Archive for the ‘Contraception’ Category


Sunday, January 30th, 2011

The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • Try to imagine a world without abortion, and what it would be like.  Can we go there please?
  • Our 100% pro-abortion President lauds the anniversary of the iniquitous legal usurpation that permitted the destruction of an entire class of human beings.
  • Meanwhile, the Catholic pro-life Speaker of the House has a different perspective on the anniversary, and has plans to do something about it.
  • The Newsletter of the Cult of Moloch, er, I mean the Times, publishes a snide opinion piece about the abortion rate in NYC that winds up with a sympathetic look at a late-term abortionist.  All the callous indifference of the Culture of Death that’s fit to print.
  • Anti-euthanasia hero Wesley Smith warns us of the looming threat of health care rationing.
  • Kathryn Jean Lopez suggests a nice target for the Tea Party — cutting abortion funding in the federal budget.  Proving her point, an obscure change in the Medicaid rules will produce greater “access” (i.e., government spending) for contraceptives, which will inevitably lead to more abortions.
  • Sobering summary of the true costs of egg donation on women and on the human beings in embryonic stage who are lost in the process.
  • This is how it is in modern Ireland — Franciscans of the Renewal friars pray outside of a “family planning” center, are vilified on the radio as a result.  How does that go, “Blessed are those who are persecuted…”?
  • It’s pretty well established that divorce is bad for kids. Yet another study shows that it’s worse for boys than girls.  So what does our state do? That’s right — it passes a “no-fault” divorce law last year, which makes divorce easier, with no regard to the best interests of children.
  • This is really neat — a time-lapsed video of the March for Life.
  • (Please note that these links will take you to websites that are not affiliated with the Archdiocese.  We neither take responsibility for nor endorse the contents of the websites.)


    Monday, January 10th, 2011

    The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which  I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • An overview of the national campaign to shut down pregnancy support centers.  For more information on what’s happening here in New York City with the New York City Council bill that targets pregnancy centers, see here.
  • Ross Douthat, in the Times, reflects on the paradox in American culture when it comes to the unborn child.  His closing line says it all: “This is the paradox of America’s unborn. No life is so desperately sought after, so hungrily desired, so carefully nurtured. And yet no life is so legally unprotected, and so frequently destroyed.”
  • Here’s the Times’ formula for marriage — it’s all about me, how you make me feel, how much “self-expansion” I find in our relationship (and they’re not talking about my waistline!).  You can even take a quiz to see how selfish, er, I mean “self-expansive” your attitude towards your marriage is.  Me + me + me + me + me = Unhappiness + Divorce.
  • The impending GOP effort to repeal the health care law piecemeal will likely include a new attempt at banning abortion funding.
  • A profile of the new pro-life members of Congress.  80 of the 87 new GOP House members are pro-life.  And here’s an interview with Chris Smith, pro-life hero in Congress.
  • Strong anti-porn article in the New York Daily News.
  • More proof, this time from Spain, that the availability and use of contraception does not reduce abortion, since abortion is being used as the contraceptive of last resort.
  • Justice Scalia repeats his position that the Constitution does not guarantee the right to an abortion.  The Justice is certainly not a Black-Robed Platonic Guardian Ruler, but he is a dedicated legal positivist, and believes that if legislatures pass laws authorizing the killing of human beings, that’s perfectly fine with the Constitution — despite its guarantee of equal protection of law to all persons.
  • In announcing his “transformational plan for a new New York”, our Governor made sure to find space for a call to pass the radical Reproductive Health Act and to legalize same-sex “marriage”.  Start contacting your legislators.
  • Those enlightened, tolerant souls over at Apple Corp continue to rebuff the Manhattan Declaration (the interfaith statement of religious commitment to life, marriage, and religious liberty) by rejecting their app for the iPhone.  Apple, which is happy to receive the money of Christians for their gadgets, calls the Manhattan Declaration “objectionable and potentially harmful to others” because of its opposition to same-sex “marriage”.  If you haven’t signed the Declaration yet, please consider doing so, and please sign their petition to Apple.
  • (Please note that these links will take you to websites that are not affiliated with the Archdiocese.  We neither take responsibility for nor endorse the contents of the websites.)


