“98 percent of Catholic women use contraceptives”

The other day I placed this post o the blog, today I present an answer from Vivicate written by Teófilo de Jesús.

Brethren, Peace and Good to you in Jesus Christ.

You’ve heard said repeatedly by mostly Democrat (and women) politicians: “98 percent of all Catholic women use contraceptives”. This is supposed to be enough justification to force Church-affiliated institutions to serve or fund contraceptives in opposition to the Church’s moral stance. Where did this number come from and what does it mean?

The “98 percent” number comes from a survey conducted by the Guttmacher Institute - the question asked was whether women ages 18-45 had EVER used contraceptives. So the stat means that 98% of Catholic women, by the age of 45, state that they have used some form of contraception on at least one occasion. This did not even attempt to make a distinction between one use, occasional use, or frequent use. It did not attempt to make a distinction between what someone may have done at one time in her life and what she does now, with what she has come to know and understand now. And it did not attempt to distinguish between what a woman may have done at least one time and what she believes is right or appropriate to try to live up to. It is not a useful number to quote but it is showing up all over the place recently.

Therefore, the number is a “flat” number and meaningless to the debate. Consider this, what about those women who use contraceptives to regularize their menses so that they can conceive? Then it would not be a proper contraceptive use, is it? Yet the survey doesn’t answer that.

However, for the sake of argument, let’s say that the number is true and accurate across categories and throughout time. What bearing should the “98 percent” have upon Catholic teaching and conscience? Answer: no bearing. Why? Because this is to argue ad populo, it’s good because everyone does it and that’s a fallacy. Let’s say that 98% of Americans cheat on their taxes. Would that make the cheating right? Should “Thou shall not steal” stricken from the Ten Commandments if everyone were to steal? Should moral truth be up for a vote?

Democrats politicians who push for this mandate, along with those Catholics who have compromised their consciences and also favor this mandate, don’t have to believe or accept the moral demands of the Catholic religion, or even like it.

What they need to understand is that the First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion which includes with it freedom of conscience – and not merely of “worship” like this disgraced Administration of ours paints it – and of association. Freedom of association doesn’t only mean that we are free to congregate in groups or gangs to have fun or to protest in mass demonstrations, but that we can form societies of mutual help, of commerce, and manufacture and that all we are free to shape these association according to the same values shaping our consciences, hence the formation of religious medical institutions in general and Catholic in particular.

There are signs that the Administration is beginning to backtrack on its attempted violation of our freedom of religion and association, the fact remains that their little exercise in tyranny should not have happened in the first place. This is not their first attempt, nor will it be their last, so we should remain vigilant now more than ever as their ilk will not rest until they muffle people of faith from meaningful participation in the public arena. More...



Elisa said...

This was the subject of syndicated columnist Gregory Kane's (he used to write for the "Baltimore Sun") editorial column in the "Washington Examiner" yesterday. He too isn't pleased with the Obama either!

Anonymous said...


Amen, and amen! If any reader believes this to be over, mark my words, it is merely on the back burner at present, so as not to rob O of his perceived electability - after all, he relies upon the Catholic voting block of your nation (as do all democrat leaders) to nudge him over the line. If a democrat, (or even republican for that matter) is in the whitehouse in 2013, the precedent has already been set and another attempt to muffle will be sure as death and taxes. Readers of this blog who are of our separated brethren, Baptists, traditional Anglicans, 'Quiverfull' etc., plus orthodox practitioners of other religious traditions, know this has as much bearing upon yourselves and your institutions as for those of Catholic foundation. More concerningly, there are no protections for the sole Catholic businessman, so businessmen of the abovementioned persuations are also very vulnerable.

The USCCB best fill their lamps and trim their wicks, lest they wind up sitting in the position of the ten foolish virgins when the heat of persecution is turned up.


PS: Thank you for remembering those who may have used hormonal treatments for menses regulation, and not to block life.
PPS: This survey has apparently ignored another statistically important category; those who have converted into Catholicism from backgrounds (even rather concervative ones e.g. evangelical anglicanism or Seventh Day Adventism where the theology of contraception has been different, hence choices that may have been practiced pre Catholic Christianity and now dropped.