The news has been filled with information about the Octo-mom, Designer babies, and other salacious information, yet the ethics and/or morality of the technologies used to create the stories remains unexplored in any meaningful or thoughtful manner. This post will attempt to engage the reader in this type of examination.
The procedure which makes multiple fertilizations possible – beyond what nature allows - is called In-vitro Fertilization. This reproductive technology allows infertile couples and others to “achieve” pregnancy. n-vitro Fertilization occurs outside of a mother’s body; multiple eggs are gathered and fertilized with pre-washed or pre-screened sperm; this generates multiple (eight and more) fertilized embryos with each in-vitro procedure. Invitro Fertilizations are the artificial means used to “make a baby”; it is an illicit procedure according to the Catholic Church and its reasons for this declaration run deep and wide.
Recall how Caiphas, the Jewish high priest, justified the crucifixion (sacrifice) of one (Jesus) for the greater good of all. His illogic, misguided, and immoral justification is duplicated today when we use illicit methods, such as In-vitro Fertilizations, as justification for the greater good they produce, i.e. giving couples what they want – pregnancy. Procedures which facilitate the natural processes of reproduction are normally not illicit; however, artificial procedures which replace any of the natural reproductive processes necessary for creating a baby by its mother and father are wrong. Replacement processes are an affront to the dignity of the mother, father or new life. Furthermore, they fail to protect all human life it generates.
Consider how the dignity of a man is stripped from him by the procedures, techniques, and preparations necessary to gather sperm. Other times the dignity of a woman is interrupted when she is used for gathering eggs or as a surrogate mother. Many times a number of fertilized eggs are sacrificed while reproductive specialists search for the more “perfect” specimen. Other times, the new life is held in a permanent frozen state awaiting the dictate of mother, father or state.
It has been argued that the goodness or evilness of an action is evident by the “fruit” that it produces. Well, eight, underweight, babies born to a single, unemployed mom gives us a glimpse of the fruit of In-vitro Fertilization. Are there any more examples? More next week.