“There is overwhelming evidence that contrary to what you might expect, the provision of contraception leads to an increase in the abortion rate.”
– Fr. Paul Marx, founder of Human Life International
Several years ago Ann Furedi, the former director of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), Britain’s largest abortion provider, made a shocking admission. A survey of 2000 women who sought abortions at BPAS had found that two-thirds of them were using contraception at the time they became pregnant.
“Contraception,” she lamented, “lets people down.”
I’d go much further than that. Contraception doesn’t just let people down; it destroys women, families and society.
Fr. Marx often warned that contraception and the contraceptive mentality are the root cause of abortion and have a direct correlation to other assaults against life and family, such as euthanasia and homosexuality. He would also emphatically add that not only does access to contraception fail to decrease the abortion rate, it actually increases it.
People often scoff when I tell them the same thing. For some reason, this claim strikes many people as counter-intuitive, even logically contradictory. “How can that be?” they ask. “If contraception reduces the risk that sex will result in pregnancy, then surely it reduces the abortion rate!”
Ironically enough, one of the first people to predict that the widespread use of contraception would increase rather than decrease the abortion rate was not a pro-life activist. Far from it! It was the first medical director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Dr. Malcolm Potts, who predicted in 1973 that “As people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall, in the abortion rate.” Moreover, he added, “Those who use contraceptives are more likely than those who do not to resort to induced abortion.”
Unfortunately, this was a rare flash of honesty from a pro-abortion leader and death peddler.
For the most part, pro-abortion talking points – propaganda – are painfully consistent: Modern contraception [they claim] is a highly effective method of preventing unplanned pregnancy. With consistent use, a couple using modern methods of contraception will avoid unplanned pregnancies. This in turn eliminates the need for abortion. Therefore [according to pro-abortionists], if pro-lifers really wish to decrease abortions, they should support making contraception more easily available.
Sadly and scandalously, this deceptive argument and propaganda has found far too many believers – even inside the Church.
And yet, for all that, a full two-thirds of women seeking abortions at BPAS in the UK were using contraception at the time they became pregnant. Common sense points to the reality that following the invention of the Pill, abortion rates skyrocketed. If contraception is so amazingly effective at preventing unplanned pregnancies, how can this possibly be?
Something doesn’t add up.
Ann Furedi, in another rare flash of candor from a top abortion activist, gives us part of the answer. In the same revealing remarks mentioned above, Furedi referred to pro-lifers who strongly critique the claim that contraception reduces abortion: “Arguably they [pro-lifers] are right.”
She went on explaining why contraception doesn’t do what it is designed to do:
Access to effective contraception creates an expectation that women can control their fertility and plan their families. Given that expectation, women may be less willing to compromise their plans for the future. In the past, many women reluctantly accepted that an unplanned pregnancy would lead to maternity. Unwanted pregnancies were dutifully, if resentfully, carried to term. In days when sex was expected to carry the risk of pregnancy, an unwanted child was a chance a woman took. Today, we expect sex to be free from that risk and unplanned maternity is not a price we are prepared to pay. … The simple truth is that the tens of thousands of women who seek abortion each year are not ignorant of contraception. Rather they have tried to use it, indeed they may have used it, and become pregnant regardless.
This is all very true. Contraception, by providing the illusion of perfect safety, creates unrealistic expectations about the outcome of engaging in sex, so that when contraception fails (as it often does), couples are far more likely to “take care of the problem” than shoulder responsibility for their behavior.
But even this doesn’t fully capture the staggering impact of the contraceptive revolution. What Furedi neglects to mention is that, not only does contraception make a person facing an unplanned pregnancy less willing to “compromise their plans for the future” than in the past, it also makes them far more likely to engage in casual sexual behavior that could result in an unwanted pregnancy in the first place!
This was also the conclusion of Professor Kingsley Davis of the United States Commission on Population Growth and the American Future:
The current belief that illegitimacy will be reduced if teenage girls are given an effective contraceptive is an extension of the same reasoning that created the problem in the first place. It reflects an unwillingness to face problems of social control and social discipline, while trusting some technological device to extricate society from its difficulties. …The irony is that the illegitimacy rise occurred precisely while contraceptive use was becoming more, rather than less, widespread and respectable.
The sexual revolution was predicated upon the highly dubious claim that modern technology had “solved” sex, ushering in a shining new era of sexual “freedom” in which people could “express themselves” sexually with whomever they liked without any of the traditional fears of pregnancy or STDs. Sex could be as meaningful, or as casual, or as frequent as you liked.
Millions of people took the sexual revolutionaries at their word. But instead of enjoying a shining age of consequence-free sex, we got AIDS, the gonorrhoea super bug, the vast normalization of fornication and adultery, an explosion in the divorce rate, and hundreds of millions of dead unborn babies!
In a press release after announcing the finding that so many women seeking abortions at BPAS were using contraception, Furedi, in a chilling statement, exposed the brutal truth behind the contraception lie. Women, she concluded, “need accessible abortion services as a back-up for when their contraception lets them down.”
This is the macabre business model of the abortion industry: Make millions by selling vast quantities of contraceptives to couples by lying to them about its long-term reliability, and then make millions more by cleaning up “the mess” when they took you at your word.
And even so, we have not taken into account the truth that science has since uncovered: that not only do many forms of chemical contraceptives prevent a baby from being conceived in the first place, they also have the secondary effect of preventing an already conceived baby from implanting in his or her mother’s womb – by acting as an abortifacient.
How many millions of unborn babies have died in the first few days of their development by being unable to find a home in an environment made hostile to them through the use of the Pill or other forms of chemical contraception? It is impossible to say, but chilling to ponder.
We should take one final point to heart. Fr. Marx was deeply dismayed at the failure of the ministers of the Church to draw this powerful connection between contraception and abortion – anti-life mentality. He wrote:
The evidence is mountainous that contraception leads to abortion, and yet bishops and priests just do not seem to see the connection, if one may judge by the fact that they rarely (if ever) preach against it. I myself have preached in more than 600 parishes in the last thirty years, always telling it as it is and then going to the back of the church to absorb the flack of departing parishioners. In 95 percent of the parishes, people tell me I am the first priest to talk about contraception and sterilization from the pulpit.
Yes, contraception kills. It destroys lives and families.
As we approach the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, let us pray that our spiritual leaders will shoulder their responsibility to proclaim the life-and joy-giving truth Blessed Pope Paul VI courageously reaffirmed.
This single truth can be transformative!