The Instigator
Con (against)
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The Contender
Pro (for)
1 Points

Birth control

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/22/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,200 times Debate No: 23763
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




Since we are both Catholics I may be using the bible and church teaching in my arguments.
Birth control is always immoral because the main God-given purpose of sex is procreation: babies. Pleasure and bonding between a husband and wife are secondary purposes of sex. Birth control lets you have sex, while attempting to frustrate the main God-given purpose of sex. This is why it's wrong. Sacred Scripture let's us know that it is wrong as well. In Genesis in the story of Onad, when he had sex with his deceased brother's wife (as was his obligation to give her a child) he stopped and spilled his seed. It says that this displeased God, and Onad was killed for it. Some people have argued that he was punished for not fulfilling his obligation to give a child, but if you read further on, you will find that the punishment for not fulfilling this obligation was not death, but was public humiliation. Therefore his punishment must have been for contracepting.

The bible


I thank my opponent for instigating this debate, and I wish her luck. I will be advocating for the devil, because I myself am against birth control.

I humbly request that the sole source of scripture in this debate be the Biblia Sacra Vulgata. It is the only bible I own, and consequentially the only one I fully trust. It is a (the) Catholic bible, and therefore should be fully credible to my opponent. I am also willing to accept the New American Standard bible if necessary.

Also, if I choose to use any secular arguments, I ask that they be given the same weight as religious ones. Obviously I am arguing the position in contrast to that of the Roman Catholic Church, and so I cannot win by using only their teachings.

I will now begin my argument, starting first with the story of Onan. As it says in the Biblia Sacra Vulgata (Genesis 38:8-10)

"(8) dixit ergo Iudas ad Onam filium suum ingredere ad uxorem fratris tui et sociare illi ut suscites semen fratri tuo
(9) ille sciens non sibi nasci filios introiens ad uxorem fratris sui semen fundebat in terram ne liberi fratris nomine nascerentur
(10) et idcirco percussit eum Dominus quod rem detestabilem faceret" [1]

It is indeed easy to see how this might be taken as an argument against contraception. "[Onan] sui semen fundebat in terram", and in that way made God angry at him. But why was God angry? It is never specifically stated why. He could have been mad at Onan for not giving his brother's wife a child, for being disobedient, for polluting the ground, for any number of things. This is quite clearly a specialized case, as Onan was given a specific task which he clearly rejected. It is equally probable that God was angry at him for shirking his duty as it is that God struck against him for using contraception.

My case:

1. Contraception allows for planning
Contraception prevents children from springing up inconveniently. If you barely have any money and you're living in a dumpster, surely you do not want a child? Contraception can prevent children from being born into horrible lives.

2. Contraception can prevent abortion
Which is worse? It is clearly much better to use contraception than to get an abortion. As it is unreasonable to expect no one to have sex, contraceptions save lives by preventing abortions.

3. Forms of contraceptives prevent STDS
STDS are bad. Some contraceptives prevent them. Therefore, contraceptives are good.

I will shore up my case in the next round. I again thank my opponent for giving me the opportunity to argue devil's advocate for the first time.

1. Biblia Sacra Vulgata
Debate Round No. 1


As I have already pointed out, the punishment for refusing to fulfill that obligation was not death but public humiliation. So it could not have been for that. God is very merciful, so it seems very unlikely that God would kill someone just for polluting.

Yes, contraception allows for planning children but so does NFP. NFP is much more effective than BC, and has no harmful side effects. BC is known to cause breast cancer and many other serious health problems such as blood clots and strokes in very young as well as older women. Couples who use BC have an incredibly high divorce rate, while couples who use NFP have a divorce rate below one percent. So if you cannot financially support a child or you have another just reason to avoid pregnancy than use NFP.

Contraception does not reduce the numbers of abortions. Contraception has very high failure rates, but most people are unaware of this, and because of the high availability of contraception there is a much higher number of people having sex than if it was not available, than when the contraception fails, abortion is often seen as the alternative.

While it true that condoms can reduce the risk of some STD's they do not protect against the most common STD, HPV, and they actually increase the number of people infected with aids and other STD's for the same reason they increase the number of abortions.


