On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

Catholic theologian calls NY Times “attack” on natural contraception “peculiar”

A prominent Catholic professor says a New York Times attack on natural contraception is “very peculiar” and “completely uninformative.”

Professor Janet Smith holds the Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. She is a consultor to the Pontifical Council on the Family and an opponent of contraception. She told the pro-life website LifeSiteNews that the Times’ article “reports one couple’s experience as though it were universal.”

The Catholic church opposes any strategy to avoid pregnancy other than natural methods of monitoring the woman’s cycle and fertility signs.

The Times story detailed the story of a couple who had been Catholic anti-contraception activists, but who have now divorced and attend liberal Protestant churches. Smith told LifeSiteNews that natural family planning has strengthened and even saved countless marriages, while the use of contraceptives has been linked to divorce.


The Times article, she said, “made no attempt to get the testimony of those whose marriages have been saved and whose intimacy has been radically deepened by the use of natural family planning.  They are legion. Clearly the [formerly activist husband and wife] do not attribute all their marital problems to the use of natural family planning, nor should any reader of the article conclude that it was the use of natural family planning that led to their divorce.”

“It may well have been the recourse to contraceptives that led to the disintegration of the marriage,” the professor added, citing research by Stanford demographer Robert Michael, that links the rise of contraceptive availability and divorce. He “actually discovered that as the contraceptive pill became more and more available, that line was parallel to the divorce line. In about 1975-1976 when every woman who wanted access to the Pill had it, that’s when the divorce rate leveled off.”


Couples using natural methods, she said, have vastly lower divorce rates than the general population.  In general, couples report better communication, mutual respect, and intimacy.”

CLICK HERE to read LifeSiteNews article

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    They also experience unplanned children—which can lead to divorce!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Believer

    I am not catholic and do not have an opinion about other’s choice of contraception. However I did want to say that I have been married since I was 22 and I am now 49. I have three children and have NEVER used contraception other then the Natural method used by most catholics. It works great, has NO cost and no side effects. I know quite a few women who have babies while using contraceptives. Also, many more who have had side effects from various methods. I can’t imagine what the NYT writer has against this method. It has worked great for me for 27 years.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    Some fortunate woman have well-balanced hormone systems and the natural system works for them, some are very imbalanced and natural doesn’t work for them. Better for religion to stay out of womans hormonal life and stick to subjects that apply to all parishioners.

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