Saturday, 12 March 2011

David Attenborough's speech shows why pro-lifers should support Humanae Vitae

Sir David Attenborough, the famous naturalist, gave a speech yesterday promoting population control. He said:
"Stop population increase – stop the escalator – and we have some chance of reaching the top – that is to say a decent life for all.
In my view all countries should develop a population policy – some 70 countries already have them in one form or another – and give it priority. The essential common factor is to make family planning and other reproductive health services freely available to every one and empower and encourage them to use it – though of course without any kind of coercion.
If you belong to a Church – and especially if you are a Catholic because its doctrine on contraception is a major factor in this problem – suggest they consider the ethical issues involved."
To my mind it is clear that Sir David's speech shows why pro-lifers should support the Catholic Church's prohibition on contraception. In Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI wrote:
"[C]areful 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."
In other words, once it's regarded as good that individual couples should have access to contraception, and necessary that humans reduce their numbers, then the imposition of population control becomes inevitable. China and Vietnam already have long-standing forced abortion programmes, and India and Peru have had forced sterilisation programmes in the recent past.

The high incidence of abortion around the world, whether voluntary or forced abortion, has been created and fuelled by the contraceptive mentality, which thinks that children are usually a burden to be avoided. If the Catholic Church worldwide - the world's largest religious denomination, comprising at least one in seven of the world's population - were to concede that contraception (or even those prophylactics which impede conception e.g. condoms) were licit, then both abortion and mandatory population control would become irreversible worldwide.

That is why pro-lifers should fall four-square behind Humanae Vitae, and why the undermining of Humanae Vitae by Catholic bishops, by high-profile Catholics such as Tony & Cherie Blair, and by Catholic publications such as The Tablet, is of grave concern even to secular pro-life groups such as SPUC.

And so it is very interesting to read, reproduced in this weekend's Tablet, this Tablet report from exactly 50 years ago today:
"The cardinals and archbishops of France, who assembled in Paris last week for their annual spring meeting, published when it was over a statement on the subject of birth control ... They made it equally clear that the Church condemns the artificial prevention of births by the use of contraceptives, as she also condemns sterilisation and abortion ... The unnatural limitation of births, they went on, is not the remedy for overpopulation and hunger; the remedy lies in the provision of more and better housing, and of all that is necessary for the normal development of family life."
P.S. You can find resources to rebut Sir David's bogus arguments for population control listed in my blog of 9 February.

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