Is NFP Contraception?

I raise this question because over at:


Turretinfan and Gene Bridges state that NFP is a contraceptive act.

I state that NFP is a form of natural birth control (the only moral means provided serious reasons make it necessary), but not a form of contraception. Contraception relates to the actual sexual act itself, and abstinance is not a sexual act.

Any comments on this?

Technically, NFP methods are not any type of birth control. They are various methods to estimate ones potential fertility. Abstenence is a form of natural Birth control. Something all people do most of their lives.

If what they are saying is that people that abuse the method could have a contraceptive mentality, they would be correct. However, I suspect they have equated NFP methods (and the periodic abstinance that might result from using them) as an equivalent of contracepted sex. This is false because they don’t understand the value of the marital act. They falsely assume that any sex act with a reduced likelyhood of pregnancy is equal. Their loss.

It doesn’t matter what a blogger says. It matters what the Church says.

The Church teaches contraception is intrinsically evil.

The Church teaches that NFP is not.

Since one is intrinsically evil and the other is not, they cannot possibly be the same thing.

Contraception relates to the actual sexual act itself, and abstinance is not a sexual act.

I agree. To abstain from the sexual act is not denying life or placing a barrier to inhibit life from possibly taking hold.


I think part of the argument they make is that the result is the same. No pregnancy. The falacy is that the result is not completely the same. The focus of contracepted acts is on the getting of something that is valued (sexual pleasure) without the consequence of pregnancy (not valued). If what is valued is sexual pleasure, it’s hard to convince anyone that avoiding sex acheives the goal. They only can see that it avoids pregnancy which is what was not valued. With periodic abstinence, it appears we value not getting pregnant above the sexual pleasure. They don’t understand this at all. It’s because in today’s culture, it’s not what you sacrafice that matters. It’s what you get. It’s a completely different frame of reference.

Like if the goal is 3 square meals a day, it’s hard to convince them that fasting is a good thing. One has to take the critics to a higher level of understanding before any rational discussion can take place.

I completely agree with you. The societial influence of the “sexual revolution” took the emphasis of a sharing sexual unity in marriage to a selfish, self centered, anything goes, “Me” mentality that has now become the accepted “norm”. I think this is a travesty. It is also very sad for our children growing up that do not know any better. They see it on TV, they are taught it in our schools and the worst part is they are not being taught the right moral things at home. Parents need to step up and be that “counter-cultural” voice of sanity. Teach our children that sex is a gift from God that unifies two fleshes to one within the bonds of sacramental marriage only. Interfering with God’s plan for life is an evil that will condemn you to hell. NFP works. And sorry guys, but if you can’t put the needs of your wife ahead of your and go without “gettin’ some” for a couple of days then you need therapy.
Wives should be honored and looked upon as a miracle themselves, for they will one day carry your miracle within her womb, God’s plan for life coming from that unity of the flesh and working through her body, continuing to form that little precious child for nine months… How could anyone see that as nothing other then a miracle. Honor you wives.

And finally, (I will step off my soapbox) we all need to change how we think of pregnancy. We need to stop thinking of it as a “disease”. Think about it. For someone who is not expecting it, it is “the end of the world” or so they are led to believe… by society… it’s just another “medical condition” that can be “cured”.
So, please… stop thinking of children as a disease.


Great Post. :thumbsup: If you don’t mind, I’m going to borrow part of it and read it to my teenage boys.

Please. I have two sons 16 & 10 and a daughter 4. I have been married for almost 20 years and I love my wife. She is my best friend. I am also a Stay at Home Catholic Dad… and I am a father to my children. :bounce:



Finally someone that feels exactly as I do. Great post!!

Great posts!

One addition

People who see NFP as contraception forget one thing. NFP can also be used to conceive a child.

You can’t use a condom to deliberately get pregnant. The pill doesn’t work that way either. NFP can and does.

That’s why they call it family planning!


What official Church document teaches that NFP is not intrinsically evil?

Is the CCC enough?
**2370 **Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom.

Of course there has to be serious reasons for postponing the primary good of marriage…the procreation and education of offspring.

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