Getting to the root of the problem.
Dear Pro-Life Friend,
Here are some thoughts on how we can, together, defeat the culture of death.
We write to you with great gratitude for all you do to protect the rights of the preborn, and appeal to you as a coworker for life to let us share with you what we believe is the key to winning the war against abortion.
Mary Ann Walsh and I began One More Soul in 1992, when our pro-life work led us to realize that something was missing in the pro-life message. We began to see the contra-ceptive lifestyle as the driving force behind abortion, and that abortion could not be defeated without turning people away from contraception. We saw this would be a tough battle because many people, even many faithful Christiansincluding many dedicated pro-life advocateshave accepted contraception without knowing where it leads. Please read further as we explain how this happened and what we can do about it.
First of all, we know that personal use of contraception often leads directly to surgical abortion. According to surveys of the Alan Guttmacher Institute (Planned Parenthoods research arm) two thirds of women seeking a pregnancy test or an abortion claim they were using a contraceptive the month they got pregnant. This is consistent with what pregnancy help centers see with their clients. Thus, it is clear that contraceptives are often used in circumstances for which pregnancy is seen as highly undesirable, thus leading to abortion.
Secondly, hormonal contraceptives (such as the Pill) can also act by causing abortions. One of their functions is to thin the lining of the uterus, which inhibits the one week old embryo from implanting, and causes it to be expelled with the next menstrual flow. Since we know that pregnancies do occur while women are using hormonal contraceptives, it is probable that these early abortions are also occurring. The Food and Drug Administration, in the Physicians Desk Reference, states, “Although the primary mechanism of this action (of oral contraceptives) is inhibition of ovulation, other alterations include … changes in the endometrium, which reduce the likelihood of implantation.”
Also, many individuals and groups see a connection between contraception and abortion. So called “pro-choice” groups always include access to both contraceptives and abortion in “reproductive rights” and seek legal protection and health insurance coverage for both. John Paul II refers to contraception and abortion as “fruits of the same tree.”
For us, this evidence is quite compellingcontraception leads to abortion, not all the time, but often enough that we should see contraception as a source of the problem. Those of us who work to educate people that the pre-born child is a human being need to examine our own attitudes regarding respect for life. If we regard children as blessings from God, why would we use powerful hormones or other means to avoid the “threat” of conception? Are we not reflecting the same fear of pregnancy that motivates women to seek abortion?
The key to eliminating abortion lies in lifestyle change. As a pregnancy help center, you have direct contact with many young women who are abortion minded, sexually active, or trying to be chaste. Our “Fertility Appreciation” program can be a valuable tool in promoting a chaste lifestyle. Many young women are sadly ignorant of how their reproductive systems work. Knowledge of monthly changes their bodies undergo can instill in them a wonderful sense of self-respect. By understanding Gods plan for marriage and sex (in that order), they are more likely to view their sexuality as a gift to be saved for marriage. Fertility appreciation programs do not teach people how to be promiscuous without “consequences.” Instead they emphasize the benefits of self-control, the sacredness of a healthy marriage commitment, and a sense that they are truly “fearfully and wonderfully made” in the image and likeness of God.
In addition to the fertility appreciation program, there are many other tools that can promote healthy behavior change. We, at One More Soul, would like to provide you with the resources you need to develop the Culture of Life. Let us know what we can do for you and with you!
May God bless you and your work!
Director, One More Soul
P.S. There is no more powerful statement confirming contraceptive use as a cause for legalized abortion than the following excerpt from the Supreme Courts Planned Parenthood v Casey decision on 29 June 1992:
“. . . for two decades (since Roe v Wade) of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.”