BIRTH CONTROL BY STERILIZATION
By David & Lori Crank
From Volume 1 Issue 2 of Unless the Lord ... Magazine
Surgical sterilization has been very popular for at least 20 years now. Procedures have improved to the point where it can be done with relatively little pain or down time. Relative costs have also come down and insurance will often pay for the procedure. I donít have statistics on this, but I suspect a fairly high percentage of folks have been sterilized, with probably little difference between Christians and Non-Christians (at least it seems to me). Why is the surgery so popular? I suppose because most want to limit their families at a certain size and it provides almost certain birth prevention but without any of the hassle (or sometimes risks) of other birth control methods. So when couples decide they don't want any more children, this sounds like a great solution!
After we had four children and were warned of severe health risks of having another child (see earlier article: Our Story:Part 2), we consented to the tubal ligation procedure. (Note: About 12 years later we were able to have it reversed). But even more popular today is the vasectomy procedure for men. They even advertise it on billboards around town!
But in spite of the convenience and effectiveness of surgical sterilization as a form of birth control, we cannot recommend it! Our reasons are as follows:
Though my wife, Lori, underwent tubal ligation thinking we had little choice to avoid a significant risk of death, we found many years later that it was absolutely not so! Also we had come to a point where we were even prepared to take significant health risks in order to have more children. The Lord was merciful in that her surgery was reversed successfully, even though the odds were highly stacked against it in her case. Yet the reversal did not restore everything to the way it was before - there was no going back to that! The tubes were much shorter than what is natural, making pregnancy more difficult. And also there were other changes to her hormones and menstual cycle that appeared to result from the surgery. The Lord was gracious to provide us with two more children, but we might have had considerably more had we trusted God and not so readily believed our doctor.
Before you decide to sterilize, carefully consider your motivation. Be sure your motivation is to please God, not your own selfishness. And don't ever have yourself sterilized without the full agreement and support of your spouse. This can lead to a lot of hurt and bitterness! Your spouse is affected just as much as you by your decision! You are denying children to your spouse. You have no right to make that decision selfishly without your spouse's agreement!
Don't be quick to decide to sterilize - there may be no going back - you may greatly regret it years later!