Struggles with Contraception
Contraception is a hot topic in our current culture, and, unfortunately, many misunderstand why the Church teaches that contraception is sinful and harmful for the contraceptive couple. Because the Church wants men and women to experience the fullness of joy and fulfillment that God intends for them, the Church seeks to steer them away from vices and sins that can be harmful to them spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Contraception is one of these harmful things. By inserting unnatural birth control methods where God intended purely natural love to exist, individuals can bring harm to their bodies and souls—whether or not they may realize it.
What is contraception and why is it sinful?
Contraception is “any action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act [sexual intercourse], 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” (Humanae Vitae 14, underline added). This includes the Pill, condoms, barrier methods and other such methods. Contraception is sinful because it violates the natural end that God intends for sex between a man and a woman: procreation. Contraception also interrupts the natural, authentic bonding intimacy and pleasure that God also wills for us to experience through sexual intercourse.
The harmful effects of contraception
In her fabulous article and research, Dr. Janet Smith uncovers many of the harmful effects of contraception: loss of a sense of authentic sexuality and intimacy, seeing babies as burdens rather than blessings, a decrease in fertility rate around the world, an increase in casual or recreational sex outside of marriage, higher sexual activity among teenagers, more STDs, an increase in unwed pregnancies, and increases in abortion, cohabitation, and divorce, among many other negative effects.
Does the Church just want you to have tons of babies then?
Many people mistakingly believe that the Catholic Church wants you to rebuke all contraceptive methods and instead just be prepared to be pregnant—a lot. This is far from reality, as the Church would never advise that couples raise more children than they can physically, emotionally, spiritually, or financially handle. Instead, an overwhelming number of couples continue to find huge benefits and blessings from their use of Natural Family Planning. The Catholic Church does believe in family planning…and with this method, it’s all natural, sin-free, harm-free, and guilt-free.
The good news is that if you are using artificial contraceptives, you don’t have to do so any longer. There are other options—options that are better for your health and life giving.