With contraception in the news in this country thanks to Obamacare and the Catholic Church, it grabbed my attention when the word appeared in a recent headline in the Chicago Tribune.
The funding was announced yesterday in London at a summit that ”launched a program to extend family planning services to 120 million women out of an estimated 220 million around the world who want, but cannot get, reliable access to contraception by 2020.”
According to the campaign, there will be 80 million unintended pregnancies in developing countries and from that, 800 women die every day as a result of pregnancy-related complications, which is the leading cause of death for teenage girls in the developing world.
Gates is the wife of Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and has come under attack in the past because she is a practicing Catholic. Clearly, she isn’t let that influence her decision.
I have always been curious about the stance of the church, having been raised by Catholic parents who used the rhythm method of child planning, which is why my mother was pregnant 16 times and why I have six brothers and sisters. I was taught that contraception was in violation of God’s natural law and that the purpose of sex is to procreate. But I thought this was just the Catholic stance on contraception. I didn’t realize that until 1930, all Protestant denominations agreed with the Catholic Church.
At its 1930 Lambeth Conference, the Anglican church started to sway and decided that contraception would be allowed in some circumstances and soon after, changed its position completely, allowing contraception across the board. Since then, all other Protestant denominations have followed suit. Today, the Catholic Church alone proclaims the historic Christian position on contraception.
For more information about the history of this position, click here. The web page has been given the imprimatur, by the way, and concludes “this teaching cannot be changed and has been taught by the Church infallibly” and the belief that contraception should be an individual choice is wrong. “The so-called “individual conscience” argument amounts to “individual disobedience.”"