Natural Family Planning...


I was very excited to find this article on MSNBC’s web-site!!

When we switched to NFP, we had many friends who thought we were crazy because they claimed to have heard that it was not effective. I’ve also read that some people on CAF don’t think it is effective.

The article says it all. USED CORRECTLY it is as effective as the Pill!! Whoo Hoo I feel vindicated!! Doing the HaPpY DaNcE!! Please excuse my elation. I’ve printed several copies and have e-mailed it to some friends. I had to share my excitement.



Cool article! Thanks for posting… I’m going to pass that on! :wink:


Awesome -for once the media gets it right.


Hey don’t forget to rate the article.


I posted that article in the popular media forum…


Yeah, the info on that has been out there for years, but it’s always nice to see a new study reaffirming what we already knew. :slight_smile:


Now if only they had info showing how much happier and more satisfying NFP users are in general over contraception users. Like today’s Gospel, maybe God really does give his children bread instead of stones and fish instead of snakes .:whistle: .


Thanks rayne89! I went back and rated the article!

We want to make sure the media hears us that we want more articles like this! Also if it gets rated high enough it shows up on the “Most Popular” link so more people will see it.


How refreshingly free of spin and subtle put-downs!


How nice, accurate, unbiased, informative. Someone must have slipped this past the editors desk.


I messed up! :eek:
I rated the article as a 3 accidentally and I couldn’t change it! More people please rate the article high to cancel mine out. Sorry!!


I’m confused by the glee. So, you’re thrilled that NFP is so effective at preventing births? Somehow this is not coming off as being “open to life”, when people are jumping for joy to have a method that rivals ABC in “effectiveness” at thwarting God’s reproductive plan for them.

The midset of using a method to as much as possible control your fertility, isn’t really that different whether you are using NFP to do it or ABC to do it.

People keep saying that it is more loving, more giving, more holy, more sacramental, etc. etc to make love to your spouse when you know that the union might produce a child…and then jump for joy when they find their “method” as effective as ABC at preventing unplanned pregnancy.

You might not have ABC in you dresser drawer, but if it is in your heart, what’s the difference?


I think the glee is the result of a mainstream media source finally recognizing and reporting that NFP is an effective means of preventing pregnancy. The secular world mostly despises NFP and mocks it as “rhythm.”

 Most of the posters here probably use NFP the way the Church intends, that is, to be open to life while considering that they have just reasons to avoid (not prevent) pregnancy at this time. No matter the purpose, seeing a mainstream source acknowledge its "effectiveness" is indeed great news!



I agree with you if ABC is in your heart than what is the difference? The glee I think was explained appropriately earlier in that it is nice that the secular media is finally recognizing the truth about NFP because often women who feel that if they ever had a grave reason to prevent pregnancy (for example~ a recent miscarriage, or health risk) then they feel that there only safe bet is ABC which simply isn’t true.

But speaking of grave reasons- I would hope that some would find this article interesting.

What are the conditions according to which one may use NFP without offending Almighty God?

The article argues that NFP is *not *only reserved for the hard cases. I would love to know your opinions.

Maybe I should start a new thread on this… keep an eye out


I read the article, and that is fine. Very reasonable and understanding of the realities of life in many modern cultures.

I have also read some of the theology (though not necessarily official Church documents) concerning NFP, and have read countless threads on these forums about NFP and how it is different from ABC, and how it is good for marriage etc.

That is where I get confused. People write that they feel cheated by their spouse when ABC is used because they feel their spouse is witholding their gift of fertility from them, but if NFP is so effective…how does it not similarly withold the gift of fertility? If a spouse will only have intercourse with you when they know there is no chance of pregnancy occuring (aside from the small failure rate of any birth control/spacing method) how is that different no matter the method?

I fail to see how the use of ABC always automatically defaults to “objectifying” the partner for selfish sexual reasons, but NFP, does not when it is used for exactly the same reason.

In fact…because sexuality is a way that spouses show love, share comfort, and tend to one anothers needs, when using NFP a spouse might say…“yeah, I know you feel really lonely and unloved, but hey, I can’t take the chance that we might get pregnant…sorry”, can be less a loving act and be WAY more objectifying than a spouse putting on a condom and saying, “I love, adore, and desire you, I’m here for you, I will always be here for you”.

I guess what I am saying is this, I think NFP is great. I used it for years. But I also think that alot of the arguments used by people to explain how it is better than ABC are lip service. There are ways in which it differs from certain forms of ABC, and are meritorious. It is not ever an abortifacient, that is good and important. It does not mess with delicate hormonal balances, a huge plus. It is cheap, effective, available and with few side effects. All terrific reasons to support it. It involves both partners, kudos there.

But honestly, the “main” reasons I often hear about why it is right and ABC is wrong are “theological” and many of them don’t amount to the worth of the paper and ink they are printed on.

NFP, is no more open to life than ABC. If you are using it rigidly to avoid pregnancy at all costs, there is no difference other than the method. Basically it is still saying, I want to be sexually active…without having a child. Have the cake and eat it too. But I think a lot of people are not being honest with themselves about that and cockadoodle do about how much more loving, giving, holy etc it is.

