The Overlooked Ethics of Reproduction

ChelseaIVF, Reproductive Technology, Surrogacy3 Comments

Absolute must-read from Jennifer Lahl at Christianity Today:

The fact that so many people fail to consider the moral implications of IVF suggests that in the age of fertility treatments, surrogates, and modern family-building via parenting partnerships, a woman’s womb has come to be seen as a somewhat arbitrary location. NBC’s The New Normal quips that women are “Easy-Bake Ovens” and children are “cupcakes.”

In Scripture, God affirms that what happens in utero matters and cannot be casually or disrespectfully dismissed. The womb, where God first knits us together (Ps. 139:13-14), is not an arbitrary place for a child to grow and develop. In fact, modern science has proven just how important those 9 months are—for both mother and child.

Renowned marriage and family therapist Nancy Verrier, in her book The Primal Wound, writes about how mothers are biologically, hormonally, and emotionally programmed to bond with their babies in utero as well as at birth. A baby knows his or her mother at birth, and both the mother and the baby will experience grief at any separation at the time of birth. This primal wound is forever present.

In other words, it’s nowhere as easy as the Easy-Bake metaphor. In the case of surrogacy, we can interrupt the natural rhythm for mother and child and risk negative effects. (It is worth noting that surrogacy differs from adoption in that surrogacy intentionally establishes a situation that demands that a woman not bond with the child she is carrying.)

Read the whole thing!

More from me:
The Catholic Church is No Enemy of Science or the Infertile
Sorry, Cryo-Kids, This is The New Normal. “Get Over It”
Porn Not the Only Industry Commodifying Women
‘Reproductive Rights’ Run Amok

3 Comments on “The Overlooked Ethics of Reproduction”

  1. This is such a sensitive subject, because I know and love people who have suffered from infertility and who have been blessed with children through IVF. Yet, I do not believe the ends justifies the means. But how do you say that to someone’s face who would not have their precious son or daughter to hold had they not gone through IVF to conceive him or her? The article was very good, and hopefully it will make people talk. But I think that the ends of having a baby through IVF will cause people to (conveniently) look the other way. No one wants to do the right thing nowadays if it means suffering.

  2. It is indeed a subject to be approached with sensitivity and tenderness. The pain of infertility can be so deep. How can we get the word out to couples who feel they can’t have a child without IVF that there is a much more effective method available? (Check out the statistics comparing IVF and NaPro.) Hmmm… the moral option that respects life and the dignity of each person involved is actually significantly more effective than the invasive and immoral method.

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