NW Podcast S2 Ep. 9: Can Catholics Use NFP?

It’s no secret that fertility awareness methods (FAMs) can be a controversial subject. For non-Catholics, using FAMs for family planning is seen as controversial when they’re (mis)understood as ineffective iterations of the Rhythm Method (of course, in reality, they’re lightyears ahead of the Rhythm Method in scientific validity, and therefore incredibly effective when used appropriately). But for Catholics (who refer to the use of FAMs for family planning purposes as “Natural Family Planning” or simply “NFP”), the controversy is a completely different animal.

As many of our readers and listeners likely know, the Catholic Church has a strict prohibition against the use of all forms of (artificial) contraception. Because of this prohibition, some Catholics mistakenly believe that NFP fits into the same category, and therefore believe that “good” Catholics shouldn’t use NFP (even if the Church allows them to—which it does!). So what, exactly, makes NFP different from contraception, and why should a couple be encouraged to use it, even if they’re sure they want to have “all the babies”?

In this episode of The Natural Womanhood Podcast, Grace Emily Stark sits down with Catholic writer Emily Stimpson Chapman to tackle these questions and the perennial argument amongst Catholics about whether it’s really a good idea to use NFP (and where we might have gotten those pesky, mistaken ideas from that it isn’t). Although we’re focusing on the Catholic perspective surrounding NFP in this episode of the NW podcast, we encourage our non-Catholic listeners to check it out for a concrete understanding of what sets FAMs apart from the Pill or any other form of contraceptive.

The Natural Womanhood Podcast brings together experts in the field of fertility awareness for candid, informative, and friendly conversations about authentic women’s health. The podcast is hosted by Grace Emily Stark and Cassondra Moriarty. Grace is an award-winning journalist, a certified instructor of the Sympto-Thermal Method of fertility awareness, and she holds a M.A. in Bioethics and Health Policy. Cassie is a certified instructor of FEMM, an IBCLC lactation consultant, and DONA postpartum Doula.

Learn more about Grace and her work here, and learn more about Cassie and her work here

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