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Laestadian women use contraception in secret

Some young Laestadians in Finland secretly use contraception, reports the Sunday supplement of newspapers published by the Väli-Suomen media group.

Laestadian women who use birth control keep it secret from their families because Conservative Laestadian teaching holds that contraception is a sin. Many Laestadians begin controlling their family size when they start to suffer from exhaustion or depression.

Educated women were especially likely to use contraception, as large families and careers are difficult to combine.

The Finnish League for Human Rights regards a ban on birth control as a violation of human rights, and the Finnish Medical Association advises that women themselves should decide whether or not to use contraception.

Laestadian teaching regards contraception as a doctrinal issue, however. Tuomas Hänninen, General Secretary of the Central Committee of Conservative Laestadian Congregations, says that children are a gift from God that should always be accepted.

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