Letter to the WCP Editor – 3.15.12
Posted: Friday, March 16, 2012 1:14 pm
To the Editor,
It’s hard to know where to begin addressing the erroneous remarks in the American Forum opinion piece, “Contraception and quality of life,” in last Thursday’s (March 8) edition of The Weakley County Press. There are so many serious issues to be addressed.
First is the question, “Are contraceptives beneficial or harmful to a woman’s body?” The answer is contraceptives are clearly harmful.
Many FDA approved contraceptives are known carcinogens, classed by the International Agency of Cancer Research in the same class as cigarettes and asbestos. The National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/oral-contraceptives reports an increased risk of breast, cervical and liver cancer in women taking oral contraceptives.
In addition to increased risk for many types of cancer, chemical contraceptives carry a risk of heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders, brain disorders, depression, skin disorders, kidney disease, permanent damage to the reproductive system, inability to conceive and much more.
The opinion piece states contraceptives reduce the incidence of STDs. This is not true. The truth is that contraceptive use encourages unhealthy and immoral sexual practices, which drive the need for more health-care services in the areas of STD treatment and abortion services. STDs did not decrease and were not prevented with the availability of contraceptives. Infection rates skyrocketed through the 1970s and 1980s. AIDS, which appeared on the scene later, continues to show horribly high rates.
The second question: Are contraceptives good for society?
The American Forum opinion piece states contraceptives are beneficial to society, that they increase the quality of family life and aid the economy by allowing mothers to work and go to school.
With widespread availability of contraceptives in the early 1960s, proponents predicted the following societal benefits:
1. Happier marriages and lower divorce rates since couples could have all the sex they wanted without “fear” of pregnancy.
2. Lower abortion rates since there would be far fewer “unwanted” children.
3. Greater dignity for women who will no longer be “bound” by their reproductive system.
Let’s look at each of these predictions and see if they came true.
• The divorce rate did not decline. It skyrocketed. Divorce rates soared through the 1970s to the 1990s to almost 50 percent of marriages failing.
• Abortion rates did not decrease; they skyrocketed as well. Within five years the pressure to have more abortions available led to its “legalization” in 1973. It has been well argued that, far from decreasing the abortion rate, contraception actually fueled it. Since contraception routinely fails, abortion became the “contraception of last recourse.” In addition, huge increases in open promiscuity, cohabitation, and pornography followed in the wake of “the pill.” All of these behaviors fuel abortion rates.
• The question of women’s dignity is hard to measure. Women do have greater career choices but does having a career equate to dignity? Are women happier now juggling children and jobs? Do women who have eschewed motherhood for careers find themselves fulfilled as women?
Here is what contraception has done and does for women:
• The dignity of women as wives and mothers has been set aside in favor of the sexual pleasure they offer.
• Many modern men, no longer bound by marriage for sexual satisfaction, use women and discard them on a regular basis. Women are often left with STDs, they are often left with children, and as they get older and “less attractive” they are often left alone.
Is this “dignity” for women?
There are more consequences to contraception:
• huge teenage pregnancy rates
• the devastation of single parent families and even poverty. Single motherhood is the chief cause of poverty in this country. Contraception encourages promiscuity. Promiscuity leads to teenage pregnancy. Teenage pregnancy leads to single motherhood (absent fatherhood). Single motherhood leads to welfare and poverty.
Far from solving social problems, as the HHR mandate would have us believe, contraception is the direct CAUSE of so many devastating social problems.
Now, on to the issues the American Forum opinion piece raises against “catering to religious groups,” in particular the Roman Catholic Church.
Our Constitution states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
– Bill of Rights, Article 1
This is not a question about special interest groups, in this case the Roman Catholic Church, but constitutional freedoms. This is about the free practice of religion for every American citizen. To demand Catholics pay for contraceptives and abortions is to tell Catholics they have to stop being Catholic. Is this what we want in this country?
Finally, The American Forum opinion accuses the Catholic Church of hypocrisy when the Catholic Church refuses to pay for contraceptives but will pay for Viagra. It is obvious the writers of the opinion do not know Catholic teaching. They assert the Catholic Church teaches “sex is only for procreation.” This is not true.
The Catholic Church holds that human life is sacred and the act that brings about new human life (i.e. sexual intercourse) is sacred as well. It is a participation with the Creator in the work of creation. Sadly, our culture has lost the meaning of sacred, where now everything is profane, including human life. In modern society, human life is regarded as disposable and dispensable; all that matters is selfish pleasure and material gain. But the Catholic Church teaches the greatest good is found in self-giving and generosity.
Catholic Church teaching maintains that the sexual act, because it is a participation in the divine life-creating, life-giving work, must be open to life. Contraceptives oppose life – that’s what the very word “contraception” means. Viagra does not oppose life so there is no hypocrisy or contradiction in the Catholic Church disapproving one and not the other.
Please consider the grave consequences of the contraception mandate. I do hope all Americans concerned with preserving their constitutionally-guaranteed liberties will oppose these assaults by our government on these liberties. And I hope that all Americans who value human life will stand with the Catholic Church in fighting to restore a sense of the sacred to our nation.