The Contraceptive Ethic

Why divide the pro-life movement by bringing up contraception?
Excerpts from Fifty Questions on Abortion, Euthanasia and Related Issues by Charles E. Rice

We tend to forget that it was only in 1930 that any Christian denomination, for the first time ever, declared that contraception could ever be objectively right under any circumstances.  This was the Anglican Lambeth Conference of 1930.  Because the Catholic Church has been unyielding in upholding the traditional Christian teaching on contraception, many today assume that opposition to contraception is merely a sectarian Catholic tenet.

On the contrary, until the 20th century, all Christendom affirmed the moral evil and social danger of contraception.  “The anti-contraception laws of 19th century America were passed by Protestants for a largely Protestant America.” [Kippley, Birth Control and Christian Discipleship]

When a committee of the Federal Council of Churches endorsed in 1931 “the careful and restrained use of contraception by married people,” a Washington Post editorial replied, “Carried to its logical conclusion, the Committee’s report, if carried into effect, would sound the death knell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality.  The suggestion that the use of legalized contraceptives would be ‘careful and restrained’ is preposterous.”

Some pro-life groups [including Oregon Right To Life] take no position on contraception.  Instead, they concentrate exclusively on restoring legal protection for existing life.  This attitude, however, is a prescription for defeat.  Abortion and euthanasia are merely symptoms of the underlying rebellion against God which is manifested through secularism, relativism and the contraceptive ethic.

To attempt to combat abortion and euthanasia while maintaining neutrality on contraception is futile.

Thus, Pope John Paul II, on March 1, 1986, said to the International Right-to-Life Federation, “Your organization is rightly concerned with a broad range of issues related to human life.  At the same time, you know the necessity of focusing on specific problems which demand urgent attention and action, such as the evils of abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and contraception, all of which are intimately connected with the Church’s teaching.  Whatever endeavors you undertake should be a consistent expression of an integral philosophy based on the belief that God is the Lord and Giver of all life.”

Source:  American Life League Associate Newsletter, Vol. 7 No. 6, 02/08/10


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