4) Contraception

In 1968 Pope Paul VI wrote a document called Humanae Vitae that ticked off the world.  Everyone anticipated that the Church would change its teachings and approve contraception, but the Church claims to be founded on Truth and Truth doesn’t change, so Humane Vitae just confirmed what the Catholic Church has taught for 2000 years (and every other Christian church had until the Lambeth Conference of 1930) :  that using contraception is a sin.  The world and a healthy chunk of Catholics either got mad, laughed, or just ignored him.

In this document the Pope predicted that if contraception became widely accepted there would be an increase in:

  • Marital infidelity (Contraception removes the chance of pregnancy, cheating’s major disincentive.)
  • Divorce (See chart on the right.  Advocates of contraception said it would make marriages happier.)
  • The objectification of women and children (Have you turned on the TV lately?)
  • And that governments would force contraception on people (like in China, Russia, India, Mexico, Peru, and many other countries)

These evils have always existed, but they increased dramatically after the widespread acceptance of contraception.  Correlation doesn’t prove causation, but the outcomes the Pope predicted did come to pass right about the time The Pill was made widely available.

A little research led me to a conclusion that should have been obvious to me before:  contraception has delivered the opposite of what it promised. The Pill was supposed to end unwanted pregnancies, yet out-of-wedlock births skyrocketed starting when it became widely available – and the chart at the left doesn’t even include the children that were aborted or booted out of the mother’s body by the secondary effects of the Pill.

Birth control pills are touted as a vital to “reproductive health” but the World Health Organization, the CDC, and the Nation Cancer Institute agree that they cause cancer, as do many other sources. (Abortion, another “health” service,  increases the risk too.)It doesn’t sound like “health” to me to experience nausea, weight gain, moodiness, blood clots and the many other dangerous side effects of the Pill.  Not to mention loss of sex drive, perhaps permanently. Doesn’t that sound like your body is saying, “Hey, I don’t want this stuff”?   Someone more clever than I called contraception “the medicine that makes you sick”.  Good call.

Condoms were supposed to prevent the spread of AIDS, but the more they are promoted, the higher STD infection rates climb.  For example, AIDS arrived in the Philippines and Thailand at about the same time and both countries have nearly the same population.  The Philippines, a very Catholic country, followed the advice of their bishops who promoted chastity before marriage and faithfulness within marriage.  Thailand encouraged the use of condoms.  Below are the resulting AIDS cases and how they compare to the predictions of the World Health Organization:

# of cases in 1987 # of cases in 2003 WHO predictions

Philippines                135                      9,000                        85,000

Thailand                    112                     570,000                   70,000

These statistics don’t come from the Vatican; they come from the United Nations. Link Link Uganda is Africa’s only AIDS success story, and they followed the Church’s advice too.  How could the Church’s instructions on preventing disease that sound so counter-intuitive work so well? Link Link Link

Condoms have a 15% real world failure rate and are combating a disease that is 100% deadly – the same odds as Russian Roulette.  If you read the scientific data in the condom expose by Human Life International, it will be no wonder to you why one in four teen girls in America has an STD.    About a third of all women getting abortions each year report condom failure as the reason according to Planned Parenthood’s own statistics, which means condoms are even less effective fighting disease (a woman can only get pregnant a few days a month, but a disease can infect you 365 days a year).  The media only reluctantly acknowledge the studies that prove the Church right.

Contraception hasn’t reduced poverty, or crime, or child abuse or any of the problems it was supposed to.  As a matter of fact, these social ills got worse.  Every birth control method (except for castration) has a failure rate, so single women are going to have “accidents”.  A single mother is much more likely to live in poverty than a married one, and fatherless children are much more likely to be abused, have drug or alcohol problems, or end up in prison. Link It’s not the baby that’s the problem; it’s lack of commitment of the parents to each other and to their children.

The Catholic Church promotes marriage as the solution to these problems.  And contrary to popular belief the Church doesn’t demand that, once married, women pop out kids like a human toaster.  If you’re married and you can’t mentally, physically, or economically handle a child, the Catholic Church promotes the use of Natural Family Planning.  You just don’t have sex shortly before and after a woman ovulates.  It works.  I can teach it to anyone in minutes. It’s not the old Rhythm Method.  It requires no pills, health hazards, or expense. Once you learn it, you are not beholden to a doctor or the government to supply it to you (nor can they force it on you).  And it can be used to get pregnant too – no $20,000 fertility treatments (with their meager 30% success rate and the frequent requirement that you kill or freeze your “spare” children). Mother Theresa taught it to the poverty-stricken and illiterate in India, with great effectiveness, for nothing.  But, as usual, the Church gets a sharp stick in the eye for the very suggestion.

I always planned on using birth control even though I knew my Church said it was wrong because I thought the rule was arbitrary.  I never made the connection that my six siblings are the light of my life and that my parents had to make a conscious, unselfish decision to have us, seeing as they never had much money.  Kids don’t want a big house, nice clothing, or a degree from Harvard – they want each other.  To give them siblings is a bigger sacrifice and greater gift than anything money can buy. The real reason the Church is against contraception is because having a family is a good thing and that using people for sex is a bad thing. Is it really so offensive to believe that God thinks the world would be a better place with more little “you’s” running around? (If you read nothing else about the Church’s view on contraception, read this.  Super interesting and informative.)

The inventor of the pill regrets having invented it. He didn’t foresee the bad effects of contraception, but the Catholic Church saw them.  My argument isn’t necessarily about what is morally right or wrong but about what conclusions are supported by the facts.  My argument is that the Church was not only right about the misery that would be wrought by contraception, but prophetically so.

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