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Overcoming Religious Objections to Family Planning

by Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research
Overcoming Religious Objections to Family Planning


Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to help overcome religion-based prejudices against using modern contraceptives for family planning. About 25% of health care facilities worldwide are Catholic; indeed in some places they are the only provider of health care accessible to the locals. By statute, they are forbidden from offering modern contraceptives. The MOOC targets religious leaders, managers, front-line workers (i.e. medical staff, teachers, social workers), and educated believers.

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Catholic teaching bans modern contraceptives for family planning. This impacts millions: about 25% of health care facilities worldwide are Catholic, and in places they are the only health care provider accessible to the poor, whether Catholic or not. The free MOOC (EN with ES subs) targets Catholic officials (i.e. medical staff, teachers, social workers, priests, etc.), and educated Catholics. It will be distributed through local partners in the Philippines, South Africa, and Argentina.


The MOOC will provide an authoritative educational resource to help Catholics discern the importance of using contraceptives for family planning. Its content will be based on the "Catholic Scholars' Declaration on the Ethics of Using Contraceptives," endorsed by 160+ Catholic academics at a side-event at the 2016 UN General Assembly. Its pedigree, both academic and religious, will increase the probabilities of it changing contraceptive behavior when the latter is influenced by religious beliefs

Long-Term Impact

There is evidence that overcoming religion-based prejudices against modern methods of family planning can have a significant and long-term impact on lowering unintended pregnancies, abortions, maternal and infant mortality and morbidity, HIV, as well as increasing the opportunities of both mothers and children to pursue education and enter the workforce. Education - via an accessible MOOC targeted at Catholic teachers, medical staff, social workers, etc. - is a key step towards that goal.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a XLSX file (projdoc.xlsx).


Statement on the Ethics of Using Contraceptives

Organization Information

Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research

Location: Rickmansworth - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Luca Badini
Rickmansworth, United Kingdom

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This project is no longer accepting donations.

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