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Religious Studies

Christianity: contraception and abortion

Contraception

Contraception or 'birth control' is used for a variety of reasons:

  • when pregnancy might harm the mental or physical condition of the mother
  • to limit the number of children people have to ensure they don't damage living standards or affect other children
  • to prevent pregnancy in people who do not want a child at this stage in their lives

Christian beliefs about contraception

The various Christian churches have different views on contraception:

  • The Roman Catholic Church says that the use of contraception is against natural law (which means it is not in keeping with human nature). It is natural that conception may happen with intercourse and therefore this should not be prevented. The only form of contraception permitted is the ‘rhythm method’ where intercourse takes place at a time when the woman is least fertile.
  • Most Protestant churches (eg, the Anglican Church and the Methodist Church) now see the use of contraception within marriage as a responsible way of planning a family. It allows sex to be enjoyed without the fear of an unwanted pregnancy.

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