Friday, January 6, 2006

A Comment from ND EnvrioChick

The following comment by ND EnviroChick to an earlier post of mine - the Cheer Up Charlie video "Pray" - was important enough, I think, to bring forward as a post. So, with her permission:

The abortion statistics are quite disheartening; I was equally disheartened by the statistics on divorce, HIV, and even the amount of TV that kids watch, particularly since I see what is on TV nowadays. But back to the issue on abortion.

The New York Times online had an article on illegal abortion in Latin America (where Catholicism is the dominant religion) today. This author was making the argument that criminalizing abortion doesn't decrease the number of abortions occurring, it just increases the mortality rate from illegal abortions. The article suggests that Catholic taboos on both birth control and legalized abortion lead to very high rates of illegal abortion and maternal mortality.

What struck me about this article, and continues to confuse me about this topic in general, is that people seem to place blame for death by illegal abortion on the Catholic Church for its stance on life... that the Catholic faithful are in this position because of their beliefs, but Catholic beliefs also include abstinence before marriage, and natural family planning as an alternative to birth control for married couples. So I have to wonder: is this a relgious obedience issue because Catholics don't condone birth control and abortion, or is it a LACK of religious obedience issue because young men and women are engaging in activities that lead to "unwanted" pregnancies in the first place?

Perhaps I am just old, unhip and naive, but I don't understand how a Catholic believer would feel comfortable enough to flout the rules enough to have unwed sex, but not comfortable enough to flout the rules to obtain birth control methods to do so. Yet, according to this article, these same faithful who are pregnant because of the taboo on birth control are then seeking illegal abortions and dying as a result. So the ONLY part of Catholic Magisterium that these faithful follow is lack of use of birth control? I don't buy that.

It seems to me that if the faithful really were faithful, the abortion rates would plummet and death from illegal abortions would plummet because there would be no need to seek abortion in the first place. It is only when we pick and choose the parts of Catholicism that we WANT to follow and ignore all of the "uncomfortable" or "inconvenient" doctrines and policies that we end up in the kind of situation that we see in Latin America.

1 comment:

Tony said...

My 16 year old daughter asked me:

"Dad, if I have pre-marital sex, is it a sin to use a condom"?

I said:

"Honey if you kill someone, is it a sin to steal his wallet?"

I explained to her that having the pre-marital sex was the big sin. Compounding it with protection was the little sin.