Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Thoughts on Birth Control

I'm sorry if I'm about to open up another controversial can of worms, but I had to share this. I started following a blog written by a young pastor's wife (I found her by way of a craft blog and took note primarily because of her name, Stacy Leigh, which is almost exactly my sister-in-law's name!).

She and her husband wrote this research paper about hormonal contraceptives and it completely echoes my sentiments on the subject.
You can read the paper HERE.

I quote a section from the paper, in my efforts not to offend anyone:

"This [paper] is not a condemnation of our brothers and sisters who have used or are now using hormonal contraceptives. We understand from experience that most Christian couples are lacking the information or have been given inaccurate or incomplete information to make a truly informed decision based on the Christian worldview.

Our mission is to inform, not to condemn. We ourselves rest on the grace of God through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who are we to condemn those who have been forgiven and are still obtaining forgiveness just as we?

We simply ask that you read this with an open mind, a humble spirit, and a contrite heart. This is the attitude of all who seek God’s will and find it, and this is the attitude required to obey it." (Page 4)

For further reference, Stacy Leigh's blog is HERE, and her husband's is HERE.


stacyleigh14 said...

Wow, thank you for the comments and the link to our paper and blogs! We honestly desire to spread knowledge about birth control so that couples can make *truly* informed decisions. I hope this doesn't create a firestorm of controversy on your blog! :)

Elizabeth said...

Thanks Nicole for sharing this information! As a certified FertilityCare Practioner for the Crieghton Model, I teach women and couples how to learn their signs of fertilty and infertility so that they can make decesions together with God. The coolest thing that I have seen over the past 3 years teaching it, is how much it strengths a couple. It's no wonder why there is only a less than 2% divorce rate for married couples who use a natural system to plan their families. Unlike taking the pill, the couple is responsible together to make decesions related to their combined fertility. It alievates so much pressure on the woman and the man (for condom use) and it is just as effective as birth control pills when using the system to avoid a pregnancy, 99.5%. A system as such embraces the "inner soul of our sexuality," as John Paul II shared in his Theology of the Body because one is not uses the other for personal gain or pleasure. You are inviting God to be always present. Sexuality is so much more than intercourse-- its about loving eachother and communing together spiritually, physically, emotionaly, and creatively...

I probably have way to much to say about the subject as it is my second career to being a stay at home mom, but I have trully seen transfomrations in mariages by its use.

Plus, as an added bonus a woman can finally understand her body.. She can pick up on signs that might suggest a risk for miscarriage, low progesterone, a cysts or infertility. And their is a way more effective method to help treat such underlying problems- NaProTechnology.

If anyone is interested or would like more info, you can check out
you can also email me any questions


ms. tea said...

just a word about the whole preventing implantation = abortion argument:

it is misleading to assert that by taking hormonal birth control that thins the uterine lining, women on bc are unknowlingly aborting fertilized eggs that can not implant.

in fact, 30-60% of all pregnancies are spontaneously and naturally lost in the first three months -- half of them so early that they are unrecognizable as pregnancies.

Many ob/gyns will tell you that a woman could shed hundreds of un-implanted, fertilized eggs with her period in her lifetime, without ever knowing it.

Now think about the probability here, if 30-60 of pregnancies are naturally lost in women who are not suppressing their ovulation, how many fewer would be shed by a woman whose ovulation rates are between 85 and 90% less frequent than the non-bc user?

Now whether unimplanted, fertilized eggs really are babies, is not for me to say, but the fact of the matter is that a woman who is not ovulating, or ovulating a whole lot less often than a woman on her regular cycle, is a lot less likely to even release an egg which could then be fertilized and eventually spontaneously, naturally lost than the woman not suppressing her ovulation at all.

Sarah said...

Thanks for posting this Nicole. As women we all have to fully know our options, the risks, the benefits and the reality of what we are doing to our bodies.

Christians should talk about it more often. I think there is a tendency in the church to go to extremes and fully reject one thing and advocate another without taking into account a couple's spiritual maturity, thus denying grace. I appreciate the tone of this article and wish more Christians could react this way. I also appreciate that they say contraception is both the man and the woman's responsibility. However, this approach assumes a healthy marriage, which, sadly, isn't always the case even among Christians.

