Letter published in the Catholic Herald – January

1 January 2012 | Catholic Herald

SIR – In his forthright criticism of the climate change agenda, Mr Graziano Freschi writes that climate change is being used as a veil for the promotion of “contraception, sterilization, and abortion” (Letter December 9).

Catholic moralists often link contraception and abortion in this way as though they were equally sinful. Few people believe this. Most Catholics approve of contraception and use it, with a good conscience, when it is needed. Most Catholics do not approve of abortion.

Annually, tens of millions of abortions take place worldwide. (42 million is a recent estimate) But these numbers are falling as access to family planning education and contraceptive services have increased. In China and Russia many millions of abortions have been avoided since family planning has become available. Catholics campaigning against abortion will be much more effective if they campaign for the universal provision of family planning, as this is by far the most effective way of reducing the number of abortions.

Family planning also makes it possible to space pregnancies. This reduces not only infant mortality, but maternal mortality as well, which is a substantial benefit for poor families.

Gerald Danaher