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Condoms are not the cause

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Eleanore Strong recently argued in her Letter to the Editor (“Contraceptive society morally harmful”) that contraceptives threaten humanity as condoms and other forms of sexual-protection “erode respect for human life.” But there is something else plaguing the world, and it too has no “respect for human life.” It’s called HIV and this pandemic has already claimed the lives of 25 million people.

We, however, can fight this disease with that which Strong finds so morally repulsive – condoms. To end this great death requires more than idealistic policies of abstinence. These have been proven to be insufficient and leave future victims without the ability to make personal decisions and to protect themselves. As she continues in her misguided approach to solving the world’s moral afflictions, Strong contends that contraception robs the human race of a “stable, loving family” structure.

Guess what? There are 40 million AIDS orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa and I don’t think condoms have orphaned anyone yet. You may find it morally wrong to protect the gift of life and the promise of a family through sexual-protection, but I think otherwise. The letter continues with her attack on such preventative-measures, claiming contraceptives “implicitly condone promiscuity.” This broad assumption lacks any empirical evidence. Sexual protection allows for couples to physically express themselves without the fear of death, disease or an unwanted pregnancy. In no means do they cause individuals to have sex. They simply serve as protection, not as encouragement.

And she doesn’t stop there. Strong alleges that the prevalence of contraceptives in our society has also caused a terrible sequence of events: they lead to more abortions and the spread of AIDS. These claims are devoid of truth, any supportive evidence, and are the result of reckless, misguided assumptions. Contraceptives prevent unwanted pregnancies that could easily result in more abortions and condoms prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS. Such preposterous attitudes toward sexual protection have already claimed the lives of millions in Africa, where rumors suggest having sex with a virgin to cure AIDS. To further such lies is surely more immoral than choosing to protect oneself. To dismiss contraceptives as immoral is to call wearing a seatbelt a sin. They provide a healthy choice for individuals wishing to express themselves with a partner and encourage physical and mental well being. It is a blessing that we now have an avenue to stop the spread of AIDS. It is time to utilize it and we have a moral obligation to do so.

Daniel Savage


Morissey Hall

Jan. 23