Business Insider, a site concerned with financial, media, and tech verticals, has published a piece entitled “Time to Admit It: The Church has Always Been Right on Birth Control,” which the authors acknowledge was inspired by the heated discourse surrounding the HHS mandate, and by their editor’s wishing the Church would eliminate the requirement. While one of the authors was associate editor at The American Conservative, it’s still very surprising to find an article like this published by a thoroughly secular news source.
The authors cite Humanae Vitae, and the four results predicted by Paul VI in the event that widespread contraceptive use was employed: General lowering of moral standards, a rise of infidelity and illegitimacy, the reduction of women to objects used to satisfy men, and government coercion in reproductive matters. That these four results are part and parcel of today’s cultural experience is not hard to argue.
“By making the birth of the child the physical choice of the mother, the sexual revolution has made marriage and child support a social choice of the father…In 1960, 5.3% of all births in America were to unmarried women. By 2010, it was 40.8%. Cohabitation has increased tenfold since 1960. And if you don’t think women are being reduced to objects to satisfy men, welcome to the internet, how long have you been here? The idea that widely-available contraception hasn’t led to dramatic societal change, or that this change has been exclusively to the good, is a much sillier notion than anything the Catholic Church teaches.”
If there’s anything about the Church that is most often misunderstood, it is that Church teaching has human happiness and fulfillment in mind. Prohibitive teaching on sexuality is obviously not motivated by anything else: What benefit does the Church glean from such a difficult teaching? When Paul VI predicted the social decay that would result from widespread contraceptive use, it was not an alarmist crank engaging in authoritarian fear-tactics. It was someone hoping happiness for humans.