Birth Control vs. Abortion

Is Birth Control (Condemns, Vasectomies, Birth Control Pill) same as Abortion?

  • No; Abortion kills a living person. Birth Control Prevents Conception in the First Place

    Votes: 28 90.3%
  • Yes. A Sperm is a Potential Life, and Preventing Conception is Murder

    Votes: 2 6.5%
  • Not Sure

    Votes: 1 3.2%

  • Total voters
    31

Benjamin the Red

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#1Sinner said:
Dimitrios-Georgios said:
Kerdy said:
Dimitrios-Georgios said:
Back in school, my θεολόγος (theologian teacher? I don't know how it is translated) used to say that sex does not have a sole purpose of having kids, since were that the case, sterile people shouldn't be married in the first place.
The fault with this idea is you would not know they were sterile until they married.
Yes, I see how I gave the wrong idea. He meant that they would consider their marriage worthless after finding that one or both of them are sterile. Also, how can you tell your wife "I won't have sex with you anymore, since the tests showed there's no possibility of pregnancy"?
Traditionally, at least in the Latin Church, sterility was an impediment to marriage.

The point of not having sex if you are sterile since there is no chance of conception is not the same as actively blocking conception. A sterile couple are not taking active, artificial means for blocking conception.

This is admittedly my biggest hurdle in possibly converting to Orthodoxy. I am convinced that artificial birth control is always sinful, to one degree or another. The constant tradition of the Church seems to favor this view as well. It is more in keeping with the hedonistic ethos of the the World to actively prevent preganancy by artifial means. It prevents the natural end of the marital union as intended by God.

Doctrinal controveries aside, the Roman Church has always taken an unambigious stance against moral evils such as contraception and abortion in ALL cases. I was disappointed to see a statement on, I believe the GOarch website, condoning abortion in cases of life of mother (a medical non-necessity).

I'm currently struggling with this mightley since it is about my last hurdle to Orthodoxy. If someone can point me to some doctrinal resource regarding the Orthodox teaching regarding these things I would appreciate it.
I'd argue that the life of the mother is a medical necessity...for her. If either the child or the mother is going to die, death is inevitable...it's just about which one. It's a tough decision, but I'd keep my wife.

Though, I heard once of a priest who had to counsel a woman facing this situation. He told her that he wouldn't condemn her choice to have an abortion, if it came to that, but that if she didn't and died...he'd consider her a martyr. I'd have to agree with that sentiment.
 

Achronos

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I also would rather have the wife live only because if the baby was to survive it would not have its biological mother which I think is a very big issue. But of course it's hard imaging the grief a mother would have knowing she had to abort the baby to save her own life. I worry regret would consume the wife and it probably would take along time to heal.

I pray I am never in that sitaution.
 

Asteriktos

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#1Sinner said:
I'm currently struggling with this mightley since it is about my last hurdle to Orthodoxy. If someone can point me to some doctrinal resource regarding the Orthodox teaching regarding these things I would appreciate it.
The problem is, it depends on who you ask. A text with lots of patristic quotes (East and West) is Contraception: A History of its Treatment by Catholic Theologians and Canonists by the RC John T Noonan, but it isn't very tradition in methodology or conclusions. A great book on sexuality and gender generally, from a more traditional Orthodox viewpoint, is Women and Men in the Early Church: The Full Views of St. John Chrysostom by David Ford, who takes the position that the Greek east never went as far as the Latin west in worrying about these kinds of things, and was never as rigorist. And here is an excerpt from what the Russian Orthodox Church believes:

Among the problems which need a religious and moral assessment is that of contraception. Some contraceptives have an abortive effect, interrupting artificially the life of the embryo on the very first stages of his life. Therefore, the same judgements are applicable to the use of them as to abortion. But other means, which do not involve interrupting an already conceived life, cannot be equated with abortion in the least. In defining their attitude to the non-abortive contraceptives, Christian spouses should remember that human reproduction is one of the principal purposes of the divinely established marital union (see, X. 4). The deliberate refusal of childbirth on egoistic grounds devalues marriage and is a definite sin.

