Why Aren’t Republicans Condemning The Moral Hazard of I.V.F.?

Author: William Hurley

Recently, many public figures have called for the legal protection of In Vitro Fertilization (I.V.F.)  in the wake of the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling that human embryos are considered legal persons. This ruling has the effect of potentially shutting down I.V.F. clinics. Not surprisingly, many Democrats, including President Biden, have voiced their dismay at the Alabama decision and have called on the legislature to remedy the situation. What is surprising is that many prominent Republicans have also come out in defense of I.V.F.

In Vitro Fertilization is the process of making embryos in a lab with donated sperm and eggs (this can be from spouses or not) and then artificially implanting the embryo into a woman’s uterus. As this process is very risky, and to increase the likelihood of pregnancy, usually many embryos are made. They are cryogenically frozen until the woman is ready for implantation. Embryos that do not end up being implanted are usually destroyed or used at the organization’s discretion for research. Additionally, I.V.F. can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 according to Forbes

Democrats, who are associated with favoring legal abortion and having more liberal views of sexual morality, do not oppose I.V.F. However, many typically anti-abortion politicians have signaled their support for the treatment. Even President Trump signaled his support for I.V.F. The common argument in favor of I.V.F. support is that it is a good solution for couples seeking help with infertility and because it assists in the creation of life, therefore it must be good, right?

Well, before we continue, it should be said that many of the people who seek this treatment suffer from infertility and desperately want biological children. This is an understandable and very sympathetic situation. Likewise, many children who were conceived via this process might feel that if I.V.F. were immoral, this would somehow mean they have less human dignity or that the manner in which they were conceived would bear a mark on them personally. This is not true, as God loves all his children and he frequently brings good out of bad situations such as infertility.

This is all to say, however, that even though many good people sincerely desire to have children and see I.V.F. as their only option and even if the children that result from the process are good, these good ends can never justify immoral means. Thus there are many problems with I.V.F.

I.V.F. is often used in extramarital situations, where a couple (or even an individual) purchases a third party’s eggs or sperm and then implants it in another person (who may or may not be in the party that made the transaction) who would then be contractually bound to give the child up to the person(s) that bought the child even if the women that carried the child used her own eggs in the process.

This is problematic as it turns the miracle of life into a transaction where a human person is bought and sold. This degrades the dignity of the child by treating him as an object. Second, this situation violates the rights of the child as it rips him away from his biological parents which he has a natural right to. This is the opposite of adoption which takes a broken situation and by the kindness of others attempts to find surrogate parents for the child. I.V.F. intentionally creates this broken relationship. In both adoption and I.V.F., the rights and dignity of the child should be put first.

Intrinsically, I.V.F. also violates the natural law by artificially creating life outside of the marital act. It separates the procreative act from the unitive act and therefore breaks the natural end to which God created sexual relations. It also degrades this miracle of life by attempting to put man above God and is reckless with the life it creates.

Finally, and most importantly for today’s Republicans, I.V.F. often involves the destruction of embryos that are not used for procreation. Statistics from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority show that “almost half” or about 1.7 million human embryos were destroyed from 1991-2012. “840,000 were put into storage for future use and more than 2000 were stored for donation. Almost 5,900 were set aside for scientific research.”

If aware of it, this is a stunning thing for those who call themselves “pro-life” to stomach, much less call for the protection of. Due to I.V.F., 1.7 million people were killed, 840,000 people were frozen cryogenically, 2000 people were set aside to be sold, and 5,900 people were set aside to be experimented on and likely killed as well. 

Anyone who calls himself “pro-life,” has a consistent sexual ethic, or even worries about the myriad of ethical concerns with I.V.F. should reign in this process, if not ban it in its entirety.

(Featured image source: Wikipedia)


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