First off in our series on BIG questions – Kate, parish assistant offers some thoughts on CONTRACEPTION, to get us thinking.. Read what she has to say here and why not offer your thoughts through our facebook group?
Is contraception wrong and even sinful? I was brought up to think so. My parents thought only promiscuous people used contraception. It was unnatural and encouraged ‘sinful’ behaviour.
Today, what do I think?
It’s dangerous to judge another person and assume we understand the reason for their decisions. Sexual behaviour hasn’t changed dramatically over the centuries. We are just more informed. In the past women had little choice about having children. Those that chose not to continue with a pregnancy risked their lives at the hands of back street abortionists. How disastrous must they have considered the pregnancy to be to take such risks? Not all see pregnancy as a blessing.
A few years ago, I worked with homeless families and vulnerable people with drug and alcohol issues. In those situations, I actively encouraged service users to use contraception and in particular condoms. This was regarded as somewhat controversial. It was about making wellbeing a priority. Use of condoms reduced the risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), some of which can have very serious consequences.
My family considered that abstention was all the contraception needed. Maybe in a perfect world that might be so. I met so many people who were abused and exploited and contraception provided a means of ensuring some small level of control over their own bodies.
I have talked of extremes. There are situations where people in happier circumstances would not want a pregnancy due to timing or other medical reasons. I would say, speaking as a parent, that there is no perfect time to have children and the risk is that we over plan and end up disappointed.
Contraception is unnatural? Perhaps, but……so are vaccinations, medication, bypass surgery and in fact any form of medical intervention.
What do you think? Share your comments in our church facebook group.