Category Archives: Pro-life

Pastoral Q & A: The Morning After Pill

Can a Christian woman use the “Morning After Pill” as emergency contraception?

Let’s first be clear what we’re talking about.  The “Morning After Pill” is often marketed under the name “Plan B,” though there are other drugs and brands.  This is not RU-486 (mifepristone), a drug that causes abortion typically later in pregnancy.  The MAP is regarded as a form of emergency contraception — it’s for when other ways of preventing a pregnancy have either failed or been neglected.  The question is whether this is something Christian women can take advantage of.  To answer that, let’s imagine two scenarios.

Scenario 1

A young unmarried woman has been having sex with her boyfriend.  On one occasion, they forget to use their normal method of contraception.  She’s concerned that she may get pregnant, so she goes to the pharmacy for “Plan B.”  She takes the tablets and does not become pregnant.

Scenario 2

A woman in her 30s (with four children already) believes it would be unwise for her to have any more children.  She and her husband normally use a barrier method of contraception.  On one occasion, they forget and she’s concerned that she may get pregnant.  So “Plan B” is the answer.  As in the first scenario, no pregnancy results.

In both situations, the MAP/Plan B seems to prevent an undesirable pregnancy.  In both situations, the woman claims to be a Christian.  In both situations, the woman first goes to the Health Direct website of the Australian government (or equivalent) and is relieved to read that the MAP does not cause an abortion.  Instead, it simply stops or delays ovulation and it may also prevent sperm from reaching the egg.  But “if the sperm has already fertilised the egg, it is too late and the pill won’t work.”  So, going with the official information, neither scenario has caused an abortion.  No life has been taken.  Therefore, there is apparently no ethical issue with the Sixth Commandment (“You shall not kill”).

We need to think about this more carefully.

The first thing we need to reflect on is the actual facts regarding the MAP/Plan B.  The Health Direct website (and others like it) does not tell the full story.  The truth of the matter is that there are studies which suggest that the MAP can have an abortive effect (even the Wikipedia article acknowledges this — with sources).  If an egg has been fertilized, the MAP can prevent that human life from continuing to live in the womb.  No one can categorically say with 100% certainty that the MAP never causes early abortions.

That should change the way we look at this.  In pro-life circles, we sometimes use the illustration of a building about to be demolished.  Before a demolition company levels a building, they have to make absolutely certain there are no people in the building.  If there’s a shred of doubt about whether somebody’s still inside, you don’t level the building.  Similarly, if there’s any doubt about whether the MAP can cause an abortion, we would not take want to take that risk.  We would never want to have blood on our hands, even by accident.

So, let’s go back to those two scenarios.

The first one is the most ethically problematic.  If the young woman in the first scenario claims to be a Christian, she is almost certainly self-deceived about her spiritual status.  You cannot be a true Christian and be actively engaged in any premarital sexual relations (Hebrews 13:4, etc.).  That would be living unrepentantly in sin — “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9).  And if a woman in a scenario like that takes the MAP, she could be adding sin against the Sixth Commandment to her sin against the Seventh Commandment.  If she really wants to be a Christian, she must turn away from her life of sin, seek God’s forgiveness in Christ, and follow the Lord.  That will include accepting the consequences for her sexual sin, including, if it so happens, any pregnancy which might result from it.

The second scenario is somewhat more challenging.  I believe married Christian couples can have lawful reasons for using certain methods of contraception.  For example, a woman may struggle with severe postpartum depression which may leave her incapacitated for months after a birth.  She may feel suicidal or even homicidal.  In such cases, couples are wise to limit the size of their family using lawful means God has made available.  However, what if those means fail?  One thing we can say with certainty:  abortion of any sort or the possibility of an abortion is out of the question for Christian couples.  The MAP is not the answer in this scenario.  The couple has to prayerfully accept what God may bring.  If he brings them the conception of a child and they cannot see themselves clear to caring for another child, then adoption (to another Christian family) may be the best option.  But here again, using the MAP and possibly sinning against the Sixth Commandment must be ruled out.

Let me conclude with what I would say to someone who has taken the MAP.  I’ll be direct:  you may have caused an abortion.  Perhaps you did it ignorantly, working only with the information provided on official government websites and so on.  Perhaps what led you to take it was what the Bible describes as “sin with the uplifted hand,” deliberate and intentional living in sin (i.e. premarital sex).  But, whatever, the case may, if you did cause an abortion, this is not an unforgivable sin.  God’s grace in Jesus Christ is available for all who repent and believe.  God’s grace is big enough to cover this too.  However, let us respond to his grace with a hatred for all sin and a love for all life, even at its earliest stages.


Preborn Human Rights

Canada is one of a handful of countries that has absolutely no laws governing abortion.  The other two countries besides Canada:  North Korea and China.  We have no business lecturing the Chinese about human rights violations when we ourselves are among the worst offenders.  In our national anthem we sing of a country “glorious and free,” but the reality is something different for thousands of unborn human beings each year in Canada.  A new campaign has just been launched to bring attention to this national travesty.  My prayer is that this initiative will be richly blessed by God.  It’s time to speak up about the injustice and violence that’s perpetrated in our land behind closed doors each day.  May God make our land glorious and free for all, including for those who have not yet been born.


Abortion and Gelada Monkeys

One of Canada’s longest running radio shows is CBC’s Quirks and Quarks.  Each Saturday, host Bob MacDonald features a series of clips on different news items from the world of science, medicine and technology.  I’ve been listening to this program on and off since I was a kid.  It’s always interesting – and you can always count on MacDonald to bring in the “E” word:  evolution.  It’s a subversive approach to convincing the Canadian public of this doctrine, as if the sheer repetition of something week in and week out will make it true.

The February 25, 2012 edition of Quirks and Quarks took the evolutionary agenda one step further.  One of the segments was about gelada monkeys.  These baboon-like monkeys live in the highlands of Ethiopia.  They live in a harem structure – with one male gelada monkey heading up a harem of many females.  When a new male monkey takes over a harem, the females that are pregnant typically miscarry.  If they don’t, the new male leader will often kill the infants and newborns.  The theory is that the females miscarry in order to “cut their losses” and start over.  They typically are impregnated by the new male leader in a short period after their “spontaneous abortion.”  Of course, this is regarded as an adaptive strategy, something that has evolved for the advancement of the species.  Monkeys have allegedly evolved with abortion as a way to maintain and improve their kind.

The researcher, Dr. Jacinta Beehner, made it clear that that the female monkeys don’t choose to miscarry.  It’s something that spontaneously happens.  They don’t deliberately cause the loss of the unborn monkey in any way.  Yet, throughout the interview, MacDonald continued to speak about the female monkeys making a choice in the matter.  The expression “cutting their losses” was used repeatedly by MacDonald.  It was pretty hard not to read between the lines.  The Quirks and Quarks website makes it even more clear.  It speaks of female geladas spontaneously aborting their pregnancy, as if they have a choice.  We’re told, “Essentially they are ending investment in offspring in-utero that have no future.”  Hmmm….not too subtle.  Caveat auditor – let the listener beware!

(Originally published in the March 2012 issue of Reformed Perspective)


Heidi’s Story About the “Choice” of Abortion

ARPA Canada posted this video recently and it’s worth watching.  Israeli troops storm ships and spark world protests.  Meanwhile, unborn children die every day at the hands of abortionists and most are calloused and indifferent.  It’s shameful.