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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Contraception saves lives

This from US Catholic ... Higher rates of abortion and unsafe abortion in the developing world: How should the pro-life movement respond?

Today's news that abortion rates are higher and abortions themselves exponentially more unsafe in countries where the procedure is illegal should provoke reflection in the pro-life movement ... .... Around 47,000 women died due to complications from unsafe abortions in 2008, with more than 8 million experiencing serious complications, according to a Time magazine blog. The 2008 numbers suggested that 86 percent of abortions occurred in the developing world, where abortion is either illegal, unsafe, or both ...

One difference between the developed and developing worlds seems to be access to modern methods of contraception (methods controlled by women) ...

The pro-life movement in the United States, and the U.S. bishops, have largely focused on changing laws governing abortion, as Scott Alessi reported in our January issue. But key to reducing abortions must also be preventing unintended pregnancies, especially giving women the power to decide when to conceive (and when not to). If being pro-life means being pro-women and pro-children already born in addition to being pro-unborn life, then perhaps it is time to focus equally on giving women power to decide when to get pregnant in the first place. Catholic teaching may be opposed to most forms of modern contraception, but in this case, perhaps it is better to choose the lesser of two evils--or at least this evidence seems to point in that direction.

Further reading - Unsafe abortions rise as contraceptive funding is cut (New Scientist) ...

Global abortion rates have stopped falling, ending a period of rapid decline that began in 1995. However, the proportion of abortions that are dangerous continues to rise. Paradoxically, morally conservative US restrictions on foreign aid may have promoted the abortions they sought to restrict ......


Anonymous Henry said...

Crystal, do you know the story of Louis Pasteur? If yes, then I am sure you know that Pasteur had to repeat his experiments again and again because it seemed that no one was able to recognize their value. In fact, the professors at the Sorbonne, members of the Academy of Science in Paris, were the very last to acknowledge their scientific validity. For those men, to admit the soundness of Pasteur's claims would mean going up to the podium the next day and announcing that much had to change but pride, fame, and money were all in the way even though the problem of how microbes function, which is an objective, scientific problem, was for them vital.

What would those professors have needed to be able to perceive for themselves the value of these experiments, which were irrefutable even to the uninitiated? They would have needed a certain loyalty, a moral dignity, a passion for realism, which I define as giving more weight to what is that the idea already in our minds.

I bring this up because I believe you have “blind faith” in the objectivity of science and claims like these. (Of course, you can say the same about me!) So the story of Pasteur is a good reminder for both of us to maintain a healthy skepticism and to look at all the factors related to a problem and not eliminate those factors that do not support my “ism”.

12:21 PM  
Blogger crystal said...


No I didn't know much about Pasteur - only about the dogs :) Interesting.

I do give a lot of weight to science but I try to remember that it can be flawed. Good reminder.

1:45 PM  

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