Here’s Part 3 of my journey to Natural Family Planning (NFP). You can read Parts 1 and 2 here and here.
This is where it gets controversial! Last summer (2012), I somehow stumbled upon some research on birth control pills and how they can possibly cause abortions. What?!! I am completely 100% against abortions, so I started reading. I found this book, “Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?” and bought it on my Kindle. I was shocked at what I read. Of course, I read a bunch of other stuff, too, but even knowing that this is a possibility had me horrified.
Basically, the pill works several ways to prevent pregnancy. One way it works is by thickening the cervical mucus so that sperm have a harder time getting through to the awaiting egg. That’s a very simplified explanation, but you get the gist (hopefully). The pill also is supposed to inhibit ovulation, though many women still ovulate while on the pill. A third way the pill works is by changing the endometrium to reduce the likelihood of implantation.
Stay with me here, I’m tryin not to get too technical. That all sounds well and good. You’re not supposed to ovulate on the pill, and if you do, don’t worry cause your cervical mucus has hopefully been changed to be basically hostile to sperm. And if that fails, still don’t fret about pregnancy because your uterus has been changed so that it is now hostile to a fertilized egg. Wait. What? An already fertilized egg? Yep.
This is where the true controversy lies. Your reaction to this depends on your opinion on where life begins. At conception (which is when the egg is fertilized) or at implantation (which is when it beds down into the uterine wall and sets up camp for pregnancy).
My view is that life begins at conception. If your view is different, I’m not saying its wrong.
So the pill, if the first 2 birth control mechanisms fail, is designed to prevent the fertilized egg from making its home in the uterus, effectively killing it. (Because it has to attach to the uterine wall to get nutrients to survive, it can’t live in there on its own.) If you say life begins at implantation, then this is not a problem for you. The fertilized egg never implanted, so life wasn’t destroyed, just an egg. But if you’re like me and say that life begins at conception, when sperm and egg meet and their respective DNAs combine to make something new, then this should be a huge problem, if you’re against abortion. It was for me, at least.
Even though I knew the chance of the birth control pill’s first two mechanisms failing and conception occurring were extremely low, in my mind there’s still a possibility, and I couldn’t bear the thought of aborting my child, whether intentionally or not. I also know that plenty times birth control pills fail completely, resulting in a term pregnancy. But if there’s any chance at all that my baby could be aborted due to the pill, I couldn’t keep taking it.
After much prayer, I decided to stop taking the mini pill last summer. I knew DH and I needed another method of “birth control,” though, so I started new research. That’s when I found out about Natural Family Planning/Fertility Awareness.
Part 4 coming soon…