Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 7, 2002

Mercedes Arzu Wilson
Pages 185-211

The Practice of Natural Family Planning versus the Use of Artifical Birth Control
Family, Sexual and Moral Issues

For many years, research has pointed to substantial differences between couples who practice natural family planning (NFP) and couples who use artifical birth control. Using data collected from a sample of women in the United States of America who practice natural family planning and comparing them to well-known national surveys, this study examines the effects of natural family planning and artifical birth control on several dimensions of marital andfamily Ufe. The study finds that NFP women have lower rates of abortion and divorce, (0.2%), than women in the national samples. The NFP women are more likely to be married and are more likely to recommend premartial chastity to young women. The study also finds a high level of success in family life among NFP women, as well as strong religious faith. Results support the hypothesis that naturalfamily planning is associated with positive spousal relationships and family stability. Interpretations of new data are discussed.