ABC, NFP, and human vs. God

On the one hand, we have the doctrine that artificial birth control places a man-made barrier to the uniative and procreative aspects of sex.

On the other hand, we have people say that various forms of NFP can be more effective than ABC for family planning.

So just as a simple-minded question, I ask–if NFP can be more effective, couldn’t ABC be considered more “open” to the possibility of conception?

Or, with a more nuanced question, is the objection to ABC not necessarily that it is intended to prevent pregnancy, but that it attempts to rely on human “mechanisms” (for lack of a better word) in the place that is reserved for God?

I don’t study NFP, so kindly answer without citing or referring to theological texts, and just keep it in basic layman’s terms. Simple, one syllable answers are fine with me. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think the general principle is that not having sex is more effective at preventing pregnancy than ABC. :shrug: Sounds about right to me.

Is your question can ABCrs be more open to life than NFPers? Perhaps if each one was abusing the system to the extreme. If an ABCer was punching holes in condoms or taking them out of the freezer before use and the NFPer was permanently set to not have children. But few are either one of those extremes. Why would an ABCer choose a less effective route and why would an NFPer not ever have sex? I do think that some on each side can have some of that come into play. I think NFP can be abused and ABC condoms can be used with less potential harm than other ABC. But I also think both can be mortally sinful so what is the point?:shrug:

Can you define “open to life.” Because I have been unable to gleam what people really mean when they use this phrase.

What I do know is that God and the Church allow us to practice “birth control” by only one accepted method, abstinence. Luckily for us, this includes periodic abstinence and not only complete abstinence. The reason comes from what God and the Church teach about the marital act, mainly that the marital act is ordered towards the procreation of children and the bringing together of the spouses. These purposes are a part of the natural order (or purposes) of the marital act. So to use ABC one is taking away the procreative nature of the marital act, where natural infertility does not. With natural infertility the act is still done in the same manner as those acts which are fertile, even though it is unlikely that conception will occur. Those that are permanently infertile, pregnant, or otherwise not able to “procreate” still have to engage in the marital act, in a way that is ordered towards the procreative nature of the marital act.

Notice that I speak of the marital act in the singular, each marital act must conform with the act being ordered towards procreation and the unity of the spouses, not some vague intention of being open to life or 5 year plan for having a child.

Another note, that if a couple goes into marriage with the intention of never having children, we have bigger problems than NFP or ABC, but we are rather looking at an invalid marriage, as an intention against having children is an impediment to a valid marriage.

NFP can be sinful when used for selfish reasons, but ABC is intrinsically evil, meaning is it always and everywhere wrong, and can never be justified by good intentions. There are of course good reasons for people to avoid a pregnancy at many points in their life. Health, finances, stress, and etc.

I LOVE it! This is an awesme question!!!

The reality is though NPF is not reliable. I will get roasted and people with come up with all kinds of stats but deep down everyone know is it on not reliable.

A FB friend of mine one posted a link a Catholic blogger who was a huge advocate of NFP. She had something like 8 kids in about 9 1/2 years of marriage. If you relied only on providence could you have more the 8 births in 9 1/2 years? I was pleasantly surprised that she answered a couple of emails to her but the discussion didn’t last very long. I think when she looked at the math is was telling.

I do not understand how people can with a clean conscious advocate that NFP is reliable.

:rolleyes: It is reliable if you follow the rules. It is possible that the lady you spoke with had fertility signs very early after having a child and they did indeed practice periodic abstinence for some of that time. The real issue is that abstinence is difficult and many find their reasons for avoiding a pregnancy insufficient motivation to abstain.

Those who use NFP for grave medical reasons have an incredible rate of success. I would trust conservative NFP if my wife’s life was in danger way more than a thin piece of latex. Perhaps you should look into NFP from credible sources and leave FB out of it…

Not exactly. The Church’s teaching is that each act of intercourse must be per se ordered to both unity and procreation.

Reliability has nothing to do with why contraception is wrong.

The Church’s teaching is not that we must be “open to life” in a vague, general way. the Church’s teaching is that each act of intercourse must be objectively both unitive and procreative. It must not be altered in any way.

No, it disorders the act of intercourse by purposely attempting to remove the procreative end.

Can one assume that it’s being used to prevent pregnancy if it’s used for grave medical reasons?

In other words, a couple could say, ‘A pregnancy will present a grave medical problem, so we will use NFP to avoid that problem. However, we will accept God’s will.’

In that case, would the couple be not culpable because they’re using NFP instead of ABC?

I am not sure I understand what you are saying. Can you clarify?

A friend of mine that my wife and I graduated from college with is now an a huge advocate of NFP. She is a nurse and teaches NFP.They have ten kids.

My best friends cousin is an advocate of NFP. They are on their tenth kid.

We see this over and over and over again. The reality is it not a reliable method.

Nfp doesn’t have dangerous side effects.

Blessed paul VI was right…and the advent of contraception has done nothing for the family… Divorce, etc!

ABC vs NFP = samie same

A) The intent of both is to prevent procreation

B) They both use man made tools and methods

So using a piece of rubber to prevent pregnancy intrinsically sinful but using this…

Is not!?!?!?

Ok I’m teasing a little but it really is pretty funny. :wink:

Why does the fact that someone has ten kids bring down the reliability in your mind of NFP? You are assuming all ten are NFP failures, that her temps, signs and cycles were askew 10 times? That on the tenth they championed NFP because of the previous 9 failures?

Anecdotal evidence is silly in this situation. You would do well to educate yourself on NFP before decrying it. My wife and I used to be NFP instructors. NFP has always always worked for us. We have decided to abandon it, but it was incredibly effective. More effective than all the single moms who got pregnant on the pill that I have known throughout my life…:shrug:

No, it is the action which makes the difference. ABC would be engaging in the marital act while removing the procreative aspect while NFP is abstaining. One’s intention of avoiding pregnancy is the same.

:rolleyes: Every month that my husband and I have used NFP to avoid a pregnancy. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have lots of kids (4), it means we decided not to abstain. The reality is, people don’t want to abstain. Thus the reason why ABC is so popular.

NFP is information that can be used either to avoid pregnancy, or achieve it. This is a key difference from artificial birth control. You can’t turn a condom inside out and have it be more effective than nothing at all. You can’t formulate a pill to guarantee a pregnancy every time. But if you use NFP to get pregnant, then it is just as highly effective as using it for avoidance.

Have you ever considered that perhaps the “huge advocates” of NFP were using it in this way?

Your changing the argument. The queston was is NFP as reliable as ABC.

Your anecdotes are that “huge advocates of NFP” keep having lots of children.

I don’t know what the argument is, but the OP takes it one step further–that if NFP is a more reliable form of birth control, why is ABC forbidden but NFP is not.

I think that question has been answered to my satisfaction.

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