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Conventional Thinking: Contraception wars

The Obama Administration just won’t give up on the idea of a “contraception” mandate. The drive to make contraception (and pills that are promoted as contraception but actually are likely to be abortion-inducing), was continued on Aug. 22, when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a new set of rules pertaining to the mandate (See page 2 news).

While the new rules supposedly create an opt-out for employers and nonprofits who object to the HHS mandate, the government is still requiring those who object to make it known to the government. In other words, the Government is still the go-between.

The contraception wars, as they could be called, continue in full force. It is time to stop and think about what is driving this issue, what ideologies are in play. On the one side, you have proponents of government-sponsored contraceptives for all. On the other, you have a wide array of views—including those not necessarily opposed to all forms of contraceptives—but are opposed to chemical abortion and being forced to pay for it.

For example, of the 20 so-called contraceptives that the HHS mandate requires, Hobby Lobby Stores, in its case that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court took, exception to only four of the drugs, all of which can cause an abortion. There are two forms of Intrauterine devices (IUD’s), Plan B (sometimes called the ‘morning-after’ pill) and Ella (sometimes called the ‘week-after’ pill.

Catholics, meanwhile, continue to oppose all contraceptions in the mandate, which includes some  forms of artificial birth control. Since debates about “the Pill” began decades ago, the Catholic Church has opposed artificial birth control as inconsistent with the one-flesh union of man and woman and that artificial birth control methods like the Pill become a form of sexual “bulimia” whereby we extract the pleasure of the act without an openness to having children.

Even some Evangelical leaders are increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of the Pill and other forms of birth control once uncritically accepted among Evangelicals.

Albert Mohler, Jr., said, “Christian couples must ensure that the methods chosen are really contraceptive in effect, and not abortifacient. Not all birth control is contraception, for some technologies and methods do not prevent the sperm from fertilizing the egg, but instead prevent the fertilized egg from successfully implanting itself in the lining of the womb. Such methods involve nothing less than an early abortion. This is true of all IUDs and some hormonal technologies.

“A raging debate now surrounds the question of whether at least some forms of the Pill may also work through abortifacient effect, rather than preventing ovulation. Christian couples must exercise due care in choosing a form of birth control that is unquestionably contraceptive, rather than abortifacient.”

In other words, Christians must make sure what all these pills and mechanisms do and do not do. Perhaps the HHS mandate in that one way is a blessing in that it will give Christians an opportunity to re-examine our views about contraception and sex itself.

At the heart of the contraceptives-for-all ideology is the assumption that unplanned parenthood is a curse. Humans—rather than being viewed as a blessing created in the image of God—are looked at as a liability and drain on people who have them and society itself. As one observer said, contraception became a sort of human pesticide.

Perhaps even worse than all of this, contraception has become society’s way of separating the sexual act from procreation. Is it any wonder we are seeing the rise of homosexuality in society, if sex is not first and foremost about procreation?

Those with the contraceptive ideology will continue to force these policies, and conservative Christians will continue to oppose them. Time will tell who wins. As the contraception wars continue, be equipped to know what you believe and why. It is important that we build a culture of life that respects all people, no matter how small, and a high view of sexuality that sees God’s grand design.

Brian Hobbs

Author: Brian Hobbs

Brian is editor of The Baptist Messenger.

View more articles by Brian Hobbs.

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