Because of Love, there are many things I will not do, but I am
ready to die for it.
St. Maria Goretti, who died resisting a rapist.
I'll do a lot for love, But I'm not ready to die for it.
Various women in popular condom ads.
Since our young people are going to be sexually active anyway, let's
make it easier, safer, and more pleasant for them to do so by
encouraging them to use condoms.
Condoms will help stem the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases
like AIDS and chlamydia, and will also prevent unwanted pregnancies,
therefore cutting down on the number of abortions.
The condom fosters neither abstinence nor monogamy; rather it does
the opposite. Those who stress condom usage only put the seal of
approval on active genital sex. The message it communicates is that
the condom is a good which converts irresponsible sex into responsible
sex, giving it the appearance of acceptability and respectability. It
is the old refrain of birth controllers which has only resulted in
more and more adolescent pregnancies.
Herbert Ratner, M.D.
It is common knowledge among health professionals that
sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), some of them incurable and/or
fatal, have found fertile ground to multiply in our sex-crazed American
The response of our government at every level, and the reaction of
various social service agencies to this explosion of STDs, was as
predictable as it was pitiful: They took the inherently Humanistic
position that Americans (not just teenagers) are mere animals. Since
they can't be trusted to control their sexual urges, we might as well
make it as safe for them as possible to fornicate with whomever they
The government's weapons of choice were not chastity and monogamy,
but 'education' and condoms. Even Bill Clinton's new Surgeon General
sported a "rubber tree" on her desk.
And so, with intriguing names like "Arouse,"
"Embrace," "Excita," and "Pleaser,"
condoms crowd pharmacy shelves and restroom walls, leering at potential
users and proclaiming the merits of "family planning" and
"safe sex" on their vividly-colored packages.
Unfortunately, members of the public uncritically accept the
government and the condom manufacturers at their word. And nobody
(except a few pro-lifers, who are universally ignored) seems to be
asking the most vital question of all.
If condoms are so great at preventing pregnancy and AIDS
transmission, why does our nation continue to experience a
rapidly-escalating rate of teen pregnancy and an exploding AIDS epidemic
as more and more millions of condoms are distributed each year?
But Are They Safe?
The Vital Question.
Even after we get past the government hype and the alluring
advertising, we are still left with the central question: In this age of
AIDS and other incurable STDs, should we trust our very lives to
the family planner's 'cure-all,' the condom?
The Consumer's Union Study. The nation's most trusted consumer's
advocacy group, the Consumer's Union (CU), interviewed 3,300 of its
readers in order to determine the effectiveness of condoms at preventing
conception and disease. CU also mechanically tested 16,000 condoms of 37
different varieties and brands. The results of its studies, as reported
in the March 1989 issue of Consumer Reports, are revealing
About one-fourth of the Consumer Union's readers reported at least
one instance of condom breakage in a one-year period, and about one in
eight experienced two or more incidents of breakage in one year.
Using these and other data, CU estimated that an average of one
condom in 165 broke during heterosexual intercourse, and about one in
105 broke during anal intercourse. This failure rate was much lower than
that produced by most other studies.
Resulting Pregnancies. The resulting 0.6 percent (1/165) condom
breakage rate for normal heterosexual intercourse, when extrapolated
over an average of 100 acts of intercourse each year, and accounting for
the woman's periods of infertility, results in a method effectiveness
rate of about 95.5 percent per year.
"Method effectiveness" is the best rate that can possibly
be expected, since it accounts only for failures in the condom but not
for failures in use.
"Contraceptive failure" is defined as the percentage of
women who become pregnant while using one method of contraceptive
exclusively for one year. This category includes both failure of the
method (such as physical condom breakage as found by CU), and failure of
the user to employ the method properly.
If we include mistakes in condom usage, the actual effectiveness rate
of the prophylactic is 89.2 percent per year.
This rate is confirmed by the contraceptive industry's
"Bible," the annual Contraceptive Technology.
With a failure rate of (100.0% - 89.2%) = 10.8 percent, the chances
of pregnancy for a woman whose sexual partner(s) faithfully use condoms
for 100 average annual instances of intercourse are as follows.
Keep in mind that these are the lowest rates that can
generally be expected, since they assume 100% condom usage all the time.
