Saturday, 8 May 2010

The pro-life movement should start a counter-revolution on the oral contraceptive pill

The UNFPA has drawn attention this week to the 50th anniversary of the approval of oral contraceptive pills in the US. The anniversary occurs tomorrow, Mother's Day in the US, as UNFPA is at pains to mention.

And today at an all-day symposium on the pill and its consequences “50 Years after the Pill — The Revolution Continues” is taking place in Washington. One of the speakers at this symposium is Nafis Sadik (pictured). (In 1991,  as UNFPA's  executive director Nafis Sadik said: "China has every reason to feel proud of and pleased with its remarkable achievements made in its family planning policy and control of its population growth.” [Xinhua, 11 April 1991] In 2002 China's State Family Planning Commission gave Nafis Sadik its own Population Award.)

I think counter symposia need to be organized by the pro-life movement worldwide, symposia for which I would suggest the working title "50 years after the Pill - the counter-revolution begins".

Such symposia should focus on the fact that virtually all contraceptive drugs and devices – with the exception of course of prophylactics like condoms – may work abortifaciently as their manufacturers freely acknowledge.

Also, two major sessions at this symposium should cover the fulfilment of Pope Paul VI's prophetic encyclical Humanae Vitae on artificial birth control and, in particular, the following extract from section 17:
"Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone.”
The first of these sessions should be addressed by scholars who are expert in China's coercive abortion/birth control policy - the one-child policy - which provides such a brutally tragic fulfilment of Pope Paul VI's prophecy. The UNFPA's participation in China's forced abortion one-child policy is, of course, well-documented. China's policy is funded by regular donations from over 180 countries worldwide, including over 40 million US dollars from the UK in 2007.

The second of these sessions should be addressed by experts on how the Catholic church authorities in England and Wales are co-operating with the British government in imposing the use of birth control, including abortion, on Catholic (and non-Catholic) families. Catholic authorities, which include the Catholic bishops of England and Wales, are doing this by welcoming into Catholic schools Connexions whose job it is to make abortion and contraception available to children, without parental knowledge or consent. Connexions is a government agency which is committed to giving schoolchildren, under the age of 16, access to abortion and abortifacients without parental knowledge or permission. Connexions' advisers are trained to tell young people that they can obtain abortion and abortifacients without parental knowledge or consent. This session might also deal with how Archbishop Vincent Nichols painted in an entirely positive light the British government's sex and relationship education proposals - which were defeated in Parliament just before the general election. These proposals which would have enabled the promotion and facilitation of abortion, contraception and homosexuality* in schools in England, including Catholic schools.

Finally, expert speakers should be invited to explain how countless human lives have been destroyed as a result of the rejection of Humanae Vitae and its teaching on the wrongfulness of the separation of the unitive significance and procreative significance of the conjugal act, not least through birth control and IVF practices, including amongst Catholics (albeit on the question of the separation of the unitive significance and the procreative significance of the marital act SPUC itself has no policy. The Society is made up of people of all faiths and none and SPUC’s remit is solely concerned with defending the right to life from conception till natural death.)

The pro-life movement, including everyone in the movement of all faiths and none, needs to understand and to teach the truth that our crisis began with the rejection of Humanae Vitae. It will end with its acceptance and implementation.  As a Catholic I am convinced that the acceptance and implementation of the prophetic teaching of Humanae Vitae will only be possible if there is a radical change in the nomination policy of Bishops throughout the world. The nominations of bishops who do not have a sustained and genuine track record of fidelity to the teachings of the Magisterium on the transmission of human life (Humanae Vitae) must stop. Such nominations must stop because the cost in babies' lives is simply too great. Humanae Vitae which has been re-stated in Pope Benedict's Caritas in Veritate must become central to our movement.

If any pro-life leaders are interested in the idea of organizing such symposia - do please contact me at

*(I emphasise that my comments above, both as a Catholic and as a pro-lifer, are motivated and inspired by John Paul II’s words in Evangelium Vitae, paragraph 97 that it is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not offer adolescents and young adults an authentic education in sexuality, and in love, and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection.)

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