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Dumbing-Down the Pro-life Movement
CatholicCitizens.Org ^ | 9/1/03 | Dr. Brian Kopp

Posted on 09/01/2003 7:03:21 PM PDT by Polycarp

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Dumbing-Down the Pro-life Movement
9/1/2003 4:05:00 PM By Dr. Brian Kopp - Catholic Family Association of America, www.cathfam.org

Pope Paul VI warned that the contraceptive mentality was counter to Christian morality, and would open the floodgates of divorce, abortion, euthanasia, and moral decine. He was right, but some pro-lifers still don't get it.
In this post-Christian era of American society, where conservative politics and the multitude of Christian sects blur in a desperate attempt to build more effective coalitions, many pro-life activists have embraced a ‘least common denominator’ approach to confronting the problem of legalized abortion. In so doing, basic fundamental tenets of moral theology are set aside in hopes of forging a voting block large enough to accomplish incremental advances in this long entrenched battlefront of the culture wars. But by allowing ‘exceptions’ and contraceptions, has political expediency so diluted the Pro-life movement that its political effectiveness and its very moral foundations have been compromised? Has the Pro-life movement been dumbed-down to the point of being unable to credibly defend the unborn?

Broad coalitions and voting blocks are essential for achieving political victories. Unfortunately, each incremental increase in size of the ‘conservative/pro-life’ voting block has been gained by incremental lowering of the ‘least common denominators’ to being Pro-life. The most obvious and most debated lowering is in allowing exceptions for the ‘hard cases’ of rape, incest, and the life of the mother. A further lowering includes a generic ‘health of the mother’ exception, which casts a net so wide that the most ardent pro-lifers leave the coalition, and the line between pro-life and pro-choice becomes hopelessly blurred.

The pro-life movement began in the late 1960s and early 1970's in response to efforts to legalize abortion. In the ensuing years, the coalition set aside arguments over ‘exceptions’ to forge a larger coalition. The issue of contraception was never credibly debated because many of the movement’s founders were evangelical Protestants who held that the issue had already been ‘settled,’ in spite of the historic Christian traditions to the contrary. For better or for worse, in the interest of political effectiveness, compromises were made, and a movement was born.

The historical Christian prohibition on contraception was first shaken by the Anglican's 1930 Lambeth Conference, and within three decades practically all the main Protestant sects had abandoned the universal Christian prohibition against contraception. A large portion of Catholics joined in the rejection of Humanae Vitae in 1968, so that in the earliest stages of the pro-life movement, contraception, a fundamental consideration in the fight against abortion, was never really examined or debated, in spite of Pope Paul VI’s landmark encyclical. The Pope had warned that legalized contraception would result in widespread divorce, abortion, euthanasia and disregard for life and morality, and of course, he was correct.

The connection between the acceptance of contraception, beginning only in 1930, and the legalization of abortion, just four decades later, cannot be overstated. The apocryphal ‘right to privacy,’ upon which the horrid decision in Roe v. Wade was based, was first invented by five justices on the Supreme Court in the 1965 case Griswold v. Connecticut. That case held that married couples have a ‘privacy’ right to purchase contraceptives. To this day, Constitutional scholars openly concede that there was simply no foundation or precedent for such a ruling, but there was also no means to stop the Justices from imposing their morals on the nation.

The Griswold ruling struck down the only remaining ‘Comstock Laws,’ which were written by Protestant legislators in the 1800's, and made illegal the sale or distribution of all forms of contraception. Over time, contraception and birth control became accepted in our culture because certain Christian sects abandoned traditional Christian teaching regarding sexual morality.

The Roe v. Wade ruling was based upon that so-called ‘right to privacy’ unknown prior to Griswold’s overturning of anti-contraception ordinances. The fabricated legal foundations for the ‘right’ to birth control progressed naturally to the philosophical foundations of a ‘right’ to abortion. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey the US Supreme Court said:

"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."

This brutal honesty on the part of the US Supreme Court should have been cause for the pro-life community to reevaluate the role of secular and Christian acceptance of the contraceptive mentality is fomenting the legalization of abortion. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

To orthodox Christians who form the core of the Pro-life movement, it is morally and philosophically inconsistent to support contraception and oppose abortion. The Pro-life community must come to understand the roots of the acceptance of contraception and the direct correlation between the contraceptive mentality and legalized abortion. Even the US Supreme Court admitted the connection. Surely the Pro-life community can address this topic, which has, for the most part, never even been debated, in spite of its role in the legalization of abortion.

It can be argued that the dumbing-down of the pro-life movement (i.e. the acceptance of contraception and ‘exceptions’) has prevented any real success in advancing pro-life legislation, and set the movement back. By diluting traditional doctrines of sexual morality within the Pro-life movement, it has become less of a moral movement, and more of a political fishnet designed for harvesting voters for right of center Republican candidates who are expected to moderate their Pro-life views with sufficient ‘exceptions’ to be deemed ‘electible.’

The difference of opinion regarding contraception demonstrates that even Christians can’t agree on what constitutes orthodoxy in theology or sexual morality. Prior to the Lambeth Conference, the major differences between Catholicism and orthodox Protestantism surrounded the Sacraments and the definition of “salvation.” Until 1930, however, all Christians, be they Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant, agreed on what constituted orthodoxy in moral theology - adultery, abortion, homosexuality, divorce, and contraception were universally condemned as gravely sinful.

Sadly, only Roman Catholics have carried this torch into the 21st century. The general acceptance of contraception and the steadfast position of the Roman Catholic Church against it is now one of most compelling arguments that Roman Catholicism is Christ's church.

In this context, the abandonment of sexual morality is a harbinger of that Great Apostasy foretold in scripture. And how could it be anything else? The dumbing-down of the Pro-life movement to its ‘lowest common denominator’ is a suicidal policy, and it must be resolved among pro-life Christians, even if the larger political pro-life movement refuses. Failure to resolve the inconsistency between being pro-contraception and anti-abortion pits the Pro-life movement against itself, a position from which we cannot effectively demand public policies protecting society from abortion. The pro-life movement cannot stop judges from ‘playing God’ in courtrooms or women from ‘playing God’ with their unborn babies if they insist on ‘playing God’ in their homes using contraception and birth control.

