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Why not oppose contraception and IVF with respect to personhood amendments? November 29, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, Ecumenism, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.

When the personhood amendment was being debated in Mississippi, the pro-aborts proclaimed loudly and frighteningly that the proposed amendment would make much contraception, and procedures like in-vitro fertilization, illegal. Leave aside that both are completely amoral activities, totally detached from the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church – the pro-personhood side folks fell all over themselves trying to rebutt these claims.  To a large extent, they failed.  And to a large extent, it was this unease over potential impact on the legality of contraceptives and unnatural reproductive procedures Americans love so much that led to such lukewarm support for this personhood amendment in surprising corners – possibly including even the Church.  Because while it might be possible in present day America to get abortion declared illegal in certain locales, it will be virtually impossible to challenge the morality or legality of contraception or IVF, so why even bother? Or, if personhood amendments are a good way to make abortion illegal or extremely difficult to obtain, shouldn’t pro-lifers be “reasonable” and strive to insure that sacred things like contraception and IVF are “protected.”    Kassi Marks at Pro Life Texas says no:

The Personhood Amendment debate in Mississippi and the comments of its primary supporter, show a shocking, but all too common, truth about the “pro-life” community as a whole.  Even the proponents of the Amendment go out of their way to say that this would notban IVF and contraception.

     As a matter of philosophical consistency and logic, “Why not?”  If they are seeking to protect all embryos from the moment of conception and define them as persons, how do you then exclude these two forms of life-beginning-at-conception from the protection they say they want?  Are they not persons, too?  How can you “protect human embryos from the moment of conception” and not ban IVF and at least those forms of contraception that can be abortifacients? 

     It is important to realize how the Supreme Court got to its decision in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973).  Together Roe and Doe legalized abortion across all fifty states based principally on an alleged “right of privacy” in the U.S. Constitution because the Court had already decided Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), which is the all-too-often-forgotten case wherein the Court actually found that “right of privacy” in the context of deciding that a Connecticut law prohibiting the use of contraceptives was unconstitutional.  [Indeed, you cannot have Roe without Griswold.  And you cannot have abortion on demand without a culture addicted to contraception]

     There has been, from the very beginning, an inextricable link between contraception and abortion.  Up until about 1930, all Christian Churches [thanks, Anglicans!] condemned both contraception and abortion and were united in support of life from the moment of conception.  The only Christian Churches to remain firmly against both contraception and abortion are the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church [and sadly, the Orthodox, not so much anymore.  They now permit the use of barrier methods].  When the others changed their doctrines, they started by relaxing their views concerning contraception. [And it was not 25 years in the Anglican sect between “contraception in very limited, controlled situations” and “contraception is great for everyone, and abortion, too!”]  This clarity among and within churches regarding contraception is no longer present and it has without a doubt contributed significantly to the muddled pro-life philosophy for many well-intentioned individuals.  This link must be made clear again, especially since it is now evident that certain forms of contraception can lead to abortions.  (And, not just the “Morning After Pill,” but also certain forms of “the Pill,” IUDs, etc.)  If life begins at conception and the embryo is a person, then one cannot support abortifacient contraception. 

     And, what about the “selective reductions” after a successful IVF or the destruction of unused embryos? 

Indeed, what about them?  The problem is one of practicality – while you can, today, put together a broad-based coalition opposed to both abortion and even procedures like IVF and embryonic stem cell research, you can’t find 10% of the US population to oppose contraception.  That’s the sacred cow, that’s where the education needs to occur, that’s where minds and hearts must be changed.  We won’t be able to overturn abortion laws until we have a fundamental rethinking of America’s love affair, it’s near obsession,with contraception and the sexual license it enables.  I really mean that – we, pro-lifers, will not be able to get abortion made illegal from conception to birth until a much larger proportion of the population agrees that contraception is morally wrong. 

And yet, while you can find many a priest, thankfully, who will strongly denounce abortion from the pulpit, finding one who will denounce contraceptive use is much more difficult.  There are a few, and some of the younger priests seem less concerned over upsetting folks on this issue, but not nearly enough.  The Catholic Church is the heart and soul of the pro-life movement.  But we’re crippled philosophically and practically because the Church in this country is not fully engaged in fighting this great moral evil – a moral evil every bit as great as abortion.  Until we do, we can continue to look forward to over a hundred thousand babies being put to gruesome death, in utero, every month.  It is far past time for our leaders to get fully, completely on board with proclaiming this very unpopular, but very necessary, Truth.


1. Kassi Marks - November 30, 2011

Thank you. I believe we must be morally and intellectually honest and consistent. This means that there is even more very hard work to be done by the pro-life community – and within it.

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