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Quality of Life

Parents should plan children according to their ability of fully supporting them. It is not the number of children that counts but the quality of life they will enjoy.

1. Children are a gift from God. They bring much joy and satisfaction to parents. Each child is born with a unique personality that carries the imprint of the Creator.

“God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them.
Male and female he created them.” Genesis 1,27.

Each child is a precious human being full of potential entrusted by God to parents. Therefore having children imposes a heavy responsibility on parents. Giving birth is not enough. Parents must feed their children well, surround them with love and care, protect them from disease and danger, guide them to healthy psychological maturity, offer them the standard of education that will allow their children to survive and even flourish in our complex modern society.

So when parents decide to have a child, they must in conscience first ask themselves: “Do we have the means to provide this future child with the quality of life that he or she deserves?”

This is what God, the giver of life, expects. When Jesus in the Gospel speaks about parents, he always expects them to give their children the best.
“What parent among you would give his son a stone when he asks for a piece of bread? Or give him a snake instead of a fish? Or hand him a scorpion if he aks for an egg?” Luke 11,11-12
“And when the father saw his run-away son from afar, he was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him.” Luke 15,20-12

2.Because parents have a duty to provide their children with a good quality of life, they must plan their family carefully.

In the past, families naturally remained small. Child mortality of 60-70% and the mortality of mothers at childbirth saw to that. Modern health care has changed the situation. Mothers and children survive, leading to huge families — with the children suffering malnutrition, lack of education, no prospect of a good life. In our own day and age, planning a family with a managable number of children is a different story. It will involve using medical methods of birth control that regulate nature.

As the theologian John Macquarrie explains in the following quote, modern health care interfered with nature by reducing child mortality. No one objected to this interference with nature. So why should anyone object to modern methods of birth control that interfere with nature to regulate the number of children?

“On the one hand, human beings have, by better health arrangements, extended their life-span and their chances of survival far beyond what was once “natural,” that is to say, simply given. No one condemns this. On the other hand, then, surely it is equally in order to take over from nature control of procreation? Surely we can achieve this in a responsible way by suitable techniques that balance between new life and death which was once regulated by the merely “given” factors in both human beings and their environment? For some such regulation is required if we are to have regard to the quality of existence and not just to the biological (and probably miserable) proliferation of life.”

Read original text here.(On natural-law-and-conscience.org)

John Wijngaards