I am writing today as a fellow Catholic woman with a grave concern about the contraception clause of the Affordable Care Act. Therein, contraceptive devices are being called "preventive" services. Of course, the goal of this clause is to reduce abortion instance in American which I know you (as a Catholic) are concerned with reducing. I laud and thank you for this.
However, abortion providers in the United States report that:
"Fifty-four percent [54%] of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant."
("Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States" August 2011, http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html )
This means that 54% of women are seeking an abortion precisely because she relied on contraceptive use to avoid pregnancy. She may not have been using the method precisely (as the fact sheet further explains), but the mentality was there: that using the contraceptive, she hoped she wouldn't become pregnant.
Contraceptives give the false hope that procreation is eliminated from the sexual act. However, God designed nature so that the sexual act will result in bonding for the two persons and the possibility of procreation. When the man and woman are married to one another, this means that both they and the child benefit: the couple increases their intimacy, and the child has the loving care of one mother and one father to raise him/her.
The statistic above shows that even with access to and knowledge of contraceptive devices, people choose not to use them correctly. Attempting to manipulate God's design -- as we have seen through 45 years of birth control pill use in the USA -- has resulted not in fewer abortion numbers, but in greater ones.
The 1994 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey demonstrated this when it said:
People ... , for two decades of economic and social developments, have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail. [505 U.S. 833, 835]This is a failure of our society toward children: both born and unborn. When the sexual act is treated as something that solely fulfills the sexual urges of adults, children suffer. Children suffer when they are not allowed to be born, but are rather aborted. Children suffer when they are deprived of two parents, but are in a single-parent home or have to split time between Mom's and Dad's house.
It is the responsibility of adults to protect the needs and lives of children, and by rejecting the contraception mentality, we can build up a culture where children thrive and become emotionally healthy members of society.
Thank you for your consideration of my comments.
Mary Beth Worthington