Contracteption and Abortion-something worth posting about!

I couldn't believe my ears last night watching the O'Reilly Factor so much so that I had to jump on my computer and compose an email to him.  Apparently he thinks widespread birth control would save lives by reducing the number of abortions?!  I hope I set him straight with some facts from someone who is way more eloquent than myself, Dr. Janet Smith! At this time when our federal government thinks it is doing us all a service by handing out birth control for free, we all need to read up on the facts so we can dispell myths such as these!  Unfortunately, I imagine O'Reilly's views are very common.  I know he is Catholic and truly believes that this will save lives.  Many others likely feel this way as well and need to be educated as well.  (Sidenote-O'Reilly is not for this practice, but it is more for economic reasons).

Bill O'Reilly,

I thought you would know better: an increase in birth control use leads to an INCREASE in abortions, as opposed save lives! "Rather, most abortions are had because men and women who do not want a baby are having sexual intercourse and facing pregnancies they did not plan for and do not want. Because their contraceptive failed, or because they failed to use a contraceptive, they then resort to abortion as a back-up. Many believe that if we could convince men and women to use contraceptives responsibly we would reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and thus the number of abortions. Thirty years ago this position might have had some plausibility, but not now. We have lived for about thirty years with a culture permeated with contraceptive use and abortion; no longer can we think that greater access to contraception will reduce the number of abortions. Rather, wherever contraception is more readily available the number of unwanted pregnancies and the number of abortions increases greatly. " Additionally, "we need to realize that a society in which contraceptives are widely used is going to have a very difficult time keeping free of abortions since the lifestyles and attitudes that contraception fosters create an alleged "need" for abortion." Dr. Janet Smith speaks very eloquently on this topic and I have cut and pasted more of her solid arguments below from http://www.goodmorals.org/smith4.htm . Her CD titled Contraception: Why Not is invaluable (updated-the entire transcript of that CD can be found here: http://www.janetsmith.excerptsofinri.com/ ). Dr. Janet Smith would make an excellent guest on your show! I still love you, but I think you should publically redact your statement! ;)-Wheelbarrow Rider


Rather, most abortions are had because men and women who do not want a baby are having sexual intercourse and facing pregnancies they did not plan for and do not want. Because their contraceptive failed, or because they failed to use a contraceptive, they then resort to abortion as a back-up. The connection between contraception and abortion is primarily this: contraception facilitates the kind of relationships and even the kind of attitudes and moral characters that are likely to lead to abortion. The contraceptive mentality treats sexual intercourse as though it had little natural connection with babies; it thinks of babies as an "accident" of pregnancy, as an unwelcome intrusion into a sexual relationship, as a burden. The sexual revolution has no fondness — no room for — the connection between sexual intercourse and babies. The sexual revolution simply was not possible until fairly reliable contraceptives were available.

Far from being a check to the sexual revolution, contraception is the fuel that facilitated the beginning of the sexual revolution and enables it to continue to rage. In the past, many men and women refrained from illicit sexual unions simply because they were not prepared for the responsibilities of parenthood. But once a fairly reliable contraceptive appeared on the scene, this barrier to sex outside the confines of marriage fell. The connection between sex and love also fell quickly; ever since contraception became widely used, there has been much talk of, acceptance of, and practice of casual sex and recreational sex. The deep meaning that is inherent in sexual intercourse has been lost sight of; the willingness to engage in sexual intercourse with another is no longer a result of a deep commitment to another. It no longer bespeaks a willingness to have a child with another and to have all the consequent entanglements with another that babies bring. Contraception helps reduce one's sexual partner to just a sexual object since it renders sexual intercourse to be without any real commitments. Certainly one can easily imagine how attractive abortion would be in the face of a contraceptive failure — one has made not commitment to one's sexual partner or exacted one, so how can one expect one's self or one's sexual partner to take on the responsibility of raising a child. Some clinics report that up to 50% of the abortions are of pregnancies that resulted from contraceptive failure.

