Birth Control, Contraception Don’t Stop Abortion, Help Women

Opinion   |   Kristan Hawkins   |   Aug 19, 2011   |   1:02PM   |   Washington, DC

I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been asked what my stance is on contraception. It’s not breaking news that many oral contraceptives and some invasive barrier methods (IUD) have been proven to cause abortion, including the highly controversial ella and Plan B drugs, and I stand firmly against the use of anything that destroys a life created at conception. But what about contraception that prevents conception from taking place?

I’m not the only one who has gotten this question; people want to know how the pro-life movement as a whole feels about this.

In fact, the medical students we reach out to face this question on a daily basis.

This question is a hard one to answer, which is why many avoid it: What is the pro-life movement’s stance on contraception, including methods that prevent conception?

As a physician, what is the right decision to make when a woman asks for birth control? What if she is living below the poverty line, has 3 or 4 children, hasn’t obtained a high-school diploma, and is co-habiting with a man who needs to support her financially? Presumably, she’s aware of the possibility of pregnancy and could be afraid of how she will feed and clothe another child.

What do you say?  What’s the pragmatic response here?

Here’s how I think that conversation should be started:

1) Birth Control, no matter what form, doesn’t prevent abortions. In fact, it provides a false sense of security.

The Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s own research arm, released study showing that condoms fail 14% of the time. That’s enough to provide some concern, especially when coupled with the Guttmacher’s own numbers showing that over half of all abortions are on women who were using some method of birth control. This is a cry in the face of pro-abortion propaganda claiming that if women had better access to birth control, abortions would become unnecessary.

Well, clearly not.

Contraception gives women a false sense of security, and condoms and birth control clearly can’t be relied on as a fail-proof method of stopping a pregnancy from occurring.

2) Birth control comes with it’s own complications and risks. It some cases, it’s deadly for both the child and mother.

Aside from condoms, oral and invasive methods of birth control come with their own complications. In addition to blood clots and strokes, chemical contraceptives have been proven to end the life of a preborn human mere hours or days after conception by thinning the uterine lining and making implantation more difficult for the developing person. Invasive methods that are implanted into your upper arm or uterus come with the same set of risks to both the mother and child. The most common form of hormonal contraception, the pill, has been categorized by the World Health Organization as a Group I carcinogen. That’s the highest possible ranking; cigarettes are also Group I.

One only has to read the inserts that come with chemical contraception, listen to commercials for hormonal birth control that spew out a long list of side effects, or glance at Facebook ads calling for women who took Yaz birth control pills to contact a law firm to join the lawsuit (google Yaz and lawsuit!) to grasp the unbelievable amount of life-altering consequences of imbibing hormonal birth control.

3) Condoms and birth control are everywhere. You can obtain them for free, yet the abortion and STD rate hasn’t fallen.

Planned Parenthood and county health departments have been giving out free condoms and birth control for years. Yet, the unplanned pregnancy, abortion, and STD rate in America has failed to fall and, in the case of STDs, has significantly increased. Despite this evidence, the Obama Administration just issued a new ruling forcing all health insurance plans to cover birth control with no deductible.

What’s even more scary is that Planned Parenthood knows this. They actually rely on the failure of the contraception they provide to increase their abortion profits.

4) Finally, and most importantly, birth control – in any form – is a Band-Aid.

It seems like the best way to answer the question regarding the pro-life stance on contraception is to emphasize helping women as a whole instead of handing out a temporary “fix”.

Dolling out free condoms isn’t social justice. Handing over a pack of pills to an uneducated mother living in poverty with a man who doesn’t respect her enough to marry her isn’t restoring proper relationships in her life. At the end of the day, what have you accomplished? You’ve just acknowledged her tragic situation by implying, “I don’t know how to help you”, or, “I don’t have time to help you, but here, use these and hope for the best.”

Protecting women from the scarring trauma of abortion and repairing broken relationships in her life seem to be the best way the pro-life movement can restore true social justice – Christian justice – to this woman’s life.

These are my thoughts on how we can make a real impact, but the pro-life movement needs to come together and agree on one answer to this question.  Unity will only help us protect more women and the pre-born from the injustice of abortion.