New Contraception for Men?
CNA reports on a new contraceptive drug for men. The drug consists of monthly injections and reportedly has few side effects. It is a combination of testosterone in tea seed oil.
In a Wednesday phone interview, CNA spoke about the reported development with Fr. Alfred Cioffi, a National Catholic Bioethics Center staff ethicist and priest of the Archdiocese of Miami who possesses a doctorate in moral theology and a doctorate in genetics.
He said if the reported drug is going to be used as a contraceptive, then its use would violate Catholic teaching because “contraception that interferes with conception is intrinsically evil.”
“It goes against the procreative aspect of the marital act,” he explained, saying that Catholic teaching holds that the marital act has unitive and procreative dimensions that must be respected.
“Artificial contraception, whether by the husband or the wife, directly interferes with the procreative dimension of the marital act, and that is why the Church would oppose it,” he said.
Drugs which cause infertility may only be used if infertility is a side effect of the treatment, as in some cancer drugs, and not as an intentional effect.
Voicing his personal opinion about the social effects of the new male contraceptive, he said:
“Typically when we’re dealing with pregnancy, the burden is always on the woman because the man is not going to get pregnant. So unless a woman demands he is going to use a contraceptive, why would he use this medication?”
“A man would have to be very conscious of not fathering a child to take the medication and go through the expense,” he speculated.
Fr. Cioffi offered Natural Family Planning (NFP) as “the healthy, ethical, and moral alternative to artificial contraceptives.”