The History of Birth Control

The 1931 Lambeth Conference and its effects on birth control are examined.
by Cheryl Dickow | Source: Bezalel Books

The Church has always taught that man and woman were created with equal dignity. Woman is to be the receiver of love, and as she receives this love, she then gives it away to others. This is called the “feminine genius.” Woman fulfills her vocation and is truly happy when she gives herself away freely. One of the most beautiful ways that women give themselves away freely is to become a wife and mother.

Let’s take a look at the history of birth control in this century.

Up until 1931 at the Lambeth Conference, which is an assembly of bishops of the Anglican community, all Christian denominations believed that artificial birth control was immoral and interfered with Natural Law. The Lambeth Conference allowed contraception for married couples who were deemed to have a real and serious reason to use it.

Soon, all denominations – except the Catholic Church – allowed contraception but it was no longer necessary to prove the reason for it was real or serious. The proverbial floodgates to contraception were opened and we can now see that widely used contraception has not improved our society or women’s lives even one iota. But the Catholic Church already knew that would be the case because the Church understood what God wanted. Since God doesn’t change, He certainly wouldn’t say to one generation, “Be fruitful and multiply” but to another generation say, “Use birth control.” Right?

Why is the Catholic Church against artificial contraception?

When a couple marries and becomes one flesh, their love naturally brings forth life. Procreation and the marital act were never meant to be separated. In the Garden of Eden God told Adam and Eve to be “fruitful and multiply.” This is God’s design for marriage and for the sexes. By separating the two, God’s design is mocked and degraded. In 1968, Pope Paul VI stated in his Encyclical Letter, Humane Vitae, (On Human Life), “an act of mutual love which impairs the capacity to transmit life which God the Creator through specific laws has build into it, frustrates His design which constitutes the norm of marriage, and contradicts the will of the Author of life… and is consequently in opposition to the plan of God and His holy will.”

Think of it this way: you love food and especially chocolate. However, you are finding that you are putting on weight. You decide you’d better do something to lose this weight. You don’t want to give up any of the pleasure you have of eating chocolate. Therefore you decide to binge and purge so that you don’t have to take the consequences for your eating habits. Your digestive system was created by God to take in food and process it to be used for the health of your body. You have taken this system and its purposes out of God’s plan. If you continue on this path, you will end up experiencing medical problems because of your choices.

The same is true when people decide to use the gift of sexuality in the wrong way. There are many medical consequences to the various types of birth control. The birth control pill has many dangerous physical side-effects. Birth control also serious side-effects for marriages, for families and for society. In his wisdom, Pope Paul VI predicted what was going to happen if contraception was accepted as a legitimate practice:

• Marital infidelity
• General lowering of moral standards
• Man will forget the reverence due to a woman
• Woman will be reduced to an instrument for the satisfaction of men’s desires
• Governments would use forced contraception to achieve their own agendas
• Abortion will become widespread
• Since life is not reverenced, euthanasia will become a standard practice

All of these predictions came true in about 40 years and prove why the teachings of the Catholic Church are necessary and valuable to our families.

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This excerpt from
All Things Girl: Truth for Teens has been reprinted with permission from Bezalel Books

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