Social Question

RandomMrAdam's avatar

Is it wrong to use Birth Control (contraceptives)?

Asked by RandomMrAdam (1645points) February 16th, 2012

I have not been closely following the ongoing argument on whether or not Catholic (and other religious) institutions have to provide medical insurance that guarantees free birth control, tubal ligation and morning-after abortifacients — all of which violate church doctrine on the sanctity of life.

To me, I feel that since a high percentage of Catholic women already use some form of birth control, the least that the Church (or other religious insitutions) can do is provide that for free to the women who work for them.

I would like to hear all aspects and point of views of this (women, men, religious, non-religous, etc). I also can’t say that I’ve read the bible, so if anyone can point out the specifics of why using contraceptions is considered a sin and violates the sanctity of life.

Maybe there are other passages in the bible that contradict the passages that frown upon contraceptives, again I do not know what all is said in the Bible. I hope this doesn’t get “TOO” political, but I suspect it won’t be too long before the politics get involved.

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40 Answers

saint's avatar

The problem is the assignment of the word wrong. It is either practical or not. If it is practical, and no body else is harmed, then it is not wrong. It is certainly annoying to a controlling institution like the mystical Church, but what does that have to do with right or wrong?

Coloma's avatar

No. Is it wrong to spay and neuter our pets now that this has been an option in the last 60 years or so? Is it better to drown bag fulls of puppies and kittens or humanely prevent their over population?
As a species we no longer need to bear multiple offspring to allot for the gross mortality rate of bygone eras, nor do we need to raise a herd of children to keep the farm afloat.

THE most important “work” anyone can do in their lifetime is to untangle faulty beleif systems.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Nope. Birth control is how you get children that are wanted and whose parents can give them the resources they deserve. It’s also how you get mothers who live long enough to actually raise their children.

jaytkay's avatar

[Contraception is] not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. – Rick Santorum

How are any of you qualified to argue with Rick Santorum?


TexasDude's avatar


People are going to fuck no matter what. We are wired to do it. You might as well encourage people to do it in a way that won’t produce more unwanted babies to get ill or to latch onto the government teet to drain already dwindling coffers.

wundayatta's avatar

Of course not! How could it possibly be wrong? Maybe under some warped religious perspective.

Nullo's avatar

That depends on your doctrines. Most people are okay with it, and there is no divine mandate against contraceptives.

The current fight isn’t really about contraceptives; it’s about whether or not the federal government can strongarm the Church, in an effort to bypass the First Amendment.

blueiiznh's avatar

No. They are deciding what the insurance plan that they are sponsoring and have a right to what it’s offerings are.
You don’t have to be employed there if you don’t like their benefits.

Blackberry's avatar

Seriously? No.

Coloma's avatar

I just finished a book called ” Children who kill.” Unbelievable!
Would it have been better these kids were not born into the worst of poverty and abuse if their unenlightend parents could have prevented the trickle down effect of both poverty and the ugliness of dysfunctional parents? Good fucking God…and all because fucked up fools didn’t suit up or take a little pill. Bah! .

LKidKyle1985's avatar

This argument comes down to what the government can or cannot tell the church to do. Frankly, by providing birth control health benefits to employees, the church, nor the government is forcing anyone to break from their catholic beliefs and take the pill… It is simply available if this is an option the individual decides they want. And as a progressive minded person, a woman absolutely should have easier access to birth control.

Some people will argue that the government has no right to dictate to the church what they will do, however if you employee individuals you are subject to the laws of that governing entity. I wonder how many other things would be against their religion that the government mandates they do. Late to work? A Hail Mary for every minute!!!!

poisonedantidote's avatar

Using birth control is perfectly ok, not using any is foolish and immoral.

1— Religious organizations like to have lots of members.
2— Most new members are generated by making existing members breed and indoctrinate.

Birth control is “wrong/bad” because it reduces the amount of members a religion has, it is very hard to convince people to join your religion, so if your religion is going to survive you really do have to get your members breeding. Fail to make your members breed and you will have less members, reduce your members and you reduce your influence.

If the pope had 45 followers and conducted his sermons from a barn it would probably result in another waco incident. Give the pope a billion followers and governments will roll out the red carpet for him regardless of what horrors he is responsible for.

Not using contraception leads to needless misery, and discouraging it or forbidding it is immoral.


However, the church has IMHO no obligation to anyone to provide contraceptives, that is something that should allready be covered by the government. Having said that, if a sperm fails to reach an egg the government does not get to tax it once it reaches the age of work. Again, it is good to have members, be it taxes or collection plate donations that you seek, votes or followers. Same old story.

Bellatrix's avatar

Just no. No.

wilma's avatar

Nope, not in my opinion.

filmfann's avatar

Not at all.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Good grief. No.
And apparently 98% of Catholic women agree.

Sunny2's avatar

No more than controlling what you eat to stay healthy. Doing your best to keep the number of children you produce for your and their health is a very good thing. imho.

Pandora's avatar

According to the church it is wrong, but according to me, nope. Better to not have the child you don’t want or to avoid having a full sex life with your spouse because you don’t want to get knocked up or have you spouse get knocked up.
But honestly when it comes to women the Catholic church is still very backwards in what a women should or shouldn’t do. They still try to fit women to roles that were written about women 2000 years ago. Men use to be able to club women over the head and carry them into their caves ions ago. Things are simply not that black and white any more.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Pandora I think you mean, black and blue

Nullo's avatar

@Pandora The clubbing-and-caving is new; I’ve not seen any of that in my years of experience with the various denominations.
Certainly, resorting to clubs is a modern technique.

jca's avatar

I went to Mexico about 20 years ago, right after the Pope had just visited Mexico and saying to the Mexican people that they all should have many babies. As I took the bus through Mexico, I saw people of all ages (down to toddler size) sifting through fields of garbage, looking for salvage and food. I saw shacks made of corrugated tin and plywood, things that we in the United States would not consider adequate for a dog. I remember being very angered, thinking about what the Pope said, and seeing the poverty first hand. I thought “How could he, in good conscience, say this to these people with this kind of poverty?”

The Pope might consider birth control wrong, but he is not out there picking through fields of garbage so his family can survive.

ucme's avatar

Of course…................not!

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, it would be wrong for the Pope to use contraceptives, because he doesn’t need any. So why waste money?

The Pope is human and humans make mistakes, so his view on contraceptives is wrong and therefore ignored by more than 95% of all Catholics worldwide. Which is a very Christian thing to do because our planet is getting smaller and smaller and we can’t overuse our planet’s resources. This would lead to great suffering and tragedy. So birth control is a very ethical thing to do.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wait…since when are any religious organizations responsible for providing insurance for their people?? Or is this another one of those things that is so STUPID I haven’t been paying attention?

wundayatta's avatar

@Dutchess_III Religious institutions are employers. Some of them provide health insurance for their employees. The states can and do mandate what health insurance plans must cover, and most of them mandate basic coverages, which usually include birth control.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Of course. I see. Thanks @wundayatta. So, in a nutshell again, is the church is trying to force established insurance companies to tailor their policies for them?

wundayatta's avatar

@Dutchess_III Not quite. Employers negotiate benefit packages with insurers all the time. The government had mandated that all health insurance coverage include contraceptive coverage, and the Church is arguing they shouldn’t have to purchase policies that contain provisions that go against their moral principles.

One of the questions is whether the Church, as an employer, has any standing here. Is the Church an individual with rights of certain kinds? If not, then they have no say over the plans their individual employees choose to have. It is the employees’ choices, not the employer’s choice, at least on these particular grounds.

It gets complicated and I don’t know all the ins and outs of it after this. Perhaps someone else can get further into it.

Pandora's avatar

@Nullo. LOL, look it was late and I was sleepy. I was refering to cave men times.
Just pointing out that the same way that is out dated, so should the idea of not using contraceptives and being fruitful. I believe the whole fruitful idea was started with the idea of Adam and Eve. I think since time has started we have over done on the fruitfulness. Soon there will be more people than there are trees. That will not end up good in our favor. Contraceptives is something that may help save the planet. We are like leeches. A few may be good for cleaning up and infection but too many can kill the host, and that won’t be great for the leeches either.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Why do you think employers should provide anything free? Medical insurance helps with medical bills. It generally doesn’t provide anything free. The whole big conversation that’s going on is off the charts crazy as far as I’m concerned. The current administration has caused more than enough problems with health insurance. Quite honestly, if I were an employer of a large number of people I would not provide any group health insurance. I would pay the per employee yearly penalty. It’s cheaper and worry free.

Employer-offered group insurance has always been, and should remain a benefit—not an entitlement.

As for your title question, which seems to have nothing to do with the argument you intended to stir up, the answer is——decide for yourself.

jerv's avatar

I personally feel that birth control is not wrong, but it’s also one of those things where people should be able to decide for themselves. Being denied birth control because the Conservatives took over and enforced their will upon us all is wrong though.

@MollyMcGuire And the loss of productivity as a result of missed time due to illness would cut into your revenues as well. False savings do not save you money. You also might want to look up the Hawthorne Effect and realize that not offering insurance will also decrease morale enough to cause a further drop in productivity.
As for the relevance of the title to the question, if you do not realize the link between religion and government then you must know less about US politics (especially in the last couple of decades) than my cat. Either that, or you are blinded by ideology.
You are correct that employer-provided insurance is a privilege, but medical care is a right. Are you willing to pay more taxes and force government to handle healthcare? Personally, I would rather let someone other than government handle it (provided they do so without price-gouging) as I think they could do so more efficiently, but if you are pro-tax and pro-bureaucracy….

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jerv No, @MollyMcGuire wouldn’t lose productivity because she wouldn’t have any to begin with. Really. Who’s going to work for a large company that doesn’t offer insurance benefits when you can work for a large company up the road who does. And it ain’t free, not by a long shot.

And @MollyMcGuire we’re here to discuss thoughts and opinions and snarky, unhelpful response like “Decide for yourself” really aren’t welcome. The OP asked the question to start discussion, not because he needed help deciding what the answer is.

lonelydragon's avatar

Absolutely not. It’s very responsible. As to the controversy with Catholic Church-affiliated organizations, it’s my belief that if the organization receives federal funding, they must accept the strings attached to that funding—including providing birth control benefits to employees. After all, just because the insurance plan offers it, that doesn’t mean that the employees are required to take it.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

@Dutchess_III “Decide for yourself” is hardly snarky. It makes the statement that each of us much make that decision individually. I don’t use 30 words when three will do.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@MollyMcGuire—you may like to use fewer words, but leaving important words out of a short sentence is counter-productive to effective communication. There is a difference between “Decide for yourself,” and “Each person needs to decide for themselves.”
The first one is addressing the OP directly, telling him what to do, which was pointless, but the second is actually addressing the OP’s question, which is what you meant to do.

VenusFanelli's avatar

I personally don’t think it’s wrong. Who wants to have children every time he or she makes love?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@VenusFanelli… I haven’t thought a woman got pregnant every time she has sex since I was 9.


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