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Goal and Spirit of this Discussion. Deal with an extremely difficult and personal topic Help each other come closer to truth Share information Not try to force views on others Avoid lengthy debates in the large group. Church Position.

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Goal and spirit of this discussion
Goal and Spirit of this Discussion

  • Deal with an extremely difficult and personal topic

  • Help each other come closer to truth

  • Share information

  • Not try to force views on others

  • Avoid lengthy debates in the large group

Church position
Church Position

  • Catechism: 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.158 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:159

  • Humanae Vitae: (14) Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. (15) Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means. (16)

Brief nfp background
Brief NFP Background

  • Based on periodic abstinence during a woman’s fertile phases, usually 7 to 10 days per month

  • Uses up to 3 physiological indicators—not the same as the old and discredited “rhythm method”

  • Depending on which study you believe, method effectiveness is between 80% and 99%; everyone agrees it is variable with the couple’s degree of care in following the rules

The relationship debate does artificial contraception aid or hinder a loving relationship

Artificial contraception can:

Eliminate inhibitions resulting from fear of pregnancy

Allow intercourse to occur more frequently

Reduce the number of children and thus the work and responsibility of raising them

Contraceptive sex is less satisfying—sex is more special when it is less frequent

Periods of abstinance enhance communication and intimacy in non-sexual ways

Divorce rate of NFP users is low—only 3.6% according to one study(1)

Spouses are less likely to use each other as objects for pleasure

The Relationship DebateDoes Artificial Contraception Aid or Hinder a Loving Relationship?

Natural law

Medicine makes many changes in the way the body operates, why not alter fertility?

“Natural Law” is an unproven and theoretical argument, not useful to deal with real-world issues such as contraception

Tampering with the proper and healthy functioning of any body part is against God’s creative will

Contraception separates the natural connection between the unitive and procreative functions of sex

Natural Law

The biblical evidence genesis 38 the case of onan

Onan is slain by God for disobeying the Levirite law by not providing an heir for his brother’s wife

Onan is slain for the sin of coitus interruptus--contraception

The Biblical EvidenceGenesis 38, the Case of Onan

6 Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7 But Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the LORD's sight; so the LORD put him to death. 8 Then Judah said to Onan, "Lie with your brother's wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to produce offspring for your brother." 9 But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he lay with his brother's wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. 10 What he did was wicked in the LORD's sight; so he put him to death also.

Health arguments

Childbearing places a heavy burden on the mother’s health providing an heir for his brother’s wife

Fewer children leads to healtheir women

Most methods of artificial contraception are unhealthy to use

Some studies show a link between lower breast cancer rates and earlier childbearing age

Health Arguments

Population growth arguments

The Earth’s resources are limited providing an heir for his brother’s wife

Particularly in industrialized countries, each child consumes a high quantity of resources

Having fewer children ensures that those that are born will enjoy better living conditions and will not damage the Earth

Countries which use contraception heavily such as those in Western Europe are suffering population declines

The US only avoids this by importing people from other areas

People don’t just consume resources, they also develop new resources and better ways to use the existing ones

Contraception is evolutionarily mal-adaptive

Population Growth Arguments

Every child a wanted child

Contraception ensures that fewer “unwanted” babies will be born

The rate of unwed births has gone from 4% in the 1950s to 25% in the 1990s(2)

Every Child a Wanted Child

Contraception and abortion

Contraception reduces need for abortion be born

Contraception in practice increases the number of abortions

Sex takes place much more often

People who become pregnant on birth control feel they had a right to enjoy sex without pregnancy

Some forms of contraception including the Pill, other hormonal methods, and IUDs actually function in some cases by inducing a very early abortion

Contraception and Abortion

Goal and spirit of this discussion

Contraceptive Sex be born

Separates pleasure of sex from natural consequences of sex

Allows more pleasure from sex

Frees one from inhibitions about having sex

Condoned by our culture


Separates pleasure of eating from natural consequences of eating

Allows more pleasure from eating

Frees one from inhibitions about eating

Proscribed by our culture and labelled a disease

A Counter-exampleWhat is the difference between contraceptive sex and bulimia (aka “binging and purging”?

Citations be born

  • Rossini, Ellen. “Are You Man Enough to Take the NFP Challenge?” Columbia. Knights of Columbus. July, 2002, Vol. 82, No.7, p.18

  • Maley, Barry. “Crime, Violence, and the Australian Family” Center for Independent Studies, Sydney, 1996, p 25.