Carl Djerassi, inventor of birth controll, pill condemns it

January 9, 2009 by Taylor Marshall  
Filed under Culture, Faith, Headlines

Eighty five year old Carl Djerassi the Austrian chemist who helped invent the contraceptive pill now says that his co-creation has led to a “demographic catastrophe.”

In an article published by the Vatican this week, the head of the world’s Catholic doctors broadened the attack on the pill, claiming it had also brought “devastating ecological effects” by releasing into the environment “tonnes of hormones” that had impaired male fertility, The Taiwan Times says.

The assault began with a personal commentary in the Austrian newspaper Der Standard by Carl Djerassi. The Austrian chemist was one of three whose formulation of the synthetic progestogen Norethisterone marked a key step toward the earliest oral contraceptive pill.

Djerassi outlined the “horror scenario” that occurred because of the population imbalance, for which his invention was partly to blame. He said that in most of Europe there was now “no connection at all between sexuality and reproduction.” He said: “This divide in Catholic Austria, a country which has on average 1.4 children per family, is now complete.”

He described families who had decided against reproduction as “wanting to enjoy their schnitzels while leaving the rest of the world to get on with it.”

The fall in the birth rate, he said, was an “epidemic” far worse, but given less attention, than obesity. Young Austrians, he said, were committing national suicide if they failed to procreate. And if it were not possible to reverse the population decline they would have to understand the necessity of an “intelligent immigration policy.”

The head of Austria’s Catholics, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, told an interviewer that the Vatican had forecast 40 years ago that the pill would lead to a dramatic fall in the birth rate in the west.

“Somebody above suspicion like Carl Djerassi … is saying that each family has to produce three children to maintain population levels, but we’re far away from that,” he said.

Schonborn told Austrian TV that when he first read Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical condemning artificial contraception he viewed it negatively as a “cold shower.” But he said he had altered his views as, over time, it had proved “prophetic.”

Read the whole thing from CathNews.


Catholic Church renews its attack on contraceptive pill (Taipei Times)

Medical Association points out prophetic nature of Humanae Vitae (Catholic News Agency)

Hat tip: Clint Rain

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4 Responses to “Carl Djerassi, inventor of birth controll, pill condemns it”

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  2. Ashley Brazzel on March 23rd, 2009 1:54 pm

    My comment has little to do with the article, other than the fact that its on birth control. I just am curious as to what the Catholic church teaches its youth? Is it strictly abstinence? That seems a little risky to me. I had two Catholic friends during high school. One became pregnant multiple times, ending them all with abortions. The other contracted a VD. When asked why they did not use condoms, they both had the same answer: “well, I am Catholic and we do not believe in birth control”.

  3. D Taylor on March 24th, 2009 12:09 am

    Ashley–> “I had two Catholic friends during high school. One became pregnant multiple times, ending them all with abortions. The other contracted a VD. When asked why they did not use condoms, they both had the same answer: “well, I am Catholic and we do not believe in birth control”.

    The comments stated by the two friends you mentioned were both uneducated and ignorant. Not merely by youth or sole blame on your friends, but also on the Catholic teachings given by the adult role models around them. It is unjust to say this is in essence a Catholic teaching.

    I am no longer a Catholic, but a Christian. The two are indeed separate. But this is besides the point. The ways I was taught about sex growing up a Catholic as a teenager was to totally abstain–at all times from sex unless for marriage. It was a very clear statement I learned growing up in the church. However I’m sure all parents feel this way across the board as well as Christians. This is something taught in the two religious beliefs. As far as contraceptives, I do not recall much about a clear “no” against birth control methods, so I cannot state that everyone feels this way about not using birth control.

    It’s the fact that the statement made was “we do not believe in birth control” that gets me. Catholics, Christians, Pro Lifers, all believe in life, not death, so as much as an adamant statement that it was to say that against birth control, Some thought should have been given to the fact that an abortion is also murder and we all know “Thou shalt not kill.” You see, things get mixed up far too much when someone wants to mix religion and the bible with their habits and opinions. The right things get mixed with the wrong things and then you say things like “we don’t believe in birth control” but apparently, you’ve had more than one abortion…We live in a sad sad world. Ask questions…

  4. Ashley Brazzel on March 31st, 2009 4:19 pm

    D –

    I agree with much of what you wrote, however I really just want to stress that, in this situation, a teenager’s logic is going to be much different than that of an adult.

    In the situations my friends went through, I believe that not using birth control was their own little way of relieving some of the guilt they may have been experiencing. They weren’t abiding by all of the Catholic laws obviously, but they were keeping some of them by not using birth control. Then, when the inevitable happened, they were scared and desperate, leading 1 of them to abortion. This happened over and over again for one of the girls that I knew. Yes – she was an idiot – a complete idiot.

    Telling a teenager that they should use only abstinence as their birth control method, is in my opinion similar to a game of Russian Roulette.

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