Contraception Leads to More Abortions

While we need a variety of pro-life groups hacking away at the anti-life monster, it is enormously futile and indeed grossly shortsighted to overlook the chief source of baby-killing, which is contraception.

~ Father Paul Marx, OSB

I’ve written before about the link between contraception and abortion: statistically, contraception use actually increases, rather than decreases the abortion rate. For some reason, this claim is still met with shock and disbelief, even though top pro-abortion leaders have been admitting this truth – self-evident to anyone who examines the facts – since the 1960s.

However, a pair of studies from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), a leading UK abortion provider, has given us a recent and even more horrific understanding of the infernal symbiosis that unites contraception and abortion.

The first study found that over half (51.2%) of the 60,000+ women who came to their facilities for an abortion in 2016 were using at least one form of contraception at the time they become pregnant. This first finding is not surprising. In fact, the only shocking thing is that it was “only” 51% – other recent BPAS studies have found that as many as 66% of women seeking an abortion at their facilities were using contraception.

So much for “safe, cheap, and effective”!

However, the second study is the one that truly makes the stomach turn. Surprised by the fact that the number of women seeking abortions after 20 weeks (i.e. when the baby is essentially fully-formed, and might even be able to survive outside the womb) has not decreased over the past decade, BPAS launched a study to find out why women were waiting that long before aborting. The answer? You guessed it: contraception.

It turns out that when women are on contraception, they are significantly less likely to recognize the signs of pregnancy until extremely late. In the first place, BPAS observes, hormonal contraception disrupts a woman’s menstrual cycle, removing one of the most obvious indicators of pregnancy. More importantly, however, because women are constantly told how “effective” contraception is, they simply assume it is “impossible” that they could be pregnant. Consequently, when they experience indicators that they’re pregnant, they either overlook or misinterpret those signs.

Contraception and Murderous Despair

The BPAS report says that when the women on contraception found out they were pregnant they were “shocked” and “devastated.”

Think about that for a moment! I understand that pregnancy can be a vulnerable time, even for women who were trying to become pregnant. And yet, how horrible that the news of the existence of a new human being – objectively an extraordinary and beautiful miracle – should be greeted not with joy by the mother, but despair! And not just any kind of despair: a despair that is so all-consuming, so dark, so bleak, that the response is to try to destroy the child.

This is what the lie of contraception has done to us: it has robbed us of a precious part of our humanity. By creating the false expectation of sexual pleasure free from the natural consequences of sexual intercourse, it has primed mothers and fathers to greet the existence of their own children not with joy, but dark, murderous despair!

contraception leads to more abortions

The BPAS study includes some heart-rending details. Speaking of one woman, named “Catriona,” who was seeking a late abortion, BPAS states: “She is upset as she can now feel the pregnancy but feels abortion is the best for her.”
“Catriona” is “upset” because she can “feel the pregnancy.” “The pregnancy”! What she is feeling are the little fingers and toes of her child brushing against the sides of her womb. She is feeling her fully-formed, growing, healthy child stretching out its body, exercising its new-found strength, filling in the shrinking space in her womb with fleshy limbs, pressing its precious head up against her ribs, kicking his legs.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13).

Contraceptive Failure: Far More Common than You Think

To BPAS’s very limited credit, they are one of the very few pro-abortion organizations that are honest about how pro-contraception propaganda creates deadly false expectations. In their latest report, BPAS laments that, despite the fact that all current contraception fails some of the time, “public discourse and some family planning initiatives frequently imply that abortion can always be avoided through the use of contraception.”

This is far from true. As BPAS points out: “Each year 9 in every 100 women using the contraceptive pill, the most popular method of contraception in the UK, 6 in every 100 using the contraceptive injection, and nearly 1 in every 100 using the IUD (copper coil), will become pregnant.”

I want you to stop and think about that statistic very carefully. Because it is a lot worse than most people realize at first.

Men and women are constantly told, from the time they’re in elementary school, that the best (and even only) way to avoid an unplanned pregnancy is to use contraception. In reality, as many as 9% of sexually active women on the pill will become pregnant…every year! That means that if a woman relies on hormonal contraception to avoid pregnancy throughout her 31-35 fertile years (on average), the chances she will experience an unplanned pregnancy at some point are not “slim.” In fact, it’s practically certain that she will!

And when that unplanned pregnancy happens? What will she do? That’s where BPAS’s diabolical logic enters in. “The answer to unsafe abortion is not contraception, it is safe abortion,” says BPAS Chief Executive Ann Furedi in the recent study.

The Great Contraceptive Lie

Before the invention of artificial contraception, everyone understood that there was only one infallible way to avoid an unwanted pregnancy: to avoid engaging in baby-making activities with anyone with whom you were not prepared to have a baby.

This is not to say that everyone followed this principle. The human race hardly invented fornication and adultery in the 20th century! And yet, the point stands: everybody knew the consequences of having sex, even if they still sometimes chose to risk the consequence nonetheless. The vast majority of people chose not to take the risk, unless they were in a stable, long-term relationship – i.e., marriage – and prepared to welcome a child into the world. If they did take the risk with someone with whom they did not intend to have a baby, and subsequently found out they were pregnant, while they might be disappointed or even terrified, they would not have been surprised. They knew that biology worked, even if they didn’t fully understand how it worked.

We “advanced” moderns, however, have spun for ourselves an elaborate fable: a fable of our limitless capacity to control nature using technology, and therefore to conduct ourselves sexually however we want, without any consequences. Decades ago Human Life International Founder Father Paul Marx identified this lie, and he spent his life trying to warn the world of its deadly consequences. In his book, The Death Peddlers, he warned:

The foolproof contraceptive does not exist, and sociological studies have shown, almost without exception, that intensive contraceptive programs, by emphasizing the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, also reinforce an intention not to bear an unwanted child under any circumstances; that is, there is a greater likelihood that women experiencing contraceptive failures will resort to abortion.

Elsewhere he wrote, even more poignantly, “The more you sow contraception, the more you reap sexual sins, family and social disorders, venereal diseases, and deadly AIDS — and the more you must make available “abortion services” to take care of the “contraceptive failures.”

The truth is, we will never end the violence of abortion until we eradicate the underlying cause, i.e., the contraceptive mentality, which is the foundation for the entire sexual revolution. As Father Marx repeatedly said, no matter how good the intentions and efforts to stop abortion are, unless, we address the systemic root cause, contraception and its selfish mentality, everything is an exercise in futility.

About Fr. Shenan J. Boquet

Fr. Shenan J. Boquet has served as president of Human Life International since 2011. He was ordained in 1993 as a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana. As HLI’s president, Fr. Boquet collaborates with fellow laborers in the pro-life and family movement in over 80 countries, offering the Sacraments, giving seminars and trainings, appearing on numerous media outlets, and encouraging people of all walks of life to live as faithful advocates for a Culture of Life and Love. He is available for interviews and bookings on behalf of HLI by emailing


  1. Dr. Robert Schwartz on October 30, 2017 at 11:35 AM

    Those of us who know the violent murder of abortion must continue to write and pray and speak of the Will of God and His child through the miracle of His planting a human soul into a human being, one intended by Him to live forever.

  2. Jennifer Snoozy on October 30, 2017 at 11:57 AM

    Well said. Thank you!

  3. Jeanmarie DeCoster on October 30, 2017 at 4:48 PM

    Exactly! If contraceptives and the contraceptive mentality (i.e., “free sex”/ “sex with no responsibility” essentially) were not the defining characteristic of our social culture, neither would abortion be!

  4. Timothy Owens on October 30, 2017 at 6:31 PM

    The last book of the Bible…Apocalypse – Revelation in the last Chapter 22:15 In Jesus Own Words ” Without ( i.e outside of heaven ) are dogs, and sorcerers, and unchaste ( some translations use the word fornication, same meaning, any sexual activity, intercourse outside of ( valid )marriage) and murderers, and servers of idols, and every one that loveth and maketh a lie.” Often people if asked about the Particular Judgement Of GOD of every Person immediately after death will say …I am not a murderer, at least I never killed anyone, meaning pretty good person, no problem with The Judgement…Well GOD Has The Unchaste, Fornicators AND Murderers in The Breath, going to the same place. Eternal Hell.

  5. Prolifemama on October 31, 2017 at 3:43 AM

    I’ve heard it often said that contraceptive use creates an odd mindset in woman who learn they are pregnant. Their reaction is often “Hey, I took precautions, and became pregnant anyway. Therefore, it’s NOT MY FAULT, and I can abort “it” if I want to.

  6. Kathleen S Lawlor on October 31, 2017 at 9:06 AM

    You all should check out to learn about a solution that is spreading in the public schools in Florida and elsewhere. This program reduced the std’s in Collier County dramatically after only being used for 5 years! Also, we need to promote Theology of the Body in Catholic schools! We need someone to come up with workbooks to be used in each of 4 years in our Catholic schools on TOB teachings as that is what these teachers prefer, not online programs.

  7. Kathleen Goryl on November 11, 2017 at 3:08 PM

    Please see Professor Janet E. Smith’s data on this topic, “Contraception Why Not”. Also read the Catholic Medical Association’s comments to HHS objecting to the contraceptives mandate. Their comments were very well done. I credit Dr. John Brehany for these excellent comments. (He has since left the organization and is now at the National Catholic Bioethics Center.)
    Please also see the 10 year Denmark study describing the strong link between contraceptives and depression, particularly troubling for younger women. See also Breast Cancer Prevention Institute–Dr. Angela Lanfranchi–who has spoken out about the strong link between contraceptives and breast cancer. Contraceptives are in the same carcinogenic class as cigarettes. While our government regularly educates people about the danger of cigarette smoking, they are almost silent on the dangers of contraceptives. The truth must be told! The link between divorce and contraceptives fuels family breakdown, while Natural Family Planning is associated with low divorce rates. (And, the effectiveness of preventing pregnancy is virtually the same between the pill and NFP.) (The CDC’s website is inaccurate on these latter fertility methods.) Thanks for the great work you are doing.

    • Henry Kelly on February 19, 2021 at 1:42 AM

      What you call “natural” family planning, rhythm and its “improvements,” thermal charting and mucosal inspection, was condemned in the severest of terms by all Christendom and Orthodox Judaism. Augustine, who in his youth had been a Manichæan gnostic, condemned scheduled abstinence, abstinence from copulation on a schedule to avoid the fertile days of a woman’s cycle.

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