Smith on Abortifacient Contraception

The book “Self-Gift” is theologian Janet E. Smith’s love letter to abortifacient contraception. The book discusses “infertility-causing hormones” and “contracepting hormones” never mentioning that chemical contraceptives are abortifacients. Smith utterly fails to take the deaths of innocent prenatals into account in her moral analysis. She speaks as if chemical contraception has no abortifacient action at all.

And this grave omission is not due to the brevity of her consideration of the topic. She goes so far as to consider the effects that oral contraceptives may have on the behavior of women. Smith writes: “This study found that women are attracted to different types of men depending on whether or not they are taking hormonal contraceptives, and that marital stability can be negatively affected when a woman who was on hormonal contraceptives at the beginning of her relationship subsequently discontinues their use.” [27]

[27] V. Marie Russel et al., “The Association between Discontinuing Hormonal Contraceptives and Wives’ Marital Satisfaction Depends on Husbands’ Facial Attractiveness,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111.48 (December 2, 2014)

Smith claims that: “Oral contraceptives have failure rates of close to 10 percent with typical use.” But here the “failure rate” is the number of live births per 100 women using contraceptives. It is the secular idea of failure. In fact, the rate at which oral contraceptive result in an abortion is in the range of 20 to 40% per year. That is the true failure rate, the death of innocents, not the birth of children!

In older articles, Janet E. Smith decries the deaths caused by abortifacient contraception. But not any more. She no longer even admits that chemical contraceptives are abortifacient. How many deaths of innocent prenatals is she denying? It may be the case that more prenatals die from abortifacient contraception than by surgical or medical abortions. In the U.S., the number of prenatal deaths by abortifacient contraception may be as much as four times higher than by surgical/medical abortions. Worldwide, it is also higher (though by a smaller percentage). We are talking about tens of millions of prenatals per year worldwide killed by abortifacients.

Yet a female moral theologian, who teaches ethics to future priests, refuses to admit that chemical contraceptives cause any deaths at all. Abortion is the genocide of our generation. And more than half of that genocide is caused by abortifacient contraception. But this supposedly-orthodox female Catholic theologian is denying half of that holocaust.

But it’s the unpopular half. I’ve noticed a trend in Janet E. Smith’s writings. When sins become popular, she sets to work to figure out clever ways to justify those sins: contraception outside of marriage supposedly makes the act of fornication less evil. Lying is renamed “false signification” so that it can be justified whenever you think it’s a good idea. And abortifacient contraception — the form of abortion most popular with Catholics — has now been transformed by her into the best form of contraception: She claims that sex using abortifacient contraception consummates a marriage, but condomized sex does not. She claims that the unitive meaning of marital relations is retained with abortifacient contraception, while condomized sex destroys both the unitive and procreative meanings. She does not think it is moral for an elderly infertile couple to use condoms to prevent the transmission of a deadly disease. But she permits abortifacient contraception to be used, while the spouses are sexually a active, justifying, no, completely denying the deaths of prenatals caused by that choice.

Self-Gift: Humanae Vitae and the Thought of John Paul II
What’s in this book?
* The author treats chemical contraception as if it had no abortifacient action.
* She denies that “infertility-causing hormones” have an intrinsic ordination to render sexual acts infertile.
* She sees abortifacient contraception as less sinful than a mere barrier method of contraception.
* She claim that sex outside of marriage is less evil when a condom is used.
* She condemns contraception only within marriage.
* She claims that a marriage can be consummated by sex while using chemical contraceptives, but not condoms.
* Quote: “those who think HIV-infected spouses may morally use a condom are wrong”
* She allows chemical contraception for a medical purpose, never mentioning the abortifacient nature of the act.
* She argues against the work of Germain Grisez, Joseph Boyle, John Finnis, and William May on contraception.
* Smith offers her own translation of Humanae Vitae, which adds words and phrases not justified by any text in the original Latin

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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