“Regardless of religious affiliation, the majority of women use highly effective contraception methods, so any efforts to restrict access to these methods is going to impact these populations,” said Rachel K. Jones, the lead author, CNN reports.
The report was based on a U.S. government survey that represented the nation. The data came from 2006-2008 interviews of over 7,000 women aged 15-44.
It found that 69% of sexually active women from any denomination were using highly effective birth control methods including sterilization, the pill or other hormonal method, or an intrauterine device (IUD). In addition, almost all have reported contraceptive use at some point, a figure that is similar among Catholic women.
Another key finding was that 68% of Catholics use one of the highly effective methods, but only 2% rely on natural family planning. That number is comparable to 73% of Mainline Protestants and 74% of Evangelicals.
“A lot of times, religion is either not associated with contraception at all, or, in the case of the Catholic church, being against contraception.” Jones added. “In the real world, women who have religious beliefs and who attend church also use contraception.”
Contraceptive use is the norm among religious women (Guttmacher Institute)
Countering Conventional Wisdom: New Evidence on Religion and Contraceptive Use (Guttmacher Institute)