IVF Next to Be Banned?

News: Video Reports
by Paul Murano  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  July 2, 2022   

Dobbs' logic and procreative technologies

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Post-Roe pro-life legislation in various states rightly refers to embryos as human beings, whose lives are inviolable. In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Paul Murano examines how pro-life logic will affect the legality of in vitro fertilization.

Due to the Dobbs ruling, some states are beginning to officially recognize human life begins at fertilization. This means a death knell for abortion in states protecting the innocent.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, candidate for U.S. Senate, R-Pa.: "You would never harm that child or its heart. You'd never take its life. Why would you nine months earlier? Of course not. Life starts at conception."

But what does this mean for in vitro fertilization and other procreative technologies?

Two percent of all American babies born in 2020 were conceived through IVF. This means being created in a petri dish by a clinician manipulating sperm and egg cells.

Fr. Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D., education director, National Catholic Bioethics Center: "You're bringing the child into the world the wrong way."

Critics of Catholic teaching on procreative technologies point to the holy desire committed married couples have to create life, not destroy it. But with in vitro and other manipulative procedures, that's not exactly what happens.

Dr. Kevin Donovan, professor of pediatrics, Georgetown University: "One of the reasons the Church condemns IVF is because they produce more embryos than are necessary."

During the IVF process, 10–20 eggs are retrieved from a woman, and around a dozen become fertilized. Of these new human beings, the goal is for one to successfully implant in the woman. The rest of the tiny children are either discarded or frozen — intentionally killed or held in suspended animation. Some experts estimate up to 1.5 million human embryos are languishing cryogenically in fertility clinics across the country.

Normally, with abortion, only one innocent child is killed. With in vitro fertilization, many are.

Adam Wolf, fertility attorney, Peiffer Wolf: "There are millions of embryos held in fertility clinics around the country."

The Church teaches children should be the fruit of their parents' becoming one flesh, not a manufactured result of a third party in a glass dish. The moral principle underlying procreative technology is that while the marital act may be assisted to its natural end, it can never be replaced.

Fr. Tad: "We never have a right to a child. A child is a gift."

Further, the unitive and procreative significance inherent to the marriage act can never be intentionally ruptured — that is, the link established by God between sexual union and procreation. This inseparability principle protects the dignity of women and children and upholds love.

Nonetheless, through empirical science and reason alone, various states are recognizing the humanity of the human embryo from the point of fertilization. And this is setting the stage for more legal challenges.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.: "All human life is worthy of protection, irrespective of how that human life was created."

When logic catches up to law, it'll be impossible for states to continue ignoring the crimes against humanity most procreative technologies perpetrate. 

The frozen-embryo problem has generated an ethical debate on "embryo adoption" — the transferring of a thawed embryo into the womb of an unrelated woman, who will gestate and raise the child. There are good theologians on both sides of this question. No definitive word has come down yet from the Vatican.

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