Doug Mataconis sees them as huge steps forward – and wonders why a faction on the right still disagrees:

I must admit that I’ve never quite understood why social conservatives are so vehement in their opposition to contraceptive use, or even the very idea of sex education, while at the same time being stridently pro-life. After all, it seems quite logical that more widespread use of contraceptives would make abortion far less likely, which is something I think that both “pro-choice” and “pro-life” people would say is a good thing. Nonetheless, the opposition continues, as personified by Kathryn Jean Lopez’s column at Townhall today.

Now, frankly, I’m not entirely unsympathic to those who want to defund Planned Parenthood, not because I disagree with its mission but because I don’t believe that providing taxpayer dollars to such organizations is a proper function of government. Nonetheless, Lopez’s column makes clear that this battle isn’t really about Planned Parenthood at all but about the very idea that we live in a society where men and women have the option of using methods to prevent pregnancy and thus don’t have to live with the fear that every sexual encounter will lead to an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy.

Perhaps the fastest way to significantly reduce the number of abortions in the world would be for the Catholic Church to encourage its members to use contraception. It nearly happened in 1968. We have lived with the consequences of papal diktat ever since.

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