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The Pill

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 dispensed.

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.”

Breakthrough ovulation 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 expected pregnancies

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

3,600,000 to 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 of progestin.

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 headaches.



Copyright © 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved