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Many forms of artificial contraception serve as abortifacients which terminate the lives of unborn children.The Catholic Church has never taught that wives are to have as many children as possible. There are natural, non-contraceptive ways through which Catholic couples are permitted to moderate their number of offspring. In 1968, Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical, Humanae Vitae, Latin for “On Human Life.” This encyclical explains the opposition of the Catholic Church to the use of artificial contraception.

A Serious Problem

Incidentally, many birth control pills present a serious problem because they work as abortifacients, which usually causes the uterus to reject a fertilized egg. According to Church teaching, a fertilized egg is an embryo and, therefore, a human person.

The Church also condemns artificial contraception because it undermines the meaning and purpose of the sexual act. Every sexual act is intended by God to be directed toward two ends. The first end is the love and intimate union between a husband and wife. The second end is the conception of another human being.

The sexual act is moral and acceptable in the eyes of God even if the wife does not conceive. But, there must be no man-made obstacles, such as contraceptives, which prevent conception. A married woman who is past the age of childbearing still has the right to engage in a normal sexual relationship with her husband.

Bearing Gifts 

Children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3). However, they are not a “natural right,” which means married couples cannot use technologies that try to unnaturally create life, either.

Whenever marital love and life (procreation) are separated, then sex becomes an end in itself rather than a means to an end. In such a case, both husband and wife are more likely to pursue their own self-interests and ignore the needs of their spouse.

Contraception also has some serious, negative social consequences. Up until 1930, everyone in the United States knew that the population of young people would outnumber older people in society. There would be a constant stream of young workers entering the labor force. These new, young workers would replace the older workers who were opting for retirement, and they would support the rising cost of social security, Medicare, and various social programs.

Not Happening 

This is not happening in recent times. The number of elderly in our society has grown significantly because of advances in medical care. At the same time, however, due to the increased acceptance of birth control, the number of young people has declined. The result is that the smaller, younger population has fewer resources and the elderly have more needs.

According to the United Nations, the birth rate among First World, industrialized nations has decreased so rapidly that the birth rate is not sufficient to replace the current generation, especially in Europe.

Contaminated Drinking Water

Also, the synthetic hormone in birth control pills is the main pollutant in our water supply. These birth-control hormones are excreted by women, flushed into waterways, and eventually make it into our drinking water.

Anyone who claims to be worried about the environment, or "climate change" as it is sometimes called, and ignores this fact is obviously only concerned when it is politically self-serving to be concerned. A person who is genuine about good stewardship of the earth will always have this issue as a top priority. Please read more about this real danger to humanity and the environment here.

So, give up artificial contraception for Lent, and then give it up for Life. Save children, born and unborn, and save the planet in the process. God bless your family.


© Rev. James Beegan, M.S.F. Original article published in The Messenger magazine from the Missionaries of the Holy Family.

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