Steve Waldman, head of BeliefNet, argues that if conservatives want fewer abortions, they need to push contraception, not abstinence. He takes a pragmatic, rather than a moral approach, to what conservatives see as a moral issue. He’s dissing Al Mohler, who says that the problem is the social acceptance of out of wedlock births is directly related to social acceptance (even promotion by Hollywood and TV) of premarital sex. Mohler’s point is the role that Hollywood plays in shaping values. If Waldman wants to engage him, perhaps his argument should be “religious conservatives should promote contraception,” but “Hollywood should promote contraception, and show these teens behaving responsibly.” Think either Waldman or Hollywood would do that? Not a chance. Because Waldman’s problem isn’t with Hollywood–it’s with Mohler. He wants to change moral discussions to pragmatic trade offs.
And Catholics would point out the fact that perhaps both abortion and contraception result from a “separation of the unitive and procreative dimensions of the conjugal act.” Or, in English–sex and babies do go together. Sex is discussed in encyclopedias under the heading “human reproduction” for a reason.