The Harms of Contraception

Reproduced with Permission
One More Soul

There are several reasons why we believe that the use of contraception harms everyone involved. The first reason is that the use of contraception leads to abortion. Several "contraceptives" are in fact abortifacients. That is, they cause early abortions. All oral contraceptives, Norplant, Depo-Provera, and IUDs cause abortions before a woman even knows she's pregnant. According to Dr. Bogomir Kuhar, in Infant Homicides Through Contraceptives, these forms of birth control take an estimated 8.1 to 12.75 million lives each year. Contraceptives also cause abortions through their failures. All contraceptives fail, some quite often. Even surgical sterilization has a failure rate. Although the failure rates may be fairly low, still the fact that they even exist should be a warning. Each "failure" results in a new human life, a new baby, an actual woman facing an unplanned and often unwanted pregnancy. These pregnancies are much more likely to end in abortion.

Contraceptives made the sexual revolution possible. Once people discovered that they could have sex without the possibility of pregnancy, or with a greatly reduced risk of pregnancy, they began to disregard the traditional structures that had protected children and sex for centuries. Although most contraceptives, like the pill, were originally intended for use within marriage, they were soon prescribed for younger and younger unmarried women. Since contraceptives fail, this led to an upsurge in the numbers of out of wedlock and teenage pregnancies, and the number of single parent families. With the increase in premarital sex, and the average number of different partners one person might have, the rate of infection from sexually transmitted diseases skyrocketed. Even the number of serious sexually transmitted diseases soared, from about twelve known diseases thirty years ago to over fifty today. The diseases themselves changed, from easily treatable, known diseases, to more and more destructive ones - culminating in the AIDS virus. There is some evidence that some contraceptives, especially hormonal contraceptives, might even make the user more susceptible to STDs.

Contraceptives can help destroy marriages. Even as early as four years after contraceptives were first tested, researchers found that marriages in which contraceptives were used were twice as likely to end in divorce than marriages in which there was no contraceptive use1. Why this huge difference? Well, using contraceptives means that a couple's fertility is suppressed, and treated like a disease. They are no longer able to share themselves with each other totally in the sex act. There is a barrier erected between them. They are closing one part of themselves off from each other, and from God. Often the couple soon begins to become dissatisfied. The wife begins to feel that the husband does not desire her, only her body. The husband begins to feel that his wife doesn't really want to have sex with him, that she is cold, and constantly requires him to beg for sex. These attitudes gradually poison their whole relationship. With this crucial part of their marriage gone bad, soon other problems develop. Before they know it, the couple is in divorce court, dividing up their mutual property.

Contraceptives treat children like a disease. We have to take medicine, or have surgery done to prevent them. When a couple does become pregnant in our modern culture, it is more an occasion of condolences than congratulations. A pregnancy after a couple has one or two children is treated as an unfortunate mistake, which any couple will be careful to avoid in the future. As Christians we know that this attitude is wrong. The Bible tells us that children are a gift from God. They are His blessing on those whom He loves. An abundance of children is an expression of God's special favor. What right do any of us have to refuse a gift from God? Instead of the world's attitude that children are bothersome nuisances that prevent us from enjoying our hard earned wealth, we know that any amount of wealth is useless if you don't have children to pass it on to. We believe that all children are good, and beautiful things. Although some pregnancies may occur under tragic circumstances, each child is an occasion for celebration.

Contraceptives degrade women. From the day in junior high when a woman menstruates for the first time, a woman's fertility is a huge part of her life. If her constantly changing hormones were not enough, for five to ten days every month she gets powerfully reminded again and again that this body of hers was designed to conceive and bear children. When a woman uses contraceptives, she and her partner are actively rejecting this essential fact about herself. Her ability to become pregnant, one of the biggest determining factors of her life, becomes unacceptable, and a burden. Because most contraceptives are designed to be used by women, when they fail, and a pregnancy occurs, it is "her fault." She is expected to "deal with" her mistake, usually by having an abortion. The father of the child, although he is as responsible for this child as the mother, feels free to abandon both of them. After all, since the contraception wasn't his responsibility, why should he be responsible for the result of the contraceptive failure?

Hormonal contraceptives, besides being abortifacient, have horrific side effects for the women who use them. From high blood pressure to blood clots2, to heart attacks3, to migraine headaches, to menstrual problems once you quit taking the drug, hormonal contraceptives (the pill, Norplant, and Depo-Provera) can wreak havoc on a woman's body. Although there are undoubtedly other factors involved, it is no coincidence that the rise in breast cancer followed ten to fifteen years after hormonal contraceptives first became readily available4. It is also no coincidence that women who have been on the pill for years, are finding that now that they want children, they are infertile5. Infertility is becoming a national plague, with couples spending hundreds of thousands of dollars trying desperately to conceive. Undiscriminating doctors have been, and continue to become wealthy prescribing contraceptives and then treating the side effects.

Finally, we believe that the use of contraception is wrong, because that is what our Church teaches. Although it has come under serious fire both from within and without, the Roman Catholic Church has never changed its centuries old standing that contraception is morally wrong, and that its use is a sin. Many Catholics have been deceived into believing that the Catholic Church has changed its teaching, or that it doesn't matter anymore, often by their own parish priest or bishop. This is not true. We challenge every believer to find out the truth, examine their own consciences, and live up to the standard that our Church has set for us. It's never too late to make a change.


1 Grant MD, Ellen Sexual Chemistry: Understanding Our Hormones, The Pill, and HRT. Mandarin Paperbacks, London, 1994. [Back]

2 Demulen (1993). Physicians Desk Reference, 2254 [Back]

3 Thorogood M, Mann J, Murphy M, Vessey M (1991). Is oral contraceptive use still associated with an increased riskof fatal myocardial infarcation? Report of a case control study. Br J Ob Gyn 98, 1245-1253 [Back]

4 "RCGP Breast Cancer and oral contraceptives: Findings in Royal College of General Practitioners' study." BMJ 1981; 282:2089-93. [Back]

5 Rowland, R. Living Laboratories. Lime Tree, London 1992. [Back]