These findings show yet again that birth control is a common practice — and a common need — for women of different faiths and backgrounds.
April 13, 2011
As Congress considers yet another effort to bar Planned Parenthood from providing family planning services through federal health programs, it should listen to the message these findings convey.
A new report by Guttmacher Institute finds “Contraceptive use by Catholics and Evangelicals, including those who frequently attend religious services, is the widespread norm, not the exception.”
• Among all women who have had sex, 99 percent have used a contraceptive method other than natural family planning. This figure is virtually the same among Catholic women (98 percent).
• Among sexually active women of all denominations who do not want to become pregnant, 69 percent are using a highly effective method (i.e., sterilization, the pill or another hormonal method, or the IUD).
• Some 68 percent of Catholic women use a highly effective method of contraception, compared with 73 percent of mainline Protestants and 74 percent of Evangelicals.
• Only two percent of Catholic women rely on natural family planning; this is true even among Catholic women who attend church once a month or more.
In addition, a survey conducted for Planned Parenthood last fall found that 71 percent of American voters believe insurers should be required to fully cover the birth control pill and other forms of prescription contraception, as they will be required to do for other preventive health care services under the new health care reform law.