says:

    Is the pill ever allowed for other reason other than birth control

  3. Nicholas Jagneaux says:


    Thanks for stopping by.

    I’m not exactly sure what the answer is. Please give me a couple of days to research the question, and I’ll get back in touch.

    May God bless you and keep you in His peace.

  4. Nicholas Jagneaux says:


    Please be patient a little more.

    I’m struggling to keep up with the fast pace of the end of the school year.

  5. Eileen, please do not put your body at risk by taking the Pill. As a young woman I was on the Pill for ovarian cysts for nine months, it changed my body in ways I have never recovered from over 20 years later. I was not aware of it’s abortifacient properties at that time.
    Since you are aware of the abortifacient action of the Pill, and if you are married, thus making it possible for abortions to take place. you are responsible for whatever deaths take place by taking the Pill.

    If the Pill was prescribed by your doctor, please be aware than many other medical solutions for your health problems may be found by visiting online resources, like One More Soul, or the Pope Paul VI Institute in Nebraska, where Napro-technology provides women with more effective, and morally acceptable alternatives to this dangerous medication.

  6. “misunderstanding and ignorance”

    No that’s WILLFUL ignorance driven by pursuit of lust indulgence.

    “which makes the uterine wall (the endometrium) inhospitable to implantation by an embryo”

    It also has the potential for ‘incorrect’ implantation leading either to high risk pregnancy or another mode of her body flushing the newly conceived life from her body in blissful (morally culpable) ignorance.

    “There is no way of knowing what percentage of pregnancies result in abortion through the pill.”

    That ALL current chemical female “birth” control agents have a POTENTIAL abortifacient effect is sufficient knowledge for the typical biblical use of “WOE”, and sufficient reason to not-use the technology.

    The evidence that ALL post 1967 chemical “birth” control agents rely on the ‘tertiary’ abortifacient effect is readily available in the Physicians Desk Reference and Medline.

    The use of either mechanical- or chemical female “birth” control is ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE more horrific in nature AND NUMBER than mere ‘medical’ procedure abortions. (Where either is other than barrier-only or spermicide)


    An orgasm is not worth the potential murdering your own newly conceived child — both women AND men are morally culpable in this murder

    .. AND they are both automatically excommunicated.

  7. “your body at risk by taking the Pill”

    The Pill (or patch, or sub-dermal) in the category of chemical “birth” control agents, those which are all potential abortifacients, also have effects long term effects (consequences):

    + retains the potential abortifacient effect for months (a few to nearly a year depending on flavor)

    + reducing or impairing fertility for a short period or

    + potentially indefinitely

    + hormonal imbalance — suffering unique to biochemistry of a given woman

    Not surprisingly there have been no long term studies on the potential for increased cancer risk (of which I am aware). Search medline yourself if you are curious or it is substantially later than the date of this post.

    “Is it ever permitted ”

    The monthly cycle is part of God’s design and foiling it chemically in the name of convenience, the same banner under which abortions are oft rationalized, is not morally acceptable.

    (Young) men have the same moral obligation to be knowledgeable on the topic as a component of properly forming conscience.

    The state’s re-education system (public school) errantly teaches that these potential abortifacient technologies are purely contraceptive. OUTRAGEOUS.

    It should be self evident that the state ought have no hand in controlling the curriculum of an educational institution. That it is not to some is only the “tip of the iceburg” in terms of catechesis failure in this country.

    If young men were made aware of the potential abortifacient nature of these technologies, in the course of teaching them logic, philosophy (let’s start with Aristotle), and Theology…. there would be FAR FEWER silent abortions, outright abortions… and MUCH LESS fornication.

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