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Women Forgoing Contraception? Good!

By Matt Abbott

A January 4 story in the Washington Post said that more adult women are choosing not to use contraception. Interestingly, this story comes almost at the heels of a report criticizing abstinence-only education, which proponents of Planned Parenthood-style comprehensive sex education deem deficient.

According to the story, written by Ceci Connolly, the results of the study, which found that "women who had sex in the previous three months but did not use birth control rose from 5.2 percent in 1995 to 7.4 percent in 2002," came "from one-on-one interviews with 12,500 women and men ages 15 to 44. Government interviewers, who spent an average of 85 minutes with each person, found that 98 percent of women reported using contraception during their reproductive years, and the pill was the most popular choice, followed by female sterilization -- usually by having their fallopian tubes tied...."

A couple of points here. The birth control pill and the morning-after pill are not true contraceptives; they are abortifacients, meaning they can cause an early abortion by preventing implantation of the living human embryo into the uterine lining. If this happens, a chemical abortion takes place. A true contraceptive, such as the condom and diaphragm, only prevents fertilization; it does not work once pregnancy (fertilization) occurs.

The Catholic Church rightly teaches that the use of any form of contraception is intrinsically immoral, for it frustrates the marital act, which by its very nature is both love-giving (unitive) and life-giving (procreative). Thus one cannot deliberately frustrate the procreative aspect of the marital act through contraception or sterilization.

Researcher and author Brian Clowes, PhD, in his book The Facts of Life, quotes the late Mother Teresa on this subject:

"In destroying the power of giving life, through contraception, a husband or wife is doing something to self. This turns the attention to self and so it destroys the gifts of love in him or her. In loving, the husband and wife must turn the attention to each other as happens in natural family planning, and not to self, as happens in contraception. Once that living love is destroyed by contraception, abortion follows very easily."

Also, the widespread use of contraception has not and will not lead to fewer unintended pregnancies, which means it will not reduce the number of abortions. There are approximately 1.3 million surgical abortions committed each year, and there are even more - many more - abortions that take place as a result of the use of abortifacient birth control. If the widespread use of contraception actually prevented most unintended pregnancies, we wouldn't have anywhere near the number of abortions being committed today (and even one abortion is one too many).

Married couples may want to look into a version of Natural Family Planning called NaProTechnology, developed by Dr. Tom Hilgers, director of the National Center for Women's Health and Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Creighton University School of Medicine. He is also the director of the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction. Among the benefits of NaProTechnology:

• It is 79 percent effective at helping women have a successful pregnancy after they have suffered repeated miscarriage;

• It can help women learn that they are at risk for a miscarriage even before one has occurred;

• It is 95 percent effective at treating Post-Partum Depression, which afflicts as many as one in five new mothers, often getting results within hours;

• It cuts the rate of premature births in half, thus helping reduce the incidence of birth defects;

• It effectively treats endometriosis with a lower rate of recurrence than methods doctors currently use;

• It effectively treats women experiencing infertility with up to an 80 percent success rate.

For more information on NaProTechnology, visit

The bottom line is this: we will not see a drastic drop in unintended pregnancies, sexually-transmitted diseases or abortions unless and until the vast majority of people begin to respect the moral law. This means no sex outside of marriage, and the use of natural family planning (for serious reasons) within marriage. In this way we will truly build a culture of life!


Matt Abbott
Matt Abbott - Author,



Catholic, Abbott, contraception

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