By Kathleen Gilbert
VIENNA, January 8, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - An Austrian chemist who helped spearhead the creation of the earliest contraceptive pill has expressed dismay at the severance of sexuality and reproduction made possible by widespread use of the pill, and has warned against the impending demographic disaster from plummeting birth rates.
Carl Djerassi wrote of his concern in a commentary appearing in the December issue of Austria’s Der Standard, where he described couples who regularly contracept as "wanting to enjoy their schnitzels while leaving the rest of the world to get on with it."
Djerassi, who is a chemist, novelist, and playwright, is best known for helping create the synthetic hormone progestin norethindrone in 1951, together with Mexican Luis E. Miramontes and Hungarian George Rosenkranz. The far more potent synthetic hormone was soon used for contraceptive purposes as it remains effective when taken orally, unlike natural female hormones.
At the time, Djerassi had said that "not in our wildest dreams" had he expected the chemical to be used for contraception. Now, he writes, "My contribution is to help these people wake up," referring to Austrian couples who freely contracept.
Lamenting that there is now "no connection at all between sexuality and reproduction," Djerassi said, "This divide in Catholic Austria, a country which has on average 1.4 children per family, is now complete. Most Austrians enjoy sexual intercourse without thereby wanting or begetting a child."
Djerassi explained that Austria, which is now home to more seniors over 65 than children under 15, would soon enter "an impossible situation" as the lopsided population would result in a working class too small to support the needs of elderly pensioners.
Therefore, he urged, Austrians would have to quickly adopt an immigration policy designed to counteract the effects of widespread contraception lest the population commit "national suicide."
(To view the original article in German, go to: http://derstandard.at/?url=/?id=1227288533020)