Planned Parenthood Promotes 'Free Sex' by Employing These Harmful Deceptions

Author: Fr. Matthew Habiger, OSB

Planned Parenthood Promotes 'Free Sex' by Employing These Harmful Deceptions

by Fr. Matthew Habiger, OSB

Planned Parenthood promotes the deception that encouraging young people to have sex is a good thing. Convinced that our youth cannot be virtuous and save sex for marriage, they justify loose morals by making them into a new, but false, right. Planned Parenthood actively fights the Church and moral leaders who insist that chastity is the only way to go in the uphill struggle to strengthen family life and reduce teenage pregnancies.

PP argues that having sex is just another pleasure that young people are entitled to have. They deny any intrinsic connection between sex and new life. They say that any sexual arrangement is acceptable as long as both partners consent. And they accept no blame for the serious morass youth finds itself in today.

All these assumptions need to be challenged.

Deception #1: The Present-Day Society Is Healthy. Is this a healthy world for young people to grow up in? Key social indicators demonstrate cultural decay. Up to 50 percent of marriages break up today. "No-fault" divorce leaves emotionally scarred children who pay the price for their parents' refusal to make a commitment to each other and work out their problems. One out of three babies is killed on the altar of choice. This means that one-third of young people's brothers and sisters have been killed by abortionists, at the request of their mothers or fathers.

More and more teenagers are becoming infected with venereal disease, including AIDS. Sexual promiscuity leads to increased pregnancies for which there is no commitment on the part of either parent. More and more young single parents are raising children, and this adds to the feminization of poverty. All of these trends weaken society and destroy family life. Why should anyone defend these trends along with the choices and activities which caused them?

In 1993 William J. Bennett, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, released The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators through the auspices of the Heritage Foundation. The Index is the most comprehensive statistical portrait available of behavioral trends over the last 30 years. Among the findings: Since 1960, the population increased 41 percent; the gross domestic product nearly tripled; and total social spending by all levels of government (measured in constant 1990 dollars) rose from $142.73 billion to $787 billion -- more than a five-fold increase.

"But, during the same 30-year period, there was a 560 percent increase in violent crime; more than a 400 percent increase in illegitimate births; a quadrupling in divorces; a tripling of the percentage of children living in single-parent homes; more than a 200 percent increase in the teenage suicide rate; and a drop of 75 points in the average SAT scores of high school students.

"Today, 30 percent of all births and 68 percent of black births are illegitimate. By the end of the decade, according to the most reliable projections, 40 percent of all American births and 80 percent of minority births will occur out of wedlock.

"Consider, too, where the United States ranks in comparison with the rest of the industrialized world. We are at, or near, the top in rates of abortions, divorces, and unwed births. We lead the industrialized world in murder, rape, and violent crime. And in elementary and secondary education, we are at, or near, the bottom in achievement scores" ("Redeeming Our Time," Imprimis, November 1995).

Deception #2: There is no intrinsic connection between sex and new life. This assertion attempts to redefine human sexuality. It attempts to separate the life-giving dimension from the love-giving dimension of our sexuality. Sex is just the gratification of a biological urge. But by its very design, our sexuality is fertile, life-giving. It becomes sterile only by artificial intervention.

All forms of contraception diminish love by attacking its openness to life. Just as we did not design our respiratory system, our pulmonary system, or our digestive system, so also we did not design our reproductive system.

Our fertility is a good, not an evil. Since we transcend the animals by virtue of our personhood, the meaning of the marital embrace transcends animal copulation. Humans procreate; animals reproduce.

At conception God Himself intervenes, since no merely natural causes can account for the immortal soul of the new human person. Nature can account for animals reproducing; it cannot be an adequate cause for a spirit-person. Our fertility is always a good; it's part of the very meaning of our sexuality.

Human sexuality goes way beyond the physical and biological. It has spiritual, emotional and bonding dimensions. If we sterilize our sexuality by contraception or sterilization, then we reduce sex to mere utilitarian pleasure, what the animals do. The pursuit of pleasure is a thoroughgoing egotism, which reduces another person to the level of a means for satisfying my desires, an object for my pleasure.

Real love demands that sex and life be valued and kept together. The only way sex can escape egoism, even a harmonious union of two egoisms, is to base itself upon a good which transcends both of the partners. Such goods are children, family, a continuous ripening of a relationship and the bonding of a permanent relationship. All these goods are part of love.

Deception #3: It is good to promote 'safe' sex or recreational sex. When we teach sex education courses to teenagers, do we treat them as if they were young animals in heat? Or do we treat them as children of God?

We say that we want to stop illegitimacy, but we continue to subsidize the kind of behavior that virtually guarantees high rates of illegitimacy. We say that we want to discourage teenage sexual activity, but in classrooms all across America educators are more eager to dispense condoms than moral guidance. We say that we want to encourage virtue and honor among the young, but it has become a mark of sophistication to shun the language of morality.

Fornication is not real love: it lacks essential components of real love--i.e., a willingness to share oneself completely with a spouse. Young people who fornicate do not really love one another. They are only pretending, using symbols without content, participating in a sham. Anyone can fornicate, but only deeply committed lovers can make the gift of self, which includes an openness to life.

True love is proven in difficult moments. Forty percent of abortions in this country are performed on young women who thought their boyfriends loved them, only to be told when they became pregnant to get an abortion or lose the boyfriend. Policies which encourage safe sex or recreational sex do not prepare young people for a happy, stable, committed and open to life relationship.

Instead, fornication weakens a young person's ability to bond closely and develop the virtues necessary for a lifetime commitment. While chastity and modest build up lasting and healthy relationships, fornication destroys them. Fornication reduces one's partner to the level of an object which is easily replaceable.

Deception #4: Recreational sex is an expression of freedom of choice. Free choice is a source of the dignity of the person as a moral agent. Freedom presupposes intelligence and free will. By our intelligence we can know the truth and with our free will we can choose the good freely. However, we can also choose evil, but this is self-destructive and contrary to reason. We are to delight in our freedom and exercise it well, but be fearful least we abuse it by making destructive, untruthful choices.

It is wrong to set oneself against, or choose against, a good. Something good should be loved and wanted. It is wrong to treat a good as though it were an evil. An unborn child, or any human person, is always a good because it is a member of the human race, a person who can make a priceless contribution to society, a free moral agent, an image of God and a person destined to share in the very life and love of God.

If we hate the good and love evil, then we are destroying ourselves by the choices we make. Some choices are horrible, such as abortion, fornication and adultery, and we should never make them. True moral principals are needed to help us make good choices.

Recreational sex is an expression of freedom of choice, but it is a bad and harmful choice, a wrong choice, a choice to be avoided. A bad choice cannot be made into a good choice simply by wishing it so.

Our choices have consequences. Shooting drugs is one expression of choice, but its consequences are disastrous, regardless of one's wishes and intentions. We are free to destroy ourselves, but this is an abuse of freedom.

We have freedom, but with this comes responsibility. Having the freedom to drive a car, for example, brings with it the responsibility to drive safely. Otherwise, the driver becomes a threat to the lives of everyone he or she meets.

Freedom of choice means that we are to choose responsibly, keeping within the limits of the good, the right and the true. If freedom is not exercised with a concern for the truth, then it turns against us and destroys us. Giving condoms to teenagers under the pretense of the exercise of freedom is like giving matches to children, and the results can be just as deadly--not only to their bodies, but to their souls.

Fr. Matthew Habiger, OSB, PhD, is the president of HLI.

Copyright (c) 1996 EWTN