LINCOLN, Nebraska, May 1, 2013 ( – A Catholic bishop in Nebraska is arguing that the atrocities allegedly committed by abortionist Kermit Gosnell at his “House of Horrors” in Philadelphia were the result of a “contraceptive mentality” that closes off the sexual act from the gift of life.

In a new column for the Southern Nebraska Register, Bishop James Conley of Lincoln observes that Gosnell’s so-called “post-birth abortions” were the “logical outcome of the abortion mentality.” But he takes it further, arguing that “they are also, in a deeper sense, the result of what Blessed John Paul II called the ‘contraceptive mentality.’”

Bishop Conley says it’s wrong to think contraception can reduce the number of abortions, and, in fact, a “culture of contraception cannot avoid becoming a ‘culture of death’ – in which some lives are seen not as gifts, but as burdens.”


“Research shows that contraception leads to riskier behavior, more unplanned pregnancies, and consequently, more abortion,” he writes. “When contraception fails – as it inevitably does – couples are tempted to eliminate the ‘unwanted’ life.”

“Kermit Gosnell looked at these ‘unwanted’ lives, and saw burdens placed upon women. He was more ruthless than most, in his efforts to eliminate these living ‘burdens,’” the bishop continues. “Most people do not share Gosnell’s ruthlessness. But many in our society seem to share his attitude: that human life is sometimes an inconvenient and unnecessary burden, rather than a sacred gift from God.”

The U.S. Supreme Court itself highlighted a connection between contraception and abortion in its infamous 1992 ruling in the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

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The justices wrote that Roe v. Wade could not be overturned “without serious inequity to people who, for two decades of economic and social developments, have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail” (emphasis added).

In his column, the bishop also criticizes the media for its relative silence on Gosnell's trial, and suggests that it’s because the case “raises too many disturbing questions – about the mentality behind abortion, and our culture’s troubling attitude toward human life.”

“One would expect a murderous doctor, running a ‘clinic’ reminiscent of Auschwitz, to face a media blitz and a burst of public outrage,” he writes. “Instead, Gosnell’s trial has been treated as a low-key, local story. Pro-life advocates took up the task of publicizing it, using social media to make up for news outlets’ silence.”

The bishop says the case also emphasizes the link between abortion and infanticide, often dismissed by pro-abortion activists.

“There is a hideous logical consistency in Gosnell’s career,” he writes. “He started off killing children in the womb, and ended up killing them after birth. At some point, the distinction between abortion and infanticide must have struck him as a mere technicality, just a matter of geography.”

Abortion advocates, he says, “have no valid or compelling grounds on which to condemn his particular methods of abortion as wrong” because “on the level of moral principles, infanticide and abortion are equivalent.” Gosnell simply “took the abortion mentality to its logical conclusion.”

The bishop concludes by urging readers to take up the fight against both contraception and abortion. “The popular media will not take the risk of raising these more fundamental questions by publicizing Gosnell’s trial,” he says. “That is why we must raise awareness of this case, to help the world see the consequences of contraception and abortion.”

Bishop Conley's full column is available here.