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Is Artificial Contraception Always Seriously Sinful?

    The short answer is yes. There is unity in marriage, which that can only be broken by contraception. As the Church teaches, God established Marriage as a sacrament. As such, all marital relations are sacred acts. Why? Because God is personally involved. When the sperm and egg are joined God infuses a soul and a living human being is created. When we artificially contracept, we cut God out of the picture and sexual relations become profane.

Consider also the abortifacient nature of the pill. I can understand a person's desire not to bring another child into the world for justifiable reasons, but are you and your spouse willing to take the chance of aborting one of your children. You did not state what method of contraception you are using, so I will assume it to be the pill since it is considered by many to be the “safest.”

The Guttmacher Institute, a subsidiary of Planned Parenthood published the following information and statistics. But before I begin, let’s review the purpose of the birth control pill.

The pill has three purposes, first, to prevent ovulation; second, to increase the cervical mucus in order to make it more difficult for the sperm to reach the egg; third, to make the womb a hostile environment so that in the eventuality the sperm completes its journey and fertilizes the egg the new life will not be able to attach itself to the wall of the womb and so is expelled from the body.

First, there are two types of birth control pills. Progesterone based and estrogen based. The Estrogen based pill has a break through rate of 4.7%. In other words, 4.7% of the time the person will ovulate – an egg will be produced. The break through rate for a progesterone pill, such as Norplant, is approximately 50%.

Second, the possibility of conception is considered to be about 25%. In other words, when everything is perfect, it is still only one chance in four that conception will take place.

Third, it is estimated that there are 16 million couples in the US who are contracepting by using the pill.

If we multiply 4.7 x .25 x 16,000,000 we come out with 188,000. A minimum of 188,000 couples get pregnant every year and simply flush their babies down the toilet! Think about it.

Additionally, contraception destroys the unitive aspect of sexual intercourse. Marital relations are God’s way of unifying a couple in the most intimate way. Two become one. Why is it that a marriage is not considered to be legal or canonically binding until it is consummated?

As a Catholic bookstore owner, of twelve years, I would estimate that about 40% of my customers are men.  Many come in and share their lives with me and sometimes are very open about their spirituality. I have known seven men who have had a vasectomy and one whose wife had a tubal ligation for birth control purposes. There is a common thread among these men. Each of them told me, in almost the same words, that since the operations they could no longer get close to their wives during marital relations. They explain that although performance is not the issue, something is decidedly missing. That something is the unitive aspect of the marital act, in short, what is missing is God’s involvement. When God is cut out of the marital act it becomes profane. Why destroy this most wonderful gift of God? All sexual intercourse must be open to life; otherwise it is a sinful act.

Please investigate Natural Family Planning. It is safe and most effective. If you have legitimate reasons for not being open to having another child at this time in your lives then NFP is the way to go.  The only other alternative is abstinence.

Sexual intercourse outside of marriage and contraception within marriage is a mortal sin. When a couple contracepts, they cut themselves of from God and the sanctifying grace that comes with the worthy reception of the sacraments. Married life can be difficult at times and we need all the help from God that we can get. I have spoken to a number of divorcees that said that the beginning of the downward slope of their marriage was when they began contracepting.

Cutting ourselves off from the sacraments is not the way to strengthen a relationship. Finally, and most importantly, your immortal souls are in jeopardy.  I beg you, consult with your pastor and enroll in a NFP class.

© 2002 – Victor R. Claveau

Part or all of this article may be reproduced without obtaining permission as long as the author is cited.


“Virtue that transgresses, is but patched with sin,

and sin, that amends, is but patched with virtue.”

–William Shakespeare





Copyright © 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved