The following discussion comes from the comment section on What Scripture Condemns Contraception?
WHO (World Health Organization): Condoms are the only contraceptive method proven to reduce the risk of all sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. They can be used as a dual-purpose method, both for prevention of pregnancy and protection against STIs.
BFHU:Condoms are the only contraceptive method proven to reduce the risk of all sexually transmitted infections
Right there we have an overstatement of fact that leads to a false sense of security. Condoms don’t do a thing to protect from HPV , Herpes or any STI that is spread by skin to skin contact in the genital area b/c it is spread by skin contact that is not necessarily covered by a condom. HPV can cause cervical, penile, and anal cancer and infertility. That is pretty serious.
WHO: Prevention of pregnancy
Estimated pregnancy rates during perfect use of condoms, that is for those who report using the method exactly as it should be used (correctly) and at every act of intercourse (consistently), is 3 percent at 12 months.
BFHU: And we KNOW everyone does not use condoms PERFECTLY. Can we in good conscience promote a method of public safety that we know good and well is so very open to user error?
WHO: The most frequently cited condom effectiveness rate is for typical use, which includes perfect and imperfect use (i.e. not used at every act of intercourse, or used incorrectly). The pregnancy rate during typical use can be much higher (10-14%) than for perfect use, but this is due primarily to inconsistent and incorrect use, not to condom failure. Condom failure – the device breaking or slipping off completely during intercourse – is uncommon.
As they state the pregnancy rate is 10-14 % with typical use. This is what we really have to base public policy on b/c it is more realistic than perfect use. Now, think about this. A woman can get pregnant only one day out of the month but she can be infected with HIV or STI’s EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE MONTH. What does that do to the 10-14% statistic? I don’t know scientifically but it has to increase the chance of getting infected.
Is the condom really a responsible recommendation to African and third world villagers? Or is the condom promoted by people who don’t really care about the lives of these children, moms and dads in the third world. What they care most about is the big picture–decreasing STI’s and the population of the world. They are callous towards the precious lives of these individual and powerless people b/c they are only focusing on the big picture
The UN answer to the poor in countries during famine and food shortages is: We will give you food but FIRST you need to use homonal birth control.
The poor answer: “Please, we love our babies. Our families make us rich. We just need food to feed them.”
UN: No, use the pill and abort if you want food from us.
The WHO is politically aligned in my mind with the UN. Maybe I am wrong…..
WHO: Disease prevention
Laboratory studies have found that viruses (including HIV) do not pass through intact latex condoms even when devices are stretched or stressed.
BFHU: There is a statement but what are the ref. to back it up? Has this study been repeated many times with the same result? What was the methodology. Even if it is true we KNOW that condoms do break. I still think it is IRRESPONSIBLE to promote this and only care about the overall reduction in infection rates and not concern oneself with protecting every single person. This is a utilitarian approach to the problem. It is not a loving approach.
WHO: In Thailand, the promotion by the government of 100% condom use by commercial sex workers led to a dramatic increase in the use of condoms (from 14% in 1990 to 94% in 1994); an equally dramatic decline in the nation-wide numbers of bacterial STD cases (from 410,406 cases in 1997 to 27,362 cases in 1994); and reduced HIV prevalence in Thai soldiers.
BFHU: Again, clearly we are looking at a utilitarian approach once again. Maybe that is the best governments can do but Churches and the faithful must love and care about every individual. We are NOT free to be utilitarian. Also, sex workers and soldiers would be more motivated to use condoms under such risky situations than the common populace. So, these stats do not accurately represent what happens with typical use in the general population.
WHO: The most convincing data on the effectiveness of condoms in preventing HIV infection has been generated by prospective studies undertaken on serodiscordant couples, when one partner is infected with HIV and the other is not. These studies show that, with consistent condom use, the HIV infection rate among uninfected partners was less than 1 percent per year. Also, in situations where one partner is definitely infected, inconsistent condom use can be as risky as not using condoms at all.
BFHU: These studies done where one partner was infected have been pretty successful but again they are HIGHLY MOTIVATED. They KNOW they are dealing with a deadly disease. The typical user can tend to downplay the risk in any given situation and use condoms inconsistently. And as your quote said, this can be as risky as not using condoms at all.
Wycliffe: In my comment above I did not single out the Catholic church, the abstinence argument is more forceful from the evangelical right wing Protestant U.S (and U.K to a certain extent) churches.
BFHU: Well, the Catholic Church feels just as strongly. All contraception use in sex is condemned. This ban is NOT lifted in this case.
Wycliffe: Not convinced that abstinence as the only moral choice;
BFHU: I am.
Wycliffe: For this depends on too many things for there to be a dogmatic answer, take the following examples biblically that is:
1.The text does not mean what it appears to say…
2.The text means what it says but is wrong…
3.The text means what it says, but needs interpretation depending upon context…
4.The text,means what it says but can be made personal…..
5. The text means what it says and must be interpreted literally….
This of course goes on and on and I only use as an example of how moral decisions are made when reading scripture, not withstanding secular reason, experience, culture, biology, science….
BFHU: You are putting up a smokescreen now. Give examples of each of your points above. Our elder brothers in the faith, the Jews and all Christians condemned contraception until 1930. I trust the ancient and transcendent faith of the Jews and the Christians. I trust this culture not at all.
For the record this commenter never responded to my request for clarity and documentation of the above assertions.
Readers may find my post Who Said this About the Evils of Contraception interesting.