Contraception Prevents Abortion?

April 10, 2018 09:00 AM

By Jim Sedlak

Patheos blogger Ed Brayton recently posted an opinion piece entitled “Shocker! Birth Control Access Reduces Abortion.”

It is a tongue-in-cheek headline to highlight what he believes is an obvious fact. His opening line confirms this, as he writes: “In the least shocking news ever, a new study shows that if women of childbearing age had better access to the full range of birth control options, it would dramatically reduce the number of abortions.”

Brayton’s blog is a report on recent research done by Child Trends and paid for by the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. The research was not done with live individuals but is a statistical research approach using a digital simulation model. The question the research sought to answer was: What would be the nationwide pregnancy outcomes “if all women not seeking pregnancy used the same mix of effective contraceptive methods as women who had participated in a [2015] evaluation study conducted by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)? According to Child Trends, “A subset of Planned Parenthood health centers implemented a clinic-based intervention designed to increase awareness of the full range of contraceptive methods available and improve uptake of more effective contraceptive methods.”

The basic conclusion of that research “suggest[s] that if the mix of contraceptives used by U.S. women ages 15 to 39 (not seeking pregnancy) matched that found in the study sample of Planned Parenthood clinics after an intervention that provided access to the full range of contraceptive methods and contraceptive counseling, there would be [a reduction of] unintended pregnancies by 64 percent, unintended births by 63 percent, and abortions by 67 percent.”


This whole research simulation has one basic flaw and I hope that every pro-lifer reading this commentary already knows what it is.

Do you know?

The basic flaw of this research is the assumption that modern-day contraceptive methods work by preventing ovulation and/or fertilization so that no human being is created. That assumption is wrong. Modern-day contraceptives work mainly by preventing implantation of an already created human being in the uterus. In other words, it kills the child before he can implant.

The Child Trends research only shows that by using the full range of contraceptives available at Planned Parenthood, less children will die at abortion facilities and more children will die in the womb, unseen and forgotten.

There are two basic errors in the thinking of those who push the contraceptive mindset. The first, as just described, is the failure to acknowledge the fact that contraception kills human beings. The second is even more severe. The idea behind contraception is man telling God that we don’t want any of His children to be created while we are having sex—because we know better than God.

In the 1920s, in New York City, Catholic archbishop Patrick J. Hayes had a public “battle” with Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. In his 1921 Christmas pastoral letter, Archbishop Hayes made this statement about contraception:

Heinous is the sin committed against the creative act of God, Who through the marriage contract invites man and woman to cooperate with Him in the propagation of the human family. To take life after its inception is a horrible crime; but to prevent human life that the Creator is about to bring into being, is satanic. In the first instance, the body is killed, while the soul lives on; in the latter, not only a body but an immortal soul is denied existence in time and in eternity. It has been reserved to our day to see advocated shamelessly the legalizing of such a diabolical thing.

This admonition against abortion and contraception was repeated by Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae (Paragraph 14) when he wrote:

We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary.

Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.

Those who continually advocate for the use of contraception to reduce the number of abortions are simply wrong. It doesn’t matter if it is researchers using a simulated model or Planned Parenthood trying to increase its profits or the devil trying to steal souls from heaven.

In today’s world, there are competing interests trying to lead us astray. For those of us who were fortunate enough to grow up with the Baltimore Catechism and who are aware that every human being is created by God, we always remember the basics:

Q. Why did God make you?

A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.

Anything that hinders achieving our ultimate goal of heaven is to be avoided. Perhaps I should have titled this commentary “Shocking! Conforming Our Will to God’s Will Leads Us to Heaven.”


Jim Sedlak is vice president of American Life League, founder of STOPP International, a host of a weekly talk show on the Radio Maria Network.

image: Amber McNamara via Flickr | CC-2.0

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