Yesterday I had the pleasure of having a conversation with a woman who is counselor for pregnant teens. We were talking about some of the problems she faces everyday and one of the biggest problems she sees is the lack of role models for these teens and how they really know nothing different than the cycle of poverty. This led to the topic of contraception and the views of the Catholic Church who teach that contraception is wrong and should not be practiced by good Catholics. How can we as Catholics reconcile this in our lives?
The question as i see it is two fold:
- Since there is a very good chance these babies will be born into poverty and the assorted problems associated with it, wouldn’t it be better to prevent these teens from getting pregnant in the first place by providing them with contraception?
- Can we change this culture of “babies having babies” when this is all many of these teens know nothing else?
The Catholic Church has always taught that contraception is wrong becasue it interferes with the intended purpose of the act of sexual intercourse, to procreate. After all it’s right there in Genesis 1: 22 “Be fruitful and multiply” so God certainly doesn’t want us to interfere with that. But isn’t it also wrong to bring into this world an unwanted child? The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” in 2223 makes it clear the parents should be raised in a good home. It can certainly be argued that when a family or an unwed mother already has other children, no job, no education, the child will not be brought into a good home. In this case wouldn’t contraception be a better choice?
Secondly when you are into the second, third or even fourth generation of kids having kids, where 87% of these pregnancies are unwanted, it is obvious that the parents of these teens and likely their grandparents as well were also unwed mothers. This has become a cultural problem which must be stopped.
Which brings up the question: How can we stop it if our Catholic teaching is against contraception and there is no one to educate the children, no role models, no knowledgeable parents?
This is a problem which needs to be addressed soon, we must break the cycle before more of these unwanted children are brought into this world to be dependent on others, neglected and more than likely to be unloved.