“God is love and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image . . .. God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion.”115
“God created man in his own image . . . male and female he created them”;116 He blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply”;117 “When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.”118 – Catechism of the Catholic Church on Contraception (6th Commandment)
Church Documents and Teachings
Man is called to a fullness of life which far exceeds the dimensions of his earthly existence, because it consists in sharing the very life of God. The loftiness of this supernatural vocation reveals the greatness and the inestimable value of human life even in its temporal phase. Life in time, in fact, is the fundamental condition, the initial stage and an integral part of the entire unified process of human existence. It is a process which, unexpectedly and undeservedly, is enlightened by the promise and renewed by the gift of divine life, which will reach its full realization in eternity (cf. 1 Jn 3:1-2). At the same time, it is precisely this supernatural calling which highlights the relative character of each individual’s earthly life. After all, life on earth is not an “ultimate” but a “penultimate” reality; even so, it remains a sacred reality entrusted to us, to be preserved with a sense of responsibility and brought to perfection in love and in the gift of ourselves to God and to our brothers and sisters. – Pope John Paul II, March 25, 1995
- Catechism of the Catholic Church on Contraception (6th Commandment)
- Married Love and the Gift of Life, USCCB, November 14, 2006 | Printable Document (PDF)
- Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, Fifth Edition, USCCB, November 17, 2009
- Evangelium Vitae: On the Value and Inviolability of Human Life, Pope John Paul II, March 25, 1995
- Humanae Vitae: On the Regulation of Births, Pope Paul VI, July 25, 1968
- Dignitas Personae: Instruction on Certain Bioethical Questions, The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, September 8, 2008
Life Matters: Contraception
For decades Americans have been told—by the media, Planned Parenthood, sex educators, and activists who promote abortion and “reproductive rights”—that contraceptives are the safe and effective way to prevent unplanned pregnancy. We’re told that contraception ensures a woman’s “freedom” from pregnancy and child-rearing so she can pursue her own goals in life. Given the prevalence and power of these messages, it is not surprising that a majority of sexually active women in the U.S. have tried using some form of contraception at some point in their life. But many begin to doubt the rosy claims when they unexpectedly become pregnant, or are infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD), or experience serious side effects from hormonal contraceptives themselves. The experience of those using contraceptives differs greatly from the advertising claims of the multi-billion-dollar contraceptive industry.
Here are a few of the hard facts:
- 1 in 3 teen girls will become pregnant within two years of initiating sexual activity, even while using contraceptives
- almost half (48.4 percent) of low-income cohabiting teens using the pill, and 72 percent of those using condoms as their primary method of birth control, will become pregnant within 12 months
- 65 percent of women who reported unplanned pregnancies in a major French survey were using contraception
- experts in contraception now concede that pills are “an outdated method” and perfect use is impossible “for most humans”
- 54 percent of U.S. women seeking abortions were using contraception in the month they became pregnant
- an analysis of 23 studies on emergency contraception (EC) found no evidence whatsoever that increasing access to EC reduces rates of unplanned pregnancy or abortion
- a 63 percent increase in the use of contraception between 1997 and 2007 was accompanied by a 108 percent increase in the abortion rate in Spain.
Numerous studies show that increasing the availability of contraception in a large population does not reduce rates of unplanned pregnancies and abortions, and may increase them. Top executives of the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the largest U.S. abortion provider, have discussed and reported on this for decades. Yet manufacturers and suppliers continue to earn billions, foster false hopes, and subject girls and women to health risks and unexpected “crisis” pregnancies. How is it possible that increased use of contraceptives could lead to more unplanned pregnancies and abortions? People tend to take more risks when they are led to believe they can avoid the negative consequences of risky behavior through technology. Read More
- Over-the-Counter Contraceptives: A Terrible Idea, by Susan Wills, December 21, 2012
- A Foolish Inconsistency on Contraception, by Susan Wills, October 31, 2012
- Brochure: Contraception: The Fine Print, by Susan E. Wills, Esq.
- Life Matters: Contraception by Susan E. Wills, Esq.
- Printable Document (PDF): Life Matters: Contraceptives and Women’s Well-Being by Susan E. Wills, Esq.
- The Contraceptive Mandate: What Is Its Real Impact? by Susan Wills, April 16, 2012
- For more Articles visit USCCB
Columns & Letters
Be Her Joseph!
By Tom Mealey
March 20, 2009
When we first married, my wife, Misty, and I were the typical secular couple. We relied on hormonal contraception. Due to bad side effects, that didn’t last long. Misty found out about Natural Family Planning (NFP) through a Catholic friend. Admittedly, I was suspicious of all the “hocus pocus” involving thermometers at o’ dark-thirty in the morning and observations written down in cryptic symbols on the NFP chart. That would all change in surprising ways once we got into living the NFP lifestyle.
Before having children, Misty had been an atheist and I had been an agnostic. With our first child, the miracle of life spurred a spiritual
awakening in us. We realized the Holy Spirit had already led us into a Catholic life. Even after our conversion, however, NFP enriched our relationship with each other and with God in ways we never expected.
We studied Pope John Paul II’s “theology of the body” and became excited about living out our faith and sharing it. It was thrilling to learn the compelling reasons behind the Church’s beautiful teachings on sex and marriage.
The choice for a husband is clear: he can be his wife’s Adam or he can be her Joseph. A man can stand by silently and allow his wife to suffer the physical and spiritual consequences of contraception. Or he can defend her virtue, body, and soul by using NFP. Today, contraception is accepted and expected. Any man who forgoes it for NFP will likely be exposed to ridicule and criticism. But as St. Joseph taught us, there are some things more important than the opinion of others. May we husbands choose to be Joseph to our wives! Read More
Further Columns & Letters
- Pope Benedict Is Right! By Susan E. Wills, April 3, 2009
- Comments on Interim Final Rules Imposing Contraceptive Mandate, August, 2011
- Cardinal DiNardo Letter on Defunding Planned Parenthood, April 13, 2011
- Let the Taxpayers Beware!, by Susan E. Wills, Life Issues Forum, July 24, 2009
- Pro-Life Spokesperson Urges Institute Of Medicine Committee To Focus On Life-Saving Preventive Health Services For Women, Exclude Contraception, Sterilization –November 16, 2010
- Be Her Joseph! By Tom Mealey, March 20, 2009
- Give Kids Respect, Not Contraceptives By Susan Wills & Theresa Notare, November 2, 2007
- For more Articles visit USCCB
- Does the HHS Mandate Include Abortifacients?
- Preventive Services Backgrounder
- Researchers Agree with Pope on Condoms & AIDS
- Emergency Contraception Fails to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy and Abortion | Printable Document (PDF)
- Contraceptive Mandates
- Title X Program
- Greater Access to Contraception Does Not Reduce Abortions
- For more Articles visit USCCB