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By Jennifer Hartline

9/16/2009 (6 years ago)

Catholic Online (

It's time for a sexual counter-revolution which liberates men and women, honors marriage and reaffirms the dignity of human love.


By Jennifer Hartline

Catholic Online (

9/16/2009 (6 years ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - With our government on the verge of passing health care legislation that, absent explicit language placed within it prohibiting Federal funds from being used for abortion, will mandate abortion coverage paid for by you and me, I figure now's a good time for a radical discussion about sex. We'll never change the way we view abortion until we change our attitudes about sex. It's time for a sexual counter-revolution.

The sanctity of human life from the moment of conception throughout all of life up to and including a natural death is the only foundation our society will ever be able to stand upon if we hope to flourish as a truly free people. It's quite obvious our foundation is crumbling. To repair it, we must go back to square one and correct our ideas about sex. Unless we give sexual intercourse its due reverence, we'll never give human life its due reverence. The two can never be separated, as Pope Paul VI tried to tell the world in his prophetic encyclical, Humanae Vitae. If we don't regard all life as sacred - and thus the creative act of sex--then we will always find ways to rationalize and justify the murder of a child as a "right."

I'm not naively suggesting that prior to 1973 people were all living chaste and faithful lives and that sex was held in the highest esteem by all, to be expressed within the bond of marriage. I am saying that the decision to legalize the killing of our preborn children cemented a poisonous shift in our mentality, and that poison has corroded every aspect of our society, especially our treatment of sex. We replaced responsibility with "rights" and it's been a downhill race toward insatiable debauchery ever since.

One criticism I hear often from people is that I and other Pro-Life folks ignore the real cause of abortions: unexpected/unwanted pregnancies. What needs to be addressed, they say, is the "tragedy of unexpected and unwanted pregnancies." Do you see what I mean? Pregnancy is a "tragedy" - not a miracle of life. There's that poisonous shift in our thinking. The creation of a new human being is a tragedy if we didn't expect it or want it. The tragedy isn't the new life; it's our self-centered, warped perspective.

Okay then, let's address it head-on. There is a solution to the problem of nearly all unwanted and unexpected pregnancies, but it's the only one that nobody wants to talk about or consider seriously. The answer is so obvious, it just begs to be shouted out, but no one wants to do it because it's the action that requires the most of us. As soon as I say it, I'll be laughed at and called an idealistic nincompoop (or worse). I don't care. It might not be politically correct, but it must be said!

We all know exactly how babies are made so if you are unwilling to lovingly accept a child into your life, then don't have sex! Period.

Sex isn't a right; it's a profound gift that serves a profound purpose. It isn't just a healthy, human activity; it's also the ultimate expression of love and selflessness. It's not a recreational pastime with no strings attached. Sex comes with some huge responsibilities, and if we're not willing to accept ALL those responsibilities, we have no business having sex. It's that simple.

The tragedy isn't that women are unexpectedly pregnant; it's that people are selfishly indulging in sex and then refusing to accept the natural outcome. Women do not simply "find themselves" pregnant, as though they had nothing to do with it. It isn't magic that happens without their involvement. (In no way am I speaking here to women who are victims of violent assault. No woman chooses to be raped.)

Our real freedom and power lies in that very first choice: to have sex or not. Why are women only free and empowered if they have the "right" to kill their babies? Are we not capable of using our brains and connecting the dots? "If I choose to do this, here's what will probably happen. It's my life and my choice, so I'd better make the wise choice." It seems to me that a woman who's truly interested in preserving her choices will be smart and not put herself in a vulnerable position in the first place. I never said it was easy - only that it was simple. Our choices need to be made while we still have our clothes on.

Next comes the argument that not having sex is completely unrealistic and impossible, so we must have better birth control. Here again is the poisonous shift in our thinking. Birth control simply further engraves on our hearts the idea that pregnancy is a tragedy and babies are a burden to be avoided. When unexpected/unwanted pregnancy occurs, it isn't because our birth control has failed, it's because our sense of morality and responsibility has failed. The creation of new life should always be expected because that's what sex is for! That's why even married couples are called to abstain when they have serious reasons for not conceiving a child.

And let's stop buying Planned Parenthood's talking points that say many women have abortions because they think they have no other choice. Baloney. There are other choices, but they won't be as convenient as killing the baby. It's in Planned Parenthood's best interest to portray women as pitiable, helpless, forgotten sufferers without any recourse besides abortion, but it's a lie. Women need to stop wearing the victim mask and take responsibility for their life's choices, the most important of which is whether or not to have sex. Where is a woman's personal accountability in all of this? Where is a man's?

It goes without saying that society must step up and care for the needs of pregnant women and their babies, encouraging all mothers to choose life. (I believe the Church works very hard to do that.) It also goes without saying that men and women need to think about the consequences of their actions and be willing to accept responsibility, and responsibility does not equal abortion.

Is everyone expected to be "perfect", in the sense of never making a mistake or exercise bad judgment? Of course not. I'm simply saying that when it comes to sex, we all know what happens! Our lapses in judgment can never, ever justify killing preborn babies. Once a new person enters the equation, the only choice that remains is LIFE. America needs to stop selling abortion as a legitimate and reasonable choice. It's not a safety net or a back-up plan. We need to return to the knowledge that sex is sacred because life is sacred.

It's time for a radical revolution of responsibility; a revolution of reverence for sex and reverence for life.It is time for a sexual counter-revolution which liberates men and women, honors marriage and reaffirms the beauty and dignity of human love in the Divine Plan.


Jennifer Hartline is a Catholic Army wife and stay-at-home mother of three precious kids who writes frequently on topics of Catholic faith and daily living. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.


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