Recently, I’ve come across that there are quite a few people who disagree with the research and conclusion that birth control pills can cause abortions. I’ve been able to have some correspondence with a Christian doctor who opposes this view. This post covers our conversation and my thoughts so far.
In our emails I first asked him for his opinion on how the pill works and if it can cause abortions. Here is his reply:
It is a complicated question. I still prescribe the pills at this juncture because I still believe the manner of their functioning is non abortifacient. I have examined the evidence and the theory regarding the hostile endometrium and am unconvinced that that mechanism is in operation if the pill fails and breakthrough ovulation occurs. The explanation requires a bit of hormone knowledge… and takes a while to unfold. I did write it up in a book I did The Contraception Guidebook if you want to think through the medical science. I respect the folks that hold the opposing view, but I, and the leaders of the Christian Medical and Dental Association, believe the medical evidence doesn’t support the theory.
I told him that I bought the book on Amazon and am eagerly looking forward to reading it, since I haven’t done a lot of reading on the opposing view of Randy Alcorn. He gave another thoughtful reply:
Complicated question, and medicine rarely allows for absolutes, as in “this NEVER does that”…. So, we live in an evidence based medicine world. For the record, Christian Medical Dental Association with its 20,000 membership falls on the “non abortifacient” side, though I suspect within the membership there are those who don’t prescribe them for various reasons. Dr. Walt Larrimore, a personal friend and one of Randy Alcorn’s lead “experts”, great doc, family practice doc, but he said in a personal conversation, “ there is no medical evidence that the pill causes abortion, but I choose not to prescribe them because there might one day be such evidence”… I think that is a sound ethical statement, but it is different than “pills cause abortion”. Most of Alcorn’s research/science is from the 90’s, I’ve read it, even sent him a copy of the contraceptive guidebook, he read and responded that he was “concerned it might cause people to take the pill”… You see, even without convincing evidence, some , by conscience will prefer to use something else, or nothing at all… and I support them in that decision.
So, he is basically saying that the evidence does not support the theory that they cause abortions and the reason many people opt out of the pill are because it may happen even though there is no evidence. Now, obviously there is good reason to believe that it’s still possible because of how the pill functions, but maybe not hard evidence.
All in all, I can’t wait to read his book. It’s being shipped now. I am not sure when I will have the time to read through it and post again but will do so as soon as I am able.
What I have gained from this research so far is that there is more evidence out there than I thought there was suggesting that the claim of birth control causing abortions isn’t true. However, given what I know right now of the pill, I still think it functions in a hostile way toward an embryo (if there was one). After I read more, I’d like to do my best to clearly and concisely represent both sides of the debate so that myself, and everyone , can examine the research themselves and make a thoughtful and prayerful decision.