Yesterday MSNBC interviewed the first “test tube” twins born in the US 25 years ago this month, Todd and Heather Tilton, and their mother, Nan:

I struggle with the issue of in vitro fertilization. I’m not Catholic but turn to Catholic teaching on the Life issue and have always found it sound….


The Catholic Church thinks IVF and artificial insemination are “morally unacceptable.” Catechism # 2377:

They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that “entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person…” [167]

Catholic teaching on IVF also reminds us:

  • Some embryos are destroyed during the process ifself, which has a low success rate (30% according to the MSNBC story).
  • IVF has also given human embryo experimentation proponents their “moral” foothold to dissect young leftover humans who would otherwise remain in suspended frozen animation or destroyed.
  • The eugenics movement has also found a gateway through IVF, weeding out what it considers defective embryos.
    There are also health concerns.
    First the mother, whose body may be infertile for good reason. Forcing pregnancy on that body sometimes results in pregnancy problems like premature deliveries, harmful to the very child(ren) she so wants. The egg retrieval process is also potentially harmful, since she must inject herself with massive amounts of hormones to mature multiple eggs.
    ivf2.jpgThen the children. IVF has been linked to birth defects, and at least 1 study has shown IVF children are more sickly.
    All that said, how can I say the children resulting from IVF should not be here? I know many IVF babies. The twins in the MSNBC video were wonderful.
    One aside, I was disappointed in the Tilton family’s message, which was not on a woman’s strong maternal instinct or the miracle of life but rather on the “refusal to take ‘no’ for an answer… hope… [and] [w]here there’s a will, there’s a way.” Seemed politically correct. I thought it strange to disregard the miracle of their existence.
    [HT: son Tim; photo of Tilton twins as babies courtesy of MSNBC]

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