Urging Young Women to Love Their Children, or, The IUD Unveiled

**AUTHOR’S NOTE: Please read all the way through, including the comments. I learned even more about this topic from the first commenter, to whom I am very grateful. I agree with her and her convictions, now that I know more of the truth.

It may be no great revelation to you that the IUD, which is a popular and long-term form of birth control that involves surgically implanting a device into a woman’s uterus, can cause what some might term a miscarriage as one way to prevent pregnancy. It was a revelation to me, however, earlier today.

It all started with Hobby Lobby. A friend posted an article supposedly written by the CEO and founder of Hobby Lobby, David Green, stating his defense on his company’s stance to defy new government healthcare laws that requires companies to offer medical coverage for emergency contraceptives. Like most things posted on Facebook that are polarizing and attributed to some person in authority in order to lend credence to a particular viewpoint, I checked it out on Snopes. It turns out that the CEO did write the article, and you can find it online under the title, “Christian Companies Can’t Bow to Sinful Mandate.” After confirming that it was true, I re-posted the link my friend had posted because I agree with Hobby Lobby’s pro-life stance, and I stand by their right to follow their conscience on this issue.

This post, however, is not mostly about Hobby Lobby. That’s just the background for why I’m writing about IUDs. It was in the Snopes article, which I linked to above, that I read this sentence:

Hobby Lobby has filed a federal lawsuit challenging that mandate because it includes such contraceptives as the morning-after pill and IUDs, which the plaintiffs consider to be forms of abortion.

I read that sentence aloud to my husband this morning, and we were both surprised. The morning-after pill, sure. That’s the point of that one, right? To prevent the implantation of the already fertilized egg, if there is one. But we were both surprised to see that the IUD was considered to be in the same class, at least by the folks running Hobby Lobby. So, I did some research online. It’s not any big secret, apparently:

“In the event of fertilization of an egg, progestin tends to prevent implantation, meaning a woman would naturally miscarry a fertilized egg.”
 
Hormonal IUDs also slow down the growth of the uterine lining, making it inhospitable for fertilized eggs.”
 
“…releases a progestin hormone…creating a barrier to sperm, as well as renders the lining of the uterus inhospitable to implantation of a pregnancy.”
 
It also keeps the lining of the uterus (endometrium) from growing very thick.1 This makes the lining a poor place for a fertilized egg to implant and grow.”
(all emphases added by me)

While I do not use the IUD, or any form of hormonal birth control, for that matter, I have friends who do. Since contraception is a personal issue, I likely have many friends who have the IUD, but I don’t know about it. That’s why, after praying a lot this morning, I decided to write a blog post. If the sources above are telling the truth, then the IUD can cause what could be considered an abortion by folks like me who believe life begins at conception, which is before the implantation of a fertilized egg. As I prayed about how/when/with whom to discuss this, I felt led to this verse:

Older women likewise are to be reverent…teaching what is good, that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children… (Titus 2:3-4)

That’s why, young women, I’m pleading with you to love your children. Be aware of the choices you’re making with your body and how they might affect your unborn children without your knowing.

Of course, I am fully aware of the natural implications of what I’m asking; if you currently have an IUD, then I’m ultimately encouraging you to consider undergoing surgery to have it removed and then reconsider your contraception choices to see what is safe for a fertilized egg and what is not. This is why I prayed so much about it this morning, and even asked a couple of friends to pray with me. It’s uncomfortable for me to give unsolicited advice to anyone about their birth control, especially given the lengths one might have to go to if she decided I was right. But seriously, the answer is clear to me: Love your children. I couldn’t NOT say something.

I tell you this because I love you, and I love your babies. Pray about it, please, if this applies to you. I know that I would have any surgery in the world if it kept my little boy alive. Wouldn’t you?

