Do 98 percent of Catholic women use contraception?

March 6, 2012

SpiritBlog

Nope.

Let’s set aside the fact that the statistic has absolutely no relevance to the contraception mandate debate. It’s an unsettling number and most hearing it will recognize that something is wrong. I can’t think of the last time that 98% of anyone did anything.

The original White House statement was this:

According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, most women, including 98 percent of Catholic women, have used contraception – Cecilia Munoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council

Which naturally degraded to statements like this:

98 percent of Catholic women, I am told by all of you (reporters), use birth control to determine the size and timing of their families. So again its a women’s health issue. – House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi

Just a quick glance at the people walking into Mass will tell you that can’t be true.

After looking at the study used to come up with this statement (brought to us by the Planned Parenthood-spawned Guttmacher Institute) you can say the following:

Of women who consider themselves Catholic, who are sexually active (in the past three months),  fall into the 15 – 44 age group, and are not pregnant, not postpartum, not trying to achieve pregnancy or not having sex, 98% have at least one time in their lives used contraception.

Washington Post Blogs:

The claim that 98 percent of Catholic women use contraception: a media foul

Have 98 percent of Catholic women used contraceptives? Not quite.

LifeSiteNews:

White House claim that 98% of Catholic women use contraception a ‘damned lie’: Lutheran author

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About Michael Pytleski

Multimedia Communications Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, father of two boys, fitness obsessed, reads apologetics, philosophy and theology and could use a little more sleep.

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  • Sharon

    When people come to me with this statistic – the next point they want to make is that the Catholic Church should change their stance on Contraception. Wait a minute… Even if 98% of Catholic women did use contraception – 100% of us have gossiped or lied – maybe 30% have had sex outside of marriage another 30% my have had an abortion. My point being that the church doesn’t change what it considers a sin just because of the “popularity” of the sin. What the Church does do however is offer repentance, forgiveness and love.

    • Michael Pytleski

      Excellent point Sharon! That logic gets us to a place where if 50% plus 1 of Catholics have ever committed a particular sin, the sin is no longer a sin. Imagine if we applied that to law: The majority of motorists have exceeded the speed limit at one time or another so we should abolish the speed limits.

  • Kathyschneeman

    Great article, Michael. I’m tired of that statistic being thrown in our faces!

    • Michael Pytleski

      Thanks Kathy! I keep hearing it over and over again unchallenged.