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Contraception doesn’t equal abortion

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, January 23, 2008

First, I’d like to say that the Catholic Church promotes using family planning as a method of birth control acknowledging that a couple is still open to life. How is that any different from other forms of birth control? I’m not saying it justifies abortion, but what I am saying is that currently, people do decide when to create life and when not to. By being abstinent, you are deciding not to create life, and even having sex while using any form of contraception, the possibility of life is always there. So to say, “If you claim the right to decide when life begins you will predictably claim the right to decide when it ends, as in abortion and euthanasia,” is still just “predictably.” It doesn’t mean someone is right to make such a jump, but we also live in a world where we mix pro-life with anti-abortion. Pro-life is pro-helping foster children, anti-death penalty, pro-improving the adoption system, pro-economic justice, and pro-social justice.

The truth is that our world is becoming increasingly small due to improvements in health care and technology. The result is that you can not tell everyone to just pop out kids all the time because then we’ll all have huge families, the world will get overpopulated, and we will all fight over resources. Wait, we already do that. Not that huge families are bad, but years ago, having many kids was part of a necessity for survival. We are surviving, far longer than ever in human history, and we do not need to have a litter of kids because most of them will live to reach adulthood. So, let’s try this, every married person: Abstain from sex for two weeks out of each month, then you’ll only have kids five percent of the time. That, however, deprives us of our sexual being, and in fact, simplifying sexuality down to sex down to reproduction deprives us of our sexual being.

Did God not create the clitoris? Does sex not feel great? Is there not pleasure involved? Well, there is, and to deny that the importance of pleasure in building a relationship with another person and God is to deny a piece of us that is God-given. Contraception only impedes, but doesn’t do away with, the possibility for life. Now, abortion, that clearly ends life, and I am anti-abortion due to abortion being done not out of love for our neighbors as Jesus loves our neighbors. The point I’m trying to make is that the Catholic Church could do a world of good if it considered just for a moment that contraception doesn’t equal abortion. Their form of contraception, family planning, has the same results as others – that it prevents pregnancy from occurring most of the time – but people can still get pregnant.

Robert McKeon

graduate student

Fischer Graduate Residence

Jan. 23