I’m a newly-wed. My wife wants to have sex using condoms/pills to prevent pregnancy. I don’t think that is morally right for the same reason I am against abortion. I understand that sex is about intimacy, but it is also about procreation and I don’t think they should be separated. What’s right?
SEX THERAPIST’S ANSWER
I appreciate your tender conscience! This is a huge question that I am not going to be able to do justice to in this forum. There are solid believers who come down on both sides of this issue. One of my professors in graduate school felt very strongly about not using birth control. He felt like it was taking our cue from the culture rather than taking our opinions from God. The church has historically been against using birth control because it interfered with procreation. However, the argument falls down for me because they were OK with natural family planning which is not as effective as birth control to be sure but is still taking steps to interfere with procreation.
But it sounds like your objection to birth control is more on the killing of a life such as with abortion rather than the prevention of conception – those are two very different things. Just like you, I am against any form of birth control that is an abortifacient, that keeps a fertilized egg from implanting, such as an IUD. But there are forms of birth control that prevent conception such as a condom or birth control pill. They either keep an egg from being released/fertilized or they are a barrier to the sperm reaching the egg. There is no fertilization therefore there is no life. It is no different than an egg being released unfertilized with every menstrual cycle. Yes, you are taking steps to interfere in the potential fertilization which is a problem for some, but you are not aborting a life. God can get around a condom and birth control pills, and even a vasectomy. There are children born today where the parents were using all these methods. I do believe that children are a blessing of God. And I also believe that we can seek his guidance about when to have children and how many to have – we partner with him in the process. We need to use wisdom because life is so important and we value children so highly.
Again, there are sincere, committed believers who will strongly disagree with me. So it is important for you to read the arguments and see where you come down in this debate. However, if your objection is based on the abortion of a life with a condom or birth control pill, then that is not the case.