Wednesday, February 22, 2012

the pill: ya I'm just gonna say it

My opinion on the HHS contraception mandate is this: it doesn't matter what the mandate is, it's a violation of the First Ammendment to the United States Constitution. As one writer says, "Contraception is not a right. The ability of a church to uphold its doctrine–that’s a right."

If you haven't heard about President Obama's recent gross violation of our religious liberty in the form of a contraception mandate, you can read about it here and here.

The situation in a nut shell is this: the president has now mandated that all employers purchase healthcare coverage for their employers that covers all FDA approved contraception (birth control)- that includes Plan-B and IUDs as well as forms of sterilization. The Catholic Church, among others, are entirely morally opposed to such methods and are outraged about the mandate. As well all should be!

But why is the Catholic Church so upset?
Why do they oppose these methods of birth control?

The Lord laid it on my heart years ago to stop using the birth control pill. I was on it for several years at the beginning of our marriage. It's what you do. You get married, you are having sex, your doctor gives you a perscription for "the pill".

We don't think twice about it. We certainly don't ask any questions. And if we do, we get very generic responses. They don't tell you that it's on the list of Class 1 carcinogens. They don't tell you that blood clots are a serious risk when you take birth control. They don't test you for blood clotting disorders that have no syptoms (so you wouldn't know you had it until it was too late) before putting you on a pill that will increase your chance of clotting.

Birth Control
source

And they don't tell you how they work.

But you need to know how the pill works.

As Christians, we don't ever have the luxury of claiming ingnorance. We are held accountable for our actions. We are called to know the truth and to live it. But as with many truths, knowing it will cost you something:

But the trouble with deep belief is that it costs something. And there is something inside me, some selfish beast of a subtle thing that doesn't like the truth at all because it carries responsibility, and if I actually believe these things I have to do something about them. ~Blue Like Jazz

Are you ready to learn the truth?
Here is how hormonal birth control works:

1. It inhibits ovulation. The levels of progesterin in the pill sort of "trick" your body into thinking it's already pregnant. Therefore it doesn't relsease a new ovum at the time in your cycle when you would normaly ovulate.

if that doesn't work

2. It thickens your cervical mucus. This inhibits sperm from making it's way up the vagina, into the cervix, through the uterus and to the ovum.

if that doesn't work

3. It thins the endometrial lining in your uterus. This inhibits an embryo, a newly formed human life, from attaching itself to the uteran wall. When the sperm fertilizes the egg, life begins. This newly formed embryo travels down from the filopian tube into the uterus where it will implant itself into the wall. In order for the embryo to "stick", the lining has to be thick and full. If it isn't, then the embryo won't attach and will be expelled. What I just described, is an abortion.
It's impossible to know how often the 3rd occurence actually happens, but it's safe to say that it does happen. And we cannot ignore that fact. We cannot claim ignorance.

We have to err on the side of life, always.

Fetus week 9-10 source

It's kinda like saying, "I'm going to demolish that building over there. It's old and unused so it's going to be imploded. There is a chance that someone may be in that building because I haven't checked. But I'm pretty sure there isn't because it's old and who would go there? But, like I said, someone could be in there. Either way, I'm going to implode it anyways, because I'm pretty sure." (example from 180 movie)

If someone said this to you, would you stop that person? Would you tell them to investigate further? If you weren't 100% positive, would you still take the risk?

No. And we cannot take the risk in this area either.


Let me just say this: My intention is not to be legalistic on this issue. I encourage everyone to do their own research, pray, search the scriptures, discuss it with your husband and other wise counsel and make a decision for yourself.

My intention is, however, to get you to think about the implications. As Christians, we don't have the luxury of making decisions without consequences. I know of too many Christian women who are on the pill because it's just what you do. But have you actually looked at the facts? Do you know what the Bible says about life? Do you know when life begins? Do you know prenatal development?

My desire is for you to know the truth and to live it outThe responsibility is now your's.

Further Reading:
Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?
How birth control is used to sell abortion

For alternatives to the birth control pill and other hormonal contraceptions, you can read this post.

28 comments:

  1. Jessi,
    Thank you so much for this post. i was actualy talking to a friend/coworker last night about abortion and this topic. You have put it simple and clear. Birth Control is not healthy for your body or for bearing future children.

    Thank you!

    You are such a wise woman and i so enjoy reading your blog. :)

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  2. this is such a great post jessi. Thank you for sharing and for your passion for life! It's so encouraging!