Dr. Brian Kopp - Catholic Family Association of America, www.cathfam.org



TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: abortion; birthcontrol; catholiclist; monomanicatwork; nfp; prolife; prolifemovement
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1 posted on 09/01/2003 7:03:21 PM PDT by Polycarp
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To: boromeo; .45MAN; AAABEST; AKA Elena; al_c; american colleen; Angelus Errare; Antoninus; ...
It can be argued that the dumbing-down of the pro-life movement (i.e. the acceptance of contraception and ‘exceptions’) has prevented any real success in advancing pro-life legislation, and set the movement back. By diluting traditional doctrines of sexual morality within the Pro-life movement, it has become less of a moral movement, and more of a political fishnet designed for harvesting voters for right of center Republican candidates who are expected to moderate their Pro-life views with sufficient ‘exceptions’ to be deemed ‘electible.’

Ping.(As usual, if you would like to be added to or removed from my "conservative Catholics" ping list, just send me a FReepmail. Please realize that some of my "ping" posts are long.)

2 posted on 09/01/2003 7:07:01 PM PDT by Polycarp (When a mother can kill her own child, what is left of the West to save?" - Mother Theresa)
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To: Polycarp
Welcom to Post-Moral America.
3 posted on 09/01/2003 7:07:45 PM PDT by Happy2BMe (LIBERTY has arrived in Iraq - Now we can concentrate on HOLLYWEED!)
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To: Polycarp
It can be argued that the dumbing-down of the pro-life movement (i.e. the acceptance of contraception and ‘exceptions’) has prevented any real success in advancing pro-life legislation, and set the movement back.

Brian, this is the kind of "all-or-nothing" menatality that marginalizes conservatives.

If you want to do anything in the political arena, you make compromises.

If we want to occupy the moral high ground, with no exceptions, we can do that, but we'll do nothing politically.

Moral purity is not the problem with the pro-life movement.

4 posted on 09/01/2003 7:12:49 PM PDT by sinkspur (Adopt a dog or a cat from a shelter. You'll save a life, and enrich your own!)
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To: Polycarp
"abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception"


Now there's a big tent to get under.
This just shows how extreme some people are.
5 posted on 09/01/2003 7:21:35 PM PDT by John Beresford Tipton
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To: Polycarp
Kopp ignores a critical distinction. From the point of view of Catholic doctrine, there is a continuity between the teachings on contraception and on abortion. However, the case against contraception DEPENDS on Catholic presuppositions in a way that the case against abortion does not. The case against abortion may be made effectively to a secular but intellectually honest society (which, on the whole, the U.S.A. still is). On the other hand, you will not get an intelligent person to UNDERSTAND, let alone accept, the teaching against artificial contraception until you have first made the case for Christian sexual morality in general (and THAT case can currently be made much more effectively in a private than in a political context).

C.S. Lewis perceived the switch more than four decades ago, when he wrote that contraceptives had removed the biggest practical argument against fornication (because of the great reduction in risk of pregnancy), and that therefore you must FIRST make the case for Christianity to modern adults before you can make the case for Christian sexual morals. (Of course, other religions also condemn fornication, so the same remarks apply, though I am only concerned with Christianity here.)

Catholics may do well to learn the entire doctrine on sexual morals, but in the context of fighting abortion in a secular society (as opposed to persuading just Catholics) the issue of contraception should be put aside (except, of course, that abortifacient "contraception" should be called by its right name of abortion and fought as such).

6 posted on 09/01/2003 7:25:55 PM PDT by VeritatisSplendor
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To: sinkspur
I know all that Sink. Do you at least grasp the point I'm trying to make here? You can't kill a pernicious weed if you don't know it has, or fail to attack, its taproot. Its like fighting dandelions. If you pull off the top every day for a year, you'll still have a dandelion in your yard at the end of the year.

But if you attack its central root, you'll get rid of it.

We've been "pulling the top off dandelions" for 3 decades in the pro-life movement, and the general movement to this day refuses to admit to the existence of the taproot of abortion.

The entire movement either a) is ignorant of the fact the taproot exists or b) knows it exists but refuses to admit or conceive of the fact that if you don't kill the roots, you won't kill the weed. Frankly, I think certain Catholics are just too embarassed to point out the taproot, for fear of ridicule among by the rest of the dumbed down movement.

I want to kill the weed, not continue to pop off its head each day for another 3 decades only to see another or several grow in its place, just because of political expediency. If it can't be done politically, then its time for pro-lifers to pull outta politics and re evangelize the culture about the roots of abortion, which is and always will be the contraceptive mentality.

7 posted on 09/01/2003 7:28:13 PM PDT by Polycarp (When a mother can kill her own child, what is left of the West to save?" - Mother Theresa)
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To: John Beresford Tipton
This just shows how extreme some people are.

The quote is from the Supreme Court decision in PP Vs Casey. Or were you pointing out that the Supreme Court is extreme?

8 posted on 09/01/2003 7:29:54 PM PDT by Polycarp (When a mother can kill her own child, what is left of the West to save?" - Mother Theresa)
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To: VeritatisSplendor
I am Kopp. See my profile page for the historical timeline of Christian teaching against contraception. I spend the majority of my time here trying to educate our separated brethren on this very issue.
9 posted on 09/01/2003 7:31:38 PM PDT by Polycarp (When a mother can kill her own child, what is left of the West to save?" - Mother Theresa)
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To: Polycarp
Furthermore, it is at best very misleading to say that contraception is of the same "character" as abortion. As sins, they are incommensurable. As a matter of personal moral development, it is correct to say that accepting contraception is a necessary preliminary to accepting abortion, simply because no one who accepts the teaching on contraception would deny the teaching on abortion, but that's politically irrelevant.
10 posted on 09/01/2003 7:32:55 PM PDT by VeritatisSplendor
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To: Polycarp
If it can't be done politically, then its time for pro-lifers to pull outta politics and re evangelize the culture about the roots of abortion, which is and always will be the contraceptive mentality.

Brian, this is an even larger uphill climb than arguing against abortion.

Contraception is a settled issue with the vast majority of the population.

Abortion is a much more grievous act than contraception, and contraception doesn't, of necessity, lead to abortions.

This is a Quixote-like quest.

11 posted on 09/01/2003 7:33:17 PM PDT by sinkspur (Adopt a dog or a cat from a shelter. You'll save a life, and enrich your own!)
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To: Polycarp
These off the wall extremists, Taliban without turbans, like the writer start off with a plan, the old "slippery slope plan."

They will start with something patently offensive, partial birth abortion.

Then if they can ban that, they will start month by month to move that back to totally outlaw abortion.

Then if they can do that they want to outlaw contraception.

Then I would not be surprised if their next step is to declare a miniumum number of children per couple to be considered "moral persons". If medically that is impossible for an individual then perhaps they will set up a Church court to consider granting an exception, but only if you get a doctor's note.

12 posted on 09/01/2003 7:34:05 PM PDT by John Beresford Tipton
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To: VeritatisSplendor
the issue of contraception should be put aside

Its been put aside since the inception of the pro-life movement, unfortunately. Obviously, the pro-life movement has faltered to a standstill.

See my comment #7 to Sinkspur.

13 posted on 09/01/2003 7:34:47 PM PDT by Polycarp (When a mother can kill her own child, what is left of the West to save?" - Mother Theresa)
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To: VeritatisSplendor
Furthermore, it is at best very misleading to say that contraception is of the same "character" as abortion.

That was a direct quote from the US Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey. It is NOT misleading, if you grasp the core of the battle of the culture of life against the culture of death.

14 posted on 09/01/2003 7:37:36 PM PDT by Polycarp (When a mother can kill her own child, what is left of the West to save?" - Mother Theresa)
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To: sinkspur
Contraception is a settled issue with the vast majority of the population.

So what? Because the vast majority of the population has embraced what is objectively mortal sin, we're just going to walk away from the battle because some bigoted moron calls us TALIBANIC? I'm not afraid to step out of my comfort zone when it comes to the "hard word." I will not be cowed into silence by the dumbed down who think their shouts of "Talibanic Catholic" will defeat the Truth.

contraception doesn't, of necessity, lead to abortions

Are you so deceived by the culture at large that you honestly believe this, or just too embarassed by the pugilistic bullies of this kind of Forum to stand up for the Truth that abortion became legal because contraception was embraced as a way of life?

15 posted on 09/01/2003 7:44:19 PM PDT by Polycarp (When a mother can kill her own child, what is left of the West to save?" - Mother Theresa)
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To: Polycarp
Kopp, thank you for your contribution to the forum.

As a pro-lifer, I absolutely agree with the contraception-abortion linkage, and that the pro-life movement MAY have made a mistake in the late 60s to ignore contraception and concentrate only on abortion. If that policy stance had taken place, the pro-life movement would (accurately) have been perceived as a "Catholic-only" movement. It could have influenced the mainstream and moved opinion generally against contraception, at least morally (probably not legally), OR it could have made the pro-life movement into a meaningless fringe group. Given the dominance of libs in the pre-Internet media, I personally think the latter would have occurred, but we'll never know.

The real question is what to do now in 2003. Is it more important to concentrate on outlawing abortion and euthanasia, or is it more important to go for the entire pro-life enchilada, including a ban on contraception? I believe the former is achievable legislatively pretty quickly (saving 1.4 million babies a year), and that the latter will NEVER be achieved legislatively (OK, maybe in 50 years), but instead will occur after decades of changing hearts and minds.

The latter requires a wholesale turnaround of almost all Protestant religions and a return of Catholicism to its orthodox roots before a legislative solution can even be considered. Going for the whole enchilada now, IMHO, guarantees that the abortion holocaust will continue indefinitely.
16 posted on 09/01/2003 7:52:45 PM PDT by litany_of_lies
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To: Loyalist
Care to ping your trad list for a little heated discussion on an important culture wars issue?
17 posted on 09/01/2003 7:53:05 PM PDT by Polycarp (When a mother can kill her own child, what is left of the West to save?" - Mother Theresa)
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To: litany_of_lies
Who is talking about "banning" contraception?!? I'm talking about education and evangelization of the "pro-life" movement ITSELF!

The latter requires a wholesale turnaround of almost all Protestant religions and a return of Catholicism to its orthodox roots before a legislative solution can even be considered.

This is exactly what its going to take to turn around just abortion.

Going for the whole enchilada now, IMHO, guarantees that the abortion holocaust will continue indefinitely.

If Christianity does not return to its roots on all of moral theology, including contraception, it will be a moot point.

The modern culture of death is built upon apostacy of Christianity on contraception. If Christianity does not turnaround on this issue, there will be no victory on abortion, because there CANNOT be victory against abortion in a contraceptive mentality culture.

Its either both or none. The pro-life movement needs to decide.

18 posted on 09/01/2003 8:00:37 PM PDT by Polycarp (When a mother can kill her own child, what is left of the West to save?" - Mother Theresa)
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To: Polycarp
I support your mission of "trying to educate our separated brethren" 100%. My remarks were about the political struggle in the society as a whole. It seems to me that stopping abortion in the U.S.A. will be easier than converting the whole U.S.A. to the Catholic faith, desirable as the latter may be. We shouldn't deny the existence of the "taproot" (that our society is disordered with respect to sexual morality altogether, and suffers the "contraceptive mentality" Paul VI warned against); but effective collaboration with non-Catholics in the political arena can be damaged severely by overemphasis on contraception (though our discussions with those "separated brethren" AS CHRISTIANS ought never to ignore or set aside Catholic doctrine).
19 posted on 09/01/2003 8:03:40 PM PDT by VeritatisSplendor
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To: VeritatisSplendor
effective collaboration with non-Catholics in the political arena can be damaged severely by overemphasis on contraception

But this is precisely my point: there's no effective collaboration with our separated brethren, there is no point in ever trying, WITHOUT addressing contraception.

The pro-life movement will NEVER succeed UNTIL we address the contraception issue. Legalized abortion was and remains the natural and logical result of the cultural embrace and legalization of the contraceptive lifestyle.

Trying to fight abortion without addressing its root cause is pointless. It will not ever bear fruit. Contraception simply CANNOT be overemphasized because it remains the only emphasis never addressed and the only one that holds the key to defeating abortion.

20 posted on 09/01/2003 8:11:47 PM PDT by Polycarp (When a mother can kill her own child, what is left of the West to save?" - Mother Theresa)
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To: Polycarp
"Who is talking about "banning" contraception?!"

But you said that they were equally bad, no, that contraception led to abortion. With that belief system in place would you ban abortion yet let contraception flourish?

21 posted on 09/01/2003 8:14:29 PM PDT by John Beresford Tipton
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To: Polycarp
"Contraception...holds the key to defeating abortion"

Even you should realize that dog won't hunt.
22 posted on 09/01/2003 8:16:25 PM PDT by John Beresford Tipton
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To: Polycarp
Who is talking about "banning" contraception?!?

I assume you were by reference to the Comstock laws and opposition to the Griswold ruling-seemed like a reasonable inference. Sorry if I'm wrong.