PROBABILITY OF PREGNANCY FOR FOR WOMEN WHOSE 'PARTNERS' ALWAYS USE
[A medium text size on your computer's 'view'
setting is recommended, otherwise, the tables may be discombobulated.]
Chances of Pregnancy
According to Census Bureau sources, about 3.6 million couples use
condoms regularly for birth control. 10.8 percent of this number
means that 390,000 unwanted pregnancies occur every year due to condoms
breaking a number equivalent to one-fourth of all the abortions
performed in the United States annually!
Figure 100-1 includes many quotes from leading experts who have shown
in studies that condoms are dismal failures at preventing pregnancies.
RESULTS OF STUDIES ON THE INEFFECTIVENESS OF THE CONDOM AT PREVENTING
After reviewing the extensive literature on contraception, some
variation in results is found. Reported failure rates for condom use
vary from about 2 to 35 unplanned pregnancies per year, but a
conservative consensus reveals a rate in the range of 8 failures per
100 users each year in the general population. Simple mathematics
would conclude that after five years, the number pregnant with this
method would be five times the yearly rate. Thus, after five years of
condom use, there would be about forty pregnancies in this group of
100 real people ...
Stephen Genuis, M.D. "What About the
Condom?" Risky Sex (2nd Edition). Edmonton, Alberta: KEG
Of 100 women whose partner uses a condom for one year, 3 to 36 will
United States Department of Health,
Education and Welfare. "Contraception: Comparing the Options."
In the Oxford/Family Planning Association contraceptive study, 4%
of highly motivated couples relying on condoms experienced an
unplanned pregnancy within one year, while more generally
representative data from the National Survey of Family Growth in the
United States show that between 6% and 22% of couples relying on
condoms experienced an unplanned pregnancy within a year, the rate
depending on the woman's age and whether the couples wished to delay
pregnancy or to prevent it. Much of the health education material
about HIV infection has failed to stress the limitations of the
M.P. Vessy and L. Villard Mackintosh.
"Condoms and AIDS Prevention." The Lancet, March 7,
1987, page 568.
Use of a barrier method backed up by abortion in case of failure
confers over a woman's reproductive life complete protection against
unplanned childbearing with a minimal risk of mortality. For some
women, however, such a course is morally unacceptable, since it
involves a high likelihood of having at least one abortion.
K. Ory, et.al. Making Choices:
Evaluating the Health Risks and Benefits of Birth Control Methods.
Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1983, page 60.
Only about 1% of women who rely on condoms as their main birth
control method always use them effectively, a new survey finds ...
Marilyn Elias. "Correct Use of Condoms
is Rare." USA Today, December 13, 1991.
Dr. Richard Gordon, International AIDS Conference presenter and
University of Manitoba professor, concluded after live studies that
red dye testing demonstrated that seminal fluid leaks out of even
properly-fitted condoms both prior to and after orgasm.
Beverly Sottile-Malona. "Condoms and
AIDS." America, November 2, 1991.
One test showed that 14.6 percent of condoms used in a clinical trial
either broke or slipped off the penis during intercourse or withdrawal.
A survey at a Manchester, England family planning clinic revealed that
52% of the respondents had experienced condom breakage or slippage during
the past three months alone.
Alan Guttmacher Institute. Family
Planning Perspectives, January/February 1992, pages 20 to 23. Also
see R.J.E. Kirkman, J. Morris, and A.M.C. Webb. "User Experience:
Mates v. Nuforms." British Journal of Family Planning,
A Federally-funded UCLA study of the effectiveness of 29 major condom
brands showed that reliability ranged from a high of 98.9% to an
incredible low of 21.3%.
"Condom Reliability." Los
Angeles Times, June 29, 1988.
Teens and Condoms. In light of their dismal record, the only thing
more illogical than adults using condoms is adults providing condoms to
teenagers especially in the schools.
An article in the Alan Guttmacher Institute's Family Planning
Perspectives quotes an annual condom failure rate of 18.4 percent
among teenaged girls under 18 years old. This means that more than half
of the users will be pregnant within three years.
The authors also say that "These rates are understated because
of the substantial underreporting of abortion among single women; if
abortion reporting was complete, failure rates would be 1.4 times as
high as they appear high."