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  3. Right after my husband and I were married I read an article on birth control by randy alcorn. I also blogged about this, though not so eloquently, here http://www.5ohwifey.com/2011/06/pregnant.html Love this post

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  4. I love this! I love that you referenced the 180 Movie, I wish everyone were mandated to LEARN. Not to have something unnecessary and potentially deadly.

    Just know when you write posts like this, you truly do reach others and sometimes change their minds.

    Much Love <3

    xoxo

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  5. what about those that don't want children? Are we to trust that the rhythm method will work? My best friend's wife has MS...she's able to live her life, except they cannot have babies because she will most likely pass along the disease to the baby. She takes the pill, which not only prevents bringing a baby with special needs into the world, but it also relieves her of some of her symptoms because it tweaks her hormones to a perfect balance that helps her live somewhat normally.

    If a life is created at conception, then let's see how it survives outside of the womb! A simple biology lesson would help you understand the difference between a "human" and a "embryo". we don't see many embryos walking around, and the day we do we'll call it life. It's so simple to brush off the realities of modern living, yes we live in 2012, not 1950. Please, find it in your guarded Christian heart to see that NOT everyone can live the way you and the extreme right wish. Roe vs. Wade was passed so we can CHOOSE what we want to do with our bodies, just as you can believe in whatever you want to believe in because of the 1st amendment. Think before you rattle off some public rant about how you think birth control is so horrible. Think before you overlook the millions of reasons people can't or don't want children. Simply, think about what you're saying and how it may not apply to every single person. This argument is as old as our parents, and their parents!

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  6. Anonymous,I didn't feel like this was a rant at all. I think she specifically called on other Christians to know a fact about something they were doing. They are who believe life begins at conception and so the argument against it is invalid. Having MS is obviously horrible but it doesnt prevent your friend from using the pill to prevent symptoms and then using the rhythm method, condoms, and pulling out to prevent conception. That is what I would suggest All married couples who don't have a health reason to take the pill do as well. For those unmarried I would say if you can't handle the reponsibility or don't have the desire or having a child than don't have sex.

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  7. Amen, I love this.God bless ya girl

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  8. very well said. Loved every part of it. Side note, dont need birth control just to stop from having babbies. We have never had an accidental pregnancy. This goes back to having a compass of beliefs and sticking to it.

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  9. I love this post, I feel the exact way. Been married for almost a year, never once have I been on birth control and am not pregnant. It will happen when it happens, and when it does, we will be blessed beyond measures! Life is so beautiful and should be taken seriously. Wish I knew more women like you :)

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  10. Freedom of speech is great and I applaud Anonymous for speaking up. Freedom of religion is also a right and just because you follow yours doesn't mean everyone does. Looking at the world with one view is the wrong thing to do. President Obama has worked to provide health insurance to those that would not have one (that sounds like what a good Catholic would do, right?), and he's ensuring that WOMEN get to choose their best option for themselves and their family. I don't understand why someone would think that is wrong. I'm a Catholic and would never dare judge others for what they have to do and I suggest you don't either.

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  11. I don't find this to be a gross violation in the least. Just because the coverage for birth control is provided, does not mean that a woman is being FORCED to use it. It is just there for those women who choose to do so. It should be an option and choice for every individual woman. I do agree with you that women need to be informed on the effects of the pill and not just blindly take it because that's what you do.

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  12. Good for your for taking the stand. We need more people who openly share the truth like you have just done.

    SoUtHeRnPiNkY.bLoGsPoT.cOm

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  13. I think you make some very interesting points. However, I have to ask about women (like myself) who've had 3 c-sections. I cannot have 8 or 10 c-sections.

    there are medical reasons people need birth control.

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  14. To anonymous who most recently commented: I wish I could email you back with a suggestion for your situation. In a case where you and your doctor have determined that it is medically unsafe or unrealistic for you to have more children, you have the option of sterilization. In fact, under Obamacare right now, sterilization for women is covered under most or all health care plans. You have the option of "getting your tubes tied" or your spouse can get a vasectomy.

    A legitimate medical issue is not a good enough reason to risk taking the life of your own children. On the pill, the patch, the ring, etc, there is always the chance for an abortion. You have other options. You can read my follow up post with alternatives to the pill here: http://thiscameratellsmystory.blogspot.com/2012/02/alternatives-to-birth-control-pill.html

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  15. You have completely missed the fact that the government was only requiring their health insurance companies to provide contraceptive coverage, not these institutions themselves. If churches wish to be absolved from government restrictions, they can simply start paying taxes and work as private industries. (Something they should be required to do anyway, since they've decided to become political bodies.) No one is forcing you or anyone else to take the pill. That is your religious right. Once you step on my health insurance that I as a private individual financially contribute to, you've violated my freedom to be free of religious intrusion in my life.

