By John Taylor
As a catholic
pharmacist, whenever the opportunity arises, I try to inform and counsel young
married couples against the various unnatural means of avoiding pregnancy. While
I am usually unable to go into the Church’s understanding of the Natural Law as
it pertains to married relations I can usually offer them information on the
Couple to Couple League which promotes Natural Family Planning or simply warn
them of the abortive effects of “The Pill” which are commonly prescribed and
It’s been my
experience that many non-catholic Christian couples are unaware of the abortive
effects of the oral contraceptives.
The following is the
statistical information which I can usually share without sounding too
moralistic in the hope that the Holy Spirit will do the “convicting”:
There are 60 million
women worldwide “on the pill.”
occurs between 2 to 10 percent of these women cycles. That means that inspite of
taking the Pill (which is intended to prevent ovulation) ovulation occurs 14.4
to 72 million times per year.
60 million women
x 12 cycles per year
= 720 million cycles
720 million cycles
x 2 to 10 %
breakthrough ovulation (0.02-0.1)
= 14.4 to 72 million
cycles (with ovulation)
The overall conception
rate for sexually active couples is 25 percent.
If ovulation occurs
14.4 to 72 million times per year among the 60 million women worldwide on the
pill then you would expect 3.6 to 18 million pregnancies to occur inspite of the
Pill’s suppression of ovulation.
14.4 to 72 million
cycles (with ovulation)
x 25% overall
conception rate (0.25)
= 3.6 to 18 million
But the Pill has a
“failure rate” of less than 1 percent. That means among the 60 million women on
the Pill less than 600,000 get pregnant within the year.
What has happened to
the other 3 to 17.4 million pregnancies we would expect given the Pill’s known
rate of breakthrough ovulation?
60 million women
x 1% “failure rate”
for The Pill (0.01)
= 600,000 pregnancies
18,000,000 expected pregnancies
· 600,000 pregnancies
due to Pill’s failure rate
= 3 to 17.4 million
expected pregnancies unaccounted for.
The answer is that the
Pill’s effectiveness in preventing pregnancy does not rely totally on its
ability to suppress ovulation. The Pill also alters the lining of the uterus
such that if ovulation occurs - and when conception occurs - the fertilized egg
is prevented from attaching to the mother’s womb (the process of nidation) and
is instead aborted, silently without even the mother’s knowing.
The “pill” produces approximately 150 chemical changes in a woman’s body and not
one of these is beneficial.
There are basically
two types of birth control pills, those that are estrogen based, and those that
are progesterone based. The pill works by inhibiting ovulation and by changing
the lining of the inside of a woman’s uterus (called the endometrium) so that if
the woman does conceive she will often have an early abortion. Both pro-abortion
and pro-life groups admit that the pill causes early abortions.
The birth control pill
increases the risk of breast cancer by over 40% if it is taken before a woman
delivers her first baby. This risk increases to over 70% if the pill is used for
four or more years before the woman’s first child is born. Other side effects
are the development of high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke, heart attack,
depression, weight gain, migraine, dark spots on the skin and difficulty with
breastfeeding. Diabetics who take oral contraceptives may note increased sugar
levels. Some women who stop taking the pill do not have a return of their
menstrual cycles for a year or longer. Although the pill decreases ovarian and
uterine cancer, it increases liver and cervical cancer. Studies have shown that
the AIDS virus is transmitted more easily to women who are taking the pill and
whose partner(s) has the HIV virus.
Barrier methods: The
condom and the diaphragm: Condoms have a failure rate that is estimated to be
between 10-30%. There are several reasons for this such as breakage or slippage
during use, defective condoms that have been damaged or poorly manufactured in
the factory, and cracked condoms second to irregular storage conditions such as
those that are stored in a hot or very cold place. Condoms do not adequately
stop the transmission of the AIDS virus.
Suppose you were going
to take an airplane to across the country and had your choice of ten different
flights. Then you were told that at least one and possibly as many as three of
the planes would crash. Would you be willing to take that gamble?
Although the diaphragm
is a barrier method of birth control and so it theoretically does not cause
early abortion. At least one study has noted that women who use barrier methods
such as the diaphragm or condom, or the withdrawal method, had a 137% increased
risk of developing preeclampsia in future pregnancies. Preeclampsia is a
condition that some pregnant women get which consists of a syndrome of high
blood pressure, fluid retention, and kidney damage, which may eventually lead
to, prolonged seizures and/or coma called eclampsia. It is theorized that the
male’s sperm has a protective role against preeclampsia.
Now, what about
spermicides in conjunction with their barrier method. A spermicide is an agent
that is designed to kill the male’s sperm and is often sold as a gel or as an
ingredient in the vaginal sponge. Toxic Shock Syndrome has been associated with
the spermicide sponge. In addition, at least one researcher has noted that
couples who have used certain spermicides within a month of conception have
experienced a doubling in the rate of birth defects as well as a doubling of the
rate of miscarriage.
"The Shot" and
Norplant. Depo-Provera is the name of a hormone, which is a type of sex hormone
called a progestin. It works by decreasing ovulation and by changing the lining
of a woman’s uterus. Norplant is another progestin that is placed into
rubber-like tubes and placed under the skin of a woman and left there for up to
five years. Norplant and Depo-Provera are abortificients; both cause an early
abortion when conception does occur. Women who use Norplant will probably
experience more than one abortion each year since the average woman ovulates in
more than 40% of her cycles while taking Norplant. Depo-Provera may
theoretically cause just as many abortions as Norplant since it is also a type
The results of the two
major world studies have shown that women who take Depo-Provera for two years or
more before age 25, have at least a 190% increased risk of developing breast
cancer. In addition, Depo-Provera may reduce a woman’s bone density, and worsen
a woman’s cholesterol level. Another researcher has found that women who had
received injectable progestins (i.e., usually Depo-Provera) for at least five
years and who had used them at least five years ago, suffered a 430% increased
risk of obtaining cervical cancer. Several studies have shown that women who
receive injectable progestins have a much higher rate of contracting the AIDS
virus if their partner has it, with one study showing a 240% increased risk.
Norplant, which was developed later than Depo-Provera, has received less
scrutiny, but may carry just as high a risk as Depo-Provera. In addition, over
50,000 women have participated in lawsuits against the manufacturer of Norplant,
citing complaints of irregular bleeding, scarring, painful muscles and