Readers Respond to Contraception Controversy

j0423098 Our Position on Contraception, posted last week, which includes an Open Letter to Gayle Atteberry, director, Oregon Right To Life, drew a number of responses, pro and con.  Note:  Even though the readers who spoke out against our expose of ORTL’s silence on contraception, they DO AGREE with our position,  i.e., there is a connection between contraceptive usage and abortion rates.


Thumbs Up

Dear Nina,

I want to congratulate you for taking this stand:  that of showing that there is a profound contradiction between working to stop abortion while keeping silent about contraceptives. A few years ago, one of my teenage children entered ORTL’s essay contest.  She wrote an essay on the topic of the connection between abortion and contraceptives but it was very poorly received.  I backed down of that battle then, thinking that maybe focusing on a single issue (abortion) would be more efficient, but I think differently now. The problem of turning a blind eye to contraceptives is that the connection between abortion and contraceptives is intrinsic, so to ignore the facts in this instance is suicidal for the cause of life. Thank you for standing up for the truth in this crucial matter, and may God and the Blessed Mother guide your steps and work in His service.

We have supported ORTL for some time but after reading what you wrote regarding their total silence on contraceptives, I am going to write to them about this and if they do not “ease” their policy, I will tell them I will have to refrain from supporting them at this time. I do not expect them to take up two causes here (namely to fight against abortion and contraceptives).  I can see how that may be trying to take too much at once. However, while not fighting against contraceptives per se, they can at least not be opposed to it and permit booths and essays on the topic; for there is an intrinsic connection between the two.—-Amelia Volz

Note to readers:  American Life League has ALWAYS

taken on both contraceptives and abortion.


Dear Nina,

Just a quick note to thank you for sending this material.  I was confused about the positions of NRTL and ORTL on contraception.  I took a couple of days to read through your email and all of the links. Thank you for putting all of that together.  It was very well done. Thank you for clarifying things. It’s a shame, really, that there is division in the ranks of the right to life army. It needs prayer and educating action such as yours.

Thank you, also, for speaking for the unborn in your communications and decisions regarding the ProLife Action of Oregon’s position on contraception/abortion. I agree with you and support your position completely. I remember you and ProLife Action of Oregon daily in the Rosary.—-Name Withheld



If opposition to contraception is merely a “Catholic issue,” that would come as a surprise to the Hindu Mahatma Gandhi, the Jewish-born atheist Sigmund Freud, and the growing number of evangelical Protestants who have thrown their contraceptives in the toilet and followed the Bible’s teaching on life and its transmission.  If contraception is merely a Catholic issue, then so is abortion.  Incorrect.  The perennial teaching against contraception has to do with the demands of the natural law, which is binding on humanity, not just humans who happen to be Catholic.  Which is why Paul VI did not address Humanae Vitae to bishops only, nor even to Catholics only, but to “all men of good will.”—-Patrick Coffin, radio hoPatrick Coffin webst of Catholic Answers Live; and author of new book, Sex Au Naturel:  What It Is and Why It Is Good For Your Marriage.


Thumbs Down

Those who wish to bring a stop to abortions have two choices:  work together or spend time working against each other.

I have no question whatsoever concerning the interlinking of artificial birth control and abortions.  And I may disagree with the unwillingness of Right to Life to address the issue, but I am not going to spend time trying to change their mind, nor am I going to stop supporting their work.

Entering into a pissing contest with them over the issue is non-productive.  If they don’t want you to have a booth there, then for God’s sake and the sake of the unborn, find a way to support them and move on.

I do not disagree with your position on artificial birth control.  But demanding moral purity of position is not going to get our (you, me, NRLC, the LDS Church, Muslims, and anyone and everyone else engaged in trying to limit and stop abortions) goals accomplished.

The internecine warfare didn’t start yesterday; you are not the first to enter into this fray.  And I seriously doubt you are going to win your argument.  Getting warfare going between the various groups who wish to bring a halt to killing our children is a subtle or not so subtle distraction from our common goal and looks like, smells like, and has every appearance of the work of Satan.

Spend your time productively.  Do something positive for Right to Life and move on.

I do not have a problem with you differing with Gayle on the approach to take about abortion, nor for that matter do I disagree with your approach to that issue.

What I am writing you about is the wisdom, or lack thereof, of taking your dispute with her public in the way that you have.  There was an interesting article in Our Sunday Visitor some time ago on this issue specifically – the internecine warfare that has been going on between different groups fighting abortion.  I suspect if you contacted the Visitor they could provide you with the article.  I would encourage you to do so.

Taking your dispute with Gayle public did no good for Right to Life; it did not and will not change their position; but it certainly can work to cause some of her support to fall off.  They do good work and they oppose abortion; they do not do it with the moral stance you and I both agree is important and is the truth; but that does not make them enemies.  Christ ate with sinners; we might do wisely to understand that if both Right to Life and you work for an end to abortion, both are working for a moral good, and to understand that we are required to work for the moral good, not to try to enforce moral purity in a way that can damage the work of others who also seek, albeit not perfectly, for the same moral good.

I admire your fire; I just disagreed with your first post.  I am not mad – or for that matter, angry.  I do think there is more than one way to achieve an objective.

