A recently released Guttmacher Institute study finds that women of a wide range of faiths use contraception:
This research suggests that the perception that strongly held religious beliefs and contraceptive use are antithetical is wrong—in fact, the two may be highly compatible. Contraceptive use by Catholics and Evangelicals, including those who frequently attend religious services, is the widespread norm, not the exception. Add to this Mainline Protestant denominations’ historic support for contraception, and the implications for policymakers are clear: Policies that make contraceptives more affordable and easier to use are not just sound public health policy—they also reflect the needs and desires of the vast majority of American women and their partners, regardless of their religious affiliation.
Rabbi Dennis Ross, who directs Concerned Clergy for Choice for the Education Fund of Family Planning Advocates of New York State, takes this research a step further in a piece in Religion Dispatches. He argues that the Guttmacher research indicates an important direction for “common ground” on reproductive health care:
Once the woman weighs all her options – adoption, carrying to term, abortion – and comes to her conclusion, make sure she has the best in medical care and support that she believes is right for her.
As RCRC says, family planning is a moral good, a responsible choice, and a human right, embraced by religions across the spectrum.