When I worked for Planned Parenthood, I said this ALL of the time. “The only way to reduce the number of abortions is to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. The only way to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies is to increase the supply of contraceptive methods.” I wish I had a dollar for every time I said that to a legislator or a media reporter, a client or even myself.
It seems to make sense when you look at it, but really, it makes no sense at all. It was just another justification I used to lie to myself over and over again to help me feel better about the abortions I was party to. “I am just trying to decrease the number by working here!” Yeah, right.
Studies show that contraception DOESN’T actually reduce the number of abortions. A recent study actually showed the opposite; the higher the contraception rate, the higher the abortion rate. Interesting, huh??
Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s hired research firm, actually showed similar statistics. On their website, they illustrate how 60 percent of abortive women stated that they were using a contraceptive method at the time they got pregnant. Hmmm. I thought the “typical” (failure) rate of hormonal and barrier methods were around 5 to 10 percent. Guess someone got that wrong!!
Here’s the truth from my personal experience with this. I rarely counseled a women who was having an abortion that wasn’t using a method when she got pregnant. That is the truth. Yes, there are some women who say, “well, I just wasn’t using anything!” But, most were using something; condoms, the pill (most common), depo, IUD… SOMETHING!
And OF COURSE they would be on a method! Our society today makes women feel like it is riskier NOT to be on a hormonal method, which is totally ridiculous. It’s risky TO BE pumping artificial hormones into your body!! These hormones have been linked to reproductive cancers, strokes, heart disease, osteoporosis, nerve disorders, future infertility, food allergies, metabolic disorders, and many other things!!
Somehow we think it’s riskier NOT to take them?? We think getting pregnant is riskier than those diseases I previously listed? Really? Do you know what makes this even better? All of those risks are listed in the package insert, but no one takes the time to read them, and your doctor sure doesn’t take the time to go over them with you.
Doctors give out birth control pills like they are handing out M&M’s. They treat women like we’re too stupid to understand our bodies, as if we’re second class citizens when it comes to health care. However, to be honest, we are partially to blame to for that. We have allowed this happen.
Birth control enslaves women to their fertility. It puts all of the responsibility on them, which is exactly what it was intended to do. Birth control was made so that people could have sex without consequences. What has happened since then? Women are turned into sexual objects for men to yearn for.
However, we’ve allowed ourselves to be lusted after, all for a society of sex without consequences. That is not what sex was intended for. That is not what fertility was intended for. Fertility was meant to be a shared partnership between a husband and wife. A partnership that is open to life, where the possibility of life is not seen as a burden, but a gift.
Now, I am practical. I’m not saying that you have to pop out kids like you change your socks. My husband and I have chosen to use Natural Family Planning, the Creighton Model. It is a very advanced form of fertility management that allows both partners to be involved the way it was intended.
That model may not be for you. You may choose something else. But, I think if women actually knew the dangers of hormonal birth control, it’s likely they wouldn’t take it.
There is one more point I would like to address. When do you think life begins? I believe life begins at conception, when the egg and sperm meet. Conception is the point when DNA is formed and, simultaneously, when a human life is formed.
If you also believe life begins at conception, then you should have a hard time getting behind hormonal methods. Hormonal methods work three ways. One way is to prevent ovulation, but if that fails and “breakthrough ovulation” occurs, then conception can occur.
Another way hormonal methods work is by irritating the uterine lining to the point that a fertilized egg, a human person, would not be able to implant on the uterine wall and begin to grow. So, the woman passes the fertilized egg, the human person, with her cycle and miscarries without even knowing it.
It’s sad, but it happens so MANY times while women are on hormonal methods. That is why people will say that hormonal methods have an abortifacient property in them, because they can actually cause an abortion.
There is a really great documentary made called “28 Days on the Pill.” I encourage people to check it out. It was actually created by Protestant ministers.
We need churches to get on board with this and stop pushing the pill and other methods within their congregation. The pill is not healthy for women or for marriages. There are other ways that are better and don’t take the lives of children. People need to know the truth.
Cindy Magee says
WOW! I had no idea of this information about the pill and the abortifacient properties of it. Thanks so much for the information!!!
