Statement of Culture of Life Foundation on Senate Bill 21
"Prevention First Act" introduced by Senator Harry Reid.
"The Act is based on the false premise that contraception prevents abortion. The more contraception is available, the more abortions occur because contraception is the gateway to abortion." States Dr. William E. May, Senior Fellow of the Culture of Life Foundation.
On January 6, 2009 Senator Harry Reid introduced the Prevention First Act (S. 21), which claims to be aimed at reducing unintended pregnancies and abortion. The Act is based on the false premise that contraception prevents abortion. The more contraception is available, the more abortions occur because contraception is the gateway to abortion.
First of all, many so-called contraceptives do not prevent conception but rather "work" by preventing a newly generated human baby from implanting in his or her mother's womb. This is true of the way IUDs operate, it is one way that the "Pill" works, and it is the sole purpose of RU 486.
As Janet Smith has pointed out, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a Supreme Court decision that confirmed Roe v. Wade clearly demonstrated that contraception is the gateway to abortion. It stated, "in some critical respects abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception . . . . for two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail." Bluntly put, the Court says that we need abortion so that we can continue our contraceptive lifestyles (see http://www.goodmorals.org/smith4.htm).
Most abortions occur because men and women do not want to have a baby but nonetheless have sexual intercourse, the kind of bodily behavior that can generate human life, but they seek to prevent the child's coming to be by contracepting, counting on abortion as a way to prevent the child's birth if contraception fails.
Contraception facilitates premarital sex and has led to an alarming increase of sexually transmitted diseases. "Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year- almost half of them among young people 15 to 24 years of age. In addition to the burden on youth, women are also severely affected.Biological factors place women at greater risk than men for the severe health consequences of STDs. The two most commonly reported infectious diseases in America - chlamydia and gonorrhea - pose a particular risk to the health of women, as both can result in infertility if left untreated. Together, these diseases were reported in almost 1.5 million Americans in 2007, but the majority of cases continue to go undiagnosed....The national rate of reported chlamydia in 2007 was 370.2 cases per 100,000 population, an increase of 7.5 percent from 2006(344.3). Women, especially young and minority women, are hit hardest by chlamydia...Chlamydia is common among all races and ethnic groups; however, African-American, American Indian /Alaska Native, and Hispanic women are disproportionately affected. CDC: Trends in Reportable STDs in the U.S. in 2007 (January 2009).
Advocates of contraception/abortion, like Senator Reid, think that "no unwanted child ought ever be born" and contraception and abortion are the best tools to prevent this tragedy. The truth is that "no person, born or unborn, ought to be unwanted but loved," and the way to achieve this goal is to be chaste prior to and after marriage. Marital chastity does not require complete abstinence. There is a time to embrace and a time not to embrace. If there is a serious reason to avoid causing a pregnancy, chaste spouses abstain from the marital act when pregnancy will likely follow and engage in it when the wife is not fertile. A procreative intent is not necessary for the act to be virtuous and holy.
William E. May, Senior Fellow
Culture of Life Foundation