contraception

William_Bouguereau_-_The First Mourning

A Time to Kill

In the 1996 crime drama film A Time to Kill, a ten-year-old black girl named Tonya is violently raped by two white supremacists. She survives and the men are arrested, but before an all-white jury they will likely walk free. So Tonya’s father, Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel L. Jackson), takes the law into his own [...]

Humanae Vitae and the Sensus Fidelium

“In matters of faith the baptized cannot be passive.” ~ International Theological Commission “Easter is a big deal at St. John’s,” Doug Barnes observes about his church. “It’s like the second-biggest deal behind Christmas.” If you remember your Catechism, you’ll know that Barnes is dead wrong—at least from a theological and liturgical perspective. Easter (Alleluia! [...]

Reactions to the Pope’s Encyclical on Contraception

It is interesting now to look back at the various reactions when the pope issued his encyclical on contraception. I dug up the following, and I think they pretty much speak for themselves. It is hardly necessary to add any comments at all except to say how little things have changed. A leader from an [...]

The Two Masks of Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Relief Services is back in the news, this time for charges related to a sex ed program it implemented for the federal government in Kenya. Since such headlines are no longer surprising, some background may be helpful before considering this most recent case. In trying to understand the ongoing controversy regarding “the official international [...]

A Tocquevillian Argument Against Contraception

The recent high-profile controversies touched off by the HHS Mandate have elicited excellent debate regarding the meaning, importance, and application of the American idea of religious liberty. They have not, however, elicited any substantial debate regarding the rational grounds for opposing the use of contraception in itself. In the numerous conversations I have had on [...]

Upcoming Synod Must Address Family Disintegration

Judging by the media reports on the Extraordinary Synod to be held in Rome this October, the bishops present will be mainly concerned with issues such as the admission to the Eucharist of divorced and remarried persons, the speeding up of annulment processes, and the possible revision of the Church’s teaching on contraception. Implicit in [...]

More Misinterpretations of Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby was never so much about the principled Constitutional issue of whether there is a right to conscientious objection (be they based on religious or scientific convictions) as much as a prop in the melodramatic political “war on women” by which some cynically hope to save at least a pro-abortion Senate majority in the [...]

Will the New AIDS Pill Promote Promiscuity?

More than four decades ago, Pope Paul VI predicted in Humanae Vitae that the emergence of the new reproductive technologies—especially the birth control pill—would lead to a “lowering of moral standards … and a rise in infidelity.” Today, with the emergence of Truvada, a pill that has been shown in clinical trials to be up [...]

Feckless Republican Responses to the “War on Women”

Why has the strategy of a supposed Republican "War on Women" worked so well for the Democrats? It is an almost totally fake issue, yet it has proved to be a potent motivating factor in elections for not a few voters, including especially single women. One obvious reason for this is that the current virtually [...]

When Catholic Academics Abandon the Unborn

A few weeks ago Lisa Fullam, a featured blogger at dotCommonweal, the blog of the politically liberal magazine Commonweal, posted “Hobby Lobby and Science” in which she clarifies for us how the “science” does not support the claims made by the Hobby Lobby plaintiffs and, incidentally, the Catholic Church. She writes, “In medical terminology, a [...]

Media Repeatedly Deceives Public in Hobby Lobby Coverage

In the buildup to the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, and even more so in its aftermath, prominent news outlets have been aggressively spreading falsehoods about key aspects of the case. Beyond logical fallacies about who is imposing their will on others, many reports and commentaries also contain statements that are discredited by the scientific [...]

Can Married Couples Have Too Much Sex?

Another day, another dust-up about sex. This one is a little unusual, however, in that the controversy involves sex between married people. Here’s what happened. A woman, two years married, went on a business trip. At the airport, she received an email from her husband containing a sarcastic note saying how little he would miss [...]

The Problem with Bill Gates

With almost $40 billion in assets, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation possesses incredible influence, and is unafraid to use it. As one staffer put it, the foundation’s greatest strength is “setting agendas, framing debates, advocating the foundation's point of view and taking action ... an unchecked way of getting things done,” although some might [...]

On Hobby Lobby: Where Ginsburg and Alito Go Astray

As a faithful Catholic with moral objections to forced Christian complicity in both abortion and contraception, I had many reasons to rejoice in the Supreme Court’s majority decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby written by Justice Alito. Unfortunately, the Court’s reasoning was not one of them. Two premises in the majority’s argument were especially troubling: [...]

Contraception Chit-Chat

The very word Birth-Prevention would strike a chill into the public, the instant it was blazoned on headlines…. They dare not call it by its name, because its name is very bad advertising. ~ G.K. Chesterton It wasn’t until we arrived at the pediatrician’s office that I realized I’d forgotten something to read. We were [...]

Some Compelling Evidence of the Pill’s Harmful Effects

Because of these substances, Lance Armstrong’s cycling victories were taken from him and he was disqualified from further competition; Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire were publicly reprimanded; numerous congressional hearings were held to assign blame regarding their use. We do our best to protect athletes from these dangerous substances while, at the same time, encouraging [...]

Abortive Contraceptives and Pro-Life Rhetoric

An unforeseen, positive effect of the HHS mandate’s dramatic affront to religious liberty is to have brought renewed attention to the abortive effects of contraception. But there still needs to be far more discussion of their full moral import—for social policy, institutional behavior, conscience rights, voting behavior—and, ultimately, pro-life rhetoric. This essay makes two points. First, [...]

Down the Slippery Slope: A Timeline of Social Revolution

It is certainly not breaking news to assert that America is in cultural decline. Many aspects of this decline have been widely documented: the breakdown of the family, threats to life, and ever increasing secularization. My intent in this article is to draw together the consistent progression of this cultural decline so that we can [...]

Is There a “Right” to Birth Control?

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday from opposing legal counsel on the HHS contraception mandate cases. The media consensus appears to be that the justices were hard on the mandate and appear likely to issue a narrow ruling exempting “closely-held” corporations, which both of the plaintiffs are, while leaving open the question of [...]

To be Serious About Contraception

What is a faithful Catholic to do about contraception in a culture awash in them? Are we to make them a political issue, as some kind of prophetic cri du cœur? Should we launch a campaign to overturn Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court decision that made married contraception a constitutional right, or campaign to [...]

The Health Benefits of Not Getting Pregnant

I guess you can’t argue with science. In case you haven’t heard, various studies claim that not having a baby is considerably safer than having a baby. Epidemiologically and statistically, they argue, the risks of pregnancy and childbirth are greater than the risks of contraception, or even abortion. But people keep having babies, so what’s [...]

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