Contraception (essay)


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Outline the main features of Christian and Secular views on the
issue of Contraception (35)
Contraception is the term used to describe any means to preventing conception. There are
various methods of contraception. Barrier methods (such as condoms) are used during
intercourse and other methods such as the birth control pill produce hormones to prevent
ovulation. Surgical methods are also available. The use of the morning after pill is
controversial because they encourage the body to reject the fertilised egg which is
sometimes viewed as an abortive form of contraception. Wilcockson states on this point
that, "unlike other methods there is a strong possibility that the IUD and morning after pill
are forms of abortion."
There are a few references in the OT that are quoted in the debate on the issue of
contraception. Firstly, in Genesis 1:28 God tells Adam and Eve to "Be fruitful and multiply".
Many Christians today believe that this quotation represents God's wish for human
relationships and therefore the use of contraception goes against God's plan for humanity.
Secondly, later in Genesis, a story is given about Onan who was required to lie with his
brother's widow in order to provide an heir. It states that Onan knew the child wouldn't be
his and so, "...he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his
brother. What he did was wicked in the Lord's sight." What Onan did is what is referred to as
the `Withdrawal Method' and as a result he was put to death! This account, too, is used by
Christians to argue against the use of contraception within sexual relationships.
The Natural Law theory that was developed by Aquinas states five primary precepts that
provide a guide to God's plan for humans. One of these precepts is to reproduce and this
theory is still followed by the Catholic Church today who argues that contraception
frustrates God's purpose. They also believe that the unitive and procreative nature of
intercourse are equally important and neither one should be present without the other,
therefore contraception is morally wrong. However Jack Dominion makes a distinction
between the unitive and procreative purposes of sex and claims that reproduction is only
one purpose of sex. In the document, Casti Connubi, the Catholic Church stated that

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God and nature" and its use is "a deed which is
shameful and intrinsically wrong". In 1958, the Church stated that it was only legitimate to
use the birth control pill for medical reasons and in 1968 banned all artificial methods of
contraception which caused much controversy. Pope John Paul II stated that "the natural
regulation of fertility is morally correct; contraception is not morally correct.…read more

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He believes that the promotion of contraception in places such as
Africa could have massive benefits in freeing women from the role of motherhood,
preventing massive overpopulation and preventing the spread of HIV. He says, "We can...
liberate women from a purely child-bearing role. We can also help other countries to make
contraception and sterilisation widely available.…read more


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