I apologize for not noticing that bit about the punishment. However, there still remains no source for that. I would appreciate one. Also when speaking of God's mercy, forget you not our old pal, Uzzah. As the Biblia Sacra Vulgata (I apologize for using the outdated version last round, this round I use the official version from the Vatican's website) says (2 Samuel 6:6-7)

"(6) Postquam autem venerunt ad aream Nachon, extendit manum Oza ad arcam Dei et tenuit eam, quoniam boves lascivientes proruperunt.
(7) Iratusque est indignatione Dominus contra Ozam et percussit eum super temeritate; qui mortuus est ibi iuxta arcam Dei.
" [1]

God killed Uzzah, who was only trying to help out. Why not kill Onan for polluting? Also, some random folks on Wikipedia agree with my random assertion that he was killed for disobedience, so we cannot rule that out so quickly. [2]

As far as I know, contraceptive side effects are fairly uncommon. Perhaps some statistics would bolster Con's argument. Regardless, most every drug has a side effect. Surely Con does not propose that we discontinue pharmaceuticals? Additionally, while Con's argument is unsourced, I leap to the conclusion that most people who use NFP do so for a religious reason, which would also keep them from divorce. It is likely a coincidence based on the groups of people likely to use NFP and the groups of people unlikely to divorce overlapping. Also, as I will go into later, NFP can fail. A lot.

Contraceptives do not have high failure rates. Additionally, they are greatly superior to NFP. Some things are pretty easy to screw up, but there aren't that many ways you can mess up taking a pill. Not so with NFP. NFP, even used perfectly, has a 1-9% failure rate (not to mention when used imperfectly) as opposed to the 0.3% failure for perfect use of birth control pills. Even imperfect use is only 8%. There are even options like the etonogestral implant that have a very low 0.05% failure rate. Even properly used condoms have a low failure rate of 2%. Even perfectly used withdrawal can be more effective (4%). [3]

Even though condoms do not protect 100%, they are still far superior to the 0% protection offered by no contraceptives whatsoever. My source claims they are "very effective" in preventing HIV/AIDS. It goes on to say that they reduce the risk of any STD, including HPV. [4]

Contraceptives best allow for planning, and they can prevent STDs. Additionally, there is no compelling reason for not using them. The resolution is affirmed.

1. Biblia Sacra Vulgata
Debate Round No. 2


Will you please use a bible that is written in English? Or translate it? I can't read the Latin. No the side effects are not uncommon.

Yes they do have high failure rates. You can alos easily screw up taking it. If you forget to take it, or you take the pills in the wrong order, or you are taking a another medication that interferes with it.

It has been scientifically proven that guys are more attracted to girls who are fertile, and not on birth control. (Contraception: Why not 3rd edition) The birth control pill has an 8 percent failure rate with perfect use. The condom has a 17 percent failure.

"In the Consumer's Guide to the Pill and Other Drugs it also states that "Early-age use of the pill carries a greater risk of breast cancer, of developing larger tumors and having a worse prognosis." (

Condoms cause cancer as well "

"BERLIN (Reuters) - Most condoms contain a cancer-causing chemical and their manufacture should be subject to greater quality control, a German scientific research institute said Friday. The Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Institute in Stuttgart, Germany, said it found the carcinogen N-Nitrosamine present in 29 of 32 types of condoms it tested in simulated conditions. "N-Nitrosamine is one of the most carcinogenic substances," the study's authors said. "There is a pressing need for manufacturers to tackle this problem." The carcinogen is thought to be present in a substance used to improve condom elasticity. When the rubber material comes in contact with human bodily fluids, it can release traces of N-Nitrosamine, the study said. Local government officials said condom users should not stop using rubber contraceptives based on results of the study because N-Nitrosamine does not present an immediate health danger. But Germany's Federal Institute for Risk Assessment said that daily condom use exposed users to N-Nitrosamine levels up to three times higher than levels naturally present in food."

Condoms do not protect against HPV, the most commonly contracted STD:

My source for that punishment is the bible.

Why do you think that NFP couples having low divorce rate and contracepting couples having high divorce rates is a coincidence?

Studies have proven it to be true, and not a coincidence.

NFP has a below one percent effectiveness rate. You are not going to find any type of bc more effective.

I forgot to mention earlier but most forms of contraception are also abortifacient. You can't logically say that they prevent abortions, when they cause them.

"When a woman ovulates, she can become pregnant. However, the Pill has mechanisms that can cause an abortion before a woman knows that she has conceived. If a sperm does fertilize the egg, the newly conceived baby (zygote) may be transported more slowly through the fallopian tubes because of how they have been altered by the Pill. Thus, the child may not reach the uterus, where he or she needs to implant and receive nourishment for the next nine months. Because the fallopian tubes are changed, the baby may accidentally implant there, causing an ectopic or "tubal" pregnancy, which is fatal to the baby, and can also be life-threatening for the mother.

If the baby is able to travel safely to the uterus, he or she may not be well received. One reason for this is that the chemicals in the Pill thin out the lining of the woman's uterus (the endometrium).[10] As a result, the baby may not be able to implant. At other times the child will attach to the wall, but he or she will be unable to survive because the normally thick and healthy uterine wall has shriveled and is therefore unable to nourish the baby. The Pill also impacts the woman's progesterone level. This causes the lining of the uterus to break down and eventually shed as it would in a menstrual cycle, further denying the baby's attempt to implant.

Many doctors are concerned about the fact that women often are not informed that the birth control pill can cause an abortion as well as prevent pregnancy. One medical journal declared, "If any mechanism of any OC [Oral Contraceptive] violates the morals of any particular woman, the failure of the physician or care provider to disclose this information would effectively eliminate the likelihood that the woman's consent was truly informed and would seriously jeopardize her autonomy. Furthermore, there is
a potential for negative psychological impact on women who believe human life begins at fertilization, who have not been given informed consent about OCs, and who later learn of the potential for postfertilization effects of OCs. The responses to this could include disappointment, anger, guilt, sadness, rage, depression, or a sense of having been violated by the provider."


First, a Google Translate translation of the Biblia Sacra Vulgata (2 Samuel 6:6-7)

"(6) And when they came to the floor of Nachon, Uzza put out his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it, oxen in the play came out.
) against the indignation of the Lord was angry with Oza, and struck him for his rashness; and he died there beside the ark of God."

This is obviously wrong about the "oxen in the play came out" bit, according to every other Bible I have ever read, it's supposed to say something like "because the oxen stumbled". Other than that, it is sufficient. I would appreciate it if my opponent could in turn show me where in the Bible the punishment for using birth control was laid out.

1. Failure rates
Of course you can easily screw it up. You can even more easily screw up NFP. Refer to my source. I am positive that the pill does not have an 8 percent failure rate with perfect use, perhaps with imperfect uses factored in it may average to 8%. I have found a source that supports my opponent's figures, but clearly shows NFP with a much greater failure rate [1]. I highly doubt that NFP has a below one percent effectiveness rate, and my claim of this is bolstered by my opponent's lack of sources.

2. Pill Cancer
Most research appears to support the conclusion that after you stop taking the pill, the risks go back down. Additionally, the pill protects against some types of cancer [2].

3. Condom Cancer
As my opponent's source does not link me to the article in question, I cannot address this argument fully. For now, I will merely quote my opponent's own source "Local government officials said condom users should not stop using rubber contraceptives based on results of the study because N-Nitrosamine does not present an immediate health danger.".

4. Condoms and HPV
My source from last round disagrees, claiming it does provide some protection against HPV. Even if they don't protect against HPV, my opponent has not contested that condoms provide protection against a variety of other STDs. Contrast this with NFP, which provides no protection against any STDs.

5. NFP and Divorce
I will merely quote the second line of my opponent's source here. "First, couples with strong relationships may be more likely than other couples to choose to practice NFP.". That is to say, couples use NFP because they have strong relationships, not they have strong relationships because they use NFP. This supports my argument. In addition, this means nothing for two people who are not a couple.

6. Abortions
I concede this point in general. However, contraceptives that clearly do not cause abortions, such as condoms, cannot be said to cause abortions and therefore they prevent them.

Contraceptives help prevent conception. They protect against STDs. They are far superior to NFP. My opponent's primary source is probably biased. For all these reasons, the resolution is affirmed.

Debate Round No. 3


According to the world health organization NFP is 99.6 percent effective.

That source of yours is biased. Condoms provide SOME protection against other STD's, but they have very high failure rate's at doing so.

The risks might go back down, but that doesn't help women who get breast cancer while still on the pill. No condoms do not prevent abortion.

That is only one reason why NFP couples have such low divorce rates. Read the rest of it. There are several other reasons as well.

"Isn't using birth control better than having unwanted teen pregnancies and abortions?
Look at both these issues and judge for yourself if contraception is part of the solution or part of the problem.

Because of the widespread use of birth control, more people than ever have sex without intending to have children. Sex out of wedlock has become far more common, and more sex means more babies. Some argue that teaching people how to use contraceptives will alleviate the problem. But research shows that "programs in safer sex education and condom distribution have not reduced the out-of-wedlock birth rates among sexually experienced teens. . . . The fact is, increased condom use by teens is associated with increased out-of-wedlock birth rates."[1]

A few years ago in Colorado, one school began passing out condoms to the students. Within three years the birth rate rose 31 percent above the national average, and in one school year one hundred births were expected among the twelve hundred students. The administrators were described as "searching for explanations."[2]

When unwanted pregnancies occur, many turn to abortion as a solution. In fact, studies show that about half of all unintended pregnancies end in abortion.[3] Some argue that increased use of contraception could have lowered these abortion rates. However, the research institute of the nation's largest abortion provider admits that most women who receive abortions had been using birth control during the month they became pregnant![4]

Such couples feel that the "fault" of the pregnancy can be blamed on the failed contraception, but by contracepting they have already set their wills against new life. Since contraception treats pregnancy as if it were a disease, many people conclude that abortion must be the cure. I once saw a condom advertisement that called pregnancy "the mother of all nightmares." With this mentality it is no surprise that the sex researcher Alfred Kinsey said, "At the risk of being repetitious, I would remind the group that we have found the highest frequency of induced abortion in the group which, in general, most frequently used contraceptives."[5] Even a former medical director of Planned Parenthood admitted in 1973, "As people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall, in the abortion rate."[6] Fifty million abortions later, no one can dispute his prediction.

Lastly, it should be noted that anyone who believes that contraception decreases abortions ignores the fact that hormonal birth control can cause abortions.[7] Click here for details on that.

Mother Teresa did not need to see the statistics. She was well aware of the connection between contraception and abortion when she said in a speech in the presence of Bill and Hillary Clinton:

"The way to plan the family is Natural Family Planning, not contraception. In destroying the power of giving life, through contraception, a husband or wife is doing something to self. This turns the attention to self and so destroys the gift of love in him or her. In loving, the husband and wife must turn the attention to each other. Once that living love is destroyed by contraception, abortion follows very easily."[8]

[1]. The Consortium of State Physicians Resource Councils, "New Study Shows Higher Unwed Birthrates Among Sexually Experienced Teens Despite Increased Condom Use" (February 10, 1999).
[2]. Jana Mazanee, "Birth Rate Soars at Colorado School," USA Today, May 19, 1992, 3A.
[3]. Stanley Henshaw, "Unintended Pregnancy in the United States," Family Planning Perspectives 30:1 (1998), 24–29, 46.
[4]. Rachel Jones, et al., "Contraceptive Use Among U.S. Women Having Abortions in 2000–2001," Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 34:6 (November/December 2002), 296.
[5]. Mary S. Calderone, ed., Abortion in the United States: A Conference Sponsored by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the New York Academy of Medicine (New York: Harper and Row, 1958), 157.
[6]. Malcolm Potts, Cambridge Evening News, February 7, 1973, as quoted in "The Connection: Abortion, Permissive Sex Instruction, and Family Planning," Life Research Institute (January 2000).
[7]. Walter L. Larimore and Joseph B. Stanford, "Postfertilization Effects of Oral Contraceptives and Their Relationship to Informed Consent," Archives of Family Medicine 9 (February 2000), 126–133.
[8]. Mother Teresa, February 5, 1994, National Prayer Breakfast, Washington, D.C.


"Sometimes, all of the Pill's mechanisms fail to prevent pregnancy and successful implantation. It is often said that with optimum use of the Pill, it should have an effectiveness rate of 99 percent. Therefore, it is said to have a "method" failure rate of about 1 percent. However, in typical use the rates change significantly. This can be caused by many things, such as a woman's forgetting to take her pill or taking it at the wrong time of the day. Thus the actual rate, called the "typical" or "user" failure rate. For the first year of use for women under the age of twenty, the Pill has an annual failure rate of 8 to 13 percent.[21] One study that followed sexually active teenage girls on the Pill found that 20 percent of them became pregnant within six months![22]

The typical failure rate of the Pill has been shown to vary according to such factors as a woman's age, race, marital status, education, and economic status. For example, one large study showed that poor teenage girls who lived with their boyfriends had a 48 percent chance of getting pregnant during their first year on the Pill, whereas a wealthy married woman over the age of thirty had a 3 percent chance of pregnancy.[23]"


First, I would like to apologize for this round, as I am not able to handle all arguments as fully as I would like to. Please do not hold this overly against me

1. Failure Rates
My opponent cites unsourced statistics of success from the Catholic Diosceses of Richmond. I don't think I need to say what's wrong here.

2. Pill Cancer
It does help women who might otherwise have gotten one of the types of cancer the pill protects against. I assume the risks probably mostly balance each other out. Regardless, if one fears cancer so much, one need not use the pill. That does not preclude using another type of birth control.

3. STDs and Condoms
I don't feel like pointlessly rehashing an argument here, so I will simply quote a government site. Note what I said last round about any protection being better than nothing.

"Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In addition, consistent and correct use of latex condoms reduces the risk of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including diseases transmitted by genital secretions, and to a lesser degree, genital ulcer diseases. Condom use may reduce the risk for genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and HPV-associated diseases, e.g., genital warts and cervical cancer."

4. NFP and Divorce
I invite my opponent to make a case regarding this instead of using her source as an argument.

5. More Pregnancy
The birth control did not increase the birth rate, that was the students being stupid and having more sex. Birth control cannot be blamed for people's idiocy.

6. Abortion
I concede this point fully.

New Arguments:

A. Natural Family Planning is not always possible
It is complicated, and generally only usable by people in a stable relationship. Additionally, it provides no STD protection, and requires abstinence. The biggest issue is, of course, the complexity and relationship requirement. NFP is pretty much useless unless you are married or in a very stable relationship [2]. You can't just be like "Tonight let's use NFP" out of nowhere, it requires an excessive amount of preparation and is easier to screw up than pretty much any other tactic.

Do note that my opponent seems to have dropped the argument from the Bible.

Debate Round No. 4


Lucky10279 forfeited this round.


My opponent forfeited. Extend all my arguments and vote Pro. The devil has spoken.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Lucky10279 4 years ago
Since we both agree that bc is bad, why don't we debate something else?
Posted by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
It's fine. Do you want to debate it again?

Personally, I'd rather not. I wasn't terribly invested in my own arguments, so it was somewhat less enjoyable for me. If you feel we should do it again properly though, I'd be willing to.
Posted by Lucky10279 4 years ago
I want to apologize for not posting n argument for round 5. I did not mean to forfeit. I have been very busy, and I totally forgot about this debate until a few minutes ago.
Posted by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
Usually there is at least an effort to make the first comment topical. Wow.
Posted by Lucky10279 4 years ago
Your comment is propaganda not the OT.
Posted by elvroin_vonn_trazem 4 years ago
Per Deuteronomy 17:12, I conclude that the Torah was written to create a government of the people, by the preachers, for the preachers, and Moses set himself at the top of the heap. So, everything in the Old Testament was written to benefit the preachers more than anyone else.

Two of the things that the preachers wanted were money and power. To get them, they needed more and more followers/tithers. Also, the more followers, the bigger the army you can build to go smite neighboring non-followers, who are making some <i>other</i> preacher rich. And after you conquer them, you acquire territory in which to support still-more of your own followers.

Even in ancient times it was known that various types of sexual activity could avoid producing offspring. Masturbation and homosexuality are two. The preachers banned <i>all</i> such activities, and blamed God for it (remember, <i>they</i> wrote the Old Testament, not God). The <i>real</i> purpose of the ban was simply to cause more tithing followers to be born, who also could join the army.

All to benefit the preachers, no-one else.

The story of Onan can be very simply explained <i>differently</i> from what the preachers actually wrote down. The poor man could simply have suffered a heart attack during sex, and pulled out because he was <i>already</i> dying. But edit the story slightly, and presto! --you have more "you must multiply" propaganda to feed the masses.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by K.GKevinGeary 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: conduct ff