Tuesday, April 22, 2008

In-Vitro Fertilization and Catholics

There is a new way of doing in-vitro fertilization that is cheaper and easier. But, of course, it doesn't address the moral issues involved in all in-vitro fertilization techniques, which take the creation of life to an act outside the marital act (i.e., sexual relations of husband and wife). In fact, while one issue is addressed by the pro-life site I linked to above (killing "extra" embryos), they don't address the whole problem with IVF. With 10% of couples having being infertile & 5% of couples using in-vitro fertilization, this is a huge issue that we need to address.

Even if in-vitro fertilization didn't kill the fertilized embryos, it would still be wrong to do. Why? Because life is not a commodity. Sex is not optional to the creation of life. And, babies aren't a good to be bought or a thing we have a "right" to.

The question we need to address has to do with the purpose of sex. Sex is not just for pleasure and God didn't make us sexual beings merely so we could feel good having sex. Sex has a two-fold purpose of uniting the spouses and creating life. God intended both. One of the positive consequences of sex is pleasure, but that isn't an intrinsic part of the meaning or purpose to it.

The Catechism directly addresses the issue:

2376 Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child's right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses' "right to become a father and a mother only through each other."

2377 Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable. 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. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children." "Under the moral aspect procreation is deprived of its proper perfection when it is not willed as the fruit of the conjugal act, that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses' union . . . . Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person."

IVF is a violation of a human rights. Those rights include the right to life, which the "extra" embryos are deprived of and the right to be created and raised within the marriage of the parents. Now, are they less of a "person" in any way because of the means of their creation? No. A child is always a child. But, the end doesn't justify the means. Sex isn’t supposed to be about just me. It is supposed to be about “other”. When it becomes something selfish, it becomes sinful. IVF is never about the other.

On top of it all, children conceived via IVF are at a much greater risk of having health problems.

Add it all up and the Church's judgment on this issue makes perfect sense. What happens is that many couples who carry the cross of infertility are torn apart because of it. IVF seems to be a way out of the pain. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. A friend of mine wrote this amazing article on their experience with infertility and IVF. I hope it can shed a light on the process for all to see.


I have been a Floridian for 38 years and when you move here my retirement house will be paid for ha ha said...

My husband and I are childless due to the fACT THAT THE CHURCH TEACHES THAT IVF IS WRONG.

It was no skin off my back. We have a great life and I did not have to undergo painful labor.

It was a blessing in disguise. We are in our 40s.

I have been a Floridian for 38 years and when you move here my retirement house will be paid for ha ha said...

The church's teaching on IVF is the reason why my husband and I of 10 years -- we are in our 40s -- have NO KIDS.

It was no skin off my back. I did not have to undergo labor. Obedience doesn't always have to be painful.

DWC said...

Blessings!! He is Risen!!

I blog to you on behalf of Fr. Frank Pavone and Priests for Life. Fr. Pavone recently posted two videos on You Tube in which he describes and demonstrates the two most common abortion techniques, using the actual instruments of abortion and the words found in medical textbooks and court testimony.

You can view these videos at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us_y9GP_-DA (Dismemberment abortion) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBOAPleF1t0 (Suction abortion).

These videos are part of a new project called, "Is This What You Mean?" It aims to educate the public about the nature of abortion and to challenge public officials and candidates who support the legality of abortion to admit what it is. A full description of the project is at www.priestsforlife.org/action/abortion-procedure-revealed.htm .

We are asking blog moderators to post a link or set-up an area on their blog for easy access to view our two You Tube videos.

As Fr. Pavone has quoted in endless homilies and talks about public servants who are pro-choice, there is a difference between serving the public and killing the public. Abortion has lost its meaning and is just a word to some politicians. In fact, as long as it has been since Jan.22 1973, the public is still not aware of what an abortion is and what it looks like. Again, we urge you to view Fr. Pavone’s demonstrations and forward this to anybody unaware such as parents, pastors, teachers, government officials etc….

In Christ,


I have been a Floridian for 38 years and when you move here my retirement house will be paid for ha ha said...

This is the reason why we have no children.

No skin off my back. Hubby and I go to Disney here in Florida where we live on the cheap because we live. We even get the Florida discount. It is more fun that way. We celebrate 10 years next month. We couldn't decide where to go visit because we have been everywhere.

Adoption is so so expensive.