Julie Culshaw says
Hi Abby, thank you for your bravery over this past year. I heard the telecast last night and you are in my prayers daily now. Your voice is critical in this battle for life. And that means your enemies will be out to attack you but the Lord of life is on your side. God bless you.
Angela Welliver says
Thank you Abby for saying what needs to be said!!! Artificial contraception is a form of enslavement….and not good for relationships. My husband and I also use NFP, but the Billings method. We love it! And we are reducing our divorce rate by using it, how great is that?! I hope more people will take the time to check out NFP and find the NFP method that works best for them.
You know, i used the pill many years. I was very sure that, if i got pregnant, i was never going to abort a baby.
But usually people don´t think like this. People think “wow, pills and other stuff are not 100% safe, so, why not abortion?!”
This is sad, it sounds like children are the responsible for all evil things that can happen in our lives.
Well, pills started to get me sick, and when i learned that they can be abortive, I stopped to use. I feel much better know, and have my counscious in peace!
Abby,First I want to thank you for your courageous journey you have chosen to walk on with the Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator of all life! I want to challenge you as a sister in Christ to read the WHOLE COUNCEL of God’s Word with an open heart and mind. To seek what He says about child bearing and pregnancy and children. You did sayu: “Fertility was meant to be a shared partnership between a husband and wife. A partnership that is open to life. Where the possibility of life is not seen as a burden, but a gift.” This is the truth of Scripture…but then you went on to say a rather negative statement that more reflects the death culture of Planned Parenthood than life and the heart of God–you said: ” Now, I am practical. I am not saying that you have to pop out kids like you change your socks.” Fortuneately God’s ways are not our ways, and His ways often look “unpractical” to the world. I know my God and what he cares about is the heart of His people to be like His heart. Natural family planning has the same heart condition as Planned parenthood…no matter what you call it it is man wanting to control and plan instead of man surrendering to God’s plan. And man thinking they know better than God when and how many children they should have, instead of trusting the One who opens and closes the womb and knits that child together to know what is best! I pray that one day the pro-life movement will be a pro-child movement and a pro-God movement and begin believing that all children…no matter how many you might end up with as a result of uniting with your husband is a blessing….and they would never come as frequently as “changing your socks” even if you never did anything to CONTROL the fruit of your womb. I am excited to see what the Lord does in and through your life as you continue to surrender to Him and His Word!
Proverbs 3:5&6–Psalm 127:3-5
Abby Johnson says
Bonnie,You need to learn more about NFP. You clearly do not know what the intentions of it are. It is about being open to life. If you use it as a contraceptive method, then you are using it incorrectly. NFP IS NOT LIKE PLANNED PARENTHOOD’S METHODS. That is actually an incredibly offensive statement. I know exactly what God says about child bearing because THAT’S WHAT NFP IS BASED ON. I encourage you to do some research on NFP and its correct use. NFP is never about control. It is about sharing and intimacy. But that doesn’t always mean sex.
Love what you’re doing and I agree that birth control causes weird reactions – it caused intense anxiety for me. However you mentioned that there is a link between food allergies and hormonal birth control. Is that documented somewhere? I thought there was no known cause of food allergies and I’ve never heard of this link.
Abby Johnson says
It is actually in several of the package inserts. Many things are printed on those inserts that you would NEVER think would be linked to birth control. It is pretty scary.
Abby, in response to Bonnie,
You very clearly summed up exactly what NFP is. I was asked by my church to become an NFP teacher, so I have been taking very in-depth courses to learn about all that NFP is, and I have additionally been looking into both sides of the story, those that promote NFP, and those that don’t. I have also used NFP since the beginning of marriage.
In its very intrinsic being, NFP is and never will be just another form of birth control. NFP is a method of teaching couples the detailed relationship between husband, wife, and God. It is a trio not a duo, and through NFP God has a clear hand in EVERY part of the relationship, every part of the couple’s fertility. There are no chemical barriers, heck, there are no barriers at all! There is a complete openness to life, even if the couple has prayed and discerned that this is possibly not the right time to try and conceive.
That does not mean, Bonnie, that they are not open to life. They are, and could still conceive. However, as moral beings, we are called to live a chaste life both before marriage, AND
Sorry, my child hit enter before I finished!
