Paul VI, despite his deficiencies which led to unprecedented disasters in the Liturgy and the Faith as part of the aftermath of Vatican II, was notably accurate in his predictions on the effects of contraceptives. The effects of artificial contraception as outlined in his landmark encyclical “Humanae Vitae” are worth mentioning and evaluating:
1. General lowering of moral standards
2. A rise in infidelity and illegitimacy
3. Reduction of women to objects used to satisfy men
4. Government coercion in reproductive matters
As forty years have passed since this landmark encyclical, let us explore the effects of contraception as it concerns what Paul VI predicted. The results are grave.
Contraception has become commonplace in our culture. Whether in the form of the birth control pill, injections, implants, or condoms, the purpose of contraception is to prevent procreation, or the creation of a child. But while contraception may be readily available in pharmacies, supermarkets, and doctors’ offices that does not mean that it is morally acceptable.
Since contraception is designed to prevent the development of a new human life, it is anti-life in nature. Therefore, it opposes the Will of God, the Divine Author of Life. As Pope Paul VI stated in the encyclical Humanae Vitae, “Every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil.
The Catholic Church recognizes a definite link between contraception and abortion. To begin with, some contraceptives, known as abortifacients, cause chemical abortions. Both IUDs and the birth control pill can kill tiny human embryos. In his book, A Consumers Guide to the Pill and Other Drugs, author John Wilks noted that the birth control pill is contraceptive in nature when it prevents ovulation or blocks the sperm from reaching the egg. If, however, the pill prevents the implantation of the fertilized egg, it is, in fact, causing a chemical abortion, since life begins at fertilization, or conception.
From a simple compare and contrast point of view, there is little room to doubt that society over the past 60 years has become degenerate in its moral standards. Look no further than the media. What is permissible for a child to say or be exposed to and what is allowed to be discussed in public are abhorrent. The list is long and as Paul VI predicted, society has become more and more lacking in morals in the years since artificial contraception became prevalent in society.
As to his second point, the amount of children being born to parents who are not married is staggering. The percentage of first births to cohabiting women tripled from 9% in 1985 to 27% for births from 2003 to 2010. This rise in first births to cohabiting women parallels increases in first births to unmarried women overall. Of first births from 2006-10, 46% were to unmarried mothers, compared with 38% in 2002. (Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Survey of Family Growth 2006-2010).
Infidelity is the act of cheating on a spouse. Statistics show the rate of infidelity in the US rose drastically over the last 25 years. The divorce rate has risen from 20% in 1960 (that is population wide and not only Catholics who at the time were virtually zero) to over 50%!
For those who continue to claim that contraception reduces abortion, the statistics over the past fifty plus years shows this to be far from true. An article in LifeSiteNews by journalist Peter Baklinski states:
“Most abortions result from failed contraception,” admitted Joyce Arthur, founder and executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, earlier this year.
The United State’s highest court had no difficulty in seeing the causal link between contraception and abortion in a 1992 ruling that confirmed Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that brought legal abortion to America.
In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court argued that in some critical respects abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception: “...for two decades 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.”
What the Supreme Court pointed out is that in a contracepting society, abortion not only becomes a necessity, but it becomes the ultimate fail-safe method of birth control. In the mind of the court, contraception doesn’t lessen the need for abortion, but on the contrary, contraception precipitates abortion.
Dr. Janet Smith, a professor, author, and national speaker, agrees with Dr. Irving: "Contraception leads us to believe that sex can be a momentary encounter, not a life-long commitment. It has brought about the concept of 'accidental pregnancy.'"
“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,” she wrote.
Put differently, contraception radically changes the meaning and purpose of sex. Contraception turns the sexual act between a man and a woman that is biologically ordered towards the creation of a new life into a parody of the act, where a newly created life can suddenly be viewed as an uninvited and unwelcome guest. Abortion becomes the easy solution by which the parent permanently and violently disinvites the unwelcome guest.
With the Governmental mandate forcing individuals and companies to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees, and with other anti-information initiatives including ObamaCare, we see again the prediction of Paul VI coming true.
Contraceptives are destroying marriages, killing lives, increasing violence against women, and destroying society. It would be in the best interest of us – not only from a spiritual but even from a secular point of view – to eliminate contraceptives altogether.