Edit on 8/30/2016: after publishing this, the interaction I had in the comments below helped me clarify this concept. Going forward, you will see me referring to the concept like this: “Fertile couples don’t have a right to pregnancy-free coitus,” rather than “Nobody has a right to pregnancy-free coitus.” The first phrase is more accurate. If you read the comments where I discuss menopausal women, you’ll see how I came to this conclusion.
In Catholic circles there is an idea known as “the contraceptive mentality.” I’m not crazy about the phrase because it isn’t obvious what it means. At least, it wasn’t to me. It was only in the last four months or so that I understood it, even though I embraced the Church’s teaching on contraception 5-6 years ago, before I even officially became Catholic. Once I figured out what the phrase meant, I coined my own phrase:
Nobody has a right to pregnancy-free coitus.
That seems more clear to me. It makes it easier to see how contraception shifts the thought process surrounding sex. Even though not every act of sex makes a baby, in point of fact sex is a normatively and presumptively fertile act. Contraception shifts the thought process at this point. It makes people believe that sex is normatively and presumptively sterile. Once sex is viewed this way, then link between contraception and abortion becomes apparent. If sex is supposed to be sterile, then getting rid of an unwanted baby is justified on the grounds that the pregnancy was unintended. The use of contraceptives buttresses the idea that sex is a purely recreational activity; sex becomes a baby making activity only when the baby is explicitly wanted. Thus, contraception devalues all human life.
Superficially, it seems like contraception would reduce abortion, but this has not been the case. As Janet Smith said:
“There’s not a country in the world which had abortion illegal… in which contraception gets introduced and widely used, that’s when you get pressure to change the laws against abortion.”
And why is that? Because contraception makes people believe that they have a right to pregnancy-free coitus. Even SCOTUS noted the link between contraception and abortion in its 1992 decision known as Planned Parenthood v. Casey:
“…in some critical respects abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception . . . . for two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.”
That’s SCOTUS, a totally secular organization, making the same connection between contraception and abortion that the Catholic Church makes, but using the link as a way to uphold abortion. SCOTUS’ logic is that contraception gives people a right to pregnancy-free coitus, but since contraception can fail, then people need abortion as a way to uphold that right. It is obviously faulty logic, but people are so committed to purely recreational sex, and the false belief that contraception gives them 100% control over their fertility, that they can’t see how tenuous the logic is.