What do Catholic women think about contraception? You might be surprised

What do Catholic women think about contraception? You might be surprised September 8, 2012

A new report casts the question of artificial birth control into a new light—and suggests a leading problem isn’t dogma, but disinformation.

Once again, bad catechesis rears its ugly head.


While the data indicates that most Catholic women do not fully support the Church’s teachings on contraception, the results also do not show the sweeping rejection of Church teaching the media portrays either. The picture is more nuanced. From the website, Women, Faith and Culture: Exploring What Catholic Women Think:

Catholic Women and Faith

  • 90% say faith is important to daily life
  • 72% rely on homilies to learn the faith
  • 28% have gone to Confession within the year

Catholic Women and Contraception

  • 33% think the Church says “yes” to contraception
  • 13% say “yes” to Church teaching
  • 37% say “no” to Church teaching
  • 44% say “no, but maybe …” to Church teaching

The report shows that about one-third of Church-going Catholic women incorrectly believe that couples have the right to decide for themselves the moral acceptability of contraception – regardless of Church teaching. When Church teaching was explained, 44% were receptive to learning more. These results suggest the problem is in part catechetical, and that women want more instruction.

The hope for this project is that good conversations can begin about how to reach the women who identify as Catholic but reject Church teaching on contraception, and yet, still in their heart want to do the right thing. Mary and Michele also hope that the data will inspire our priests to have confidence to preach the truth on this issue.

While 72% of women said that the homilies in Mass are their primary source for learning about Church teaching, more than eight in ten said they believe they can be “good Catholics” even if they “do not accept some of the Catholic Church’s teachings on sex, family planning, birth control, and reproduction.” They seem to be listening, but not accepting.

There’s much more. Check it out.

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