These figures have been borne out in studies of those public schools
that have distributed condoms to their students.
One writer describes the dismal results of one of the first
free-condom programs to be instituted at a high school in the United
In the three years since this [Adams City, Colorado] high school
became one of the first to hand out condoms, the birth rate has soared
to 31% above the national average of 58.1 births per 1,000 students
Last year, 76 of Adams City students became teen mothers, This
year, more than 100 births are expected. That's left people at this
school, recognized throughout Colorado for its cutting-edge
educational and social programs, searching for explanations.
Resulting AIDS Infections.
One outstanding feature of the AIDS panic is the fanatical way that
the Planned Parenthood types insist that "safe sex" is still
possible in the face of this menace.
Their prescription for "safe sex" is usually condoms. But
trusting one's very life to a thin membrane a few millionths of an inch
thick translates into sheer lunacy when the scientific facts are
A recent University of Miami Medical School Study showed that 17
percent of women whose HIV-infected husbands faithfully used condoms
contracted AIDS-Related Complex (ARC) in an 18-month period.
The February 6, 1987 issue of the Journal of the American Medical
Association described another study of AIDS transmission between
infected and uninfected partners. The study included 32 heterosexual
couples, each of which included one infected male and one noninfected
female. After a period of from one to three years, the following rates
of AIDS transmission were noted;
PROBABILITY OF MALE-TO-FEMALE AIDS TRANSMISSION OVER A
ONE-YEAR PERIOD WITH CONDOM USE
12 of 14 women not using
3 of 10 women using condoms
0 of 8 women abstaining
Reference: "Evaluation of Heterosexual
Partners, Children and Household Contacts of Adults With AIDS." Journal
of the American Medical Association (JAMA), February 6, 1987
Condoms Just Don't Do the Job.
The most significant result of this study is that consistent condom
use does not prevent AIDS transmission. In a period of three
years, infected partners transmitted the AIDS virus to their spouses at
an annual rate of 11.2 percent. This means that, during a period of six
years, more than half of the uninfected partners of AIDS patients will
become infected themselves despite 100% use of condoms.
According to virtually every source, the failure rate for condoms
during anal sex is approximately three times that for
heterosexual intercourse, because of the very heavy stresses placed on
the material of the condom. This results in the following rates of AIDS
transmission for anal and normal sex;
AIDS TRANSMISSION RATES FOR NORMAL AND ANAL SEX
Average AIDS Transmission
When Condoms Are Used for;
In view of the extremely long latent period for AIDS (and the many
sexual partners that homosexuals have), these statistics should be
frightening to all sexually active homosexual men who think they are
safe with condoms.
And so-called "Safe(r) Sex" educations seems not to be
working. According to those who know the best the condom manufacturers
intensive advertising on radio, television, and some cable networks has
led to no increase in the use of condoms over the last five years.
Figure 100-2 includes quotes from experts in the field who have shown
that condoms are extremely ineffective at preventing infection by the
incredibly tiny AIDS virus.
RESULTS OF STUDIES ON THE INEFFECTIVENESS OF THE CONDOM AT PREVENTING
ACQUIRED IMMUNE DEFICIENCY SYNDROME (AIDS) AND OTHER STDS
I think these results certainly tell us right off that one condom
is not the same as the next. Koop and AIDS groups and others promoting
condoms have been very careless about that point ... The Lifestyles
Conture, Trojan Ribbed Natural, Trojan Ribbed and Contracept Plus all
showed evidence of virus leakage. One in 10 condoms tested leaked in
each brand, except for the Contracept Plus, which leaked [HIV] virus
10 of the 25 times it was tested.
Dr. Cecil Fox, quoted in Allan Parachini.
"Condom Study Finding Wide Differences Among Brands." Los
Angeles Times, June 29, 1988.
The possible consequences of condom failure when one partner is HIV
infected are serious enough and the likelihood of failure sufficiently
high that condom use by risk groups should not be described as 'safe
sex'... Condoms have a substantial failure rate: 13-15% of women whose
male partners use condoms as the sole method of contraception become
pregnant within one year.
Jeffrey A. Kelly and Janet S. St. Lawrence.
