Posted at Purely Presbyterian:
In this series we will evaluate the use of birth control in light of Scripture. Additionally, we will demonstrate that the unanimous position of the Church as a whole down through history has been one of opposition to birth control until very recently in the west. We will examine the dominion mandate, the purposes and duties of marriage, lawful and unlawful reasons for abstaining from sexual intercourse within marriage, and lastly the sin known as onanism. We will look at these things not just exegetically, but we will also consider how the Church has always understood these concepts.
We will start with the possibility of some forms of birth control to cause an abortion, as well as health risks associated with birth control, societal impacts of birth control, and a brief history of the ancient use of birth control.
At the outset, before we get into the biblical teaching and testimony of the Church on contraception, it is imperative to establish the fact that many forms of birth control are abortifacient. The Bible teaches that human life begins at conception (Jer. 1:5; Ps. 51:5; 139:13, 16) but many birth control methods prevent fertilized eggs from implanting on the uterine wall, effectively killing the conceived human being. Every hormonal birth control method has the possibility of causing an abortion because they thin the lining of the endometrium which will not allow a fertilized egg to implant. Pills can prevent conception, but they can also cause abortions.
When fertilization is not prevented, hormonal birth control methods commonly cause the expulsion of an embryo prior to implantation by changing the lining of the uterus so that it will not accept an embryo and by changing the way the fertilized ovum travels down the fallopian tube.
Post Fertilization Mechanisms
Some sources will claim that hormonal contraception can not cause abortions because they consider an abortion as occurring after implantation and any death from conception to implantation is not considered an abortion in their view. “By saying ‘conception,’ but meaning ‘implantation,’ it became possible to market hormonal birth control pills as contraceptives—as something that prevents ‘conception'” (Can Birth Control Cause an Abortion?). However, this is not an acceptable premise for Christians who believe the Bible and that life begins at conception. See this video illustrating the ovulation, fertilization, and implantation cycle and how birth control affects it: How the Pill Works as an Abortifacient.
Barriers, spermicides, and sterilization surgeries are not abortifacient but the other 11 of the 20 birth control methods are abortifacient, having the potential to destroy a conceived human being. The 11 listed by the FDA are oral contraceptives (3 kinds), patches, intrauterine devices (IUDs) (2 kinds), vaginal rings, injections, emergency contraceptive pills (2 kinds), and implantable rods. Therefore, no Christian should use that type of birth control regardless of one’s beliefs about preventing conception.
The rebuttal that many babies die naturally between fertilization and implantation is common, but not a legitimate argument. Many elderly people die naturally as well, but that does not support murdering them after a certain age.