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Women and birth control pills she think about her health

Birth Control

People deserve the right to access the full range of family planning services, including all forms of artificial contraception. In fact, 98% of Catholics have used some form of birth control in their lives.
“Contraceptives are the greatest lifesaving, poverty-ending, women-empowering innovation ever created.”
Melinda Gates

The Catholic church hierarchy opposes all forms of artificial contraception, yet 98% of Catholics in the United States have used some form of birth control at some point in their lives. Catholics for Choice envisions a world in which everyone has equal access to all forms of birth control, unencumbered by religious persecution. We believe that access to birth control is, in fact, a Catholic social justice value.

For countless people around the world, access to contraception is a matter of life or death. Untold numbers of people are suffering as a direct consequence of Catholic church officials’ ban on birth control. Today, ordinary Catholics are taking a stand against the hierarchy. Birth control is not a sin — it is a lifeline.

The Legacy of Humanae Vitae

In 1968, Pope Paul VI formally expressed the Catholic position on birth control in an encyclical called Humanae Vitae, which slammed the door on modern contraception.

Explore Humanae Vitae
A smiling doctor holds a condom in a silver wrapper, signifying access to birth control.
Sex in the HIV and AIDS Era

Despite scientific evidence that condoms are critical in HIV and AIDS prevention, the Vatican has refused to relax the ban on contraceptives.

The ban on condoms

Questions about Catholics and Birth Control

We've compiled these talking points to help inform Catholic conversations about birth control.

What are the different forms of birth control?
What does family planning mean?
What forms of birth control does the Catholic church hierarchy oppose?
Can Catholics use birth control?
Do IUDs and Plan B cause an abortion?
What does the Catholic church hierarchy say about condoms and preventing HIV?
Do condoms prevent HIV?