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Document Details :
Title: Catholics and Contraception since 1968
Subtitle: Has Anything Really Changed?
Author(s): KALBIAN, Aline H.
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 36 Issue: 1 Date: 2012
In this paper, I argue that Catholic discourse about contraception has changed in significant ways since the issuance of Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which confirmed the Catholic prohibition against the use of artificial contraceptives. I attribute this changed discourse to the emergence of two new issues that have affected the scope of the conversation – the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the development of Plan B, the emergency contraception pill. The magisterium’s position against the use of condoms to prevent HIV contamination and their allowance for the use of emergency contraception for rape victims poses an interesting contrast for illuminating the Church’s position on contraception. I also claim that the internal Catholic conversations about this issue have changed with defenders of the ban embracing a more positive evaluation of conjugal sexuality and opponents of the ban relying more on the frameworks of social justice and the common good.