Birth Control

As to the problem of birth control. Neither Bahá’u’lláh nor ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has revealed anything direct or explicit regarding this question. But the Bahá’í Teachings, when carefully studied imply that such current conceptions like birth control, if not necessarily wrong and immoral in principle, have nevertheless to be discarded as constituting a real danger to the very foundation of our social life. For Bahá’u’lláh explicitly reveals in His Book of Laws that the very purpose of marriage is the procreation of children who, when grown up, will be able to know God and to recognize and observe His Commandments and Laws as revealed through His Messengers. Marriage is thus, according to the Bahá’í Teachings, primarily a social and moral act. It has purpose which transcends the immediate personal needs and interests of the parties. Birth control, except in certain exceptional cases, is therefore not permissible.

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 345

With regard to your question whether it would be permissible for a believer to limit the number of his children by the use of contraceptive methods, in order to prevent the transmission through inheritance of undesirable family traits and tendencies; this, the Guardian wishes me to inform you, is a question to which there is no specific reference in the Teachings, and should therefore be explained and decided upon by the International House of Justice.

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 347

You enquired whether we have anything in the Teachings concerning birth control and the sex element in marriage. Shoghi Effendi says that there is scarcely anything on that subject in the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and the Master except a constant emphasis on mutual fidelity. Both Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb emphasized the need of children in marriage. The latter, for example, states that to beget children is the highest physical fruit of man’s existence. But neither say whether the number of children should be limited or not. Or if it is to be limited, what the proper method to be used.

Shoghi Effendi, Throne of the Inner Temple. P. 6

And finally we have the following statement written on behalf of the Guardian which we hope will shed more light on the subject: “Regarding your question of whether you should have more children or not, the Guardian feels that this is a matter for you and your husband to decide. However, we must always bear in mind that God will protect His own and that the Bahá’í children are the future servants of mankind who will help to carry the world forward into the glorious New Order which Bahá’u’lláh has prepared for it in this day of days. We should not face the future with fear, but with glad and assured hearts.

Universal House of Justice, Throne of the Inner Temple, p. 8

As to birth control methods, the House of Justice does not wish to comment on the effectiveness or possible hazards of present-day contraceptive agents, and leaves it to individuals to decide what course of action they will take in light of the teachings and the best medical advice available.

Universal House of Justice, Birth Control and Related Subjects, p. 3

As to the use of intrauterine devices, we understand that there is a difference of professional opinion as to how they work, i.e. whether they prevent conception or whether they prevent the fertilized ovum from attaching to the wall of the uterus. However, the Guardian has stated that the individual life begins at conception. In using such devices, therefore, Bahá’ís will have to be guided by the best professional advice available and their own consciences. There is nothing in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, however, concerning the placing of foreign materials in the body for preventing birth.

Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 264