Questions specifically on the Jehovah's Witnesses faith on contraception:

  1. Do Jehovah's Witnesses allow contraception?
  2. What forms do they allow?
  3. What are their arguments for allowing (or not allowing) contraception?

On question #2 I am mostly curious on what the Bible describes Onan as doing in Genesis 38:8,9. Is that allowed or not and why?

Genesis 38:8,9:

Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.” 9 But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother.


1 Answer 1


Jehovah's Witnesses allow birth control. Their only stipulation is that it be "non-abortive," presumably meaning not a form that involves destroying an embryo. From their web site:

Married couples, therefore, are free to decide for themselves whether they will raise a family or not. They may also decide how many children they will have and when they will have them. If a husband and wife choose to use a nonabortive form of contraception to avoid pregnancy, that is their personal decision and responsibility. No one should judge them.—Romans 14:4, 10-13.

Onan apparently practiced coitus interruptus. This in itself is not specified as a sin in the OT, but the reason he did so was in order to avoid performing his duty to keep his brother's name alive through levirate marriage.


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