Contraception

What do I say to someone who says that contraception is good because no matter how much I preach about the Christian message, some young teen is still gonna have sex? what if this person said that prevention is better than abortion?

I say that I agree that prevention is better than abortion. Therefore preach chasity.

If “some young teen” chooses to have sex outside marriage, they are sinning, very possibly mortally. Adding another sin, contraception, to the first Grave sin will have little effect on their already endangered soul.

So -
If a person chooses to commit one mortal sin, the mortal sin of Fornication, that is, sex outside of marriage, they would hardly need “permission” or some sort of “OK” from someone else relating to the use of contraception.

Peace
James

Ask them to show you evidence that contraception has reduced the number of abortions in this country?

Lets put it in simple terms, there is a concept of risk compensation. Essentially the more protected people feel, the more stupid things they will do. If you make condoms and other forms of birth control available to teenagers, you might in fact cause many, many more of them to engage in sex and engage more often than if they never had access to the birth control. The end result might be that you have as many, or even more unwanted pregnancies in addition to kids having sex before they are ready for the emotional and physical consequences.


Bill

Possibile scenarios
Sex (contraceptive)- low probability of abortion
Sex (no contraceptive)- relatively high probability of abortion
No sex- roughly zero probability of abortion

Your claim is going to be that the third scenario is ideal, theirs is going to be that the third is unreasonable to expect and an attempt at reaching the third is likely to result in the second.

Which is the sort of logic that has resulted in about 50 million abortions in this country in the last 40 years.

I have yet to see any compelling data that suggests that contraception has resulted in fewer abortions.


Bill

Which is why the issue of contraception is the false issue.
The issue is sin - contraception is sinful - - - so is fornication.
We cannot support either one. Nor can we validate one because we are unable to prevent the other. Hell is just as hot for one as for the other.

Peace
James

Because when you give people protection, they use it- I posit that a society with no helmets would see fewer broken arms. Does these mean wearing a helmet makes you more likely to break a bone? Of course not- but people are more likely to do things that break their bones when they feel secure in the fact that their head won’t get cracked open. If people have made up their minds to go mountain biking, you could try ti withhold helmets from them in hopes that they reconsider- but they might just try it anyway or find an alternate supply of helmets.

Umm, you realize you just contradicted yourself there. If people are more likely to do things that break their bones because they feel more secure when wearing a helmet, then wearing a helmet does make you more likely to break a bone.

In any case, I already addressed this in my first post in this thread, the concept is called risk compensation. And its worse than you think… not only may they be more likely to break a bone, but they may also gain no net benefit from the helmet because they might increase risk until they have offset the benefit of the helmets.

Its reasons like this that anti-lock breaks, despite their definite benefits in car control have been accompanied by no reduction in accidents.

If people have made up their minds to go mountain biking, you could try ti withhold helmets from them in hopes that they reconsider- but they might just try it anyway or find an alternate supply of helmets.

Of course, if they didn’t have helmets in the first place, they might have decided that Mountain Bilking was crazy and not even tried it in the first place. Sure some are going to do it anyway… but probably fewer, and more carefully than if they have the helmets.


Bill

No… if you go mountain biking wearing a helmet, you’re safer then mountain biking not wearing a helmet. The helmet makes the riskier activity safer- but not entirely safe. At every risk level, the helmet makes you safer- but you may choose to put yourself at higher risk with a helmet.

In any case, I already addressed this in my first post in this thread, the concept is called risk compensation. And its worse than you think… not only may they be more likely to break a bone, but they may also gain no net benefit from the helmet because they might increase risk until they have offset the benefit of the helmets.

Yes, that’s my point.

Its reasons like this that anti-lock breaks, despite their definite benefits in car control have been accompanied by no reduction in accidents.

But anti-lock brakes are still a good thing.

Of course, if they didn’t have helmets in the first place, they might have decided that Mountain Bilking was crazy and not even tried it in the first place. Sure some are going to do it anyway… but probably fewer, and more carefully than if they have the helmets.


Bill

Yes, but helmets are still good- no matter how risky or conservative you are, the helmet itself is at worst neutral and at best useful. If you choose to be more risky to the point where you were better off before, that does not mean the helmet is hurting you.

As an individual you might not put yourself at higher risk, but once we take a statistical sample, you will find that in fact that the average biker may gain no net benefit from the helmets and indeed might be at an increased risk for injury or death.

Yes, that’s my point.

But anti-lock brakes are still a good thing.

They make cars cost more, make them heavier (Hence lower fuel economy) but they don’t reduce the number of accidents, injuries or deaths that occur in cars. So why are they better?

Yes, but helmets are still good- no matter how risky or conservative you are, the helmet itself is at worst neutral and at best useful. If you choose to be more risky to the point where you were better off before, that does not mean the helmet is hurting you.

The problem is that you are not the only person involved in the equation. To return to the bicycling example. Studies have actually shown that drivers give cyclists who wear helmets less room when they pass them, making an accident more likely. And helmets cost money, can make you hot, etc. So if they can’t be shown to provide any benefit, then they are not neutral, they are a negative.

To turn this back to birth control, I wonder how many teenage girls are talked into (badgered into) having sex by their boyfriends based on the fact that contraception is available.


Bill

Because the average biker does things he wouldn’t have done other wise without a helmet- but at every risk level, you are better off with a helmet. If people choose to be less safe when they wear a helmet (or use birth control) that is a reflection on the person, not the helmet (or birth control).

They make cars cost more, make them heavier (Hence lower fuel economy) but they don’t reduce the number of accidents, injuries or deaths that occur in cars. So why are they better?