    Friday, December 10th, 2010

    The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which  I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • On the same day as the oral arguments in the Prop 8 lawsuit, leaders from Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Lutheran, Mormon, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Sikh communities in the United States release an open letter in support of marriage.  Apropos of that, here’s a good short overview of the Prop 8 case and the oral arguments.
  • A new scholarly presentation of the nature of marriage, and a persuasive rebuttal of the case for re-defining it.  Download it here.
  • A new report shows a troubling “retreat from marriage in Middle America, particularly among Americans with “moderate education” (high school grads, some college).   This requires careful study and response by our Church.
  • How does she do this so consistently?  Kathryn Jean Lopez knocks another one out of the park, writing about how the Church’s position on contraception is being supported by Pope Benedict, glamorous actresses and modern feminists alike.
  • Here’s a New York Magazine piece on “the pill”.  It’s a surprisingly honest reflection, including some of the negative effects of contraception, particularly the regrets about denying one’s fertility, and living with the unintended consequences.
  • Thank God for Rep. Chris Smith, who managed to keep abortion out of a bill dealing with health care for female veterans.  Are you curious about how pro-life are the other Catholics in Congress?  Check out their voting records.  Lots of low pro-life ratings.  Not good.
  • The climate control movement continues its campaign against human life, with prominent advocates calling for mandatory one-child policies.  As a second child, I object.
  • Europe continues to hurtle down the moral mine shaft.  Exhibit One:  Belgium approves a “wrongful life” lawsuit against a doctor failed to diagnose an illness which, if the parents had known about it, would have led them to abort the disabled child.  Exhibit Two:  Switzerland implicitly legalizes active euthanasia.
  • Continuing the flight from reason, an advocate in Australia is saying that legalized euthanasia could actually lead to prolonging lives.  Remember, one of the effects of sin is to cloud the intellect.
  • By failing to pass the Defense Department budget bill, the Senate stopped an attempt to overturn the ban on abortions at military hospitals.
  • The lawless Temple of Moloch, er, I mean Planned Parenthood, is being sued by a 14-year-old who had an abortion — and the clinic flagrantly violated Ohio’s parental involvement and informed consent law.  An extra horror is that they failed to report that she had been made pregnant by an adult.  Meanwhile, the international wing of the Temple of Moloch is making tons of money, profiting from killing over 1.4 million children.
  • Varia

    Saturday, November 27th, 2010

    The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which  I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • For some useful analysis of what the Holy Father was getting at in his remarks on condoms, see these commentaries by: Janet Smith, George Weigel, Pia de Solenni, Fr. Roger Landry, and Bill McGurn.
  • For a more humorous — but no less insightful — take on the situation, see Mark Shea and Simcha Fisher.
  • Here’s a quote from the Pope’s book that is not getting any press time, but should — Humanae Vitae was “prophetically right“.
  • There’s some hope that a daily drug regimen may reduce the risk of HIV transmission. Interestingly, the scientists conducting the study found that the key to stopping disease transmission was not medicine or condoms, but changing people’s behavior.
  • Mmm. Does that sound familiar?  It should — the Holy Father has repeatedly pointed out that condoms can’t really prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, that only behavior modification — developing virtue — can do that.  And hey, what do you know — the social science research bears him out.
  • Dioceses around the world are joining the Holy Father in the Vigil for all Nascent Human Life, November 27. For resources, check the U.S. Bishops’ website.  For the parishes in the Archdiocese that are holding Vigils, download the list from the Respect Life Office’s website.
  • The US Senate is up to no good in their “lame duck” session — they may overturn the ban on abortions at military hospitals.  You can go to the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment’s website to send an email to your Senator about this.
  • An expose of the continued dissemination of absurd myths about abortion and the law by the newsletter of the Cult of Moloch, er, I mean the Times.
  • An interview with Archbishop Dolan gives a good view of his agenda and priorities.
  • This perfectly reflects just about everything in the modern brand of cultural insanity — a same-sex couple gets “e-married” over the internet.  So, we have a non-real “marriage” that takes place in a non-real place, to get fifteen seconds of non-real fame.
  • Theresa Bonapartis gives a dead-on description of the awful City Council hearing on the terrible New York City bill to regulate pregnancy resource centers.  For more information about the bill, check my blog post.
  • Here’s a recipe for disaster. Take marriage. Remove the idea of sexual complementarity. Remove the openness to fertility. Ignore the perpetual and unchangeable teaching of the Church that sex outside of marriage is gravely immoral. Consider as valid only the self-interest of the parties. What do you have left? A view of marriage that’s suitable for publication on the blog of Commonweal, an allegedly Catholic publication. It’s also the view of marriage that has been operative in our society for 50 years. How’s that been working out?
  • Wishful Thinking, Objective Morality and Condoms

    Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

    In the Comments box of my previous post about the Holy Father’s remarks about condoms, a friend remarked that some people are interpreting those remarks as justifying the use of condoms if one has a “good intention”. I originally replied in the Comment box, but I think this is such an important point that I want to put it out front here.

