A documentary called “28 Days on the Pill” has been released that seeks expose the abortifacient properties of the birth control pill. The documentary explains that many forms of birth control pills contain progesterone, which thins the endometrium, the walls of the uterus, which in turn causes it to become inhospitable to a conceived ovum. This inhospitality may cause a newly conceived human being not to implant in the endometrium and cause an abortion
The documentary instead promotes the use of Natural Family Planning, which is the use of natural periods of infertility to regulate the number of children a family will have. “Modern, scientific, Natural Family Planning in every study published today is more effective than the pill, and it doesn’t cause abortions,” said Dr. W. Larimore, who was interviewed in the documentary.
Larimore told the interviewer that the pill has “unnatural, high doses of steroids, has potential side effects including a potential breast cancer side effect, and may cause an abortion that you won’t even know about until you’re in heaven.”
“On the other side, is modern scientific Natural Family Planning – some call it fertility awareness – that’s more effective than the pill, doesn’t have the side effects of the pill,” Dr. Larimore said.
NFP, he said, “it involves the man and the woman, they have to talk together, they have to pray together, they have to learn together, they have to become one together. No wonder that studies have implied that people who practice NFP have higher satisfaction with marriage, they have more frequent sex, they have more satisfying sex, they have a lower divorce rate.”
“It’s because the whole issue of birth spacing becomes a couples issue.”
The documentary does state that barrier methods, such as condoms, are truly contraceptive, but that there are differing opinions surrounding the morality of them.
The documentary also explores the use of contraception in the Catholic Church. “One Roman Catholic doctor we talked to said he knew of no Roman Catholic hospital in the United States that did not prescribe [the pill],” said the documentary. “Tremendous pressure can be placed on Roman Catholic doctors to conform. So what the official teaching is and what is done in practice can be two different things.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states in paragraph 2399 that “Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).” However, the Catholic Church does allow the use of NFP, provided that the couple is open to becoming pregnant. The Catholic Church also says that couples may only use NFP to intentionally refrain from having a child for a “grave” reason.
Dr. Harnisch, another doctor interviewed in “28 Days on the Pill,” said about the pill: “I believe that any time there is a doubt with something as precious life that we should always err on the side of protecting life, rather than saying ‘prove to me that that wasn’t alive, so it’s dead, so what? How do you know it ever happened?’ ”
Dr. Larimore said that he used to think that birth control had no abortifacient properties, saying it was “a bunch of rubbish.” Dr. J. Stanford, who first informed Dr. Larimore about this aspect of the pill, persisted, asking him to prove that the pill was not an abortifacient. The result was a study called “Postfertilization Effects of Oral Contraceptives and Their Relationship to Informed Consent.” This study showed how birth control pills can cause abortions. The study caused a stir among Christian medical groups, such as the Christian Medical and Dental Association, Focus on the Family’s Physicians Research Group, and the Catholic Medical Association.
Dr. A. Moell, who was also interviewed, said that when she was taught about contraceptives in medical school, birth control pills were “just another contraceptive, meaning that they prevented conception.” She was not informed of any abortifacient properties the pill may have.
According to “28 Days on the Pill,” the abortifacient qualities of the pill have been hushed up. The film cites the opposition to the study written by Dr Larimore and Stanford. Dr. Stanford said that “the pro-choice physicians have no problem” with the abortifacient aspects of the pill because they are “comfortable with prescribing the pill and they don’t want to reconsider that.”
While the thinning of the endometrium is explained to physicians in textbooks and manuals, one of the authors of the documentary who went to a health-unit seeking information on the birth control pill received a fact sheet that neglected to mention the thinning of the endometrium of the uterus as an effect of the pill.
According to the documentary, the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS), the Canadian Pharmacists Association’s drug information resource, and the Physicians Desk Reference, the American standard, mentioned the abortifacient qualities of the pill. But the majority of information given to patients fails to mention it.
Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said that doctors shy away from telling their patients about the abortifacient aspects of the pill because “it could lead to awkward questions and lifestyle changes, and it could also put persons in the position of very deep moral reconsideration of what they’ve taken for granted since the early 1960s”
However, he said that “it is ethically wrong to withhold that information.”
“I am always careful to say that I’m not a medical doctor or pharmacist, I’m a theologian and a pastor, and as a pastor, I would never counsel a couple to use the pill,” Dr. Mohler continued.
Furthermore, the documentary claims that “much of the medical community has changed its definition for when pregnancy begins, which means any hindering of implantation would not be considered an abortion.”
According to L. Powell, a Registered Nurse from London, Ontario, the moment of conception is at implantation of the fertilized ovum in the endometrium. “I think that is the general consensus,” she said, “It varies from person to person on what conception is.”
“28 Days on the Pill” Website: