Abstinence means not having oral, vaginal, or anal sex. You can be popular and cool without having sex. Young people sometimes think “everybody is doing it.” They are not. Both young men and young women choose abstinence. Having sex too soon can get in the way of other important things in your life – like school, friends, and family. Additionally, you can choose abstinence even if you have already had sex.
The best reason’s to wait to have sex:
- I’m not ready – yet.
- I have plans for my future.
- I’m not ready to have a baby.
- My relationship is not ready.
- I’m protecting myself from STIs and HIV.
- I want to wait until I’m married.
- It’s my decision to wait!
- Everyone is not doing it.
- Regretting you past.
- Feeling regret for doing something morally wrong.
- Losing your self-respect.
- Corrupting your character.
- Losing trust and fearing commitment.
- Depressed and thinking of suicide.
Saying Yes to Abstinence is Saying Yes to You
- You have goals and don’t want to be distracted from reaching those goals.
- You want to finish school, go to college, and get a good job.
- The risks of a sexual relationship – unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and emotional complications.
- There are about 19 million new cases of STIs each year.
- Choosing abstinence means not taking chances with your health.
- Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to avoid pregnancy.
What Does the Bible say about Love, Sex, Lust, Temptation, and Purity?
I Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV. “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Sex is a gift God gives to a married man and woman. Proverbs 5:18-19, NKJV. “Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love.”
Romance and sexual relations
Romance and sexual relations are highly recommended within the commitment of marriage. The Song of Solomon 1:2,12-13 NKJV. “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth; For your love is better than wine.. . . While the king is at his table, My spikenard sends forth its fragrance. A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, That lies all night between my breasts.”
Adultery The sixth commandment forbids adultery. Exodus 20:14, “You shall not commit adultery.”
Lust itself is a sinful behavior and is often used as an excuse for further sin. Matthew 5:28, NKJV. Christ professed, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Purity Matthew 5:8, NIV. “Happy are those whose hearts are pure, for they shall see God.”
Choose friends with pure hearts. II Timothy 2:22, NKJV. “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
A PRO-LIFE WAY TO PLAN PREGNANCY
How can someone prevent an unwanted pregnancy without taking abortifacient drugs like hormonal contraceptives or birth control pills?
They may consider FAMs (Fertility Awareness Methods).
FAMs are modern evidence-based methods of tracking a woman’s menstrual cycle, through observable signs unique to each woman. Fertility Awareness Methods help a woman know more about hormonal health and when she is naturally fertile and infertile. By observing and charting biomarkers of fertility, women can be equipped to reach health goals with greater precision and meet family planning needs with high rates of effectiveness.
FAMs are often used as a form of natural family planning. They teach you when you are fertile and when you are not, at natural times in your cycle. By avoiding intercourse during periods of your cycle when you are fertile, you can use a FAM/NFP as a form of natural birth control, and at effectiveness rates that rival pharmaceutical birth control. You can also use these methods to achieve pregnancy if that’s your goal.
Which method is the most effective? The answer is the one that works best for you.
Five of the most commonly used methods of fertility awareness are:
- Sympto-Thermal Method
- Creighton Method
- Billings Method
- Marquette Method
You can learn a FAM from a book or an app, but you may feel more confident by learning from a trained instructor. Reputable FAM/NFP providers offer a network of trained instructors at your service. Because of their experience in observing cycles and reading charts, they are also able to help you understand if your charts show optimal health or signs that you need further medical support.
FEMM (Fertility Education and Medical Management) is a method that uses cervical fluid as the primary biomarker but also utilizes urine tests as an option to confirm ovulation and therefore the end of fertility each month. FEMM users can also include basal body temperature readings in their charts if they wish. The FEMM charting app also matches its teaching where FEMM-trained medical practitioners can help diagnose and treat hormonal disorders, infertility, and other cycle-related issues.
FEMM is a modern, easy-to-learn (and use) method that has a medical component should you need it. Many women like the flexibility of utilizing their desired biomarkers, and the fact that there is an app to use for charting. To learn more about FEMM or find an instructor, visit femmhealth.org.
