Janet E.

Janet E. Smith is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Dallas, Texas. She has edited Why Humane Vitae Was Right: A Reader and authored Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later, and numerous articles on abortion, contraception, virtue, and Plato. This article was edited and reprinted with permission.

“In teaching that contraception is intrinsically immoral, the Church is not imposing a disciplinary law on Catholics; she is preaching only what nature and the gospel preach. By now we should have learned — the hard way — that to defy and overindulge our sexual nature, to go against the laws of nature and God, is to inflict terrible damage on ourselves as individuals and our society as a whole.”