Updated: Feb 7
By Luke Lancaster
The Catholic Church believes that when a husband and a wife engage in sexual relations they need to be open to life. Taking a contraceptive pill or utilizing some type of contraceptive method to prevent the creation of new life would indicate that the couples is not open to life. Contraception, then, is immoral. Simple logic. But why does the Church say that couples must be open to life? The short answer is that God created human sexuality as the means for new life. He created the reproductive organs to be used for their biological purpose: reproduction. To use these organs contrary to their design, i.e., without being open to life, is wrong. If the short answer is not enough for you, consider the long answer.
The spouses on their wedding day promise to love one another freely, faithfully, fruitfully, and totally. They do not love one another fruitfully or totally when utilizing contraception. It is not fruitful because they are blocking the possibility of the fruit – babies. Spouses are not loving each other totally because they are not accepting the reproductive aspect of the person. The couple is in effect saying to one another “I only want your body,” rather than, “I want all of you, including what your body will naturally form – a baby.” It’s like a man saying to a woman, “I want you, but not your womb.” Total means total.
The physical language of the body during relations makes the wedding vows flesh, and that body language gets perverted when a couple uses contraception. For the body is communicating to the other a complete, total, and sacred gift of self. Yet contraception twists that truth, causing couples to give incomplete gifts of self. Those marital vows turn out to be a lie if one uses contraception, for God the creator of life is excluded from the very action He created. Instead, the couple acts in God’s place.
Gift of Children
Catholicism teaches that children are blessings, not curses. They are “the supreme gift of marriage and contribute greatly to their parents flourishing” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 50). How so? Because children form parents into being like Christ, who sacrificed Himself for the good of the other. They form an “others-centered” mentality, as parents help their kids with homework, drive them to football practice, etc. Jesus said that only those who feed the hungry, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, and visit the sick attain eternal life (Matthew 25:34-36). Parents do all of those things for their children, and that in turn aids parents in attaining eternal life. When a woman carries a child in her womb, Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said that the gift she is carrying makes her a tabernacle of life. People could genuflect before a pregnant woman, for life is a gift that is sacred and beautiful.
The contraception pill is full of synthetic, unnatural hormones that are not healthy for the body. For example, the World Health Organization classified the pill as a type-one carcinogen. Contraception increases your likelihood of receiving blood-clots by 3-4x vs. those not on the pill (https://womenandbloodclots.org/birth-control/). If that blood-clot goes to the brain or something vital, the person can have a heart-attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, etc. In fact, if somebody is bleeding out, emergency room doctors use the pill to clot the blood. The pill increases your prospect of developing breast cancer (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5173458/). The chances of getting cervical cancer triple if someone is on the pill for 5-9 years, and it quadruples if someone is on it for more than 10 years. The pill also depletes vitamins and minerals in the body. Who would want any of these things?
Bad for the Environment
This pill is not only unhealthy for you but is harmful to the environment. I learned in an environmental science class that, when women on contraception use the restroom, the synthetic estrogen hormones from the pill go down the toilet. This synthetic estrogen cannot be filtered out of the water in purification plants, causing drinking water to have estrogen in it. When that estrogen-tainted water gets into the ecosystem, it radically morphs the wildlife. For example, the US geologic survey found that in the Ptomic river, 80% of male fish, due to estrogen, grew female reproductive parts. Other states report similar things. See this link: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/birth-control-in-water-supply/#.
Contraception stops a woman from ovulation, meaning that her fertility is put on hold. This causes women to miss out on a lot, for when a woman is fertile or ovulating, amazing things happen. Her estrogen levels grow very high, and it results in her being immensely attractive. Studies have shown that even an average woman who is ovulating is more attractive than a super-model. Her voice changes, and 20% of men listening to her will have their skin tingle. Her cheeks look pinker and her lips look fuller. Pheromones are released by the woman, which is similar to an attractive perfume. One study described something amazing regarding pheromones. It said that a male chimp was placed in a cage with a female chimp on the pill, and the male chimp avoided her, for she did not release any pheromones. When all of the female chimps were put on the pill, the male chimp went out . This is because ovulation is amazing, and when women take the pill, they lose out on these benefits.