"Cautions About Condoms in Prevention of AIDS." The Lancet
(Journal of the English Medical Society). February 7, 1987, page 323.
Professionals and the public alike have been misled into believing
that sex with a condom is safe ... considering the 10% pregnancy rate
with the use of condoms, this creates a dangerous false sense of
security. We consider it irresponsible to suggest to anyone that
condoms are entirely safe ... advising persons that it is safe to have
sex with condoms is false, provides an erroneous sense of security,
and can kill partners.
Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, Fall
1986, page 164.
As has been discussed, condoms do not offer protection for diseases
that are transmitted by skin to skin contact such as human papilloma
virus and herpes simplex virus, frequently found throughout the
genital area in infected individuals. No degree of condom education
will curb the transmission of these organisms.
Stephen Genuis, M.D. "What About the
Condom?" Risky Sex (2nd Edition). Edmonton, Alberta: KEG
The officials note that condoms have been widely rejected as a
method of birth control because they frequently fail, and say the
devices may be no better in fact, may be worse at curtailing AIDS.
They warn that sexually active men and women should not assume that
they are protected simply because they use prophylactics ... The
safe-sex message just isn't true. You're still playing a kind of
Russian roulette. Instead of having six bullets in the chamber, you
Bruce Voeller, M.D., researcher with the
Mariposa Research Foundation, quoted in Lindsey Gruson. "Condoms:
Experts Fear False Sense of Security." The New York Times,
August 18, 1987.
Condoms failed to prevent HIV transmission in three of 18 couples,
suggesting that the rate of condom failure with HIV may be as high as
James J. Goedert, M.D. "What is Safe
Sex?" New England Journal of Medicine, October 21, 1987,
The condom was useless as a prophylactic against gonorrhea and even
under ideal conditions against syphilis.
Nicholas J. Fiumara, M.D., Massachusetts
Department of Public Health. "Effectiveness of Condoms in
Preventing V.D." New England Journal of Medicine, October
21, 1971, page 972.
Of Parachutes and Prophylactics.
If parachutes had the abysmal safety record that condoms do,
skydiving would have been outlawed long ago. Add to this the fact that a
thousand people die of AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases to
every person who dies in a parachuting accident, and it is obvious that
we have a major case of nationwide myopia. It is also obvious that most
people would choose death by parachute failure than a lingering, hideous
wasting away at the 'hands' of the AIDS virus.
In fact, Good Housekeeping Magazine will not even accept
condom advertisements, because they are not reliable enough for its
"Seal of Approval."
Apparently, when it comes to birth control, anything goes. What is
apparently important is not whether or not you are safe, but
whether or not you think you are safe.
Under the 30,000 power magnification of a scanning electron
microscope, a stretched latex condom presents a membrane which is
impermeable to sperm and bacteria, but not always to most viruses
(which are about one-fiftieth the size of a sperm cell). This is why the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims that condoms can help
prevent the spread of many sexually-transmitted viruses, including AIDS,
genital herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis.
Even when latex condoms do not leak or tear, the size of their pores
present a grave question regarding AIDS transmissibility, as explained
by C.M. Roland, editor of Rubber Chemistry and Technology;
My only comment is to point out that the rubber comprising latex
condoms has intrinsic voids about 5 microns (0.0002 inches) in size.
Since this is roughly 10 times smaller than sperm, the latter are
effectively blocked in ideal circumstances. The 12 percent failure
rate of condoms in preventing pregnancy is attributable to in situ
cracking, removal, ozone deterioration from improper sealing,
manufactured defects, etc.
Contrarily, the AIDS virus is only 0.1 micron (4 millions of an
inch) in size. Since this is a factor of 50 smaller than the voids
inherent in rubber, the virus can readily pass through the condom
should it find a passage.
A reluctance to stake one's life on the ability of a condom to
prevent HIV infection bespeaks wisdom, not discrimination.
What's a Micron?
The term "micron" may not mean much to most people, so some
comparisons are shown below.
The graphical illustration below represents a single AIDS virus
((represented by the small box (Ü) against the larger box, which is the
comparative size of the average pore in a latex condom.
GRAPHICAL ILLUSTRATION OF THE COMPARATIVE SIZES OF LATEX CONDOM
PORES AND THE AIDS VIRUS
Other comparisons that might be useful as demonstrators would be the
comparison of a grapefruit (the condom pore) and a pea (the HIV virus).
