For the story, "The silence of the Pill," I had a wide-ranging conversation with the reporter, Leah Kohlenberg, who asked good and varied questions about the church's teaching on contraception and emergency contraception. I'm afraid, however, that we covered so much material, and in such a complicated area, it was inevitable some of my comments would be mischaracterized. I have received comments from Salon readers, in fact, that my quotations seem to indicate that the church has "thrown in the towel" where contraception is concerned, whether we're talking over-the-counter or "morning after." What I communicated to Kohlenberg, however, was that the church continues to press cogent arguments from theological, philosophical and moral sources as to the problems created by contraceptives. It does not, however, seek to outlaw contraception.
Emergency contraception is another matter, however, as it is widely agreed (by its supporters and by opponents) that it can act to destroy a fully formed human embryo. Destruction of the human life of a third party is necessarily a matter for public lawmaking.
-- Helen M. Alvari
director of Planning and Information
Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities
National Conference of Catholic Bishops