Posted by: Jayme | December 4, 2008

IVF – not just controversial for Catholics?

I was a little surprised to read the post Homeless Babies on the World Magazine blog.  It centered around the difficulties over what to do with fertilized embryos that couples choose not to implant, a problem inherent with artificial insemination techniques, such as IVF and IUI.

It’s not that I was surprised to find wrestling over this issue in a Christian publication.  This SHOULD be dealt with in Christian publications.  I just did not expect to read it in a Protestant one.

Catholic publications, similar to World Magazine in that they comment on news in the Christian and secular worlds, have been writing over this and similar troubles with creating life outside of the womb for several years.  For example Lay Witness Magazine published Reproductive Technology in 2001, and This Rock Magazine published Can Frozen Embryos Be Saved in 2002.

I have seen such concerns from the Protestant community on the blog of pro-life activist Jill Stanek.  Even here though, Stanek points to Catholic teaching.

The official stance of the Roman Catholic Church is made clear in paragraph 2377 of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church, calling artificial insemination “morally unacceptable” and going on to say…

They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that “entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person…”

Even if you disagree with the perspective of the Catholic Church, the leftover frozen children created during the IVF/IUI process are not a matter of ideology, they are a reality.  The research organization RAND Health found in a 2003 study that over 400,000 human embryos were frozen in 430 of the nation’s laboratories.  The fate, and continued thoughtless production, of these smallest members of the human race should be the concern will all parts of the pro-life community, regardless of religious denomination.


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