Illness and Conception

My apologies if this topic has been covered in a previous question. I searched around and couldn’t find it.

If someone had a severe chronic illness that will put both her life and her potential baby’s life in danger should she find herself pregnant–if multiple doctors have advised her never to get pregnant due to illness–is it a sin for a married woman and her husband to avoid pregnancy completely through nfp? Or through contraception?

Sidenote: I’m not talking about abortion at any stage after implantation. I’m asking about the act of avoiding conception, given the reason above.

The Church’s thoughts on this matter would be great. Thanks!


If a woman’s health and/or life would be at stake then a couple could discern postponing pregnancy indefinately by using natural family planning. Under no circumstances may a couple use artificial contraception it is a serious sin to do so under any circumstances. The failure rate of artificial contraception (all kinds chemical and barrier methods) are higher then natural family planning anyway when it’s used correctly so I wouldn’t even consider it if my life were in danger.

Hope that helps, God bless you.

I think that a woman would have an obligation to avoid conception in that case through either abstinence or strictly following NFP.

Contraception is gravely immoral. NFP or complete abstinence would be required.

FYI - life begins at conception, not implantation. At the moment a sperm and egg combine, a new, unique set of human DNA is created. That is a new life - completely different from the mother or father. It doesn’t change once it’s implanted. This is scientific and is the true beginning of a new human life. It’s impossible (morally AND biologically) to justify it any other way.

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