Which Do We Fight ?
My friend stated, “How can we fight the battle against artificial contraception until we win the battle against abortion ? Getting people to see that artificial contraception is wrong is like climbing Mt. Everest. While getting them to accept that abortion is wrong is like climbing Mt. McKinley. Until we can climb Mt. McKinley it does not make any sense to try to climb Mt. Everest.”
This line of thinking has led many to believe that we should not bother trying to actively promote the moral teaching against artificial contraception until we have won the battle against abortion. This thinking is dangerously wrong for several reasons.
First: getting people to accept that abortion is “bad” is not the same thing as getting them to refrain from getting one in a “desperate” situation.
Second: we will *not* win the battle against abortion until we also win the battle against artificial contraception. They are inextricably linked because the use of artificial contraception invariable leads to more abortions.
Third: we are obligated to promote the *fullness* of the good
news at all times. The moral teachings that God has given to us through
Natural Law is part of that good news. They are laws, or directions,
given to us by our Heavenly Father in order to protect us from harm.
It is true that it is easier to see that something about abortion is wrong. Even those politicians who champion the legal “rights” of a woman to have an abortion see abortion as undesirable. They even attempt to “reduce” the number of abortions. Their approach to “fighting” abortion is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies by promoting various birth control methods (1) and by preaching the so called “safe sex.” However, these practices inevitable fail and unwanted pregnancies do result and their “need” for abortion is made manifest. Even though they “oppose” abortion they lack the moral courage to oppose it even when it involves the sacrifice of letting the baby live, be born, and the consequences of that.
CNS News reports:
Writing in this week's issue of the British MedicalEven the United States Supreme Court has ruled that access to abortion was necessary as a backup to failed contraception. In the case Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, 1992, the court said, “In several critical respects, abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception. For two decades of economic and social development [i.e. since the 1973 decision which legalized abortion in Roe vs. Wade], people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.”
The relationship between abortion and contraceptives is becoming ever more increasingly clear. Many contraceptives, such as the Pill, actually cause abortions. See Links below.
Artificial contraception is dangerous, not just because it is always evil, but also because it seduces a person into a dangerous way of thinking. The contraceptive mentality severs the connection between sexual intercourse and procreation. It separates Love from Life in the marital act. (2) It leads people into thinking that they can satiate their own selfish sexual desires without planning for the possibility of a new life coming into existence. Most people using artificial contraception are not seriously considering, planning ahead and preparing to accept the serious life changing results that would come with the birth of a new child. They are inclined to ignore the minute possibility of getting pregnant. And in some cases they are deluded into thinking that they can have premarital relations or even adulterous relationships without “getting caught” or having “to pay the price.”
However, contraceptives do fail. And in real life situations it
happens more often than people think.
While abstinence is foolproof, condoms are not. And unwanted pregnancies do happen when people use them. A contraceptive culture that trains people not to control their passions with the help of God’s grace, but rather to give in to their desires of the moment, will always produce people who during certain times will find it just to inconvenient to get or to use the contraceptive due to the immense desire of the moment.
And what is going to happen when these unwanted pregnancies do happen ? What will [ and does] happen when a young teenage girl gets pregnant and the prospect of having a baby at this time in her life could result in one of many different possible forms of suffering ? Will she be strong enough to face and accept the *life changing* decision to bring this baby to full term ? Will she be strong enough to hold fast to her pro-life beliefs and to reject the easy lie that her child is just a glob of tissue ? Will she be strong enough even if that includes in her being alienated from her parents ? Will she be strong enough even if she has to drop out of school to have the baby ? Even if she has to give up the many prospects for marriage who might not now propose to her ? Even if she has to give up the scholarship that she might have earned to her favorite college, etc. ?
Or how about the young unmarried woman to whom giving birth to her baby would result in her having to postpone or even give up her ambition to finish college, will the “somewhat pro-lifer” be strong enough to hold fast to her values ? What if she had to give up on capitalizing on what perhaps might be the once in a life time opportunity that would enhance her career ?
Or how about the father ? Is he going to be responsible enough to encourage his partner to complete her pregnancy by accepting all the responsibilities that come with raising a child to adulthood ?
And how about the pregnancy that results from an adulterous fling ? Will that couple have the strength to let their indiscretion to be made known to the public by bringing their child to full term ?
The possible scenarios are endless, but the point is that saying no to abortion and bringing to full term this unwanted pregnancy involves a much greater degree of suffering, a much greater cross than in living a chaste life and accepting Humane Vitae, i.e. natural family planning. Will people who have practiced violating God’s law, i.e. by rejecting natural family planning and who have to some degree shut off some of the avenues of God’s grace, all of sudden become super saints who can take on this bigger cross ?
The very real scenarios above vividly point to the inextricable connection between contraception and abortion. Even the pro-abortionists recognize the link between contraception and abortion. Dr. Malcom Potts, the former medical director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation stated that “as people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall in the abortion rate.”