Sarah said...

Wow, Thanks Nicole! I haven't read the article yet (I will after work), but I am so grateful for your friend Elizabeth's reply and resources! I so dearly don't want to take the pill, but don't know what else to do. I would love to be more in-tune with my body's natural cycles rather than artificially controlling those cycles with hormones ..Thanks for posting, knowledge is power!

nicole viola said...

My response to your comment is this:
Just to clarify, I don't assert, nor do the authors of that paper I think, that women on bc are aborting babies on a regular basis, but there seems to be enough research done to assert that it is possible, and does in fact happen, as even the drug companies will agree. This is something I just don't want to chance.
I don't doubt your statistics about miscarriages that happen without us knowing are so common. And that said, if it's going to happen naturally like that, then that's God's prerogative- and most likely something was wrong genetically with that fertilized egg. I've come to be okay with that conclusion after my own 3 miscarriages.
However, if I had a fertilized egg that wasn't able to implant (but that normally would have) because of hormones from the pill, that's what would bother me. A pregnancy that aborts on its own is one thing, but one that does so because of what the pill is chemically doing to my body is another.
Some women have no problems with the pill, even after seeing the research, and I don't judge them for that decision, as it is their own. I personally just never felt right about my body being controlled by artificial hormones.

Carly said...

Interesting. Remember that not all women take "the Pill" for birth control reasons. Yes that is its main function but it also helps women with intermittent bleeding, hormonal imbalance, and emotional and physical symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder � just to name a few. Speaking as someone who has used birth control for a few of these reasons I am thankful it is out there. Sure there are homeopathic solutions which I use in addition, but I truly believe that my menstrual problems would not be under control without the help of the Pill. I see your reasoning for posting an essay such as this and commend you for being bold and firm in your beliefs. My beliefs are no different than yours except that I am able to see a few benefits to using the Pill from personal experience.

Elizabeth said...

If I could mention something about using the BC for medical benefit... while many women (including myself for 5 years) are given the pill to help alievate PMS, ovarian cysts, painful periods, heavy bleeding, etc to see some initial improvement.. the pill is rarely really helping but in fact actually just covering up the real issue at hand. Women- it's okay to be irregular, there is a reason why you might have a longer cycle or a shorter one-- the problem is the insistance of the medical community and drug companies alike to hand out the "magic pill" so you can be "normal." Have bad acne- take the pill, tired of having a monthly cycle- take the pill, the list goes on and on...

Believe me, I have struggled with gynecologic issues for a long time and was even told by my 3rd surgeon and 5th OBGYN that I probably would never be able to have children on my own. I have wittnessed and know first hand the deceptions and frankly bad information given by doctors to patients.

Many of my clients suffer from PMS and while BC might have provided some relief, there is an underlying reason why they had such symptoms... and once that was addressed with proper supplementation they felt like a new woman.

Same for those who have irregular cylces or premenstrual bleeding... The body is exhibiting such signs as way of letting the woman know that something is functioning abnormally... taking the pill masks the problem at hand and ignores the true cause.

If anyone is having some abnormalities or irregularities with their cycle, or infertility issues, I highly recommend checking out NaProTechnology and working with a medical consultant. Problems that go undetected and treated with the pill can lead to more problems down the road.

Women- we deserve better. True femenism embraces our womanhood, not destroys or supresses it.

stacyleigh14 said...

Very well said, Elizabeth.

The Avilas said...

wow. Lots of comments on this one. I will keep my short. I have to say that I completely disagree with this couple. Strange how people can research the same thing and come up with completely different conclusions. My OBGYN, a devot christian and president of the pro-life movement in SLO county, prescribed me b/c as soon as I was ready. I also think it is kinda harsh to that they think just because we have a different opinion, that we must not be educated on the subject. I am very educated on it...I would never want to hurt a baby....but believe that b/c is safe for me.

Guess I have to go back to what I say on vaccines and epidurals(which I also believe in)...to each his own.