To those who have conceived while using birth control
The pro-life movement is based around those of us who accept that life begins at conception, a scientific fact having nothing to do with religion. Within that movement of those who come to that agreement, there are many differences, on demographics, religious and political preferences, and lifestyle choices such as whether to engage in sexual activity and to use birth control. It’s a benefit to our movement, as our differences make us diverse.
That means that there are pro-lifers who have sex, not just for the means of procreation, and so they use birth control. As with all lifestyle choices, it’s helpful, necessary even for all people to educate themselves about the benefits, risks, and side effects of various methods.
Ultimately though, the decision to use birth control (or not) and what kind, is between the couple engaging in the sexual activity. That’s something I’ve always stuck to for myself, not wanting to let anyone make that decision for me and my partner. It hasn’t changed despite who wants me to go on the birth control pill, for whatever reasons. I simply prefer condoms, and again, that’s nobody’s decision to make except for me and my partner.
In my life experience, I’ve also come to realize that what kind of sexual activity two consenting adults engage in, in private, is truly their own business.
There are various birth control methods, with some more accurate and foolproof than others. Abstinence, however, is the only 100 percent way to ensure pregnancy does not occur. No other method is perfect, and so even still, it’s possible for pregnancy to occur. Even when we take on personal responsibility and acknowledge that, it’s still hard to keep in mind as much as we ought to.
Getting pregnant while using birth control has something amazing to it. The odds of a child actually being conceived often occur against great odds, and even greater odds when birth control is used. Some might consider it a miracle.
Even if one is to consider consenting to sex as consenting to the possibility of pregnancy, the pregnancy is still an unplanned one in such a case. I can tell you that questions will be asked, not just those which come from yourself, but as others find out. There is bound to be some whispering, wondering, and assuming.
“What were you thinking, having a(nother) baby?” “Didn’t you use birth control?” “If so, it must not have been the right kind.” “You should really use this or that method next time.” “Hopefully it doesn’t happen again.” “This isn’t the right time.” “Isn’t it too soon?” “Why weren’t you more responsible?” “How are you going to make this work?”
Those are some things you’re bound to hear, and they’re not likely to make the unplanned pregnancy any easier. They’re almost guaranteed to make it a more difficult and confusing time. Just as life begins at conception, life is conceived because of sex. People have sex. They might not use birth control, which is, again, their decision to do so. They might use it, and it might not work out as planned, just as many things do not work out in life.
Planned Parenthood, which performs more abortions than any other entity in the country, says “Only you know what’s best for you,” which is a polite way of saying a woman can have an abortion for any reason, or no reason. Many pro-choicers, however, believe that some reasons are better than others. Failed birth control might be one such “good” reason, at least a reason people can understand. It wasn’t that the couple was careless, and would have an abortion as their form of birth control. Something went wrong, and this is a way to “fix” it.
As pro-lifers, however, we know that abortion is not a way to “fix” a situation. It ends the life of an already conceived, existing human person. A pregnancy may come at an inconvenient time, then, but babies don’t always come when is most convenient. While it may be tempting to have an abortion, to spare the expenses, stress, and whatever else comes along with pregnancy and a child, that’s not the end of the road. Abortion can carry physical and psychological effects with it, sometimes not manifesting until years later.
Pregnancy is far from easy, even when it is planned, or convenient, or ideal. I know that, having experienced two pregnancies. Choosing life will always be the right thing to do, even if choosing to parent the child is not part of that choice. It still cannot be emphasized enough that any and every woman who chooses life is engaging in an act of love and courage for her child.
Women who become pregnant despite using birth control are embarking on a particular kind of path. That child may not have been planned—he or she likely was far from it—but that child was still accepted as wanted and loved. I can tell you that no matter how unplanned, you’ll find reasons to look forward to and anticipate that child.
So, for all those women who have become pregnant, even while taking such measures, hang in there. People may think, say, and assume things about you, but at the end of the day, it’s our business and we know the truth. We are strong, courageous, capable, and loving. Our children have beaten the odds to be here, their conception truly being an amazing fact to behold.
[Today’s guest post by Rebecca Downs is part of our paid blogging program. You can read her personal unplanned pregnancy story here.]
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