I was saying, that does not mean, Bonnie, that they are not open to life. They are, and could still conceive. However, as moral beings, we are called to live a chaste life both before marriage, AND within marriage itself. That chastity comes through periodic seasons of abstinence, which is not, nor ever will be against God’s teachings on love and life. This can be the biggest marriage-saver possibly, because couples get to know each other on a more personal level, not just a physical level (which is what is missing from so many relationships).
I do know God has a plan for all of our lives, and through our openness to Him, he can work wonders through us!
Great post, Abby. Wish more people understood the truth and beauty about NFP!!
Abby Johnson says
Stacey,Totally beautiful!! Thanks so much for your wonderful description of NFP!!
Carmen Melliger says
THANK YOU! I am a 29 year old mother of 5 WONEDERFUL gifts from God, my children. You should check out “Sex Au Naturel” by Patrick Coffin. It completely justified NFP to me, while being greatly entertaining.
Hello, Abby. Thank you so much for sharing your message. It is interesting what you wrote about why don’t more churches promote life and stand against abortion and contraception. The Catholic Church has always held a firm stance in defense of life and against artificial contraception. Prior to the year 1930, Protestant churches did as well. Another great book in addition to Patrick Coffin’s book is one I read before I got married and began practicing NFP. It is titled “Sex and the Marriage Covenant” by John F. Kippley. I passed it on to my friends and they all chose to practice NFP as well. They are all Protestant (I am Catholic) and had never been told about the morality of taking birth control. As Christians, we need to stand together to protect life at every stage. Keep up the good work!
Angela Welliver says
Something worth mentioning…God created times of infertility, which is what NFP is based on. Following God’s plan we can use the fertility he gave us or the infertility he gave us. We must prayerfully consider what God has in mind for our family and of course the beauty of NFP is it leaves the final decision in God’s hands.
I forgot to mention this the other day, but did you know that there is a Catholic, NFP-only OB/GYN that just opened a clinic in Austin? Praying that we will have one in Houston soon!!
Here’s the link to their clinic website:
I just finished your book and was moved throughout and challenged by the example of the prayer warriors on the other side the fence.
I did want more closure to the questions you were asking on p 186 of the book. I am so happy to find your blog that addresses some of these issues.
I also use NFP and wish more non-Catholic churches offered this info.
If anyone lives in San Diego County, there are two Protestant NFP instructors: Linda Crawford offers classes at Camp Pendleton in the North County, and Sharon Pearce offers classes in the Kearny Mesa/Serra Mesa area, or in Chula Vista.
A ministry my church supports offers this info on there site. http://www.silentvoices.org
Abby, God bless you and your new ministry!
Brenna Duprat says
Interesting info, thanks. I would just to mention that even the Mayo clinic agrees that vigorous exercise while pregnant can be good for you.
Hi Abby! Just wanted to let you know that I loved your book. This post is also very near and dear to my heart, because understanding what contraception is – and how it goes against God’s plan – was a huge reason I eventually was called home into the Catholic Church, and have never been happier! So thanks for all you do to promote the dignity of women, of life, and of God’s gift of sexuality. I will keep you in my prayers!
Abby,I asked my OBGYN about the abortifacient properties of “the pill” that she recommended to control menstrual cramps. I had already refused an IUD for this reason. She told me to discuss it with my priest and assumed I was Catholic(I’ve only been going to her for 15 years) but as she should know, I am not even religious, like most of her patients at the elite New England university where I receive my care. I also have a blood clotting genetic condition but risked my life to go on the lowest dose pill because of the severe pain of cramps, they were that bad. A year and half later, I developed breast cysts and in looking into those, micro calcifications were found in the other breast. These may or may not have grown into full blown breast cancer but needed to be removed for biopsy. When I asked my surgeon, who teaches and does research at another top ranked Ivy League school, if I should continue on the pill-she made it very clear that I stop taking the pill immediately. I asked if that may be why I had the problems that I did and honestly, I got the feeling that she might have wanted to say yes but couldn’t. She said that all the evidence is not clear in either direction but repeated that I should stop and not go back to taking the pill.
I also agree with your thesis that all the focus on the pill and other forms of contraception cheapens women and makes them into playthings, toys. Disposable, and we wonder why we have such high rates of depression. Deep down inside, people know.
