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Showing posts from March, 2012

Was the Humanae Vitae right?

There is a literature among Catholic scholars that asserts that, contrary to widespread popular opinion, the empirical predictions of the Humanae Vitae (1968) have been vindicated. In short: Everything you think you know about the 'sexual revolution' is wrong. This article is a good example.

In this article, note also the (to me) strange and I think suspect link asserted between the sexual revolution, homosexuality, and the sexual abuse scandals of the Catholic Church.

Breast-feeding as an abortifacient?

I came across this citation while reading a William  Saletan column, which, if I can decipher the jargon, indicates that ovulation may still occur during the postpartum breast-feeding stage. Does this suggest that, during this stage, a woman may have a fertilized egg that does not implant due to breast-feeding? This would place breast-feeding as an abortifacient practice in line with other methods of contraceptive unacceptable to pro-lifers.

Saletan's earlier column does a nice job of capturing the scientific uncertainty over what happens with eggs and implantation with emergency contraception (like Plan B).

The connection between contraception and abortion rates

Does increased contraception use (and funding of contraception use) reduce the number of abortions? Some arguments over the question:

This columnist, from National Review Online, thinks "no."

William Saletan, from Slate, holds the more conventional view.

Here is Ross Douthat's interpretation, in The New York Times.

And here is a study  (pdf) from the Lancet. The columnists are arguing, in part, over the interpretation of the data from this study.

Is campus contraceptive use sensitive to funding changes?

Study shows students turn to riskier methods when insurance doesn't cover contraception | Inside Higher Ed

Note how the most important finding (or non-finding) was buried in this article: While contraceptive use was affected by price shifts, there was no statistically significant change in the number of accidental pregnancies.

This study, from Slate, has more nuanced reporting on the question of accidental pregnancies, suggesting that accidental pregnancies did go up for a subset of women in the study.