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Is there ever a responsibility to use contraception?
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Family planning

We have a responsibility to use contraception so that we can decide when we would like children, how many we have, and how far apart the pregnancies should be. Without using contraception for family planning, this may also have fatal consequences on the wellbeing of the infant.
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The Argument

As a society, we must take responsibility over family planning. If contraception is seen as a responsibility, we can take accountability over planning when women and couples choose to have children, and how many they have. This includes when they want to begin having children, how far apart they want their children to be, and when they want to stop having children.[1] The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights stated that access to contraception was a fundamental right to allow couples to choose the number of children they want, and when they want them, so we have a responsibility to make sure that couples are provided with this opportunity.[2] We have a responsibility to provide contraception for family planning, not just for the benefit of the couples, but also for the safety of the infant. Pregnancies that are too close together can contribute to high infant mortality rates. However, if couples take accountability to plan accordingly by using contraception, they can make sure the baby is receiving the best care before and after giving birth. Early pregnancy can also cause health problems. Babies born to teenage women are likely to be underweight before and at birth and are at a higher risk of neonatal mortality (dying within 28 days of giving birth).[1] Therefore, couples have a responsibility to use contraception so they can choose and plan when they want to have children, which in turn will result in a healthier and happier life for the baby.

Counter arguments

Family planning by using contraception disturbs the natural process of reproduction. The natural consequence of having sexual intercourse is conceiving a child, it is therefore wrong to interfere with this, and so contraception is intrinsically wrong.[3] If somebody wants to plan accordingly when they choose to have children, they must not engage in sexual intercourse as the reproduction of children is the natural purpose of engaging in sexual activity. The influential Christian theologian Thomas Aquinas preached that because sex was a natural act prescribed by God, any use of contraception was unnatural.[4] Human beings are designed to multiply naturally, without birth control to hinder their natural population expansion. We should respect the body’s natural reproductive purpose and stop fighting attempts to get pregnant by using contraception for family planning.


[P1] We have a responsibility to provide contraception so couples can choose when they would like to have children, and how many they have. [P2] Family planning by using contraception also affects the health of the infant. For example, making sure pregnancies are spaced out. [P3] Family planning by using contraception is important to avoid teenage pregnancies which affects the health and wellbeing of the infant.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] The natural purpose and outcome of sex is reproduction, so interference by using contraception for family planning is unnatural.


This page was last edited on Friday, 7 Aug 2020 at 16:37 UTC

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