He is risen!  May He guide both you and I to do His will.   Even if we might disagree as to how to go about it.  ;)—-Tim Moore


Our Position on Contraception

Updated 9:03 a.m., 04/14/10

Why was Pro-Life Action of Oregon’s “Contraception” Material Banned from Oregon Right To Life’s Conference?

Our position, and that of Judie Brown, president, American Life League, on the connection between the use of abortion pills and the rate of abortion has been rejected by Gayle Atteberry, director, Oregon Right To Life.  But that position is also the party line of National Right To Life.

Atteberry banned our educational material on the contraception-abortion connection from the upcoming ORTL conference.  Rather than compromise our beliefs we won’t be participating in the conference.

Silence on birth control’s role in abortion rates will continue to mislead and misinform pro-lifers.  More babies will die.


Pro-Life Action of Oregon requested a table at the upcoming ORTL 2010 pro-life conference.  Atteberry asked to review our educational material (from American Life League) due to ORTL “policies” about ALL.

She banned them all.

Which material did she censor?  Anything about contraception!

  • Contraception and Abortion:  The Deadly Connection
  • Emergency Contraception
  • Birth Control Pills:  How They Work
  • Flawed Condoms

Each of these are available for viewing at the American Life League store.

Atteberry characterized these as “minutia.”

“As I see it, Judie Brown is focused on the minutia and ORTL does not agree with that.”

Updated 5:32 PDT 04-15-10
“Minutia?”!!!  According to the Guttmacher Institute, 54% of women who abort their babies were using The Pill or condoms during the month they became pregnant.  Of those, 76% were using The Pill — “inconsistently.”
Open Letter to Gayle Atteberry, Oregon Right To Life
April 13, 2010 – Portland, Ore

Gayle, in light of your censoring American Life League (ALL) material which makes the connection between contraception and abortion — material I wanted to bring to the April Oregon Right To Life conference — Pro-Life Action of Oregon will not be participating.

Our Position On Contraception

We are  very grateful that you took the time to inform us of Oregon Right To Life’s policies which illustrate the philosophical and theological differences between National Right To Life / ORTL and Judie Brown/A.L.L.  You expressed being uncomfortable with Brown’s criticisms of NRLC.  Your characterization of her criticisms is as follows:

A.L.L. puts a great emphasis in opposing birth control. While it is true that some birth control methods are abortifacients, not all are. Judy Brown adamantly opposes the birth control pill. While sometimes the bc [birth control] pill acts as an abortifacient, it does not always work that way, and many pro-life doctors say there is no proof that it does.

It is obvious that your assessment of Judie’s opposition to The Pill is restricted to its abortifacient action.

We are  aware of its abortifacient action.  Yet, we are struck by your silence on its rate of failure which leads to “unplanned” pregnancies.

As a serious pro-life activist, we are  in total 100% agreement with Judie Brown.  The Pill increases abortion.

Continue reading

Legalized Abortion Began With Legalized Contraceptives

ABORTION AND CONTRACEPTIVES – Pro-Life Action of Oregon begins a new series on the connection between abortion and contraceptives with this entry.


The History of  Legalized Abortion Begins With Legalized Contraceptives – PART ONE

“How Abortion Became Legal”

From Choices in Matters of Life & Death by Judie Brown with Paul Brown

If we study the Supreme Court’s decisions and try to see when the Court began arbitrarily granting the right to kill, we have to go back to 1965 when the last of the so-called Comstock Laws or the old birth control laws in America was overturned.  [Margaret Sanger played a major role in the legalization of birth control.]

  • In Griswold v. Connecticut [1965], the Court created the “right to privacy.”
  • There never has been in the U.S. Constitution a right to privacy, but in 1965, to legalize all forms of birth control for married couples, the Court ruled that couples have a “right to privacy” and therefore the state has no compelling interest even in alerting them to the medical side effects of birth control.
  • This contrived “right to privacy” laid the groundwork for further anti-life actions by the Court. [Emphasis added.]

Justice Stewart agreed that the “right to privacy” was contrived and could not be found in the Constitution.  In his dissenting opinion in Griswold, he wrote:

“In the course of its opinion the Court refers to no less than six amendments to the Constitution:  The First, the Third, the Fourth, the Fifth, the Ninth and the 14th.  But the Court does not say which of these amendments, if any, it thinks is infringed by this Connecticut [birth control] law.

“What provision of the Constitution, then, does makes this [birth control] law invalid? The Courts says it is the right of privacy ‘created by several fundamental constitutional guarantees.’ With all deference, I can find no such general right of privacy in the Bill of Rights, in any other part of the Constitution, or in any case ever before decided by this Court.

“At the oral argument in this case we were told that the Connecticut [birth control] law does not ‘conform to current community standards.’  But it is not the function of this Court to decide cases on the basis of community standards. We are here to decide cases ‘agreeable to the Constitution and laws of the United States.’”—-Justice Stewart’s dissenting opinion in Griswold.

In 1972, in Eisenstadt v. Baird, the Supreme Court again referred to the “right to privacy,” ruling that contraceptives may be given to unmarried individuals, concluding that the “equal protection under the law” guaranteed by the Constitution confers the rights of married persons on the unmarried as well.

What the Court did in 1973 [Roe v. Wade] was simply to carry forward that right to privacy created in 1965 and legalize the killing of innocent preborn children.

Judie Brown is the president of American Life League and a member of the Pontifical Academy For Life.


See also our post, “The Contraceptive Ethic”