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Change state law on birth control, despite pope’s view -- State Journal editorial from 50 years ago

August 5, 2018

This State Journal editorial ran on Aug. 1, 1968:

In making his momentous decision to reaffirm the Roman Catholic Church stand against artificial means of contraception, Pope Paul granted no weight to concerns of popularity or expediency. ...

He was fully aware his verdict would disappoint millions of all faiths, reinforce the barriers between his church and others, place an agonizing strain on the consciences of countless Catholics, and conceivably run the risk of rebellion within his flock.

The decision was plainly made out of deep conviction: prayerfully and painfully.

The pope did not give his decision the ultimate sanction of infallible dogma, however. Some Catholic theologians maintain, therefore, that Catholics may in good conscience make their own private decisions. ...

There is increasing pressure to change existing laws that restrict dissemination of birth control information and devices. Often in recent years, the Catholic Church has not fought the proposed new laws, but has stood silent. Hopefully, it will continue this policy, offering its own people the guidance it holds right, and leaving others free to make their own decision.

During the last session of the Wisconsin Legislature, the State Journal supported the unsuccessful effort to amend this state’s law to permit the means of birth control to be made available — without pressure — to those who want it.

We will continue to support such changes.

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