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The Pontifical Commission and How Birth Control Became Known as Intrinsically Evil

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Pre-formed humans depicted in sperm cells, known as "homunculi."

Written by Anonymous for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

Anonymous is a practicing Catholic who writes for RH Reality Check on the church and contraception.

Half a century ago, the pope appointed a commission to study the morality of birth control. Multiple choice: What do you think their findings were?

A) Birth control is not “intrinsically evil.”

B) Married couples should be allowed to decide for themselves whether or not to use birth control.

C) Artificial birth control is an extension of methods of natural family planning already accepted by the Catholic Church.

D) All of the above.

You may be as astonished as I was to learn that the answer is "D."

After I wrote my essay, “Why I Skipped Mass Today”, I decided to investigate my church’s historical attitudes toward contraception a little further. Let me start at the beginning, shortly after “The Beginning,” with a story from Genesis.

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