Is the morning after pill abortion?
Donna asked, “Is the morning after pill the same as an abortion?”
Even in the pro-life, Christian community, there is some debate on when life truly begins. Some pro-life advocates say it is when brain activity, or a heartbeat is detected in the fetus (usually between the fifth and sixth week of pregnancy). Others say it is when the embryo is implanted in the mother’s uterus (usually within the first week after conception).
But Donna, the majority of the Christian tradition, most pro-life activists, and I believe the Bible is clear that life begins right at conception. As soon as sperm and egg join, in a scientific process called fertilization, that embryo is human.
So, with that foundation, we can address your question about the morning after pill.
The morning after pill uses two different functions to prevent pregnancy, one of which is abortive, and the other is not.
The pill first tries to prevent fertilization; it essentially works to block the sperm from reaching or joining the egg, stopping a human embryo from being created. If the morning after pill only stopped fertilization, or was 100% effective in doing so, it would not be an abortive procedure.
However, as a backup in case preventing fertilization is ineffective, the morning after pill has a secondary function—preventing the embryo from implanting in the uterus. Without implanting in the uterus, the embryo will not be able to survive in its environment, and it will quickly die. Since the embryo is already a human life, preventing it from entering the environment it is capable of surviving in is abortion, it is murder, and it is an immoral sin against God.
Let me end this answer by writing directly to anyone reading this who has taken a plan-B pill or had an abortion later in their pregnancy. Your value and dignity as a woman created in the image of God did not go away when you committed that sin, nor are you any less loved by God. Romans 3 is clear that all people, including all Christians, have sinned, and so your sin, while serious, is no more disqualifying from the family of God than any other.
You are loved by God so much that he sent his Son to die for you, and you can accept His gift of grace, which covers not just this sin, but all your sins. And any godly Christian community in your area will accept you, love you, provide counseling and healing as needed. We are all equal at the foot of the cross, and there is hope for you today.
If you do not know Christ, I encourage you to call our office today and speak to a member of our team.
If you are a believer but worry that your sin of abortion has alienated you from the church, or if you feel unworthy of the fellowship, I encourage you to find church community that will accept you, while not excusing your sin, but extend you the same grace and love that God has given you.
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