Over at Crisis Magazine, Mark S. Latkovic argues against the use of abortifacient contraception in cases involving the Zika virus: More Reasons Why the Pill Can’t Be Used Against the Zika Virus. His main point, of course, is that contraception cannot be used to prevent pregnancy in a woman who is in danger of contracting the Zika virus (which causes birth defects). But I found his comments on contraception, considered more generally, to be particularly good.
First, he notes that “abortifacient forms of contraception actually take innocent human life”. And he quotes the Catechism of the Council of Trent in its condemnation of abortifacients: “married persons who, to prevent conception or procure abortion, have recourse to medicine, are guilty of a most heinous crime nothing less than wicked conspiracy to commit murder.” [Source]
When Catholic authors write about abortifacient contraception without emphasizing the abortive end of the knowing deliberate choice to use an abortifacient, they harm both body and soul. They endanger the lives of the unborn and become complicit in abortifacient contraception. So it is refreshing to read an article that emphasizes the harm and immorality of abortifacients.
Second, Latkovic opines that contraception — as a type of anti-life choice — is immoral regardless of marital state. It is immoral as a sexual sin, under the sixth commandment, and it is also immoral as a sin against life, under the fifth commandment. For the choice of contraception is a choice to deprive sexual acts of their life-giving meaning. “If one places contraception primarily under the fifth commandment, it shows why not just married couples act immorally by contracepting, but also unmarried and adulterous couples. The latter would be engaging in both fornication or adultery and contraception, thus adding to the immorality of their pre-marital or adulterous sexual activity.”
Latkovic claims that the Magisterium has not ruled on whether contraception is immoral outside of marriage. But in fact, the teaching authority of the Church has repeatedly condemned contraception regardless of marital state. So Latkovic has the right opinion, but he does not realize that this opinion is actually doctrine, not mere opinion.
Finally, I echo Latokovic’s hope that the holy Father will soon “dispel all doubt about the Church’s constant moral teaching on the absolute immorality of contraception.”
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