Birth control, also known as contraception and fertility control, are methods or devices used to prevent pregnancy.
For birth control
- The only remedy against hunger is reasonable birth control.
- Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Portrait of a Planet (1971)
- … although every organized patriarchal religion works overtime to contribute its own brand of misogyny to the myth of woman-hate, woman-fear, and woman-evil, the Roman Catholic Church also carries the immense power of very directly affecting women's lives everywhere by its stand against birth control and abortion, and by its use of skillful and wealthy lobbies to prevent legislative change. It is an obscenity -- an all-male hierarchy, celibate or not, that presumes to rule on the lives and bodies of millions of women.
- Robin Morgan, Introduction, Sisterhood Is Powerful, 1970
- Birth control is woman's problem. The quicker she accepts it as hers and hers alone, the quicker will society respect motherhood. The quicker, too, will the world be made a fit place for her children to live.
- Margaret Sanger, Woman and the New Race, Chapter 8, "Birth Control; A Parents' Problem or Woman's?"
- Birth control is the first important step woman must take toward the goal of her freedom. It is the first step she must take to be man’s equal. It is the first step they must both take toward human emancipation.
- Margaret Sanger, "Morality and Birth Control", February-March, 1918, pp. 11,14.
- Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.
- Margaret Sanger, "Women, Morality, and Birth Control",
- A revolution in Christian morals.
- The Church Times, December 24, 1930. Quoted in, Theresa Notare, A Revolution in Christian Morals: Lambeth 1930 - Resolution #15. History & Reception, (2008), The Catholic University of America, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, p. 463.  Notare explains the significance of this moral revolution: "In their summary of the year 1930, the editors of the Church Times, an Anglo-Catholic publication, noted that Resolution #15 of the Lambeth Conference had caused 'a revolution in Christian morals.' This was not hyperbole. The tradition of Christianity with regard to sexual morality within marriage, was severed for the first time in almost two-thousand years. The most startling aspect of the break is that it was not accomplished by a hostile group, but by a body of Christian bishops who considered themselves to be 'Catholic.' The effect of the pronouncement was nothing short of an ideological shock wave that would penetrate all aspects of modern life. Indeed, the infamous liberal Anglican Churchman, Dean Inge wrote: 'For good or evil' Resolution #15 'will modify profoundly the whole future of mankind.' 
Against birth control
- You shall not practice birth control; you shall not murder a child by abortion, nor kill what is begotten.
- Moreover He hath hated the weasel also and with good reason. Thou shalt not, saith He, become such as those men of whom we hear as working iniquity with their mouth for uncleanness, neither shalt thou cleave unto impure women who work iniquity with their mouth. For this animal conceiveth with its mouth.
- Epistle of Barnabas, X, 8
- Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, idolatry, witchcrafts (pharmakeia), enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.
- Douay-Rheims Bible, Galatians 5:20-21.
- And therefore thou chastisest them that err, by little and little: and admonishest them, and speakest to them, concerning the things wherein they offend: that leaving their wickedness, they may believe in thee, O Lord. For those ancient inhabitants of thy holy land, whom thou didst abhor, Because they did works hateful to thee by their sorceries (pharmakeia), and wicked sacrifices, And those merciless murderers of their own children, and eaters of men's bowels, and devourers of blood from the midst of thy consecration,...
- Douay-Rheims Bible, Wisdom 12:2-5.
- And the light of the lamp shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth, for all nations have been deceived by thy enchantments (pharmakeia).
- Douay-Rheims Bible, Revelation 18:23.
Catholic, ex cathedra
- The regulation of births, which is an aspect of responsible fatherhood and motherhood, is objectively morally acceptable when it is pursued by the spouses without external pressure; when it is practiced not out of selfishness but for serious reasons; and with methods that conform to the objective criteria of morality, that is, periodic continence and use of the infertile periods.
- Compedium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, question 497.
- But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.
- Pope Pius XI, Castii Connubii, 54
- It is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it — in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general. Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.
- Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, 14
- The Pharaoh of old, haunted by the presence and increase of the children of Israel, submitted them to every kind of oppression and ordered that every male child born of the Hebrew women was to be killed (cf. Ex 1:7-22). Today not a few of the powerful of the earth act in the same way. They too are haunted by the current demographic growth, and fear that the most prolific and poorest peoples represent a threat for the well-being and peace of their own countries. Consequently, rather than wishing to face and solve these serious problems with respect for the dignity of individuals and families and for every person's inviolable right to life, they prefer to promote and impose by whatever means a massive programme of birth control. Even the economic help which they would be ready to give is unjustly made conditional on the acceptance of an anti-birth policy.
- Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 16
- Hence, the real solution of the problem (over-population) is not to be found in expedients which offend against the divinely established moral order or which attack human life at its very source, but in a renewed, scientific and technical effort on man’s part to deepen and extend his dominion over nature… The transmission of human life is the result of a personal and conscious act, and, as such, is subject to the all-holy, inviolable and immutable laws of God, which no man may ignore or disobey. He is not therefore, permitted to use certain ways and means which are allowable in the propagation of plant and animal life. Human life is sacred—all men must recognize that fact. From its inception it reveals the creating hand of God. Those who violate his laws not only offend the Divine Majesty and degrade themselves and humanity, they also sap the vitality of the political community of which they are the members.
- Pope John XXIII, Mater et Magistra, 1961, par. 189, 193, 194
- Contraception is to be judged objectively so profoundly illicit that it can never, for any reason, be justified. To think, or to day, anything to the contrary is tantamount to saying that in human life there can be situations where it is legitimate not to recognize God as God. Users of contraception attribute to themselves a power that belongs only to God, the power to decide in the final instance the coming into existence of a human being.
- Pope John Paul II, September 17, 1983, Address on Responsible Procreation.
- History provides fullest evidence (cf. especially the excellent work of Professor John T. Noonan, Contraception, Harvard University Press, 1965) that the answer of the Church has always and everywhere been the same, from the beginning up to the present decade. One can find no period of history, no document of the church, no theological school, scarcely one Catholic theologian, who ever denied that contraception was always seriously evil. The teaching of the Church in this matter is absolutely constant. Until the present century this teaching was peacefully possessed by all other Christians, whether Orthodox or Anglican or Protestant. The Orthodox retain this as common teaching today.
- Humanae Vitae's Minority Papal Commission Report
- I am supposing, then, although you are not lying [with your wife] for the sake of procreating offspring, you are not for the sake of lust obstructing their procreation by an evil prayer or an evil deed. Those who do this, although they are called husband and wife, are not; nor do they retain any reality of marriage, but with a respectable name cover a shame. Sometimes this lustful cruelty, or cruel lust, comes to this, that they even procure poisons of sterility [oral contraceptives].
- Saint Augustine, Marriage and Concupiscence 1:15:17.
- The doctrine that the production of children is an evil, directly opposes the next precept, "Thou shall not commit adultery;" for those who believe this doctrine, in order that their wives may not conceive, are led to commit adultery even in marriage. They take wives, as the law declares, for the procreation of children; but from this erroneous fear of polluting the substance of the deity, their intercourse with their wives is not of a lawful character; and the production of children, which is the proper end of marriage, they seek to avoid. As the apostle long ago predicted of thee, thou dost indeed forbid to marry, for thou seekest to destroy the purpose of marriage. Thy doctrine turns marriage into an adulterous connection, and the bed-chamber into a brothel. This false doctrine leads in a similar way to the transgression of the commandment, "Thou shall not kill." For thou dost not give bread to the hungry, from fear of imprisoning in flesh the member of thy God. From fear of fancied murder, thou dost actually commit murder.
- Saint Augustine, Contra Faustum ( translated Reply to Faustus the Manichean ) Book XV, 7
- Who is he who cannot warn that no woman may take a potion [an oral contraceptive] so that she is unable to conceive or condemns in herself the nature which God willed to be fecund? As often as she could have conceived or given birth, of that many homicides she will be held guilty, and, unless she undergoes suitable penance, she will be damned by eternal death in hell. If a women does not wish to have children, let her enter into a religious agreement with her husband; for chastity is the sole sterility of a Christian woman.
- Saint Caesarius of Arles, Bishop of Arles. Sermons 1:12
- Marriage in itself merits esteem and the highest approval, for the Lord wished men to “be fruitful and multiply.” He did not tell them, however, to act like libertines, nor did He intend them to surrender themselves to pleasure as though born only to indulge in sexual relations. Let the Educator (Christ) put us to shame with the word Exechiel: “Put away your fornications.” Why, even unreasoning beasts know enough not to mate at certain times. To indulge in intercourse without intending children is to outrage nature, whom should take as our instructor.
- Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogues, 2, 10; 95, 3, GCS, 12, 214
- Therefore, having the hope of eternal life, we despise the things of this life, even to the pleasures of the soul, each of us reckoning her his wife whom he has married according to the laws laid down by us, and that only for the purpose of having children. For as the husbandman throwing the seed into the ground awaits the harvest, not sowing more upon it, so to us the procreation of children is the measure of our indulgence in appetite.
- Saint Athenagoras of Athens, also known as Saint Athenagoras the Apologist, Father of the Church. A Plea for the Christians, chapter 33.
- But others drink potions to ensure sterility and are guilty of murdering a human being not yet conceived. Some when they learn they are with child through sin, practice abortion by the use of drugs. Frequently they die themselves and are brought before the rulers of the lower world guilty of three crimes: suicide, adultery against Christ, and murder of an unborn child. These are the women who are accustomed to say: “All things are clean to the clean. The approval of my conscience is enough for me. A pure heart is what God desires. Why should I abstain from foods which God created to be used?” And whenever they wish to appear bright and festive, and have drowned themselves in wine, they say—adding sacrilege to drunkenness: “God forbid that I should abstain from the blood of Christ.” And whenever they see a woman pale and sad, they call her a poor wretch, a nun, and a Manichean: and with reason, for according to their belief fasting is heresy.
- St. Jerome, Letter 22, to Eustochium 13
- The whole disgusting [birth control] movement rests on the assumption of man's sameness with the brutes.
- Episcopalian Bishop Warren Chandler, April 13, 1931.
- Birth Control, as popularly understood today and involving the use of contraceptives, is one of the most repugnant of modern aberrations, representing a 20th century renewal of pagan bankruptcy.
- Dr. Walter A. Maier, Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.
- The voluntary spilling of semen outside of intercourse between man and woman is a monstrous thing. Deliberately to withdraw from coitus in order that semen may fall on the ground is doubly monstrous. For this is to extinguish the hope of the race and to kill before he is born the hoped-for offspring.
- John Calvin, Commentary on Genesis, Genesis 38:8-10
- But the exceedingly foul deed of Onan, the basest of wretches, follows. Onan must have been a malicious and incorrigible scoundrel. This is a most disgraceful sin. It is far more atrocious than incest and adultery. We call it unchastity, yes a Sodomitic sin. For Onan goes in to her; that is, he lies with her and copulates, and when it comes to the point of insemination, spills the semen, lest the woman conceive. Surely at such a time the order of nature established by God in procreation should be followed. Accordingly, it was a most disgraceful crime to produce semen and excite the woman, and to frustrate her at that very moment.
- Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 38-44
- The avowed object of the bishops in dealing with this whole question, marriage, sex, and contraceptives, was to stem the tide of the growing laxity in these matters and "to give guidance to troubled consciences" and "to many who are sorely perplexed as to the legitimacy of the use" (of contraceptives). I voted against this Resolution and against the Report of this Committee being even "received" by the Conference and published, because I was convinced, as I still am, that neither would attain the avowed object of the bishops. Their approval of contraceptives, it is true, is hedged round by "ifs" and "ands" and "buts," and safeguards and conditions, but so far as the "world" is concerned it will not notice, or it will forget, or will not understand the safeguards and conditions, but it will certainly remember the approval. Its "conscience," so far as it exists, will be still more at rest. As for "the faithful in Christ Jesus" and the "troubled consciences," they will be still at a loss to know what the bishops really meant, and will still have to settle this question for themselves. Of those who have been gallantly fighting in their refusal to use these things, the weaker will be encouraged to give up the struggle. Others will still fight on to maintain what they believe is the Christian standard, but greatly disheartened. Of course I voted against this Resolution.
- Rt. Rev. M. B. Furse, Bishop of St. Albans, on the Lambeth Conference. "Marriage and Birth Control", 1931.
- But can this instinctive feeling be justified on rational grounds? Justified, yes; but not proved, for I believe no moral judgment can be proved right or wrong merely by pure reason. To me the rational justification for this instinctive feeling that all contraceptives are wrong can be summed up in the words: "That which God hath joined together let no man put asunder."
- Rt. Rev. M. B. Furse, Bishop of St. Albans, on the Lambeth Conference. "Marriage and Birth Control", 1931.
- That during the battle with Bani Al-Mustaliq they (Muslims) captured some females and intended to have sexual relation with them without impregnating them. So they asked the Prophet about coitus interruptus. The Prophet said, "It is better that you should not do it, for Allah has written whom He is going to create till the Day of Resurrection." Qaza'a said, "I heard Abu Sa'id saying that the Prophet said, 'No soul is ordained to be created but Allah will create it."
- Muhammad, Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 506.
- A little later, when Annie Besant became a member of the Theosophical Society and met Madame Blavatsky in London, “Blavatsky had to explain to Mrs Besant that the Masters were not on her side in her crusade for contraception, and she asked her to discontinue it. Mrs Besant had had in mind poor working women who could bear no addition to their families. Madame Blavatsky said she would not judge a poor woman who availed herself of the means offered, but those means did nothing to reduce the root of the problem, which was that: ‘the abnormal development of the sexual instinct in man – in whom it is far greater and more continuous than in any brute – is due to the mingling with it of the intellectual element, all sexual thoughts, desires and imaginations having created thought-forms, which have been wrought into the human race, giving rise to a continual demand, far beyond nature…’ whereas sexual passion could be ‘trained and purified into a human emotion, which may be used as one of the levers in human progress, one of the factors in human growth.’ It was therefore for men and women ‘to hold this instinct in complete control, to transmute it from passion into tender and self-denying affection’.”
- Theosophy does not merely discountenance the abuse of sex. It very definitely condemns all malpractice and indulgence. It looks upon procreation as the only legitimate function of sex.
- w:B.P. Wadia, 1936, foreword to a pamphlet titled Living the Higher Life
- The Rosicrucian teachings emphasize the fact that like attracts like, and therefore it is a duty upon the part of those who are well developed physically, morally, and mentally to provide an environment for as many incoming Spirits as their physical and financial circumstances will permit. This duty is still more binding upon those who are also spiritually developed, for a high spiritual entity cannot enter into physical existence through a vile parentage. But when a couple has reached the point where it is deemed either dangerous to the health of the mother to bear more children, or where the financial burden would be above their means, then they should live a life of continence, not indulging the passional nature and seeking by artificial means to bar the way for incoming Egos to take advantage of the opportunity for rebirth offered them by the sexual indulgence of such a couple.
- Max Heindel, The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions and Answers, Volume II, "Spiritual Aspects of Birth Control", no. 37.
- Contraceptives are an insult to woman hood. The difference between a prostitute and a woman using contraceptives is only this that the former sells her body to several men, the latter sells it to one man. Man has no right to touch his wife so long as she does not wish to have a child, and the woman should have the will-power to resist even her own husband.
- Mahatma Gandhi, (H, 5-5-1946, p. 118)
- The body knows what it needs to do to survive. If it does not have the means to survive, it goes gracefully. The only reason for this organism to exist is to give continuity to the human species. Sex is only for reproduction, but you have turned that into a pleasure movement. What else is sex for than reproduction?
- Uppaluri Gopala Krishnamurti, My Swan Song
- Birth control is the one sin for which the penalty is national death, race death; a sin for which there is no atonement.
- The condom fosters neither abstinence nor monogamy; rather it does the opposite. Those who stress condom usage only put the seal of approval on active genital sex. The message it communicates is that the condom is a good which converts irresponsible sex into responsible sex, giving it the appearance of acceptability and respectability. It is the old refrain of birth controllers which has only resulted in more and more adolescent pregnancies.
- w:Herbert Ratner, M.D.
- The abandonment of the reproductive function is the common feature of all perversions. We actually describe a sexual activity as perverse if it has given up the aim of reproduction and pursues the attainment of pleasure as an aim independent of it. So, as you will see, the breach and turning point in the development of sexual life lies in becoming subordinate to the purpose of reproduction. Everything that happens before this turn of events and equally everything that disregards it and that aims solely at obtaining pleasure is given the uncomplimentary name of "perverse" and as such is proscribed.
- Sigmund Freud, The Sexual Life of Human Beings
- If there were no childbearing, sexual union would degenerate into debauchery.
- The fear of life is the favorite disease of the twentieth century.
- The technique of temporary sterilization — so-called birth control — was perhaps the most important to the human race of all the scientific and technical advances that were carried to completion during the nineteenth century. It was the neotechnic answer to that vast, irresponsible spawning of Western mankind that look place during the paleotechnic phase, partly in respose perhaps to the introduction of new staple foods and the extension of new food areas, stimulated and abetted by the fact that copulation was the one art and the one form of recreation which could not be denied to the factory population, however it or they might be brutalized.
- Lewis Mumford, Technics and Civilization, pp. 260 - 261