Q124. What is the Sikh attitude to Family-planning?
In olden times, the problem of family-planning did not exist. Even today in areas where population is scanty and resources adequate, family-planning is not necessary. This does not mean that excessive indulgence in sex becomes desirable. The Gurus told their followers to exercise self-control and to regulate sex sensibly. The Gurus recommended the middle way between self-indulgence and abstinence. Excessive sex was taboo as it led to sorrow and sickness.
Sikhism accepts the common-sense approach to family-planning. It is for the couple to decide whether they want family-planning or not, and in case the answer is in the affirmative, the mode or technique thereof. Family-planning may be necessary for health of the partners or the nursing or up-bringing of existing children. However, natural methods of contraception are preferred to artificial methods and devices. Even so, family-planning should not be under-taken without competent medical advice and supervision. There are no injunctions in Sikhism against the use of contraceptives. Abortion is a taboo, as it is an interference in the creative work of God. If the conception has taken place, it would be a sin to destroy life and hence deliberate miscarriage or abortion is forbidden. Similarly, experimenting with embryos and genes is discouraged. Contraception for the purpose of avoiding the results of illicit sex is also forbidden.