Contraception from a Catholic Prospective

For those interested in understanding issues from the Catholic prospective, the following paragraphs contain a short description.  The paragraphs only contain short quotes from relevant web pages along with a link to the source.  The page links are included so interested people can go to the source for additional detail.

Contraception's effect on:

1. Contraception and Catholic Spirituality

1.1 Teaching from the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Paragraph 2370

“Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self- observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether 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" is intrinsically evil.”

1.2 Teaching from Pope John Paul II's EVANGELIUM VITAE, March 25, 1995
Paragraph 13:
“ … It is frequently asserted that contraception, if made safe and available to all, is the most effective remedy against abortion. The Catholic Church is then accused of actually promoting abortion, because she obstinately continues to teach the moral unlawfulness of contraception. When looked at carefully, this objection is clearly unfounded. It may be that many people use contraception with a view to excluding the subsequent temptation of abortion. But the negative values inherent in the "contraceptive mentality"--which is very different from responsible parenthood, lived in respect for the full truth of the conjugal act--are such that they in fact strengthen this temptation when an unwanted life is conceived. Indeed, the pro-abortion culture is especially strong precisely where the Church's teaching on contraception is rejected. Certainly, from the moral point of view contraception and abortion are specifically different evils: the former contradicts the full truth of the sexual act as the proper expression of conjugal love, while the latter destroys the life of a human being; the former is opposed to the virtue of chastity in marriage, the latter is opposed to the virtue of justice and directly violates the divine commandment "You shall not kill."

But despite their differences of nature and moral gravity, contraception and abortion are often closely connected, as fruits of the same tree. It is true that in many cases contraception and even abortion are practiced under the pressure of real life difficulties, which nonetheless can never exonerate from striving to observe God's law fully. Still, in very many other instances such practices are rooted in a hedonistic mentality unwilling to accept responsibility in matters of sexuality, and they imply a self-centered concept of freedom, which regards procreation as an obstacle to personal fulfillment. The life which could result from a sexual encounter thus becomes an enemy to be avoided at all costs, and abortion becomes the only possible decisive response to failed contraception.”

The close connection which exists, in mentality, between the practice of contraception and that of abortion is becoming increasingly obvious. It is being demonstrated in an alarming way by the development of chemical products, intrauterine devices and vaccines which, distributed with the same ease as contraceptives, really act as abortifacients in the very early stages of the development of the life of the new human being.”

1.3 Contraception and Faith

Contraception:Fatal to the Faith: By Fr. John Hardon
This must seem like a strange title, "Contraception: Fatal to the faith." What does the title mean? Does it mean that to believe in contraception is contrary to the faith? Or does it mean that-Christian believers may not practice contraception? Or does it mean that those who practice contraception are in danger of losing their faith? 

1.4 Contraception and God's Plan
Marriage: A Communion of Life and Love: A Pastoral Letter by Bishop Victor Galeon
In order to counter the silence surrounding the Church’s teaching in this area, as your bishop, I ask that the following guidelines be implemented in our diocese: ...”

1.5  God's Design of Sexuality
Contraception is the divide that redefines sexuality and love and separates the two. We cannot see the lie of homosexuality without seeing the lie of contraception, because it is the same lie. Only a man and woman can come together as “one flesh,” where they truly become a single biological entity for the purpose of creating new life. But this only remains true when the marital act is not impeded artificially. Contraception destroys the uniqueness of the marital act and changes its very nature from an act of creation to one of pleasure, power, or some other basic desire.

1.6 From United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Married Love and the Gift of Life
In an engaging question and answer format, the bishops explain Church teachings on conjugal love and responsible parenthood and the methods of natural family planning which support those teachings.
A husband and wife express their committed love not only with words, but with the language of their bodies. That “body language”—what a husband and wife say to one another through the intimacy of sexual relations—speaks of total commitment and openness to a future together.

1.7 Video showing some significant insights.
The Archdiocese of Detroit put out a very interesting video showing some aspects of the Church's teaching.  To view, Click here.

2. Contraception and Divorce
“When use of the contraceptive pill saturated US society during the years 1960 through 1980, there was an increase in the US divorce rate that followed the increase in pill use with remarkable conformity. Various social scientists have concluded that this is no coincidence. This document includes a graph of the US divorce rate from 1880 to 2002 and a table of historical events of these times that shed some light on the story the graph tells. “

3. Contraception and Cohabitation

The number of cohabiting couples has increased from just over half a million in 1970 to 4.2 million in 1998, and that over 50% of marriages today are preceded by cohabitation.”
A recent study by pollster John Zogby found that general acceptance of the practice is increasing, with 56% of Americans thinking it is acceptable for an engaged couple prior to marriage."

4. Contraception and Abortion

The Connection between Contraception and Abortion: By Janet Smith
 “With some contraceptives there is not only a link with abortion there is an identity.  Some contraceptives are abortifacients; they work by causing early term abortions.  The IUD seems to prevent a fertilized egg — a new little human being — from implanting in the uterine wall.  The pill does not always stop ovulation but sometimes prevents implantation of the growing embryo.  And, of course, the new RU 486 pill works altogether by aborting a new fetus, a new baby.  Although some in the pro-life movement occasional speak out against the contraceptives that are abortifacients most generally steer clear of the issue of contraception.

Fact Sheet: Greater Access to Contraception Does Not Reduce Abortions

Her Choice, Her Problem - How Abortion Empowers Men: by Richard Stith
I recall a law student who would admit when pressed, 'I’m in favor of keeping abortion legal because I don’t like using condoms.' “

5. Contraception and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Nationally Representative CDC Study Finds 1 in 4 Teenage Girls Has a Sexually Transmitted Disease
“Today’s data demonstrate the significant health risk STDs pose to millions of young women in this country every year,” said Kevin Fenton, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention.

The downside of 'friends with benefits'.   Experts in sexually transmitted diseases say they've become increasingly concerned about the trend toward having what they call "sexual involvement in nonromantic contexts" -- the technical term for hookups or "friends with benefits" -- because they're especially likely to spread sexually transmitted diseases.

6. Contraception and Culture

Birth Control - The Pill - Why use contracepton? : By Janet Smith
"Contraception is such an accepted fixture in our culture and medical practice that a serious challenge is indeed rare. In Contraception: Why Not, Prof Smith provokes her audience to give serious consideration to questions regarding the relationship between contraception, divorce, abortion, poverty, and other social ills."

The Current National Picture On Teen Pregnancy: By Stan E. Weed
Dr. Weed argues that the current drops in teen pregnancy rates are due to increased abstinence among teens and not to the use of "more and better contraceptives" as pro-contraception sexuality education "experts" are claiming.

Contraception & Logical Consistency: By Howard P. Kainz
Recent statistics indicate that contraception is widely practiced, even by up to 80 percent of Catholics, in spite of its clear and constant condemnation by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Does this figure include practicing Catholics? “

“Inspired by the deep psychological intuitions of the great feminist transcultural heroine and Saint, Edith Stein, Dr. Pedulla for the first time began to suspect contraception as the most important and overlooked factor in a host of medical and social conditions afflicting the modern woman. “

From Physicians For Life:
Sexual Activity, Condoms, Contraceptive Use, STDs: What We Know Now

A federal report issued before today's expected House Appropriations Committee vote on abstinence-education funding says the curricula for comprehensive sex education overwhelming push condoms and downplay abstinence. “

Terrific discussion of how political correctness is endangering the health of our young adults.
The author of this book is a psychiatrist at a university health clinic. She has written the book anonymously because she is still working and what she has to say is politically unacceptable to the current mental health establishment. If she stated this openly she would risk her career.

7. Contraception and Homosexuality

"The widespread practice of contraception is a major force behind the rapidly growing acceptance of homosexuality in western societies as a natural, sexual orientation. Bluntly stated, the justification for the one counts as the justification for the other."

Antidote to Contraception

Virtue:Intellectual virtue may be defined as a habit perfecting the intellect to elicit with readiness acts that are good in reference to their proper object, namely, truth. “

Chastity: Chastity is the virtue which excludes or moderates the indulgence of the sexual appetite. It is a form of the virtue of temperance, which controls according to right reason the desire for and use of those things which afford the greatest sensual pleasures. “

Alternative to Contraception

Natural Family Planning

Billings Ovulation Method
Mucus only Method
PO Box 2135
St. Cloud, MN 56302
Phone – 651-699-8139

The Couple to Couple League
Sympto-Thermal Method
PO Box 111184
Cincinnati, OH  45211-1184
Phone - (513) 471-2000

Family of the Americas Foundation
Mucus only Method
P.O. Box 1170
Dunkirk, MD 20754
Phone - (301) 627-3346

Creighton Model Fertility Care System 
Mucus only Medical Model
6901 Mercy Road
Omaha, NE  68106
Phone - (402) 390-6600

Northwest Family Services, Inc.
Sympto-Thermal Method
4805 N.E. Glisan Street
Portland, OR 97213
Phone - (503) 215-6377

Marquette University Institute for NFP
Sympto-Thermal Method
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
(414) 288-3854

For a list of local programs
The Diocesan Development Program for Natural Family Planning
Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities
National Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 4th St., N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20017