In the last fifty years, the modernist attack on Christianity has succeeded in advancing its pernicious teachings and vain theologies on many fronts. Indeed, the biggest gains have been made against the very heart and foundation of the Church – the human family. This assault has been directed at the divine sexual union between a man and a woman through that damnable self-imposed curse of the twentieth century, traditionally known as coitus interuptus, contemporarily known as contraception. Today, of course, modern man looks at it no longer as a curse but a blessing.
Eric Svendsen’s recent attack on the sacrosanct act of sexual intimacy is a splendid example of the thoughts of modern man being conformed to this world. His article titled Sex, Lies, and Papal Encyclicals-Oh, and a Book Review, Too) sets the tone for his article which takes aim at the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception. Being a scholarly individual, Dr. Svendsen prides himself on producing…..well…scholarly work. [After all, his recent book Who Is My Mother?, he assures us, is “the definitive work in Evangelicalism on what the New Testament teaches about Mary. This work debunks the Marian mythology and superstition that so permeates Roman Catholic piety, apologetics and theology today.”]
You would think that an individual who purports to represent theology on a scholarly level would allow his work to reflect such a level. Unfortunately, as you have probably surmised by now, the article noted above, not only falls significantly short of that mark, but also reflects a contemptuous attitude towards the perennial Christian view. Yes, folks, it’s sad but true.
Dr. Svendsen makes a number of embarrassing comments which serve to detract from any substantial objections he might otherwise have. As a former Catholic, you have to wonder if Dr. Svendsen even cares to give the Church’s teaching on contraception a fair shake. I guess you can’t blame him. After all, contraception is one of (if not the central) ‘hinge’ issue that former Protestants point to as their turning point in becoming Catholic – Matatics, Hahn, and Woods come to mind in this area. So it comes as no surprise that Eric would eventually address this issue.
While his attitude toward contraception might be expected, you would at least expect him to be fairly knowledgeable about the issue in order to come out so strongly against it. In fact, the article in question certainly does not lead one to believe that Dr. Svendsen knows that much about it all. Apparently, he neither knows much about theological and moral licitness of natural family planning (based on some of his comments, on for instance ‘the rhythm method’, one can quickly see that the man is not exactly cutting edge in his research into this area), nor does he appear to have even a cursory grasp of the religious and secular history of contraception.
And so it’s left to me, dear reader, to correct, to reprove, and to admonish Dr. Svenden of his most grievous and injurious errors.
Dr. Svendsen makes the following remark:
“Since Pope Paul VI issued his papal encyclical Humanae Vitae it has been commonplace for conservative Roman Catholics to adopt an almost hostile attitude toward sexual relations with one’s spouse…”
What utter nonsense. The Catholic Church has always been the greatest defender of the sexual act within the context of marriage. Catholics simply insist that the pleasurable consequence of the act not be separated from the procreative purpose of it: what God has joined, let no man put asunder. It has always been the constant teaching of the Church that contraception was intrinsically evil, and three pontiffs of recent times have reiterated that very ancient teaching – Leo XIII in his encyclical Arcanum Divinae Sapientiae , Pius XI in his encyclical Casti Connubi  and Paul VI in his encyclical Humanae Vitae . (See Appendix A for selected quotes.)
In fact, for 1,930 years, both Catholics and Protestants stood firm against contraception until the Anglican Conference at Lambeth. No theologian of any substance, including the Reformers as we will later learn, supported contraception. The universal and unanimous condemnation stood as a testimony of a common moral tradition until Lambeth. At Lambeth, however, the demonic contraceptive lie, fueled by Social Darwinism, eventually toppled the first Christian church, and then later on all the others, except one JJ. As the Eugenic pressure swept western culture, the Anglican Communion steadfastly condemned contraception at the two previous conferences at Lambeth in 1908 and 1920. The Eugenicists would not let up, however. The opinions of these people were outrageous:
“Before eugenicists and others who are laboring for racial betterment can succeed, they must first clear the way for Birth Control. Like the advocates of Birth Control, the eugenicists, for instance, are seeking to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit. Both are seeking a single end but they lay emphasis upon different methods. Eugenicists emphasize the mating of healthy couples for the conscious purpose of producing healthy children, the sterilization of the unfit to prevent their populating the world with their kind and they may, perhaps, agree with us that contraception is a necessary measure among the masses of the workers, where wages do not keep pace with the growth of the family and its necessities in the way of food, clothing, housing, medical attention, education and the like. We who advocate Birth Control, on the other hand, lay all our emphasis upon stopping not only the reproduction of the unfit but upon stopping all reproduction when there is not economic means of providing proper care for those who are born in health. The eugenicist also believes that a woman should bear as many healthy children as possible as a duty to the state. We hold that the world is already over-populated. Eugenicists imply or insist that a woman’s first duty is to the state; we contend that her duty to herself is her first duty to the state.” (Margaret Sanger. “Birth Control and Racial Betterment.” Birth Control Review, Volume III, Number 2 (February 1919), page 11.)
“Parenthood should be a licensed profession and only those fully equipped should be allowed to become parents … Dr. Hart believes that the race has deteriorated and that this deterioration can be stopped only by scientific methods of reproduction which will prevent “persons least able intellectually and materially to provide for them” from having “rafts of children,” while those better fitted are having very few.” (Birth Control Review, Volume VIII, Number 12 (December 1924), page 357.)
As one can clearly see, if anything else, people who think contraception is totally benign should sober up a bit and consider what ‘birthed’ the movement; namely, the eugenics movement. An additional representative selection of these monstrous citations is listed in Appendix B.
As the gates of hell swung wide open at Lambeth, the Anglican Church finally capitulated to the growing enormous political and cultural pressure bearing down on it. According to the section entitled, “The Life and Witness of the Christian Community – Marriage and Sex”, the Anglican bishops declared:
“Where there is clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, the method must be decided on Christian principles. The primary and obvious method is complete abstinence from intercourse (as far as may be necessary) in a life of discipline and self-control lived in the power of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless in those cases where there is such a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, and where there is a morally sound reason for avoiding complete abstinence, the Conference agrees that other methods may be used, provided that this is done in the light of the same Christian principles. The Conference records its strong condemnation of the use of any methods of conception control from motives of selfishness, luxury, or mere convenience.” Voting: For 193; Against 67. [1930 Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops Resolution 15]
Predictably after Lambeth, Protestant Christianity completed, almost universally, the Judas project begun by Margaret Sanger, the eugenicist, atheist, and founder of Planned Parenthood. The Federal Council of Churches capitulated just one year later, and within three decades, all major Protestant Churches fell, including the National Council of Churches in 1961.
In commenting on the account of Onan in Genesis 38:6-10, Svendsen says this:
“They think the reason God put Onan to death was because God condemns contraception. But this misses the point of the passage entirely. What is condemned here is not a contraceptive practice, but rather neglect in fulfilling the duty of every Jew to carry on the lineage of his dead brother…. This principle is later reiterated in the Law of Moses in Deuternomy 25:5-6.”
Ah yes, “this principle is later reiterated”. But the “principle” ain’t the law, Dr. Svendsen. The law is the law, and the law was something more specific than the principle. What Dr. Svendsen neglects to cite is the succeeding three verses, Deuteronomy 25:7-9 which clearly indicate that the penalty for abstaining from sex with your brother’s widow was public humiliation NOT death:
“If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead shall not be married outside the family to a stranger; her husband’s brother shall go in to her, and take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his brother who is dead, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. And if the man does not wish to take his brother’s wife, then his brother’s wife shall go up to the gate to the elders, and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to perpetuate his brother’s name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband’s brother to me.’ Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak to him: and if he persists, saying, ‘I do not wish to take her,’ then his brother’s wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, and pull his sandal off his foot, and spit in his face; and she shall answer and say, ‘So shall it be done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.’ (Deuteronomy 25:5-9)
Therefore, Onan’s penalty (death) in Genesis 38 was the result of a greater sin (contraception) than simply refusing to uphold the ‘levirate’ whose consequence was public humiliation only.
There is other evidence as well.
Deuteronomy 23:1 condemns birth control through primitive forms of male sterilization: “He whose testicles are crushed or whose male member is cut off shall not enter the assembly of the Lord.”
The contraceptive mentality was condemned by Jesus Himself: “Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, `Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!'” (Luke 23:28-29)
There are many Old Testament references where God refers to Himself as the Husband and to His people (the Church) as His wife (Isa. 54:5; 62:5; Jer. 2:2; 3:1, 14; 31:32; Eze. 16:8; 23:5; Hosea 2:7, 19). The same is true in the New Testament:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” (Ephesians 5:25)
“I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” (2 Cor.11:2).
“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2)
It is absolutely anti-Christian and completely antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the consummation of the union between husband (Christ) and the bride (the Church) to be frustrated by a foreign element (contraception). Contraception is a blasphemy against God since, even by its very words, it represents a demonic slight and denial of creation itself. “Contraception” means “against the beginning”. God says “In the beginning. The Devil says “Against the beginning”.
4) Contraception is decidedly anti-Trinitarian as well. Here is a selection from an earlier piece I wrote on the subject:
“…There is also another element in the Trinity that lends itself to human likeness. The Nicene Creed professes this about the Trinity: “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life who proceeds from the Father and the Son.” Now what exactly does this mean? Well, Catholic theology understands the Father as God knowing himself; the Son as the expression of God’s knowledge of Himself; and the Holy Spirit as the result of God’s knowledge of Himself. The Father ‘looks’ at the Son and the Son ‘looks’ at the Father. They behold in one another their mutual divine goodness and beauty. The love between the Father and the Son ‘generate’ (not create as there is no creation of God) another person, whom we call the Holy Spirit. And so, the Holy Spirit is love ‘proceeding’ or ‘coming from’ the first two persons of the Blessed Trinity.
The human family has, of course, a rather striking parallel to this. The ultimate act of intimacy in a marriage mirrors the eternal procession of the Trinity since the act of love itself ‘generates’ another human being. (Generation is probably even a better term to describe the act than create since humans can create nothing, and so the analogy is closer to the Trinitarian relationship than one might have originally assumed.)” Clearly then, we can see the great difficulties encountered when contraception is admitted into Trinitarian Christianity.
5) Another interesting point is that all infertile methods of intercourse incurred the death penalty:
Bestiality in Leviticus 20:15-16
Homosexuality in Leviticus 20:13
Withdrawal in Genesis 38:6-10
Svendsen then goes on to sum up his opinion of the Church’s teaching on Onananism with this comment:
“But that nicely illustrates how exegetically inept Rome really is.”
Exegetically inept, eh? My oh my…..
“Intercourse even with one’s legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of the offspring is prevented. Onan, the son of Judah, did this and the Lord killed him for it.” (St. Augustine,”De Coniug. Adlt.”,Lib. II,n. 12; Genesis 38:8-10)
Wait! For your continued amusement, there’s more…
“Not only do Roman Catholics insist on obedience to a decidedly flawed interpretation of the passage, but none of them actually obeys the correct interpretation of it! How ironic-not to mention hypocritical.”
Flawed and hypocritical? Hmmmmm…….I think you should do a little reading, Dr. Svendsen. To see what your Protestant forefathers had to say on the issue, I think you should peruse this site:
In the meantime, I have selected a few the citations for your amusement.
Luther, Martin Luthers Works, Volume Seven:
“[The] exceedingly foul deed of Onan, the basest of wretches follows [Genesis 38:9, 10]. Onan must have been a malicious and incorrigible scoundrel. This is a most disgraceful sin. It is far more atrocious than incest and adultery. We call it unchastity, Yes a Sodomitic sin. For Onan goes in to her; that is, he lies with her and copulates; and, when it comes to the point of insemination, spills the semen, lest the woman conceive. Surely at such a time the order of nature established by God in procreation should be followed. Accordingly, it was a most disgraceful crime to produce semen and excite the woman, and to frustrate her at that very moment. He was inflamed with the basest spite and hatred. Therefore he did not allow himself to bear that intolerable slavery. Consequently, he deserved to be killed by God. He committed an evil deed. Therefore, God punished him….That worthless fellow…preferred polluting himself with a most disgraceful sin to raising up offspring for his brother.”
Calvin, John Commentary on Genesis
“Besides [Onan] not only defrauded his brother of the right due him, but also preferred his semen to putrify on the ground, rather than to beget a son in his brother’s name…. I will contend myself with briefly mentioning [Onan’s act], as far as the sense of shame allows to discuss it. It is a horrible thing to pour out seed besides the intercourse of man and woman. Deliberately avoiding the intercourse, so that the seed drops on the ground, is double horrible. For this means that one quenches the hope of his family, and kills the son, which could be expected, before he is born. This wickedness is now as severely as is possible condemned by the Spirit, through Moses, that Onan, as it were, through a violent and untimely birth, tore away the seed of his brother out the womb, and as cruel as shamefully has thrown on the earth. Moreover he thus has, as much as was in his power, tried to destroy a part of the human race. When a woman in some way drives away the seed out the womb, through aids, then this is rightly seen as an unforgivable crime. Onan was guilty of a similar crime, by defiling the earth with his seed, so that Tamar would not receive a future inheritor.”
