Birth Control.

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Birth Control.

Post by Audrey on Sun May 22, 2016 7:35 pm

Hey guys. I apologize in advance if this topic is too mature or in the wrong place on the forum; when I messaged Belle about a topic kind of on the subject in the SS, she agreed with me that it was probably best here. 

I'm really curious as to what you guys think about birth control. One of the main reasons Christians say you shouldn't have sex before marriage is to prevent any unwanted pregnancies. But with birth control (whether it be condoms, which are readily available, or actual BC women take) being so common among women (and with male birth control being developed, it'll probably be available for men soon), is that really a relevant reason? Condoms alone are 96% effective according to a study I read recently, and depending on the BC, it's around 99%+. 

Also: What do you guys think about it within marriage? (I'm genuinely really interested in these responses:p) As in, using it to prevent having children even when you are married. Is that disobeying God's commandment to be fruitful and multiply (or other verses I can't recite off the top of my head)? Are you of the belief that God will bless you with as many children as he believes you should have, and birth control is just hindering that?

Personally, in case you're curious: I know for sure I won't want kids till at least age 30 or so, probably longer. And I do plan on hopefully getting hitched before then. I want time with just my spouse (a lot of time) before throwing a kid into the mix. Not to bring up the Duggars (as I tend to do), but I don't agree with what they say about having kids right away; Jill (I think it was her) had a baby within nine months of being married. I don't think you can really enjoy your time with your spouse when you've just been married if you're pregnant/raising a kid. If BC is what it takes to not have an unplanned pregnancy, I am 100% for that idea, even if there are a couple side effects:p
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by War Doctor on Sun May 22, 2016 8:12 pm

This is exactly the type of topic this forum was created to have. 

So I'd contest that one of the main reasons for not having sex before marriage is to prevent unwanted pregnancies. I think there is a deeper theological reason that sex is a sacred act and should not be done outside the sacrament of marriage. 

As for those percentages it's really tricky to read statistics on birth control because studies tend to be wildly different in two areas; proper use and length of use. So for example many studies that have high percentages of effectiveness assume that BC will be used properly and perfectly each time and the length of time they are being used is relatively short instead of for a year or more. Variations of those two criteria produce drastically different results.

I think that it's totally fine to use BC in marriage. I don't see a command to have as many children as physically possible. That is actually unhealthy for both the children and the mother.

I also don't think it's wrong to wait to have kids, my own parents waited several years to have kids and I'd want to wait too.

What do you think some of the side effects of BC?
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by Audrey on Sun May 22, 2016 8:38 pm

War Doctor wrote:This is exactly the type of topic this forum was created to have. 

So I'd contest that one of the main reasons for not having sex before marriage is to prevent unwanted pregnancies. I think there is a deeper theological reason that sex is a sacred act and should not be done outside the sacrament of marriage. 

What do you think some of the side effects of BC?
Hurray! I'm glad this forum exists.

Oh yeah I agree with the deeper theological reason for sure. But in my experience, parents tell their children even if they aren't a Christian family to not have sex before marriage because of the unwanted pregnancy thing. Probably should have specified there were other reasons:p 

I'm not quite sure what you're saying. I'm going to answer "What do you think OF some of the side effects of BC" rather than what i think some of the side effects are, because you could just google that:p 

As a girl who's probably going to go on it, I'd rather face the side effects than have an unwanted pregnancy. My mom had a bad experience with it in the past (not to get too personal, but she lost a lot of blood and ended up in the hospital), but that was also in the 90s and I'm pretty sure BC has improved by then:p As long as it does its job and I don't end up in the hospital, I'd be alright with them. And from what I've heard, the side effects vary depending on the type (pills, shots, implant, etc), so I'd probably go with the one with the least side effects in the first place.
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by Isaiah the Ox on Sun May 22, 2016 9:34 pm

So, you aren't like Catholics, WD? (I mean on this topic =p) I believe (Jeho can correct me) Catholics say a baby must always be given the chance to be created, which is why masturbation and birth control and etc. are forbidden. So, those objections would have to be taken into account when considering this issue as well....
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by War Doctor on Sun May 22, 2016 9:38 pm

The EO do not have a dogmatic teaching on BC like the RC. Masturbation is still forbidden but that's a different issue. 

I think the RC have a double standard on this given that they allow for natural family planning which is still attempting to control whether conception occurs.
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by Audrey on Sun May 22, 2016 9:42 pm

Masturbation is really forbidden? I didn't know that:P I was technically christened Catholic, I should probably learn some more about their beliefs... 

I know this is a bit off topic but just out of curiosity, if any of you go to a Catholic church, do they talk about that in sermons often, and what are their reasons against it? I mean, it takes two to make a child if you know what I mean. I just can't picture people really bringing that up in a church:p
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by War Doctor on Sun May 22, 2016 9:48 pm

My priest has mentioned it in church. The reasoning behind it, in the EO, is that sex is a mutual act that should take place only in the context of marriage between two consenting and loving adults. Masturbation is a self serving action that is only about yourself and fulfilling your own lust.
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by kait on Sun May 22, 2016 9:53 pm

I think a woman being able to control her reproductive system is one of the most important rights we have. We are not baby-making machines, we are humans who have the right to decide when, where and how we have children. Whether that's within marriage or outside of it. 

