This is a topic I can get pretty fired up about, so I promise I’m going to do my best to tame the passion.
But…a common issue I face in the pro-life movement is attacking young women who are pregnant out of wedlock. People (not all people of course, but several) tend to take on this “holier than thou” approach with these women.
“They should have used birth control”
“They should have known better”
“Supporting unwed pregnant women means I support other women getting pregnant out of wedlock”
The fact that many of these notions above are not the case, is one thing…but the thing the irks me the most is when…
The pregnant unwed women are condemned more than the unwed women having premarital sex….and often it’s the women having premarital sex (and not pregnant) snickering at the ones that did get pregnant. HELLO, YOU BOTH WERE DOING THE SAME THING!!
So, I find it fascinating that a group of people (and this is primarily in Christian culture that I’m speaking about) can agree that premarital sex is wrong, can somehow turn their head to those who are having premarital sex and never get pregnant, and then put ALL the attention on those that have premarital sex and get pregnant.
As if the pregnant ones were the only ones that ended up sinning.
And then the pregnant ones have to suffer from the stigma, and the embarrassment, and the shame.
And then people get upset when teen pregnancy is at its highest…when that is obviously a direct connection with teen premarital sex being at its highest.
Let’s talk about premarital sex and how that is becoming a problem….because most (Christians) can agree that premarital sex is wrong and is something we need to be talking about.
It’s so unfortunate the conversation has turned to…premarital sex is only wrong if you end up getting pregnant from it.
Yes, pregnancy results from sex. But pregnancy can result from both kinds of sex (meaning marital sex, OR premarital sex).
So, since women can become pregnant from various types of sex, shouldn’t it be the type of sex that determines the sin? Not the pregnancy?
I guess that leads me to believe that actually BEING pregnant is in no way sinful. The fact that a woman can be pregnant when married or when unmarried is pretty irrelevant.
Let’s take a look at the definition of “sin” according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.” -1849
So…pregnancy does not seem to be an offense against reason, truth, or right conscience, or really anything else in the definition. Let’s look at a further explanation on sin…
“Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent” -CCC 1857
The main thing here is that…how can someone give consent for pregnancy when they actually have no control over becoming pregnant. Pregnancy is determined by SEVERAL biological factors AND the will of God. I have come to this conclusion by 1) knowing women who never “consented” to becoming pregnant yet they did due to unplanned pregnancy or rape, and 2) knowing women who technically “consented” to becoming pregnant but could not due to infertility or other problems.
If, somehow, pregnancy was a sin…the mindset of someone getting pregnant would have to be this in order to qualify for a sin, “I fully know getting pregnant is wrong, but I am determined to get pregnant anyways”
I have never in my entire life heard such a statement. (I have however, for most other sins like lying, premarital sex, stealing, etc)
So, basically….I am pretty confident in saying pregnancy (even out of wedlock) is NOT a sin!
And this is because I believe that premarital sex is the sin in this equation…and that is where the focus should lie. And I’m not saying we should focus on premarital sex being a sin by condemning anyone who does it like we do to single pregnant women…but by educating people on love, dignity, respect, and self control….and how the sexual act is actually SUPPOSED to be life giving and bring new life. And let’s also talk about how to practically achieve abstinence before marriage and live a pure lifestyle.
I will be the first to admit that my acts of premarital sex were WRONG, and I will never deny that about my behavior.
But, I will also refuse to say that my pregnancy was sinful or that my daughter was somehow connected to a sin…because that is impossible based on the definition of sin.
All this to say, there is NOT a problem with premarital pregnancy…
But there is a problem with premarital sex. Period.
See similar posts on this topic: