Yesterday U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik made a disturbing ruling. In Erickson v. Bartell Drugs, he determined that not treating contraception prescriptions the same as other drugs violates the 1974 Civil Right Act. For us Catholics – and also for many Evangelical Christians – this ruling has enormous implications. It is well known medically that chemical contraception (Norplant, Depo Provera, the Pill, etc.) not only can prevent conception, but also the implantation of a human embryo*. Although very tiny, it is still a human life. You and I were once that size.
Judge Lasnik’s ruling will force employees of Bartell’s Drugs to be involved in something contrary to their consciences. By participating in the employee-medical plan they will in effect be accomplices to chemical abortions. Moreover, a small fraction of every purchase at Bartell Drugs will go toward extinguishing tiny lives.
Back in 1968 when Pope Paul VI spoke out against artificial contraception, he foresaw enormous consequences: divorce, family breakdown, devaluing of women, treating children as commodities, etc. For that reason he reaffirmed what Christians have known and taught from the beginning: that contraception is “intrinsically evil.” Though not an easy teaching, it is from Jesus himself. For a convenient summary of that doctrine, I encourage you to read paragraphs 2366-2372 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is less than two pages and contains much for food for thought and prayer.
*Some argue that most "fertilized eggs" are not successfully implanted therefore we should not place too much importance on them. I have two questions: Where are the studies which prove that is the case? (I'm willing to believe it, but I have yet to see the convincing studies.) But more serious, why would that give anyone the right to terminate their existence? In the next decade, 8.8% of the U.S. population will die, in a century 99.9%. Does that give me the right to shoot a few people I find inconvenient?
See Discussion: The Embryo and the Human Person (What Percent of Zygotes Do Not Implant?)
The Embryo - More Than A Blueprint
Birth Control vs. Natural Family Planning
Abortion and Pro-Choice
How the Pill Works (Letter to Seattle Times by Peter Mactutis)
Stem Cell Research: Teaching of Bible & Catholic Church
Germaine Greer on Birth Control