Natural Family Planning ~ Fact vs. Myth

A large majority of women, including practicing Catholics, utilize artificial  contraception to plan the spacing of their children or to avoid pregnancy altogether. Does that mean that artificial contraception is more effective, without health risks and a life-affirming choice? In the recent issue of Angelus, Dr. Barbara Golder, MD, JD,  elucidates direct answers to these questions and more. It will probably surprise many to learn that interest in NFP has been steadily on the rise and is increasingly found as  a topic in mainstream medical journals. Dr. Golder’s response as published in The American Family Physician affirms this growing NFP trend.  

Some things you might not know that Dr. Golder highlights:

  • Studies show NFP to be as effective as other methods of family planning, and without adverse medical side effects (like stroke, breast cancer, depression and lower overall vitality)
  • While difficult for some couples, there are many resources and support groups, including the Catholic church, to aid couples (like A Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning)
  • Physicians can write a prescription for NFP, increasing the chance that an insurer will cover the associated costs of NFP (like coaching, ovulation indicators, etc)
  • NFP is the only green method of family planning, unlike ingesting artificial hormones on a regular basis
  • Regardless of anyone’s claims, NFP is the ultimate form of respect for a woman’s body, in that she and her partner are working with her natural cycle instead of trying to change it (the ultimate in empowerment and dignity)
  • Women are more in control of their overall health when they learn to understand the cycles and rhythms of their bodies better, and often detect problems earlier
  • Poor women around the world have been shown in studies to use NFP just as successfully as the pill, without the cost or potential medical issues, and find it often more accepted culturally

Church Teaching: The Catholic Church views contraception as immoral in that procreation is intrinsically tied to sex according to doctrine. However, since NFP methods engage couples in monitoring a woman’s natural cycle and then choosing whether or not to engage in sexual activity, the Church approves of NFP. In fact, the use of artificial contraception is simply one end of the   spectrum encompassing abortion at the other end. Catholic belief demands an openness to life through sex, as  determined by God.

 Full text of this topic can be found at http:// and

SMT Social Justice Courner ~ by Erin Lynch

Rhiannon Jensen