In fact in each country which has made contraceptive easily available there has been a marked increase in the demand for abortion. And abortion has become legal in all of those countries.
That there is a link between contraception and promiscuity was also admitted by two doctors who were credited with developing the birth control pill. Dr. Robert Kirstner of Harvard Medical School conceded that “For years I thought that the pill would not lead to promiscuity, but I’ve changed my mind.” Also, Dr Min-Chueh Chang has recognized that the pill has made teenagers “more permissive.”
Sure, there are many like the politicians described above that recognize that abortion is an ugly thing, but how many have the moral courage to accept the crosses described above. When an unwanted pregnancy comes about, especially when it was assumed that it would never come about, it forces upon the parents some very difficult choices. These choices which have certain immediacy in being addressed were often never even previously considered in a serious manner, since it had been assumed that their contraceptive lifestyle would have precluded such heavy sacrifices. It can be extremely hard for these parents not to suppose and pretend that the lies, so prevalent in our culture, are true: that is, that it is just a blob of tissue. This is true even for those who had previously rejected these lies. The contraceptive lifestyle ends up coercing parents to reject their previously held pro-life standards to make exceptions for this unexpected pregnancy that they now feel trapped into terminating.
Preaching the fullness of the good news greatly aids prospective mothers and fathers into being pro-life.
Psalm 119: 42
Failing to preach it makes them vulnerable.
Many married woman, who find themselves in unstable marital
relationships, also choose to get abortions. And the
use of artificial contraceptives is at least a partial rejection
of God's grace and that contributes to the instability of those
marriages, which in turn leads to more pressure to justify or
rationalize the legitimacy of abortion, or in some cases
to have an abortion but with “regrets.” See Links below for post-abortion
Bible : Douay-Rheims Version
Book of Tobias (Tobit) Chapter 6: 16-22
In conclusion, the approval of artificial contraceptives, or even silence about how evil they are, will weaken individuals resolve to remain chaste in the eyes of God. The idea that sexual activity can be separated from childbearing will increase peoples temptation to engage in sexual relationships where giving birth to children is “totally unacceptable and out of the question.”
Contraceptives do fail even when used “correctly.” When people establish and accept unchaste relationships with the idea that pregnancy can be avoided by the use of contraceptives they will have established a pattern of giving into their passions instead of controlling them. At that point it is hard to imagine them having the resolve to control their passions when the contraceptive is not readily available or convenient. Therefore, the promotion of contraceptives or even our acquiescence in tolerating them will lead to more unwanted pregnancies not fewer. (3) As a consequence, this will necessarily entail that there will be more pressure on women to have an abortions.
Once a woman has had an abortion the psychological trauma that she is likely to have experienced will make it nearly impossible for her deal with the matter and enter into a logical discussion about it for many years to come. See Post Abortion syndrome link below. Therefore, a complete campaign against abortion must include the battle against all the sins of unchaste behavior, and especially against artificial contraception.
Looking back at the analogy of climbing Mt. McKinley or Mt. Everest we can see that saying no to abortion in *all* circumstances is much harder than conforming our sexual life style to the norms that God has given to us in celibacy and natural family planning. If a person does not train himself to take the higher moral ground when it involves smaller sacrifices how will he have the strength to do the right thing when greater sacrifices are called for. Artificial contraception and abortion are not two isolated issues. Rather, they are both fruits of the same tree. It is not a choice of fighting one or the other, but rather a choice of effectively fighting them both or neither.
Rather than just stating that artificial contraception is intrinsically evil, we need to explain why it is so and how Catholics have legitimate resources in spacing their children by Natural Family Planning when the condition warrants it. See
1. However, many forms of birth control such as the
Pill are abortifacients, i.e. they actually do cause abortions.
2. Legitimate natural family planning is always open to the
possibility of new life. And by focusing on the natural fertility cycle
of the woman this method nurtures a healthy respect for this union of Life
and Love in this act. It is in the procreative act that humans partake
in a role that unites them with the Divine. The two most profound words
that describe God are Life [or existence - I AM ] and Love. God
designed the marital act so that it naturally encompasses both of these qualities,
Life and Love.
3. Father Frank Pavone states, “People who are valued because they are ‘wanted’ are in a position such that they are expected to fulfill the desires (or plans or expectations or agendas) of another. In distinction to this, when a person is ‘welcomed’ that means that he or she is accepted for his or her inherent value, just as they are, with no strings attached. Being ‘welcomed’ is much healthier than being ‘wanted.’ ”
We cannot separate the realities of our lives from the love of God
Father Frank Pavone of People for Life:
Home pageCouple to Couple League
Love Matters - Great web site encouraging chastity before marriage. Great testimonies from celebrities. Geared toward youth.
American Life League
- Life Issues
Control Pills Cause Abortion * Simple:
Birth Control Pill
Causes Abortions ** Well Documented
Conference : Contraception Is Not the Answer
Contraception Leads to Abortions
Condoms Encourage Promiscuity which Leads to More Infections: