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Birth control, also known as contraception and fertility control, is a method or device used to prevent pregnancy.
- 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.
- The two great sources of the opposition to Birth Control are found in the purely selfish motives of the religionist who wishes his people kept in ignorance of Birth Control and its methods so that they will beget children and yet more children for the glory of God and the Church, and the capitalistic exploiter of labor who is afraid of a diminution in the cheap labor supply.
- Lydia Allen DeVilbiss, Birth Control: What is It? (1925), p. 36
- The only remedy against hunger is reasonable birth control.
- Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Portrait of a Planet (1971)
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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, Women, Morality and Birth Control (1922), p. 3
- There are three classes of people who have always been objectors to any form of birth control, and who have always opposed any measures which would enable parents to have children by choice rather than by chance. These are, first, the war leaders; second, the church leaders; and, third, the leaders in the commercial world who have wanted cheap labor.
- William Hawley Smith, Children by Chance Or by Choice, and Some Correlated Considerations (1920), p. 260
- “Well, birth control’s easy. The first thing you have to know is that it doesn’t work.”
“Not consistently. No matter how careful you are, every time you play hide-the-salami with the boys, you’re running the risk of ending up with a belly full of consequences.”
“Contraceptive spells are never entirely reliable. That’s because their power comes from the Mother, and the Mother wants children. Each cantrip has its loophole, every fetish its flaw. Ultimately, contraception is just a way of luring you into playing her game.”
“You mean that sooner or later it’s going to fail me?”
“That’s not what I said. It works well enough for enough of us that the rest will take their chances. But the odds are never going to be as good as you’d like them to be. There are no guarantees.”