    This is a very complex question because it implicates two levels of moral teaching — the objective morality of certain acts, and the subjective culpability of the actor.

    It is clear in Catholic teaching that a good intention alone cannot morally justify an evil act. The most important factor in evaluating the objective morality of an action is the “moral object” — the nature of the conduct. The “good intentions” of the actor cannot turn an evil act into a good one.  For a fuller explanation of this, see the Catechism, sections 1750 and following.

    So, within a marriage, the use of a contraceptive device like a condom is always inherently wrong, because it changes the objective nature of the sexual act from an authentic marital act into something that is contrary to the nature of human sexuality (since it is no longer open to fertility).  Outside of marriage, any sexual act is always objectively morally wrong.  So in either case, no “good intention” can justify the performance of such acts.

    In fact, an appeal to “good intentions” may actually encourage people to engage in morally wrong (and physically dangerous) activity.  Condoms do not provide guaranteed protection against the transmission of disease, and a reliance on condoms is even less effective the more one engages in sexually risky behavior.  Sex outside of marriage is also sinful and has a deeply (even mortally) negative impact on the state of one’s soul.  No amount of wishful thinking about good intentions can protect someone from those effects.

    Nor can an appeal to “double effect” reasoning change this conclusion.  To qualify for that, that the action has to be either morally good or neutral; the bad effect cannot be directly intended; the good result cannot be a direct result of the bad effect; and the good result must be proportionate to the bad effect.  The use of a condom in a marriage doesn’t satisfy this test; it always remains morally wrong, because it changes the nature of the sexual act.  Even if, for the sake of argument, the use of a condom outside of marriage to prevent disease transmission were considered morally neutral or good, it still can’t change the objectively wrong nature of the underlying act of sex outside of marriage.

    It seems to me that no matter how you analyze it, we wind up back at the point the Holy Father made — the use of the condom is not a “real or moral solution” to the spread of HIV/AIDS.

    Having said that, however, you also have to consider that the Holy Father was not just talking about the objective morality of the act, but also the subjective culpability of an individual who engages in it. In the case that the Holy Father cited, the use of a condom by a prostitute, the objective nature of the act is unchanged, and is always evil (a sexual act outside of marriage).  However, the individual’s culpability for that act may be lessened by the intention to reduce the risk of disease transmission. I would also note that the subjective culpability of a prostitute may be lessened by many other factors (coercion, addictions, compulsive behavior, legacies of past abuses, social structures of sin, etc.).

    So the question is, can a Catholic pastor or institution affirmatively advise a person in that situation to use a condom to prevent disease — to say, in effect, “be good, but if you can’t be good be safe”?  I can’t see how one could justify that.  If a pastor were to do so, he would be actively encouraging or excusing immoral and risky behavior.  It is a better approach — the “real and moral solution”, as the Holy Father says — to continue to proclaim publicly the teaching of the Church to all, and encourage all to conform their lives to the objective moral law and the nature of sexuality.  Any discussion of a person’s use of a condom under particular circumstances, their personal culpability, and how they are proceeding along the gradual path to conversion, is best left to pastoral counseling or the Confessional.

    In short, none of what the Holy Father said gives any support to the wishful thinking approach that would justify using a condom in marriage, that would lessen the objective evil of any sexual act outside of marriage, or that would encourage the widespread use of condoms, regardless of the alleged nobility of one’s intentions.

    What the Holy Father Did — and Did Not — Say About Condoms

    Sunday, November 21st, 2010

    The media and the Catholic blogosphere have been buzzing about some comments Pope Benedict makes in his soon-to-be-released interview book, Light of the World.  The claim is that the Pope has somehow changed Church teaching on the morality of condom use in the prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS.

    Let’s look at what the Pope did and did not say.  But first, let’s make sure we understand the starting point — the actual teaching of the Church on sexual morality.  In a nutshell:

  • Sexual acts are only morally acceptable in the eyes of God if they take place within marriage, and if they always respect the dual nature of human sexuality — promoting the authentic love of the spouses and openness to fertility.
  • Anything that deliberately makes a sexual act between spouses infertile is gravely contrary to the will of God.  This is the core of the Church’s rejection of any kind of device or drug, or any act by the spouses themselves, that intentionally renders procreation impossible.
  • Any sexual act outside of marriage is gravely contrary to God’s will.  This would include any sexual act between persons of the same sex, or between persons of the opposite sex who are not married to each other.
  • The Holy Father did not change any of this teaching because, first of all, it’s true, and secondly because he can’t — it is the will of God, revealed through Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, and continually re-affirmed by the Magisterium.

