Monday, November 10, 2008

Contraception Myth #41: Contraception reduces abortion

Have you ever heard the following logic? Since contraception prevents getting pregnant when you don’t want to be pregnant, then it also reduces the number of abortions performed. Why? Because if people aren’t getting pregnant then they don’t need abortions! Why would the Catholic Church try to stop people from being “responsible” and using contraception on one hand and try to make abortion illegal on the other hand. That seems hypocritical.

I’ve heard the above plenty often. In fact, I saw a YouTube on this just a few days ago (can you guess why I’m writing about it?). I admit, on the surface it seems to have some credibility so let’s try something novel and, instead of taking it at face value, actually think about how the above myth works out in the real world.

The main point of the myth is that contraception is used to prevent getting pregnant. That seems obvious but it’s important to point out. That means that from the very beginning, the minds of the people using contraception have been made up in regard to having a baby. The answer is “NO!!!”

Let’s contrast that to what the Catholic Church teaches. The Church teaches Natural Family Planning which is just as effective at avoiding pregnancy as the pill. However, a huge part of NFP is openness to life. Even when a couple have sex while trying to avoid getting pregnant, NFP teaches couples to respect God’s will beyond our own. So the couples’ mindset is “We’re not expecting it, but if God really wants us to get pregnant then I guess we will.”

This difference couldn’t be bigger! Why? Because neither contraception, nor NFP, are 100% effective. That means people on the pill get pregnant when they don’t mean to. Even vasectomies and hysterectomies aren’t fool-proof!

What happens when you get pregnant and you absolutely do not want a baby? You probably consider an abortion.

What about when you realized from the beginning that pregnancy was a possibility, even if it’s unlikely? Most people would be more likely to accept the results of their actions.

If you look at things that way, it’s much more logical to say that contraception is like gas on the fire of abortion. It increases situations where unwanted pregnancies can happen and promotes a mindset of being closed to life so when pregnancy does happen, abortion becomes the “logical” Plan B. On the other hand, the Church teaches us to act like a responsible adult and realize that sex makes babies so only have sex when you can, at the very least, accept that a baby is possible, even if very unlikely.

I’d love to hear, well, read your comments on this topic! Feel free, as always to post your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Kudos for not backing down from the tough subjects. I know there aren't many comments posted yet, but don't give up. The world needs another voice for life, and you're doing a great job! Your ministry will grow--the Spirit will see to it!

Dan said...


Thanks so much for your kind comments. It's tempting to think that you're the only one who holds onto something the rest of the world has discarded and lose hope over it. It's refreshing to hear from people who see the wisdom of the Catholic Church's teaching on contraception.

Thank you for your support and please feel free to share your thoughts anytime.


Anonymous said...

Do you think abortion and contraceptives should be illegal? If so, you are throwing out everyone else's beliefs. Just becuase you are a christian doesn't mean everyone else is. Others believe differently such as in evolution or even other religions. Just because its against your beliefs shouldn't make it illegal.

Dan said...

Hello, anonymous,

Thanks for sharing your questions. I believe that abortion is a very complex issue; but yes I think it should be illegal. Not because I'm Catholic, but because it's murder.

I don't want to push my religion on anyone. You don't have to go to church, believe that the Eucharist is the real body and blood of Jesus or any of that; but the killing of a baby who happens to be inside the womb is the killing of a seperate life. That's not religion, that's fact.

I acknowledge that much more needs to be done to support expecting parents who are struggling to cope with the reality of having a child. I agree that simply waving a magic wand and making abortion illegal would have serious ramnifications and that more work needs to be done to give these women and men more options. These things need to be done, and are being done daily.

However, the fact still remains that a baby is a seperate living human with its own heart, liver, fingernails, etc and isn't a part of the mother. The mother may do with her body as she pleases, but her choice should end when her "right" infringes upon the "right" of the child to live.

I don't think contraception should be illegal; at least not those forms that don't cause abortion. My wife and I choose not to use contraception, and I encourage others not to as well; but I don't think it should be illegal? Why? Because I don't want to force my religion on anyone and outside the context of religion I admit that the reasoning for not using contraceptives becomes less clear.

Thanks for your questions, anonymous! Please share anytime!