Tom and Jerry: Defenders of All Things Right and Good

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ads on METRO #5: CFFC - Part I

The paradoxically named "Catholics for a Free Choice" placed this ad (63k PDF) in several METRO stations. It boldly tells us "how to end the abortion wars."

The fine print gives CFFC's utopian solution. First, widely distribute contraception and encourage people to use it. Second, provide universal health care and child care. Third, prevent abortion, but keep it legal.

How implementing their socialist agenda will encourage the pro-life movement to give up the fight remains unclear.

Let me address CFFC's fine print one line at a time:

Picture a world where safe and reliable birth control is affordable and everybody uses it.

We already live in such a world. The safest and most reliable form of birth control is abstinence. It is already available for everybody to use and it is free. You can't get more affordable than that.

Where the decision to become a parent is made responsibly.

No disagreement here. The most responsible time to be a parent is in marriage. Everyone knows how one becomes a parent and we all know the most effective way of not being a parent (abstinence). The Church teaches chastity all over the world. Responsible people should listen.

Where parents have easy access to child care.

Parents could care for the child themselves. Of course some working parents are in the difficult position of not being able to be with their kids 24/7. They would certainly benefit from universal child care. CFFC's socialist agenda would have that service provided by the state. If the government raised poor children the way it educates poor children, the prospects are truly frightening for the kids who are most likely to need government care. Charitable organizations, or better yet, extended family, are best suited for this task. Besides, if a pregnant woman cannot afford child care and therefore decides she should not keep her baby, there is a long line of couples waiting to adopt.

Where people have health care whether or not they have a job.

Another noble ideal. However, socialized medicine has been a failure almost everywhere it has been implemented. We have an imperfect health care system to be sure, but CFFC's proposal will only make things worse. Besides, crisis pregnancy centers (which outnumber abortion clinics) offer free health care to pregnant mothers. The thousands of couples waiting to adopt are often willing to provide care to the mother during pregnancy, and will certainly provide care to the child after he or she is born.

Where sex is both serious and pleasurable

I fully agree. The Church teaches sex is not just serious, but sacred. Birth control distorts the sanctity of sex. By the way, according to Pope John Paul's II Theology of the Body, sex is definitely meant to be pleasurable. It is most fulfilling physically, emotionally and spiritually when it is practiced within the bonds of matrimony and open to life.

In this world, abortions aren’t illegal. They’re prevented.
Isn’t that the best choice of all?

This CFFC utopia would not prevent abortions. If it would, then why would abortion need to be legal? Aside from abstinence or surgically removing the sexual organs, no form of birth control is 100% effective. Further, many forms of contraception actually cause early abortions.

Birth control is not about preventing pregnancy or abortion. Abstinence can do that. Birth control is about allowing people to have sex whenever they want without the consequence of children. Abortion is the last line of defense against that unwanted consequence.

Pope John Paul II addresses this issue in EVANGELIUM VITAE:
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.

Finally, opposing abortion by "preventing" it while advocating for keeping it legal is morally untenable position. More on that next week.

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