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Charlie Kirk is not wrong about birth control
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Charlie Kirk is not wrong about birth control

Even though this might be tough to hear, it is good news. It is an invitation to a deeper love for the value, beauty, and dignity of human beings.

Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk came under fire last week for criticizing birth control. At an event hosted by Turning Point USA Faith, Kirk said: “No Christian parent should ever allow their daughter on birth control, ever. Period. … If your daughter’s on birth control, or [your] granddaughter, get them off immediately.”

Kirk also said birth control “screws up female brains” and causes anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. He pointed out the high number of young women prescribed the pill for everything from acne to mood problems.

Social media exploded with criticism of the “extremist zealot” Charlie Kirk. But is he wrong?

When I was a depressed, anxious, non-sexually-active 17-year-old high school student, I sat across from my gynecologist looking for answers. I suffered from acne, depression, irregular cycles, and painful cramps that kept me in bed, unable to attend school.

But instead of answers, I was given the pill.

I didn’t want to take it. Something in me (the Holy Spirit, perhaps) knew it was wrong. But I was desperate. I had a state track meet coming up and couldn’t be sidelined by unmanageable symptoms. I gave in.

Contraceptives foster the mistaken idea that if a couple gets pregnant unexpectedly, something went “wrong.”

Once I stopped taking it two years later, it felt like seeing the sun for the first time. I hadn’t noticed how much worse my depression had gotten while on the pill. I, like so many other young women, was sold a lie. I doubt my doctor intended to mislead me. But instead of fixing my health problems, the pill shut down my natural hormone production and confused my body. It put a band-aid on my existing issues and even created new ones.

The truth is, there are very real side effects of birth control, including increased risk of blood clots and strokes, depression, altered attraction, breakthrough bleeding, headaches, nausea, elevated blood pressure, bloating, and weight gain. All forms of hormonal contraception result in an increased risk of breast cancer, and hormonal contraceptives are classified as a group 1 carcinogen.

Given this concerning reality, women should question whether shutting down our reproductive systems could have long-term implications for our mental health and fertility. And we should reject the idea that women need to treat their fertility like a disease to be cured.

Kirk is also right to highlight how birth control is of particular concern for Christian women. Contraceptives, including the pill and IUD, can act as abortifacients by preventing the implantation of a fertilized human embryo after its conception. But it goes even further than that.

Contraceptives foster the mistaken idea that if a couple gets pregnant unexpectedly, something went “wrong,” leading some to “correct” the “mistake” through abortion. In reality, sex is inseparably rooted in procreation, and up until 1930, every Christian denomination affirmed that all forms of birth control — including condoms and diaphragms — are sinful and contrary to God’s design for marriage.

In 1930, the Anglican Church became the first to approve contraception on a limited basis. Influenced by social pressure and the sexual revolution, all other Protestant denominations followed suit, with some citing a moral obligation to limit parenthood, a “new sexual ethic” sensitive to the current culture, and fears of overpopulation.

But this embrace of contraception is entirely contrary to the beliefs of the early church fathers and even the Protestant reformers. John Chrysostom taught that both abortion and contraception create a barren sowing by stripping sex of its procreative nature. Both despise the gift of God — namely, children. Both are expressions of fighting against God’s laws. Both turn the curse of barrenness into a blessing and treat the blessing of fruitfulness as a curse. And both misuse women. Augustine, bishop of Hippo, similarly wrote in the fifth century A.D. that couples who attempted contraception do not “retain any reality of marriage.”

Martin Luther also opposed contraception, citing the sin of Onan: “Onan must have been a malicious and incorrigible scoundrel. This is a most disgraceful sin. It is far more atrocious than incest and adultery. We call it unchastity, yes, a Sodomitic sin.”John Calvin was of the same mindset.

These words can be tough to hear. But they were the prevailing beliefs of all Christians until the sexual revolution taught women that to be free, they must become liberated from the natural consequences of sex.

The truth, however, is that women do not need a way to prevent pregnancy. In a normal 28-day cycle, women are not constantly fertile. They are only able to get pregnant for six days out of their cycle. In other words, birth control was not actually developed to “control” birth or space pregnancies. Women’s bodies do that naturally. Rather, birth control was created to “freely” indulge sexual desire, freed from the potential “burden” of conceiving a child.

And here we find the root of perhaps all our sexual problems today: viewing children and people as commodities, things to be used for our selfish purposes rather than precious gifts from God, created for love. This is the belief at the center of abortion, IVF, surrogacy, and sexual degeneracy.

This is the culture of death.

I know this is a sensitive topic. It directly contradicts everything we have been taught by our culture. I am not suggesting that all couples who use contraception are knowingly and maliciously contributing to the culture of death. Without the grace of God, all of our hearts tend toward selfishness and sin. But the truth will set us free, and the truth is that authentic, total, self-giving love — love that mimics the love of Jesus on the cross, the love between Christ and His church, which married couples are called to imitate — simply cannot coexist with contraception.

Instead of complete selfless love, contraceptives foster use and lust.

Even though this might be tough to hear, it is good news. It is an invitation to a deeper love for the value, beauty, and dignity of human beings. By tracking her cycle, a woman can better understand and appreciate her body and fertility and even uncover the root causes of hormonal issues. By identifying when she can conceive, she and her spouse can communicate and decide whether there is a valid reason they should abstain to avoid pregnancy.

Above all, the couple learns to radically trust in God, who loves them and will not give them more than they can handle. By welcoming children as the gifts they are, each couple can help put an end to the culture of death and bring about a culture of life.

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Lily Hayes

Lily Hayes

Lily Hayes is a producer and researcher for BlazeTV.