Greetings I had an interesting conversation with someone recently who said something along the lines of this.
In the case of a women being rapped and penetration happening it is permissible, assuming that fertilization has not occurred, that a women can take medication that will prevent pregnancy. Now knowing how anti-contraceptives the Church is, a red flag went up in my mind. After some basic research I ran into this.
In 2001 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued their revised “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services”. Directive 36 states:
“A female who has been raped should be able to defend herself against a potential conception from the sexual assault. If after appropriate testing, there is no evidence that conception has occurred already, she may be treated with medications that would prevent ovulation, sperm capacitation, or fertilization. It is not permissible, however, to initiate or to recommend treatments that have as their purpose or direct effect the removal, destruction, or interference with the implantation of a fertilized ovum”
this came from this article and really only examines how this is interpreted.
Now from my limited knowledge of this issue this is how I see it.
- contraceptives are wrong simply because they close off the possibility of having a child in the act of intercourse. The Church has always taught that married couples in order to fully love each other must be open to the possibility of having a child when they have sex.
- rape being forced intercourse changes this no love is involved, I think the USCCB is arguing that a women has the ability to try and prevent conception from a rape because it was forced on her. This means that pills that prevent contraception after the sexual act has taken place is permissible according to the USCCB because it is the women defending herself from conception.
- I would imagine someone may try and turn this argument on itself by saying that any women after she has sex could morally do this because she isn’t doing it in the sexual act itself, but first that shows that she was never open to the possibility of children and it wasn’t a rape so the sperm wasn’t forced on her.
Note: I have not taken a side on this all I’m doing is presenting my understanding of what the USCCB is trying to say here.