We essentially agree (I think). Go for the legislatiion on abortion and euthanasia and change hearts and minds on contraception, and make it TOTALLY clear that we don't intend on imposing a legislative ban on contraception, EVER. This is a winning strategy.

23 posted on 09/01/2003 8:18:24 PM PDT by litany_of_lies
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To: Polycarp
I just want to get something straight- are you suggesting that unless each and every sexual act I engage in, even with my spouse, is intended to result in pregnancy, I'm a naughty person?

If that's the case, you and the pro life movement can get stuffed. I have sympathy for a living person that has yet to be born- I do not for my billions of little swimmers.

24 posted on 09/01/2003 8:19:12 PM PDT by fourdeuce82d
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To: VeritatisSplendor; Polycarp
A SCOTUS quote from the essay/article (let's change a word or two to convey the truthful essence of the assertion in Casey):
"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 killing an unplanned individual human being in the event that contraception should fail."

Crucial in the deception of the Court was the purposeful omission of the truth of contraception practice ... the effort to prevent conception of a new individual human being! The Court at once affirmed that contraception is an effort to prevent a new individual human being, then put a demonic stamp of tacit approval on killing a conceived indidivual human because of 'choice' to not bring the already alive individual human life into the community.

Doctor Kopp, I would add to your essay the notion that it was artificial insemination of human beings that actually played a bigger role in dehumanizing the conceptus. Once the artificial manipulation of conception was tacitly agreed to on grounds of 'helping infertile couples to conceive (note, there's that truth again, 'conception'; and what is conceived?), a whole host of procedures followed, with a 'test tube baby born in 1978 (I think) and now millions each year born via such 'artificial' conception.

Interestingly, the very truth of conception in or out of a human body confirms that an individual human lifetime has begun, else the in vitro tech wouldn't implant the newly conceived individual human lives! Embryonic individuals are whole organisms being implanted, not seeds of a future 'to be realized' orgaism. Embryonic individuals are not organs, they are each a whole, functioning, integrated organism, a human organism.

25 posted on 09/01/2003 8:21:11 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: MHGinTN
"Crucial in the deception of the Court was the purposeful omission of the truth of contraception practice ... the effort to prevent conception of a new individual human being!"

Gee, you think they thought I put rubbers on my schlong instead of my feet because I was absent-minded?
26 posted on 09/01/2003 8:23:31 PM PDT by John Beresford Tipton
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To: John Beresford Tipton
All of Christianity, protestant, Orthodox, Catholic, always rejected contraception as sinful. Only in 1930 did ANY Christian sect EVER say contraception could be not sinful (The Anglicans, look where they are now.) "Contra" = against. "Ception" = life." When you have a "contraceptive failure" what exactly DO you have? A baby.

How does one repair this "failure"? Abort the baby. Abortion was legalized due to widespread acceptance of contraceptive use and the anti-baby mentality that naturally, logically, and always flows from it. The legal construct of a so-called "right to privacy" that was invented (it simply DOES NOT EXIST in the constitution) to overturn the remaining statutes banning contraceptive sales is the same one that was used to legalize abortion in Roe vs Wade and the same one that was used in Lawrence to grant carte blanc to the homosexual juggernaut.

I'm talking about evangelizing the pro-life movement itself so it can finally address the root of the abortion conundrum: the contraceptive anti-life mentality upon which the rest of the culture of death has sprung and found its legal footing.

27 posted on 09/01/2003 8:27:48 PM PDT by Polycarp (When a mother can kill her own child, what is left of the West to save?" - Mother Theresa)
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To: MHGinTN
Thanks for your input. Your points about artificial methods of conception are quite salient to this discussion. Sad I have to rely on my non-Catholic but very wise Christian brother for support for this essay.
28 posted on 09/01/2003 8:32:46 PM PDT by Polycarp (When a mother can kill her own child, what is left of the West to save?" - Mother Theresa)
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To: VeritatisSplendor; Polycarp
I sure did mess that up by leaving off a closure of bold type! Let's try again, for what it's worth ...

A SCOTUS quote from the essay/article (let's change a word or two to convey the truthful essence of the assertion in Casey):
"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 killing an unplanned individual human being in the event that contraception should fail."

Crucial in the deception of the Court was the purposeful omission of the truth of contraception practice ... the effort to prevent conception of a new individual human being! The Court at once affirmed that contraception is an effort to prevent a new individual human being, then put a demonic stamp of tacit approval on killing a conceived indidivual human because of 'choice' to not bring the already alive individual human life into the community.

Doctor Kopp, I would add to your essay the notion that it was artificial insemination of human beings that actually played a bigger role in dehumanizing the conceptus. Once the artificial manipulation of conception was tacitly agreed to on grounds of 'helping infertile couples to conceive (note, there's that truth again, 'conception'; and what is conceived?), a whole host of procedures followed, with a 'test tube baby born in 1978 (I think) and now millions each year born via such 'artificial' conception.

Interestingly, the very truth of conception in or out of a human body confirms that an individual human lifetime has begun, else the in vitro tech wouldn't implant the newly conceived individual human lives! Embryonic individuals are whole organisms being implanted, not seeds of a future 'to be realized' orgaism. Embryonic individuals are not organs, they are each a whole, functioning, integrated organism, a human organism.

29 posted on 09/01/2003 8:35:28 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: John Beresford Tipton
What is begun at conception, human conception?
30 posted on 09/01/2003 8:36:51 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: fourdeuce82d
History of Christian thought on Birth Control:

191 AD - Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor of Children

"Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted." (2:10:91:2) "To have coitus other than to procreate children is to do injury to nature" (2:10:95:3).

307 AD - Lactantius - Divine Institutes

"[Some] complain of the scantiness of their means, and allege that they have not enough for bringing up more children, as though, in truth, their means were in [their] power . . . .or God did not daily make the rich poor and the poor rich. Wherefore, if any one on any account of poverty shall be unable to bring up children, it is better to abstain from relations with his wife" (6:20)

"God gave us eyes not to see and desire pleasure, but to see acts to be performed for the needs of life; so too, the genital ['generating'] part of the body, as the name itself teaches, has been received by us for no other purpose than the generation of offspring" (6:23:18).

325 AD - Council of Nicaea I - Canon 1

"[I]f anyone in sound health has castrated [sterilized] himself, it behooves that such a one, if enrolled among the clergy, should cease [from his ministry], and that from henceforth no such person should be promoted. But, as it is evident that this is said of those who willfully do the thing and presume to castrate themselves, so if any have been made eunuchs by barbarians, or by their masters, and should otherwise be found worthy, such men this canon admits to the clergy"

375 AD - Epiphanius of Salamis - Medicine Chest Against Heresies

"They [certain Egyptian heretics] exercise genital acts, yet prevent the conceiving of children. Not in order to produce offspring, but to satisfy lust, are they eager for corruption" (26:5:2 ).

391 AD - John Chrysostom - Homilies on Matthew

"[I]n truth, all men know that they who are under the power of this disease [the sin of covetousness] are wearied even of their father's old age [wishing him to die so they can inherit]; and that which is sweet, and universally desirable, the having of children, they esteem grievous and unwelcome. Many at least with this view have even paid money to be childless, and have mutilated nature, not only killing the newborn, but even acting to prevent their beginning to live [sterilization]" (28:5).

393 AD - Jerome - Against Jovinian

"But I wonder why he [the heretic Jovinianus] set Judah and Tamar before us for an example, unless perchance even harlots give him pleasure; or Onan, who was slain because he grudged his brother seed. Does he imagine that we approve of any sexual intercourse except for the procreation of children?" (1:19).

419 AD - Augustine - Marriage and Concupiscence

"I am supposing, then, although are not lying [with your wife] for the sake of procreating offspring, you are not for the sake of lust obstructing their procreation by an evil prayer or an evil deed. Those who do this, although they are called husband and wife, are not; nor do they retain any reality of marriage, but with a respectable name cover a shame. Sometimes this lustful cruelty, or cruel lust, comes to this, that they even procure poisons of sterility [oral contraceptives] . . . Assuredly if both husband and wife are like this, they are not married, and if they were like this from the beginning they come together not joined in matrimony but in seduction. If both are not like this, I dare to say that either the wife is in a fashion the harlot of her husband or he is an adulterer with his own wife" (1:15:17).

522 AD - Caesarius of Arles - Sermons

"Who is he who cannot warn that no woman may take a potion [an oral contraceptive] so that she is unable to conceive or condemns in herself the nature which God willed to be fecund? As often as she could have conceived or given birth, of that many homicides she will be held guilty, and, unless she undergoes suitable penance, she will be damned by eternal death in hell. If a women does not wish to have children, let her enter into a religious agreement with her husband; for chastity is the sole sterility of a Christian woman" (1:12).

Martin Luther (1483 to 1546) -

"Onan must have been a malicious and incorrigible scoundrel. This is a most disgraceful sin. It is far more atrocious than incest or adultery. We call it unchastity, yes, a Sodomitic sin. For Onan goes into her; that is, he lies with her and copulates, and when it comes to the point of insemination, spills the semen, lest the woman conceive. Surely at such a time the order of nature established by God in procreation should be followed."

John Calvin (1509 to 1564) -

Deliberately avoiding the intercourse, so that the seed drops on the ground, is double horrible. For this means that one quenches the hope of his family, and kills the son, which could be expected, before he is born. This wickedness is now as severely as is possible condemned by the Spirit, through Moses, that Onan, as it were, through a violent and untimely birth, tore away the seed of his brother out the womb, and as cruel as shamefully has thrown on the earth. Moreover he thus has, as much as was in his power, tried to destroy a part of the human race.

John Wesley (1703 to 1791) -

"Onan, though he consented to marry the widow, yet to the great abuse of his own body, of the wife he had married and the memory of his brother that was gone, refused to raise up seed unto the brother. Those sins that dishonour the body are very displeasing to God, and the evidence of vile affections. Observe, the thing which he did displeased the Lord - And it is to be feared, thousands, especially single persons, by this very thing, still displease the Lord, and destroy their own souls.

(Examining sermons and commentaries, Charles Provan identified over a hundred Protestant leaders (Lutheran, Calvinist, Reformed, Methodist, Presbyterian, Anglican, Evangelical, Nonconformist, Baptist, Puritan, Pilgrim) living before the twentieth century condemning non- procreative sex. Did he find the opposing argument was also represented? Mr. Provan stated, "We will go one better, and state that we have found not one orthodox [protestant]theologian to defend Birth Control before the 1900's. NOT ONE! On the other hand, we have found that many highly regarded Protestant theologians were enthusiastically opposed to it." )



In 1908 the Bishops of the Anglican Communion meeting at the Lambeth Conference declared, "The Conference records with alarm the growing practice of the artificial restriction of the family and earnestly calls upon all Christian people to discountenance the use of all artificial means of restriction as demoralising to character and hostile to national welfare."


The Lambeth Conference of 1930 produced a new resolution, "Where there is a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, complete abstinence is the primary and obvious method..." but if there was morally sound reasoning for avoiding abstinence, "the Conference agrees that other methods may be used, provided that this is done in the light of Christian principles."
1930 AD - Pope Pius XI - Casti Conubii (On Christian Marriage)

"Any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin."

1965 AD - Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World - Gaudium et Spes, Vatican II

Relying on these principles, sons of the Church may not undertake methods of birth control which are found blameworthy by the teaching authority of the Church in its unfolding of the divine law. (51)

1968 AD - Pope Paul VI - Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life)

Equally to be excluded, as the teaching authority of the Church has frequently declared, is direct sterilization, whether perpetual or temporary, whether of the man or of the woman. Similarly excluded is every action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, propose, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible. To justify conjugal acts made intentionally infecund, one cannot invoke as valid reasons the lesser evil, or the fact that such acts would constitute a whole together with the fecund acts already performed or to follow later, and hence would share in one and the same moral goodness. In truth, if it is sometimes licit to tolerate a lesser evil in order to avoid a greater evil to promote a greater good, it is not licit, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil so that good may follow therefrom; that is to make into the object of a positive act of the will something which is intrinsically disorder, and hence unworthy of the human person, even when the intention is to safeguard or promote individual, family or social well-being. Consequently it is an error to think that a conjugal act which is deliberately made infecund and so is intrinsically dishonest could be made honest and right by the ensemble of a fecund conjugal life. (14)

1993 AD - Catechism of the Catholic Church

"The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception)." (2399)

After reading the above statements it should be clear that the Catholic Church does not leave much "wiggle room" on this issue. Is should also be clear that rumors that at some time in the near future the Church will have to change this teaching are nothing more than the wishful thinking of its disobedient members.

31 posted on 09/01/2003 8:42:59 PM PDT by Polycarp (When a mother can kill her own child, what is left of the West to save?" - Mother Theresa)
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To: Polycarp
OK. The SCOTUS did use contraception in their arguments permitting abortion, but that does not mean you need to convince the American public---especially the Protestant public--that contraception is bad in order to make headway on repealing abortion.

For many folks, like myself, I see a big moral difference between preventing fertilization of an egg and killing a baby in its mother's womb. We may disagree on the theology behind my position, but it seems we agree on stopping abortions.

Therefore, I would argue this article is interesting but wrong. Roe vs Wade is only one SC vote away from being overturned, and more than half of American's polled, according to Planned Parenthood itself (Alan Guttenmacher Institute), believe it should only be legal in the case of the life of the mother. We should keep working with that part of the population to further our cause. My bet is contraception will never be outlawed by any decision the SC makes.

32 posted on 09/01/2003 8:48:04 PM PDT by Proud Legions
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To: Polycarp
Dr. Kopp, allow me to add another point to this discussion regarding the contraception industry and their knowledge, re conception/contraception.

A few deacdes ago, I worked for a pharmaceutical company that pioneered in contraception. As a sales rep, I was expected to sell 'birth control pills' as well as IUD's. We sales reps were trained to perceive birth control as contraception and the possibility of ending a conceived new individual was down-played and omitted from our extensive training and educational preparation.

It was not until I began asking questions of my Regional Manager that I began to realize the IUD's were primarily abortifacient devices. When I confided to my manager that I could not in good conscience sell these items any longer, he took the time to finish my education on 'birth control pills'.

We reps were not told during our training that the hormone pills actually also worked as abortifacients on occasion. The industry knew full well that their products worked as abotifacients on occasion, but that truth was a well guarded secret from the sales field and the non-physician folks we contacted regularly.

A conscious omission of facts and truth is a sure sign that someone knew what they were trying to train the public to rely upon was averse to society's values system of the time, and an effort to bring about acceptance of the products was primary before the full truths would be allowed a full airing. Even today, many do not realize how the pills and IUD's work.

The same process of deceptive omission of truths regarding the embryonic individual human being is used to further the 'development' of embryonic stem cell exploitation and human cloning for harvesting in therapies. ... America is moving from murder, inc. to cannibalism light. It all has origins in contraceptive practices, artificial and in vitro fertilization methods, and abortion on demand. The dehumanization of the earliest age in a human beings lifetime has resulted in the deep slope of degeneration of human life value. Sadly, my friend, it doesn't appear that a leap to the light is now possible, so we must undertake a climb out from the funneled slope toward the abyss.

33 posted on 09/01/2003 8:53:16 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: Polycarp
Kinda strange that this issue was brought up tonight because I spent the day cleaning up the attic and was looking through some old women magazines from the 60's.

What got me was in either a McCall's or Ladies Home Journal there was an article attacking Pope Paul for his Contraception decision. It just seemed so out of character for the type of magazine it was (Cosmo I could understand) and so into character attacks on the Pope that even though I have no opinion on the matter it reminded me of the left's coordinated attack tactics of today.
34 posted on 09/01/2003 8:57:59 PM PDT by Swiss
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To: Polycarp
you have answered my question. Think I'll have to check out bhuddism.
35 posted on 09/01/2003 9:03:22 PM PDT by fourdeuce82d
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To: Polycarp
Outstanding article.

See private reply (coming shortly)
36 posted on 09/01/2003 9:07:59 PM PDT by kidd
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To: Polycarp
Interesting read on the issues. You're not actually advocating an all or nothing, yet you're getting slimed for doing so. The level of evil can't be jumped out from. As a poster above said, it's gonna take an incrimental climb to see the light again.
37 posted on 09/01/2003 9:42:36 PM PDT by papagall (Attaboys are cheap; one dagnabit cancels out dozens of them.)
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To: kidd
Thanks Kidd.
38 posted on 09/01/2003 9:43:38 PM PDT by Polycarp (When a mother can kill her own child, what is left of the West to save?" - Mother Theresa)
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To: MHGinTN
A conscious omission of facts and truth is a sure sign that someone knew what they were trying to train the public to rely upon was averse to society's values system of the time, and an effort to bring about acceptance of the products was primary before the full truths would be allowed a full airing. Even today, many do not realize how the pills and IUD's work.

An astute observation that bears repeating. It reminded me of how congressional members manipulated the baby body parts hearing that took place over three years ago.

Life Dynamics

39 posted on 09/01/2003 9:45:39 PM PDT by ohmage (918-222-7241)
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To: papagall
You're not actually advocating an all or nothing, yet you're getting slimed for doing so.

Certain talibanic anti-Catholic bigots are pros at that here.

40 posted on 09/01/2003 9:45:41 PM PDT by Polycarp (When a mother can kill her own child, what is left of the West to save?" - Mother Theresa)
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To: Proud Legions
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN
CONTRACEPTION AND ABORTION

by Professor Janet E. Smith, PhD

Janet E. Smith is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Dallas, Texas. She has edited Why Humane Vitae Was Right: A Reader and authored Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later, and numerous articles on abortion, contraception, virtue, and Plato. This article was edited and reprinted with permission.

Many in the pro-life movement are reluctant to make a connection between contraception and abortion. They insist that these are two very different acts - that there is all the difference in the world between contraception, which prevents a life from coming to be, and abortion, which takes a life that has already begun.

With some contraceptives, there is not only a link with abortion, there is an identity. Some contraceptives are abortifacients; they work by causing early term abortions. The IUD seems to prevent a fertilized egg - a new little human being - from implanting in the uterine wall. The pill does not always stop ovulation, but sometimes prevents implantation of the growing embryo. And of course, the new RU 486 pill works altogether by aborting a new fetus, a new baby. Although some in the pro-life movement occasionally speak out against the contraceptives that are abortifacients, most generally steer clear of the issue of contraception.

Contraception creates alleged “need” for abortion

This seems to me to be a mistake. I think that we will not make good progress in creating a society where all new life can be safe, where we truly display a respect for life, where abortion is a terrible memory rather than a terrible reality, until we see that there are many significant links between contraception and abortion, and that we bravely speak this truth. We need to realize that a society in which contraceptives are widely used is going to have a very difficult time keeping free of abortions since the lifestyles and attitudes that contraception fosters, create an alleged “need” for abortion.

Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the US Supreme Court decision that confirmed Roe v. Wade [U.S. decision to permit abortions] stated “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”.