The Sympto-Thermal Method (STM) is most often taught by an organization called the Couple-to-Couple League. STM tracks three different signs: changes in cervical mucus, basal body temperature, and optionally, cervical position and firmness. Changes in the cervix and cervical mucus can tell you when you are fertile and when you are likely ovulating. Observing your basal body temperature confirms that ovulation has happened once you see a spike in temperature. All of these observations must be recorded on a chart or in an app, each day.
The Sympto-Thermal Method incorporates the main components of every other method. If you are interested in STM, look for an in-person or online class through the Couple-to-Couple League or SymptoPro, the two major organizations which specialize in the teaching of this method.
The Creighton method tracks cervical mucus. Additionally, the Creighton chart comes with different colored stickers for marking days of menstruation, mucus, dry days, and fertile mucus, so a pattern of abnormality is easy to spot immediately. A further benefit of the Creighton method is that an accurate and detailed Creighton chart can be used by a Natural Procreative Technology (NaPro) doctor to diagnose important health issues, including infertility and hormonal imbalances.
Creighton and its association with NaProTechnology are attractive to anyone struggling with and seeking treatment for infertility or any menstrual irregularities. Learning this method can be more expensive than others because of the one-on-one nature of instruction, but many also see this kind of individualized approach as a benefit. To learn more about Creighton, go to fertilitycare.org.
BILLINGS OVULATION METHOD
The Billings method is another cervical mucus-only method, although, unlike Creighton, it doesn’t require any testing of the mucus. Instead, Billings puts a strong emphasis on the sensation of mucus and requires users to note the sensations during the regular activities of the day.
Many couples very happily use Billings. We recommend it to beginners because it is easy to learn. Billings is a great option for someone who is looking for a no-fuss, less regimented FAM option. To learn more, go to boma-usa.org.
Like FEMM, the Marquette method is a member of the Sympto Hormonal family of methods and a method with the strongest evidence of high effectiveness rates for avoiding pregnancy. Marquette utilizes a fertility monitor and urine test sticks to help determine days of low, high, and peak fertility by detecting surges in estrogen and luteinizing hormone. The monitor “learns” your individual cycle and prompts you for urine tests on specific days based on its recordings of your previous cycles. The monitor readings can be combined with other fertility biomarkers—like basal body temperature readings or cervical mucus observations—for increased accuracy.
The Marquette method is simple and doesn’t require an action every day of the cycle. The monitor isn’t cheap, and you’ll need to buy additional test sticks every couple of months. Second, it is possible for the monitor to miss the peak reading about 10 percent of the time. For this reason, many users also incorporate ovulation predictor test strips (OPkits) to be extra safe when avoiding pregnancy. Third, in a normal cycle, abstinence begins on a specific cycle day regardless of the monitor reading, which might create more days of abstinence than other methods. For more information check out MarquetteMethod.com.
Pro-Life Mississippi values all human life from fertilization to natural death. Knowing that many contraceptive methods can cause early abortions after fertilization, we want to offer the following information.
All hormonal contraceptives are considered “Abortifacient” [pronounced ah-bor″tĭ-fa´shent] products. Abortifacient means unnaturally causing an early abortion which causes the end of pre-born life. These drugs promise to prevent pregnancy but can also act by ending a new human life. If you choose a method of birth control to prevent pregnancy, we want you to be aware of the ethical concerns surrounding contraceptive products.
Let’s look closer at how these products work:
Hormonal contraceptives work to prevent pregnancy by:
- Suppressing ovulation (the release of the egg from the ovary)
- Changing the consistency of cervical mucus to prevent fertilization
- Making the lining of the uterus too thin to accept the implantation of a fertilized egg
At the time of fertilization, a new human life begins – a person with unique DNA is formed. There is no way to predict or control how these products might work in your circumstances. For this reason, many women feel uncomfortable taking hormonal contraceptives.
Abortifacient forms of contraception include:
- Oral Contraceptives (the birth control pill)
- IUD’s (Intra-uterine devices)
- Hormonal patches, shots or vaginal rings
- Plan B (emergency contraceptive)
Non-abortifacient forms of contraception include:
- Male and female Condoms
- Vaginal Sponge
- Cervical cap/shield
- Sterilization (tubal ligation or vasectomy)
Studies have found that typical use of condoms leads to a very high failure rate in preventing pregnancy. It has been found that with typical use, over the period of a year, for every 100 women using condoms for birth control, 18 of them will become pregnant.
A False Sense of Security
Condoms are often promoted as a solution to sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. However, condoms fail even when used and stored exactly as recommended. Here is a list of possible failures:
- One out of 100 fail because of slipping during or after sex
- Two out of 100 break due to latex degradation from:
- Usage past the expiration date
- Improper storage
- Exposure to oils
- Two out of 100 condoms show no breaks or leaks, but semen is still detectable in the woman.
- Even when using a condom PERFECTLY (applying, using and removing exactly as the CDC recommends every time there is sexual contact), two out of 100 women still become pregnant, and there is still a signiﬁcant risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections.
- The AIDS virus is only 0.1 micron in size… 50 times smaller than the voids (holes) in rubber…the virus can readily pass through a condom.
The Combination Pill
Birth control pills are a form of hormonal contraception. Many women use the pill to prevent pregnancy. If you use it perfectly, the pill is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. However, people can easily forget or miss pills and are only 91% effective with “typical use”. The pill can also be used to reduce heavy periods, treat acne, and ease symptoms of certain reproductive system issues.
Combination birth control pills contain estrogen and progestin.
Birth control pills are packaged in different ways:
Conventional packs usually contain 21 active pills and seven inactive pills, or 24 active pills and four inactive pills. Bleeding occurs every month when you take inactive pills.
Continuous dosing or extended cycle. These packs typically contain 84 active pills and seven inactive pills. Bleeding generally occurs only four times a year during the time when you take the inactive pills. Formulations containing only active pills — eliminating bleeding — also are available.
Combination birth control pills are also categorized according to whether the dose of hormones stays the same or varies:
Monophasic. In this type of combination birth control pill, each active pill contains the same amount of estrogen and progestin.
Multiphasic. In this type of combination birth control pill, the amounts of hormones in active pills vary.
Combination birth control pills that contain less than 50 micrograms of Ethinyl estradiol, a kind of estrogen, are known as low-dose pills. Women who are sensitive to hormones may benefit from taking a lower dose pill. However, low-dose pills may result in more breakthrough bleeding — bleeding or spotting between periods — than do higher-dose pills.
How does it work?
Combination birth control pills suppress ovulation — keeping your ovaries from releasing an egg. Combination birth control pills also thicken cervical mucus and thin the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to keep sperm from joining the egg.
What are the drawbacks?
- No protection against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV
- Increased risk of heart attack and stroke
- Increased risk of blood clots, with a slightly greater risk of blood clots linked to certain types of progestin used in the pill (though the overall effect of progestin type on blood clot risk is small)
- Side effects such as irregular bleeding, bloating, breast tenderness, nausea, depression, weight gain and headache
Intrauterine Devise (IUD)
ParaGard is an intrauterine device (IUD) that can provide long-term birth control (contraception). It is sometimes referred to as a nonhormonal IUD option.
The ParaGard device is a T-shaped plastic frame that’s inserted into the uterus. Copper wire coiled around the device produces an inflammatory reaction that is toxic to sperm and eggs (ova), preventing pregnancy.
ParaGard is the only copper IUD available in the United States. It can prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years after insertion.
What are the risks?
The contraceptive implant does not offer protection from sexually transmitted infections.
Fewer than 1 out of 100 women who use the contraceptive implant for one year will get pregnant. If you do conceive while using a contraceptive implant, there is a higher chance that the pregnancy will be ectopic — when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. However, because a contraceptive implant prevents most pregnancies, women who use it are at lower risk of having an ectopic pregnancy than are other sexually active women who aren’t using contraception.
What are the drawbacks?
- Abdominal or back pain
- An increased risk of noncancerous ovarian cysts
- Changes in vaginal bleeding patterns, including absence of menstruation (amenorrhea)
- Decreased sex drive
- Mild insulin resistance
- Mood swings and depression
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Potential interaction with other medications
- Sore breasts
- Vaginal inflammation or dryness
- Weight gain
Mirena is a hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) that can provide long-term birth control (contraception).
The device is a T-shaped plastic frame that is inserted into the uterus, where it releases a type of the hormone progestin. To prevent pregnancy, Mirena:
- Thickens mucus in the cervix to stop sperm from reaching or fertilizing an egg
- Thins the lining of the uterus and partially suppresses ovulation
- Mirena prevents pregnancy for up to five years after insertion. It is one of several hormonal IUDs with Food and Drug Administration approval.
What are the Risks?
Less than 1 percent of women who use Mirena will get pregnant in a year of typical use.
If you do conceive while using Mirena, you are at a higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy — when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. However, because Mirena prevents most pregnancies, women who use it are at lower risk of having an ectopic pregnancy than are other sexually active women who are not using contraception.
Mirena is generally safe. But it is important to remember that:
- Mirena does not protect against STIs.
- Rarely, insertion of Mirena causes perforation of the uterus. The risk of perforation might be higher when inserted during the postpartum period.
What are the side effects?
- Breast tenderness
- Irregular bleeding, which can improve after six months of use
- Mood changes
- Cramping or pelvic pain
Birth Control Patch
The birth control patch for women is a type of contraception that contains the hormones estrogen and progestin. You place the small patch on your skin once a week for three weeks, so that you wear a patch for a total of 21 days. During the fourth week, you don’t wear a patch — which allows menstrual bleeding to occur.
The birth control patch works similarly to combination of birth control pills. The birth control patch prevents pregnancy by releasing hormones into your bloodstream that keep your ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation). The birth control patch also thickens cervical mucus to keep sperm from reaching an egg.
What are the Risks?
Compared to oral contraceptives, less than one out of 100 women will get pregnant during the first year of typical use of the birth control patch.
The birth control patch doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Possible side effects
- An increased risk of blood-clotting problems, heart attack, stroke, liver cancer, gallbladder disease, and high blood pressure
- Breakthrough bleeding or spotting
- Skin irritation
- Breast tenderness or pain
- Menstrual pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Muscle spasms
- Vaginal infections and discharge
- Fluid retention
NuvaRing is a hormonal birth control (contraceptive) device for women. It is a flexible, transparent plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina. NuvaRing is worn for three weeks, removed — allowing menstruation to occur — and then a new ring is inserted after a week.
Similar to combination birth control pills, NuvaRing prevents pregnancy by releasing hormones into your body. The hormones suppress ovulation — keeping your ovaries from releasing an egg.
The hormones in NuvaRing might also:
- Thicken cervical mucus to keep sperm from reaching an egg
- Thin the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg
What are the risks?
About 1 out of 100 women will get pregnant in a typical year of using NuvaRing. The vaginal ring does not offer protection from sexually transmitted infections.
NuvaRing is generally very well-tolerated, but possible side effects include:
- Breakthrough bleeding or spotting
- Vaginal infection or irritation
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Decreased sex drive
- Breast tenderness
- An increased risk of blood-clotting problems, heart attack, stroke, liver cancer, gallbladder disease, and toxic shock syndrome
Call your health care provider right away if you have:
- Leg pain that doesn’t go away
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Severe pain or pressure in your chest
- Sudden, severe headache unlike your usual headaches
- Weakness or numbness in an arm or leg, or trouble speaking
- Foul vaginal odor or vaginal itching
- Two missed periods or other possible signs of pregnancy
The birth control shot is commonly known by the brand name Depo-Provera (DMPA) or Depo-shot. Depo-Provera is a contraceptive injection for women that contains the hormone progestin. Depo-Provera is given as an injection every three months (12-14 weeks). The shot typically suppresses ovulation, keeping your ovaries from releasing an egg. The shot also thickens cervical mucus to keep sperm from reaching the egg.