The contraceptive pill causes abortions sometimes. When conception occurs, the new life attaches to the uterine wall within the womb of the woman. Certain forms of contraception can cause the lining of the uterus to become uninhabitable, meaning that the new life becomes unable to attach to the wall. This causes the little human organism to die. So, sometimes abortions are occurring! The reader can analyze this further in these two scientific studies: Fertility and Sterility, Volume 88, Issue 1, July 2007, pgs. 74-81 (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0015028206045468 ) and Fertility and Sterility, Volume 76, Issue 1, July 2001, pgs. 102-107 (https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282%2801%2901834-9/fulltext).
Contraception was always condemned as evil in Christian history. See this article that shows what the earliest Christians thought about it: https://www.catholic.com/tract/contraception-and-sterilization. Even the original Protestants, such as Martin Luther, condemned contraception. Christianity used to be completely united on this issue, but once the Anglican churches in 1930 AD opened the door a bit, every single denomination caved in. Catholicism has stayed strong on this teaching, though. Pope St. Paul VI wrote out in his encyclical Humanae Vitae in 1968 the reasons Catholicism is still, to this very day, against contraception. His encyclical definitively showed that Catholic Church would not cave into the rest of the Protestants who suddenly changed their mind on the morality of this action.
Contraception is an unbiblical teaching. For instance, in Genesis 38, a man named Er died, leaving his wife a widow. So, Er’s brother Onan was urged by his father to take up offspring with Er’s wife. That was the ancient custom, so Onan obeyed. However, Onan contracepted in his sexual relations, for he “knew that the offspring would not be his” (Gen. 38:9). This action was called “wicked” by the LORD and he was put to death (v. 10). St. Augustine said of this passage, “Intercourse even with one's legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of the offspring is prevented. Onan, the son of Juda, did this, and the Lord killed him for it.” (De coniug. adult., lib. II, n. 12, Gen, XXXVIII, 8-10.). Scripture is totally against contraception.
Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Humane Vitae (1968) gave four predictions for the world if contraception was accepted: 1. Increase in marital infidelity and decline of morality. This came true, for out of wedlock pregnancies went up 700% since then. Decline in morality occurred as well, for since contraception prevents children, that led people to see children no longer as blessings, but as an annoying burden. So, the immoral practice of aborting children skyrocketed. 2. Loss of respect for women. Considering the Me2 movement, increase in sexual harassment, and the growth of the porn industry, the Pope was spot on. Men became able to use women for the sake of pleasure, with no offspring to worry about. They could have pleasure without consequences. 3. Governments will abuse their power and require it. Remember the HHS mandate under President Barack Obama requiring Catholic organizations to offer contraception? Or the one-child policy of China? Although China has since changed this, they only made it a 2-child policy. 4. People will think that they will have total power over the body. This is exactly what happened with the increase in abortions. Many say even today, “My body, my choice.” Nowadays people undergo gender transitioning or sterilization. Pope Paul was quite the prophet.
What about if a family is not ready to have another child, and they need to space out their children? The Catholic Church says that there is an option for someone looking to do that. It is called Natural Family Planning, whereby a woman does a test every day to reveal whether she is fertile or infertile. There is only a limited window every month when a woman can conceive through the sexual relations, so NFP reveals when a woman is able to conceive a baby. If the family is not ready for another child, then they can find out if the woman is ovulating, and if so, then they avoid having sexual relations that day.
Now, does that mean that NFP is the same as contraception? No, for there is no foreign material blocking the possibility of life. The couple is not sterilizing the act – they introduce nothing to make life impossible. Rather, they are utilizing the virtue of self-control and avoiding relations on those ovulation days. To use an analogy, if you want money, you can do one of two things: rob a bank, or get a job. The end result is the same – you get money. But the means to that end is different. NFP only observes what God is doing. God is not taken out of the equation and stomping on the possibility of life. If somebody still thinks that there is no difference between NFP and contraception, then please attempt using NFP, for the differences will be obvious as day. So, if a couple knows when fertility is possible, and they cannot afford a child, then they must practice abstinence those days.
Finally, it should be pointed out that couples cannot use NFP with a contraceptive mindset. They should not just be attempting to cut the possibility of a child out. NFP is for those who, for example, cannot afford another child.