In his April 28 letter, More abortions, Paul C. Hunt makes a cogent point about the important role played by Planned Parenthood in preventing abortions by promoting contraception.
Granted, Planned Parenthood performs abortions as well, but that is mostly by default, when contraception has failed or when it was not available, resulting in an unwanted pregnancy. If pro-Life and pro-choice activists would just spent more of their time, energy and budgets on preventing unwanted pregnancies, the need for abortion would not disappear, but certainly would be reduced, as Hunt points out.
In that sense the continuing opposition by the Roman Catholic Church to any artificial method of family planning is probably responsible for an increased number of unwanted pregnancies that may lead to abortions.
In his recent publication called Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis reiterated that only the so-called natural methods of family planning are condoned.
However, there is ample evidence that these methods have a high and unacceptable failure rate under less than ideal circumstances, here in the United States and especially in underdeveloped countries. This failure rate results in unwanted pregnancies and abortions.
With the ascendance of Francis to the papacy, many Catholics had hoped that the church might revise its opposition to contraception, but that hope was shattered with the pope’s recent remarks. We are back to Square One.
William J. LeMaire M.D., emeritus professor, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine