LegalWorks Apostolate - Counsel for a Culture of Life

Planned Parenthood's Myth that Birth Control Reduces the Need for Abortion

By Gerri Laird

In response to the passage of Rep. Mike Pence's amendment to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds for any purpose, Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, commented "...It is difficult to understand why people who say they are opposed to abortion would do so much to undermine the family planning and contraception that helps prevent the need for it..." Writer Kirsten Powers initially agreed with these words and opposed cutting off government funding for Planned Parenthood...until she did a little research ("Busting the Birth-Control Myth," The Daily Beast, March 4, 2011).

Powers cites a 10-year study (2009) of women in Spain in which contraceptive use increased about 31%, while the elective abortion rate more than doubled. The situation in the United States is similar: Planned Parenthood's own research arm, Guttmacher Institute, reveals that not a single woman claimed an unexpected pregnancy because she was unable to access birth control. Furthermore, 54% of women who had abortions were using a contraceptive during the month they conceived. So much for birth control reducing abortions!

Contraception (and for that matter sterilization) alters a major healthy functioning part of the body, ignoring human dignity by reducing persons to things. Thus, if it is okay to change our bodies so they can be used for mere gratification, then abortion becomes the backstop for failed birth control: the parents "own" the baby because they "produced" him/her. If the baby is perceived as a "product of conception" - "a non-person" - to be discarded, then the decision to abort seems not only acceptable, but perhaps even reasonable.

Birth control and abortion are fruits of the same tree - the tree that also produces fornication, adultery, in vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, homosexuality, pornography, masturbation, child abuse, etc. All these behaviors involve the loss of dignity of one or more persons who are used as things rather than loved as persons made in the image and likeness of God.

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