The Supreme Court decision has made completely unnecessary, any efforts to “expose” what is really behind the attachment of the modern age to abortion. As the Supreme Court candidly states, we need abortion so that we can continue our contraceptive lifestyles. It is not because contraceptives are ineffective that a million and a half women a year seek abortions as back-ups to failed contraceptives. The “intimate relationships” facilitated by contraceptives are what make abortions “necessary”. “Intimate” here is a euphemism and a misleading one at that. Here the word “intimate” means “sexual”; it does not mean “loving and close”. Abortion is most often the result of sexual relationships in which there is no room for a baby, the natural consequence of sexual intercourse.

To support the argument that more responsible use of contraceptives would reduce the number of abortions, some note that most abortions are performed for “contraceptive purposes”. That is, few abortions are had because a woman has been a victim of rape or incest or because a pregnancy would endanger her life, or because she expects to have a handicapped or deformed newborn. Rather, most abortions are had because men and women who do not want a baby are having sexual intercourse and facing pregnancies they did not plan for and do not want. Because their contraceptive failed, or because they failed to use a contraceptive, they then resort to abortion as a back up. Many believe that if we could convince men and women to use contraceptives responsibly, we would reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, and thus the number of abortions. Thirty years ago this position might have had some plausibility, but not now. We have lived for about thirty years with a culture permeated with contraceptive use and abortion; no longer can we think that greater access to contraception will reduce the number of abortions. Rather, wherever contraception is more readily available, the number of unwanted pregnancies and the number of abortions increase greatly.

Sexual revolution not possible without contraception

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. The contraceptive mentality treats sexual relationship as a burden. The sexual revolution has no fondness - no room for - the connection between sexual intercourse and babies. The sexual revolution simply was not possibly until fairly reliable contraceptives were available.

Far from being a check to the sexual revolution, contraception is the fuel that facilitated the beginning of the sexual revolution and enables it to continue to rage. In the past, many men and women refrained from illicit sexual unions simply because they were not prepared for the responsibilities of parenthood. But once a fairly reliable contraceptive appeared on the scene, this barrier to sex outside the confines of marriage fell. The connection between sex and love also fell quickly; ever since contraception became widely used, there has been much talk of, acceptance of, and practice of casual sex and recreational sex. The deep meaning that is inherent in sexual intercourse has been lost sight of; the willingness to engage in sexual intercourse with another is no longer a result of a deep commitment to another. It no longer bespeaks a willingness to have a child with another and to have all the consequent entanglements with another that babies bring. Contraception helps reduce one’s sexual partner to just a sexual object since it renders sexual intercourse to be without any real commitments.

“Carelessness” is international

Much of this data suggests that there is something deep in our natures that finds the severing of sexual intercourse from love and commitment and babies to be unsatisfactory. As we have seen, women are careless in their use of contraceptives for a variety of reasons, but one reason for their careless use of contraceptives is precisely their desire to engage in meaningful sexual activity rather than in meaningless sexual activity. They want their sexual acts to be more meaningful than a handshake or a meal shared. They are profoundly uncomfortable with using contraceptives for what they do to their bodies and for what they do to their relationships. Often, they desire to have a more committed relationship with the male with whom they are involved; they get pregnant to test this love and commitment. But since the relationship has not been made permanent, since no vows have been taken, they are profoundly ambivalent about any pregnancy that might occur.

Sexual Promiscuity Increases

By the late sixties and early seventies, the view of the human person as an animal, whose passions should govern, became firmly entrenched in the attitudes of those who were promoting the sexual revolution. One of the greatest agents and promoters of the sexual revolution has been Planned Parenthood. In the sixties and seventies, many of the spokesmen and women for Planned Parenthood unashamedly advocated sex outside of marriage and even promoted promiscuity. Young people were told to abandon the repressive morals of their parents and to engage in free love. They were told that active sexual lives with a number of partners would be psychologically healthy, perfectly normal, and perfectly moral. Now, largely because of the spread of AIDS and the devastation of teenage pregnancy, even Planned Parenthood puts a value on abstinence. Yet they have no confidence that young people can and will abstain from sexual intercourse, so they advocate “safe” sex, “responsible” sex, whereby they mean sexual intercourse wherein a contraceptive is used. Sex educators assume that young people will be engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage.

Young people do not need sex education of the Planned Parenthood type; they need to learn that sexual intercourse can be engaged in responsibly and safely only within marriage. Rather than filling young people’s heads with false notions about freedom, and filling their wallets with condoms, we need to help them see the true meaning of human sexuality. We need to help them learn self-control and self-mastery so that they are not enslaved to their sexual passions. They need to learn that sexual intercourse belongs within marriage, and that with the commitment to marriage comes true freedom; the freedom to give of one’s self completely to another, the freedom to meet one’s responsibilities to one’s children.
There are two cornerstones on which education for sexual responsibility should be built - cornerstones that are both corroded by contraceptive sex. One cornerstone is that sexual intercourse is meant to be the expression of a deep love for another individual, a deep love that leads one to want to give of oneself totally to another. Most individuals hope one day to be in a faithful marriage, to be in a marital relationship with someone one loves deeply and by whom one is loved deeply. One of the major components of that deep love is a promise of faithfulness, that one will give oneself sexually only to one’s spouse.

Contraception severs connection between sex and babies

The other cornerstone for a sex education program should be the refrain that ‘if you are not ready for babies, you are not ready for sexual intercourse, and you are not ready for babies until you are married’. Most people want to be good parents; they want to provide for their children and give them good upbringings. Contraception attempts to sever the connection between sexual intercourse and babies; it makes us feel responsible about our sexuality while enabling us to be irresponsible. Individuals born out of wedlock have a much harder start in life; have a much harder time gaining the discipline and strength they need to be responsible adults. Single mothers have very hard lives as they struggle to meet the needs of their children and their own emotional needs as well. Those who abort their babies are often left with devastating psychological scars. The price of out of wedlock pregnancy is high.

Indeed, even within marriage, contraception is destructive; it reduces the meaning of the sexual act; again it takes out the great commitment that is written into the sexual act, the commitment that is inherent in the openness to have children with one’s beloved.
Those who are unmarried do face a disaster, and abortion seems like a necessity since no permanent commitment has been made between the sexual partners. Those who are married have often planned a life that is not receptive to children and are tempted to abort to sustain the child-free life they have designed. I am not, of course, saying that all those who contracept are likely to abort; I am saying that many more of those who contracept do abort than those who practice natural family planning.

