Do 98% of Catholic women use contraceptives?

Apologists for the administration’s abortion pill & contraceptive mandate are pointing to statistics that say as many as 98% of Roman Catholic women use contraceptives in defiance of the teaching of their church.  This is then used to encourage Democrats to not back down from the mandate, despite what the bishops say, as if rank and file Catholics will support the Obama administration anyway.

It turns out, though, that the 98% numbers are yet another way to lie with statistics, as Mark Misulia explains, quoting an analysis linked in the post:

The study excludes women who are not sexually active, where this is defined as “sexual intercourse in the past three months,” postpartum, pregnant, or women trying to get pregnant. The study was designed to “include only women for whom a pregnancy would be unintended and who are ‘at risk’ of becoming pregnant.” It is not clear whether the study includes women who are neither trying nor not trying to become pregnant. . . .

“The deliberate design of the study to cover only women who, at the time of the study, were having sexual intercourse while regarding a pregnancy as unintended would be likely to make it unrepresentative of Catholics and particularly unrepresentative of devout Catholics. Yet the study is now being cited to show the percentage of Catholic women generally who are not following the teaching of the Catholic Church in this area…a statistic based on a study that explicitly excluded those who have no use for contraception is obviously irrelevant to a question about the percentage of Catholic women who have a use for contraception!”

The fact that women who are celibate, postpartum, and those not trying to avoid pregnancy are excluded is enough. That such a misrepresentation is being used as leverage in serious political discourse is truly unfortunate, regardless of the content of the study, and says as much about contemporary American politics as the mandate itself.

via The Bogus 98 Percent » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog.

Here is how Mollie Hemingway puts it, analyzing in more detail the original study from the Guttmacher Institute (which happens to be an organization affiliated with Planned Parenthood):

So I guess we could say that among women aged 15-44 who had sex in the last three months but aren’t pregnant, post-partum or trying to get pregnant, 87 percent of women who identify as Catholic used contraception. It’s worth pondering just who is left out of this 87 percent, other than, you know, everyone who doesn’t use contraception.

Certainly lots of Roman Catholics don’t follow their church’s teaching in this matter, but that doesn’t change the right of the church to set those teachings, as they themselves for the most part surely realize.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Michael B.

    Let’s forget the reported statistics and just ask a simple question: If a couple isn’t using birth control, then why is it is they only have 2, 3, or 4 kids? Unless a woman gets too old, the natural is to kid after kid, unless the woman is using some sort of birth control or just not having sex. Michelle Duggar has not been blessed with some sort of super-power — she is simply not using birth control.

  • Michael B.

    Let’s forget the reported statistics and just ask a simple question: If a couple isn’t using birth control, then why is it is they only have 2, 3, or 4 kids? Unless a woman gets too old, the natural is to kid after kid, unless the woman is using some sort of birth control or just not having sex. Michelle Duggar has not been blessed with some sort of super-power — she is simply not using birth control.

  • Booklover

    98% of young people drink before the age of 21. So let’s change the drinking age everywhere to under 21.

    98% of people do not follow copyright laws. So let’s banish all copyright laws.

    Even if this “survey” was correct, it does not follow that laws should be changed to fit the people.

  • Booklover

    98% of young people drink before the age of 21. So let’s change the drinking age everywhere to under 21.

    98% of people do not follow copyright laws. So let’s banish all copyright laws.

    Even if this “survey” was correct, it does not follow that laws should be changed to fit the people.

  • Joe

    Michael – you obviously know very little about reproduction. Most of the stats given out by doctors is that the chance of getting pregnant in any given ovulation cycle is 15-25%.

    “If a couple isn’t using birth control, then why is it is they only have 2, 3, or 4 kids?”

    The will of God.

  • Joe

    Michael – you obviously know very little about reproduction. Most of the stats given out by doctors is that the chance of getting pregnant in any given ovulation cycle is 15-25%.

    “If a couple isn’t using birth control, then why is it is they only have 2, 3, or 4 kids?”

    The will of God.

  • Peter S.

    @Michael B: Mrs. Duggar is by no means a normal example; rather, she is an example of an extraordinarily fertility person who, with her husband, has also striven to conceive as many children as possible. Most couples, even those who are healthy and often seek the marital embrace with no attempts to avoid pregnancy, are not as fecund.

    Additionally, many Catholics and others who are interested in non-technological means of spacing children use various forms of fertility awareness, usually called “natural family planning.”

    And then–come on!–common sense suggests that most married couples just don’t have sex every day.

  • Peter S.

    @Michael B: Mrs. Duggar is by no means a normal example; rather, she is an example of an extraordinarily fertility person who, with her husband, has also striven to conceive as many children as possible. Most couples, even those who are healthy and often seek the marital embrace with no attempts to avoid pregnancy, are not as fecund.

    Additionally, many Catholics and others who are interested in non-technological means of spacing children use various forms of fertility awareness, usually called “natural family planning.”

    And then–come on!–common sense suggests that most married couples just don’t have sex every day.

  • Peter S.

    Errata: read “fertile” for “fertility” in the first sentence.

  • Peter S.

    Errata: read “fertile” for “fertility” in the first sentence.

  • Mary

    Besides, as long as the issue is about contraception and not about the First Amendment, Obama wins on the issue. Most of the MSM is framing this as women’s rights to free contraception, and the mean Catholics robbing women of them.

  • Mary

    Besides, as long as the issue is about contraception and not about the First Amendment, Obama wins on the issue. Most of the MSM is framing this as women’s rights to free contraception, and the mean Catholics robbing women of them.

  • palauer

    Michael: According to Mayoclinic.com “About 15 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. But the actual number is probably much higher because many miscarriages occur so early in pregnancy that a woman doesn’t even know she’s pregnant.”

    I think it’s also important to realize that married couples with children are not as likely to have sex during the particular 72 hour window of fertility each month. In fact, most couples with children in the home would be glad to have sex even once a week instead of the all-too-common once or twice per month.

    This is not to mention the many physical, psychological, or relationship factors which can lead to infertility or subfertility among married couples – far more prevalent than is generally talked about. Perhaps as many as 25% of all married couples of child bearing age are infertile at any given time; 50% of the time due to male infertility. Just consider the demand in America for male sexual performance drugs.

    We shouldn’t be surprised when married couples of child bearing age and with children in the home become pregnant without contraception measures. But neither should we be surprised when they don’t.

  • palauer

    Michael: According to Mayoclinic.com “About 15 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. But the actual number is probably much higher because many miscarriages occur so early in pregnancy that a woman doesn’t even know she’s pregnant.”

    I think it’s also important to realize that married couples with children are not as likely to have sex during the particular 72 hour window of fertility each month. In fact, most couples with children in the home would be glad to have sex even once a week instead of the all-too-common once or twice per month.

    This is not to mention the many physical, psychological, or relationship factors which can lead to infertility or subfertility among married couples – far more prevalent than is generally talked about. Perhaps as many as 25% of all married couples of child bearing age are infertile at any given time; 50% of the time due to male infertility. Just consider the demand in America for male sexual performance drugs.

    We shouldn’t be surprised when married couples of child bearing age and with children in the home become pregnant without contraception measures. But neither should we be surprised when they don’t.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Much of it depends on how you define birth-control. I seriously doubt that 98% of Catholic women have used chemical birth control. I really doubt the results of this survey. One, as Mollie pointed out, the survey was pretty bad. Two, well it was designed to get the results it did. Got to love those kinds of studies.

    @#1 Normally, I ignore your posts but this one was so uninformed, I can’t help myself. Fertility isn’t a straight forward one for one cause and effect. There are a ton of variables involved. Timing plays a big role. Too soon and the sperm die before the ovum is in place for conception. Too late and the embryo does not have enough time to form and embed itself in the uterine lining.

    At the same time, there is a natural suppression of fertility caused by breast-feeding. Granted this is not a guaranteed suppression but it does tend to space things out. Women who engage in extended breast feeding can suppress their cycles naturally for upwards of a year.

    Health also plays a role. Stress can suppress ovulation and sperm production. Length of cycle can also make it hard to sustain a pregnancy. If a woman woman ovulates too late in her cycle, her body will flush the uterine lining before the embryo has a chance to attach itself and cause the pregnancy hormone cascade. Timing of this cycle can be affected by stress and other factors.

    In short if you are going to troll, don’t troll out of ignorance.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Much of it depends on how you define birth-control. I seriously doubt that 98% of Catholic women have used chemical birth control. I really doubt the results of this survey. One, as Mollie pointed out, the survey was pretty bad. Two, well it was designed to get the results it did. Got to love those kinds of studies.

    @#1 Normally, I ignore your posts but this one was so uninformed, I can’t help myself. Fertility isn’t a straight forward one for one cause and effect. There are a ton of variables involved. Timing plays a big role. Too soon and the sperm die before the ovum is in place for conception. Too late and the embryo does not have enough time to form and embed itself in the uterine lining.

    At the same time, there is a natural suppression of fertility caused by breast-feeding. Granted this is not a guaranteed suppression but it does tend to space things out. Women who engage in extended breast feeding can suppress their cycles naturally for upwards of a year.

    Health also plays a role. Stress can suppress ovulation and sperm production. Length of cycle can also make it hard to sustain a pregnancy. If a woman woman ovulates too late in her cycle, her body will flush the uterine lining before the embryo has a chance to attach itself and cause the pregnancy hormone cascade. Timing of this cycle can be affected by stress and other factors.

    In short if you are going to troll, don’t troll out of ignorance.

  • formerly just steve

    Booklover @2, +1

  • formerly just steve

    Booklover @2, +1

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Booklover nails it again! Quite correct: that a standard is violated does not mean a standard should be repealed.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Booklover nails it again! Quite correct: that a standard is violated does not mean a standard should be repealed.

  • –helen

    Booklover February 15, 2012 at 8:08 am

    98% of young people drink before the age of 21. So let’s change the drinking age everywhere to under 21.
    98% of people do not follow copyright laws. So let’s banish all copyright laws.
    Even if this “survey” was correct, it does not follow that laws should be changed to fit the people.

    Of course, the survey is designed to solicit response from drinkers and plagiarists, respectively. Those who do not engage in these behaviours are not counted!

  • –helen

    Booklover February 15, 2012 at 8:08 am

    98% of young people drink before the age of 21. So let’s change the drinking age everywhere to under 21.
    98% of people do not follow copyright laws. So let’s banish all copyright laws.
    Even if this “survey” was correct, it does not follow that laws should be changed to fit the people.

    Of course, the survey is designed to solicit response from drinkers and plagiarists, respectively. Those who do not engage in these behaviours are not counted!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    If a couple isn’t using birth control, then why is it is they only have 2, 3, or 4 kids?

    What to you call couples that use natural family planning?

    Parents.

    Also, women using contraception have an annual conception rate of about 10%. Most of my friends have at least one child from contraception failure. They either wanted no children or not another at that time, but weren’t willing to kill the baby. Now, of course, they are happy to have him/her.

    The second chart on this page shows contraception failure rates.

    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html

    Natural family planning has an annual conception rate of 25%. Using nothing is about 89%. So, that 3-4 kids is about what they could expect. Also, those using NFP are still willing to have a baby, just reducing the odds. That is not the same mentality that takes pills and will resort to murder if they get pregnant.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    If a couple isn’t using birth control, then why is it is they only have 2, 3, or 4 kids?

    What to you call couples that use natural family planning?

    Parents.

    Also, women using contraception have an annual conception rate of about 10%. Most of my friends have at least one child from contraception failure. They either wanted no children or not another at that time, but weren’t willing to kill the baby. Now, of course, they are happy to have him/her.

    The second chart on this page shows contraception failure rates.

    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html

    Natural family planning has an annual conception rate of 25%. Using nothing is about 89%. So, that 3-4 kids is about what they could expect. Also, those using NFP are still willing to have a baby, just reducing the odds. That is not the same mentality that takes pills and will resort to murder if they get pregnant.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The study excludes women who are not sexually active, where this is defined as “sexual intercourse in the past three months,” postpartum, pregnant, or women trying to get pregnant. The study was designed to “include only women for whom a pregnancy would be unintended and who are ‘at risk’ of becoming pregnant.” It is not clear whether the study includes women who are neither trying nor not trying to become pregnant. . . .

    Basically exclude those women whose behavior has a high correlation with the Catholic definition of chastity.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The study excludes women who are not sexually active, where this is defined as “sexual intercourse in the past three months,” postpartum, pregnant, or women trying to get pregnant. The study was designed to “include only women for whom a pregnancy would be unintended and who are ‘at risk’ of becoming pregnant.” It is not clear whether the study includes women who are neither trying nor not trying to become pregnant. . . .

    Basically exclude those women whose behavior has a high correlation with the Catholic definition of chastity.

  • formerly just steve

    sg, #13, good point but there’s realy no need to even go there. As booklover mentions, the “everybody does it” reasoning is faulty as well, but we don’t even need to go there. The First Amendment should, I repeat, SHOULD end the question straight out of the gate. But since this administration doesn’t respect the Constitution, we’re forced to address all of these secondary arguments in support of our respective positions. Rubbish! Point to the First Amendment and stop chasing the twisted logic!

  • formerly just steve

    sg, #13, good point but there’s realy no need to even go there. As booklover mentions, the “everybody does it” reasoning is faulty as well, but we don’t even need to go there. The First Amendment should, I repeat, SHOULD end the question straight out of the gate. But since this administration doesn’t respect the Constitution, we’re forced to address all of these secondary arguments in support of our respective positions. Rubbish! Point to the First Amendment and stop chasing the twisted logic!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    the “everybody does it” reasoning is faulty as well,

    Yes, of course.

    If 98% of people believed slavery to be acceptable, it wouldn’t make it right.

    The point of saying the 98% of (oops we forgot to mention, selected self-identifying) Catholic women is to call Catholics liars, hypocrites and highlight that Catholic women ignore the church’s teaching. They mean to drive a wedge between the laity and leaders. They want to say that even Catholics don’t believe Catholic teaching.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    the “everybody does it” reasoning is faulty as well,

    Yes, of course.

    If 98% of people believed slavery to be acceptable, it wouldn’t make it right.

    The point of saying the 98% of (oops we forgot to mention, selected self-identifying) Catholic women is to call Catholics liars, hypocrites and highlight that Catholic women ignore the church’s teaching. They mean to drive a wedge between the laity and leaders. They want to say that even Catholics don’t believe Catholic teaching.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The point is for Obama/democrats to harp on something that many people like ie. contraception and paint the opposition as extreme. It has to be a calculated political move because saving some x% of women a few bucks a month is just not that important.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The point is for Obama/democrats to harp on something that many people like ie. contraception and paint the opposition as extreme. It has to be a calculated political move because saving some x% of women a few bucks a month is just not that important.

  • Adam W

    Isn’t kind of tricking God to practice the rhythm method? I mean, if sexual intercourse is suppose to be practiced to “be fruitful and multiply” and you are purposely only “practicing” on days that conception is less-than-likely, isn’t that a form of lying to God? “Hey look; we’re trying to have a baby! Oops, didn’t work. Sorry, we’ll try again a few weeks before her cycle begins… I mean, someday.”

  • Adam W

    Isn’t kind of tricking God to practice the rhythm method? I mean, if sexual intercourse is suppose to be practiced to “be fruitful and multiply” and you are purposely only “practicing” on days that conception is less-than-likely, isn’t that a form of lying to God? “Hey look; we’re trying to have a baby! Oops, didn’t work. Sorry, we’ll try again a few weeks before her cycle begins… I mean, someday.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @17

    Some have made that point. Others counter that since they have to deprive themselves, it is not like artificial contraception by which they do not deprive themselves. So in that way it is like unmarried people who abstain and are not fruitful. Of course unmarried people are not told to have children, whereas married people are.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @17

    Some have made that point. Others counter that since they have to deprive themselves, it is not like artificial contraception by which they do not deprive themselves. So in that way it is like unmarried people who abstain and are not fruitful. Of course unmarried people are not told to have children, whereas married people are.

  • Grace

    Speaking of Christians who DO NOT USE BIRTH CONTROL.

    Those in my family have had between one and four children. That includes my parents. God decides how many children we will have, or whether we will have them at all.

    There are couples who try to have children, and then after 5 plus years finally have several. God has reasons for giving children to us, at the right time.

    Remembrt Sarah, Abrahams wife, and Rebekah?

  • Grace

    Speaking of Christians who DO NOT USE BIRTH CONTROL.

    Those in my family have had between one and four children. That includes my parents. God decides how many children we will have, or whether we will have them at all.

    There are couples who try to have children, and then after 5 plus years finally have several. God has reasons for giving children to us, at the right time.

    Remembrt Sarah, Abrahams wife, and Rebekah?

  • CRUXSOLA

    The real issue behind the Obama adminstration’s health care decision is religous freedom. President Obama sees Government as god…..he will have no other gods before him.

  • CRUXSOLA

    The real issue behind the Obama adminstration’s health care decision is religous freedom. President Obama sees Government as god…..he will have no other gods before him.

  • Michael B.

    @sg@12
    “Natural family planning has an annual conception rate of 25%. Using nothing is about 89%. So, that 3-4 kids is about what they could expect. Also, those using NFP are still willing to have a baby, just reducing the odds. That is not the same mentality that takes pills and will resort to murder if they get pregnant.”

    The rhythm method and other calendar-based methods of birth control have one huge problem though: it results in dead embryos (babies). The way the rhythm method works is by having sex during the period when a woman is less likely to conceive and when any conceived embryo will have less viability. There are several reasons why the embryo during late in the woman’s cycle may be less viable — the age of the sperm, egg, and the uterine wall isn’t at its peak receptivity, and thus the fertilized egg (baby) can’t attach and is washed out. Much like the birth control pill and morning after pill, we don’t have the means of tracking the percentages of miscarriages due to this cause.

  • Michael B.

    @sg@12
    “Natural family planning has an annual conception rate of 25%. Using nothing is about 89%. So, that 3-4 kids is about what they could expect. Also, those using NFP are still willing to have a baby, just reducing the odds. That is not the same mentality that takes pills and will resort to murder if they get pregnant.”

    The rhythm method and other calendar-based methods of birth control have one huge problem though: it results in dead embryos (babies). The way the rhythm method works is by having sex during the period when a woman is less likely to conceive and when any conceived embryo will have less viability. There are several reasons why the embryo during late in the woman’s cycle may be less viable — the age of the sperm, egg, and the uterine wall isn’t at its peak receptivity, and thus the fertilized egg (baby) can’t attach and is washed out. Much like the birth control pill and morning after pill, we don’t have the means of tracking the percentages of miscarriages due to this cause.

  • mikeb

    Michael B. @21

    The rhythm method and other calendar-based methods of birth control have one huge problem though: it results in dead embryos (babies).

    Except the parents aren’t murdering their unborn with chemicals.

  • mikeb

    Michael B. @21

    The rhythm method and other calendar-based methods of birth control have one huge problem though: it results in dead embryos (babies).

    Except the parents aren’t murdering their unborn with chemicals.

  • mikeb

    I agree with Mary and formerly just steve, this issue should be about the assault on the Constitution and individual rights. Many of us who would not practice chemical birth control based upon our religious convictions would not force that same view on all. The Libs are losing the abortion argument so they’re reframing it in terms of birth control.

  • mikeb

    I agree with Mary and formerly just steve, this issue should be about the assault on the Constitution and individual rights. Many of us who would not practice chemical birth control based upon our religious convictions would not force that same view on all. The Libs are losing the abortion argument so they’re reframing it in terms of birth control.

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  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The rhythm method and other calendar-based methods of birth control have one huge problem though: it results in dead embryos (babies).

    Yes, it is true. 100% of people die. Some at advanced age. Some in youth. Some in between. And some prenatally. Duh.

    Killing people is another matter entirely different from natural or accidental death. Another big, DUH.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The rhythm method and other calendar-based methods of birth control have one huge problem though: it results in dead embryos (babies).

    Yes, it is true. 100% of people die. Some at advanced age. Some in youth. Some in between. And some prenatally. Duh.

    Killing people is another matter entirely different from natural or accidental death. Another big, DUH.

  • Grace

    The “rhythm method ” doesn’t kill infants. The reason? The sperm and egg are not united, connected through sexual intercourse.

    The use of “DUH” unless you aren’t able to express yourself any other way, or you are a high schooler, then carry on.

    There are many reasons to use the “rhythm method ” – that being, a woman who has been warned not to become pregnant because of health problems. It occurs more often than you might realize.

    embryos
    1.
    a. An organism in its early stages of development, especially before it has reached a distinctively recognizable form.
    b. An organism at any time before full development, birth, or hatching.
    2.
    a. The fertilized egg of a vertebrate animal following cleavage.
    b. In humans, the prefetal product of conception from implantation through the eighth week of development.

    INPLANTATION that would mean, the sperm and egg are not united. The “rhythem method” would not involve being united, since there was no sexual intercourse.

  • Grace

    The “rhythm method ” doesn’t kill infants. The reason? The sperm and egg are not united, connected through sexual intercourse.

    The use of “DUH” unless you aren’t able to express yourself any other way, or you are a high schooler, then carry on.

    There are many reasons to use the “rhythm method ” – that being, a woman who has been warned not to become pregnant because of health problems. It occurs more often than you might realize.

    embryos
    1.
    a. An organism in its early stages of development, especially before it has reached a distinctively recognizable form.
    b. An organism at any time before full development, birth, or hatching.
    2.
    a. The fertilized egg of a vertebrate animal following cleavage.
    b. In humans, the prefetal product of conception from implantation through the eighth week of development.

    INPLANTATION that would mean, the sperm and egg are not united. The “rhythem method” would not involve being united, since there was no sexual intercourse.

  • Michael B.

    @sg
    “Killing people is another matter entirely different from natural or accidental death.”

    The pro-life argument that the morning-after pill and birth control pill results causes the death of an embryo is absolutely correct. After an egg is fertilized, it must implant in the uterus or else it ends up dead after being flushed out of a woman during her period. The morning-after pill works partially by thinning the lining of the uterine wall, making it less likely that the embryo will attach. So, the pill makes it less likely that the embryo will survive. That to me doesn’t sound like an “accidental” death. Once you get this, read how the rhythm method works.

  • Michael B.

    @sg
    “Killing people is another matter entirely different from natural or accidental death.”

    The pro-life argument that the morning-after pill and birth control pill results causes the death of an embryo is absolutely correct. After an egg is fertilized, it must implant in the uterus or else it ends up dead after being flushed out of a woman during her period. The morning-after pill works partially by thinning the lining of the uterine wall, making it less likely that the embryo will attach. So, the pill makes it less likely that the embryo will survive. That to me doesn’t sound like an “accidental” death. Once you get this, read how the rhythm method works.

  • Michael B.

    @Grace

    “The “rhythm method ” doesn’t kill infants. The reason? The sperm and egg are not united, connected through sexual intercourse.”

    Define the rhythm method. We’re apparently not talking about the same thing. The rhythm method involves only have sex when the woman is not believed to be fertile.

  • Michael B.

    @Grace

    “The “rhythm method ” doesn’t kill infants. The reason? The sperm and egg are not united, connected through sexual intercourse.”

    Define the rhythm method. We’re apparently not talking about the same thing. The rhythm method involves only have sex when the woman is not believed to be fertile.

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  • Grace

    Michael @ 27

    “Define the rhythm method. We’re apparently not talking about the same thing. The rhythm method involves only have sex when the woman is not believed to be fertile.”

    The “rhythm method” is very easily understood by looking it up. There is no contraceptives involved, that’s why it’s used by many Christian couples.

    If you are an adult, I would think you would not have asked such a question.

  • Grace

    Michael @ 27

    “Define the rhythm method. We’re apparently not talking about the same thing. The rhythm method involves only have sex when the woman is not believed to be fertile.”

    The “rhythm method” is very easily understood by looking it up. There is no contraceptives involved, that’s why it’s used by many Christian couples.

    If you are an adult, I would think you would not have asked such a question.

  • Kyralessa

    I expect most have moved on, but in case anyone comes back to read this…

    “Natural family planning” is not the same thing as the rhythm method. There are techniques you can use to determine the woman’s fertile time and abstain from relations during that time. Here’s one that my wife and I use:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creighton_Model_FertilityCare_System

    Note that we’re not Catholic. We’re Eastern Orthodox. But anybody is welcome to learn modern NFP, not just Catholics.

    NFP has some disadvantages: It’s more onerous than just taking a pill every day. It does require some abstinence.

    It also has some advantages: It doesn’t require using foreign chemicals. It doesn’t disrupt the woman’s natural cycle. You can use it to avoid pregnancy, but since it involves an understanding of the fertility cycle, it can also be used to achieve pregnancy when desired.

    So no, the fact that a Roman Catholic couple only has two or three or four children doesn’t necessarily mean they’re using artificial birth control.

  • Kyralessa

    I expect most have moved on, but in case anyone comes back to read this…

    “Natural family planning” is not the same thing as the rhythm method. There are techniques you can use to determine the woman’s fertile time and abstain from relations during that time. Here’s one that my wife and I use:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creighton_Model_FertilityCare_System

    Note that we’re not Catholic. We’re Eastern Orthodox. But anybody is welcome to learn modern NFP, not just Catholics.

    NFP has some disadvantages: It’s more onerous than just taking a pill every day. It does require some abstinence.

    It also has some advantages: It doesn’t require using foreign chemicals. It doesn’t disrupt the woman’s natural cycle. You can use it to avoid pregnancy, but since it involves an understanding of the fertility cycle, it can also be used to achieve pregnancy when desired.

    So no, the fact that a Roman Catholic couple only has two or three or four children doesn’t necessarily mean they’re using artificial birth control.


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