Is emergency contraception allowed in cases of rape?


#1

Someone told me that the Church allows emergency contraception in cases of rape, assuming that conception has not yet occured. Is this true?


#2

Because rape is a forcible sexual assault on a woman, moral theologians have argued that it is permissible for a woman to defend herself against a potential conception when she has been raped. These theologians contend that she may licitly receive those treatments that would prevent conception from occurring, but that no treatment that would remove or destroy the fertilized egg or would prevent implantation of a fertilized egg would be morally licit. In short, the assertion is that a woman who has suffered rape may seek to prevent conception, but she cannot abort an already-conceived child.

**Recommended reading:

Emergency Contraception and Rape: A Catholic Perspective**
by the Massachusetts Catholic Conference

Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services
by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The “Morning After” Pill by John B. Shea, M.D.


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