Wesley, John Commentary on Genesis
“Onan, though he consented to marry the widow, yet to the great abuse of his own body, of the wife he had married, and the memory of his brother that was gone, he refused to raise up seed unto his brother. Those sins that dishonour the body are very displeasing to God, and the evidence of vile actions. Observe, the thing which he did displeased the Lord–And it is to be feared, thousands, especially of single persons, by this very thing, still displease the Lord, and destroy their own souls. ”
And here is a Protestant minister’s testimony against contraception (which is, by the way, becoming a hotter topic in Protestant Christianity today):
A Catholic debunking of the liberal Protestant line can be found here:
After he finished with Onan, Dr. Svendsen turns his attention to sexual morality. He writes:
“Isn’t lust identical to sexual attraction, after all? When Jesus gave the mandate not to lust after a woman, he obviously meant nothing other than that a man should refrain from sexually desiring a woman other than his wife.”
Well, no, Eric. Lust is most certainly not identical to sexual attraction. Lust is a sin; sexual attraction is not (or maybe your theology is demanding that connection since your Reformed theology believes that God causes sin?) It is possible to sexually mistreat and abuse your wife. In fact, that’s exactly what you are doing when you engage in contraceptive acts. She becomes a mere repository for your carnal pleasures. Perhaps Dr. Svendsen can enlighten us on what the substantive moral difference is between engaging in contraceptive acts and masturbation. Some prominent evangelicals have already admitted that there is none, and because they see nothing wrong with contraception, they logically see nothing wrong with masturbation either.
In any case, if you won’t listen to the Catholic Church, perhaps you will heed the judgement of St. Augustine:
“You [Manicheans] make your auditors adulterers of their wives when they take care lest the women with whom they copulate conceive. They take wives according to the laws of matrimony by tablets announcing that the marriage is contracted to procreate children; and then, fearing because of your [religious] law [against childbearing]…they copulate in a shameful union only to satisfy lust for their wives.” (St. Augustine, Against Faustus, 15:7, 400 A.D.)
“I am supposing, then, although you are not lying [with your wife] for the sake of procreating offspring, you are not for the sake of lust obstructing their procreation by an evil prayer or an evil deed. Those who do this, although are called husband and wife, are not; nor do they retain any reality of marriage, but with a respectable name cover a shame. Sometimes this lustful cruelty, or cruel lust, comes to this, that they even procure poisons of sterility [oral contraceptives]…I dare say that either the wife is in a fashion the harlot of her husband or he is an adulterer with his own wife.” (Marriage and Concupiscence, 1:15:17, 419 A.D.)
Dr. Svendsen continues:
“It is a sin, on this view, to prevent pregnancy from occurring. In the particular case of Onan, contraception was achieved by “spilling the seed”; hence, in Roman Catholicism, if a marital sex act leads to a man “spilling the seed” before intercourse, that is a sin.”
Well, it sure is Rome’s view. But Rome’s view is the perennial Christian view. Sorry to disappoint you, Eric:
“Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted.” (Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor to Children, 2:10:91:2, 191 A.D.)
Appendix C has many more references from the Fathers.
….An opinion on the pill…
“The purpose of contraception is to provide a couple the ability to enjoy pleasurable sex while minimizing the likelihood of conception. That’s what the pill does; that’s what a condom does; and, like it or not, that is precisely what the rhythm method does.”
No, Dr. Svendsen, that is not all that the pill does or can do. The pill can and does act as an abortifacient. You can read about it here:
The final comments I wish to address concern Dr. Svendsen’s rather sub-par logic in objecting to the Catholic position:
“First, the very fact that they are using the “rhythm” method indicates that they intend to engage in sexual relations for the sheer pleasure of it, apart from procreative intent. But isn’t that a form of lust?
Well, first of all, persons who practice (NFP) natural family planning (like me) do not use the “rhythm” method, which went out in the early ’80s. Most of us use the Billings Ovulation Method.