I’ve practiced both types of “child spacing”, and have not experienced NFP as being more loving, etc. Indeed, in some ways it put further stress on the marriage relationship.

In the article you gave the link to, it suggested that perhaps God provided the understanding of fertility cycles at exactly the right point in history, when supporting a large number of children was no longer reasonable, that NFP might be used for just such an end. Why not likewise reason that perhaps God provided other methods of child spacing at just the right time in history? Why is this particular area of medicine considered to be in it’s seperate catagory?

Using rubber gloves during surgery to prevent infection is considered good, but rubber condoms to prevent pregnancy…evil.

Again, I don’t have issues with NFP. I don’t even have issues with the Church dictating which forms of child spacing it approves of by its members. But I do think that the theology used to support it is questionable. I think it would be better for the Church to simply state what the regulations are and be done with it than for people to use poor arguements to justify it, areguments that don’t hold water and that many people know don’t hold water. I think it damages the credibility of the Church.

I have two children who were conceived during “child spacing”, one due to an NFP failure, the other due to a condom which broke. I was attempting to space my children,but I love both of those kids just the same. I was open to life, reguarless of my method of child spacing.I love them the same as I love the child who was conceived intentionally. When we had as many children as we feel we were called to have and could support we chose sterilization, because it was the most honest thing. We did not want more children. But honestly, if a surprise occured, we would love that child and give it our best just as we do with the others.

In the end…is it the heart or the method that matters most?



I guess you could say, all other things being equal, NFP is closer to the goal than ABC.

Kind of like going to mass on Christamas and Easter only, all other things being equal, is better than not going ever at all.

So a couple maintaining their fertility and using NFP would be closer to the goal, in my opinion, than one discarding their fertility entirely.

The fact that practicioners aren’t perfect isn’t really an argument against the standard.



I pray that you don’t take what I am going to write as a judgement of you. I do not intend that and hope that you do not receive it in that manner.

The difference is in the mindset of the couple that is using NFP. From what I have read in the encyclicals of the popes since 1930, the use of ABC while not fully abstaining from intercourse is a grave sin. That is the infallible teaching of the church.

Similarly NFP could be considered a contraceptive mechanism. The distinction is based on the intent of the couple. The couple must be open to life and have sufficient reasons for postponing pregnancy. I don’t have much of an idea on what constitutes sufficient reasons for you, but I do for me.

One extreme: My wife and I chose to use NFP or ABC to postpone pregnancy for the sole reason that having a fourth child meant that we could only afford to send our children to the University of North Dakota as opposed to Notre Dame. I believe that is an insufficient reason and I believe it would constitute grave matter for me.

Another extreme: My wife cannot carry another child. If she does, there is a 99% chance she will die. We decide to have intercourse and not to use NFP. She becomes pregnant, falls ill, and dies. I believe that I am culpable for my action.

It basically comes down to this. My wife and I need to contemplate, pray, and discern what God is telling us about our specific situation. I take this to include plenty of reflection on what the Church teaches and how that teaching applies to my life and my life with my wife.

In the very end, I will be standing alone before God in judgement. Personally, I believe that in my situation, NFP is a possibility, but I must discuss with my wife and we may not have sufficient reason to use NFP. I resign myself to that. Right now, she is not ready to talk about NFP so my choice is to be celibate. I must find other ways to express my love for my wife, just as Christ loves his church. It is very tough, but sometimes all that I can show of my love for God is my obedience to his commandments.



I think the posts here have been very interesting and thought provoking. I also think that couples come from a lot of different places in their lives, and what works for one couple might not work for another. Sometimes using NFP is the first step for a couple on the road to accepting more children. Secular culture can really harden a persons heart against children and God’s grace.

NFP helped me feel more respected by my husband. He was now able to show me that he was not just having relations with me to please himself. This may sound strange to someone who’s not in my shoes, but after being in sexually abusive relationships, words could not convey this as well as action can. That is how NFP helped our marriage.

This was our first step. God works in different ways in different people. We are now more open to more children than we were before.

By having this article in the media, it may start this journey for someone else. Maybe they will consider NFP because it’s just as effective as ABC, and then the Holy Spirit will move them to consider more children. It’s a journey for everyone. God builds his flock one person at a time.

I understand where the PP are coming from; the end result of NFP and ABC can be the same. But the bigest factor with NFP is the Holy Spirit can move you to make a decission with your heart that your head my have squashed by the time you were able to act on it. Especially if you are using the Pill, patch or an IUD.


Obviously your family life is a very personal issue and none of my business, but was your example of North Dakota vs. Notre Dame true or just an example?
Based on what you have said, surly God wouldn’t want a married couple to be celibate (unless you were Mary and Joseph- I guess maybe St. Therese’s parents did that after they had their kids) but if your children are meant to go to Notre Dame, God will provide a scholarship or some other means to get them there. And if your wife were sick, NFP would be a perfect way to fulfill your marital duty to eachother. I’m just confused by your post because God doesn’t want married couples to be celibate usually. That is why he designed us so that we could be more aware of our fertility.
Again, none of my business, I just was confused.

God bless,


The extremes I brought up were only examples. Sorry for the confusion.


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