In a comparison at this scale, a sperm cell's head would be three feet
in diameter, and the cell itself would be one hundred feet long.
As stated above, the sperm head is 50 microns in diameter, and the
cell itself is about 750 microns long, including tail. The AIDS virus
head is about one-tenth of a micron in diameter. When the length of the
sperm cell itself is taken into account, the sperm cell is about half
a million times more massive than the AIDS virus.
The comparison is equivalent to placing a field mouse weighing
one-fifth of an ounce next to a three-ton bull elephant.
So-called "skin" condoms, which account for most of the
condoms used in the United States today, are much less reliable than
latex condoms. They are made from part of a lamb's large intestine.
Instead of the pore-free barrier presented by a latex condom, the
"skin" appears as a fiber latticework under 30,000 power
magnification, with some pores up to 1.5 microns in diameter. This size
is smaller than sperm, but more than ten times larger than an AIDS
virus and 25 times larger than the hepatitis-B virus. However, since
a "skin" condom is composed of multiple layers, it may
be impervious to these viruses.
Studies and Inspections.
Of four major laboratory studies performed so far, three show
"skin" condom impermeability to viruses, and one shows
FDA inspectors have been conducting unannounced tests of domestic
condoms at factories and imported condoms at their ports of entry since
April of 1987. If more than 4 in 1,000 condoms fail the "pinhole
test," the entire lot is destroyed.
As of July of 1988, more than 15 million condoms had been destroyed
because their lots had too many defects. This is about ten percent of
all domestic condoms and twenty percent of all imported condom lots
It should be highly significant to those people who value their lives
that the FDA only tests about seven percent (one in fourteen) of all
 Herbert Ratner, M.D. Quoted in Human Life International Reprint
#26. Also see Child and Family Magazine, 20: 83-86, 1988.
 "Can You Rely on Condoms?" Consumer Reports,
March 1989, pages 135 to 141.
 W.R. Grady, M.D. Hayward, and J. Yagi. "Contraceptive
Failure in the United States: Estimates From the 1982 National Survey of
Family Growth." Alan Guttmacher Institute's Family Planning
Perspectives, September/October 1986, page 204.
 United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.
Reference Data Book and Guide to Sources, Statistical Abstract of the
United States. 1988, Table 99.
 Jana Mazanee. "Birth Rate Soars At Colorado School." USA
Today, May 19, 1992, page 3A.
 "Evaluation of Heterosexual Partners, Children and Household
Contacts of Adults With AIDS." Journal of the American Medical
Association (JAMA), 1987 (257:640).
 Crain's Chicago Business, May 25, 1987. As described in
"AIDS and Advocate Science." Fidelity Magazine, October
1987, pages 10 to 12.
 Letter entitled "Sound Medical Advice," by William V.
Fitzsimmons, M.D. Fidelity Magazine, April 1987, pages 11 and 12.
 C.M. Roland, editor, Rubber Chemistry and Technology.
"Do You Want to Stake Your Life on a Condom?" The Washington
Times, April 22, 1992.
Further Reading: Condoms.
Greenhaven Press. Human Sexuality: Opposing Viewpoints.
Greenhaven Press Opposing Viewpoints Series, Post Office Box 289009, San
Diego, California 92128-9009. 1989, 440 pages. This series consists of a
basic volume followed by annual updates by the same name. The main
arguments for and against each idea are written by the leading activists
in each field. Topics covered include contraceptives (the birth control
pill and condoms are emphasized), AIDS, homosexuality, and abortion.
This topic is covered by a series of books, beginning with a basic set
of essays entitled Sources and continuing with an additional and
updated annual series of essays. A catalog is available from the above
address and can be obtained by calling 1-(800) 231-5163.
Human Life International. Project Condoms.
33 pages, June 1992. More than one hundred detailed quotes by condom
experts outlining the ineffectiveness of the prophylactic at preventing
pregnancy and AIDS. Available from Human Life International, 7845-E
Airpark Road, Gaithersburg, Virginia 20879.
© American Life League BBS — 1-703-659-7111
This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist’s Encyclopedia published
by American Life League.