“Humanae Vitae” at 40: Pope Paul VI was Prophetic

Pope Paul VI

Forty years ago this month, Pope Paul VI issued his landmark encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which reiterated the Catholic Church’s nearly 2,000 year old teaching that conjugal union between spouses must always remain open to the possibility of procreation.

Humanae Vitae is perhaps most famous for a series of predictions Paul VI made about the grave consequences that would inevitably result from an increasing reliance on contraception. In section 17, he wrote:

Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards…

Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

Forty years later, Humanae Vitae has proven prophetic.

In this same spirit, two years ago the Pro-Life Action League hosted “Contraception Is Not the Answer,” a first-of-its-kind national pro-life conference that exposed the myth that artificial birth control is good for society and reduces abortion. Eight outstanding speakers addressed the topic of contraception from a variety of perspectives:

  • Comprehensive Failure: The Harm Done by Pro-Contraception Sex Ed
    Libby Macke, director of Project Reality
  • The Emptied Quiver: The Protestant Embrace of Contraception
    Allan Carlson, Ph.D., president of the Howard Center, and author of several books on the family and American identity
  • The Infertile Soul: Contraception’s Influence on Faith and Society
    Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, President of Human Life International
  • Hormones ‘R’ Us: How Contraceptives Alter Human Relationships
    Janet Smith, Ph.D., Professor of Ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit
  • Luncheon and Talk: The “Perfect Family”: How Contraception Affects Marriage and the Home
    Damon Clarke Owens, founder of Joy-Filled Marriage, Newark, New Jersey
  • Societal Suicide: The Profound Demographic Impact of Contraception
    Andrew Pollard, director of EMP Intelligence Service in England
  • The Decline of Males: How Contraception Alters the Status and Identity of Men
    Lionel Tiger, Ph.D, Rutgers University professor of anthropology and author of Decline of Males and Men in Groups
  • Women’s Liberation? The Cultural Contradictions of Contraception
    Jennifer Roback Morse, Research Fellow at the Acton Institute and author of Smart Sex: Finding Life-Long Love in a Hook-Up World

Conference Explodes Contraception Myths

“The pro-life movement has cowed away from the issue of birth control for too long,” remarked League Communications Director Eric Scheidler. “We’ve allowed our opposition to perpetuate the myth that contraception is good for society. The Contraception Is Not the Answer conference exploded that myth.”

“We invite all in the pro-life movement to listen to the talks given at this conference, even those who do not share our negative judgment of contraception,” said Scheidler. “We likewise extend an invitation to anyone who is willing to consider that our society may not have yet addressed the profound impact that widespread contraceptive use has had on our families and our culture.”

Conference Talks Available on CD

All eight talks from “Contraception Is Not the Answer” are available on individual CDs for $7 each or as a boxed set for $49 from LCE Media. Place your order online or call LCE Media at 800-693-3884.

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