Contraception: Why Not?

Some background on why the Church — and Catholic employers — are resisting the HHS contraceptive mandate.

(photo: brandonht/

With EWTN filing a lawsuit against Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today, there are now three institutions suing the federal government over the so-called “contraceptive mandate” in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Though the lawsuits concern religious freedom, not contraception, some observers may wonder: Why the big deal over contraception? After all, some reports say that upwards of 98% of Catholics have used contraception — a claim shown to be exaggerated.

Nevertheless, we would like to present several links here to explain the reason why the Church teaches that contraception is sinful — and why it would be immoral for Catholic employers such as EWTN to pay for or facilitate its use.

Prof. Janet Smith, “Contraception, Why Not?”: “If you were to ask people if they wanted to give up their car or their computer or their contraceptive, it would be a hard choice to make.”

Humanae Vitae: “The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships.”

Paul VI on the social consequences of contraception: Man will lose respect for woman, come to “the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.”

Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life: “Contraception distorts the meaning of human sexuality.”

Eric Pavlat: “Artificial birth control separates two aspects of sex that God wished never to be separated: the unitive, which brings two people together; and the procreative, which brings new life into the world.”


The Earth is Not Our Mother

“The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate.”—G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy