What Should Christians Know about Birth Control?

Birth control inhibits conception from ever happening, so there is no formation of a baby in a woman’s womb. There are many reasons why women may use birth control and there is nothing unethical about a woman using birth control for her own health.

Pharmacist showing a woman her prescription

The subject of birth control is a sensitive topic today with the rise in the debate between pro-life and pro-choice arguments. Birth control has evolved over the years and now comes in various forms, such as pills, shots, and intrauterine devices.

It is not hard for a woman to obtain birth control as a simple doctor’s appointment can provide the prescriptions or resources she may need. With all of the controversy surrounding birth control, Christians are eager to know what does the Bible say about birth control? Is it a sin to take birth control?

The Use of Birth Control and the Bible

During the time of the Old Testament and the New Testament, the concept of birth control — pills, shots, and intrauterine devices — was nonexistent. The Bible does not specifically talk about birth control. Even though the Bible does not contain information on birth control, it does not mean it is silent on the issue.

The Bible repeatedly tells us that children are a gift from the Lord (Genesis 33:5; Psalm 127:3-5). Proverbs 17:6 states, “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.” Each individual person is created by God and made in His Image (Genesis 1:27). Every person is valuable to God as the Bible tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16).

This means from the moment of conception, each baby is fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s Image. The Bible also tells us that God knew us before we even took our first breath (Galatians 1:15). In the Book of Jeremiah, God tells the prophet, Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

It is without a doubt that life begins at conception and that each child is a wonderful creation of God. Does this mean it is not biblical to use birth control? Many people believe birth control is the same as abortion. Abortion is terminating a baby made in God’s Image, which is always a sin, and it is wrong.

However, birth control is not the same as abortion. As stated by Evita Almassi with the National Women’s Health Network, “birth control is not an abortion-inducing drug.” Birth control pills, shots, and intrauterine devices are all forms of contraception. Contraception prevents conception from occurring, as it is not terminating a baby.

In other words, contraception inhibits conception from ever happening, so there is no formation of a baby in a woman’s womb. There is nothing unethical about a woman using birth control unless her motives are wrong. If an individual is using birth control with unbiblical motives, it is wrong.

There is nothing wrong with a woman using birth control if she and her husband do not feel they are ready to have children yet. There is something wrong if a single woman is using birth control to “date around.” The Bible is clear that sexual relations are only between a married man and woman (Genesis 2:24; 1 Corinthians 7:2). Anything outside of this God-designed relationship is sin.

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:4-6).

Other Reasons for Birth Control

There are many reasons why women may use birth control outside of the commonly thought reasons. Many women use birth control to manage abnormal bleeding, such as menorrhagia, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or endometriosis.

Using birth control can actually help women have a better quality of life if they are struggling with these different types of gynecological issues. As in the case of menorrhagia, birth control will actually prevent a woman’s monthly cycle in order for the woman not to become anemic.

Likewise for polycystic ovary syndrome, a different type of birth control can help the woman have a monthly cycle as women who struggle with PCOS do not have a monthly cycle for some unknown reason.

The right kind of hormonal medication can help a woman with PCOS be able to conceive a child as it is normally difficult for a woman with PCOS to be able to have children. Similarly, a woman may also take birth control to help ease symptoms of endometriosis.

Endometriosis can cause abnormally heavy bleeding, abdominal pains, headaches, and mood swings among other negative symptoms. Therefore, in these cases, birth control can help save a woman’s life as well as it can help a woman conceive a child.

Understanding Birth Control

If a woman tells you she is on birth control, it is wise not to jump to conclusions. As we have discussed, there is nothing unethical about a woman using birth control as long as her motives are correct. One has to fully understand the situation before they offer their own advice.

If you are struggling today with the decision of using birth control, you can rest assured that using birth control is not a sin. As long as a woman is married and she and her husband have both decided they are not ready to have children, it is okay.

However, single women who are simply using birth control for their own selfish desires and motives should know that using birth control in this manner is unethical and sinful. If you are a woman diagnosed with menorrhagia, PCOS, endometriosis, or another gynecological issue, be assured that it is not a sin to take birth control to help with your illness.

In fact, taking birth control will be able to give you a better quality of life and enable you to have a better quality of life in service to God. In the modern debate of pro-life versus pro-choice, many women feel divided on whether or not birth control is a form of abortion.

Birth control is not a form of abortion, and it should be seen as such. It is always good to examine your motives before you look into taking birth control as it is with every other area of your life. God wants you to make all decisions with a pure heart dedicated to serving Him.

For further reading:

Is Singleness a Lesser State Than Marriage?

How Did a Husband’s Love Help in the Face of Barrenness in the Bible?

What Does the Bible Say about Abortion?

Prayers for My Baby

Is it Biblical ‘Where God Guides, He Provides’?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/gorodenkoff


Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Christian Ministry and is currently working toward her Master’s Degree. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is probably embarking on an adventure.