At the same time, spouses are responsible before God for the comprehensive upbringing of their children. One of the ways to be responsible for their birth is to restrain themselves from sexual relations for a time. However, Christian spouses should remember the words of St. Paul addressed to them: "Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency" (1 Cor. 7:5). Clearly, spouses should make such decisions mutually on the counsel of their spiritual father. The latter should take into account, with pastoral prudence, the concrete living conditions of the couple, their age, health, degree of spiritual maturity and many other circumstances. In doing so, he should distinguish those who can hold the high demands of continence from those to whom it is not given (Mt. 19:11), taking care above all of the preservation and consolidation of the family.

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in its Decision of December 28, 1998, instructed the clergy serving as spiritual guides that "it is inadmissible to coerce or induce the flock to… refuse conjugal relations in marriage". It also reminded the pastors of the need "to show special chastity and special pastoral prudence in discussing with the flock the questions involved in particular aspects of their family life".
 

#1Sinner

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Benjamin the Red said:
#1Sinner said:
Dimitrios-Georgios said:
Kerdy said:
Dimitrios-Georgios said:
Back in school, my θεολόγος (theologian teacher? I don't know how it is translated) used to say that sex does not have a sole purpose of having kids, since were that the case, sterile people shouldn't be married in the first place.
The fault with this idea is you would not know they were sterile until they married.
Yes, I see how I gave the wrong idea. He meant that they would consider their marriage worthless after finding that one or both of them are sterile. Also, how can you tell your wife "I won't have sex with you anymore, since the tests showed there's no possibility of pregnancy"?
Traditionally, at least in the Latin Church, sterility was an impediment to marriage.

The point of not having sex if you are sterile since there is no chance of conception is not the same as actively blocking conception. A sterile couple are not taking active, artificial means for blocking conception.

This is admittedly my biggest hurdle in possibly converting to Orthodoxy. I am convinced that artificial birth control is always sinful, to one degree or another. The constant tradition of the Church seems to favor this view as well. It is more in keeping with the hedonistic ethos of the the World to actively prevent preganancy by artifial means. It prevents the natural end of the marital union as intended by God.

Doctrinal controveries aside, the Roman Church has always taken an unambigious stance against moral evils such as contraception and abortion in ALL cases. I was disappointed to see a statement on, I believe the GOarch website, condoning abortion in cases of life of mother (a medical non-necessity).

I'm currently struggling with this mightley since it is about my last hurdle to Orthodoxy. If someone can point me to some doctrinal resource regarding the Orthodox teaching regarding these things I would appreciate it.
I'd argue that the life of the mother is a medical necessity...for her. If either the child or the mother is going to die, death is inevitable...it's just about which one. It's a tough decision, but I'd keep my wife.

Though, I heard once of a priest who had to counsel a woman facing this situation. He told her that he wouldn't condemn her choice to have an abortion, if it came to that, but that if she didn't and died...he'd consider her a martyr. I'd have to agree with that sentiment.
Direct abortion is always sinful. This is not a matter of situational ethics.

I believe the principle of double effect comes into play here. In a situation you describe one could decide to save the mother in such a way that it would unintentially cause the death of the infant. This is different then directly aborting the baby wherein the intention is to take the life of the baby. An example I suppose would be for a mother who has cancer taking chemotherapy in order to save her own life while, not intending to but as a side effect, the baby dying.

I know Thomism is frowned upon by a lot of Orthodox but it does help to answer these difficult questions.
 

