When does life begin? At what point does the soul come into being? At birth? Before? Maybe somewhere after the "alien-looking" stage of development? Perhaps when human form begins to take shape? Or is it at conception? Your answer to this question should drastically affect your views on abortion. Of course, for most Christians, the Sunday School answer would fall of their lips quickly: "Life begins at conception!"
If this is the case, I venture to say that we are going about our fight for life in the wrong way. Myself included. It hasn't happened on purpose; in our appeal to human reason we have sought to use human emotion. The pictures of those tiny bodies, murdered and tossed away like garbage, would tear at any decent person's heart; and I'm sure the right-to-life displays across college campuses have, in fact, turned many to face the reality of their "choice." Indeed, I am not one to criticize heavily the logic and emotional appeal of any debate whose end has been the saving of even one life.
However, if life truly begins at conception, where does that leave the little souls whose bodies haven't developed to the point where they can tug at our hearts? Take a moment to look at the life pictured above. Endearing? Not really. A life...just as living as a newborn baby? Absolutely.
These tiny human humans, packed into only a few cells, contain a soul which is just as full as yours or mine. This is a soul which was planned by God...just as yours or mine: a soul that is precious to God.
It is often said of aborted babies that they have no voice...no defense against political policy, greedy doctors or selfish mothers. How much more voiceless are these whose bodies are yet unrecognizably human? How grievous that these precious souls have become neglected and cold in our emotions. Just how far has the church gone in accepting this? It is hard to say. Below are some things to consider.
1. Morning After Pill: According to Planned Parenthood types, the morning after pill does not cause an abortion:
"The Morning after pill will...help prevent the egg from traveling down the fallopian tubes and implanting in the uterus if you have already ovulated. The morning after pill reduces the chance of getting pregnant; it does NOT cause an abortion." -All Womens of New York abortion clinicInteresting. It would be easy to grab this information and hold it to be true. I have often heard something like this quoted; but, let's look at this: the problem is that these people have a different view of life than "life begins at conception." Here is what is happening: The tiny egg is fertilized: conception. It journeys along, being guided by God's hand to the uterus to attach itself for growth. This is where the pill comes in. The hormones given alter the wall of the uterus, making it impossible to sustain the attachment of this tiny soul. With nowhere to go, the fertilized egg must be flushed out of the system: discarded before it was given a chance to grow. Thus, by one pill, his/her life is ended.
Do we, as Christians, shed as many tears over this lost life? Do we view this procedure as heinously as we view partial birth abortion? I am afraid that we do not. In fact, I know of some Christians who don't even have a problem with the morning after pill; after all, they say it isn't causing abortions, don't they?
2. Birth Control Pill: Okay, I know that I am walking on sensitive ground here. But for those of you who have put up a wall already, please just hear me out.
In those lovely days of wedding planning and marriage preparations, the issue of birth control inevitably came up. Was it as easy of a task as making an appointment with my doctor to get myself on "the pill"? No. You see, earlier I had come across a book which shocked and saddened me. The book is entitled "Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?" by Randy Alcorn, and I believe he made an argument-winning case for the answer of "yes, they do."
Now, before you go asking around to find one answer you like in order to ease your conscience, hear my story: After reading this book, I went to my doctor for answers. (Keep in mind: this is a Christian doctor who I have known and trusted as my physician for my entire life.) The answer I received was "no, the pill does not cause an abortion." Now I was confused. I knew this doctor was strongly against abortions, so how could he say this in light of the evidence? The accepted position on the pill is that it doesn't cause abortions. If that is also your position, I urge you to read the book by Randy Alcorn (which can be found in the links below).
I also talked to a family member who is a nurse about this. She also gave me a defensive "no." answer, claiming that if it is taken properly it will never cause an abortion. My question to that is: What if it is not taken properly?
Now, I have heard that things have changed since my days of birth control searching (we don't do birth control anymore but that topic will be saved for another post). If that is the case, great! However, for those of you who really do believe that life begins at conception, I would urge you not to get your facts from random quotes claiming that the b.c. you use is safe for the baby. Don't ask if it causes an abortion: "abortion" is subjective as I have shown above. Ask this: Does this pill (or whatever form you use) alter the lining of the uterus or in any way make it hard for a fertilized egg to survive?
I am also aware of many pro-lifers who do not believe this information to be true, but the fact is: it is being debated. Which side would you rather err on: overprotection or under protection of these lives.
One more story: my mother bore 4 children. She always felt that there was another one...one she had lost. It wasn't until later that the form of birth control her doctor prescribed was found to cause early miscarriages. Of course, she immediately discontinued it, but had there been another child? She will never know in this life. Do you want that to be your story? She was innocent: she didn't have any warnings. If you have read this far, you do have a warning and with knowledge comes accountability.
Oh these dear tiny lives! How much longer will we sit in church saying "amen" to an anti-abortion sermon while we continue to approve of the smallest of humans being discarded; even in the midst of our own congregation? I would encourage you to spread the word in whatever way you can.
Sometimes I wish that we never would have opened the womb to the camera's eye. Sometimes I wish that "pregnant" still meant "with child" no matter how far along you were. Sometimes I wish our culture was different. But it is not. The good news is that God is still in control. He is in control of Scientific progress, cultural views and morality degression. And all is being worked together for His will and His glory. Yet, He still calls us to stand for truth, fight for morality, defend the weak. Therefore, fight this battle with all that is in you but rest in the peace that God's will cannot be defeated, even if it appears that we are loosing the war.
Below is a link to a sight with multiple articles (including the entire Randy Alcorn book; it is short) addressing the issue of birth control and abortions. I have looked at many of the articles but not all of them. The bottom line is: if there is a chance that the pill may not be safe for your baby, do you want to take that risk?
please note: I do not subscribe to all this websight has to say: I haven't even read it all. But the links they give on this subject are very informative.
Here is an example from one article:
The "birth control pill" is also not merely a contraceptive. Although it is designed primarily as a contraceptive, it is not always effective as such . . . and when it is not effective, it has a "back-up" mechanism that is clearly abortifacient! The "pill" has three mechanisms of action. You can easily look them up in the Physician's Desk Reference.
1. It attempts to suppress ovulation. When successful in this action, an egg is not released and conception, of course, cannot occur.
2. It thickens the woman's cervical mucus. Thus, the sperm are restricted from moving up the reproductive tract. This is also contraceptive.
3. However, the "pill" causes certain changes in the uterine lining so that if conception does occur, the new life meets a hostile environment when it arrives in the uterus 6 to 10 days later. It cannot implant. It dies. This is abortifacient. As you see, this is similar to the IUD.
I also came across this blog which I found helpful with links of both positions:
May the Lord direct you in your quest for the truth of these issues.
Related Tags: Abortion, Birth Control, Birth Control Pill, Pill, Zygote, Natural family planning, Morning after pill