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What Is to Blame for the
Demographic Catastrophe?

Margaret C. Galitzin

I was asked to comment on the big news that one of the inventors of the birth control pill had expressed deep regrets for his part in the discovery. Headlines from reputable organs broadcast the information: “Pill inventor slams ... pill” and "Co-inventor of birth control pill now calls it a catastrophe." (1) Even the Vatican organ, L’Osservatore Romano, pounced on the supposed “confession” by Austrian chemist Carl Djerassi, who wrote saying that the contraceptive pill he helped create was responsible for a “demographic catastrophe” and “epidemic far worse than obesity (ahem).”

Carl Djerassi
Djerassi doesn't attribute any blame for the demographics "catastrophe" on the pill
Further, the Jewish-Austrian chemist (he fled Austria for the U.S. as a teen during World War II) would have bemoaned the fact that “there is no connection at all between sexuality and reproduction.” (2) It was a true general confession. Big news, indeed.

There is one problem, however. Such confession did not take place. Eager to find a new “Jane Roe” – who truly did recant her pro-abortion position – superficial journalists jumped to wrong conclusions.

In fact, Carl Djerassi, father of the pill, was only lamenting the "horror scenario" that has occurred because of the population imbalance in Western countries. In his article, he did not attribute any blame whatsoever for this catastrophe on his invention, the pill.

Quite the opposite, in an official response to the ruckus created by the media misinformation, Djerassi asserts the whole notion of blaming the decline in family size on the pill is “absurd.” According to him, people have smaller families because women choose to have careers or for other economic and personal reasons – but no, certainly not because of ready access to birth control (3)

Bring the Muslims into Europe…

What the chemist actually said was that young Austrians were committing national suicide if they failed to procreate. A country requires 2.1 children per family to maintain its population level, and Austria has 1.4 children per family. He noted that Austrians would have to have at least 3 children to keep the needed population balance, but he doesn’t believe they’ll go for that. (4)

Angry Muslims in Europe

Muslims are the solution to boost Europe's declining population, says Djerassi
Now let’s look at some statistics. Nation Master’s birth rate figures for 2008 confirm Djerassi’s bleak prognosis. Here are some ratios for countries and children per family: Germany, 1.4; Italy, 1.3; Poland, 1.3; Spain, 1.3, Portugal, 1.3; Switzerland, 1.4; France 1.9. We are looking at once flourishing Catholic countries whose people obviously no longer follow Catholic precepts against contraception and, consequently, are quite literally committing a kind of collective suicide.

Are there any countries with high birth rates? You bet there are. In Africa, we have Mali with 7.3 children per family, Niger with 7.2, Somalia with 6.6, Nigeria with 5.1. Among the Arabs: Afghanistan with 6.58, Yemen with 6.41, and even war-wracked Iraq with 3.9. They are all Muslim countries, whose people obviously still follow religious precepts that oppose contraception.

So, what Djerassi suggests as the solution to Europe’s demographic “catastrophe” is a strong immigration policy. He counsels bringing in the Muslims who don’t contracept and have large families so Europe won’t be lost. I don’t agree. With this solution Europe loses her identity. That is to say, she loses herself albeit in a different way.

No connection between sexuality and reproduction

Next, did Djerassi really say that in most of Europe there was now “no connection at all between sexuality and reproduction?” (5) Yes, he did. But contrary to the news reports, he thinks this is something positive, not negative, another step forward in the healthy evolution of man toward complete liberty.

The Jewish-Austrian chemist affirms that the pill was good because it separated sex from procreation, thereby giving women more control over their lives and letting them enter the workplace. He admits, however, some bad side effects, the increased risk of thrombosis and breast cancer, to name a few.

A sperm bank

Djerassi: Sperm banks should replace the pill
The solution he suggests is to have children without sex. He expects that someday it will be routine for men and women to freeze their semen and eggs, “bank” them in special laboratories, get sterilized and then go to the “bank” when they decide to have their babies. (6) All very efficient - horrendously efficient - allowing women to have their careers first, and babies later at their convenience.

The separation of sex and reproduction is fait accompli, something, he asserts, “the Catholic Church must sooner or later face realistically and humanely.”

This is what the father of the pill really thinks. We see that what this man is proposing is to increase this anti-natural system of procreation. Clearly, the winds of the Revolution are blowing in the direction of genetic engineering. I wonder how long this enhanced “choice” offered by in vitro reproduction will be left to the parents. I believe that sooner or later the State will start to intervene in the selection process, allowing only “perfect babies” to be born. It is the ideal of proponents of Eugenics and Nazism that the Revolution is achieving by means of the “progress” of Western science.

So who is to blame?

While I think it is unquestionable that contraception has contributed to the demographic disaster of Catholic countries throughout the world – and also the United States and Canada – I don’t think the major blame falls on the inventors of the pill. If you look at the statistics cited above, you can see the pill hasn’t had much effect on most Muslim countries.

The real blame for the demographic crisis of the West falls squarely on the heads of the Catholic Church who – for more than 40 years, since Vatican II – have not preached loudly and constantly against contraception. I believe that Humanae Vitae was a repair job that came too late, after the dam had already burst. The flood of couples contracepting had begun in the 1950s, under Pius XII. Vatican II increased the deluge of birth control when it set aside sound Catholic doctrine on marriage, which teaches procreation is the first purpose of marriage and that a couple must be willing to have the children God chooses to give.

A black and white photograph of a large Austrian family

A typical Austrian family in 1910, well ordered and large
Further, when Humanae Vitae was published, it was opposed by most of the Prelates in the European Conferences of Bishops, who recommended that couples should continue to contracept.

In the wake of the flutter created by Djerassi‘s remarks on the demographic catastrophe supposedly caused by the pill, the head of Catholic doctors in Italy, Dr. Jose Maria Simon Castellvi, pointed out that science irrefutably shows that the pill has an abortifacient effect because it expels a small human embryo. (7) Do we hear this preached from the pulpit – that Catholics who use this method of contraception can stand responsible for abortions? No, we don’t. This warning does not reach the Catholic public at large.

Castellvi ended his talk, however, with the typical progressivist Vatican jargon. “In celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man,” he stated, “we can say that the contraceptive methods violate at least five important rights: the right to life, the right to health, the right to education, the right to information (about natural methods) and the right of equality between the sexes (men should be equally responsible for contraceptive use).” (8)

It has became routine to hear this kind of talk coming from Church organs and institutions, always statements about human rights, and never a word about the rights and honor of God and His Law.

Until a categorical preaching against all methods of contraception based on Morals, not human rights, begins to be heard by the Catholic faithful, until there is talk again of contraception as a mortal sin and not just a violation of the right of equality between of sexes, there will be no change in the contraceptive mentality of the modern age.
1. Catholic News CN online, January 08, 2009; Catholic News Agency CNA online, January 11, 2009.
2. “Church grabs chance to attack birth control,” The Guardian online [UK], January 7, 2009
3. Carl Djerassi, “I never blamed the pill for the fall in family size,” The Guardian online, January 27, 2009
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. “Children without sex is what the future holds,” Daily Mail (UK) online, June 1, 2007.
7. “Medical Association points out prophetic nature of Humanae Vitae,” Catholic News Agency online, February 9, 2009
8. Ibid.
Posted February 13, 2009

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