Why don't people believe the pill is abortive?
Question from a reader:
I talked to my pastor about the abortifacient effect of the birth control pill. He doesn’t seem to think it’s true. With all of the information available, why don’t people believe it?
Answer from Kathy Norquist:
Perhaps he is uninformed and hasn’t read information on the possible abortifacient aspect of the pill. Pastors have many demands on their time and it’s difficult for them to stay abreast of a variety of important issues. If that is the case I would suggest giving him a copy of Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions? or a pdf version of the booklet found here.
The pill has been almost revered (not only in the secular community but the Christian community as well), like something sacred we can’t touch. I wonder if this is partly due to the fact that we live in such a convenience-oriented, fast-paced society. However, we hear from a fair number of people who have always had a suspicion about the pill and finally read the documentation and it confirmed what they already knew.
There does seem to be a certain resistance to this information in the medical field. Some have been reticent to examine the evidence because of vested interests. How would this affect the medical practice of a prolife doctor if he had a conviction about the pill and would not prescribe it for his patients? Many doctors have made that choice and at first their practice suffered but eventually stabilized. Other doctors have read the material but don’t believe the data is conclusive enough yet. They think that since we don’t know how often this happens, it’s most likely very rare, and therefore they still prescribe the pill.
It’s unfortunate that prolife doctors, at the very least, don’t provide this information for their patients so they can make an informed decision about taking the pill and possibly risking the life of their unborn child. We hear from many who ask in frustration after having used the pill and then reading about the possible abortifacient aspect: “Why didn’t my doctor or pastor or youth leader give me this information when I asked them about the pill?”
One other thought: Isn’t it interesting how the pill manufacturers themselves don’t dispute the fact that the third mechanism kicks in when the first two fail (thinning of the endometrium so it becomes less hospitable to an already-fertilized egg)? Of course, they want to sell their product and assure the customer that the pill won’t fail. But I doubt they would risk making that statement without some kind of proof behind it.
For more information on this subject, see Randy Alcorn’s book Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?
Kathy Norquist works in Ministry Development for Eternal Perspective Ministries, and is also on the EPM's Board of Directors. She was Randy’s executive assistant from 1997-2015, and was also previously one of his secretaries when he was a pastor.