Even some of those who use the technology will admit that IVF makes human life a commodity. From yesterday’s NYTimes piece about a woman who was chose to kill one of the healthy unborn twins she conceived via IVF:
“Things would have been different if we were 15 years younger or if we hadn’t had children already or if we were more financially secure,” (Jenny) said later. “If I had conceived these twins naturally, I wouldn’t have reduced this pregnancy, because you feel like if there’s a natural order, then you don’t want to disturb it. But we created this child in such an artificial manner — in a test tube, choosing an egg donor, having the embryo placed in me — and somehow, making a decision about how many to carry seemed to be just another choice. The pregnancy was all so consumerish to begin with, and this became yet another thing we could control.”
Awful. You know it’s bad when it doesn’t even sit well with a writer for RH Reality Check:
it doesn’t bother me per se to read an article about a woman who is choosing to abort one twin, despite both fetuses being healthy and the result of round after round of fertility treatments.
That is, until I read this section
If she had gotten pregnant on her own, she would have been willing to keep both twins, but since it was already “so consumerish” she didn’t feel like the same “rules” applied? I find it hard to wrap my head around the idea that someone would abort a twin just because of the way the pregnancy was conceived. If you feel that it was somehow part of the “natural order” for twins without intervention, why would medical assistance change that mindset?
Believe it or not, I’ve seen a similar kind of rationalization for destroying human life before in regards to human cloning for embryonic stem cell research. A few years ago I met with former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt to discuss his opposition to a ban on human cloning in our State. Blunt is opposed to killing innocent human life when it comes to abortion and even ESCR with IVF embryos, but not when it comes to somatic cell nuclear transfer, the process by which, when using a human egg and somatic cell, a human being is cloned. In our meeting he explained that he believed that God’s plan for the creation of human life involved the union of a sperm and egg. While he agreed with me that a new “life” would be created through SCNT, he disagreed that that life would be human since no sperm would be involved in the creation process. When I asked him to explain, then, what kind of organism was actually created he said more or less, “we don’t know what it is, but it’s not human and therefore harvesting it for stem cells is not unethical and should not be banned.”
As if we needed more proof that taking the creation of life out of the womb and moving it into the science lab is morally problematic, these examples show how changing it from a gift of God to a gift of science seriously alters how many view the wonder and mystery of new life and how that new life should be treated – even those who do not normally accept the destruction of innocent human life.
Going back to the IVF story: it’s one of those articles that leaves a different impression on everyone who reads it. This is my take-away. Other reactions: National Right to Life’s Dave Andrusko notes the Erosion of an Ethical Demarcation when it comes to “selective reduction” – Steve Ertelt comments on how the New York Times Touts “Selective Reduction” as a “Half Abortion” – and Sister Toldjah just takes apart the whole thing. What did you come away from it with?