Skip to comments.Making babies: In vitro fertilizationís Pandoraís Box
Posted on 03/11/2013 9:47:52 AM PDT by Welchie25
Rita Buettner was in her late 20s and trying to get pregnant when her gynecologist who knew she was a devout Catholic told her to try in vitro fertilization, or IVF. Buettner wouldnt consider it, and found a new doctor. She and her husband John adopted instead.
Not all Catholics are making the same decision.
Despite the churchs teaching against assisted reproductive technology, Catholics are among those turning to IVF as an answer to infertility. Online IVF discussions are peppered with self-identifying Catholics sharing their stories, some oblivious to the churchs teaching, others conflicted, still others unconcerned.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the practice has doubled in the United States in the past decade, diminishing stigmas and obscuring the moral quandary IVF creates.
More than 1 percent of U.S.-born babies are the result of assisted reproductive technology, or ART, defined by the Centers for Disease Control as fertility treatments where both eggs and sperm are handled outside of the body. The CDC estimates that 12 percent of women of childbearing age in the United States have used an infertility service ranging from counseling to ART. Fertility services comprise a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S.
Maryland is home to the nations largest fertility clinic, Rockville-based Shady Grove Fertility Center. With satellite clinics throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia, Shady Grove boasts more than 10,000 patients and 27,000 babies born from their treatments, which include IVF.
Whats the big deal?
At first glance, assisted reproductive technology may appear to offer something the pro-family Catholic Church would applaud: more babies. However, the church rooted in its teachings on marriage, sex and human dignity clearly teaches against assisted reproductive technology and similar procedures such as artificial insemination...
(Excerpt) Read more at catholicreview.org ...
Why would Catholics care what the church says asbout IVF if they don’t care what the church says about birth control?
I always enjoyed making babies. At least the mixing of baby batter.
What is the reasoning behind the Church and it’s views on this and birth control?
From the article: They disassociate the sexual act from the procreative act, it continues, going on to quote Donum Vitae, a 1987 document from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to each other, 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. There is more beyond that, also in the article.
Would that couples who can not have children count their unfulfilled desire to reproduce as a sacrifice to God.
Those who don’t care about the Church’s teaching on either matter are likely the same group of people ... and they probably also don’t connect their infertility issues with their contraceptive use or other lifestyle baggage.
Modern society: where a person will do absolutely anything, including kill, to avoid having a baby, right up to the moment when she will do absolutely anything, including kill, in order to have a baby ... and feel no internal conflict at all. What she wants, when she wants it, is the sole relevant point.
Still, there's a fairly large number of Catholic couples (numbering in the millions) who DO take it very seriously; and an even larger number (10's of millions of couples) who WOULD take it seriously, if they had ever been encouraged to reflect on what the gift of sexuality actually means, in Divine and Natural Law.
It applies to people who aren't Catholics too, of course, since Natural Law by definition is something knowable to human reason.
In oher words, anyone willing to think profoundly about human nature and human dignity, could see that there are serious reasons to consider these practices corrosive of human dignity and morally objectionable.
Thanks for that question, stuartcr.
Human beings have certain capacities and needs which make us different from other animals. We are intensely interested in our identities and our origins; we are also interested in our nature as reflecting, in some faint way,the nature of God. These are things which animals don't, and can't, care much about.
By God's providence, e are designed to experience sexuality as a surpassingly meaningful blessing, by which we do two things at the same time: make love, and make life. This causes us to resemble, in a way, God, in Whose creativity we share. God has privileged us to be co-creators with Him in bringing new human beings into the world, in an act which is natural (to us), a gift of self-giving which signifies love. in a totally personal, embodied way.
I'm saying that sexual union for humans isn't just "instrumental," It''s not just "a way to get babies" or "a way to get pleasure." It also signifies a free and total act of giving, which is strongly akin to God's nature as the Creator of All.
Now, if people want to contracept or sterilize their animals (their pets, their livestock, their zoo specimens or whatever) -- or if they want to breed them by artificial insemination or even by total laboratory manufacture, that's not a bad thing. It's one of the mainstays of veterinary medicine: on the one hand, spaying, on the other hands, breeding.
But this falls short of the dignity of a human being, because we are intended to understand love and life, understand our own nature, by the way we procreate.
Contraception, like the artificial reproduction technologies, wipes out this aspect of understanding love and life as they are joined in our very bodies. It splits people's sense of themselves into something that's purely instrumental rather than inter-personal.
Both contraception and artificial reproduction are too impersonal. For that reason,t these impersonal means fall short of what is distinctive and significant about specifically human procreation.
Anything that intentionally splits apart love-making and life-making, splits into garbled fragments the "sign" that tells us our nature in the image of God.
Beautifully and meaningfully put. I hope you don’t mind if I copy for sharing at our parish.