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What Does the Bible Say About..Birth Control?

What does the bible say about using birth control?


In Genesis 1:28 God told mankind to be fruitful and multiply. Nowhere does he say how much we are to multiply. Birth control was not unknown in biblical times, yet the Bible nowhere says anything about it, either in favor or against.

If the Bible doesn’t say anything one way or the other, why does the Catholic Church (and some others) oppose artificial means of birth control? From what I have read there are three arguments that stand out.

The primary argument is that artificial birth control interferes with God’s plan for sexual activity, which includes (but is not limited to) having children. It is further argued that natural methods of birth control (involving abstinence) are God’s approved methods and anything else causes a couple to “lie to God” because they are engaging in a procreative act with no intention of having children. The response to that is that using the “natural” methods is just as much denying God the children that are to result from sex. Further, even the Catholic Church no longer maintains that the only reason for having sex is having babies.

A second argument is that many methods of birth are actually the aborting of a fertilized egg. If life begins at fertilization (and there are scriptural arguments for and against that idea), then some methods of birth control are, in fact, equivalent to abortion. Some methods, on the other hand, prevent fertilization rather than destroy fertilized eggs.

The third argument is that artificial means of birth control encourage the free and uninhibited participation in sexual acts. It is probably true that the availability of contraception to unmarried women has made it easier for them to decide to have more sex outside of marriage and made it more acceptable. However, that does not make this an effective argument against a married woman (or man) using some means of contraception. Since the Bible does not restrict sex within a marriage, this argument does not seem to apply.

I know I haven’t given you a direct answer. It is a question that is much argued. As with many “issues” of the past, the Bible is silent but people put their own beliefs forward and justify them by scriptures that don’t apply.