Wednesday, April 17, 2024


By Tim Rohr

Recently the Alabama Supreme Court held that embryos created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) should be considered children. 

The ruling is the logical conclusion of the argument that "life begins at conception," and the decision has created a political conundrum. Many "pro-life" politicians have never considered the status or fate of children conceived in a tube and left in a medical deep-freeze, or selectively terminated after being implanted in somebody's womb.

Regardless of the politics, the elephant in the room is the relative silence of the Catholic Church at this point. 

The Catholic Church is probably the only "organized religion" which has clear position on reproductive technologies which separate what the Church calls "the unitive and the procreative." 

In short, the Church teaches that conception of children is to happen the way God designed it or not at all. IVF, in particular, is gravely immoral because it often involves the destruction of multiple children in embryo. 

This teaching is one of the Church's "best kept secrets." It's an issue that pastors generally want to avoid even more than abortion and contraception. However, if there ever was a time for the Catholic Church to take the lead, it is now. But, for the most part: "crickets." 

Meanwhile though, Catholic Church teaching is still "there" - lurking in the recesses of the Catechism and episcopal websites. Here's a decent exposition of the issue at the USCCB.

Begotten Not Made: A Catholic View of Reproductive Technology

And here is an honest article about the non-Catholic Christian view:

"It’s caused me to see my own experience with IVF differently and to wish I had been better informed. While the treatment was successful for me, helping me become pregnant with two healthy babies, the remaining embryos I have stored on ice have caused great heartache."

Also see: What Is the Catholic Church’s Position on IVF? 

No comments:

Post a Comment