Furthermore, the casualness with which sexual unions are now entered is accompanied by a casualness and carelessness in the use of contraceptives. Studies show that the women having abortions are very knowledgeable about birth control methods; the great majority — eighty per cent — are experienced contraceptors but they display carelessness and indifference in their use of contraception for a variety of reasons. Contraception has enabled them to enter a sexual relationship or a life style, but while the relationship or life style continues the contraceptive practice does not continue..

One researcher reports the reasons why sexually active, contraceptively experienced women stop contracepting: she observes that some have broken up with their sexual partners and believe they will no longer need a contraceptive but they find themselves sexually active anyway. Others dislike the physical exam required for the pill, or dislike the side-effects of the pill and some are deterred by what inconvenience or difficulty there is in getting contraceptives. Many unmarried women do not like to think of themselves as sexually active; using contraceptives conflicts with their preferred self-image. The failure to use birth control is a sign that many women are not comfortable with being sexually active. That is, many of the women are engaged in an activity that, for some reason, they do not wish to admit to themselves.

Read more at http://www.goodmorals.org/smith4.htm
The "Contraception: Why Not?" talk can be found here http://www.janetsmith.excerptsofinri.com/


Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

Ugggghhhhhh!!!!!! I am so glad you wrote! So few people even connect the dots. And O'Reilly is Catholic. UGH. But then again, he always trashed JPII for his stance (the Church's unchanging stance) on human sexuality. I hated that and lost respect for him back then.

I wrote my little bit about how contraception leads to abortion:


Keep up the good fight!!

"His Perfect Timing" said...

I have listened to the "Contraception - Why Not" CD by Dr. Janet Smith. It is a good one!
I'm so glad that you wrote to Bill O'Reilly ... although he proclaims his Catholic faith, he sure chooses what he wants to "believe", which is not the way it should be.
I really hope he reads your email and has Dr. Smith on! That would be the coolest thing EVER!!!

E said...

I totally agree. I was all fired up last week when I read an editorial in our local newspaper and then submitted a letter to the editor. I seriously doubt that they will publish it, though. Good for you for sending the letter!! I could only write mine in 200 words. UGH.

Fertile Thoughts said...

I love your letter you sent! That is really awesome you stood up for the truth!!!

airing the chapel said...

Hola! I'll post this on Leila's blog since she covers a similar topic. I have to object when correlation is presented as causation and when people use misleading statistics to support what they already believe. And this is what's happening to some Catholics now that the government has said that insurance companies must now cover prescription contraception with no co-pay.

There's not more contraception options flooding the market, they're now just available for those lucky gals with insurance to not have to pay the pesky $10.

So instead of just affirming that the Church disallows birth control because everybody should be open to life, which is a hugely legitimate argument, people like Janet Smith have to say that contraception leads to abortion which is not causation.

Lots of people are waiting to get married and yes, having multiple sexual partners. So, they use birth control because they want the sex without the child. Immoral, maybe, yes but not illogical. And nobody wants to throw this out but the majority of humans are careless, often not sober, and utterly ignorant about their bodies. I just had a woman I work with who I consider intelligent tell me she just found out (and she's 33) that women are only fertile for 72 hours in a cycle. I couldn't believe it but frankly was not totally surprised.

People don't know what they are doing. So, I think everyone should pray that people get a clue about life, God, and self-control and stop dragging out that using contraception leads to an increase in abortion. Not true.

Anonymous said...

Airing the Chapel,

You wrote:

"And nobody wants to throw this out but the majority of humans are careless, often not sober, and utterly ignorant about their bodies."


"People don't know what they are doing."

So, based on that assessment of human nature you think people are capable of using birth control effectively?

I would think your assertions entail exactly the opposite of what you meant to argue. People who don't want children who are are "careless, often not sober, and utterly ignorant about their bodies" will most likely fail to use the artificial birth control methods they choose to employ without knowing it and then will end up pregnant and seek an abortion.

Wheelbarrow writer made this argument explicitly in her post which you ignored, but then again we may be able to say that the majority of humans who comment on blogs are careless, often not sober, and utterly ignorant about the arguments they encounter.

