What do Ann Furedi, BPAS chief executive, and the Pope have in common? They both know that a contraceptive culture leads to an abortion culture.
The latest abortions statistics are sobering. A total of 184,571 abortions were carried out in England and Wales last year – down slightly on 2004.
How you feel about these numbers depends on your view of abortion. If you have no issues with it, or even believe it is a moral good, then it is nothing to be mourned. If however, you believe abortion can be damaging to women and end the life of a member of the human family, you will be less chipper.
We need to wind the clock back to when the Pill was first unleashed. The liberals told us it would be ace. It would pretty much end abortion and illegitimacy. As a matter of logic this should have been the case, but conservatives were more cautious knowing that it is culture not logic that counts.
The then Pope warned that the Pill would have unforeseen consequences: cheapening the sexual act, leading to the objectification of women, increasing illegitimacy and abortion. All of this has come to pass.
The Pill separated reproduction from sex in people’s minds, so many more people had sex in circumstances where pregnancy could not realistically be continued. When pregnancy does occur it is rejected in the form of abortion. This is inevitable.
Likewise, despite the usual promises from the liberals, the illegitimacy rate exploded. The abortion rate likewise has increased exponentially. It is important to note that abortions were legal under the common law in very narrow circumstances prior to the Abortion Act. What the Abortion Act did was not just change the law, but change the culture.
Ann Furedi believes abortion is needed as a back-up as all contraception fails at some point and as women are fertile for up to 40 years of our lives abortion is inevitable. The liberals left this bit out 40 years ago but it is all water under the bridge now. Whatever your view, as the Pill has turned sex into a recreational activity these numbers are here to stay.
The truth is, mother nature wants us to be knocked up most of the time. The sexual revolution had us believe we beat her – and perhaps on many occasions we can ‘beat her’, but there are many occasions when fertility wins out. This is the oxymoron of ‘unexpected pregnancy’. I think it would be better if we reminded ourselves that throughout human history pregnancy was very much to be expected from sex.
Do I offer any solutions? I am afraid on this occasion, not really. We are not going to get this genie back in the bottle even we wanted to (and I sense most don’t). The Pill and abortion revolution has been liberating for middle-class women. But for those lower down the socio-economic scale I am less sure. I absolutely believe it has encouraged men to objectify these women – using them for sex and offering nothing in return. For the feminists this is a price worth paying.