There is an inconsistency in Dr Frank Mobbs' letter ( AD2000, August 2013).
He criticises Anne Lastman because "she has not shown any connection between the number of abortions and the practice of contraception". He then blandly asserts that "this love [of husband and wife] is quite compatible with the use of contraceptives".
Anne Lastman, of course, has extensive experience dealing with the tragic effects of abortion, including her own. Many research projects are based on such experiences.
Without detracting from the importance of evidence in acquiring sound knowledge, it is a common experience that we have two powerful appetites, one for food and drink, the other for sex. It is also clear that one of these appetites is directed to the survival of the organism, the other to the survival of the species.
There is ample evidence that abuse of these appetites frustrates their primary purpose, often with disastrous results. The high incidence of obesity, and its consequences, is a stark indicator of the result of abusing our appetite for food. Clearly, conception is the primary purpose of sexual intercourse.
In the event, Humanae Vitae addresses Dr Mobbs' concern. "Could it not be admitted ... that the finality of procreation pertains to the ensemble of conjugal life, rather than its single acts?" (3). The answer is given subsequently. "Similarly excluded is every action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" (14).
JOHN H. COONEY