Religious women use contraception too

A new study from Guttmacher reports that the majority of religious women also use contraception.

“In real-life America, contraceptive use and strong religious beliefs are highly compatible,” says Rachel K. Jones, the report’s lead author. “Most sexually active women who do not want to become pregnant practice contraception, and most use highly effective methods like sterilization, the pill, or the IUD. This is true for Evangelicals and Mainline Protestants, and it is true for Catholics, despite the Catholic hierarchy’s strenuous opposition to contraception.”

This is not surprisingly to those of use in the reproductive rights community, who understand how crucial family planning is to many people’s lives, religious or not. It is extremely to highlight in an era when some conservatives are using religiously-fueled ideology to try and limit women’s access to contraception and family planning.

Amanda Marcotte has been really vocal in pointing this out lately–the battle isn’t even about abortion anymore, its about contraception, and more broadly, sex.

A few key findings from the report:

  • Among all women who have had sex, 99% have ever used a contraceptive method other than natural family planning. This figure is virtually the same among Catholic women (98%).
  • Among sexually active women of all denominations who do not want to become pregnant, 69% are using a highly effective method (i.e., sterilization, the pill or another hormonal method, or the IUD).
  • Only 2% of Catholic women rely on natural family planning; this is true even among Catholic women who attend church once a month or more.

Download the report here.

Join the Conversation