Birth controls allows women that control. And there are SO many options out there, there really is something for everyone. If the pill doesn't work, you can try the patch, if that doesn't work, there's the IUD. Someone may have bad side effects on one form of BC, but no side effects on another. If you are someone sensitive to hormones, there is even a hormone-free BC option or BC options that use localized hormones. 

BC is a great and wonderful thing. Wink A++ would recommend.
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by Luther on Mon May 23, 2016 1:42 pm

Suppose there's the danger that birth control kills the baby? Should we take a risk at the potential of murder?
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by Jehoshaphat on Mon May 23, 2016 1:44 pm

Very rarely will a priest bring up BC or masturbation or any other thing like that in their homilies. I personally think it should be brought up more than it is but that is just me.

The RCC rejects artificial forms of BC because it is unnatural. WD: There is not a double standard like you say. We allow natural family planning because it is not preventing conception by artificially blocking it. It simply utilizes the natural infertility periods to prevent conception. The thing is, the ends don't justify the means. We allow NFP because it is in accord with our human dignity but we ban artificial birth control because it is not. BC deprives a woman of their God-given ability to conceive children.


Historically, all Christian churches banned contraception until the early 1900s when more and more Protestant churches began to allow artificial BC.
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by War Doctor on Mon May 23, 2016 1:54 pm

@Luther I think there is a difference between BC that terminates a fertilized egg and BC that prevents conception in the first place. 

@Jeho So anything unnatural is bad? And how do you define unnatural? Also the Orthodox Church has left this up to the individual and their priest, they have not made a dogmatic doctrine out of this.
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by Jehoshaphat on Mon May 23, 2016 2:28 pm

Not everything unnatural is bad. But in this case, using artificial methods of birth control is violating the natural process of reproduction, making it harmful.


That's ok for you, but because the RCC has made it a doctrinal issue, I will adhere to it.
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by War Doctor on Mon May 23, 2016 2:37 pm

What is your definition of unnatural? 

Fair enough. So what would you say to a young RCC couple that has had been married for three years and have three kids and are really struggling financially and emotionally and are thinking of using BC?
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by Jehoshaphat on Mon May 23, 2016 2:39 pm

In this situation, unnatural means a form a contraception that uses hormones or other such things to manipulate a woman's ovulation.


I would tell them that there are legitimate methods of birth control that are as effective and aren't immoral such as NFP.
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by War Doctor on Mon May 23, 2016 2:43 pm

Okay so what about a condom? 

So is the unnatural aspect that a chemical is being used to manipulate a natural function of the body? 

Do you have some evidence that NFP is as effective as other forms of BC?
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by Jehoshaphat on Mon May 23, 2016 2:46 pm

A condom unnaturally blocks ejaculation. It basically becomes masturbation for both parties.

Yes, because it is blocking what the body is supposed to be doing.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070221065200.htm
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by War Doctor on Mon May 23, 2016 2:53 pm

Okay but NFP which takes advantage of the bodies natural infertility, so for the express purpose of not having children, is not mutual masturbation? 

Okay so are all other medicines that block natural functions of the body wrong too? 

The study said and I quote "the researchers found that if the couples then either abstained from sex or used a barrier method during the fertile period, the rate of unplanned pregnancies per year was 0.4% and 0.6% respectively." So unless couples are willing to abstain from sex the rest of the time it is not as effective.
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by Woody on Mon May 23, 2016 2:58 pm

Isaiah the Ox wrote:I believe (Jeho can correct me) Catholics say a baby must always be given the chance to be created, which is why masturbation and birth control and etc. are forbidden. So, those objections would have to be taken into account when considering this issue as well....
That kind of strikes me as a contradiction, seeing as abstinence until marriage kinda denies the chance to be created. Tongue out Disclaimer for all the people who are about to call me a heretic: I'm completely for abstinence until marriage and against premarital sex, I'm just making a point here.

As for birth control, I'm not against it at all, frankly. When I get married, I want a chance to simply enjoy marriage and live alone with my wife for a couple of years. I think newlyweds need a chance to settle into married life and learn how to work together long before they consider adding a child into the mix. They're stressed enough, give 'em a break Tongue out

One also has to consider a couple's circumstances. For example, what if they are not yet financially capable of supporting a child? What if they're both working, and neither has the time to care for a child? What if the woman has a family history of issues associated with pregnancy? I mean, you can't write a big "Thou shalt not use birth control" into the Bible and expect it to trump all the practical reasons for using it Tongue out

As for masturbation, since the topic has come up, I do think it would make an interesting debate topic, considering the lack of any direct Biblical addressing of the issue. I'd be very interested in debating it in a separate topic, but since it's not relevant to the subject at hand, I'll refrain from addressing it at length.
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by Jehoshaphat on Mon May 23, 2016 3:21 pm

@WD, it is not because there isn't anything removing the body's natural system of reproduction. With BC, there is an outside force making the woman infertile.

I would say no.

The whole point of NFP is abstaining from sex during the fertile period so I don't see your point here. NFP teaches self-control.

@Woody, I think what he was trying to say is that during any sexual act there needs to be a chance for reproduction.

I think that point of view is extremely selfish. I think marriage is supposed to be fruitful, faithful, and until death. If we remove any of those marriage loses its sacramentality. Abstinence is the way to go inside and out of marriage. NFP uses abstinence and the natural infertile and fertile periods to avoid conception.

I believe masturbation is also wrong.
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by Woody on Mon May 23, 2016 3:45 pm

Jehoshaphat wrote:I think that point of view is extremely selfish. I think marriage is supposed to be fruitful, faithful, and until death. If we remove any of those marriage loses its sacramentality. Abstinence is the way to go inside and out of marriage. NFP uses abstinence and the natural infertile and fertile periods to avoid conception.
You think it's selfish to protect a woman from a high risk of death? Or preventing a child from being born to parents that don't have the time or money to raise them properly? My views are not entirely based on what's best for the couple, although that is a large part of it, it's also based on what's best for the potential child. For the couple, an unwanted pregnancy can cause undue stress on their relationship as a couple, as well as financial and emotional stress. It can also endanger the life of the mother, which is a case where I not only believe BC is okay to use, but is indeed right to use. For the child, in circumstances such as those I've listed above, will not only be denied opportunities that would be available to him/her if they were born when their parents were more financially stable, but also will be born into a situation where, let's face it, they're not wanted. In many cases, a parent may not only not have time to invest in their child, but may actually consider them an annoyance. Yes, sometimes a parent will change, but other times, they won't, or one will and the other won't, causing division between the spouses (I have seen this happen before, and it's honestly very ugly). If a child is born at a time when its parents are stable and feel they are emotionally, spiritually, and financially ready for a child, and indeed are actively seeking to have one, these things can be avoided. I simply believe that such is better for all parties involved. And please don't use arguments about adoption, the system is already overloaded as it is.

EDIT:
Jehoshaphat wrote:I believe masturbation is also wrong.
I'm not fully convinced by either side of the debate, as I understand both their arguments. I'd be willing to play devil's advocate in a debate, if you like, but again, wrong thread.


Last edited by Woody on Mon May 23, 2016 3:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by War Doctor on Mon May 23, 2016 3:53 pm

it is not because there isn't anything removing the body's natural system of reproduction. With BC, there is an outside force making the woman infertile.
So a couple's agency is no longer an outside force? I really don't see how it is significantly different to use a condom versus charting the wives fertility and choosing to have sex then. Now you say later on that NFP teaches self-control and I think the difference lies there not in the unnatural vs natural. So you need to make the argument that choosing when to have consequence free sex is what is wrong versus using agency and choice to prevent pregnancy. 

I would say no.

Okay and I would say why? You need to expand on this. We're talking about life and death and you've made the argument that it is unnatural to choose when life begins, with outside forces besides human agency, so why is it okay to prevent death with outside forces?  

The whole point of NFP is abstaining from sex during the fertile period so I don't see your point here. NFP teaches self-control.

As I said earlier this is where your argument needs to be made.
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by Jehoshaphat on Mon May 23, 2016 9:56 pm

Ok so NFP teaches self-control. I'm not really sure what you are trying to say, are you attempting to help me in my arguments?

It think what I want to say here is that the ends don't justify the means. Just because using a condom and abstaining from sex have the same consequences does not mean that the means used to get there are both valid.
I am just confused.

To the later point, I would say that life is an intrinsic good, so it should be protected and encouraged at all stages from conception until death. Using BC removes the chance of life whereas using "unnatural" things to continue life is encouraging life not discouraging it.
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by War Doctor on Mon May 23, 2016 10:06 pm

So my whole point with the self control is to pin down what the problem with condoms, and BC in general, is from your viewpoint. It's not about the prevention of conception, because NFP intent is to do the same, so it has to do with the means. And for you the means are tied to self control. The unnaturalness derives from being able to have sex, with little chance of procreation specifically, whenever the couple wants. This to me is what you are arguing against so I want you to specifically provide your reasoning why a couple shouldn't be able to determine, outside a woman's natural cycles, when they want to have sex that is not for the purpose of procreation.

'Until death" how do you determine when that moment is?
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by kait on Mon May 23, 2016 10:21 pm

Luther wrote:Suppose there's the danger that birth control kills the baby? Should we take a risk at the potential of murder?
There is no form of birth control that kills a baby. Unless you consider a sperm or an egg an entire baby, I suppose. 

There are abortion pills that can be taken *after* conception, but that is not birth control.
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Re: Birth Control.

Post by Jehoshaphat on Mon May 23, 2016 10:44 pm

There are certain types of contraception that prevents the implantation of an already fertilized egg which I believe what Luther was referring to.
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