A hideous Facebook meme is apparently going around, comparing contraceptives to life jackets, claiming that pro-life people want to “ban” said contraceptives, and saying we would not save a drowning victim, because by pro-life logic, they got themselves into the mess in the first place by failing to abstain from water sports.
I saw it in an excellent critique by Jennifer Fulwiler in her blog when I was looking at the National Catholic Register just now. She addressed the horrific idea that a child could be equated with drowning. If anyone needs evidence that society has sunk below Nero’s Rome, morally, it’s that so many could accept that equation without questioning it, and without comment. Distressing as unexpected responsibilities are, they are part of the rhythm of life, not the end of anyone’s life.
I posted a comment and decided to repost it here, it was so long.
This is easy to shoot down:
1. Premarital sex is totally unnecessary and is inherently unhealthy; water activities, however, are an important way to keep fit and cool. Therefore, abstaining from water sports would be harmful, whereas abstaining from premarital sex has only positive effects.
2. Pregnancy isn’t analogous to drowning. It’s analogous to getting wet. If the government told children that life jackets prevent wetness in the rapids, and that they will all inevitably spend a huge amount of the summer in the rapids while in middle school, the government would be committing fraud.
3. Abortion is the exact opposite of an analogy for saving someone from drowning. Abortion kills. Saving someone from drowning saves a life. The two actions are precise opposites. A more apt analogy would be if someone were to push herself up to keep her head dry by pushing a child’s head down, drowning the child. If getting wet bothered her so much she was prepared to kill over it, then maybe in her case water sports are inappropriate.
4. No one is trying to ban contraceptives. Whoever came up with that Orwellian gibberish should come forward and explain himself. The issue is a) whether the schools should falsely teach that they are infallible and safe, and b) whether unwilling people should be forced to purchase them for others.
Fish in a barrel.
Perhaps a better analogy would be drugs. Suppose children, at age 12, got free bongs and plated straws in school, so that, given the likelihood that they will be using drugs anyway, there will be an 87% lower chance that they will burn their throats or use needles, at least at first. The fact that children who receive such gifts actually begin using drugs two years earlier than others, and a wider variety of drugs by age 25, and most use needles sometimes anyway, is suppressed for fear that such knowledge will jeopardize funding for this “health education” program.
The fact that the age of first use and the variety of drugs sampled are actually bigger factors in mental and physical health than previously assumed — that reality, also, will be suppressed, so the kids don’t feel shame or fear over their presumed eventual drug use.
The term “addict” is banned as “hate speech,” to prevent fights between heavy users and nonusers in the playgrounds.
As for adults, their employers must cover their drug paraphernalia costs, regardless of the nature of the job or company. A rehab center must buy lighters, straws and wipes for all employees. Regardless of the actual effect of such programs on life expectancies, the government decrees that, since a drug-paraphernalia lobbyist claimed without evidence that hundreds of thousands of users per year used to die from using homemade, unsanitary paraphernalia, the provision of store-bought supplies is “basic preventative care.”
Would that be sensible?
Then why does the current system treat irresponsible sexual behavior, even by children, in the same way the above scenario treats drug abuse?