Medroxyprogesterone injection is also available in a lower dosage. This version is called Depo-SubQ Provera 104. While Depo-Provera is injected deep into the muscle, Depo-SubQ Provera 104 is injected just beneath the skin. Both injections have similar benefits and risks. To use Depo-Provera or Depo-SubQ Provera 104, you’ll need to visit your doctor or other health care provider.
What are the Risks?
In a year of typical use, an estimated 6 out of 100 women using Depo-Provera will get pregnant. But the risk of pregnancy is much lower in women who return every 3 months for their injections.
Depo-SubQ Provera 104 was highly effective in initial studies. However, it’s a newer medication, so current research may not reflect pregnancy rates in typical use.
What are the side effects?
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased interest in sex
- Depression (sleep problems, weakness, mood changes)
- Irregular periods and breakthrough bleeding
- Weakness and fatigue
- Weight gain
Consult your health care provider as soon as possible if you have:
- Heavy bleeding or concerns about your bleeding patterns
- Trouble breathing
- Pus, prolonged pain, redness, itching or bleeding at the injection site
- Severe lower abdominal pain
- A serious allergic reaction, including swelling in your face, hands, ankles, or feet
- Other symptoms that concern you
Many experts believe progestin-only contraceptive methods, such as Depo-Provera, carry significantly lower risks of these types of complications than do contraceptive methods that contain both estrogen and progestin.
You might have a delay in your return to fertility. After stopping Depo-Provera, it might take 10 months or more before you begin ovulating again. If you want to become pregnant in the next year or so, Depo-Provera might not be the right birth control method for you.
Depo-Provera doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections. In fact, some studies suggest that hormonal contraceptives such as Depo-Provera might increase a woman’s risk of chlamydia and HIV. It isn’t known whether this association is due to the hormone or behavioral issues related to the use of reliable contraception.
Using condoms will decrease your risk of a sexually transmitted infection. If you’re concerned about HIV, talk with your health care provider.
It might affect bone mineral density. Research has suggested that Depo-Provera and Depo-SubQ Provera 104 might cause a loss of bone mineral density. This loss might be especially concerning in teens who haven’t reached their peak bone mass. And it’s not clear whether this loss is reversible.
Because of this, the Food and Drug Administration added strong warnings to the injection packaging cautioning that Depo-Provera and Depo-SubQ Provera 104 shouldn’t be used for longer than two years. The warning also states that using these products might increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures later in life.
If you have other risk factors for osteoporosis, such as a family history of bone loss and certain eating disorders, it’s a good idea to discuss the potential risks and benefits of this form of contraception with your doctor, as well as learn about other contraceptive options.
Stem Cells & Cloning
Stem Cells are very primitive cells, as yet undifferentiated, from which all of the organs of the body develop.
Two types are being investigated.
- Adult stem cells are taken from the donor, cultured, and returned to the donor.
- Embryonic stem cells are taken from another human (an embryo), cultured, and used to treat the already born human.
Advantages of Adult Stem Cells:
Adult stem cells are plentiful in bone marrow, cord blood and many other organs. In recent years there have been dozens of research reports of successful use of these in treatment of a variety of pathological conditions, e.g., diabetes. Such use is ethical and promises to be a great boon to mankind.
Embryonic stem cells are obtained from four-day-old living human embryos. This tiny human is cut open and embryonic stem cells are extracted from him or her. The process directly kills a four-day-old human. Because of this direct killing, the method of “harvesting” these cells has been roundly condemned by traditional ethicists.
Advantages of Embryonic Stem Cells:
- Some researchers claim that these cells are more primitive and therefore will more easily be grown into various organs.
- They are available from surplus frozen IVF embryos.
- They are so primitive that the host recipient will probably not reject them.
The use of adult stem cells is ethical and beneficial. Obtaining and using embryonic stem cells is unethical, as it requires the direct killing of an innocent human in the so-far not realized hope of benefiting another.
Disadvantages of Embryonic Stem Cells:
- They are more “plastic” and easily (and as yet uncontrollably) grow wild into multi-organ tissues e.g. skin, bone, etc., in tumors.
- They can carry virus infection from the donor humans, through their original sperm or ovum.
- They are another human’s tissue and can be rejected like other transplanted organs.
So far, unlike adult stem cells, there are almost no reports of their use for successful treatments.
According to the Biology Online Dictionary: The process of creating an exact copy of a biological unit (e.g. a DNA sequence, cell, or organism) from which it was derived, especially by way of biotechnological methods.
Cloning can be natural or artificial. Examples of cloning that occur naturally are as follows:
- vegetative reproduction in plants, e.g. water hyacinth producing multiple copies of genetically-identical plants through apomixis
- binary fission in bacteria
- parthenogenesis in certain animals
Making multiple copies by manipulation procedures or biotechnology is artificial cloning. It can be:
- molecular cloning, where copies of specific gene fragments are produced
- cellular cloning, where single-celled organisms with the exact genetic content of the original cell are produced in cell cultures
- organism cloning, or reproductive cloning, where a multicellular clone is created generally through somatic cell nuclear transfer
Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer
So you want to clone your son and give him an identical twin brother? Here’s how to do it in theory. You take an unfertilized ripe ovum from a woman and remove and discard its nucleus. Take a skin cell from your son and remove its nucleus.
Now, insert this nucleus into the empty shell of the ovum. Give it a few tiny jolts of electricity and with luck, he will grow and develop just like a naturally fertilized egg. If he is planted in a womb and all goes well, in nine months she will deliver your son’s identical twin.
A number of large animals have been cloned, starting with Dolly the sheep. Typically, in each case, there have been hundreds of failures before each success.
These have included miscarriages, multiple deformities, sudden deaths, gigantism, and more. Because of these problems, it is so far almost universally agreed that a cloned human should not be brought to term and delivered.
Because of the above, two terms have been given to human cloning even though there is really only one type.
- The term “reproductive” cloning has been used to describe when a human clone is implanted and delivered as a full term pregnancy. As noted, there is almost complete condemnation of this.
- Research, experimental or “therapeutic” cloning have been the terms used for the other “type”. In this, the procedure is identical to the above except that this new cloned human is experimented upon in his or her first few weeks of life and then killed.
This is accurately termed research or experimental cloning. However, many scientists, eager to perform destructive research experiments, have coined the name “therapeutic” cloning for this. This is a classic example of semantic gymnastics using a false name to fool the public. There is nothing therapeutic about such lethal research. Accordingly, the very descriptive term “clone and kill” is commonly used.
The Patients First Act of 2017 (HR 2918, 115th Congress) aims to promote stem cell research, using cells that are “ethically obtained,” that could contribute to a better understanding of diseases and therapies, and promote the “derivation of pluripotent stem cell lines without the creation of human embryos…”.
In 1998, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2009, the US Congress voted whether to ban all human cloning, both reproductive and therapeutic (see Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act). Each time, divisions in the Senate, or an eventual veto from the sitting President (President George W. Bush in 2005 and 2007), over therapeutic cloning prevented either competing proposal (a ban on both forms or on reproductive cloning only) from being passed into law. On March 10, 2010, a bill (HR 4808) was introduced with a section banning federal funding for human cloning. Such a law, if passed, would not have prevented research from occurring in private institutions (such as universities) that have both private and federal funding. However, the 2010 law was not passed.
There are currently no federal laws in the United States which ban cloning completely. Fifteen American states (Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, North Dakota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia) ban reproductive cloning and three states (Arizona, Maryland, and Missouri) prohibit the use of public funds for such activities.