Thanks to Bring It On!'s Jet, who found this first and posted about it on BIO v.2, I now have proof that supports my conclusion that Catholics who claim to oppose abortion on moral grounds must then make the decision to use absolutely no birth control whatsoever. I've been saying it for years, ever since I attended Catholic high school as a non-Catholic, and we as young women entered into discussions about contraception and the lack thereof.
Back in the antediluvian 70s, my argument was that, if sex was an act that the Holy Roman Church had deemed appropriate only for the purposes of conceiving children, then it stood to reason that the Church was practicing hypocrisy by providing information on any attempt to foil conception -- even the rhythm method. The entire premise of the rhythm method is that a married couple has sex only at times that they can be fairly certain conception will fail. This is in direct opposition to the Church's teaching that sex is only for making babies.
Now New Scientist has published an article that points out that the success of the rhythm method as a means of preventing pregnancy relies largely on the miscarriage (i.e., spontaneous abortion) of fertilized embryos. So, if the position of the Church and Catholics at large is that a life is a life at the moment of conception, then millions of Catholics the world over who practice the rhythm method are intentionally conceiving humans using obsolete gametes, and such actions can only be defined, using a Catholic lexicon, as the murder of unborn children. By delaying fertilization until the gamete is passed its prime, couples practicing the rhythm method drastically increase their chances of miscarriage, and therefore are intentionally causing the death of the embryos.
Now, personally, I think that the rhythm method, if scientifically practiced using basal body temperature and intelligent cycle charting can be one option for hundreds of thousands of couples who are unable or unwilling, either because of medical conditions or health concerns that preclude chemical or barrier methods. Though proponents of the method claim it to be 90% effective -- one couple in ten will conceive during the course of a year -- actual statistical data yields an efficacy rate around 75% -- two to three unplanned pregnancies in the course of a year. It is therefore not an option for couples who are not in a position to raise an unexpected child, unless those couples are open to abortion.
According to the New Scientist article, the usage of a condom -- preventing conception entirely-- coupled with abortion in case of condom failure would still result in far fewer aborted embryos than the rhythm method creates.
And this goes right back to the argument I made to my hot and horny little Catholic classmates. You're either all in, or you're all out. If you declare your belief that sex was created by God for the sole purpose of frumping up new little Catholics, then you had best be prepared to get knocked up each and every time you have sex. If you aren't prepared to have a child, then your only other option is to abstain from sex until such time as you are ready to do so. The use of any method to thwart God's plan in turning a woman into nothing more than a life support system for human reproductive organs stands in direct violation of everything they claim to stand for.
I wonder how many modern Catholic women who use the rhythm method are prepared to see the size of their families return to the days of yesteryear -- to six, seven or more children -- all of whom must be fed, clothed and educated. How many modern Catholic women who were raised to believe not only that abortion and contraception are sins, but that they as women are free to follow their professional and artistic ambitions, the same as their husbands, fathers and brothers are going to be happy giving birth to what could end up being over half a dozen children because they have allowed the Church to undermine their own logic, reason and control when it comes to determining the size of their families? When will this madness ever end? And when will Catholic and fundementalist Christian women everywhere understand that men never, ever oppose abortion or birth control when they don't want a child. They only oppose it because keeping a woman permanently and perenially knocked up might be the only way he has to control her.
In any case, the rhythm method is murder, by the standards of the Roman Catholic Church and fundementalist Protestant Churches, such as Southern Baptist. Any woman using this method in an effort to prevent conception is intentionally killing her fetuses and must stop today using any form of birth control. If she gets pregnant, she gets pregnant. Serves her right for being such a wanton slut as to concede to having sex purely for the fun of it. The hellish strumpet!
Guess its time to make a decision, ladies. All in. Or all out. What's it going to be?