Contracepted sexual acts and direct abortion always constitute a serious violation of God’s law by the very nature of the act, regardless of the intention or the specific circumstances of the act. Before the Lambeth Conference of 1930, contracepted sexual acts were considered to be morally wrong in every Christian church. At the Lambeth Conference of 1930, the Church of England taught that the use of contraception can be morally justified within marriage where there is a sufficiently serious reason to postpone pregnancy. The slippery slope that started with the Lambeth Conference of 1930 led to contraception becoming acceptable in all of the Protestant denominations and contraception becoming socially acceptable in Western societies. Despite what has happened in Western society and in Protestant churches since the Lambeth Conference of 1930, the Roman Catholic Church continues to teach that contracepted sexual acts and direct abortion always violate God’s law.
One of the most common errors regarding the Catholic Church’s teaching against contraception is that the use of contraception merely violates this Catholic Church teaching and that this teaching is only binding on Catholics. However, the Catholic Church infallibly teaches that any act of sexual intercourse that “is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin” (Casti Connubii, n. 56). Since the use of artificial contraceptives during an act of sexual intercourse “frustrates” the sexual act “in its natural power to generate life,” and since these sexual acts always violate both the law of God and natural law, the Catholic Church’s teaching forbidding the use of contraception during sexual intercourse must be binding on all persons and must also constitute more than a mere violation of Catholic Church teaching. Natural law is always binding on all persons, including all non-Catholic Christians and all non-Christians, and acts which violate the natural law by the very nature of the act are always intrinsically evil, even when committed by a non-Catholic. If the use of contraception during natural intercourse violates the natural law when committed by a Catholic, the use of contraception during natural intercourse must also violate the natural law when committed by a non-Catholic because natural law is binding on all persons.
In addition to condemning the use of artificial contraception during sexual intercourse, the Catholic Church also teaches that direct abortion, or an abortion that is willed either as an end or a means to another end, is intrinsically evil and always gravely contrary to divine law. In addition, direct abortion always offends against the sanctity of human life and always offends against natural law. In fact, Pope Pius XI taught in 1930 that direct abortion constitutes “direct murder of the innocent” and “is against the precept of God and the law of nature: ‘Thou shalt not kill'” (Casti Connubii, n. 64). The Catholic Church is not the only Christian denomination to teach that abortion is morally wrong, and some of the non-Christian religions also consider abortion to be morally wrong. Even though there are abortion rights advocates who support keeping abortion on demand legal and legalizing abortion on demand where it is currently illegal, there are many non-Catholics throughout the world who still consider abortion to be the killing of an innocent human being and consider abortion to be morally wrong. Since there is opposition to direct abortion by Catholics, non-Catholics, and non-Christians throughout the world, and also because direct abortion violates natural law and offends against the right to life of unborn children, the right to life of unborn human beings should be protected at the international level and a movement to outlaw abortion worldwide should occur.
Our founding fathers did believe in the existence of the natural law, even though some of them were not Catholic. The existence of the natural law is even acknowledged in the United States Declaration of Independence. Our founding fathers believed that all human beings are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” and that the “unalienable Rights” granted to all persons are derived from natural law. Our founding fathers even intended for the “unalienable Right to Life” to extend to unborn children and never intended to restrict this right to persons who have been born. However, the United States Supreme Court went against the intentions of our founding fathers in the Roe v. Wade case and decided that unborn children do not have a constitutionally guaranteed right to life prior to birth in that case. Unborn children should have never been deprived of the right to life, which is unalienable, and this right should have never been taken away from unborn children by the United States Supreme Court. A prohibition on abortion should be constitutionally possible since abortion infringes upon the right to life of unborn children, which should be unalienable, and also because abortion violates the natural law.
There are some people who advocate for changing the Catholic Church’s teaching against contraception and direct abortion. However, the Catholic Church will always continue to uphold that contracepted sexual acts and direct abortion are always contrary to the law of God and natural law. First, the Catholic Church already knows that contracepted sexual acts and direct abortion are both intrinsically evil acts that also constitute serious violations of the law of God and natural law. Second, the Catholic Church has continuously and infallibly taught that these acts violate the law of God as well as natural law. Third, the infallible teachings of the Catholic Church cannot be changed since infallible teachings are free from error and also free from the possibility of error. Finally, teaching the position that is contrary to what the Catholic Church has taught on abortion and contraception would be contrary to the truth regarding the law of God.
The widespread acceptance of artificial contraception in the Western world has led to many bad consequences. First, the acceptance of artificial contraception has led to an increased willingness to engage in sexual activity at a time where pregnancy is not desired. Second, the increased willingness to engage in sexual activity that results from the widespread acceptance of contraception has led to more unplanned pregnancies and more abortions since no form of artificial contraception provides foolproof protection against unplanned pregnancies. Third, the widespread acceptance of contraception has led to more sexual activity outside of marriage, and this has led to an increase in the divorce rate and more children being born outside of wedlock. Fourth, more people fail to acknowledge the proper meaning of sexual intercourse due to the widespread acceptance of contraception as well as increased acceptance of sexual activity outside of marriage. Fifth, some of the forms of artificial contraception that are widely accepted are also abortifacent because they can cause the death of an human embryo that is actually conceived. Last, other consequences arising from the widespread acceptance of contraception include the breakdown of the family and an increased acceptance of homosexuality, both of which flow from other consequences of the contraceptive mentality.
To bring the Western world back to a culture of life, the use of artificial contraception during sexual acts needs to become unacceptable in Western societies and direct abortion needs to be outlawed in places where it is currently legal. The United States and other Western societies need to acknowledge that the use of artificial contraception during sexual intercourse and direct abortion always violate natural law, regardless of the intention or the specific circumstances. Western societies also need to acknowledge that the proper purpose of human sexual intercourse is to enable married couples to cooperate with the Creator in bringing forth new human life while simultaneously expressing the love between the husband and wife. The use of artificial contraception during sexual intercourse, premarital sex, adultery, and homosexual acts all go against the proper purpose of human sexual intercourse, and as such should become socially unacceptable in the United States and also in the rest of the world.