    With that foundation, let’s look at what the Holy Father said.  In response to a question about the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, in which the questioner asked him to respond to this provocative statement, “Critics, including critics from the Church’s own ranks, object that it is madness to forbid a high-risk population to use condoms”, the Holy Father replied,

    As a matter of fact, you know, people can get condoms when they want them anyway. But this just goes to show that condoms alone do not resolve the question itself. More needs to happen. Meanwhile, the secular realm itself has developed the so-called ABC Theory: Abstinence-Be Faithful-Condom, where the condom is understood only as a last resort, when the other two points fail to work. This means that the sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalization of sexuality, which, after all, is precisely the dangerous source of the attitude of no longer seeing sexuality as the expression of love, but only a sort of drug that people administer to themselves. This is why the fight against the banalization of sexuality is also a part of the struggle to ensure that sexuality is treated as a positive value and to enable it to have a positive effect on the whole of man’s being.

    There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.

    As a follow-up, the Holy Father was then asked, “Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed in principle to the use of condoms?”  In reply, he said:

    She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.

    There is nothing in these statements that in any way undermines the Church’s teaching about the morality of sexual acts in general, or contraceptive acts in particular.  Instead, the Holy Father affirmed that the solution to the spread of HIV/AIDS is a return to a true, human understanding of sexuality, which is presented in its fullness in the teaching of the Church.

    He is not saying that intrinsically immoral acts — in this case, sex outside of marriage — somehow become morally acceptable due to the use of a condom.  He is merely saying that the decision to reduce the potential harm to others from an immoral act may in fact reflect the glimmer of awakening in one’s conscience.

    In doing so, the Holy Father presented a humane and optimistic view of the possibility of grace even for those who are deeply enmeshed in structures of sin and their own sins, and who can begin the process of conversion by making small steps towards the truth in the depths of their heart.  All of us who have trod this same halting path of conversion from our sins will recognize this sentiment of mercy.

    There are some who will use the Holy Father’s compassionate words to further their agenda of opposing the Church’s view of human sexuality.  There are others who are scandalized that the Pope would even discuss such a subject as condoms and male prostitutes.  Some would prefer a more black-and-white presentation of morality, rather than a view that looks with kindness into the complexities of the human heart.

    Of course, some said the same things about the Lord Himself, who, as we all remember, liked to eat with tax collectors and prostitutes, to encourage them along the path of conversion.


    Friday, November 5th, 2010

    The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which  I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • Pro-life leaders reflect on the outlook for the new Congress.  The top priority is the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.
  • A pretty good overview by George Marlin on Catholics and the midterm elections.  See also this interesting statistical study of the trends over the last decade.
  • Amidst the (justified) cheering in this post-election press release from National Right to Life is an important poll result that needs to be shown to every pro-life candidate:  voters who considered abortion to have affected their vote (30%!) broke 22% to 8% pro-life — a 14% advantage for a pro-life candidate.  Not only is it the right position, but it is a winning position.
  • You also need to hear what the other side is saying — they know they lost big in the House.  NARAL says that 248 members of the new House are “anti-choice”, only 154 are “pro-choice”, and 33 are “mixed”, a gain of 44 pro-life votes.  They also realize that our top priority will be the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.  (Sorry for the link to one of Moloch’s favorite organizations — sprinkle holy water on your monitor after you’ve looked at the article).
  • Yet another example of how the health care law can lead to public funding for abortion on demand — through the decisions of state officials implementing the law.  It may also lead to a nation-wide requirement that insurance companies pay for contraceptives (including the ones like IUD’s that cause early abortions).
  • The Secretary of State vows to fight against sex slavery and human trafficking.  This scourge against the human person needs to be eradicated completely.  Good for her.
  • An encouraging profile of the new, more pro-life “Generation Y”.  The trend is for life.
  • This is how bad the threat to religious liberty has become in the UK — a couple is barred from being foster parents because of their belief that homosexual behavior is wrong.  Even bishops of the Church of England are critical of this decision.  Coming soon to the US, no doubt.
  • Check out this great animated video of conception to birth.   Should be required viewing in every school.
  • 40 Days for Life has now concluded.  They know of at least 541 babies saved by the grace of God.  Here’s the story of one of them.
  • A very disturbing story about fertility colonialism — where rich Westerners go to poor countries to use their women as surrogates.
  • A disappointing story — a leak of contents from President Bush’s memoirs reveals that he personally approved the torturing of prisoners by waterboarding.  If done by a private party, that would be a crime.
  • Ethical investors, including Christian Brothers Investment, strike back at the cable industry’s distribution of porn.
  • Varia

