There is a strong relationship between the sexual revolution and abortion. The sexual revolution separated the two natural aims or ends of sex since time immemorial: babies and bonding. The revolution claimed people can have the bonding (pleasure of sex) without the babies (most famously through the Pill). This mentality has led us to believe that we have a “right” to sex without procreation at all times.
In many cases, (except for the pregnancies that happen even amongst religious Pill users) contraception does what it was intended to do — though not without consequences. And yet, because as a society we’ve come to expect that our sex will be sterile, when it isn’t and a baby results from that union, we are shocked or even horrified. There must be a way out, we insist. This wasn’t the plan.
It’s all right there in the Supreme Court’s rationale for the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey case, which reaffirmed the original 1973 Roe v. Wade decision: “The Roe rule’s limitation on state power could not be repudiated without serious inequity to people who, for two decades of economic and social developments, have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.” (A good book to read on the subject is “Adam and Eve After the Pill” by Mary Eberstadt.)
In “Theology of the Body for Beginners,” I recently read this quote:
Sexual pleasure is a great blessing and gift from God, of course. But it is meant to be the fruit of loving as He loves, not an end in itself. When pleasure becomes the main goal of sex, society becomes utilitarian. You’re valued if you’re useful. And, in this case, you’re useful if you stimulate my lusts. If you don’t, or you get in the way of my pleasure, you will be ignored, discarded, maybe even exterminated. When pleasure is the main goal of sex, people become the means and babies become the obstacle.
These are chilling words to consider, especially in light of recent news stories about women who have been physically threatened, abused, or killed for refusing to have abortions. I posted just last week about two such stories, and already another is in my news feed this week (archives of documented cases are here).
But the sexual revolution hasn’t just negatively impacted preborn children. Hormonal contraception has been far from the unqualified panacea for women that they were told it would be ad nauseum by Cosmopolitan magazine, Planned Parenthood, and others.
Frighteningly, multiple women died during trials of the original high-dosage Pill in Puerto Rico and yet research was not halted (corresponding trials of the Pill in men were stopped early after slight testicular shrinkage was noted). Furthermore, there is a connection between contraception and depression, especially amongst teenage users, and even young women have experienced fatal or near-fatal blood clots. Hormonal birth control comes with an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, cervical cancer, and sexually transmitted diseases, even in otherwise healthy women. Reports have even shown that it may affect women’s relationships and their choice of sexual partners. Hormonal contraception makes the wombless male body society’s ideal, viewing female fertility as a roadblock to a successful career. Is it any wonder that a new generation of young women is turning to natural means of managing their fertility?
Clearly, the prevailing “anything goes” culture when it comes to sexual activity is strikingly, devastatingly out of touch with reality, and the contraceptive mentality separating sex entirely from procreation has done a great deal of damage. What more will it take before we as a society are able to acknowledge this?
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