Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Contraceptives

I recently received this email from a reader:

I can see your stance on abortion but most contraceptives do not end lives. The birth control bill can cause an early abortion so I am against that but what is wrong with others. Most catholics support Natural Family Planning and the rhythm method so what is the difference if a couple decides to use something like spermicide or a condom? I am a protestant by the way. I believe premarital sex is a sin but contraceptives are not necessarily the reason for the rise of unwed pregnancy and stds. It's because are so careless. If you are going to have premarital sex all you have to do is to get your partner tested for stds and don't have sex with anybody else. As far as pregnancy is concern don't have sex during ovulation and use a condom as back up. It's just laziness.

Also abstinence is the ideal and is what God wants but is it realistic to think everybody will abstain. Even before sex ed premarital sex was more of a problem than people wanted to admit. If a woman got pregnant she often walked down the aisle pregnant. This happened to my grandmother. If a girl could not get married she was sent away to a home for unwed mothers to give up her baby. These women were unfairly labeled sluts even though most of these girls were not anymore promiscuous than women who experienced shotgun weddings. Boys were not condemned at all.

References
The Girls Who Went Away- Google Books
http://www.exiledmothers.com/babies_taken_for_adoption/karenwb.html
http://www.exiledmothers.com/adoption_facts/adoption_damage_to_children.html
http://www.exiledmothers.com/adoption_facts/mothers.html

My point is to ask you which is worse Some girl using birth control or Girls secretly sent away to some maternity home, coerced by society into giving the bay, and then suffering emotional damage for decades while the father moves on with his life?


It was signed, but as it was not put in the combox, I won't give the name...

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To this, I wrote the following reply:


Dear (...)

Thanks for your email.

I think with regard to pre-marital sex, you are quite right: abstinence is the ideal and is what God wants. To ask if it is realistic seems to me to miss the point. We could equally well say that people are going to assault each other - it is not realistic to expect that nobody will. But that doesn’t make it right or acceptable, and certainly doesn’t mean that we should make it easier for them to do so (which is what contraceptives do with regard to pre-marital sex).

And that is my whole point: our job is to discover God’s will, and then carry it out. It is clear that his will for human sexuality is that it is for reproduction and for the expression of mutual love and self-giving within marriage.

It is interesting to note that until less than 100 years ago, all Christian denominations were united on this issue. It was only in 1930 that the Lambeth Conference of Anglicans decided that contraceptives might be permissible within marriage - and look where that has led.

One of the other problems with contraceptives is that when they fail, (and they do - ask anyone involved in pregnancy counselling!) then abortion is the back-up - so contraceptives and abortion are closely linked in fact, if not in theory.

You raise another couple of interesting questions. One is:

Most catholics support Natural Family Planning and the rhythm method so what is the difference if a couple decides to use something like spermicide or a condom?

There are in fact many differences:

In NFP, the couple are enjoying a God-given facet of biology; they are not doing anything, except abstaining from sex for certain periods of time;

In NFP, the attitude is different: it is fundamentally one of obedience (NFP is not easy!) which means if a child is conceived, the parents will not abort it; in artificial contraception, the fundamental attitude is 'My will be done...'

In NFP, the effect is to encourage the couple to restraint and mutual respect; whereas artificial contraception tends in the opposite direction;

In artificial contraception, a barrier is placed between the couple, either physical or chemical, at the very moment that they are united: they are giving themselves to each other - yet with-holding a fundamental part of themselves, the capacity to give life.

Couples who use NFP have a remarkably low divorce rate, compared to the rest of the population (including compared to Catholics who use artificial contraception). By their fruits...

The other interesting question was this:

Which is worse: Some girl using birth control or Girls secretly sent away to some maternity home, coerced by society into giving the baby, and then suffering emotional damage for decades while the father moves on with his life?


Both of these are bad: therefore we should choose neither. But girls (or others) using artificial birth control fuel the problem, they don’t solve it.

When contraceptives were being promoted, we were promised 'no more unwanted pregnancies; more stable marriages; happier people.' But they have failed to deliver on those promises, and as far as I can see work drectly against them - and that is because they work directly against the will of God.

But I realise that it is most unlikely that I will convince you. Instead I would urge you to pray and study the Bible and the historic teaching of all Christianity.

Best wishes

Ben Trovato


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To this, I received the civil reply: Thanks

2 comments:

Apostolate of the Laity said...

This was a nice post to read.

Spot on about contraception-abortion. Ann Furedi, CEO of Bpas has, on several occasions, spoke of the fact that contraception fails - condoms, pills, IUDs etc. She estimated 60-70% of women seeking an abortion did so because of failed contraception. It's not just faulty use versus perfect use, the contracetives themselves are not 100%.

A girl using contraception can be left with emotion problems, stds, alone and pregnant, as is so often the case now.

Final thought, abstinence and chastity are not ideals given by God. God doesn't give ideals, floating up in the air on a cloud that a few pious sould reach. No, abstinence and chastity are the norm, sex outside marriage, lust etc are a falling away from the norm into the mud.

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Good post..