Every woman knows the risks of pregnancy beyond a certain age- usually pegged at around 35, but the risk escalates year by year until eggs are no longer being produced.
Every Catholic knows the Church’s teaching on contraceptives. Don’t use them. If you aren’t open to the possibility of children, abstain or use NFP.
I understand that the same rule applies to everyone. However, some people find themselves in situations where different issues confront them at different times of life. For example, a 40-year-old woman is faced with a situation that is very different from that of a 25-year-old woman.
Again, I know that the same rules apply to everyone. But depending on the situation, sometimes they might be applied differently. In practice, how are these rules (particularly with NFP) applied differently when a 40 or 45-year-old woman is involved as opposed to a 25-year-old woman? Assume that these women are married and Catholic.
In real life, most Catholic women at this age will go ahead and use a contraceptive of some kind. That’s just the reality of the situation. For those who choose NFP, though, they have a lot more at stake than a 25-year-old woman who chooses that route. For obvious reasons, a middle-aged woman needs to do more than a 25-year-old woman in order to make sure she doesn’t get pregnant.
Essentially, a 25-year-old woman can use NFP in order to have a good ratio of sex to babies and truthfully say she’s open to having a few of them, while a 40 or 45-year-old woman will have to respond to the elevated risks of pregnancy and use NFP to try and get through the next 5 or 10 years with no kids. (That’s the most obvious alternative to abstinence while married). On one hand, there’s no doubt that it’s the smart move. On the other hand, maybe it’s not in the spirit of NFP or entirely in line with Church teaching. But you kind of have to do it, you know? So what do you say in that situation- just tell middle-aged women to stop having sex?
To what degree is a middle-aged woman permitted to respond to the elevated risk factors associated with pregnancy during this time of life? If you or someone close to you is a Catholic woman who has navigated this part of life as a Catholic, what’s the inside scoop on how it’s done? Are they permitted to use NFP with intent to finish up ovulation with no more babies, or is that unacceptable? Should they just abstain instead of doing that?