Many people argue that abortion is the greatest evil in our society. I take a slightly different view. I believe that contraception is an equal, if not even greater, evil than abortion is. I say this because of all that has been unleashed since the pill was introduced in 1961 and legalized in 1965, everything from sexual immorality to STDs to abortion. I believe that contraception has been the enabler.
The “Cure” to Abortion
First, let’s talk briefly about Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. Forget that she was a eugenicist and a socialist. Fact: Margaret Sanger opposed abortion. Don’t believe me? Click here and skip to line 23. She argued that contraception was the “cure” to abortion (page 5, about halfway down). She only intended Planned Parenthood as a contraceptive distributor.
We should note the Church’s most obvious objection: contraception stops the creation of life (and just a quick reminder, the Church always has opposed contraception. This teaching can’t and won’t change). However, we should analyze the wider-ranging effects that contraception has had on society. Some accuse Christians of historical ignorance before 6,000 years ago. I can just as easily accuse society of being ignorant of history because many people seem to think that society either didn’t exist or was the exact same before the 1960s.
The Consequences of Sexual Liberation
The “sexual revolution” followed shortly after the pill’s debut in 1961. If you look at the divorce rate in the immediate years after, you see a steady increase until the 1970s when it shot through the roof and peaked in the early 1980s. There has been a slight decline, but researchers think that communicating and working through problems are only due partial credit (a good thing nonetheless). Many of them point to less people getting married out of fear of the ravages of divorce, opting instead to cohabitate. They also look at people boycotting marriage until gay marriage is legal in all 50 states.
Next, I look at sexually transmitted diseases since 1961. When I was researching for my “sexual compatibility” article on GAG, I thought it would be important to look into STDs. At first, I was surprised that the number of cases in certain diseases had gone down since the 1980s. I double-checked later and learned that before the 1960s, there were two diseases, syphilis and gonorrhea. By the early 21st century, there were upwards of twenty-five. Also worth noting: women are at greater risk for contracting STDs, especially in their adolescent years.
I’d also like to know why proponents of contraception seem so eager to ignore the health risks involved, let alone the fact that it isn’t even 100% effective at preventing pregnancy (how many of them end up having abortions, I wonder?). Yaz, the NuvaRing, and others have been on recall or taken to court for various reasons including the deaths of some users.
Some people, like ultraconservative news pundit Sean Hannity, argue in favor of contraception with “unwanted pregnancies”. Firstly, as a Catholic, I reject this. Pregnancy is always a possible outcome of the sexual act, even if contraception is used. Hannity mentions “self-control”. Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said that “those who believe in ‘birth control’ believe neither in birth nor in control”. People need to understand that contraception is an enabler of sexual immorality. Secondly, some people point to AIDS in Africa to justify condom use. I’ll let Penn Jillette explain Matthew 16:23. Thirdly, I’m frustrated by Hannity’s hypocrisy, his relativism, and his ignorance of the key part of natural family planning: NATURAL, not artificial! Lastly, as a Knight of Columbus, I am absolutely incensed by his treatment of this priest.
Finally, for a moment, let’s revisit Margaret Sanger’s original theory. Some people, like Hannity, have fallen for it. Birth control was legalized in 1965. A few short years later, abortion was legalized. 48 years and 55 million abortions later, I’d love to ask Marge how that “cure” thing worked out. And she thought she was doing society a favor.
An Equal or Greater Evil?
I don’t know if I’ve said anything new here. Maybe you did know all this, but it wasn’t compiled in context. Abortion is a very grave evil and we should fight it at every turn. However, I look at the root of the problem. I think that through her founding of Planned Parenthood and her crusade for contraception, Margaret Sanger released an equal, if not greater evil than abortion. Could I be thinking too long-term? Maybe. I want to suppress and end abortion as much as anyone else, but like I’ve said, contraception is an enabler. I think it if we are to rebuild a truly moral society, our true endstate should be the suppression of contraception.