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With respect to contraception, I would hesitate to try to encompass all the various types or forms of it available today. However, the basic distinction that would occur to me from an ethical standpoint would be between those that prevent the fertilization of an ovum by a sperm, versus those designed to act upon an ovum that has already been fertilized (which I would regard as the taking of a life). In my view, the proper time for a man and a woman to take appropriate contraceptive precautions is prior to intercourse, even if it involves going to the point of temporary abstention. (Of course, Christianity also sanctions such activity only within the framework of monogamous marriage.) (However, I do not share Catholicism's view that each act of intercourse must leave open the possibility of conception, which prevents the use of any contraceptive measures other than the so-called "rhythm" method involving the timing of intercourse.)
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