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Mircette and I became one shortly before my wedding day. In a way, my union with the wallet-sized green box of 28 pills was more complete than the bond I had with my husband. We devoured each other: I swallowed the little tablet daily, and its hormones penetrated the cells of my body.

There were unspoken vows in our seemingly side-effect-free union. Come sickness or health, I promised to be faithful to Mircette and take it regularly at the same time every day. In turn, the pill pledged to suppress my ovulations.

I could have sex whenever I wanted, without fearing that a pregnancy would impose on my incipient career. We spoke each other's love languages: Mircette met my needs for adventure and protection—simultaneously; I served as its interactive billboard among my friends. And the wonder drug's makers got my $20 co-pay each month. Everyone was satisfied!

That's when a more captivating lover began to turn my eye.

A Hospitable Womb


It was an emotional affair, the first time I cheated on the pill and everything it stood for. One thing led to another; I didn't really go out looking for a new ideology.

Early in my job as an editor at CT, I worked on a piece by a just-married couple, Sam and Bethany Torode, which they later developed into a provocative little book titled Open Embrace: A Protestant Couple Rethinks Contraception (Eerdmans, 2002). It was a personal narrative about how they—somewhat irresponsibly, I thought—had had unprotected sex since their wedding. They were so cute, so Bible times!

I had to wonder, though: Did no one tell them that newlyweds are supposed to secure some essentials before risking the intrusion of a baby? Didn't they want to make love without visualizing cribs? Didn't they need to get ...

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A Hard Pill to Swallow
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November 2005

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