Aren’t we supposed to be intelligent beings, capable of insight? Why do we expect that all people will act like mindless bunnies or farm animals and be unable to control their urges? Why people who otherwise consider themselves feminists or pro women’s rights don’t see the disconnect of what they say is beyond me. They want men to control their urges and respect women in the workforce and not harass them and have zero tolerance for anything less (rightly) but then they think the wholesale disrespect of women that this culture of “easy sex at no cost thanks to free condoms for all and abortion” is equality? Well, actually it’s not beyond me how they can think this, otherwise smart people can still be brainwashed.
Susan B. Anthony wasn’t falling for these tricks and was anti abortion for the reasons that it cheapens women and absolves men of their role and responsibility in a pregnancy. I think that fact about SBA makes many feminists very uncomfortable. Furthermore, it is my own belief that the true costs and effects of rape are also hidden from our society because of our incorrect and inhumane ideas about abortion. Thank you for being brave enough to tell the truth. We need more people like you and they are coming. My daughter is 17 and is part of the first generation to grow up with parents that have been able to have honest conversations about so many things that generations before did not. Abortion is one of those things. She figured out that she was an unplanned pregnancy, she is smart, plus earlier generations may have lied more out of shame but I did not. You can’t find another person anywhere that takes this issue as personally as she does.
I had three appointments to have an abortion 17 years ago but never went. This was in Massachusetts, where everybody around me kept telling me it was just cells and I had a great job that I should not risk with a pregnancy. Even my friends who were raised Catholic said this stuff. I’m so glad my daughter was born. She best thing that ever happened to me ever! And her little sister too! Love You!
awesome! wish this would have made it into your book.
You will be such a blessing to the community on the contraceptive issue. Praise God. Janet Smith says we can’t end abortion until we deal with this contraceptive issue.I thank God for your conversion.
Thank you for this! I recently wrote about just how contraception leads to abortion, in secular history, in church history, and then just logically.
God bless you for speaking out on this issue.
Randy Alcorn’s book ‘Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?’ is a fantastic, thorough resource.http://www.epm.org/resources/2010/Feb/17/short-condensation-does-birth-control-pill-cause-a/
Brownback correct about Kansas support to defund PP « Kansans For Life Blog says
[…] how is it possible any longer to swallow the claim that contraception lowers abortion? Abby Johnson admitted she became pregnant 3 times while using contraception. A2000 study by Planned Parenthood’s own […]
I am just so thankful for you and your work. God has been teaching me so much lately about the issue of abortion and stirring a passion inside of me for more people to see the truth about this horrific practice!
Thank you for being an example of someone speaking up for the truth! you inspire me. keep up the great work.
Katie McMahon says
Your book was amazing! I laughed and cried along with you as I read it. I had such a hard time putting it down. I always saw all pro abortion people as hard hearted who never care about anyone or anything but themselves and money. Whenever I would go to pray in Rockford, IL, I always tried to win them over with prayers and kindness, but they were so cold! Now I see that not all are like that. A lot of them do care about the women, they just have been led the wrong way and are leading others the wrong way. Thank you for showing me this. I am getting involved in the prolife movement here in Madison. I just signed up to volunteer for the pregnance care center including their helpline, and I am really excited!!! 🙂 God bless you and your work and God bless all Americans especially the unborn!!! 🙂
This is something I feel conflicted about. Of course I know firsthand that women get pregnant while using contraception. In fact, I myself was conceived that way. But, the group I belong to, All Our Lives, supports the availability and use of contraception based on research indicating that the pill and EC do not affect the uterine lining.(Feel free to check out our online presentation “Family Planning Freedom is Pro-Life.”) One of our board members ultimately choose sterilization because she got pregnant on birth control and pregnancy posed a significant threat to her health/life. She carried her baby to term because of her pro-life convictions and, like the rest of us on the board, continues to oppose abortion. However, she is one example of birth control having a positive role in the preservation of women’s health. The hope is that people who are unwilling/unable to be abstinent will have access to contraception and at least be at less risk of a pregnancy then they would if they had sex without any method at all. The hope is also that if a pregnancy does occur, such women and their partners will find the resources necessary to aid them in their journey of carrying to term. So, again, I certainly don’t want to be party to something that causes abortion, but I don’t think that birth control has to have that effect.