Contraception for couples with STDs and rape


#1

I understand that contraception for a couple is wrong because it is stops procreation and disrespects the holiness of the act etc.

But what about if the couple has STDs or a high danger of miscarriage? Why is it wrong in this scenario? While the main point of sex is procreation, there is also the secondary unitive benefit, of expressing love etc. If procreation is not advised because of danger of spreading disease to the child, why not use contraception?

I have also heard that emergency contraception can be used for victims of rape that is not abortifacient, because it is self defence. Is this a popular view of the Church? Is there any official teaching on it, or is this the view of a few theologians... or many theologians? Are you not still preventing the possibility of a life?


#2

[quote="Sultan_Of_Swing, post:1, topic:328573"]
I understand that contraception for a couple is wrong because it is stops procreation and disrespects the holiness of the act etc.

But what about if the couple has STDs or a high danger of miscarriage? Why is it wrong in this scenario? While the main point of sex is procreation, there is also the secondary unitive benefit, of expressing love etc. If procreation is not advised because of danger of spreading disease to the child, why not use contraception?

I have also heard that emergency contraception can be used for victims of rape that is not abortifacient, because it is self defence. Is this a popular view of the Church? Is there any official teaching on it, or is this the view of a few theologians... or many theologians? Are you not still preventing the possibility of a life?

[/quote]

Contraception is intrinsically evil. If procreation is not advised for some reason, then sexual intercourse is not advised. What you are suggesting as an "extenuating circumstance" for using contraception, namely the ability to maintain the unitive end of sex without the procreative end, is precisely the evil that makes contraception intrinsically evil to begin with.


#3

[quote="Sultan_Of_Swing, post:1, topic:328573"]
I understand that contraception for a couple is wrong because it is stops procreation and disrespects the holiness of the act etc.

But what about if the couple has STDs or a high danger of miscarriage? Why is it wrong in this scenario? While the main point of sex is procreation, there is also the secondary unitive benefit, of expressing love etc. If procreation is not advised because of danger of spreading disease to the child, why not use contraception?

[/quote]

Sex must be both unitive and ordered towards life, you can't separate them. Contraception is actually quite bad at preventing STDs, especially if you are having sex often as a married couple. And danger of miscarriage isn't a good reason either, because danger doesn't mean that each time an egg is fertilized it will miscarry. Contraception would actually increase your chance of miscarriage, or rather aborting. By using contraception, even in these circumstances, you are not ordering sex towards life. You are preventing life. And in a way, you are also putting a barrier between you and your spouse by not giving totally of yourself, which takes away from the unitive aspect as well.

[quote="Sultan_Of_Swing, post:1, topic:328573"]
I have also heard that emergency contraception can be used for victims of rape that is not abortifacient, because it is self defence. Is this a popular view of the Church? Is there any official teaching on it, or is this the view of a few theologians... or many theologians? Are you not still preventing the possibility of a life?

[/quote]

The only time the Church says contraception can be used in cases of rape is when they are fairly certain that ovulation hasn't occurred (no egg to be fertilized). If ovulation has occurred, then chances are more likely that the victim could be pregnant, and thus contraception would cause an abortion. If ovulation hasn't occurred, then there is no life in danger of termination. You are preventing the possibility of life in this case, but the sex was disordered and you are protecting the victim from having to deal with carrying the child of the rapist.


#4

[quote="Sultan_Of_Swing, post:1, topic:328573"]
I understand that contraception for a couple is wrong because it is stops procreation and disrespects the holiness of the act etc.

I have also heard that emergency contraception can be used for victims of rape that is not abortifacient, because it is self defence. Is this a popular view of the Church? Is there any official teaching on it, or is this the view of a few theologians... or many theologians? Are you not still preventing the possibility of a life?

[/quote]

My impression is that it is allowed because the evil of contraception is in choosing to have sexual activity that is not directed towards its proper ends. In the case of rape, the woman has not chosen to participate in the act of sex, so she does not need to be concerned with preserving the ends of it.


#5

The reason that it is permissible to use certain types of methods to prevent fertilization in the case of rape is because the sperm of the rapist is considered an unjust aggressor. Once fertilization has occurred then the life has the right to be born, regardless of the humility of its conception. As to what methods are allowable in these rare circumstances, I wouldn't know.

Regarding the unitive and procreative ends of marriage, we need to recall that the Church has always taught that the primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of offspring. Unity between spouses, alleviation of concupiscence, and growth in virtue are secondary ends of the marital act. Only after the 60's did you start to hear this loose language that de-emphasized "primary" and "secondary" and simply spoke about the unitive and procreative ends of marriage as if they were co-equal. While it was taken as such, you cannot say that this was something the Church has always taught. It is not.

The result of such confusion is that many Catholics have a hard time understanding why contraception and homosexual acts are immoral.


#6

[quote="bzkoss236, post:3, topic:328573"]
Sex must be both unitive and ordered towards life, you can't separate them.

[/quote]

Thank you everyone for the great answers.

A sterile couple having sex surely is not ordered towards life, right? They are not able to procreate.


#7

[quote="Sultan_Of_Swing, post:6, topic:328573"]
Thank you everyone for the great answers.

A sterile couple having sex surely is not ordered towards life, right? They are not able to procreate.

[/quote]

So for Abraham and Sarah, a sterile couple, having sex was not ordered towards life, right? . . . and yet - Isaac.

"ordered toward life" doesn't mean what I think you think it means.


#8

The sexes (male and female) make their conjugal union ordered,per se, toward procreation (provided they don't do anything to purposefully hinder the procreative nature of any act they engage in). Because it involves the totality of the spouses with complimentary sexual organs, using those organs for their intended two-fold purpose, regardless of whether conception actually occurs. Their act may not lead to procreation, but it is still open to it.

As the catechism says:
1660 The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament (cf. CIC, can. 1055 § 1; cf. GS 48 § 1).


#9

[quote="Sultan_Of_Swing, post:6, topic:328573"]
Thank you everyone for the great answers.

A sterile couple having sex surely is not ordered towards life, right? They are not able to procreate.

[/quote]

This is not correct. Sterility does not make the sexual act procreatively disordered.


#10

[quote="SMOM, post:8, topic:328573"]
The sexes (male and female) make their conjugal union ordered,per se, toward procreation (provided they don't do anything to purposefully hinder the procreative nature of any act they engage in). Because it involves the totality of the spouses with complimentary sexual organs, using those organs for their intended two-fold purpose, regardless of whether conception actually occurs. Their act may not lead to procreation, but it is still open to it.

As the catechism says:
1660 The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament (cf. CIC, can. 1055 § 1; cf. GS 48 § 1).

[/quote]

I understand now. Thanks!

It just seems odd that a couple with STDs shouldn't be allowed to enjoy that secondary benefit of the sexual union, even if it is at the expense of contraception. Contraception is meant to be a grave sin, but I still don't quite understand why. Sure it stops procreation and is not 'ordered towards life'... but why does that make it so bad as to be a 'moral evil'?


#11

[quote="Sultan_Of_Swing, post:10, topic:328573"]
I understand now. Thanks!

It just seems odd that a couple with STDs shouldn't be allowed to enjoy that secondary benefit of the sexual union, even if it is at the expense of contraception. Contraception is meant to be a grave sin, but I still don't quite understand why. Sure it stops procreation and is not 'ordered towards life'... but why does that make it so bad as to be a 'moral evil'?

[/quote]

God created humans, male and female. He designed their sexuality to be for the unity of the spouses and the procreation of children. Those who separate the two are telling God, in effect, "you don't know what your are doing". Why are you so sure this isn't a very serious problem?


#12

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