I will try to answer the question entirely from a Catholic perspective, as that seems to be what the question demands.
The classic determination of a moral act has three parts (CCC 1749-1761):
Is the act intrinsically immoral --- which is to say, wrong in every circumstance --- by its very nature?
Is the intention good, or bad?
Would the circumstances ...
Yes, there is a difference.
On the matter of abortion, the Catechism and Canon Law is explicit. It is a grave offence with instant excommunication. The penalty applies to everyone involved, including the mother if she consents and any medical personnel.
Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense.
The Church attaches the canonical ...
No, there are not—at least not for contraceptive purposes.
The Catholic Church has this to say about (artificial) contraception:
Similarly excluded [from consideration as a moral act] is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.
Neither is ...
The Roman Catholic Church has always supported Fertility Awareness methods of family planning - previously the Calendar method as a form of birth control. The church is not opposed to family planning - only to methods they would consider equal to killing children who have already been conceived or otherwise frustrates the unitave marital act. Being open to ...
St. Alphonsus of Liguori, Theologia Moralis lib. 6, 942, p. 690:
A husband or wife rendering himself or herself impotent, even by licit means (e.g., fasts, etc.), sins gravely. If one cannot otherwise perform the [marriage] debt, it is licit to not observe the fasts of the Church.Peccat graviter vir vel mulier, si se impotentem reddat, etiam mediis alias ...
I would like to add to the ltcomdata's excellent exposition of classic Catholic ethical theory with a couple of considerations.
The Church condemns contraception—that is, impeding the fecundity of an otherwise fertile sexual act—because it is harmful in various ways to the persons (particularly the married couples) who take part in it. In particular, ...
The two requirements of sexual intercourse within marriage are:
Procreation (to make babies)
Unity (union with spouse)
On the first, the Church teaches that the act must be "ordered to" procreate. Meaning that there ought to be no artificial impediment to the act of procreating. They also say that the act should be "open to life"
There are two ways of preventing miscarriages (spontaneous abortions):
Not conceiving at all
by abstaining from sexual intercourse (allowed)
by contracepting (forbidden)
Treating the underlying medical cause of recurrent miscarriage (allowed)
If #1 is intended, yet the husband and wife still engage in the marriage act, this is contraception, and the ...
According to the Orthodox Church In America contraception is only permitted when danger or hardship would come to the family as a result of birth of a child as seen here on their website
The voluntary control of birth in marriage is only permissible, according to the essence of a spiritual life, when the birth of a child will bring danger and hardship. ...
Genesis 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful and multiply
Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply
Genesis 8:17 Be fruitful and multiply on the earth
Genesis 9:1 Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth
Genesis 9:7 Be ye fruitful and multiply
Genesis 28:3 God Almighty bless thee and make thee ...
This sounds like a great question to ask on Catholic Culture but since that's not up, I'll give it a shot here.
If therefore there are well-grounded reasons for spacing births, arising from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances, the Church teaches that married people may then take advantage of the natural ...
You seem to be laboring with a misconception. contraception and abortion are not the same thing;
Contraception loosely defined is the prevention of a pregnancy, while Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. And while there is some merit to your saying that they both thwart God's plans, you must balance that with the fact that an omniscient God knew that ...
Although not a theologian, Mother Teresa of Calcutta in her speech to the National Prayer Breakfast, Washington, DC, February 3, 1994 (video @19:30) makes the connection:
I never give a child to a couple who has done something not to have a child.* Jesus said: "Anyone who receives a child in my name, receives me." [Mt. 18:5]
*e.g., by ...
The best Scriptural evidence against contraception is Genesis 38
8 Juda, therefore, said to Onan his son: Go in to thy brother's wife and marry her, that thou mayst raise seed to thy brother.
9 He knowing that the children should not be his, when he went in to his brother's wife, he spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be born in his ...
The Roman Catholic Church blames Protestants, specifically the Church of England-sponsored Lambeth Conference of 1930, with opening the door to artificial contraception.
Yet is was the Roman Church that in 1853 first "reluctantly" or "with reservations," first among mainstream Christendom approved of any contraceptive practice, the rhythm method (periodic ...
Natural Family Planning (NFP) does not interfere with the marital act. Interfering with it is what caused God to punish Onan in Genesis 38:9-10.
NFP, also known as periodic abstinence, is supported by St. Paul when he writes (1 Corinthians 7:3-5):
3 Let the husband render the [marriage] debt to his wife, and the wife also in
like manner to the husband.
Doesn't this set NFP to the same level as contraception?
To the question "Whether it is a mortal sin for a man to have knowledge of his wife, with the intention not of a marriage good* but merely of pleasure?," St. Thomas Aquinas answered:
…if pleasure be sought in such a way as to exclude the honesty of marriage, so that, to wit, it is not as a wife but ...
It would probably a just reason to use NFP but contraception would not be permitted
2363 The spouses' union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple's spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage ...
The Purpose of the medication cannot be to prevent life, but to heal or prevent further illness. An example might be Chemotherapy, that weakens the body or some kind of hormone treatment (of which I don't know I'm not a doctor) that would effect the normal reproductive cycle.
Lawful Therapeutic Means
The Church does not consider at all illicit the use of ...
Arthur Vermeersch, S.J., might have been that encyclical's ghostwriter. He describes the "eugenic indication" in his catechism on that encyclical, What is Marriage? p. 47:
What are some of the opinions that are current on the subject of feticide and abortion?[…] A eugenic reason [or "determining reason" to "allow feticide"] is ...
Natural contraception leaves open the chance that life may begin due to some unforeseen occurrence like out of monthly cycle an egg was released that could be at the right place at the right time. Artificial contraception involves the woman or man taking direct action to prevent the occurrence of pregnancy at which point sexual union becomes a selfish act.
With these kinds of questions (why is this OK and this not?) the question is really a matter of the heart. Why are you using contraception or why are you "using" abortion? God judges our hearts.
1 Samuel 16:17b ESV ...For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
One can come up with several non-...
Some support for the view can be found in an extrapolation of Psalm 127.
Psalm 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit
of the womb is his reward.
If children are from the Lord, then birth control is like telling him, "No thanks, we have our own plans". Should this attitude be present with those who seek to follow the Lord?