Cat logomenu

"Selling Out on Contraception"

Libby Anne is pleased to discover that at least one element of the pro-life movement is pushing contraception as a means to decrease abortion:

What matters more, lowering the abortion rate even if that means encouraging contraceptive use among those who aren’t married, or ensuring that sex has consequences and is tied to procreation even if that in practice leads to a higher abortion rate? The pro-life movement establishment, partly because of Catholic influence, has long eschewed the former position and embraced the later. But as more people take seriously the rhetoric about “saving babies,” there may be a shift as more groups and individuals move toward the former position and reject the latter.

I’ve long agreed with the position Libby Anne ascribes to her husband Sean: that the pro-life movement is no longer really about controlling women’s bodies but about saving “people”. When this is unclear, I think it is for two reasons:

  1. As Sean contends, the movement simply hasn’t shaken off its old practices and rhetoric, so it frequently does and says patriarchal things out of habit.
  2. As I’ve said when discussing a different issue, people are not always completely logical, and logical people tend to forget this when they examine the beliefs and practices of others. The actions of the pro-life movement, partly for the above reason, don’t always jibe with their stated goals.

So when Libby Anne says:

If the pro-life movement’s goal is to reduce the abortion rate they should be focusing on things like contraception and a social safety net that makes raising children more affordable. When they instead focus only on overturning Roe and banning abortion—the goal of all of the major pro-life organizations—one begins to wonder if the goal really is to save “unborn babies” from being “murdered” as is claimed.

I think she is giving the movement too much credit for logical consistency.

Undeniably, though, the pro-life movement desperately needs to move past caring whether unmarried people have sex and care instead about the best proven method for decreasing the abortion rate: contraception.

If you consider yourself pro-life you really should be reading all of Libby Anne’s posts on the subject, if only to keep yourself intellectually honest.