The Immorality of Discouraging Contraception
You may have noticed that people like to have sex, including countless youngsters whose testosterone levels dramatically exceed their intelligence. Everybody’s conception of permissible activity varies somewhat, based on controlling factors that most of us don’t bother to examine. But whether or not you approve of pre-marital sex, or marital sex, or post-marital sex, whether you think people ought to be having more sex or less, the act of copulation is as inevitable and eternal as the sunrise.
Attempting to dissuade or prevent human beings from engaging in one of life’s enduring pleasures is as futile and nonsensical as trying to eliminate the tides. Weird organizations devoted to chastity may certainly try their best to make lustful humans into self-abnegating monks, but they’re fighting millions of years of genetic imperatives, not to mention millions of marketing and popular culture images reinforcing the idea that getting laid is a crucial part of being a respectable citizen. You need to be thinner-fuller-lighter-darker-shinier-duller-sauver-sweeter-bigger-smaller-better because –well, you know why.
So whether or not your church or PTA or self-help guru thinks, for whatever reason, that people really ought not be having intercourse, they are and they will. And although couples may beat the odds now and again, the byproduct of intercourse is often a baby.
Unless the people having sex use contraception.
In many civilized countries, where the population is largely literate and capable of learning, novice sex practitioners have some idea of how to prevent their pleasurable interlude from becoming a lifelong curse. This knowledge, of course, is no guarantee of intelligent behavior. Even the daughters of Alaskan governors are capable of sexual stupidity. But at least contraception information is readily available, and the devices and pills that render sperm and egg useless are readily available, too. A civilized republic does what it can to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
In benighted, backwards, astonishingly deluded countries, however, contraception and sex education are discouraged or forbidden. Most of these places, not coincidentally, are poor and overpopulated, and in most of these places, not coincidentally, a powerful religious institution shapes public policy.
They like to brand the libidinous couples, especially the fallen woman, as immoral and debased for having succumbed to pleasures of the flesh. But by withholding or forbidding contraception, it is the religious institutions that are behaving immorally. Unwanted children — not unplanned, unwanted; there is a big difference — are not a blessing, no matter how anti-contraceptive proselytizers spin it. They’re a curse. And no matter what kind of sunny platitude you apply to it, teenaged girls in dysfunctional third world countries, where there is never enough work or food or resources for the inexorably growing and suffering population, do not want children. They want to fuck and be loved and have a boyfriend. But they don’t want, and shouldn’t have, a child that is mathematically destined to live in poverty, squalor, and violence.
Let us dispatch with propriety and niceties: Poor people who can barely feed themselves should not, ought not, be having children that they cannot feed, educate, and love. They should be practicing rigorous family planning. They should make sure their enjoyment of sex does not lead to pregnancies.
George Orwell suggested in 1984 that the State has a vested interest in keeping the masses in constant, irreversible poverty, because if everyone is spending every waking minute figuring out how to meet the most basic needs, they won’t have time, energy, or interest in revolutionary ideas. They won’t have the impulse to examine why they and almost everyone they know is doomed to live a difficult, punishing life.
We can only guess at the real motives of the institutions that stigmatize contraception and sex education. But the result of their Official Position is clear: endemic despair and hopelessness. Just as we in America urge sexually active individuals to “take responsibility,” it is time for societal leaders to take responsibility, to understand that their foolish fixation on influencing “morality” is itself a kind of obscene immorality.