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University Faculty for Life

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Life and Learning

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There is a common notion that contraception is necessary for women (and couples) to avoid unwanted pregnancies and abortions. The thesis of this paper is that contraception actually will lead to more (not less) abortions. On the other hand, the use of natural family planning (NFP) and the acceptance of fertility lend itself to the openness to life. The specific purpose of the paper is to describe the influence of contraceptive use and NFP on the likelihood of having an abortion among United States (US) women of reproductive age as found in Cycle 7 of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG). There were 7,625 women of reproductive age in cycle 7 of the NSFG, and of these 6,265 were sexually active. Likelihood Odds Ratios (OR) were used to determine the likelihood that ever use of common contraceptive methods and NFP correlates with ever having an abortion and having an abortion in the past 12 months. According to data from Cycle 7 of the NSFG, the ever use of methods of contraception (outside of surgical female sterilization) coincides with a likelihood of every having an abortion up to 209% with ever use of the male condom and 85% with use of the birth control pill. In a like manner ever use of contraceptive methods also imparts a likelihood of having an abortion in the 12 months with an extremely high likelihood of abortion with female sterilization and the use of the male condom. As a contrast, the ever use of NFP among US women does not have any significant likelihood of ever having an abortion nor of having an abortion in the past year. The conclusion is that the NSFG data provides evidence that contraception contributes to the likelihood of having an abortion and NFP prevents that likelihood. Promotion of the use of NFP among married couples and chastity among adolescents are ways of contributing to the culture of life.


Published Vernon. Life and Learning, Vol. 21, No. x (2011): 245-261. DOI. © 2011 University Faculty for Life. Used with permission.

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