As Minister to college students, who stay up way too late, I sometimes wake up to questions from our Discord Channel about the faith that definitely shouldn’t be addressed before the first cup of coffee. On the blog I’ll share some of those questions (anonymously) and my slightly edited answers.
QUESTION: If I were to take birth control to stop painful periods, and I am gay (not having sex) is that still intrinsically evil?
DAVID: Progestin pills are not intrinsically evil… using progestin pills as birth control/contraception is a sin. A hammer can be used to murder someone, that doesn’t make the hammer evil. A condom used as a balloon, while stupid, isn’t evil; using a condom as birth control is a sin. It’s not the thing that is evil it’s the placing of artificial barriers, physical, chemical or hormonal on the natural reproductive process that is.
One’s sexual orientation has little to do with the root of the matter here, it’s one’s intentions of how the progestin pills are being used whether one is gay or straight. All outside of marriage are called to chaste continence; all those who are married are called to an openness to conception.
For those who want a fuller answer from an expert, here is an article on progestin/progesterone as hormone therapy by Fr. Ted Father Tad Pacholczyk, Director of Education at the National Catholic Bioethics Center. “The Pill as Health Care?”
From The Catechism of the Catholic Church
1750 The morality of human acts depends on:
- the object chosen;
- the end in view or the intention;
- the circumstances of the action.
The object, the intention, and the circumstances make up the “sources,” or constitutive elements, of the morality of human acts.
2399 The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).