EWTN Catholic Q&A
Pregnancy is life-threatening, is contraception the best option?
Question from Aine on 04-22-2014:

Picture this, a young Catholic couple desperately want to have a baby, but, if the woman gets pregnant, because of health issues, there is an incredibly high morality rate for both herself and the foetus- she will not physically be able to carry the baby to full term, and getting the foetus to the 3 month mark is very unlikely- in a case like this, would the church permit contraception to be used?

Answer by Judie Brown on 04-28-2014:

Dear Aine

I posed your hypothetical questions (both answered here) to Anthony Dardano, MD and here is his response

Contraception, with the sole intent to willfully prevent pregnancy, no matter what the method, is intrinsically evil and therefore never morally permissible, no matter how compelling the reason might be appear to be. That being said, the situation is in reality, not so bleak.

Counting my training days I have been in medicine a little over 50 years. As a busy obstetrician gynecologist and chairman of maternity services for many years I gave presided over and have been responsible for some 5000 deliveries. I can honestly say I have never encountered a situation which you describe as a hypothetical scenario. One thing I have seen over the years is a constant improvement of the survivability of the premature infant at earlier and earlier gestational ages. Medicine has also continually improved upon the modalities available to treat the medical conditions of the mother buying her enough time to reach a satisfactory gestational age for the child. Obstetrical care received in a high risk facility greatly increases the chances for a favorable outcome.

Finally in general although the financial issue is a real one if the medication is necessary you will find a way to finance it. People who must take blood pressure pills, heart pills, thyroid, insulin, etc., are all in the same situation yet they manage. Also the cost of recurrent fetal loss on your body, your emotions and your pocket book in the long run far outweigh the burden of cost for the medication.

Anthony N Dardano, MD, FACS, FACOG