Ethical Problems in the Use of Hormonal Contraception An Investigation Based on Natural Law Theory and Virtue Ethics


The development of hormonal contraception introduced a new era in medical practice, marked by the suppression of female fertility by interventions in the hormonal system. The interventions are very grave, as sex hormones are of existential importance both to preserve human life and to preserve the human species. This article conducts an ethical evaluation of the use of hormonal contraception through two ethical theories: natural law theory and virtue ethics. Based on philosophical reflection, the author examines what effects hormonal contraception has on primary goods and whether its use is congruent with the cardinal virtues.