The Vatican calls them "evil", "sinful" and "intrinsically disordered". Satanic rites, perhaps? Child molesters? Actually, something far more prosaic: condoms. equally condemned is any other artificial contraceptive - even as a means to check the spread of hIV. The global impact of the Catholic church's antagonism to contraception has been magnified by the resurgence of moral conservatism in the US, under the administration of George W. Bush. The US used to be the world's biggest and most effective donor for condoms and other contraceptives, but Bush slashed funds for such services, and replaced them with ideologically inspired programmes proffering abstinence as the sole means of reproductive planning for the unwed. Faced with these draconian measures, many non-governmental health organisations now refuse or are excluded from US funding, and their programmes are suffering as a result. In Panama, where I live, and where the median income is around $15 a day, condoms are a luxury item.
Laurance, William F. 2007. Comment: Cursing condoms. <i>The New Scientist<i>, 195(2619): 23 doi:10.1016/S0262-4079(07)62194-0