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A modern dictionary of 5,679 Catholic terms (including abbreviations), both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases. All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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Term

NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING

Definition

The controlling of human conception by restricting the marital act to the infertile periods of the wife. This practice is based on the theory that the period of a woman's ovulation can be determined with considerable accuracy. A variety of methods, or their combination, is used to determine the period of ovulation. From the moral standpoint, natural family planning is permissible. As stated by Pope Paul VI: "If there are serious motives to space out births, which derive from physical or psychological conditions of husband or wife, or from external conditions, it is licit to take account of the natural rhythms inherent in the generative functions" (Humanae Vitae, II, 16).

See Also: NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING (practice)