Found Patricia Evangelista's Rebel Without a Clue column wanting last Sunday, and yes it took a lot of digestion before I figured it's time to write a reaction--and the sooner the better, too.
The column talks about the Reproductive Health Bill that the Church and Pro-Life groups are fighting against. Of course, the pushers of this bill assert that it is anti-abortion; they propose contraceptives and artificial family planning as solutions for overpopulation. As Evangelista writes: The reproductive health bill currently being debated in Congress is adamantly anti-abortion, and seeks to provide citizens with the means to access contraceptives and the necessary information to prevent—and not terminate—pregnancy.
So, sure, the bill tries to solve the illegal abortion problem--and at the same time overpopulation too--by making contraceptives available. Simple solution, right?
Er, not exactly. When you think about what contraception encourages, do you actually think abortions would decrease? Contraception is not perfect (not to mention it is bad for the health in more cases than one). More likely, it will increase abortions. (As to overpopulation, it's a myth!)
Actually, it's easy to forget that the pro-life fight involves more than abortion: it's because the pro-life movement is more vocal about abortion--the pre-born cannot defend themselves. But fighting for life entails fighting against a bigger adversary. Along with abortion, you're saying no to everything that goes against life--and that includes the mindset promoted by pro-abortion groups: "It's ok as long as you don't get pregnant."
Evangelista wonders why contraception is wrong, after all, she points out, it's not killing: It demands great logical leaps to call a condom a murder weapon. It presumes that a sperm and an egg that haven’t yet made acquaintance are essentially living human beings. Following the Church’s logic, anything that prevents the creation of a child is wholesale murder. It allows several rather startling conclusions, which includes the punishment of millions of murderous adolescent boys the world over for masturbation, and the sanctioning of fertile married couples who themselves decide not to have children. It also makes the Church itself responsible for encouraging the wholesale genocide of millions of possible citizens by promoting natural family planning after marriage. The goal of the rhythm method, after all, and all other methods taught in Catholic high schools, is the prevention of unwanted births during marriage.
I agree that the sperm and the egg by themselves are not a human being. However, to accuse the Church of believing that killing sperm- and egg-cells is "wholesale murder" is taking it too far. Contraception is fought against for very good reasons. As for the rhythm method, also known as Natural Family Planning-Responsible Parenting (NFP-RP), its goal is not to prevent conception but to teach couples how to be responsible parents. How? Without artificial implements to keep pregnancy from occurring, the husband and wife engage in the marital act knowing that they have the capability to procreate, and with that knowledge, they agree they'll raise the child if they are gifted with one.
Wow this has gotten heavy! I just wanted to clarify some stuff.
If you finish reading the article, you'll see that the columnist eventually criticizes the president, but she gets to this only after making the Church look like an irrational extremist. I've met Patricia Evangelista in class; she's smart and a good writer. But this piece would not be the best she's ever written. :-(