What Is Wrong With Contraception? Six Arguments

Fr. Matthew Habiger OSB

1) God's plan for the marital embrace:

Read Humanae Vitae #12.

God determines morality, what is right and what is wrong, not man.

“Father knows best.”

God designed our sexuality: a human race of male and female is His plan. This is God’s plan; not mine, not yours, not Susan’s.

We are bodied-persons, not spirit-persons. We are sexual persons.

There is no third sex; no alternative life style.

“Man can fully discover his true self only in a sincere giving of himself” (Gaudium et spes 24). God so designed the human heart that we can be happy only when we give ourselves to another totally. Total gift of self. Total self-donation. Totus tuus. No conditions, no reservations.

This kind of committed love can only happen in marriage. That is why we “Save Sex for Marriage.”

Human love, the marital embrace, is wonderful. We must treasure it; resist any dilution, counterfeits or false substitutes. “All that glitters is not gold.” Distinguish between love and lust.

Here is a great quote from Pope John Paul II on 27 Feb 98 to the Center for Natural Fertility Regulation: “Marital Act Must Be Total Gift of Person.”

“I hope that everyone will benefit from a closer study of the Church’s teaching on the ‘truth’ of the act of love in which spouses become sharers in God’s creative action. The truth of this act stems from its being an expression of the spouses’ reciprocal personal giving, a giving that can only be total since the person is one and indivisible. In the act that expresses their love, spouses are called to make a reciprocal gift of themselves to each other in the totality of their person. Nothing that is part of their being can be excluded from this gift. This is the reason for the intrinsic unlawfulness of contraception. It introduces a substantial limitation into this reciprocal giving, breaking that ‘inseparable connection’ between the two meanings of the conjugal act, the unitive and the procreative, which, as Pope Paul VI pointed out are written by God himself into the nature of the human being (Humanae Vitae 12).

“Continuing in this vein, the great Pontiff rightly emphasized the ‘essential difference’ between contraception and the use of natural methods in exercising ‘responsible procreation.’ It is an anthropological difference because, in the final analysis, it involves two irreconcilable concepts of the person and of human sexuality (cf. Familiaris consortio 32)...

“It is only in the logic of the reciprocal gift between man and woman that the natural regulation of fertility can be correctly understood and authentically lived as the proper expression of a real and mutual communion of love and life. It is worth repeating here that ‘the person can never be considered as a means to an end; above all never a means of ‘pleasure.’ The person is and must be nothing other than the end of every act. Only then does the action correspond to the true dignity of the person” (Letter to Families12). (L’Osservatore Romano, 11 March 98, p. 2)

2) Language of the Body and Contraception

The body has a language of its own. A handshake is a visible sign of civility. That is what the action means and says.

A kiss is a sign of friendship and trust. It is more intimate than a handshake. But a Judas kiss is a betrayal of the language of the body. It is a lie in a very horrible way.

The marital embrace is a total sharing of self with the beloved. That is what the language of the body means. Contraception is a different language. It says: “I’m holding back my fertility. You keep your fertility to yourself. I don’t want to share this part of myself with you.” The man says: “I like you, honey, but you keep your fertility to yourself. I don’t want any part of that.” Contraception contradicts the language of total sharing.

The marital embrace should say what is means, and mean what its says.

When we change the meaning of words, than we don’t communicate; we confuse. When we change the meaning of the language of the body, we change the meaning of love, the meaning of devotion, of the gift of self, and the meaning of commitment.

3) Contraception is anti-life, anti fertility:

The great moral principle is: do the good, and avoid/resist the evil.

We are to love the good. Life is good, human fertility is good. We are to love these. Babies are good.

It is wrong to turn against a good, against our fertility, and consider it an evil. Contraception does this. It regards fertility as a disease.

Why should a healthy woman take pills? Who takes pills, a healthy person or a sick person? Why should a perfectly healthy fertile woman take pills to suppress or sterilize her fertility? A woman’s fertility is a vital component of her life. The powerful hormones at work in her body during the menstrual cycle account for her change of complexion amplifying her manifest beauty. Contraception wants a woman to deny a vital part of herself. Why should she turn herself inside out and upside down just to be available at all times for her man?

Contraception says that a baby is not a blessing, but a curse. But children are the greatest blessing God can give to a couple and their marriage. Couples should not deprive themselves of God's blessing.

4) “NO” to God:

Contraception says “NO” to God. God chooses to work through parents in bringing new persons into the world, persons who will live forever. Children are God’s greatest blessing upon a marriage. From all eternity He knows the number and names of all your children. Contraception says “NO” to God’s plan. It says, “We will not be servants of life; we will be masters of life.” Such a decision shuts God out of a marriage. God wants us to be generous with sharing life, just as he is generous in sharing life and more abundant life with us.

5) Abortifacient Pills:

Did you know that all the contraceptive pills are abortifacient? They all have failure rates, between 2 and 15 percent. None of them completely prevents ovulation. There is always “breakthrough ovulation.” The woman gets pregnant. Then what do you do? 

Thus the pill has a second effect, and that is to render the lining of the uterus, the endometrium, hostile to implantation. This means that when the conceptus, the tiny little human being, moves down the Fallopian tubes and attempts to take root in the lush lining of the mother’s uterus, it is rejected, starved, and either sloughed out of the mother’s body or absorbed. This is an early on chemical abortion.

Pro-life pharmacists assure us that for every surgical abortion in the USA and Europe, there are three to four additional early on chemical abortions. Remember that the IUD is strictly abortifacient. Depo-Provera, the injectable, good for three months, is strictly abortifacient. Norplant, the six matchsticks under a woman’s arm, is strictly abortifacient. So also is the mini-pill, called the morning after pill, or “emergency contraception.”

In the future there will be fewer surgical abortions, but more early on chemical abortions. The next generations of contraceptive pills, vaccines, or injectables will cause early on chemical abortions. The woman will become pregnant and regularly abort her young baby without even knowing she is pregnant.

6) The Legacy of Contraception:

The legacy is multi-faceted and very sad. In 1968, after Humanae Vitae, dissenting theologians promised us that contraception would improve our lives in so many ways. Marriages would be stronger since there would be no nagging fear of an unwanted pregnancy. There would be fewer divorces. Families would be happier and children would be more content. These were the promises, but consider the actual results. Credit should be given where credit is due.

Contraception always leads to:

Natural Family Planning:

The Church teaches that NFP is God’s Way and nature’s way of spacing births. God did not say that a couple must have as many babies as they are physically able. We are not rabbits. But neither does He say just two: a boy for me and a girl for you. God wants responsible parenthood which means the number of children which the parents can love and provide for. God has left man “in the hand of his own counsel” (Sirach 15:14).

NFP is very effective. When learned and used well, it is more reliable than any artificial method, short of sterilization. Of course, NFP is not to be abused as a form of Catholic contraception. There must be serious reasons for spacing births, but serious reasons do exist.

NFP requires self-control, use of free will and clear headed thinking. This is the human way to give direction to our sex drive and emotions. We must be in possession of ourselves before we can give ourselves to another. Chastity is the virtue meant for everyone, both before marriage and after marriage.

Consider the Advantages of NFP:


If we want to be happy, at peace with ourselves, God and others, then we will follow God’s plan for:

Embrace human life! Embrace Humanae Vitae!