Evangelium Vitae #13
in order to facilitate the spread of abortion, enormous amounts of money have been invested and continue to be invested in the production of pharmaceutical products which make it possible to kill the foetus without recourse to medical assistance. On this point, scientific research itself seems to be almost exclusively preoccupied with developing products which are ever more simple and effective in suppressing life and which at the same time are capable of removing abortion from any kind of control or social responsibility.
It is frequently asserted that contraception, if made safe and available to all, is the most effective remedy against abortion. The Catholic Church is then accused of actually promoting abortion, because she obstinately refuses to teach the moral unlawfulness of contraception. When looked at carefully, the objection is clearly unfounded. It may be that many people use contraception with a view to excluding the subsequent temptation of abortion. But the negative values inherent in the “contraceptive mentality” – which is very different from responsible parenthood, lived in respect for the full truth of the conjugal act – are such that they fail to strengthen this temptation when an unwanted life is conceived. Indeed, the pro-abortion culture is especially strong precisely where the Church’s teaching on contraception is rejected. Certainly, from the moral point of view, contraception and abortion are specifically different evils: the former contradicts the full truth of the sexual act as the proper expression of conjugal love, while the later destroys the life of a human being: the former is opposed to the virtue of chastity in marriage, the latter is opposed to the virtue of justice and directly violates the divine commandment, “You shall not kill.”
But despite their differences of nature and moral gravity, contraception and abortion are often closely connected, as fruits of the same tree. It is true that in many cases, contraception and even abortion are practised under the pressure of real-life difficulties, which nonetheless can never exonerate from striving to observe God’s law fully. Still, in very many other instances such practises are rooted in a hedonistic mentality unwilling to accept responsibility in matters of sexuality, and they imply a self-centred view of freedom, which regards procreation as an obstacle to personal fulfilment. The life which could result from a sexual encounter becomes an enemy to be avoided at all costs, and abortion becomes the only possible decisive response to failed contraception.
The close connection which exists, in mentality, between the practise of contraception and that of abortion is becoming increasingly obvious. It is being demonstrated in an alarming way by the development of chemical products, intrauterine devices and vaccines which, distributed with the same ease as contraception, really act as abortifacients in the very early stages of the development of the life of the new human being.