The question has been often asked on CAF whether a woman may take an abortifacient variety of the “Pill” for a medical intention, while continuing sexual relations with her husband. The standard answer is “Yes” with a reference to an Apologist’s answer such as: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=4618 or forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=636947
The answers from these Apologists are not particularly rigorous - they essentially answer the question with some limited explanation.
I thought I’d test this answer against the principals of Catholic morality and the double-effect principal.
To be moral an act must:
- Have a good Intention;
- Have a good moral object;
- Have circumstances (incl. consequences) which are on balance not evil.
Taking the Pill for a medical condition is a good Intention - healing, relieving pain, etc.
The moral object is likewise (IMHO) good - it is in fact the same as the Intention. *
The Circumstances (consequences) present some difficulties however, for they seem to be a mix of good and evil. The good is the highly likely cure, pain relief etc. together with a continued intimacy between the spouses. The bad is the (unintended) separation of unitive and procreative aspects of sex and the potential for death of babies (also unintended). How is it to be assessed whether this, on balance, is not evil?*