    Friday, October 29th, 2010

    The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which  I send out to some of my friends and contacts:

  • The headline says it all: “Pope says bishops must educate faithful to vote against abortion”.  The Holy Father went on to describe legalized abortion as a betrayal of democracy at its foundation.  Spread this word far and wide.
  • Watch this great new video from — “We are the Catholic Vote“.
  • A short overview of the recent Princeton conference, at which pro-life and “pro-choice” philosophers met.  For a flavor of what was said, see this excellent piece on the “moral status of the fetus” from Catholic philosopher John Finnis.
  • Rather than make a decision to stop a dangerous practice, the Iowa medical board has deferred decision on the so-called “Telemed” abortions, where the only contact a woman has with a doctor prior to being given the abortion drug is a video hookup.  Just keep repeating to yourself: “it’s all about women’s health”.
  • A panel of our Black-Robed Platonic Guardian Rulers has let stand a resolution by City Council of San Francisco that denounced Church teaching on homsexuality as “hateful”, “insulting”, and “discriminatory” and implicitly threatened to de-fund Catholic charitable agencies unless they defy Church teaching.  Funny how the Establishment Clause doesn’t seem to apply in the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals, which seems to be channeling Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell and Thomas Cranmer.  Meanwhile, another Black-Robed Platonic Guardian Ruler has decided that the First Amendment doesn’t apply in Ohio, by refusing to stop the Ohio Election Commission’s effort to suppress the speech of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List PAC.
  • A valuable and important point by Wesley Smith about the ineffectiveness of graphic images in advocacy, including pictures of aborted children.  I whole-heartedly agree.
  • Someone has apparently reminded the President that our human rights come from God, and so he has begun to quote the Declaration of Independence correctly.
  • Meanwhile, the President says that his position on same-sex “marriage” is “evolving” (guess in which direction?).  Not surprising, since he openly stated he was in favor of re-defining marriage back when he was an obscure politician in Illinois.
  • The Temple of Moloch, er, I mean Planned Parenthood, is suing Montana to force the state to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives — for kids.
  • Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review reports on the Minnesota Democratic Party’s side of the story about that anti-Catholic ad from Minnesota.  It’s not a very convincing excuse.  They meant to attack an evangelical preacher who’s running for office — by printing a picture of a guy in a Roman collar.  Oh, so basically you didn’t mean to unfairly attack us, because you were busy unfairly attacking another clergyman.  Thanks.
  • Okaaaaaay.  Has the Times become the Onion?  Exhibit One: Here’s what they consider to be such a significant political trend that it’s worthy of attention one week before Election Day:  the role of transgendered candidates.  Exhibit Two: A “fit to print” op-ed by two “social scientists” in the Times explains that conservative political views stem from a feeling of disgust of germs.  Their “proof”?  People who stand near disinfectant dispensers are more likely to express conservative views.  You just can’t make this stuff up.
  • We talk a lot about politics, these days, but this puts it all in perspective — an awesome video of the ordination of priests in Milwaukee earlier this year.
  • What Are You Supporting?

    Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

    It is simple common sense that when you support a piece of legislation, you are supporting what the bill will actually do. It doesn’t matter what your private motives are, or even what your long-term goals are. If you support a bill, you support what it will do.

    This is relevant because another of those “common ground to reduce abortions” bills has been introduced in Congress, and a number of Catholics have announced their support for it.

    This time, it’s the so-called “Preventing Unintended Pregnancies, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act.” (H.R.3312). The Pro-Life Secretariat of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops calls the bill “the Planned Parenthood Economic Stimulus Package of 2009″. I prefer the name the “Phony Baloney Common Ground Pretend to Reduce Abortion by Throwing Obscene Gobs of Money at the Temple of Moloch, er, I mean Planned Parenthood, so They Can Flood the World With Contraceptives and Degrading Sex Education Act”. It’s a little long, but it captures the essence of the thing.

