Matt C. Abbott
May 9, 2010
Has 'the pill' caused drive-by shootings?
By Matt C. Abbott

Judging by the laudatory articles on the birth control pill popping up all over the Web in recent days, one might conclude that the pill was in fact the greatest invention since sliced multigrain bread.

One such article, written by professor and author Elaine Tyler May, appears in The Washington Post. May writes:

    Today, we celebrate both motherhood and the pill. It is Mother's Day, and it is the 50th anniversary of the day the Food and Drug Administration announced that it would approve the pill though the dream of an oral contraceptive is much older. The birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger first envisioned such a 'magic pill' in 1912, two years before Congress established a national Mother's Day. She wanted to do more than honor mothers: She wanted to change their lives....

    The pill, quite simply, liberated mothers, and popular culture expressed their jubilation. Contemporary celebrations of the pill, such as Pete Seeger's ballad 'The Pill,' looked on it not as a boost to the sexual revolution but as a boon to mothers. When, in 1966, it appeared that the Catholic Church was on the verge of approving contraception, Seeger sang the story of a Catholic mother with a house full of children, waiting for the pope to 'bless the pill . . . before my man comes in.' (Although the Catholic Church reaffirmed its opposition to contraception in 1968, that decree did not stop Catholic women from taking the pill at the same rate as non-Catholics.)....

    The pill may have been a gift to mothers. But 50 years on, it could use some new accessories. This Mother's Day, instead of jewelry, candy or flowers, how about some more novel presents: lengthy paid parental leaves, government-supported child care and flex-time.

But May's fondness for the pill actually, she seems fonder of the morally bankrupt Margaret Sanger than of the pill itself is not shared by a number of women, including Chicagoan Eleanore Veronika Strong.

"It always strikes me as ironic when self-proclaimed feminists like Elaine Tyler May tout the pill as assisting women's liberation because it does not require a man's cooperation or knowledge," Strong said in an e-mail. "Why would a truly empowered woman want to be with a man who is not mature enough to discuss their sexual relationship and to act in a way that is respectful of both partners' needs?

"Moreover, why would she further enable such a man's behavior by ingesting hormones to suppress her body's natural functioning so that she can be sexually available to him with no investment or responsibility required on his part?"

Strong says that "women are most liberated when they set boundaries that encourage men to accept and respect them exactly as they are."

She also advocates the use of natural family planning for married couples, which the Church approves. "If a couple has discerned that they have a serious reason to avoid conception, periodic abstinence during the woman's fertile periods is a beautiful way for a man to demonstrate restraint, maturity, and ultimately love for his partner."

Dawn Eden, author of The Thrill of the Chaste, also doesn't agree with May's assertions regarding the pill. Said Eden in an e-mail:

"If the pill made motherhood 'better,' then one would expect that mothers would be happier now than they were in 1972, before the birth rate fell dramatically as contraception use expanded. Instead, as a recent report by researchers at the Wharton School of Business shows, between 1972 and 2006, the happiness of U.S. mothers fell just as dramatically.

"Clearly, from the point of view of general trends, the pill's enabling women to have fewer children does not make for 'better' motherhood, if 'better' means happier. Nor can it be said to make for better mothers from the child's point of view, since using contraception makes it easier for women to commit adultery. In fact, [May] shows no visible concern for children's well-being at all which isn't surprising, given what she's pushing. By encouraging a culture of radical individualism that treats children as accessories, the pill has created a generation of 'wire monkey' mothers."

Finally, author E. Michael Jones (yes, I know he has some controversial writings on other subjects) has an interesting take on contraception and its effects on American society:

    The last time I spoke here, I talked about how contraceptives caused drive-by shootings, how over the summer of 1965, the regime decided that the contraceptive, not providing jobs for black fathers, was to be the solution to this country's welfare problem and how as a result of this sort of ideological gasoline poured on a social fire, black illegitimacy soared from 20 to over 70 percent. Professor McGreevy's article covers the period from 1928 to 1960, but it is clear that the 'Catholic problem' did not go away with the election of John F. Kennedy to the presidency. In fact, it only began there in earnest.

    The demographic surge among Catholics that would come to be known as the baby boom was causing people with an eye for demographics, like the Rockefellers, much concern. In fact, the demographic handwriting was on the wall; the United States was on its way to becoming a Catholic country. But the Enlightenment counterattack was waiting in the wings. Ethnic cleansing can eliminate the political power of people in a particular place by moving them some place else, but it will not provide a long term solution to demographic increase, because as the oppressed group increases, it will also take over the areas it moves into. The long-term solution to the 'Catholic problem' had to blunt their demographic power. The long-term solution to the 'Catholic problem' was the contraceptive.

    The contraceptive solved the 'Catholic problem' in two ways: First of all, it blunted the demographic surge that the Malthusian liberal Protestant establishment found so alarming. Catholic voters had elected John F. Kennedy in 1960. In Philadelphia at Independence Hall on July 4, 1962, a Catholic president, a Catholic governor of Pennsylvania, and a Catholic mayor of Philadelphia all bowed their heads in prayer as Archbishop Krol invoked God's blessing on what many people still considered a Protestant country. Before long, Catholics were going to elect a president more amenable to the Church than John Kennedy, perhaps someone who had not gone to Harvard and, therefore, less determined to follow their interests.

    The second way the contraceptive solved the 'Catholic problem' was by dividing the Church into liberal and conservative factions depending on where a particular person stood on contraception. Catholic academe, following the Notre Dame inspired Land o' Lakes statement of 1967, followed the lure of funding and fell completely into the hands of the regime that wanted to weaken the Church by promoting the contraceptive....

Pertinent links:

"Casti Connubii"

"Humanae Vitae"

"Contraception: Why Not?"

Natural Family Planning International, Inc.

Maafa 21

© Matt C. Abbott

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, Media and Theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He has been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR and WLS-TV in Chicago, and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback from readers. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me... (more)

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