|Samuel Amaral: When did Abortion become contraception ? Did I transition in another dimension without noticing ? · 13 minutes ag|
The question posed by Mr. Amaral is a good one, and it may be of larger interest. I knew nothing of the answer myself until a little over thirteen years ago when the question came up in the course of the Pre-Cana preparation that my prospective bride and I went through prior to our marriage.
On the face of it, if its etmyology is any guide, the word contraception ought to mean "against conception" -- i.e., the word should be used solely to refer to devices, such as condoms, which prevent conception from taking place.
In practice, however, the word contraception has come to be used much more broadly -- not just for devices that prevent an encounter between egg and seed but also for devices that prevent the product of their encounter, a fertilized egg, from being implanted in the uterus. The morning-after pill does the latter (medical explanation here). It is an abortifacient. It kills an unborn child, already conceived, by preventing its implantation in the uterus. Intra-uterine devices (IUDs) have the same effect. They are abortifacient. They induce abortion.
Ordinary birth-control pills are designed to prevent ovulation. When they do so, they are genuine contraceptives. They prevent conception. If and when, however, they are ineffective in this particular, they can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus -- i.e., they can produce an abortion (medical explanation here).
The Obama administration recognizes that the Catholic clergy have done next to nothing to explain to Catholics the teaching of the Church regarding any of this, and they are deliberately and cleverly taking advantage of the confusion that has been sown -- by forcing Catholic hospitals and other institutions to provide for those who work for them those abortifacients that masquerade as contraceptive devices.
In doing so, I believe that Barack Obama, Kathleen Sebelius, Nancy Pelosi, and the like have done the Catholic Church and its adherents a great favor -- first, by forcing the bishops, nuns, and priests to address a question they have for nearly fifty years assiduously avoided discussing; and, second, by bringing home to them the degree to which the public provision of medical care, which they have vigorously promoted for nearly forty years, empowers the government to persecute the faithful.
I doubt that most of the bishops currently in office will discover a new-found appreciation for the principles of limited government and for their implications. It is hard to teach an old progressive new tricks. I suspect, however, that many younger priests and seminarians will have occasion to rethink the foolish stands taken by their elders.
It is a sad business, but it is true. Persecution can be and often is good for the Church. In its absence, the Church Militant has a way of turning into the Church Flatulent.