Secondly, Dr. Svendsen is equivocating. Couples who engage in sexual intercourse within the infertile period are recognizing two things:
#1 – They are respecting the natural ovulation process and thereby respecting God’s natural law.
#2 – Their intent might be to postpone pregnancy at a particular point in time, but they are still allowing God the final say in the matter – unlike the ultimate intention of contraception. Moreover, God can neither contradict himself in his natural laws, nor expect humans who know that law to refrain from using it if it is morally licit. It is morally licit to have sex during infertile periods (with the hope that no child will be conceived) since the couple is allowing God to use nature to ultimately determine whether a child is conceived. Ultimately, natural family planning obeys the natural law of God by respecting the cycle of a woman.
Practicing NFP during infertile periods represents a request to God by the parents to postpone a child, but ultimately respects, by virtue of the possibility of children, that God could have other plans for them. On the other hand, contraception is a big fat NO! to God where children are labeled ‘mistakes’ who ‘slipped past the goalie.’ The NFP couple is always open to the possibility of children by the very fact that they are abiding by God’s rules whereas the contracepting couple is usurping nature, and inviting God into the sexual act only when (or if) it suits them.
At the same time, however, the Church also makes the following stipulations:
“If, then, there are serious motives to space out births, which derive from the physical or psychological conditions of husband and wife, or from external conditions, the Church teaches that it is then licit to take into account the natural rhythms immanent in the generative functions, for the use of marriage in the infecund periods only, and in this way to regulate birth without offending the moral principles which have been recalled earlier…In reality, there are essential differences between the two cases: in the former, the married couple make legitimate use of a natural disposition; in the latter, they impede the development of natural processes.” Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, 1968, pp. 17-18; See also, Pope Leo XIII, Responsa S. Paenitentiariae, 1880
“At the same time it must be understood that the moral problem with respect to the practice of periodic continence arises not from ‘the use of their marital right even on days of natural sterility,’ but from the fact that this continence means limiting ‘the conjugal act exclusively to these days,’ a practice which ‘seems to be the clear expression of a will opposed to that fundamental readiness’ to serve life. Therefore, ‘the conduct of the married couple must be examined more attentively,’ to make sure that it in no way includes a contraceptive intention.” Pope Pius XII, Address to the Italian Catholic Union of Midwives, October 29, 1951, extracted from Haro, Ramon Garcia de, Marriage and the Family in the Documents of the Magisterium, Ignatius Press, 1993, p. 163.
Dr. Svendsen continues…
“Second, even though this couple may think they are avoiding contraception, they are in fact practicing the only authorized form of contraception available to a Roman Catholic. Premeditated abstinence for the purpose of avoiding pregnancy is itself a form of contraception because it shares a common purpose with all other contraception.”
Ah….no. Dr. Svendsen needs to make the elementary distinction between ends and means. While both couples might be seeking the same ends, they are hardly going about it using the same moral means. One involves respecting God’s natural law and the other obviously does not. I might have the laudable goal of helping the poor. If I raise the money, that is good. If I steal it from someone else ala Robin Hood, it’s not so good.
Premeditated abstinence for the purpose of avoiding pregnancy is certainly NOT a form of contraception. Contraception involves frustrating the ‘openness’ of the intended action. Premeditated abstinence, however, does not initiate or participate in the sexual act (by definition), and therefore cannot be said to frustrate something it is not involved in. Dr. Svendsen’s logic demands that he equate premeditated abstinence with contraception because, he says, “it shares a common purpose with all other contraception”. As stated above, however, the ends do not justify the means.
Finally, he says this:
“Now let’s look at a second couple. This couple is equally devoutly Roman Catholic, with the difference that they actually want to have children, but can’t due to the infertility of one or the other. Is it then okay for that couple to engage in marital sex that leads to “spilling” the man’s “seed”? After all, if one or the other is fertile, and neither of them intends to prevent pregnancy-and in fact they ensure that they regularly engage in intercourse during her “fertile” days to maximize the chances of conception-what real difference would it make if they are engaging in other-than-intercourse sexual activities at other times? How has this couple engaged in “onanism”?”
Dr. Svendsen still has not appreciated something which should be rather straight forward. A general intention towards a good cannot mitigate the one instance of serious sin. Each and every sexual act is subject to the natural law of God such that even one transgression is….well…still a transgression. For instance, let’s say I volunteered at my local soup kitchen once a week for a whole year. Within the year, I got upset at one of the local patrons because he didn’t like my soup and, as a result, I killed him. Does God say: “Oh well, don’t worry about it, you’re a good volunteer.” I think not. Au contraire, God says quite the opposite: “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.” (James 2:10) Dr. Svendsen’s position, then, is none other than modernism to its core, otherwise known (in this case) as the ‘fundamental option’.
