Sometimes abortion advocates will insist that their simultaneous advocacy for contraceptives has as an intent to decrease the number of abortions. Intentionally or not, it’s a specious claim. Having a contraceptive culture increases the amount of sex that people have that isn’t open to the possibility of children, which leads to abortion as a last-resort form of birth control
The pregnancies can result for broad reasons, like a sexualized culture, or specific reasons, like the direct failure of properly used birth control. Either way, the the creation of an embryonic child is not seen as something for which the parents are culpable. They do not feel as if they’ve done anything wrong, and so they don’t feel as if it would be fair to expect them to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. This attitude can’t help but increase the number of abortions.
But let’s get back to the specific case, in which contraceptives are used and fail. The Catholic News Agency reports data out of England showing that “more than half of women seeking abortions in Britain last year were using at least one form of contraception.” And that fact forces us to move past the illusion of common ground on the issue:
Those who are taking contraceptives (particularly teenagers) are more likely to engage in earlier and riskier sexual behavior, because they believe they are protected by contraception.
Ann Furedi, BPAS Chief Executive, also noted this false sense of security in her comments on the report, though she said that this was an argument for keeping abortion as a back-up method of birth control.
“When you encourage women to use contraception, you give them the sense that they can control their fertility…Our data shows women cannot control their fertility through contraception alone, even when they are using some of the most effective methods. Family planning is contraception and abortion. Abortion is birth control that women need when their regular method lets them down.”
One might believe that contraception is intended to avoid abortion if the failure of contraception weren’t treated as an obvious reason to maintain the availability of abortion. Eventually, we come back to the basic questions of when a human life begins and whether human beings have an innate right to life, because clearly it would be monstrous to say something like, “Killing their children is birth control that women need when their regular method lets them down.”
Notice how the “regular method” is nearly personified there, as if the pill or condom is some sort of sentient being with a personal responsibility to uphold its end of the bargain.