 *Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I am a pro-life Christian who believes that life begins at conception, and I posted this in view of my own conscience out of obedience to what I feel is the Spirit’s leading. Like I said, I couldn’t NOT say something. 
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4 thoughts on “Urging Young Women to Love Their Children, or, The IUD Unveiled

  1. Thank you for your sensitivity and boldness in posting this. It’s sad that this is not talked about more amongst believers who value every single life created in the image of God whether that life is a person who is 90 years ex-utero or a brand new little person formed with his or her own unique DNA at the instant that egg and sperm meet. I say this pointing a finger at myself first because I have known what you’ve posted here, but I hesitate to share because I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes because it is such a personal issue. But the friends I have told about it are so very grateful, so why do I hesitate?

    With that, I wanted to add that what you’ve posted about the IUD is really true of any hormone contraceptive. While there are several ways hormone contraception can prevent pregnancy, there’s no way to know during any given cycle for a woman how exactly pregnancy has been prevented that month so there’s always a possibility that a fertilized egg – or a newly formed person – could be prevented from implanting safely in her uterus. This does more than just prevent pregnancy – this terminates a life. I went to the website for “The Pill” or ORTHO TRI-CYCLEN LO and found where they list as a secondary method for how ordinary everyday hormone birth control actually prevents pregnancy and it states, “Taking The Pill causes the lining of the uterus to change, which makes it hard for an egg to be implanted.” Conveniently missing here is that that egg could be fertilized – containing the unique DNA of a brand new person made in the image of God – otherwise it would have no need to be implanted to grow into the life God intended. Again, this is on the website of one brand of hormone contraception, but it is true for pretty much any of them.

    For anyone reading this who has an IUD or is taking/has taken the pill, this is not at all shared to condemn in any fashion. It is shared to shed light on something that I was so grateful to have light shed on for me.

    There are so many other things that we as believers really need to consider more deeply as we seek to wholeheartedly follow Christ and not just follow our culture. We need to seek Him for every decision. I’ve been struck by that this week as I’ve thought about the ways that I blindly support many other injustices with the dollars I spend. But that’s a whole separate post and this isn’t even my blog. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your comment! I had heard the same thing about other forms of hormonal birth control before, but I had always heard that it was inconclusive as to whether or not this could actually happen (re: preventing a fertilized egg to implant). I never did much research into it because I don’t take the pill–or any hormonal birth control–both because of that very possibility and because I’m just not really excited about taking medicine in general, especially the kind that so radically alters my body and its processes. Never mind the possible links to breast cancer, but, to echo your statement, that’s a whole other post entirely.

      In any case, I was surprised at how factually-stated the information about the IUD was, like it was just a known fact instead of an uncertain possibility. I immediately felt really convicted by the fact that I knew of specific women who have the IUD, and probably several others presently unknown to me, who are pro-life Christians and would probably be surprised and unsettled by this. That being said, I had birth control in general in the back of my mind as I wrote it, thinking that it could be the same, but I was focused on what I was focused on. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge about the topic more completely than I did!

  2. Thank you for posting about this topic. I have a question: when you mention the IUD and when I see the IUD in the quotes above, it seems that this post is only referring to the IUD that releases hormones… Is that correct? There is the non-hormonal, copper IUD that kills sperm before it reaches the egg (no fertilization). The sperm dies when it touches copper, so it’s a barrier and has no hormones, similar to a condom. However, I’m sure there is a chance that the sperm could get past it. Have you done any research on that?

    • Hi! Thank you for commenting! You are correct in that I was referring to hormone-releasing contraceptives, which are abortifacient. As for the copper IUD, however, I still consider it to be abortifacient. On Paraguard’s website, they describe how it works this way:

      Hormone-free ParaGard® is believed to work primarily by preventing sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg. It may also prevent the egg from attaching to the uterus. The contraceptive effectiveness of ParaGard® is enhanced by the continuous release of copper into the uterine cavity.

      Everything I’ve found about the copper IUD makes it sound like they’re not exactly sure how it works, and honestly that’s enough to make me not want to use it! The manufacturers themselves don’t know how exactly having copper leak into your uterus stops pregnancy, so I wonder what else they’re not sure about! But aside from that, because of their own description and the uncertainty surrounding whether or not it could prevent implantation of the fertilized egg, I would not use it. Instead, I advise anyone who happens to ask me my opinion that they use natural contraceptives.

      I hope that helped!

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