Anyone in the pro-life movement who is counseling against abortion must be knowledgeable about birth control. In many cases, birth control itself is contributing to abortions. When something can cause a fertilized egg to die, it is considered abortifacient (which means “causes abortion”). Even birth control that is not abortifacient can cause issues that ultimately contribute to abortion. We will discuss that later.
Premise 1: Human Life is Sacred
If we are consistent in our pro-life stance, we need to address the sanctity of life and when human life becomes sacred. When is human life worthy of protection from a biblical perspective? God tells us in the first book of the Bible:
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
God sets the bar for what gives humans value. First, they are created by Him. Second, and most significantly, they are created in His image. Of all His creation, humans alone bear God’s image. He signifies why the murder of humans is so heinous in this verse: “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:6). Murder is wrong because God made man in His image.
Premise 2: Unborn Humans are Loved by God from Conception
Multiple verses speak of the unborn baby in the womb, such as the two below:
“For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15).
““Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations'” (Jeremiah 1:5).
These are significant in that they show the Holy Spirit filled a baby IN THE WOMB. Secondly, they show that God KNOWS us in the womb, and already consecrates and appoints us for His purpose. There are many more verses clearly showing God’s love, care and protection of the baby in the womb.
Premise 3: We are Called to Protect Human Life from Conception
From the moment the Holy Spirit conceived Jesus in the womb, He was called a baby. He was clearly known and loved by God His Father from the moment of conception. Notice the verses describing that moment. The angel tells Mary she will conceive – and Mary HURRIES to her cousin Elizabeth, and immediately the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaps for joy recognizing the child in Mary’s womb for who He is.
“The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.
Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah,
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?” (Luke 1:30-31, 34-35, 39, 41-43)
The child is clearly considered a child from conception. God’s protective command for all unborn human beings, no matter the age, remains clear: Thou shall not murder.
Premise 4: If We Know Birth Control Methods are Abortifacient, We Should NOT Use Them
God’s word reminds us that if we know the truth and don’t obey it, it is willful SIN. If you have read this article up to this point, you KNOW the truth. Below is a list of birth control methods that have scientifically been shown to be abortifacient, and those methods that are not.
To be honest, this list is not without controversy. Abortion proponents challenge this list, with research they believe supports that position. Pro-life advocates can show research to support their contention that the list is accurate.
According to a study of available research by Focus on the Family, that controversy has not led to a definitive conclusion. There are respected studies that have decided the combined hormone pills do not cause abortion, and respected studies that indicate they do. What is interesting is this article cited by Focus on the Family also says that in the past decade, little research has been conducted to resolve this issue definitively.
- Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) (some controversy if they are truly abortifacient depending on type)
- Intra-uterine devices (IUDs), both copper & hormonal
- Hormonal patches
- Hormonal shots
- Hormonal implants
- Hormonal vaginal rings
- Plan B (emergency contraceptive)
- Male & female condoms
- Vaginal sponge
- Cervical cap/shield
- Sterilization (tubal ligation or vasectomy)
- Fertility awareness methods (natural family planning/green sex)
Premise 5: Birth Control Does NOT Prevent Abortion and Has Risks
Research shows that 9% of women who use birth control get pregnant anyway, and a whopping 51% of abortion patients were using birth control when they got pregnant. Birth control is certainly not an effective tool to prevent abortions.
Additionally, birth control is not without risk and complications. Women using the IUD have a higher incidence of ectopic pregnancy. Blood clots and stroke risk is present in using the hormonal forms of birth control.
Premise 6: Birth Control Masks the True Issue of Rebellion Toward God
God’s word is clear regarding sexual purity outside of marriage. Birth control makes it easier for young women to disregard God’s commands. Sadly, abstinence is considered unrealistic and unattainable. Christians who suggest abstinence programs be used in Sex Education are mocked.
With the advent of birth control came the sexual revolution, increased numbers of teens being sexually active, increased pregnancy out of wedlock, and the onslaught of STDs, just to name a few societal ills. The progression of thought from acceptance of birth control as a means of liberating women to abortion as a valid choice became logical in the mind of the “pro-choice” crowd. In the worldview that rejects God’s commands for sexual conduct, abortion is seen as a legitimate method to allow a woman to continue a sexually promiscuous life style without the undesired consequence of pregnancy.
The sad truth is that birth control has led to increased extramarital sexual activity. In 1900, 6% of unmarried women were sexually active. In 1999, that increased to 75% – even more disturbing, since the advent of birth control, the extramarital pregnancy rate has also increased.
Because this has become such an accepted part of our culture, many people claiming to know and love God are ignorant of God’s word on sexual purity outside of marriage. They also fall prey to the mistaken and dangerous claim that self-control to follow God in this area is impossible and unrealistic.
While the use of birth control is an important question in and of itself, our main purpose is to present scientific evidence of the effects and consequences of birth control. Two main points remain clear: 1) When birth control is KNOWN to be abortifacient, Christians should not use it. 2) Outside of the confines of marriage, no one should be sexually active if they claim to love and follow God.