WHAT ARE THE CONTRASTS BETWEEN CONTRACEPTION AND NFP?
“I believe life begins the moment of conception, so what is wrong with using pills that prevent conception? Why is NFP so important? Being a woman myself, it takes a long time to really even know when it is “safe” and when its not "safe." Both NFP and this pill that prevents conception, aren't they doing the same thing? " --Melanie
There is a world of difference between contraception and NFP.
What is most important here is to understand and appreciate God's plan for marriage and the spousal act. In God's plan, marriage is designed to endure "until death do us part," and it requires total fidelity.
What is the spousal act supposed to express and accomplish, as God designed it? The Catholic Church teaches, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that every spousal act must be open to a love-giving (unitive) dimension and also to a life-giving (procreative) dimension. In the marital act the spouses are renewing their marriage covenant. This calls for making the total gift of self to the other: no conditions, no reservations, nothing held back. This includes our fertility.
When couples abide by God's plan for spousal love, then they have a strong marriage and a healthy, happy family. When they reject God's plan, and substitute their own plan (contraception, sterilization and abortion), then they fall into a cultural trap where today, in this country, there is a 50% divorce rate, a lack of male responsibility, 35% of children born outside of marriage, dysfunctional families, and increased abortions.
NFP is completely different from contraception when used as a means to space your babies. 1) NFP respects God's plan. Contraception does not. 2) NFP respects human fertility, and never turns against it. Contra (against) ception does not respect your fertility. Instead, it sterilizes it, either temporarily of permanently. 3) NFP regards fertility as something good and natural. Contraception regards it as a disease. 4) NFP requires self-sacrifice and self-giving. Contraception wants instant gratification. 5) NFP compels a couple to take their relationship seriously. Contraception focuses everything on orgasm. 6) The divorce rate among users of NFP is less than 5%. For users of contraception it is 50% plus. 7) The Pill causes alls sorts of problems for a woman's body. Read a list of all the counter indications that come with the prescription. NFP is completely natural. It is God’s way, and nature’s way for spacing pregnancies responsibly in a morally good way.
I suggest that you read the encyclical HUMANAE VITAE.
Let's spread the good word about NFP, so that it can benefit everyone.
Fr. Matthew Habiger OSB