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  16. Anon- You apparently have compeletely missed the point of my post.

    But besides that, no I have not missed the point of the contraception mandate. The Obama Administration is forcing all companies (it doesn't really matter if they are religious institutions or not at this point) to provide healthcare plans that pay for hormonal birth control methods and sterilization. That means, employers will be forced, against their conscience to pay for birth control (something that many are opposed to because of religious conviction).

    Does "freedom of religion" mean that we only get to practice our religion in our homes? Or only when and how the government allows? That is not freedom in any way, shape or form. I should not be forced against my conscience to pay for something, to provide something, for someone else that I am morally and ethically opposed to. That is a violation of my religious freedom.

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  17. I didn't miss the point at all. What exactly makes your conscience more valuable than anyone else's? As far as I'm concerned, it's morally and religiously reprehensible to make someone else's healthcare decisions for them. Unless these healthcare plans are 100% paid for by the employer, the employee is contributing to them as well, with their.own.money. Therefore, the employer is probably not even paying for the portion that goes towards contraception. Furthermore, what if I find having scores of children to be morally reprehensible? I pay for people having multitudes of children indirectly through my large health insurance plan. Pregnancy, childbirth, and children, cost far more than birth control and sterilization do. However, because I respect the PRIVATE choices of others, I don't complain. How would you like it if it were mandated that no birth control was covered - but neither was pregnancy or childbirth beyond the first or second child? That would would be imposing a moral judgement on others - and it would also be wrong. It's a two way street. This is a secular nation, and our laws are written as such. If these institutions are so concerned, they should only hire people of their religion - and they'll quickly all go out of business. You are allowed to practice your religion however and wherever you please. When you get in the way of something someone else has paid for, you are violating their religious freedom. This has nothing to do with money, and everything to do with imposing your beliefs on others. Not to mention that these rants are largely hypocritical - 98% of catholics admit to using birth control at some point in time. If they can't even follow their own religion, why should I? Where do we draw the line? Are scientologists allowed to forgo healthcare altogether for employees? Are you going to start enslaving people from neighboring countries? The bible says you can do that too!

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  18. Umm actually Planned Parenthood does tell you about blood clots, and I still somewhere have the many pamphlets on how birth control works (inhibiting ovulation, thickening cervical mucus etc.) So you're actually wrong in saying that people are completely uninformed when they chose to go on birth control.

    And I am extremely thankful that I have the choice to be on birth control. How awful it would be if that freedom was taken away.

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  19. First of all, I'm glad that you got the right information from PP so that you could make an informed decision. Although, sadly, that is not always the case. And nowhere did I say that all people are "completely uninformed". Obviously there are plenty of people who do their research and ask the questions. But all too often, our doctors put us on birth control without an explanation. My point is simply to do your own research and make your own deicions, based on conscience.

    Secondly, I never said I wanted birth control to be illegal. In fact, if you read the second to last paragraph, I make it clear that we all need to make our own informed decisions.

    But I would like to make the point that no one is entitled to the use of or the access to birth control. And there certainly is no entitlement to free birth control, as the current president would like to make us all believe.

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  20. Um... What? No one is "entitled" to access to birth control? Are you kidding me? No one is asking for free birth control. All the Obama mandate said is that health insurance must cover birth control with no copay. In case you missed the memo, health insurance is something that people pay for, rendering said birth control not free. The current president knows that preventative medicine is way cheaper than after the fact care. Health costs are out of control. This is a way of controlling those costs. Not everyone has the absolute luxury to stay home with children! Babies are expensive, especially unplanned ones. If you choose to fight your biological urges and not have sex, that's your business. I pay a lot of money for my health insurance, and you'd better damn well believe that I expect it to cover safe and inexpensive medication. Most preventative care is free under most health insurance plans, because it's cheaper that way!
    You clearly have no regard for anyone other than yourself. How godly of you.

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  21. Not only are people asking for free birth control, but thanks to Obamacare, and this HHS mandate, they will be getting it. According to the law, all preventative care must be covered by health insurance; in fact, it already is. But soon, birth control will be added to the list of preventative care because, apparently, pregnancy is a disease (yes that is my sarcasm, not medical opinion). Here is a list of the preventative care covered: http://www.hrsa.gov/womensguidelines/

    And while I didn't receive such a memo stating that health insurance is something that people pay for, I know that from personal experience. Do you think I just magically get mine for free? I pay $300 a month, out of my own pocket, for an individual plan that covers my family. And guess what it doesn't contain: maternity coverage (which is thanks, again, to Obamacare).

    As I've stated before, babies are not expensive, lifestyles are expensive. I have a child. I do understand that there are costs involved. In fact, with out next one, I will be paying $3600 out of my own pocket to cover my midwife's fee. And I'm okay with that because honestly, I don't believe maternity care is medical, nor should it be covered by health insurance. Like taking birth control, it's a personal choice, a lifestyle decision. If I want to have children I should have to pay for it. If you want to use birth control, you should have to pay for it, out of pocket, not discounted or free.

    And to say that preventative care is "cheaper" is dishonest. While I agree that prevention will lead to lower long-term healthcare costs for each individual, prevention coverage by insurance companies has actually driven prices up. Because healthcare companies are now mandated by government to cover this so-called preventitive care (I say so-called because not all of the care they cover is preventitive of disease), the healthcare companies are placing those costs on the consumer's shoulders in the form of higher premiums. I've watched my healthcare prices go up substantially in the past year for this exact reason.

    The same will happen with contraception costs.

    When the government mandates that a private entity cover something or provide something, the costs will inevitably fall back onto the shoulders of the consumer. We've seen this recently with bank and atm fee increases. You never really get anything for free.

    But I guess you're right. I'm only concerned with myself. I would never want healthcare costs to come down because I'm so rich. I didn't work hard to save what little money we could scrap together in order to provide for my family, instead of lazily living off the government dole. I must not care for all those people who can't afford healthcare because I don't want government controlled, run and mandated socialized medicine.

    You see, I would much prefer a system where people are free to make their own decisions. One that allows them to shop in a private market, with lower, competitive rates. One that allows them to shop across state lines. One where they pay directly for a service and where they decide where they want to spend their own, hard-earned money based on the service provided. Socialized medicine allows for none of that.

    End rant.

    ps- If you get pregnant and can't afford the cost of the pregnancy and/or childbirth, there are several programs to help with those costs. If that doesn't work, there is something really wonderful and fantastic called adoption. Perhaps you should look into it.

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  22. What a BRAVE post! I am impressed with your candor and I appreciate that you shared your heart and honesty here unabashedly! I applaud! Usually the liberals are the one's with the loud voices! It is so refreshing to hear a conservative point of view like this one!

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  23. I know Christian family's who have too many children and that are basically starved from nutrition because of the financial strain on the family's income to provide ????

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  24. I first have to say that it's a terrible thing to say that someone has "too many children." That is a negative perspective and basically like saying that children are too much of a burden and not worth it. Should they have not had some of their children at all? I wonder how those kids would feel about that statement. According to God, they are a blessing. He as blessed that family.

    But aside from that, I'm confused by your comment. Are you suggesting that we should be providing free birth control for people who are poor and have "too many children"? In that situation I would suggest using a natural family planning method. It costs nothing at all and is actually pretty effective if used correctly.

    But again, as I stated in my post, the decision whether to use birth control needs to be a personal decision made based on conversations with your spouse, considering scripture and through prayer. I'm not laying out a blanket suggestion for everyone, but I do know we are all held accountable for our decisions. Excuses don't work with God.

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  25. While I am definitely pro-choice, I applaud you for this post and for stating your opinion. Many people are afraid to do that! I think the advent of birth control has been an overall good thing for our world but I do agree that women should learn more about it - not for the same reasons as you state regarding defining abortion, but because it does have adverse health effects that are not taught or talked about. I personally use a non-hormonal IUD because I don't agree with those side effects. I'm on the opposite side of the spectrum where I think having children is a sin for anyone, but I enjoyed reading your point of view and think it was very well-articulated. It's good for all of us to have this discussion. Cheers!

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  26. Well said. Thank you for so bravely communicating truth that so many are afraid to share.

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  27. I just saw this post, and I love it. I did the same thing, I got a birth control prescription before we got married. A year into it I just had this feeling I needed to stop taking it. Not only that, but we lost our health insurance the day before my appointment to get another prescription. We've used alternate methods since that don't affect my hormones (since the pill royally screwed up my natural hormone balance while I was on it), and we've never looked back. My mom was furious with me for getting off the pill, but I know it was the right choice and that God didn't want me on it for whatever reason. So glad you posted this!

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  28. I absolutely love and agree totally with this post.

    I would like to point out that this post seems to be directed at people who believe that life begins at conception. (I do, as well). To anyone who does not believe that life begins at conception, of course this argument does not make sense to you. You have total different moral background, that will cause to to make different moral choices. Jessi is first of all writing to 1) inform people what birth control does and 2) to inform Christians that it should be unethical for us to take it. Those of you with different morals will of course not understand nor adopt this, and that is understandable, through sad.

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