#1Sinner

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Asteriktos said:
#1Sinner said:
I'm currently struggling with this mightley since it is about my last hurdle to Orthodoxy. If someone can point me to some doctrinal resource regarding the Orthodox teaching regarding these things I would appreciate it.
The problem is, it depends on who you ask. A text with lots of patristic quotes (East and West) is Contraception: A History of its Treatment by Catholic Theologians and Canonists by the RC John T Noonan, but it isn't very tradition in methodology or conclusions. A great book on sexuality and gender generally, from a more traditional Orthodox viewpoint, is Women and Men in the Early Church: The Full Views of St. John Chrysostom by David Ford, who takes the position that the Greek east never went as far as the Latin west in worrying about these kinds of things, and was never as rigorist. And here is an excerpt from what the Russian Orthodox Church believes:

Among the problems which need a religious and moral assessment is that of contraception. Some contraceptives have an abortive effect, interrupting artificially the life of the embryo on the very first stages of his life. Therefore, the same judgements are applicable to the use of them as to abortion. But other means, which do not involve interrupting an already conceived life, cannot be equated with abortion in the least. In defining their attitude to the non-abortive contraceptives, Christian spouses should remember that human reproduction is one of the principal purposes of the divinely established marital union (see, X. 4). The deliberate refusal of childbirth on egoistic grounds devalues marriage and is a definite sin.

At the same time, spouses are responsible before God for the comprehensive upbringing of their children. One of the ways to be responsible for their birth is to restrain themselves from sexual relations for a time. However, Christian spouses should remember the words of St. Paul addressed to them: "Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency" (1 Cor. 7:5). Clearly, spouses should make such decisions mutually on the counsel of their spiritual father. The latter should take into account, with pastoral prudence, the concrete living conditions of the couple, their age, health, degree of spiritual maturity and many other circumstances. In doing so, he should distinguish those who can hold the high demands of continence from those to whom it is not given (Mt. 19:11), taking care above all of the preservation and consolidation of the family.

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in its Decision of December 28, 1998, instructed the clergy serving as spiritual guides that "it is inadmissible to coerce or induce the flock to… refuse conjugal relations in marriage". It also reminded the pastors of the need "to show special chastity and special pastoral prudence in discussing with the flock the questions involved in particular aspects of their family life".
Thank you for those book suggestions. I'll take a look.
 

Benjamin the Red

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#1Sinner said:
Benjamin the Red said:
#1Sinner said:
Dimitrios-Georgios said:
Kerdy said:
Dimitrios-Georgios said:
Back in school, my θεολόγος (theologian teacher? I don't know how it is translated) used to say that sex does not have a sole purpose of having kids, since were that the case, sterile people shouldn't be married in the first place.
The fault with this idea is you would not know they were sterile until they married.
Yes, I see how I gave the wrong idea. He meant that they would consider their marriage worthless after finding that one or both of them are sterile. Also, how can you tell your wife "I won't have sex with you anymore, since the tests showed there's no possibility of pregnancy"?
Traditionally, at least in the Latin Church, sterility was an impediment to marriage.

The point of not having sex if you are sterile since there is no chance of conception is not the same as actively blocking conception. A sterile couple are not taking active, artificial means for blocking conception.

This is admittedly my biggest hurdle in possibly converting to Orthodoxy. I am convinced that artificial birth control is always sinful, to one degree or another. The constant tradition of the Church seems to favor this view as well. It is more in keeping with the hedonistic ethos of the the World to actively prevent preganancy by artifial means. It prevents the natural end of the marital union as intended by God.

Doctrinal controveries aside, the Roman Church has always taken an unambigious stance against moral evils such as contraception and abortion in ALL cases. I was disappointed to see a statement on, I believe the GOarch website, condoning abortion in cases of life of mother (a medical non-necessity).

I'm currently struggling with this mightley since it is about my last hurdle to Orthodoxy. If someone can point me to some doctrinal resource regarding the Orthodox teaching regarding these things I would appreciate it.
I'd argue that the life of the mother is a medical necessity...for her. If either the child or the mother is going to die, death is inevitable...it's just about which one. It's a tough decision, but I'd keep my wife.