Or maybe they are just ignorant of how their bodies work. Who knows?


airing the chapel said...


You did provide me with a laugh with your reply. I agree absolutely with your first two paragraphs and you effectively restated my point. And I confidently stand by my position that if people used birth control effectively, they would not get pregnant, thus no need for abortion, which I'm sure if you are a fellow Catholic, you'd agree is a wonderful result.

While I can assure you I'm well informed and quite sober, you can't be too sure about my judgment since I can't seem to leave well enough alone by questioning the thinking within my own faith community instead of being a drone. I can't wrap my head around the idea that certain Catholics, while not partaking in contraception themselves are determined to stop others from gaining access to it.

I'll pray that you can stay on point and not resort to petty, although amusing personal attacks.

Anonymous said...

Airing the Chapel,

I see now that you exempt yourself from the majority of humans. Now that I know you are one of the smart ones I will act accordingly. The Church teaches that contraception for Catholics is a mortal sin and that use of contraceptives is an offense against the natural law. No Catholic can advocate for their use even among non Catholics without being in sin unless they are invincibly ignorant of the Church teaching on this issue.

I would love for you to respond to my tongue in cheek argument. Since you made the statement that the majority of people are stupid (basically) why do you think they are smart enough to properly use birth control?


Tridentine Wife said...

Airing the Chapel: have you been properly catechized on the teachings of the Church or do you seem to think that following the Magisterium would make you a "drone?"

airing the chapel said...

I am loathe to highjack Wheelbarrow's blog to advocate my own position, that's disrespectful. So, i'll keep this brief. First, Marc, no I don't think the majority of people are knowledgable enough to use birth control properly. That's why people are resulting to the sin, pain, and tragedy of abortion. 'Wife', I don't fault or find any problem with following the Magesterium, I do myself. But I don't think any belief should halt intelligent discourse. We're dead in mind if we stop the discussion or let the Bishops do it for us.

Anonymous said...

You gotta love it when blogger is keeping me out of my own blog. Nice. AtC-its not hijacking, its relevant discussion so no worries there. Mark, welcome. I appreciate you and TW continuing the disucssion while I was unable to comment. I agree that my points are already laid out in my post using the words of Dr. Janet Smith-contraception absolutely produces the mentality that sex is divorced from having children, and the resulting pregnancies are errors to be corrected in many cases. I also strongly feel that free contraception will increase the use because I never would have been on the pill had I not been able to get it for $4 based on my paycheck at the health clinic. Of course, I was making peanuts because I was a child, but that didn't seem to matter. I am a little offended, AtC about the drone comment myself. We follow the church because of logic, but our faith also helps us fill in where our intelligence fails us. -WBR

airing the chapel said...

WBR, I didn't mean to offend or hurt anyone's feelings; I guess I was too quick with my writing. I don't think faithful people are drones; I was just trying to say (and poorly, obviously) that I like a little debate.

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

If you like intelligent debate, then you must love being a Catholic, since we have some of the most rigorous discussions and most intelligent minds in the world. We invented the university system after all. :)

Yeah, the drone comment was a bit offensive, since I didn't know that it was Catholics who are following along like lemmings. Wouldn't that be the greater culture, who just accept contraception as a given, with no real discussio at all? That seems so drone-like to me. And, as far as obedience, I think that is a Christian virtue. Jesus was obedient, "even unto death". Obedience is not a dirty word to Catholics, nor is humility, nor is reason. We like them all.

I answered your comment on my own blog post, and I do hope you get a chance to answer.

In the meantime, please remember that to advocate for contraception is (as Marc said) a mortal sin in and of itself. It's one thing to question and try to understand, and it's another to put oneself at odds with Christ's Church and advocate for grave sin as if it were no big deal and none of anyone's concern.

I hope you can see the distinction.


Beth said...

Good for you WBR! Hopefully Bill will read it and get a new perspective. Lord knows he could use one ;)