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(Unofficial results) 1-4 March 2001
By Mercedes Arzú Wilson


Everyone would agree that divorce is the greatest tragedy that can befall a family. Wouldn’t it be providential if the practice of natural family planning proves to be the authentic means to a successful marriage? Family of the Americas Foundation has just received the completed data collection of a study correlating marital happiness with the practice of Natural Family Planning (NFP). Since the early seventies, [Family of the Americas Foundation] has been conducting programs for couples that provide knowledge on the fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s cycle…

For years we have witnessed the benefits our programs have provided to families, not only in Christian countries, but also Moslem and even communist nations. Even though numerous scientific evaluations and statistical studies have confirmed its effectiveness, even superior to artificial birth control, we have never been able to validate the incredible benefits to the family that our teachers have been observing for many years.

Last year a scientific survey was conducted under the direction of a reputable independent statistician, Dr. Robert Lerner. He is a Sociologist from the University of Chicago with a degree in Economics. The protocol stipulated that he would not only evaluate the findings, but also compare them to two of the largest U.S. government funded surveys that asked similar questions of the respondents.

Summary Of Findings

The results presented from the three surveys analyzed revealed that compared to other women in general and to Catholic women of similar age, NFP users:

  • have a dramatically low (0.2%) divorce rate;
  • experience happier marriages;
  • are happier and more satisfied in their everyday lives;
  • have considerably more marital relations;
  • share a deeper intimacy with spouse than those who contracept;
  • realize a deeper level of communication with spouse;
  • have relatively large families with many children;
  • are appreciably more religious and attend church more often;
  • incorporate prayer more in their daily lives;
  • rely strongly on the teachings of the Church, the Bible and Almighty God;
  • are personally happier;
  • have strong traditional, social, and moral views;
  • preserve the family unit more responsibly than the other groups;.
  • are unlikely to have ever had an abortion;
  • are unlikely to have ever cohabitated;
  • are unlikely to work full time;
  • are unlikely to be supportive of and to engage in sex outside of marriage;

The Natural Family Planning group studied consists of the typical middle class families of the United States of America, primarily Catholic, with small minority of Protestant and Evangelical. From this first study, however, (others need to be conducted to confirm our findings), we can ascertain that Natural Family Planning may become the major vindicator…of respecting the natural laws. It promises to be the best safeguard for the family against divorce. Divorce… fractures the family and creating conflict among its members…the consequences of violating the natural laws through the use of artificial birth control, sterilization and abortion…usually lead to promiscuity, cohabitation and ultimately divorce.

The report confirms the practice of a natural method of conception regulation (Natural Family Planning).

This study presents results from a survey of 505 couples that have been practicing Natural Family Planning, primarily the Ovulation Method, through the teachers of Family of the Americas Foundation. They are based on the first-ever survey of its kind. It examined the types of persons and the impact learning Natural Family Planning has made in their family life, as well as sexual and moral attitudes.


The results of the survey come from three distinct sources:

  1. A survey undertaken by Family of the Americas Foundation of women who had taken instruction on NFP at least three to over ten years ago which is called the NFP survey.
  2. The National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), which is carried out by the U.S. Government’s National Center for Health Statistics.
  3. The General Social Survey (GSS), conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), a well known and highly regarded national survey research organization, whose data collection efforts in this instance is funded by the U.S. Government’s National Science Foundation Social Science Data Program.

The questionnaire itself was designed to match as closely as possible the questions asked in the surveys discussed above. A total of 683 questionnaires were sent out. A total of 505 usable questionnaires were returned and entered into the database. This is a 74 % response rate, which is unusually high for a mail survey.


Despite the length of time since they took their NFP classes, the 505 respondents to the NFP survey, are still likely to be practicing Natural Family Planning and have only relatively rarely drifted into using other forms of artificial birth control.

…the most important foundation of society to keep safe and healthy, physically, morally and spiritually, is the family. If the family is suffering physical, mental and spiritual degradation, society is placed in grave peril, as has repeatedly been the case in past civilizations… [The Culture Of Life: Presuppositions And Dimensions, General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life, March 1 – 4, 2001, (Unofficial results), By Mercedes Arzú Wilson]