In case you missed it the first time around, I’ve re-published my article The Catholic Church is No Enemy of Science or the Infertile over at Ignitum Today:
Because of her opposition to third party reproduction, the Catholic Church is often accused of being anti-science and insensitive to those who suffer the pain of infertility. Last year’s CNN Belief Blog op-ed from Sean Savage calling on the Catholic Church to reverse her opposition to IVF is a good example of the anger that is generally directed towards the Church on this issue.
Sean and his wife Carolyn, who consider themselves to be faithful Catholics, made headlines when the fertility clinic they were working with accidentally implanted Carolyn with another couple’s embryo. Sean wrote:
“Instead of support, the church branded us in a very public way with the apparently shameful letters IVF. Why couldn’t the church recognize our journey for what it was – an affirmation of the sanctity of life?
Carolyn and I would have been happy to save thousands of dollars and a decade of emotional ups and downs by conceiving the “old-fashioned way,” but that wasn’t possible. We turn to medicine for a litany of medical maladies and impairments, but infertile Catholics are supposed to avoid treating a medical condition which prevents them from building or expanding their family?”
In his article he pulled several passages form Domun Vitae, the 1987 document by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation, including this one, which he called “ironic”:
“Scientists are to be encouraged to continue their research with the aim of preventing causes of sterility and of being able to remedy them so that sterile couples will be able to procreate in full respect for their own personal dignity and that of the child to be born.”
What Sean and much of the rest of the world do not understand is that the Church’s rejection of IVF is not a rejection of the use of science to treat infertility. In fact, because she so desperately wants to support those who suffer from infertility, the Catholic Church has helped develop very effective reproductive medicine that also respects the rights of every human being.
This can’t be talked about enough. The assisted reproduction industry is out of control and not only are innocent human lives paying the price, but real, effective fertility medicine is being limited as well.