Document Type




Format of Original

16 p.

Publication Date



Catholic Medical Association

Source Publication

The Linacre Quarterly

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1179/002436312803571429


Hispanics are the largest minority group in the U. S. and they contribute to over 50 percent of Catholics under the age of 25. The purpose of this study was to determine the patterns of contraceptive use (current and ever), natural family planning (NFP), and abortion among U. S. Hispanic women between the ages of 15 and 44 years and to compare their patterns of use to non-Hispanic women of the same age range. A particular interest was to determine the influence of faith on the choice of family-planning methods among the sexually active U. S. Catholic Hispanic women. Data for this study came from the National Survey of Family Growth 2006– 2008, which included 1,613 Hispanic and 5,743 non-Hispanic women between the ages of 15 and 44. Approximately 57 percent of the Hispanic women are Catholic. In general, U. S. Hispanic women had significantly less frequent use of the hormonal pill, male condom, withdrawal, and vasectomy (of male partner) but more frequent use of the IUD and Depo-Provera compared to non-Hispanic women. There was little use of NFP and no difference in the frequency of reported abortion. Catholic Hispanic women had significantly less frequent use of the male condom, the Pill, vasectomy, and abortion and more use of NFP compared to non-Catholic Hispanic women. Although there is some positive influence of faith among the sexually active Hispanic women of reproductive age, overall, the amount of ever use of sterilization (21 percent), condom use (80 percent), Pill use (66 percent), and Depo-Provera (30 percent) is remarkable. The more frequent use of Depo-Provera and the IUD might reflect the economic level of the participants and the use of federally funded family-planning services.


Accepted version. The Linacre Quarterly, Vol. 79, No. 2 (May 2012): 192-207. DOI. © 2012 Catholic Medical Association. Used with permission.

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