July 20, 2012 — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Sunday will launch Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, the Washington Post's "On Faith" reports.
Natural family planning -- by which a couple avoids pregnancy by tracking a woman's fertility -- is the only "acceptable" form of birth control according to the church, even though many sexuality educators consider the method unreliable, "On Faith" reports. The Catholic Church's stance against what it considers "artificial" birth control was codified in Pope John Paul VI's 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae.
The bishops are leading the effort to overturn the federal requirement that employers provide contraceptive coverage to their employees. The bishops hope the campaign will shed light on the church's teachings against birth control.
Many bishops acknowledge that their efforts are not succeeding, according to the Post. A 2011 survey found that just 2% of Catholic women in the U.S. at risk of unintended pregnancy use natural family planning, and a majority of U.S. Catholics reject the church's birth control ban (Markoe, "On Faith," Washington Post, 7/19).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership