Why contraception doesn't prevent abortions

Jenny Uebbing

The pill. Credit: Jess Hamilton (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Hear me out.

Possibly thanks to Obamacare and probably thanks to willful ignorance and most likely due to Planned Parenthood's eternal campaign of misleading statistics and empty promises, there's a funny little notion going round the world today that contraception helps to prevent – or to somehow reduce the number of – abortions. And as even some of the most battle hardened, women's rights crusaders will agree: that's a good thing.

Fewer abortions good, less birth control bad. Because one is dependent upon the other, right?


Abortion and birth control are two sides of the same coin. The currency of which is the prevention and/or the destruction of nascent human life. While some forms of contraception, such as the condom or the diaphragm, are not themselves capable of destroying human life, (as are many chemical contraceptives, including forms of the Pill, the patch, and IUDs) they are a kind of “gateway drug” into the abortion mentality.

For a woman – or a couple – who are seeking to avoid pregnancy by means of contraception, they have already set themselves up as being “against the beginning” of life. (From the Latin: contra: against, ception: beginning) As such, when the “unthinkable” occurs, be it breakthrough ovulation, or a broken condom, the new parents panic. They weren't planning on getting pregnant; they were planning on having sterile, questionably unitive sex divorced from procreative sex. When their attempts to thwart nature and the moral law fail, they seek the next logical solution: abortion.

I'm not saying that any couple using contraception would be open to considering abortion, should their birth control method fail them. What I am saying is that the very act of using “birth control” (an oxymoron if ever there was one) pits prospective parents against prospective offspring.

In other words: they have made their children their enemies.

This is the fundamental reasoning behind the Jewish theological understanding of abortion as an act of justifiable violence against the fetus as “intruder” in a woman's body. Without denying the humanity – or at least the nascent humanity – of the unborn, the Torah makes exception for abortion when the mother's life is “threatened” by her unborn child or the pregnancy sustaining that child.

But I digress. The issue here is the ridiculous claim that widely available contraception, whether “free” or low cost, is a fantastic safeguard against abortion.

“Look,” the argument goes, “People are going to have sex – lots of it. They need to have access to substances or contraptions which prevent pregnancies from resulting from all that sex. Otherwise, the world will be overrun with unwanted adult fetuses. Can you imagine?!”

Contraception, in other words, is a solution to the problem of people. Too many, too closely-spaced in age, too much medical baggage, wrong chromosomal or genetic makeup ... you name it.

The thing is, abortion is also a solution to the problem of people. It's just a solution which acts a bit further down the line, in most cases.

I can hear the enraged sputtering from here, so before anyone self-induces carpal tunnel with a frenzied comment session, let me be clear: I do not believe most people who contracept would choose to intentionally abort their child. At least not in the stereotypical, visibly-pregnant and hurrying furtively into a dirty corner “clinic” with a pocket full of twenties.

What I do believe, however, is that people who choose to contracept are damaging their consciences and hardening their hearts in a very real way, whether or not they acknowledge or comprehend the sinful nature of their actions.

Sin, you see, has consequences. Whether or not we acknowledge our actions as sinful ... heck, whether or not we even believe in sin, reality stands. And the reality is, contraception and abortion are about as intrinsically linked as are sugar and cavities. One doesn't always cause the other, but it sure as heck predisposes the midnight snacker to more frequent trips to the dentist's chair.

So please, when you hear politicians - or your Pilates classmates - tossing around the “birth control prevents abortion” stat, set the record straight: birth control does not prevent abortion.

Self-control prevents abortion.

A properly formed conscience informing the owner of the wrongness of murder prevents abortion.

Abstinence prevents abortion.

Education prevents abortion.

But a little pink pill? I don't think so.

There's a reason, after all, that Planned Parenthood is fighting so hard to keep Obamacare and its promises of subsidized hormones alive.

Their bottom line depends upon it.

Topics: Abortion , Contraception , Culture , Current Events , Education , Feminism , Sexuality

Jenny Uebbing is the content editor of Heroic News, a web-based news service dedicated to life and cultural issues (HeriocNews.org).  She is actively involved in the Archdiocese of Denver, speaking and writing on matters of bioethics, human sexuality, contraception, and John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. A graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, she and her husband David reside in Denver with their young family.

View all articles by Jenny Uebbing

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