It really never ceases to amaze me how Christians can be so oblivious to the contraceptive war that has been fought in western culture. Allow me to let you all in on a little secret: Western civilization is dying. Population control through contraception and abortion are the biggest reasons why that is happening. Don’t believe me? Take a gander at these facts and statistics (Source: Population Research Institute):
“The replacement rate is 2.1 children per woman. Two are required to replace the parents and 0.1 to make up for infant mortality and women who do not procreate. A fertility rate of 2.1, in the long term, does not multiply population – it only maintains it. Some fertility rates in “Catholic countries” are staggering low – Italy (1.2), Spain (1.15), Portugal (1.37) and Ireland (1.9). Most of Europe averages to 1.4. The US is 1.99. This reality is well known by the US government which predicts that the current situation with social security which has four people working for every person receiving social security, will shrink to 2 to 1 by the year 2030. It is unlikely that the economy can support such an arrangement. Italy is burying more people than are born. Russia has lost 500,000 in total population every year since 1989. Europe will shrink to a fraction of its current population by the end of the 21st century, which has negligible immigration, will lose 25% of its population by 2050. Not only have we disobeyed God by ceasing to multiply, we have not filled the earth. Australia, a continent nearly the size of the United States only has 19 million people versus 280 million for the US. Most of South America is so sparsely populated that telephones do not exist except in major cities. The entire population of the world can fit into the State of Texas, with 1000 square feet per person, which is a slightly higher density than San Francisco but a slightly lower density than the Bronx in New York City.
Every single intended “benefit” of contraception, that was promised in the sixties, has not occurred. Instead, the opposite of what its promoters once promised has arisen. The pill was supposed to make marriages better by relieving parents of the worry of pregnancy in their sexual relationship. It failed to achieve that promise. In fact, the opposite occurred. The divorce rate went from 25% in 1960 to 50% in 1980 as the pill came into widespread use. Although other factors were involved in the escalating divorce rate, it is hard to make a case that the pill improved marriages. Barrier contraceptives were supposed to reduce sexually transmitted diseases. The opposite has occurred. The pill was supposed to reduce abortion. The opposite has occurred. In fact, abortion mills provide contraceptives free of charge to their clients because they know that it is good for business. About 50% of all abortions are due to contraceptive failures. The abortionists know that contraceptive failures will occur and that the woman, with or without her partner will seek an abortion.
In practically all countries of the more developed regions fertility is significantly below the level necessary for the replacement of generations (TFR of approximately 2.1). In 20 of the more developed countries the TFR has stayed at below-replacement level for at least two decades. In the 1980s-1990s fertility has decreased to levels below replacement in several countries from the less developed regions, including all countries in the populous region of Eastern Asia (except Mongolia). Rapid fertility transition in South-eastern Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean brings an increasing number of developing countries close to that threshold: currently the TFR is below 3 (but higher than 2.1) and decreasing in 34 countries with a combined population of 930 million people.
While fertility decline constitutes the only cause of the deceleration of world population growth and the major reason of population aging, its impact varies across regions and countries – depending essentially on the speed and depth of the demographic transition. According to the medium variant of the 1998 Revision, a very slow and decelerating population growth in Northern Europe during the first quarter of the 21st century will be followed by steady population decrease in 2025-2050; however, the region will be confronted to a relatively small (4 per cent) population loss. Western Europe will start experiencing negative population growth earlier and its population will shrink by 6.5 per cent. Populations of Eastern and Southern Europe will be decreasing during the entire projection period at a high and accelerating pace; by the mid-century they are expected to lose 18 and 20 per cent of their 1998 sizes, respectively. On the contrary, the populations of Eastern Asia, Northern America and Australia/New Zealand are projected to keep growing; their respective increases by 2050 will be 15, 29 and 39 percent. Among the 61 countries with below-replacement fertility, 30 will experience population declines ranging from 1 per cent in Yugoslavia to 35 per cent in Estonia, whereas in 31 countries populations will continue increasing, due to their young population structures and to immigration.” (See Appendix D for some staggering statistics)