Take a car with no antilock breaks and a car with antilock breaks and two drivers who drive the exact same way- who is safer?

The problem is that you are not the only person involved in the equation. To return to the bicycling example. Studies have actually shown that drivers give cyclists who wear helmets less room when they pass them, making an accident more likely. And helmets cost money, can make you hot, etc. So if they can’t be shown to provide any benefit, then they are not neutral, they are a negative.

To turn this back to birth control, I wonder how many teenage girls are talked into (badgered into) having sex by their boyfriends based on the fact that contraception is available.


Bill

Again though, a reflection on people- not birth control.

I would guess a whole lot. I found some statistics at the CDC website. About half of all pregnancies are unplanned. Half of those end in abortion. Between 25-50% of unplanned pregnancies are a result of women who had been taking birth control but stopped because they didn’t like it or it was too costly or something like that.

So - if they stopped taking birth control, why did they continue to have sex? Probably because they were expected to because of the precedent they had created and the culture of easy sex we have today.

Condoms are ineffective 3% of the time and up to 17% of the time with normal usage (when you don’t check them beforehand, etc.)

Birth control is ineffective 1-3% of the time.

If there was a flight between L.A. and NY that crashed 3% of the time, would you book a ticket on it? Yet you would risk an STD or pregnancy on those odds?

Abstinence is the only answer.

In addition to the facts against the efficacy of contraception, ably provided already, the natural moral law, plus the Church’s teaching, totally rules it out – it is a grave misuse of the sexual function which purpose is for the unity of the couple and procreation within marriage.

The claim that an emphasis on abstinence will lead to more unprotected sex than education of contraception is pretty ridiculous. In today’s society, is anyone really claiming that teens (or even children) don’t know about condoms? Kids learn about condoms from every show on television before they’re 10. Can we really blame kids not using condoms on the fact that they’re parents (or schools) never mentioned it? Instead, if parents or schools stress abstinence, the teen will be more likely to abstain from sex, and if they still choose to have sex, will likely be just as aware about the existence and use of condoms as a child receiving education in contraception.

But it’s not only that abstinence does not increase the chance of unprotected sex, but contraception education increases the chance of all kinds of sex. That’s really a no-brainer. Imagine you tell school children about a spooky abandoned house, and say, “because some kids are hurt climbing over the fence, let me tell you about a secret back entrance. Oh, but you probably shouldn’t go there at all.” Are kids going to be more or less likely to visit the house?

That’s really the problem: that kid’s are having sex at all. Because the inevitable thing is not that kids will have sex, but that people who have sex will sometimes forget contraception. This is even true of adults who regularly purchase and use condoms. And somehow the idea is that kids, with some classes, are supposed to use condoms more effectively and consistently than adults with years of experience using condoms? Quite unlikely.

Of course we are comparing apples and oranges here.

If mountain biking resulted in the eventual death of everyone who does it, then supplying helmets or other safety equipment would have no perceivable effect.

And that is what we are dealing with here.

The OP specified “some young teen is going to choose to have sex”. Sex outside marriage is a sin of grave matter. Properly catechized catholic teens must avoid pre-marital sex or endanger their salvation. It is that simple. Using or not using a condom at this point is secondary and only serves to encourage behavior that could very well send these children to hell.

So - Are we to NOT preach abstinance? Or do we to preach Abstinance MORE!!!

The heck with contraceptives. Those who ignore the commandment on fornication will ignore a command on the use of contraception.
This is Simple “Root cause analysis”

Peace
James

We were talking about the effect on society- e.g. unintended pregnancies and such. On the societal level, there is an enormous different between an unwed couple having sex and an out of wedlock pregnancy.

The purpose of wearing safety protection against physical accidents is totally in accord with rational human beings who seek to protect themselves from their physical improprieties (since accidents are caused they don’t just happen). The fact that we are accident prone ties in with our injured human nature.

The purpose of contraception is totally out of sync with our human nature which is formed to be open to life if we are married, and closed to sexual intercourse if we are not, unlike animals which act on instinct and not in keeping with the natural moral law of mankind.

To treat mankind like animals is the result of relativism – the misuse of reason, which results through the fact of having free will, and in not following these norms but on inventing rules of their own. They know but they do not do and so become blind and stupid.

What?! Are you being serious? Of course it has. It’s just common sense.

Fact: Contraceptives have CUT DOWN ON unwanted pregnancies. Which leads to obvious fact #2: Because there’s fewer unwanted pregnancies, there’s fewer abortions. I don’t understand how someone could refute this.

The problem with common sense is that it is often wrong!

You have stated that it is a fact that Contraceptives cut down on unwanted pregnancies? Prove it! Just because you think it is obvious that it is the case, doesn’t make it so.

Once you prove your first position, we will take a look at your second position.


Bill

Its not even remotely a matter of common sense. It is not obviously true that contraceptives have cut down on unwanted pregnancies. Let say people get pregnant without contraception 50% of the time, and people get pregnant with contraception 5% of the time (probably reasonable estimates). Its possible–even likely?–that having obtained contraception, people have sex 10 times as often, leading to the exact same number of unwanted pregnancies.

Its also not clearly true that reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies would reduce abortions. Perhaps contraception is most effective and most often used in higher social classes, where women would not have obtained abortions even if they had gotten pregnant. In this case, many more people could start using contraception, but if contraception only prevents unwanted pregnancies which would not have led to abortions, contraception will not reduce abortions. This last point is, perhaps, less clearly true than the first point, but the idea is that it is not nearly as simple as you assert.

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