Family Planning Overview
The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships. Humanae Vitae
Family planning is a crucial question for all couples. Married couples are called to partnership with God in the supreme privilege of creating new human life.
The Church teaches us that family planning decisions – the number of children to try to have, and the decision about spacing children – belong solely to the couple and to God.
Sexual intimacy in marriage shares the dual role of unity and procreation. To interfere with either or to attempt to separate the two, is understood to be “grave matter” (a serious sin). This includes all forms of direct contraception, as well as in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
The Church recognizes that for “just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children” and approves the use of Natural Family Planning (NFP). NFP is based on cutting-edge endocrinology and physiology – and is completely individualized for every couple, because every woman is unique.
NFP has many physical health benefits as well, and the rate of divorce among couples using NFP is extremely low – some studies suggest as low as 2%.
Finally, NFP can also be of great help in conceiving children for those with fertility difficulties. A relatively high percentage of couples experience fertility difficulties. Recent advances in science and medicine now offer hope to these couples. Read more about fertility difficulties here.
Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the procreation and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents' welfare. Humanae Vitae