Contraception takes the baby-making element out of sexual intercourse. It makes pregnancy seem like an accident of sexual intercourse rather than the natural consequence that responsible individuals ought to be prepared for. Abortion, then, becomes thinkable as the solution to an unwanted pregnancy. Contraception enables those who are not prepared to care for babies to engage in sexual intercourse; when they become pregnant, they resent the unborn child for intruding itself upon their lives, and they turn to the solution of abortion. It should be no surprise that countries that are permeated by contraceptive sex, fight harder for access to abortion than they do to ensure that all babies can survive both in the womb and out. It is foolish for pro-lifers to think that they can avoid the issues of contraception and sexual irresponsibility and be successful in the fight against abortion. For, as the Supreme Court of the US has stated, abortion is “necessary” for those whose intimate relationships are based upon contraceptive sex.

References:

For verification of the claims here made about Planned Parenthood, see George Grant, Grand Illusions: the Legacy of Planned Parenthood (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth and Hyatt Publishers, Inc., 1988), and Robert Marshall and Charles Donovan, Blessed are the Barren (San Francisco, CA; Ignatius Press, 1991).

Portions of this article are printed as portions of chapters in “Abortion and Moral Character”, in Catholicism and Abortion, ed. By Stephen J. Heaney to be published by the Pope John XXIII Medical-Moral Research Centre and “Abortion and Moral Character”, in Doing and Being: Introductory Reading in Moral Philosophy, ed by Jordan Graf Haber, to be published by Macmillan.

Permission given for reprinting portions from ‘The Connection between contraception and Abortion’, by Dr. Janet E. smith, published by Homiletic & Pastoral Review, April 1993, distributed by One More Soul.

"The Connection between Contraception and Abortion" by Janet E. Smith is available from One More Soul.


*****

41 posted on 09/01/2003 9:51:42 PM PDT by Polycarp (When a mother can kill her own child, what is left of the West to save?" - Mother Theresa)
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To: Polycarp
Thunderously clear, Sir! With contraception practices a precipitous rise in abortion killing comes too. Thirty plus years of contraception has also brought more than 42,000,000 executed concepti. Wonder how that compares to ANY thirty year period in the ages prior to 1973, or even prior to 1968?
42 posted on 09/01/2003 10:05:35 PM PDT by papagall (Attaboys are cheap; one dagnabit cancels out dozens of them.)
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To: Polycarp
Great job, excellent article. A point that needs to be made.

But more than just making a point, this is a truth that needs to be defended in real life. The pro-life movement has been nothing but 30 years of failure. Pragmatism has gotten us nothing. Incrementalism has gotten us nothing. Moral betrayal has gotten us nothing. So why not try honesty, courage, and the truth? What does the pro-life movement have to lose?
43 posted on 09/01/2003 11:16:24 PM PDT by Maximilian
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To: VeritatisSplendor
However, the case against contraception DEPENDS on Catholic presuppositions in a way that the case against abortion does not.

Not true. It's a teaching based on the natural law. It applies equally to all men of whatever religion. The prohibition of contraception is not specifically Catholic at all. Orthodox Jews have always found contraception fundamentally abhorrent. So did all 3 major protestant founders, each of whom wrote specific condemnations of contraception. Historically, Orthodox teaching did not even clearly distinguish between contraception and abortion, they were considered basically the same crime.

So to call this a "Catholic doctrine" is a fallacy.

Catholics may do well to learn the entire doctrine on sexual morals, but in the context of fighting abortion in a secular society (as opposed to persuading just Catholics) the issue of contraception should be put aside

This is fundamentally wrong and misguided, as well as a recipe for failure. Catholics can never put aside any part of their morality. "Fighting abortion in a secular society" is a pointless task if it requires one to ignore essential moral rules. It is pointless from a pragmatic perspective because one cannot "fight" one evil while accepting others. And pointless from a moral perspective because contraception will send you to Hell just as surely as abortion.

44 posted on 09/01/2003 11:23:50 PM PDT by Maximilian
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To: VeritatisSplendor
Furthermore, it is at best very misleading to say that contraception is of the same "character" as abortion. As sins, they are incommensurable.

Wrong. You fail to appreciate the moral severity of the crime of contraception. Here is what St. Thomas Aquinas said:

"Next to murder, by which an actually existent human being is destroyed, we rank this sin by which the generation of a human being is prevented."

45 posted on 09/01/2003 11:26:19 PM PDT by Maximilian
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To: litany_of_lies
I believe the former is achievable legislatively pretty quickly (saving 1.4 million babies a year), and that the latter will NEVER be achieved legislatively (OK, maybe in 50 years), but instead will occur after decades of changing hearts and minds.

This is pragmatism of a kind which demonstrates a lack of faith in God. God does not ask us to be successful, only to be faithful (I think Mother Theresa said that). We are being unfaithful when we ignore the roots of moral corruption in our society to focus on political "realities."

Meanwhile, the true political "reality" is that the pro-life movement is a whore that is used by the Republican party to get votes and then tossed aside when the campaign is through. Yet the pro-life movement comes back time after time to be used and abused again. "This time is going to be different" is the shared mottoe of the pro-life movement and the woman living with a violent, drug-addict criminal.

46 posted on 09/01/2003 11:31:44 PM PDT by Maximilian
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To: Polycarp
"To have coitus other than to procreate children is to do injury to nature" (2:10:95:3)."

So does this mean that couples too old to have kids, like in their late '40's, '50's and '60's, should perforce stop having sex and become chaste, even though they are married, because there is no chance that they can have kids?

Or what about couples, like my friend Ian, that had cancer, had radiation and are now sterile, are they to stop having sex?

Or women that have had hysterectomies? They, too, should be chaste, even though they are married?

I gotta tell ya', I personally think that is absurd.

Ed
47 posted on 09/02/2003 3:28:31 AM PDT by Sir_Ed
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To: Polycarp
Good old Protestant contraceptive is needed here.
48 posted on 09/02/2003 4:16:04 AM PDT by tkathy
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To: Polycarp
BUMP to the topp for the Bishop of Smyrna.
49 posted on 09/02/2003 4:28:36 AM PDT by Fester Chugabrew (How many lemmings does it take to build a darwinist house?)
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To: Polycarp
Good piece. I think you're quite correct, and that a significant weakness in the "political" pro-life movement is that there always seems to be the silent qualifier "... until it interferes with anyone's responsibility-free sexual behavior." Amoral sexuality is pagan, and so is child-killing.
50 posted on 09/02/2003 5:01:49 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Pray for Terri Schiavo!)
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