Catholics and Contraceptives
Created by: Savannah Hisch
Contraceptive use is not a new concept in our modern day world. Women are taught that abstinence is the best form of birth control; but this cannot always be the case. Abstinence is taught in many religious practices, particularly in the Roman Catholic religion. Aside from abstinence, any form of contraception is seen as betraying God’s will. What about the circumstances of rape? How can women in these modern times live by these old fashioned standards? Women should not have to base their use of contraceptives on the teaching of their religion; rather they should base it on their own personal need.
Religion in Nursing Care
One book called “On the Pill: A Social History of Oral Contraceptives, 1950-1970,” written by Elizabeth Siegel Watkins, “evaluates commonly held assumptions about the impact of the pill on middle-class American society and explores the changing perceptions of the pill in the context of the 1950s and 1960s,” (Watkins, 2011). Watkins describes birth control, or the pill, as a means of opening the flood gates of sexual activity in the 1960s. She describes how this scientific achievement was put into an unflattering shade, as many people judged its use as one associated with promiscuous intentions. It is interesting to see how judgments, be they social, religious or cultural, were created about birth control, and how they are still reflected in today’s society, especially in today’s Catholic Church.
With all of this analysis, it is easy to see that contraceptive use can only provide benefits for people, so it is important to share this message with those who do not believe.
What is the Point?
With these numerous health benefits, it is a strange that the Catholic Church does not rethink their belief about birth control. As said before, it will take time to persuade the church to adjust its beliefs. We must ease them through the process and give them the proper information needed to make the decision for change. It won’t be easy and it may take a long time, but it is not impossible or too far out of reach.
Getting the Message Out There!
"Catholic Women and Contraceptives." Contemporary Sexuality 04 2012: 9. ProQuest. Web.3 April 2015.
Clague, Julie. “Catholics and Contraceptives: Uncovering Complexity.” Berkley Center: for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs (2014). Web. 25 March 2015.
Cromwell, Helen. “Religion in Nursing Practice.” The American Journal of Nursing 49.12 (1949): 768-770. Web. 24 March 2015.
Descombes, H. M. “Jehovah’s Witnesses and Blood Transfusions.” Journal of Medical Ethics 27.5 (2001): 355. PMC. Web. 3 Apr. 2015.
Hill, Nicholas J., and Siwatu, Mxolisi, and Robinson, Alexander K. “‘‘My Religion Picked My Birth Control’’: The Influence of Religion on Contraceptive Use.” Springer Science+Business Media New York (2013). Web. 26 March 2015.
Watkins, Elizabeth S. On the Pill. Baltimore: JHU Press, 2011. Web. 26 March 2015.