Abortion as a Contraceptive Back-up

Many couples use contraception in order to avoid pregnancy. It is promoted as a remedy to avoid abortion but, in fact, this is not always the case.
  • Every culture which has opened the doors to contraception has  experienced an increased incidence of abortion.
  • The connection is evident in the fact that both IUDs and contraceptive pills are known to have abortifacient capacities.
  • Emergency contraception pills prevent an embryo from implanting in the uterine wall.
  • Contraception takes the baby-making element out of sexual intercourse, when it fails, abortion is seen as the solution.
  • Abortion is now defended as a form of birth control.
The links between abortion and contraception are more and more widely recognized, and not only in Catholic circles.

Abortion and contraception are linked by a common mentality. Pope John Paul II wrote in his encyclical The Gospel of Life, "It is frequently asserted that contraception, if made safe and available to all, is the most effective remedy against abortion.

"The Catholic Church is then accused of actually promoting abortion, because she obstinately continues to teach the moral unlawfulness of contraception. When looked at carefully, this objection is clearly unfounded.

"It may be that many people use contraception with a view to excluding the subsequent temptation of abortion. But the negative values inherent in the "contraceptive mentality" - which is very different from responsible parenthood, lived in respect for the full truth of the conjugal act - are such that they in fact strengthen this temptation when an unwanted life is conceived.

"Indeed, the pro-abortion culture is especially strong precisely where the Church's teaching on contraception is rejected" (n. 13).

They are linked sociologically.
Every culture and subculture which has opened the doors to contraception has likewise experienced an increased practice of abortion. The Alan Guttmacher Institute, a research division of Planned Parenthood, indicates the following as the main reasons women offer for their abortions.

"On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: (i) that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about (ii) they cannot afford a child; and (iii) they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner" (from the website www.agi-usa.org).

They are sometimes linked by being identical.
It has been known for many years now that certain "contraceptives" actually act as abortifacients.

The connection between contraception and abortion is evident in the fact that both IUDs and contraceptive pills are known to have abortifacient capacities.

Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia, (Vol. 146, 1987) Dr Alan Trounson and Professor Karl Wood called for greater freedom to carry out destructive experiments on human embryos on the grounds that the community already accepted he use of "intrauterine devices which kill early embryos".

The fact that the Pill can act as an abortifacient was well documented by John Wilks in his 1996 book A Consumers Guide to the Pill and Other Drugs (TGB Books, Melbourne). The Pill acts as a contraceptive when it suppresses ovulation or when it prevents the sperm reaching the egg by altering female secretions.

However, if these modes of operation fail, the Pill can still act to prevent implantation of the fertilised egg in which case it induces an abortion. In Chapter 1 of the book, Wilks presents the scientific data pointing to the abortifacient nature of the Pill.

Jill Stanek, who become a leader in the Illinois conservative movement fighting to stop "live birth abortions" after witnessing one while on nursing duty, has this to say:
"My eyes used to glaze over when Catholics would start talking about the evils of birth control."
"My eyes used to glaze over when Catholics would start talking about the evils of birth control. I thought they were simply taking a good concept too far when they said that not only is killing unborn children wrong, but taking measures to prevent pregnancy is wrong, too.

"But that began to change this past summer when I learned that a nurse named Carol Olmstead quit her job at the Illinois Valley Economic Development Corporation family planning clinic in Greene County rather than be forced to dispense emergency contraception (EC), also known as the "morning after" birth control pill. Nurse Olmstead thought doing so would make her a participant in an early form of abortion."

Stanek checked it out and found that birth control pills and ECs stop pregnancy one of four ways: by killing sperm, by stopping ovulation, by making an egg impermeable to sperm, or by not allowing a fertilized egg to attach to the wall of the uterus. The last potential action is what caused Nurse Olmstead to quit her job.

Stanek's article, A Protestant analyzes contraception is found at Illinois Leader.com.

The Link
Professor Janet Smith, who is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Dallas, also drew attention to the link between contraception and abortion when she said:

Contraception makes pregnancy seem like an accident of sexual intercourse rather than the natural consequence
"Contraception takes the baby-making element out of sexual intercourse. It makes pregnancy seem like an accident of sexual intercourse rather than the natural consequence that responsible individuals ought to be prepared for. Abortion, then, becomes thinkable as a solution to an unwanted pregnancy.

"Contraception enables those who are not prepared to care for babies to engage in sexual intercourse; when they become pregnant, they resent the unborn child for intruding itself upon their lives and they turn to the solution of abortion.

"It should be no surprise that countries that are permeated by contraceptive sex, fight harder for access to abortion than they do to ensure that all babies can survive both in the womb and out..."

NZ 2003 abortion figures
In 2003, 18,510 abortions were performed in New Zealand. The proportion of induced abortions that are repeat abortions has remained at about 34 percent (or one in three) of all abortions for the past four years. One in ten women having an abortion in 2003 had had two or more previous abortions.
Induced Abortions by Number of Previous Abortions 
1991–2003
                         
December Year Number of Previous Abortions  
None   One   Two or More    
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
1991          8,913   76.8   2,163   18.6   537   4.6  
  2003     12,169   65.7   4,473   24.2   1,869   10.1  
www.stats.govt.nz

Compare the rates of repeat induced abortions for 1991

Abortion as birth control
Abortion is often used because the woman simply doesn't want to be pregnant.

Those advocating legalization initially argued that abortion should be an option only in extreme cases - when the mother is in poverty, has a history of child abuse, has been raped or the baby will be born handicapped.

When abortion was permitted in NZ in certain circumstances in 1977, it soon became the most common form of elective surgery, used not merely for extreme cases but often because the woman simply doesn't want to be pregnant. Abortion is now defended as a form of birth control.