Question 6


Dear Fr. Matthew

"This doesn't make any sense... if you take away methods of birth control, then people will abort more babies. It's not like if you take away an option for birth control, people will be like "Oh! Guess I won't have sex, then!" This is relatively contradictory... to oppose abortion and oppose contraception? Sex isn't illegal, it's only a religious view that it is wrong, and you can't impose that on society. Someone has to draw a logical line here. Contraception is the key to eliminating abortion. Which is more important, the virtue of sexual morality or the preservation of human life?" -- College Joe

Dear College Joe,

You are saying that if we want to reduce the number of abortions, then encourage greater use of contraception. [Contraception is sterile sex, thus you can have lots of sex and few conceptions and thus fewer abortions.]

That might sound good in theory, but it doesn’t work out that way in practice. Contraception is morally wrong, because it turns the truth of spousal love into a counterfeit, into a lie. The marital act was designed by its Creator, God, to be a sign of making the total gift of one’s self to your beloved: a total gift of one’s person, with no conditions and no reservations. Anything short of that is not spousal love; it is merely the pursuit of sexual pleasure; raw and impersonal sex. This leads to an increase of divorce, with all the heartbreaks that divorce brings.

Contraception does not reduce the number of abortions. Why? Because a contraceptive mentality leads directly to abortion. If a person takes an anti-life attitude towards their fertility, which is what contraception does, then they will consider a surprise conception to be a terrible mistake, for which abortion is the solution. The typical contraceptor takes the attitude: “I took the regular precautions by using contraception; it failed; so now I am entitled to have an abortion. 70% of women seeking an abortion were on some form of contraception.

Contraception has given many young people a false sense of security against becoming pregnant. They presume that contraception is foolproof. This, in turn, leads to greater and greater promiscuity. Instead of waiting until they are married, and can provide a real home for their children, a contracepting couple engage in the act reserved only for people who have made a deep commitment to each other through marriage. Contracepting unmarried couples pretend to be married, when they are not married. This is a serious deception to each other and to themselves. And when married couples contracept, they are withholding a major part of themselves in the gift of self which was meant to be unconditional and total.

When International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) goes into a Third World country and wants to abolish its laws against abortion, they always begin by promoting contraceptives. They know that increased use of contraceptives among the unmarried and the married always leads to a greater demand for abortion. IPPF demeans the sexual moral code of the local culture, while promoting sexual promiscuity as the “reproductive rights” of young people. This leads to a greater demand for all the products that IPPF sells, and in time creates a greater demand for legalized abortion. Contraception always leads to greater abortion.

The only way to reduce abortion is to retrieve a respect for the sanctity of all human life and of our sexual, procreative, powers. When young people understand that sex, babies and marriage go together, then you have a healthy society, strong marriages and healthy, happy families. When young people think that they can separate the life-giving dimension from the love-giving dimension of sex, then they open the way to the mess we now find ourselves in. And wherever there is a contraceptive mentality there will be more, not less, abortion. 

You should understand the difference between something being legally acceptable and morally unacceptable. The Supreme Court does not determine what is right and what is wrong. Remember the Dred Scott Case? And now the Roe v. Wade case? Only God determines the moral order as it pertains to all important matters like human life, love, marriage and family. It is a tragedy that unjust and immoral laws can be forced upon citizens by the courts and the government, if the people allow that to happen. And God has made his intentions and designs for sex and marriage clearly known.

It is a false contrast to say that we must choose between the virtue of sexual morality and the preservation of human life. We are never to do evil so as to allegedly accomplish the good. Moral evil is always harmful for whoever chooses to engage in it, and harmful for the broader society. Sexual promiscuity and contraception are morally evil and they harm, not help, those who engage in them.

Fr. Matthew Habiger OSB