It might seem that, if we could elect a conservative pro-life President, and get one or two more conservative votes on the Supreme Court, we could ban abortion and end the contraceptive mandate in health care. But that approach would not work.
If health care plans no longer pay for abortifacient contraception, that evil will still exist and be widespread. People will still use contraception and abortifacient contraception, regardless of whether their health insurance pays for it.
If the Supreme Court were to deem abortion unconstitutional, or at least decide that laws prohibiting abortion are constitutional, abortion would not end. Congress is not willing to outlaw all direct abortions. And most U.S. States would probably allow abortion very widely. The political situation has changed since Roe v. Wade. Sending the issue to the States would not provide much help to the unborn.
If somehow we had enough political power to pass a constitutional amendment against abortion, the situation would be much like Prohibition. When alcohol was prohibited, except for medicinal purposes, by constitutional amendment, an underground system quickly developed to provide alcohol to the large percentage of the population who were willing to ignore the law. The use of alcohol for allegedly medicinal purposes also increased dramatically. Criminal organizations provided alcohol. Speak-easy clubs sold alcohol illegally.
If abortion were made unconstitutional, in the present socio-political climate, abortions would continue underground. Hospitals would perform abortions on the basis of an alleged claim of danger to the life of the mother. Underground abortion clinics would thrive, due to the widespread support for abortion in the population. Criminal organizations would become involved in providing abortions and abortifacient drugs. That would not be a successful result for the pro-life cause.
To solve the contraception and abortion problem, we must understand and address its roots.
Contraception, abortifacient contraception, and abortion have widespread support in society and politics because these evils permit a hedonistic lifestyle. They permit married couples to delay having children, reduce the number of children, and control when they have children. They permit married couples to spend less time, money, and effort raising a family, and more time on themselves.
These evils permit people to have sex outside of marriage, to live together without being married, to have extramarital affairs. They support promiscuity and the separation of sexual enjoyment from procreative responsibility. Many persons go from one sexual relationship to another, unceasingly, for years before they marry, if they marry at all. They need contraception and abortion to support this type of lifestyle.
If abortion is unavailable, then promiscuity, even with contraception, will eventually lead to children. Responsibility will be difficult to avoid. If abortion and contraception are both unavailable, then sex outside of marriage quickly leads to children and probably marriage.
People will not accept a ban on abortion and abortifacient contraception, and they will not accept that contraception is immoral, until they repent of their selfishness and their sexual sins. So the path to ending abortion and abortifacient contraception begins with repentance from sin, not with politics.
People must change. They must be contrite for their sins, and repent of their selfishness. They must give up sexual sins and take responsibility for other persons. They must love God and neighbor. Otherwise, there will be no end to abortion and contraception.
Catholics who wish to fight against abortion, must reject contraception and all sinful sexual acts. They must live chaste and prayerful lives, and encourage others to do the same. We cannot end abortion by “winning” a series of political contests. Should you vote pro-life? Yes. But do not think for a moment that the grave sins of abortion, abortifacient contraception, and contraception will be conquered by voting. Only love and grace can conquer sin.
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