Tuesday 22 June 2010

Monsignor Jacques Suaudeau Scientific Director of the Pontifical Academy for Life shows how the various contraceptive techniques are in reality frequently abortive

Father John Fleming, SPUC's bioethical consultant, has shared with me his reflections on a recently-published interview with Monsignor Jacques Suaudeau , the Scientific Director of the Pontifical Academy for Life, on the links between contraception and abortion. The interview was conducted by the Dialogue Dynamics team who comment: "The technical precision of the text is matched by its doctrinal accuracy".In a scientifically and ethically sophisticated interview (21st of April 2010), "Contraception and abortion" Monsignor Jacques Suaudeau, Scientific Director of the Pontifical Academy for Life, sets out the interrelationship between certain forms of contraception and abortion.

The Suaudeau interview is extremely important because it discusses the link between contraception in terms which are scrupulously rigorous, not making more of the evidence than the evidence would allow and not minimising the implications of what the evidence clearly suggests.

In answer to the question,
“So contraceptives prevent the conception of a child?”
Monsignor Suaudeau immediately responds with the observation that that is not all that contraceptives do. Other technical methods gathered under the rubric of “contraceptives” include what are more properly known as “interceptives”, techniques which prevent the embryo from implanting. Added to that are techniques known as “contragestives”, so-called because “they cause the elimination of a newly-implanted embryo”.

Monsignor Suaudeau notes that contraceptive proponents have always argued that contraceptive use would “contribute to a reduction in the number of intentional abortions” among adolescents.

But, says, Monsignor Suaudeau:
"Fifty years after the introduction of the first contraceptive pill, the reality is that, far from reducing the number of abortions, contraception has itself become increasingly abortive. Indeed, it is in the functioning itself of the “pill” that abortion gains an entry."
Monsignor Suaudeau then goes on to rehearse the scientific evidence which backs up his melancholy summation of where we are now at. In doing this he identifies all of the various modern contraceptives techniques, describing in detail how they actually work, and laying bare for all to see the necessary connection between contraception and abortion.

In returning to an earlier question,
“has the generalised use of contraception allowed the practice of abortion to decline?"
Monsignor Suaudeau brings all of his scientific expertise to bear in a well articulated philosophical and moral response:
"Contraception and abortion are in fact closely linked. They are linked in their biological reality. They are linked in the mentality which presupposes them. Abortion directly refuses and destroys the baby. Contraception also refuses the baby and uses any means at its disposal to counter the arrival of baby. In both cases, the baby is the enemy. He or she becomes the accidental product of genital activity reduced to mere pleasure or irresponsible futility based on a corrupt notion of human sexuality. 'Sex' takes priority over the baby. If the baby arrives in spite of the use of contraception, it is no longer, as previously, accepted, but rejected and aborted. This is why it was logical for abortion to be liberalized once contraception had been made generally available, to remedy foreseeable failures of contraception.

"Far from curbing abortion, contraception may even lead to it. It is always easy to proceed from one to the other."
Harnessing the social research data to hand in Scandinavia and Europe, Monsignor Suaudeau is able to show the truth of his conclusion that contraception leads to abortion. Monsignor Suaudeau concludes with a devastating series of observations. Here is a sample:
  • Far from reducing the number of abortions, contraception to some extent finds in abortion a natural unfolding. Given that the contraceptive mentality is in fact close to the abortive mentality, large-scale use of contraception in the developed nations has contributed to the routine use of abortion.
  • Scientific research today is oriented towards the development of increasingly “effective” contraceptive techniques to prevent conception and the continuation of pregnancy, with increasingly less risk to the woman, resulting in increasingly abortifacient contraception. This is a further demonstration of the close link, not only cultural but also scientific, between the use of contraception and the demand for abortion.
  • To avoid uttering the word “abortion”, people talk about the pharmacological “prevention” of implantation, “interception” or “contragestion”. It is also asserted that the embryo is not an embryo as long as it is not implanted in the lining of the uterus, but simply a “pre-embryo”, a mass of cells which does not call for any particular respect. However, a play on words cannot change the reality of the facts.
  • ... pastors, theologians and spiritual advisers who, verbally or in writing, endorse the use of contraception, must know that, in so doing, they are endorsing all the abortions thereby caused and to be caused, which will amount to millions of individuals.
  • Today there is nothing heroic, exceptional or disingenuous in resorting, within the framework of responsible parenthood, to “natural” methods of controlling female fertility, whose scientific basis, efficacy and benefits to couples in terms of deeper conjugal communion, are known ...
This is a paper which deserves the widest possible readership and should have an honoured place, as a key reference tool, on the desks of all prolifers.

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