“Contra” means against.
Conception is the formation of something new.
Contraception literally means “against the formation of new life.”

Contraception is defined as the “deliberate use of artificial methods or other techniques to prevent pregnancy as a consequence of sexual intercourse” (Oxford Dictionary). This is to be distinguished from the avoidance of sexual intercourse altogether (i.e. abstinence) during periods of known fertility (for example the Billings method and natural family planning).

In the latter, there is no intercourse and therefore conception is not possible. It is also not to be confused with methods which seek to terminate a pregnancy which has already begun (i.e. from the moment of fertilisation onwards) – for example, so-called “emergency contraception” which aims to terminate an early pregnancy if it has already begun. Its dosage and composition is designed to terminate an early pregnancy rather than act as true contraception. Some contraceptive methods (for example, the progesterone-only pill) also have a very high rate of possible early abortions and thus are better classified as potential abortifacients (that is, to bring on an abortion). All hormonal methods of birth control are potentially abortifacient.


Why Contraception is Not the Answer

Medical or psychological reasons

There are numerous physical and psychological side effects associated with contraceptive drugs.

Some of the most common include:

  • weight gain
  • acne
  • irregular periods and breakthrough bleeding – especially with the progesterone-only pill, Depo provera injections and Implanon.
  • mood swings/depressive symptoms
  • loss of libido
  • Contraception causes a healthy reproductive system to malfunction.

More serious, although less common complications of hormonal contraception include venous thromboembolism (leg and lung clots), stroke, high blood pressure, precipitation of diabetes, adenomas, progression of breast cancer.* These complications are listed in produce packaging inserts. Although, long-term, combined hormonal contraception has also been associated with an increase in the risk of developing breast cancer this will not appear in package inserts.

* Bustan et al.,“Oral Contraceptive Use and Breastcancer in Indonesia.” Contraception, 1993; 47:3, pp 241-49.

Social reasons

Contraception invariably leads to a mentality in which women, in particular, become viewed as objects, and their fertility as a burden to be done away with. This consequence results in the devaluing of the individual, feelings of rejection, worthlessness, and guilt in a relationship. Additionally, the widespread contraceptive mentality that our society has embraced tends to diminish the value placed on children in the family. This, coupled with the association between contraception and divorce that has been consistently recognised in international research, has contributed immensely to the disintegration of the family in Western society.

Also, contrary to popular belief, more contraception does not result in less abortion, but rather the other way around. Even ignoring the abortifacient potential of many so-called contraceptives, it has been consistently shown that the same attitude which allows contraception also encourages abortion when the first option “fails”.

A recent study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health in 2014 states ‘The health equity policy context, availability of the emergency contraceptive pill over-the-counter and high rates of contraceptive use (>70% of Australian women of child-bearing age), should result in lower rates of unplanned pregnancies for Australian women but this has not occurred’. It notes ‘this paradox is perplexing’. They go on to observe that this anomaly exists across other high income countries like the UK and the USA. They draw a conclusion that the G.P. s are missing opportunities to push the morning-after pill, that we need to throw more money at research to ‘unpack the paradox.’

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