Why Natural Family Planning?
The Church recognizes that there are legitimate reasons for preventing pregnancy, that births may be regulated, but what is necessary is a moral means for doing this and a correct understanding of responsible parenthood.
Responsible parenthood includes knowledge of and respect for fertility and the natural laws that govern it. Natural Family planning provides the best knowledge we have about the natural laws that govern our fertility, about the signs of fertility and infertility.
Responsible parenthood concerns the consideration of the factors or conditions, which have a bearing on family size. When considering physical, economic, psychological and sociological factors, couples are responsible to God, to themselves, to their families and to society, in that order. Natural Family Planning assists couples in making generous and responsible decisions regarding family size.
Responsible parenthood involves self-mastery and an understanding, as well as a proper ordering, of one’s drives or passions. Natural Family Planning fosters self-control and helps couples accept more fully the responsibility God gives us with regard to procreation.
Finally, responsible parenthood must be exercised with respect to the moral order. Church teaching does not say that a couple must intend to have a child in each and every marriage act. Should intercourse take place during the fertile time, when conception is possible, the couple must respect this possibility and must not frustrate it through contraceptive means. The life giving potential of the marital act must not be deliberately removed. With the use of Natural Family Planning, unlike contraception, nothing is done before, during or after the martial act to render the act sterile, incomplete or to prevent implantation of a fertilized ovum.