In Contraception, Pro-Life

Based on a talk given by Dr Andrew Foong at Good Shepherd Parish Hall, Plumpton November 2012

As Catholics and Christians we are daily confronted with a culture of death in our society and a tragic genocide of unprecedented proportions in abortion, characterised by a blatant disregard for human life. The estimated 62 to 78 million people who died in World War II over 6 years, including the terrible holocaust of the Nazi regime, representing 2.5% of the total world population of that time, pales into insignificance compared with abortion. Since 1980 alone something like forty four million children have been aborted every year! Incredibly, that means abortion has been the cause of death for more than 1.2 billion unborn babies since then,[1] and from Roe vs Wade in 1967, the figure could be as high as 2 billion, which is not 2.5% but more than 25% of today’s population! In her Nobel Peace Prize lecture in 1979, Mother Teresa said that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion.

 

What evil lies behind this unimaginable holocaust? Ultimately, the devil, the murderer and liar from the beginning, [2] who attacks concupiscence, our fallen nature’s inclination to disordered sexual pleasure. But what are the means he uses? One of the major means is contraception, the contraceptive mentality and particularly the oral contraceptive pill (the “Pill”), because the Pill has provided a relatively reliable means of contraception in modern times and has enabled the unrestrained indulgence in sexual pleasure which leads to the deadly consequence of abortion[3] (and less commonly, the deaths of women through its deadly side-effects)[4]. Thus the title: “Contraception and the Culture of Death” or as renowned Catholic moral theologian, Dr William May put it, “Contraception, the Gateway to the Culture of Death.”

How does contraception lead to abortion and the culture of death? After all, it is commonly claimed “if (contraception) is made available to all, (it would be) the most effective remedy against abortion”[5]? Indeed, Mia Freedman[6] wrote in the Sunday Telegraph in October 2012 “…why aren’t we considering the idea of free contraception as a way to reduce abortions?”[7] Contraception prevents unwanted pregnancies it is said, and unwanted pregnancies lead to abortion. Abortion is killing a human being in the womb, very different from contraception which prevents unwanted pregnancies.[8] By preventing unwanted pregnancies, abortions are reduced, it is argued.

It is true of course that with contraception, the desire is simply to prevent a human being from being conceived with no intention of killing a child, while abortion has both the murderous intent and action to kill a baby. But as Blessed John Paul II stated in Evangelium Vitae (13), “contraception and abortion are very closely connected, as fruits of the same tree.” The abortion mentality says: I don’t want a child; I am preventing a baby from being born. The contraceptive mentality says: I don’t want a child; I am preventing a child from being conceived. Clearly both abortion and contraception are anti-life.

Abortion, being murder, is worse than contraception, but in a sense contraception is worse than abortion, because a child never conceived will, not only never ever live, but never even exist! However, an aborted child will at least live forever because the soul is immortal. The Roman Catechism says this: “Whoever in marriage artificially prevents conception, or procures an abortion, commits a most serious sin: the sin of premeditated murder.”[9]

That abortion and contraception are “fruits of the same tree” is born out by what happens when contraception fails, when there is an unintended pregnancy. In the United States, “abortions usually result from unintended pregnancies, which often occur despite the use of contraceptives” according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)[10]. It is no surprise to find that just over a half (54%) of the women having abortions used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant.[11] Studies in Queensland in 1980 by Callan also showed that about 50% of women presenting for a first and second abortion “attributed their pregnancies to the failure of contraceptive methods while the rest were not using contraception.[12] Australian editor Healey quotes studies showing that between half and two thirds of all women presenting for an abortion were contracepting at the time they conceived.[13]

The typical profile of a woman seeking abortion includes: a young woman aged in her 20s; single; childless; well-educated; and employed.[14] Unfortunately, there is the even sadder spectacle of an “increasing number of older women …having abortions, …working mothers who choose to focus on their career, current children and financial stability than have another baby”[15] Sadly, there can be little doubt in these mothers’ minds they are killing a real human being as they have already given birth to children. In this group some mothers are clearly highly stressed in already caring for young children, they were obviously in need of genuine sympathy and real practical help; others are more calculating and have “completed” their families and have careers/jobs and could not bear the vocational and financial sacrifices; the thought of a big “age spread” of children; and/or the effort involved in once again caring for young babies.[16] Some statistics show that Catholics are just as likely to have abortions,[17] others sadly evenly higher.[18] Recently, I tried to convince a patient, who fell pregnant on an injectible contraceptive, not to have an abortion. She was a Catholic mother of three.

 

What are the three main reasons women give for abortion? Half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner. About three quarters say they cannot afford a child and three quarters say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities.[19]

 

What reasons do women give for contracepting? Nearly half (49%) said they did not have a stable partner; many did not want to be a single mother; almost 2/3 said “could not afford to take care of a baby”, that is, lack of money; almost half said that having a baby “would make it difficult to keep their jobs or to get new ones” and about 43% said it would make it hard to stay at school.[20]

As can be seen, the reasons given to justify contraception are the same reasons to justify abortion! It is diabolical to claim that providing more contraceptives will reduce abortions because contracepting couples make up more than ½ the presentations for abortions! Using contraceptives to prevent abortion is like throwing fuel on the fire to put out the fire; they actually fuel the fire of abortion. If these couples were not contracepting they would have been too scared to have sex lest they fall pregnant. But contraception gave them a false sense of security. They felt they could have sex when they weren’t ready or prepared for a baby so that when they fell pregnant, they succumbed to the temptation to get rid of the “problem” and abort the innocent baby. In contrast to contraception, abstinence is infallibly safe and 100% effective in preventing abortion, while more contraception leads to more contraceptive failures with the result that though many “contracept to stop temptation to abortion…the anti-life values in the contraceptive mentality …in fact strengthen (the) temptation (to abortion) when an unwanted life is conceived”[21], and carryover into the decision making process when abortion is chosen as the solution since the same selfish reasons justifying abortion are the same reasons given for contracepting. This has indeed been my experience in clinical practice.

The unborn child is not the only victim in abortion, the mother is as well, as studies show that having an abortion increases the risk of mental health problems by a shocking 81%; with suicidal behaviour increased by 155%; anxiety and depression increased by a third; alcohol use and abuse doubled and marijuana use and abuse trebled.[22] Having an abortion before having a full-term pregnancy also increases the risk of breast cancer.[23]

 

How many abortions occur in Australia? It is commonly estimated that Australia has 80,000 annual abortions,[24] yet the ABS reported 95,200 in the financial year ending June 1996, which was 27% of all pregnancies for that period, excluding miscarriages and stillbirths (the rate of abortions per pregnancies had increased from 23% in 1990.[25] Using this percentage for 2011, we can estimate that there were about 111,500 abortions in 2011.[26] Since the late 1960s, Australia has lost up to 4 million children to abortion and if 70% of these were first time abortions[27] then perhaps 2.8 million women in Australia have already had at least one abortion, almost 1 in every 4 Australian women.[28] Healey, in “Abortion Issues”, incredibly says: “Around one in three Australia women will undergo an abortion[29] and the USA is no different.[30] It cannot be seriously doubted that legalizing abortion has opened the floodgates to the abortion genocide.

 

What about contraception statistics? According to the ABS, in 1995, a staggering 2/3 of Australian women aged between 18 and 49 used some method of contraception, whether temporary or permanent, with the Pill the most popular at 40%[31]. In 1995 there were an incredible 1.1 million women taking the Pill in Australia.[32] The oral Pill has an annual practical failure rate of 6%,[33] meaning that 6 out of every 100 women on the Pill for 12 months, conceive on the Pill EVERY YEAR! A failure rate of 6% means that 66,000 Australian women would have fallen pregnant unintentionally that year while on the Pill with the consequent temptation to have an abortion. In just 5 years, up to 30% of women on the Pill or 330,000 will face the dilemma of an unintended pregnancy and the temptation to abortion.[34] Adding the 15% annual failure rate among condom users[35] (almost ½ million couples in Australia[36]) in 1995, another 72,000 more women may have faced an unintended pregnancy with the dilemma of abortion that year.[37] In 5 years of continuous condom use, almost 3/4 of condom users or 360,000 more women, could face the temptation to abortion.

If, between ½ and 2/3 of all women seeking abortion were contracepting at the time[38], this would mean that between 47,600 and 63,500 of the 95,200 Australian women who had abortions in 1995 and 1996 were contracepting.[39] Imagine if people did not contracept and abstained instead, we would more than halve the abortion rate in this country, for as the ABS states: “Termination of pregnancy…is generally a response to unintended pregnancy resulting from contraceptive failure or unplanned sexual activity.”[40]

Most of the women who fell pregnant while contracepting were using the Pill or condom as a method of contraception as these two methods account for almost 90% of the temporary methods of contraception with the permanent methods of sterilisation only failing uncommonly at about 0.3%[41] If you work out the statistics, 30-40% who fell pregnant on the Pill or while using a condom went on to have an abortion.[42] Abortion was the back-up to failed contraception for these women.

The culture of death is larger than just abortion, as Blessed John Paul II said in Evangelium Vitae (12) “(There is in) a certain sense … a war of the powerful against the weak: A person who, because of illness, handicap or, more simply, just by existing, compromises the well-being or life-style of those who are more favoured (and) tends to be looked upon as an …intolerable burden…an enemy to be resisted or eliminated. In this way a kind of ‘conspiracy against life’ is unleashed.”

How does the contraceptive mentality lead to other expressions of the culture of death like suicide, euthanasia, IVF, divorce, coercive family planning programs?

 To answer this question we should look briefly at the background to the development of the Pill. The oral contraceptive pill is by far the most popular form of contraceptive.[43] [44] It was developed in the late 1950s, by a biochemist George Pincus and, incredibly enough, a devout daily Mass going Catholic Gynaecologist, Dr John Rock. Rock knew quite well the Church’s teaching banning artificial forms of birth control, but he not only rebelled against that teaching as early as 1931, when he was the only Catholic doctor to sign a petition to legalize birth control in the state of Massachusetts[45], he also “launched a one-man campaign to win Vatican approval for the Pill. In 1963 he published The Time Has Come: A Catholic Doctor’s Proposals to End the Battle over Birth Control, arguing that the Pill was a “natural” form of birth control.[46]

Rock always believed what he was told as a child by his home-town priest, “always stick to your own conscience. Never let anyone else keep it for you. And I mean anyone else.”[47] “Conscience” would be the catchcry of those who would later reject Humanae Vitae. But “(c)onscience is not just a feeling or an opinion. It is not a notion, or whim of the moment. It is a judgment of practical reason about the moral quality of a human action.”[48] “The Catechism of the Catholic Church…describes a moral conscience in paragraph 1776: “Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment…For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God…His conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.”

Suppose a couple takes the Pill or uses the condom with the intention of preventing conception because the couple have recently given birth to a child and feel they cannot cope with another so soon. We can easily understand that it is contradictory and illogical (and therefore unnatural and immoral) to intentionally sterilise an action which is inherently procreative in potential. No farmer just plants seeds in his fields then covers them with plastic so they won’t grow just because he has fun sewing seeds without the responsibility of crops! If he didn’t want crops he would not sew his seeds. So it is against natural law to use a condom. No farmer poisons his soil so that his seeds won’t grow into plants simply because he feels a great thrill out of repetitively sewing his seeds. So it is also against natural law to take the Pill to stop fertility. Thus a good conscience weighs up whether particular actions, like taking the Pill or using a condom, with the intention of prevention of conception, are contraceptive and therefore immoral. If conscience judges that these actions are contraceptive and therefore wrong then conscience judges rightly but if conscience judges that it is all right to contracept by doing these things, then conscience judges erroneously because a good conscience is based on objective truth of the moral law; it does not make up the moral law, the standard of right or wrong; rather conscience applies the moral law to particular concrete actions. Conscience can no more judge that contracepting is all right, any more than saying murder is all right or that I can change the laws of gravity if I jump off a cliff. Breaking moral laws, just as breaking physical laws will have destructive consequences. Conscience can, however, judge that taking the Pill for medical purposes such as severe endometriosis, without the intention of contracepting, is all right and in fact not an act of contraception and therefore not sinful.

It may be argued that the couple may have good intentions in contracepting, e.g. to preserve the marital love in marriage without the possibility of conception, but good intentions cannot change the contradictory nature of the contraceptive act, that is to sterilise an action that is inherently procreative in potential. By contracepting, couples cannot change the fact that they are no longer giving themselves totally to each other, by withholding their fertility, and they are contradicting the inherent unitive spousal meaning of the marital act. Imagine a couple exchanging rings at the wedding and then taking them straight back, or giving the wedding ring boxes without the rings! Contraception is as illogical as these examples, for in both cases there is a lack of total giving. The good intention, to recover after a birth of a child, could have been fulfilled by periodic continence or natural family planning without any attack on the two-fold simultaneous unitive and procreative meanings of the marital act (which happens through contraception) as the couple merely abstains from the marital act rather than deforms it through contraception.

Rock’s understanding of conscience was different from the Church. In effect, Rock believed that everyone could decide whether contraception was right or wrong for themselves. His stance was just like his backer, Margaret Sanger, lapsed Catholic, who sought for years to find the “magic pill” and who managed to find funding for his research from a wealthy widow that led to the Pill’s discovery. Sanger was the founder and first President of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider today in its member organisations. Sanger wrote, ‘… men and women (of America) are demanding that…they be allowed to mold their lives, not at the arbitrary command of church or state but as their conscience and judgement may dictate.”[49] This view of course leads to moral relativism, the idea that there are no absolute standards of right or wrong, no absolute moral law and moral stances. All “ethical standards, morality, and positions of right or wrong are culturally based and therefore subject to a person’s individual choice. We can all decide what is right for ourselves. You decide what’s right for you, and I’ll decide what’s right for me. Moral relativism says, “It’s true for me, if I believe it.”[50] So it follows with contraception and abortion, if I believe it is true for me then it is all right and I should be allowed to “follow my conscience”.

Many who follow moral relativism craftily argue against contrary objective moral values to their own by claiming that these are “imposed” on them yet they argue “tolerance” whenever their moral values contradict with someone else’s, as a way of neutralising opposition to their values, particularly when their values undermine inalienable and fundamental human rights like the right to life for the unborn child. Fay Wattleton, former President of Planned Parenthood and successor to Margaret Sanger said, “teaching morality doesn’t mean imposing my moral values on others…it means…giving reasons for believing as I do – and then trusting others to think and judge for themselves…reasonable people may differ on moral issues, and … fundamental respect for others is morality of the highest order. I (have been)…fighting for the right of all individuals to make their own moral decisions about childbearing.”[51] Where does moral relativism lead to except to either anarchy, the breakdown of law and order e.g. religious fundamentalist terrorism[52] or, as Cardinal Ratzinger said at the conclave Mass Homily of April 18, 2005 before he was elected Pope, “the dictatorship of relativism(,) which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goals one’s own ego and one’s own desires.” In other words moral relativism means life is all about me, what I want, what I desire; I will change the law to suite me and I don’t really care what you think as long as you don’t get in my way!

Ironically, when immoral values obtain the support of law and the overturning of legal sanction, sometimes these values are intolerantly imposed on those who disagree with them with the threat of legal sanction. As Blessed John Paul II warned us, there arises the spectre of the tyrant state as human right “ceases to be such, because it is no longer firmly founded on the inviolable dignity of the person, but is made subject to the will of the stronger part. In this way democracy, contradicting its own principles, effectively moves towards a form of totalitarianism. The State is no longer the “common home” where all can live together on the basis of principles of fundamental equality, but is transformed into a tyrant State, which arrogates to itself the right to dispose of the life of the weakest and most defenseless members, from the unborn child to the elderly, in the name of a public interest which is really nothing but the interest of one part. The appearance of the strictest respect for legality is maintained, at least when the laws permitting abortion and euthanasia are the result of a ballot in accordance with what are generally seen as the rules of democracy. Really, what we have here is only the tragic caricature of legality; the democratic ideal, which is only truly such when it acknowledges and safeguards the dignity of every human person, is betrayed in its very foundation.” (EV §20)

For example, in the state of Victoria, even if a doctor disagrees with abortion, there is now no longer any room for conscientious objection (a fundamental human right) and on request for an abortion, the doctor is compelled under the current state law to give information about a doctor who does them,[53] which legally forces him to cooperate with evil.

In response to Rock and the clamour to allow the Pill, Pope Paul VI wrote Humanae Vitae (HV) in 1968. Prior to this encyclical letter, he had before him two reports from his “Birth Control Commission”. The minority report which included the future Pope John Paul II, argued for no change. The majority argued for change to allow artificial contraception. However, he could not change the constant traditional ban on artificial means of birth control. What was wrong yesterday cannot now be suddenly right today. What was not true before cannot suddenly be true now. What was always taught to be a mortal sin before could not be affirmed as virtuous now. The infallible teaching of the Church was at stake so the Pope said that the marital act has two inseparable meanings which can never be broken, the unitive and procreative meanings.[54] He said, “each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life”. (HV 11)

Contraception is wrong because it contradicts the natural law in that it unnaturally tries to sterilise the marital act which is, of its nature, ordered simultaneously to procreation and union. In the marital embrace, the husband fully gives himself to his wife through his seed, as the quasi-living physical and genetic image of himself and this tends towards the fullest expression of interpersonal union by seeking his wife’s genetic image of herself in one of her eggs to complete that union and form a new person, (a kind of natural visible reflection of the total self-giving of the three Divine Persons in the Trinity to each other). We can all understand why a man would have second thoughts about marrying a woman who wants to remove her ovaries just before their wedding or a woman having second thoughts about marrying a man who wants to be sterilised just before their wedding, because they are refusing to give themselves totally to their spouses through destroying the life-giving potential of their bodies and refusing to have children. Thus the natural law prohibiting contraception is written in our hearts.

 

Humanae Vitae’s Warnings

In Humanae Vitae Pope Paul VI went on to warn us about the consequences of contraception. His words were in a sense prophetic and today we see the truth of his observations made in 1968.

  1. “If … the unitive and the procreative (significance of the marital act)… is preserved, the use of marriage fully retains its sense of true mutual love and its ordination to the supreme responsibility of parenthood…”

Pope Paul VI implied that contraception would lead to the loss of the full sense of true mutual love and the worse result of that is of course divorce.[55] Sure enough, after the Pill was introduced divorce rates have taken off. For example in Australia, since the Pill was introduced in 1961, the divorce rate which was 9% of the marriage rate,[56] [57] is now 40% [58] with most couples now contracepting.[59] In contrast the divorce rate of those who use natural family planning is an amazing 0.2%, 2 per thousand couples! [60]

  1. He could see “how easily (contraception) could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards… especially (among) the young” (HV 17). This has too obviously occurred with adultery reportedly at 18-20%[61] of marriages; teen sexual experience, children born out of wedlock, de facto relationships; most couples who marry now cohabit first and abortions and so on. In the USA alone, largely because of contraception, the number of cohabitating couples has seen a staggering 10 fold increase from 1960 to 1998![62]

Contraceptive sex is sterile sex and has paved the way for homosexual acts which of their very nature are sterile. As Mary Eberstadt, Hoover Institution research fellow and author, reflected, “Once heterosexuals start claiming the right to act as homosexuals (in CONTRACEPTING) it would not be long before homosexuals start claiming the rights of heterosexuals.”[63] Gay marriage of course!

  1. Men, who become accustomed to contraception, may lose respect for women and “reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires.” (HV 17) Without the possibility of falling pregnant, a woman may be expected by the man to be more readily sexually available to fulfil his selfish lustful desires and “no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.” (HV 17)

That women are disrespectfully treated as sex objects in the media is taken for granted today, so much so, that many women today willingly portray themselves in this light as a given norm, allowing themselves to be used (for various reasons), e.g. pornography, prostitution, immodest fashions, degrading sexual practices.

According to Cardinal Wojtyla’s (the future Pope John Paul II) “personalistic norm” of morality: using someone is the very opposite of love; we can use things but we must love persons, never use them. [64]

  1. Pope Paul VI warned of the “danger of this power passing into the hands of … public authorities (who) may even impose their use on everyone.” The terrible example of this is of course China with its brutally imposed one child policy through coercive state birth control programs. Last year we had the pitiful picture of Feng Jianmei and her aborted baby lying next to her, after her horrific forced abortion which caused such an internet storm and international outrage that led to “China’s Population and Family Planning Commission …. (issuing) an order to end forced abortions, particularly late-term abortions.”[65]

To Australia’s great shame, Victoria is not that far removed from the tyrant state of China because it now allows abortion “up into the 9th month of pregnancy, making Victoria’s (abortion) laws among the most permissive in the world.” Unbelievably, a “clause was inserted into the act that took away the conscientious objection of doctors and nurses” and, as mentioned earlier, they must now “supply the patient with information on a medical practitioner who does not have such an objection to abortion” and regardless “of their personal objections, medical practitioners and nurses have a duty to perform or assist in performing an emergency abortion if the pregnant woman’s life is in danger.[66] Anti-abortion doctors in Victoria today have no option but to disobey an evil law in conscience.

It is hardly surprising that in “June 2011, Seven News reported that late-term abortions at the Royal Women’s Hospital have increased in frequency by 600% since the laws were changed in 2008”[67] and of course no pictures have been posted of the babies’ corpses on the internet to cause international outrage as none of the mothers wanted them.

  1. Pope Paul said, “man does not have unlimited dominion over his body in general, so also, and with more particular reason, he has no such dominion over his specifically sexual faculties, for these are concerned by their very nature with the generation of life, of which God is the source,” (HV 13)… “we must accept that there are certain limits, beyond which it is wrong to go, limits, …which no one… can lawfully exceed.”. (HV 17) Margaret Sanger said the very opposite, each woman is the “absolute mistress of her own body”[68] meaning absolute personal autonomy. “It’s my body; I will do what I like with it.” This not only leads to domination over her body but also to domination over the fruit of her body, the unborn child. Pope Paul VI warned “limits are expressly imposed because of the reverence due to the whole human organism and its natural functions.” (HV 17) But critically there is a loss of reverence for procreation and for the unborn human person. Through moral relativism, the inalienable human rights of the unborn child are dismissed and the child’s personal status is blindly ignored as it is claimed by the Sanger mentality, “The right to destroy (life). The right to create (life)”.[69] And so today, we not only have rationalised abortion and multi-fetal pregnancy reduction[70], we have justified IVF, surrogacy, embryonic stem cell research and even the sickening use of embryos for medical research and commercial enterprises e.g. cosmetics. The unborn child is so devalued and depersonalised he/she is reduced to a commodity of mere human tissue to be created, used, manipulated, abused and discarded at will.

The “unlimited dominion over the body” mentality has not only lead to the domination and abuse of the human life at its beginning but also at its end, for if human life is so devalued and depersonalised in the womb, it easily becomes so at life’s other stages, with the domination and abuse of other human beings in society with the loss of their inalienable human rights. For if we can decide life and death for babies in the womb, since life has become so cheap, we can decide life and death for other human begins: euthanasia and terrorism. Voluntary and involuntary euthanasia not only occur in The Netherlands[71], euthanasia covertly happens in our Australian hospitals with handicapped children left to die when they contract infections in what Pope Benedict warned was a new eugenic mentality[72]; who are to be next but the sick and the elderly? For several years the euthanasia push has kept on coming back to haunt our parliaments. Finally, we can even decide life and death for ourselves: suicide as the ultimate act of self-absorbed individualistic personal autonomy.

 

Philosophy underlying contraception and the culture of death

We know that when we abuse our bodies, we are abusing ourselves, our person, for the body is the sign of the person.[73] In a sense a person is his or her body.[74] So it is with contraception, when we deform our bodies by sterilising them through contraception, for the sake of unrestrained sexual pleasure for ourselves, we are in reality degrading our dignity as human persons by treating our bodies as objects, as instruments for manipulation and in a sense we are depersonalising ourselves.[75] We are erroneously and artificially disconnecting our personal status from our bodies and falling into a neo-Manichean tendency of seeing the body as merely biological material to serve the desires of the personal subject. Here, the body is seen as something extrinsic to the person, who in a sense has to assume it, dominate it and use it at will. This dualistic distinction of body and personal subject combined with moral relativism, “it is good if I desire it,” leads to the deadly abuses of the culture of death. If we take the marital act, instead of the focus of giving of self unselfishly, there is, in contraceptive sex, the using of each other’s body for sexual self-gratification: what I can get, instead of what I can give. A child conceived in such a situation will usually be seen as an undesired and unexpected burdensome intrusion to the selfish, rather than a “gift” to be welcomed with love and joy, with the consequent temptation to abortion (“unPlanned Parenthood”!) Ironically, having a baby through IVF with its associated variations flows from the idea that “good is when I desire it” i.e moral relativism, as a baby is seen as good as long as it is desired (and therefore planned). Frozen embryo storage, embryo wastage during IVF, multi-fetal pregnancy reduction; cloning etc, of course are all justified with this mentality as any conceived child is easily treated as on object and only accorded personal status when desired for the sake of the parents and not for the child’s own sake, contradicting Cardinal Wojtyla’s “personalistic norm”.

When we examine assisted suicide and euthanasia, we can see that killing ourselves and other persons is rationalised on the basis of intolerable or undignified “evil” suffering of the body, through moral relativism. The fact that a human person with inalienable human rights has been killed and/or murdered, as with abortion, is totally ignored. There is the denial of the “universality and immutability of the moral commandments, particularly those which prohibit always and without exception intrinsically evil acts” (Veritatis Splendor no. 115) (e.g. contraception and abortion). In such a culture as we have described, is it surprising that it is also a culture of murder and terrorism?

 

Afterthought

It is true that I have described the very depressing state of the culture of death in our society as it flows from contraception, but Christians are realists who not only have to face the true state of affairs of society, in order to diagnose it’s ills, but also administer the antidote of God’s grace through the very same means by which Christian civilisation was launched by twelve Apostles. In the lives of the saints, prayer, penance, sacrifices, virtue, beauty, study and apostolic activity, both individual and corporate, have always infallibly worked to renew society. Like St Benedict of old, we too are called to rebuild civilisation in the current dark age of the culture of death, heralding through a new evangelisation a renewed culture of life and love.

 

[1] http://www.numberofabortions.com/

[2] Cf St John 8:44

[3] The abortifacient effect (undetected abortion effect) of the Pill (and other methods of “contraception” like the IUD, depot hormonal injections and the “Morning After Pill” and “Abortion Pill”, RU-486) is not discussed in this article. However, it is clear according to John Wilkes’ review of the literature, that women actually ovulate on the Pill at least 17 ovulations per 100 women on the pill per year (Dr Van der Vange’s research), and the actual detected pregnancy rate is much less, so the abortafacient rate of the Pill is somewhere in between. I have also not discussed the so-called “Morning After Pill” Only the Creator knows the actual number of these aborted human beings from the abortifacient effect of contraceptives to add to the 2 billion cited above. Ref: http://www.pfli.org/faq_oc.html;

[4] Deaths from Pulmonary Embolism: http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/PUarticles/oralcontraceptives.htm#sections

Page 5: oestrogen-progestogen contraceptives cause breast cancer and cause death through this also http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Classification/Table4.pdf

[5] Evangelium Vitae 13, Pope John Paul II

[6] Mia Freedman is the publisher of mamamia.com.au

[7] 28th October 2012

[8] One would wonder if those same persons, who are so concerned at reducing the abortion rate by increasing contraception, would be in fact “pro-choice”. If so then this would be a disturbing contradiction I would think!

[9] Cited by Dr William May: http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/may/contraception.htm

[10] http://www.abort73.com/abortion_facts/us_abortion_statistics/

[11] Ibid,

[12] Services for the Termination of Pregnancy in Australia: A Review, Draft Consultation document –September 1995, NHMRC, Page 58

[13] http://spinneypress.com.au/books/abortion-issues/ “Fast Facts”

[14] Ibid, “Fast facts”

[15] Ibid, “Fast facts”

[16] Ibid, cf “Fast facts”

[17] Services for the Termination of Pregnancy in Australia: A Review, Draft Consultation document –September 1995, NHMRC, Page 52

[18] http://religions.pewforum.org/reports; http://www.abort73.com/abortion_facts/us_abortion_statistics/

[19] Ibid.

[20]http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/09/26/new_guttmacher_birth_control_study_women_use_contraception_for_financial_and_life_stability_.html: Study from the Guttmacher Institute

[21] Evangelium Vitae, 13.2, Pope John Paul II

[22] http://www.abortiongrief.asn.au/documents/keli_lane-the_untold_story.pdf

[23] http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/download/USCCB.pdf

[24] Abortion Issues, Ed., Healey; Spinney Press, 2010 “Fast facts” Healey editor; in 1990 there were 79,019 estimated abortions Services for the Termination of Pregnancy in Australia: A Review, Draft Consultation document –September 1995, NHMRC, Page 43

[25] http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/2f762f95845417aeca25706c00834efa/e50a5b60e048fc07ca2570ec001909fb!OpenDocument; in 1980 the proportion of abortions as a proportion of abortion and livebirths was less at 23%, Services for the Termination of Pregnancy in Australia: A Review, Draft Consultation document –September 1995, NHMRC, Page 42

[26] http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3301.0: there were 301,617 births in 2011 (1/3 are out of wedlock!); this could represent 73% (100% less 27%) of all pregnancies (less miscarriages and stillbirths) which gives a total of 413, 173 total pregnancies, and 431,173 total pregnancies less 301,617 birth gives 111,556 abortions

[27]Pregnancy Outcome Unit Epidemiology Branch, South Australian Health 2009”: June 2011,Pregnancy Outcome Unit, Epidemiology Branch, SA Health page 55; repeat abortion rate of 33.4%; (therefore first time abortion rate is 66.6%). In 1993 in South Australia, the repeat abortion rate was lower at 27.8%, Services for the Termination of Pregnancy in Australia: A Review, Draft Consultation document –September 1995, NHMRC, Page 58

[28] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Australia#cite_note-popclock-1

22,893,278 as of 4/2/2013 and half of these are female i.e. 11,446,639;   2.8 million/11.447 million = 24.5%

[29] http://spinneypress.com.au/books/abortion-issues/ “Fast Facts”

[30] http://www.abort73.com/abortion_facts/us_abortion_statistics/

[31]   http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/2f762f95845417aeca25706c00834efa/e50a5b60e048fc07ca2570ec001909fb!OpenDocument

[32] Ibid, this amounts to something like a $100 million dollar industry in Australia alone

[33] OCs and the Community Failure Rate, Current Therapeutics, September 1994, Dr Edith Weisberg

[34] Ibid, Dr Weisberg, former NSW Family Planning Director actually claims that 50% of women will have an unintended pregnancy on the Pill if they remain on it for 10 years; (some women may fall pregnant more than once on the Pill)

[35] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condom:

[36]http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/2f762f95845417aeca25706c00834efa/e50a5b60e048fc07ca2570ec001909fb!OpenDocument;

[37] Abortion Issues, Ed., Healey; Spinney Press, 2010 “Fast facts”: Healey conservatively estimates 200,000 unintended pregnancies per year in Australia with 80,000 ending in abortion; that is 40%.

[38] Abortion Issues, Ed., Healey; Spinney Press, 2010 “Fast facts”

[39] ½ *95,200=47,600; 2/3 *95200=63,466

[40] http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/2f762f95845417aeca25706c00834efa/e50a5b60e048fc07ca2570ec001909fb!OpenDocument; presumably unplanned pregnancy from sexual activity and not just rape which is uncommon

[41] http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/2f762f95845417aeca25706c00834efa/e50a5b60e048fc07ca2570ec001909fb!OpenDocument; In 1995, 2/3 women who contracepted, used temporary methods; 87% of these used either the OCP or the condom; 1/3 used permanent sterilisation (with an extremely low failure rate of between 2-3 per 1000, http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Sterilisation-(Counselling-and-Complications).htm)

[42] I showed that sixty-six thousand plus seventy thousand = 138,000 women could fall pregnant on the pill or if a condom was used in 1995. Between 50% – 67% of all the abortions were after failure from all forms of contraception (mostly pill and condom use) i.e. 50%-67% of 95200 – between 47,600 to 63,500 and most of these contraceptive failure were up to 87% from OCP or condom use that is: 41412 to 55245

-41412 to 55245/138,000 i.e. 30-40% of those who fell pregnant on the pill or using condoms for contraception went on to have an abortion; 41,412-55,245 abortions out of a total about 95,000 means that up to 58% of all abortions were presented from pill or condom failure alone.

[43] http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/2f762f95845417aeca25706c00834efa/e50a5b60e048fc07ca2570ec001909fb!OpenDocument

[44] OCs and Community Failure Rate, Current Therapeutics, September 1994, Dr Edith Weisberg

[45] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Rock_%28American_scientist%29

[46] http://massmoments.org/moment.cfm?mid=92

[47] FN: http://www.gladwell.com/2000/2000_03_10_a_rock.html

[48] http://bishopmulveyblog.diocesecc.org/2012/07/22/conscience-formation-for-citizens/

 

[49] http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6223

[50] http://www.moral-relativism.com/

[51] http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6223

[52] More closer to home examples are murders of unfaithful lovers, throwing rocks off bridges on passing cars, drug abuse

[53] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria’s_Abortion_Law_Reform

[54] Cf Humanae Vitae 12

[55] One of the key reasons for this development is that spouses become so used to not giving themselves totally in the marital act (without their fertility) that marital love can degenerates till eventually one day one or both spouses give nothing of themselves hence divorce completes the death of love in the marriage.

[56] 6633 divorces http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/info/charts/divorce/numberdivorces.html

[57] 75428 marriages http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/info/charts/marriage/numbers.html

[58] ABS 3310.0 – Marriages and Divorces, Australia, 2011; 48935 divorces and 121752 marriages in 2011

[59] 4102.0 – Australian Social Trends, 1998 

[60] Source: ROME, Italy, June 27, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In an excusive LifeSiteNews.com interview, Mercedes Wilson, founder and President of the Natural Family Planning organization, Family for the Americas,

[61] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infidelity

[62] http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0603.asp  From 439,000 in 1960 to 4,200,000 in 1998.

[63] http://www.firstthings.com/article/2008/07/002-the-vindication-of-ihumanae-vitaei-28

[64] Cf Love and Responsibility, Karol Wojtyla, Ignatius Press, 1993, page 41 and 107

[65] http://www.christianpost.com/news/china-has-not-banned-forced-abortion-groups-insist-81829/

[66] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria’s_Abortion_Law_Reform

[67] Ibid

[68] http://wyatt.elasticbeanstalk.com/mep/MS/xml/mshist.html

[69] The Women Rebel, 1914, M Sanger.

[70] This is the practice of aborting some of the children in multiple fetal pregnancies to supposedly aid the increase the success rate of a child in the pregnancy

[71] http://www.euthanasia.com/hollchart.html

[72] http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=32247

[73] Cf http://www.jp2.info/Theology_of_the_Body.pdf page 2

[74] http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/may/contraception.htm

[75] It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss the moral theories of “proportionalism” and “consequentalism” which moral theologians argued as a justification for committing the sin of contraception.

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