Why the fight against abortion starts with opposing contraception
April 23, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A pro-life atheist from the Maritimes argued last week that the Catholic Church's teaching against contraception undermines its argument against abortion. But had he examined recent research on the matter as well as looked into the abortifacient mechanism built into mainstream contraceptives, he might have reached a different conclusion.
Jackson Doughart, a political theorist student at Queen’s University, wrote in the National Post on Wednesday that a “prohibition on contraceptives would doubtless result in many undesired pregnancies, and hence a greater number of candidates for abortion.”
The Catholic Church teaches that “each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of human life,” and thereby excludes “every action…to render procreation impossible”. The Church also teaches that a couple can naturally and morally postpone pregnancy by not having sex during the woman’s fertile period.
Doughart’s piece, titled The Vatican’s opposition to contraception undermines fight against abortion, was a response to a correspondent who had privately attempted to convince the atheist that the Church’s teaching against contraception “makes her position entirely consistent”. The correspondent, who held in high esteem Doughart’s secular defense for the right to life of the unborn, suggested that the defense could be tightened “if you found a way to reason to why [the unborn] face this plight in the first place”.
In an attempt to shed light on the Church’s position, the unnamed correspondent wrote to Doughart: “Contraception closes the sexual act to the gift of life. Once a contracepting man and woman have allowed a contraceptive mentality to seep into them, they immediately view a newly created child as an inconvenience at best and as a hostile intruder at worst. For them, the only solution is to get rid of the baby through abortion. You see, contraception leads to the need for abortion.”
But Doughart called the claim “absurd” that “Sexual Act A, which is performed with contraception, is more likely to result in abortion than Sexual Act B, which is performed without.”
Echoing the oft-used pro-contraception argument of the abortion giant Planned Parenthood Doughart concluded: “I don’t see how both a practicable and philosophically-defensible argument against contraception can be made by anyone who is genuinely interested in reducing abortion.”
Abortion advocates link contraception to abortion
But adamant abortion advocates don’t agree with Doughart’s conclusion, pointing out that a link does indeed exist between contraception and demand for abortion.
“Most abortions result from failed contraception,” admitted Joyce Arthur, founder and executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, earlier this year.
Arthur’s statement parallels a prediction made in 1973 by Dr. Malcolm Potts, former medical director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, who said: “As people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall, in the abortion rate.”
What Arthur and Potts have perhaps unwittingly revealed is the massively lucrative ‘get rich quick’ scheme of the multi-billion dollar abortion industry: 1) encourage unrestricted sexual activity among young people, 2) promote the idea of “safe sex” without consequences especially through using contraception, 3) expect contraception to fail since every method, be it the condom, pill, intrauterine device, etc., has a startlingly dismal failure rate in real world usage, 4) provide abortions to women as a solution to their ‘unexpected problem’.
Researchers have exposed this ingenious business plan of the abortion industry simply by following the money. They found that contraception is the gateway mechanism for increasing abortion. And abortion is where the profit is.
Analysts have exposed the abortion-centered nature in the case of Planned Parenthood’s business model, finding in the organization’s own billion dollar financial reports that abortions account for more than half its income.
Experts say contraception necessitates abortion
The United State’s highest court had no difficulty in seeing the causal link between contraception and abortion in a 1992 ruling that confirmed Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that brought legal abortion to America.
In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court argued that in some critical respects abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception: “...for two decades of economic and social developments, [people] 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.”
What the Supreme Court pointed out is that in a contracepting society, abortion not only becomes a necessity, but it becomes the ultimate fail-safe method of birth control. In the mind of the court, contraception doesn’t lessen the need for abortion, but on the contrary, contraception precipitates abortion.
One woman, writing at the pro-abortion website RHRealityCheck.com last year, expressed her bewilderment at the failure of her intrauterine device. Confirming the validity of what the Supreme Court said, she described the process that led her to “fix” the problem by having her baby aborted.
“Something went wrong, but now there are steps to fix it,” wrote the woman who identified herself as NW. “Yes, I’m pregnant, but it’s a temporary state. I can see the day on the calendar when it won’t be true anymore.”
“I go with Planned Parenthood,” writes NW. “I spend so much of my time defending them and giving money monthly, it seems only right to maintain my loyalty in my moment of need.”
Dr. Dianne Irving, a bioethicist at Georgetown University and a former bench biochemist with the U.S. National Institute of Health, would have no trouble explaining NW’s series of choices that led to the demise of her growing baby.
“Since it is ... a long-recognized and documented scientific fact that almost all so-called ‘contraceptives’ routinely fail at statistically significant rates resulting in ‘unplanned pregnancies’, is there any wonder that elective abortions are socially required in order to take care of such ‘accidents’?” Dr. Irving asked.
“Thus abortion has become a ‘contraceptive’ in and of itself,” she said.
Dr. Janet Smith, a professor, author, and national speaker, agrees with Dr. Irving: "Contraception leads us to believe that sex can be a momentary encounter, not a life-long commitment. It has brought about the concept of 'accidental pregnancy.'"
“The connection between contraception and abortion is primarily this: contraception facilitates the kind of relationships and even the kind of attitudes and moral characters that are likely to lead to abortion,” she wrote.
Put differently, contraception radically changes the meaning and purpose of sex. Contraception turns the sexual act between a man and a woman that is biologically ordered towards the creation of a new life into a parody of the act, where a newly created life can suddenly be viewed as an uninvited and unwelcome guest. Abortion becomes the easy solution by which the parent permanently and violently disinvites the unwelcome guest.
Sarah Nelson is one woman who discovered within her own heart that her acceptance of contraception instilled in her what she called a “spirit of abortion”. Sarah always considered herself to be pro-life, but she was also in favor of contraception. She had been raised among protestants who openly encouraged newly weds to contracept.
“Rarely were children talked about in terms of ‘abundance and overflowing joy’, she said. Some of her mentors strongly suggested that couples should limit their family size “for the good of God”.
One day after praying for an end to abortion on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Sarah became aware of an anti-life mentality that had insidiously rooted itself deep within her. She saw that this mentality had prejudiced her against valuing new human life and that it was responsible for blocking her own desire one day to have children of her own. She realized that this mentality came from her uncritical acceptance of contraception.
“I was not really open to having children, nor had I been encouraged to be so from my church leadership,” she said. “From this flowed the natural conclusion that contraception was fine. And if contraception was fine, then I could see how the logic worked that allowed abortion (God forbid) to be fine because it got rid of an ‘inconvenience,’” she said.
“I was horrified as I suddenly and instantly knew the horrible truth: being closed to life through contraception actually leads to the reality and horror of abortion,” she said.
Research suggests high contraception rates only increase abortion rates
Research backs up the causal link between contraception and abortion.
A 2011 Spanish study found that as use of contraceptive methods increased in a sample of more than 2000 Spanish women (49.1% to 79.9%), the rate of abortion in the group doubled in the same period.
The researchers were clearly puzzled by the findings of their 10-year study, calling it “interesting and paradoxical” that the large increase in elective abortions was associated with a remarkable increase in the number of women who used contraceptive methods.
Research from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute showed in 2011 that a majority of abortions took place in America after contraception failure: “54 percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method [usually condom or the pill] during the month they became pregnant.”
The former Planned Parenthood associate also found that “[p]oor women’s high rate of unintended pregnancy results in their also having high — and increasing — rates of both abortions (52 per 1,000) and unplanned births (66 per 1,000).”
A 2012 Russian study found that while Russian women had the highest rate of contraceptive use when compared to surrounding countries, they also had the highest abortion rate.
The researchers were clearly perplexed when they found “higher odds of modern contraception” led to a “higher level of abortion,” calling their findings “contradictory,” “unexpected,” and “paradoxical.”
Like the researchers in the Russian study, Swedish officials were baffled earlier this year by statistics showing a rise in the country’s abortion rate following the introduction of the abortifacient morning after pill. Despite sales in the pill having doubled between 2001 and 2012, the abortion rate approximately within the same period was seen to have increased from 18.4 to 20.9 per 1,000 women.
“Our hope was that the pill would bring down the abortion rates,” said Catharina Zätterström, deputy chairwoman at the Swedish Association of Midwives.
Mainstream contraceptives have killed millions
Doughart’s essential argument that contraception ought to make sense to “anyone who is genuinely interested in reducing abortion” appears logical at first glance, until it is pointed out that mainstream methods of contraception — such as the pill and IUD — act as an abortifacient to the newly created human being. In other words, contraceptive drugs destroy newly created human life in its zygote stage.
The manufacturers of hormonal contraceptives write in their product monographs that if their product does not prevent ovulation, and if it does not sufficiently thicken the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the ovum, then it ultimately changes the woman’s uterine wall to prevent implantation of a newly conceived human life.
Experts call the death toll from hormonal contraceptives “staggering”.
Dr. Bogomir Kuhar, a clinical and consultant pharmacist, estimated in 1996 that the total number of newly created human beings destroyed in the U.S. annually since 1973 by the use of oral contraceptives (the pill), contraceptive injections (Depo-Provera), contraceptive implants under the skin (Norplant), contraceptive devices inserted in the reproductive organs (IUD), ranged conservatively between 6.5 million and 11.6 million. Averaging this number and multiplying by the number of years between 1973 and now, a mind boggling 363.6 million newly created human beings have been aborted through the use of contraceptive drugs.
Compared to the estimated 55 million abortions legally committed in the U.S. in the same time period, contraceptive drugs cause the destruction of more than 6 times the number of human beings.
Professor Charles Rice, professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame Law School, called contraception the “defining evil of our time,” adding that its legitimization has inevitably lead to abortion and a host of other evils.
In the final analysis, the strategy of promoting more contraceptive use to decrease abortion approaches the textbook definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. As research suggests, increasing contraception use to decrease abortion is like trying to extinguish a roaring conflagration with a liquid called gasoline.
The real solution is suggested by the correspondent in Doughart’s piece, namely a “retooling of people’s minds”. Young people need to be educated about responsible sexual behavior. They must be educated to see marriage as the only appropriate context for sexual activity and that such activity is ordered to the union of the spouses and to the procreation of children.
The notion of ‘accidental pregnancy’ that has been repeatedly pummeled into the minds of contraceptive users must be replaced by the notion that human life is a gift and that every person has something unique and unrepeatable to bring into the world.
Only a titanic shift in the predominantly promiscuous and amoral attitudes and behaviors that characterize Western society’s understanding of sex will end the genocide of innocent human beings through abortion. Such a shift will not gain traction until contraception is recognized as a deadly cancer in human relationships and labeled as a great destroyer of peace. Anyone who is, as Doughart says, “genuinely interested in reducing abortion,” should not be afraid to trace a problem to its cause so as to find and implement a real and lasting solution.
LifeSiteNews journalist Peter Baklinski has a B.A. in liberal arts and a masters in theology with a specialization on marriage and the family (STM). He is married to Erin. Together they have five children.