Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you. (Jeremiah 1:5)
Answer: God designed the marital embrace to be physically and emotionally unifying for a married couple and also for it to be procreative for them. When a married couple practices NFP, they stay true to God’s will in His design of the marital embrace, which includes being open to children as a possible fruit of that embrace. Staying open to the will of God is spiritually healthy. Saying “No” to the will of God is spiritually unhealthy. Practicing NFP does not mean you leave the number of children in your family entirely to chance. NFP has different forms, but essentially they work with a woman’s natural, God-given cycle of fertility and infertility. A couple decides which part of the cycle they will be together. If instead a couple uses birth control, they are saying we want the joy of the marital embrace, but want to separate it from the procreation of children. In this situation, a couple wants to work against God’s design. Even though a couple may still conceive while using birth control, their choice was already saying “No” to God’s will.
Abortion: Since the first century, the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. CCC 2271
Dr. Ray Guarendi, a Catholic psychologist, shares a joke, then serious information regarding birth control and Church teaching:
More Helpful Resources:
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Contraception & Natural Family Planning, CCC #2366 - #2379
The Couple to Couple League
Pontifical John Paul II Institute on Marriage & Family
Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction
Answer: Adoption is a beautiful choice. A husband and wife “can give expression to their generosity by adopting abandoned children.” (CCC 237)
Answer: Science is opening many doors in this area. Church teaching affirms some of the science as worthy and says “Research aimed at reducing human sterility is to be encouraged” (CCC 2375). Scientific advances that can “repair” the infertility issues of a husband and/or wife so that they can conceive a child through the natural marital embrace are encouraged. The options provided by science which separate the conception of a child from the marital embrace are morally unacceptable. For a more in depth discussion on the moral issues of concern, please refer to the Catechism of the Catholic Church #2377.