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Christians and Contraception Why it is Your Choice and Why Christianity Was Wrong in the Past INTRODUCTION Contraception History Contraception is defined by Websters II New Riverside Dictionary as the prevention of conception Its synonym is birth control defined as the avoidance of unwanted pregnancies by preventing fertilization by the use of contraceptives or continence It is argued that many forms of birth control are not in fact contraceptives because they do not interrupt the conceptual process but merely inhibit the survival of the fertilized egg While we will still frame our discussion in the general category of birth control the distinctions are important when considering ethics For example since the so-called morning after pill prevents the fertilized egg from attaching itself to the wall of the uterus and thus causing a miscarriage it technically would be a form of birth control not conception control Ancient societies understood the difference between preventing conception and killing an infant In fact they used a variety of techniques to try and prevent conception Coitus interruptus also known as withdrawal was widely practiced It was however condemned by conservative Judaism and Roman Catholicism as a vice against nature This idea grew from the belief that semen was a seed containing everything necessary for life and the womb was fertile soil in which to plant the seed The seeds were believed to be finite thus carelessly wasting them endangered the future health of the tribe The ancients also used types of diaphragms to block the sperm In Africa women used plugs of chopped grass or cloth Japanese women used balls of bamboo tissue paper Greek women used wool While birth control in one form or another has existed for as long as human culture there have also been attempts to prevent anything that impeded pregnancy and birth In 1873 Anthony Comstock was successful in passing a law through Congress that defined
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