Pro-lifers at the IVF clinic

Pro-lifers at the IVF clinic

Do pro-lifers picket IVF clinics? After all, there are many babies who are aborted in the process of in vitro fertilization. For every baby born, there are several more who die in the fertilization process or by “selective reduction”.

I suppose it may be due to the fact that the abortions—and let’s be honest here—take place so early. Heck, many Protestants who are ostensibly pro-life don’t view IVF as immoral. Plus, the goal is to make babies! Just not to let them all live, I guess.

Does it undermine our pro-life witness that we aren’t as vocal about the children who die in IVF as we are about kids who die in Planned Parenthood abortuaries? Those embryos are no less children and no less worthy of defense.

If anyone knows of a pro-life group with a regular prayer witness and outreach at IVF clinics, I’d love to hear about it.

  • I have periodically visited IVF clinics to pray and Sidewalk Counsel.  For a couple of years I was visiting the people in frozen embryo form and prayed for them and did this every Friday evening for an hour or so. 
    Near where I lived, before entering the seminary, there is a cryogenic center that holds about 20,000 frozen people in embryonic form.  I pray for their liberation and the conversion of those who have put them there.
    Often during a Mass, I spiritually place all of the people in frozen embryonic form into the Chalice before the water and wine are added and the words of Consecration are said. 
    Now we have the indignity of body snatching to see what else of these people we may exploit.
    God forgive us, God forgive, may these people frozen forgive us.

  • A related question, if I may- What does the Church teach about the existing embryos “leftover” from fertility clinics?  I know and understand the reasons why the Church teaches that IVF is wrong, and also that these embryos should not be used as a source of stem cells, but the reality is that there are thousands of embryos out there.  What ought to be done about these little lives?  My Lutheran-but-searching husband asked me this and I really didn’t have a good answer for him.  Thanks.

  • The Church is officially silent on the matter (adoption) for the moment. There are respected and orthodox theologians on both sides of this absurd situation. A great text for those interested that outlines the pros and cons of embryo adoption is “Human Embryo Adoption” available via the National Catholic Bioethics Center.

    The crux of the discussion is not about the good end (saving a life). It is (as I see it) about if a woman can intend or seek to become pregnant apart from an act shared with her husband? So the question hovers over the means, not the end of the embryo adoption act.

    Respected theologian and scientist Fr. Tad Palocheck (sp) of the National Catholic Bioethics Center says one should “say a prayer and unplug the freezer” and equally respected theologian Wm. May of Catholic U of America says adopt.

    Hopefully Rome will step in soon. It is very, complex and those interested should study this collection of essays.

  • The Church has made clear that IVF is wrong and should not be practiced.  Conception and gestation belong within the marriage act and the womb only.  There ought not to be any people in embryonic form outside the womb, period.
        Now, due to sin, it is a fact that there are people frozen and outside the womb.  Incidentally, roughly a third of them will perish through the freezing and thawing process alone. 
        What is morally permissible to do with those people, who through no fault of their own, are frozen? 
        Some 5 to 10 years ago, in England, there was a law that mandated the destruction, or more to the point, the murder of these people who had remained frozen for a set period of time.  A group of Nuns petitioned the Vatican for permission to offer their bodies for these people in adopting them and providing them with the shelter of their own wombs while they grew for a natural birth.  The petition came a short time before the law was to have its effect and the Vatican did not respond in time with a response.  The killing or destruction of some 5,000 people occurred in a single day there.  The Vatican has not taken any action that I am aware of with regard to their petition.
      There is group known as Snowflake Adoption through which adoption and implantation of thee people is facilitated.  It is considered controversial as again the Vatican has not offered a teaching on this matter.
      I have heard from one Catholic Theologian suggest that the only moral option available is to reverence these people and preserve them in their frozen state for the duration of their lives in such a state as nothing else can be done for them or done to them.  This is another opinion without a definitive teaching or consensus.
      Certainly we can pray for them and for the conversion of those who put them there.  We can also visit them and pray in their proximity.  Remember that it is a corporeal work of mercy to visit the imprisoned.

  • I stand with the Church with respect to IVF. 110%.

    It is truly the manifestation of original sin this as Donum Vitae states “an absurd situation”. The whole situation with respect to adoption is complex.

    The complexity is compounded by the holy and good intention of the woman/couple and the “good end” of maybe saving a life.

    IVF thawing could even be up to 50% mortality, depending how the data is juggled.

    It is the morality of the action of the implantation that is disputed. By IMO, among the best and brightest theologians.

    Snowflakes, a Protestant group has been successful from memory, about 50% of “thaws” lead to live births. The Snowflakes issue is easier for Protestants who do not in general view IVF as an immoral act. So, either continuing an immoral act by implantation or initiating a form of surrogacy (even if done by a religious woman at no charge) is not an issue for their (Protestant) theology.

    Catholics, see these acts differently. In my own experience, reading a number of essays and reports, most male and female lay theologians oppose adoption; Wm. May and G. Griez approve and at the same time most priest theologians approve adoption in some fashion, with Fr. Palochek (sp) of the NCBC in opposition. These lines drawn by vocation are interesting.

    It is indeed an “absurd situation”.

  • The church’s teaching on IVF is the reason I have no children.

    Sorry, I cannot look the other way too. The Bush administration that you voted for supported IVF and stem cell research.

    So, why did you support him? I didn’t FRankly, I cannot support any of them due to the support of the issues.

  • If a child is conceived via fornication and put up for adoption, is it a sin to adopt that child?

    I don’t know, but your question touches on something that I’ve been battling with the past couple months.

    We really like our new house and location, but within a few minutes of our house are several so-called “Gentlemen’s clubs,” “adult” video stores, etc.  The other day, we drove by the state capitol and saw “Honk for Hillary” demonstrators (one person in crowded rush our traffic honked).

    There are really so many places we should be holding prayer vigils. . ..