By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
When Cherie Blair, wife of the former UK prime minister Tony Blair, publicly called for the Catholic Church to allow birth control so women could pursue careers, the Church of Scotland promptly corrected her erroneous opinions.
According to a report appearing in The Telegraph, Mrs. Blair was addressing an audience at the Edinburgh International Book Festival when she said, “If you look at what progress women have made in the world, one of the reasons they have been able to make progress is because they have been able to control their fertility.
“I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with that, and indeed without being able to control that I wouldn’t have been able to achieve the things that I’ve been able to do.
“I think it’s a really important issue and I would prefer it if the Catholic Church took a more positive attitude towards contraception because I think there’s a lot of difference between preventing a life coming about and actually extinguishing a life when it has come about.”
The Church in Scotland responded by pointing out Mrs. Blair’s error in saying that oral contraception did not “extinguish” life. A spokesman said: “That is exactly what the morning-after pill does, while the conventional pill can potentially do the same.”
He also pointed out that today’s woman is not necessarily interested in prioritizing career over family. “Increasingly women are finding that postponing or preventing pregnancy to focus on a career leaves them unable to conceive later in life, causing many to suggest that kids then career’ might be a more sensible choice than career then kids’.”
In the document, Humanae Vitae, the Church warned of four major problems concerning the use of contraception. It said that birth control caused infidelity, a general lowering of moral standards throughout society, a lowering of respect by men towards women and the coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments. The last 40 years of history has confirmed all of these warnings.
The church’s spokesman added that the Church does not oppose regulating fertility but recommends a natural approach rather than ingesting synthetic hormones that cause of variety of physical, emotional and environmental side effects.
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