Mifeprex, Methotrexate, Misoprostol
This is an overview of the information in The Christian and Birth Control book, published by Christian Life Resources. To purchase the book click on the link at the bottom of this page.
There is a certain arbitrariness in our selected order of addressing various birth control issues. Without a doubt, the most important chapter in this book was the first one. Every Christian must remember he is God’s child. As such even the deeply personal issues of sexuality and birth control must begin not with the question, “What do I want?” but with the question, “What does my Father in heaven want me to do?” Let’s take a moment to re-emphasize a few points from our first chapter on motive.
When a Christian considers using birth control, his faith compels him to ask not what is most convenient for himself, but what glorifies God. Although there is no direct reference to the issue of birth control in the Bible, there are principles that come to bear on the matter. To begin with, we must remember that God is the author of human life (Deuteronomy 32:39) and man is a steward, caretaker and guardian of human life (Genesis 9:5). The caretaker of a garden may decide when to plant the seed but it is still God who makes it grow. A Christian may decide when to have children, but it is still God who grants the children.
A Christian’s decision to use birth control is a stewardship issue. Stewardship concerns are those wonderful opportunities God gives Christians to show with their lives and actions their convictions of the heart about God.
There are many factors to consider and only prayer and a soul-searching evaluation of one’s motives will reveal whether the use of birth control is right. What is important to remember is that children, regardless of timing, health or convenience, are blessings from God. Decisions rooted in an attitude that children are anything less than a blessing from God reflects a motive that doesn’t understand God’s will on the matter.
If, through such soul searching, the Christian is led to consider using some form of birth control, the kind of birth control to use is very important. Some of it clearly is contraceptive in nature. In other words it prevents fertilization of an egg; that is, it prevents the conception of life.
Some birth control is clearly abortifacient. That means it clearly works to kill a conceived child. It performs this task most often by preventing a fertilized egg (i.e. a new young child or embryo) from implanting in the mother’s womb.
A third type of birth control works both ways, by both preventing fertilization and aborting newly-conceived life. We will discuss this most complex of topics in future chapters. For now, we will talk about the clearly abortifacient type of birth control.
As we proceed there are two important points to keep in mind: (1) You really should read the first chapter in this book called “Motive.” Also, (2) these chapters are intended to provide general information on birth control. Your medical doctor should be your primary source of information on birth control.
The birth control methods addressed in this article are called “abortifacients.” That means they are primarily designed to cause an abortion (i.e. the death of a very young, conceived child). Perhaps the most controversial of abortifacients on the market is one called Mifeprex. Abortion advocates and opponents refer to Mifeprex simply as the “abortion pill.”
Mifeprex was specifically designed to abort a child. It is known by its chemical name, mifepristone. When administered between the fourth and seventh week after the first missed menstrual cycle it blocks the hormone progesterone. When used with a prostaglandin, a hormone-like substance, it causes the uterus to shed its lining and detaches the unborn child from its pipeline for nutrition. It causes the early death of this unborn child and its expulsion from its mother’s womb.
The abortion pill was developed by a research team at Roussel Uclaf Pharmaceutical Company in 1980. From 1982 to 1988 researchers conducted tests on humans in several countries including the United States. In 1988 the French Health Ministry announced approval of mifepristone combined with a prostaglandin for early abortions. When Roussel Uclaf attempted to suspend marketing of the drug in response to pro-life protests the French health minister ordered the drug back on the market, calling it the “moral property of women.”
In subsequent years, mifepristone was approved for use in China, France, the United Kingdom and Sweden. In March 1997 the FDA approved the use of Mifeprex in the United States. The effort for the widespread use of this abortifacient has been slowed because of an effective pro-life boycott and subsequent difficulty in finding a manufacturer of the drug.
In contrast to the abortion-focused development of Mifeprex are the drugs methotrexate and misoprostol. Methotrexate was readily available and widely used as a cancer drug. It destabilizes the uterine lining causing the death of the unborn child. It is used in conjunction with an ulcer drug, misoprostol (Cytotec), which triggers contractions to expel the dead child. Misoprostol is often the same drug used with Mifeprex to expel the dead child.
The pro-life community has been actively involved in boycotting companies that market products intended to kill unborn children. Both G.D. Searle, the manufacturers of Cytotec (misoprostol, a prostaglandin), and Manufacturer Lederle, the manufacturer of methotrexate, oppose the use of their products for abortion. Those working with mifepristone (Mifeprex) have not so distanced themselves from such use. If you wish to learn more about boycott efforts of those who seek to chemically kill unborn children contact the Life Issues Institute at (513) 729-3600.
As Christians wade through the complexities of birth control issues it is clear such chemical abortifacients have no place in the consideration process. When God reserves for himself the right to initiate and terminate life (Deuteronomy 32:39), such drugs used for birth control represent an obvious attempt to circumvent God’s authority. These chemical methods of birth control are clearly intended to kill a child. As such, a Christian cannot, in good conscience, use these methods while still presuming to serve God.
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