Contraception, and Genetic Risks

What’s the Church’s position on using contraception in a marriage where one of the parents have a serious genetic disposition? A family friend of ours is a carrier of hemophilia; her brother is the first on their mother’s side of the family to live to maturity. The risks posed to hemophiliacs are much lower with modern medicine, but nevertheless, would the Church consider it permissible for my friend to use birth control to prevent passing the trait to her children?


Assuming Wikipedia is right:

Like most aspects of the disorder, life expectancy varies with severity and adequate treatment. People with severe haemophilia who don’t receive adequate, modern treatment have greatly shortened lifespans and often do not reach maturity. Prior to the 1960s when effective treatment became available, average life expectancy was only 11 years.[5] By the 1980s the life span of the average haemophiliac receiving appropriate treatment was 50–60 years.[5] Today with appropriate treatment, males with haemophilia typically have a near normal quality of life with an average lifespan approximately 10 years shorter than an unaffected male.[7]

I’m going to bet on a saying no to her being able to use this as the sole reason why not to have kids. Especially considering that big of a rise in treatment just within 40 years, I bet any kids she has will not have anything to worry about in their future. This is just my take on it, although I will say in all of my studies I have seen nothing that hints towards her line of reasoning being considered a serious reason.

Contraception for birth control (whatever the reason for the birth control) is forbidden.

Birth control, yes. In fact the couple would have serious reasons to use the most conservative application of NFP.

Contraception, no.

My mother is a diabetic.
She was told that if she had children they would most likely be disabled. There were also dangers to her and the child, the worst of which being death. She suffered two miscarriges but here I am 14 years and 26 weeks later, writing this as a healthy teenage guy with an all a & b report card, involved in fine arts and sports, with health to spare. Take heart, the doc’s arent always right. ( :takeoff: )

Teenage Philosopher

I definitely agree with you there. God surely has blessed you and your family, may He continue.

However, I find the Church’s opinion rather rigid; what if our family friend was in this position a few generations ago, or if science hadn’t improved chances for her hemophiliac brother?



Well, it’s obviously preferable not to pass hemophilia, even if the disease is (virtually) no longer life-threatening with treatment. It’s still an excruciating disease.

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