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.