34) BIRTH-CONTROL: Is it morally wrong for our government to be involved in birth control measures?

Supporting Statements

Mark E. Petersen

The United States is taking a leading role in the development and dissemination of birth control information and devices, not only here at home, but world-wide. Only a few weeks ago through the Agency for International Development, our country provided a half million dollars’ worth of oral contraceptives to India, enough to supply 100,000 women with pills for 18 months.

Major birth control programs are now under way in scores of countries, largely fostered by American interests.

In India 5 per cent of the women are now taking “the pill,” as do 6 per cent of the women in Pakistan, 20 per cent in Korea, 13 per cent in Taiwan, and 11 per cent in Hong Kong and Singapore. Throughout Central and South America there are similar extensive private and governmental programs. It is estimated that 14 million women in the world now take “the pill,” half of them being Americans. The effect as yet has not appeared to any extent in the vital statistics. There are still 14 million babies born each year in India.

Generally the reason given for this widespread adoption of birth control is the shortage of food. More recently some have attempted to justify it by saying that although the pill is fatal to some women, these deaths are not as numerous as those from forced abortions; therefore by birth control more lives are saved. Nations now, however, are beginning to liberalize abortion laws, apparently in the hope of reducing the birth rate in two ways—using more pills and inducing more abortions.

In this birth control effort man places himself in direct opposition to the plan and laws of God. The Almighty made this world, and He made us. All human beings are His children, His spirit offspring, and it is His intention to provide each one of us with a body of flesh and bones. This body is essential to eternal progress.

With this in mind He gives us the powers of procreation and permits us to join with Him in a divinely sponsored act. But by preventing or aborting legitimate births, we oppose this plan. His spirit children are born into bodies of flesh and bones by His own design. Then who are we to prevent it? Are we so naive as to believe that God would fail to provide for His own offspring as they come into the world? That would be to regard the Infinite as being less considerate than finite mortals.

Many people point to the starving millions of India and China. But why are they starving? Is it because the earth cannot produce sufficient food for all its inhabitants? Or is poor management by imperfect man to blame? It seems appropriate for us to begin to revise upward our conception of the wisdom and power of the Infinite. In speaking of the fulness of the earth, the Almighty told the Prophet Joseph Smith that there is “enough and to spare.”

Agriculturalists frequently remind us that if proper farming methods were used, the earth could and would produce “enough and to spare” for all mankind.

Governments and private groups would do well to study the word of God, understand His plan for His children, and reconstruct their faith in Him. He will provide, if we but obey Him. He who has made the deserts to blossom as the rose, and who has promised that abundant waters will spring forth in the “thirsty place” and that He will care for His faithful children, can give to the earth the abundance of its paradisiacal verdure.

And consider those of us who live in America—where is the justification for widespread birth control here? Is this country in danger of starvation? Are we over-populated? Or do we have a more selfish reason for using half the world’s contraceptives? God says: “Multiply and replenish the earth.” He has not revoked that commandment, but He has promised us “enough and to spare” if we follow His teachings. Why not begin to believe Him? 1


  1. Mark E. Petersen, Way to Peace, p. 265
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