Though, I heard once of a priest who had to counsel a woman facing this situation. He told her that he wouldn't condemn her choice to have an abortion, if it came to that, but that if she didn't and died...he'd consider her a martyr. I'd have to agree with that sentiment.
Direct abortion is always sinful. This is not a matter of situational ethics.

I believe the principle of double effect comes into play here. In a situation you describe one could decide to save the mother in such a way that it would unintentially cause the death of the infant. This is different then directly aborting the baby wherein the intention is to take the life of the baby. An example I suppose would be for a mother who has cancer taking chemotherapy in order to save her own life while, not intending to but as a side effect, the baby dying.

I know Thomism is frowned upon by a lot of Orthodox but it does help to answer these difficult questions.
It's murder, and is sinful...regardless. No argument here.

And, yes, my argument is a choice between the life of the mother or the baby wherein one must die to save the other. ANY other reason is invalid, in my opinion.
 

Kerdy

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Benjamin the Red said:
#1Sinner said:
Benjamin the Red said:
#1Sinner said:
Dimitrios-Georgios said:
Kerdy said:
Dimitrios-Georgios said:
Back in school, my θεολόγος (theologian teacher? I don't know how it is translated) used to say that sex does not have a sole purpose of having kids, since were that the case, sterile people shouldn't be married in the first place.
The fault with this idea is you would not know they were sterile until they married.
Yes, I see how I gave the wrong idea. He meant that they would consider their marriage worthless after finding that one or both of them are sterile. Also, how can you tell your wife "I won't have sex with you anymore, since the tests showed there's no possibility of pregnancy"?
Traditionally, at least in the Latin Church, sterility was an impediment to marriage.

The point of not having sex if you are sterile since there is no chance of conception is not the same as actively blocking conception. A sterile couple are not taking active, artificial means for blocking conception.

This is admittedly my biggest hurdle in possibly converting to Orthodoxy. I am convinced that artificial birth control is always sinful, to one degree or another. The constant tradition of the Church seems to favor this view as well. It is more in keeping with the hedonistic ethos of the the World to actively prevent preganancy by artifial means. It prevents the natural end of the marital union as intended by God.

Doctrinal controveries aside, the Roman Church has always taken an unambigious stance against moral evils such as contraception and abortion in ALL cases. I was disappointed to see a statement on, I believe the GOarch website, condoning abortion in cases of life of mother (a medical non-necessity).

I'm currently struggling with this mightley since it is about my last hurdle to Orthodoxy. If someone can point me to some doctrinal resource regarding the Orthodox teaching regarding these things I would appreciate it.
I'd argue that the life of the mother is a medical necessity...for her. If either the child or the mother is going to die, death is inevitable...it's just about which one. It's a tough decision, but I'd keep my wife.

Though, I heard once of a priest who had to counsel a woman facing this situation. He told her that he wouldn't condemn her choice to have an abortion, if it came to that, but that if she didn't and died...he'd consider her a martyr. I'd have to agree with that sentiment.
Direct abortion is always sinful. This is not a matter of situational ethics.

I believe the principle of double effect comes into play here. In a situation you describe one could decide to save the mother in such a way that it would unintentially cause the death of the infant. This is different then directly aborting the baby wherein the intention is to take the life of the baby. An example I suppose would be for a mother who has cancer taking chemotherapy in order to save her own life while, not intending to but as a side effect, the baby dying.

I know Thomism is frowned upon by a lot of Orthodox but it does help to answer these difficult questions.
It's murder, and is sinful...regardless. No argument here.

And, yes, my argument is a choice between the life of the mother or the baby wherein one must die to save the other. ANY other reason is invalid, in my opinion.
You will find some people will make the argument in support of abortion relating the smallest percentage of occurrences.  I once has someone suggest to me a justifiable reason and found the statistics were something like 0.04 percent of all abortions.  But this is what they used to argue for all abortions.
 
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