On the one hand, we adore and fawn over the children of celebrities, even if they have… interesting names, like Banjo or Free. On the other hand, we blindly support the idea that babies are an incredible hassle and should be avoided at all costs using any form of contraception necessary. Then we flip-flop again to viewing them as something to be desired, (once we have finally decided we are ready to be parents, or course) and when we come up against an obstacle in conceiving a child naturally, we turn to science to artificially produce a child for us, no matter the financial, psychological, or moral costs.
Depending on our personal desires, our image of babies has become either viewing them as a burden to be avoided, or a commodity to be obtained. We so often use science for these purposes that we forget that biology has already given our bodies the ability to avoid or achieve pregnancy naturally, by observing the signs and symptoms in a woman’s body that signal her fertility. This is known as Fertility Awareness or Natural Family Planning. There are even holistic, effective ways to cure infertility, rather than working around it.
Guys, the reality is, having kids is awesome. If you’re a man, it could help keep you out of jail. If you’re a woman, it can reduce your risk for breast cancer. And if nerdy, sciencey-biology stuff is your thing, having kids will blow your mind. Seriously, new life is truly science at its most marvelous and most sophisticated. Children are the future of our world and our personal legacy. So why is it, then, that so many people in our culture look at those two lines on a positive pregnancy test and panic? New life should be awe-inspiring, not fear-inducing! Why are the first thoughts that come to our minds negative and fearful? Many times, the answer is simple: We have trained their minds to think of new life as BAD. This is just one side effect of what’s known as “the contraceptive mentality.”Let’s break it down. We’re in a time of our life when parenthood is not desired. We don’t want any babies right now. So, what do we do? Certainly, refraining during the woman’s fertile time from the act which brings about new life (ahem, SEX) seems out of the question, so we find another solution. Contraception. Whether it be hormones, implants, shots, devices, etc., we begin to regularly use contraception when engaging in sex. We go on about our life, fearing pregnancy, contracepting, having sex, yada yada yada.
Now we here at 1Flesh take as an assumption that those using contraception are doing doing so out of love, using it because they truly believe it’s what’s best for them and their partner. And that’s awesome. But there’s something that doesn’t quite work with this method — there are unintended consequences to the act of contraception.
The longer this behavior lasts, the stronger the mental training becomes: “I don’t want a baby. Getting pregnant is bad. Having a baby is bad. Nooooo babies!” We falsely believe that contraception will do what it’s supposed to do, that is, prevent conception. And when that contraception fails us, as it so often does, we find ourselves a parent of a new human person. And that’s when the training kicks in. We see those two lines and our brains immediately react in the most negative way “No!! Pregnancy is bad! Babies are bad! This is bad!”
The contraceptive mentality has resulted in a collective, societal belief that WE get to decide when a baby is a good thing or a bad thing. Rather than viewing each new life as a unique, amazing little human, with inherent value and dignity, we choose to believe that we are the authors of human worth. We give ourselves the privilege of determining which babies are valuable and which are not.
We start by putting a false security into our hands that by using contraception, we thereby are in full command of whether or not we will become pregnant, and the power then extrapolates from there. “I decide when I have a baby. Whoops, now I brought a new life into the world that I didn’t intend to. Oh well, I can still decide if that life is worth anything or not.”
The bottom line is this, in our great scientific victory of creating artificial means to avoid pregnancy, we have forgotten the bare bones of biology. Sex makes babies. And each new life is valuable beyond measure simply because it exists. Humanity deserves dignity based on no other criteria than the fact that one is a living human. It’s not about how developed or talented or useful a person is.
Throughout history, mankind has made all kinds of false claims about which humans have value and which do not. Women being bought and sold as property. Jews, Catholics, homosexuals, the mentally disabled — murdered in the Holocaust. Indigenous groups, Africans, and conquered peoples forced into slavery. These people were denigrated by society to be a lesser form of life in order to justify the mistreatment of them. They were called swine, rats, savages, animals, worthless, trash, less than human. This mentality was continually ingrained into the society of the time, so that the behaviors which people wanted to carry out could be done so without public outcry.
Today, we find ourselves in a society which claims the zygote, the embryo, the fetus, is only valuable if it is desired. People have been trained by the contraceptive mentality that we are in control of the creation of human life, and furthermore, the dignity of human life. To me, this is one of the worst casualties we suffer from as a country in love with contraception. We have lost sight of human worth. In our quest for pleasure and “freedom” — good goals indeed — we have thrown human value to the wayside. We choose only to see whatever “good” they desire from contraception, but fail to explore anything negative that might result from it. And unfortunately, even after having been made aware of certain negative consequences of artificial contraception, so many people still choose to use it. My question is “Why?”
Folks, let’s examine our societal contraceptive mentality. Really think about if this is working to our advantage or not. Are poor people richer from using contraception? Are abortion rates down as a result of widespread contraception? Are unintended pregnancy rates down? Are women respected for who they are — or are they used for their now “pregnancy risk-free” bodies? Are infertility rates increasing or decreasing? Are reproductive diseases increasing or decreasing? Has human dignity increased as a result of contraception?
Think about it.