    Like it or not, and regardless of their motives, here is what the backers of this bill are supporting:

    • A requirement that all states pay for all abortions for low-income women through “family planning” and Medicaid programs — despite the fact that the clearest way to reduce abortions is to restrict public funding for them, and the best way to increase abortions is to pay for them.
    • A massive increase funding for the federal Title X Family Planning Program — despite the fact that the bulk of this money goes to the largest abortion “provider” in the United States, Planned Parenthood, we already spend over $1 billion on this program, and Title X requires that teenagers receive contraceptives without parental knowledge or consent.
    • Relying almost exclusively on contraceptives to reduce pregnancy — despite the fact that it has been documented that such a strategy does not reduce pregnancy or abortions, but rather increases them.
    • Making family planning services a mandatory Medicaid entitlement in all states, and greatly expanding family planning eligibility under Medicaid — despite the fact that there is hardly a shortage of contraceptives in the United States (New York City’s Health Department gives out over a million free condoms each month!).
    • Increased funding for indecent sex education programs that do more to corrupt the morals of minors than encourage them to abstain from sex until marriage. In fact, the bill doesn’t even mention the word “abstinence”, and it says absolutely nothing about reserving sex for marriage, but instead merely talks about teaching teens to “delay” sex (until when, senior prom?).
    • Encourages even more grants to “nonprofit community” groups to do sex education — which is to say, throw more money at Planned Parenthood so they can sell more contraceptives and do more abortions when they fail.

    Look, “common ground” is a nice place to be, and it’s encouraging that people want to reduce the number of abortions. Plus, the bill does have some good elements, such as support for adoption, expansion of prenatal and neonatal health care, and support for nutrition programs. But those good elements — without the bad stuff — are already present in a genuine pro-life bill that will likely result in real reductions in abortion, the “Pregnant Women Support Act”.

    Remember, you have to look carefully at what it is you’re supporting. Good ends can never justify evil means. The “Preventing Unintended Pregnancies, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act” uses evil means, funds evil organizations, and is likely to have evil results.

    No Catholic in good conscience can support such a bill.

    How Not to Reduce Abortions

    Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

    We hear all the time the argument that to lower the abortion rate, we need to provide greater access to contraception. This is a typical feature of the so-called “common ground” approach to reducing abortion, and we Catholics are looked at askance for failing to get on board with the agenda of expanding access to contraception as a way to reduce abortions.

    There are lots of problems with that approach. One is that it is just plain false. Greater access and use of contraceptives does not reduce abortion. The facts speak for themselves.

    Fact 1. Contraceptive use is already “virtually universal among women of reproductive age,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood) reports that 89% of reproductive-age women already are using contraception and 98% have used it in their lifetime. Even among teenagers who are sexually active and wish to avoid pregnancy, only 7% don’t use contraception.

    Fact 2. The typical use of contraceptives still results in pregnancy. Even among women who use contraceptives, there are still unintended pregnancies and abortions. With typical use, the risk of pregnancy over 12 months is 9% with oral contraceptives and 15% with condoms. The failure rate among teenagers is even higher. 48% of women who report an unintended pregnancy, and 54% of women seeking an abortion, were using contraceptives during the time when they became pregnant.

    Fact 3. Contraceptive researchers and social scientists have concluded that increased availability of contraception fails to reduce rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion. In fact, it may have the opposite result. One British researcher has said, “It is clear that providing more family planning clinics, far from having the effect of reducing conception rates,has actually led to an increase.” American researcher Douglas Kirby concludes: “Most studies that have been conducted during the past 20 years have indicated that improving access to contraception did not significantly increase contraceptive use or decrease teen pregnancy”

    Fact 4. Even the so-called “emergency contraception” doesn’t work to reduce pregnancy and abortion. Research in the U.S., Western Europe and China have all agreed that no effect on pregnancy or abortion rates was demonstrated with advance provision of “emergency contraception”.

    Fact 5. The way to reduce teen pregnancy and abortion is to encourage chastity. Studies dating back into the 1990’s clearly show that the most of the reduction in teen pregnancy and abortion rates can be attributed to reduced sexual activity. This is also the most effective way to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

    For more information about these statistics, see this report from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Pro-Life Secretariat.

    The principal reason that contraception fails to reduce abortion is that it conveys a terrible, anti-life lesson. It teaches that a new human life is the enemy to be avoided at all costs, and certainly not welcomed. When contraceptives fail — as they inevitably do — this lesson leads logically to looking at abortion as a contraceptive of last resort.

    This is bad for people, it is bad for society, and it is bad public policy. Don’t fall for it.