This is a hard one.
I used to be fine with in vitro fertilization. I even gave a friend hormone shots several years back to mature several eggs at once for IVF.
Then I found out the Catholic Church opposes IVF. And when the Catholic Church says something on the pro-life issue I listen. I read its reasons, and they made sense. I now oppose IVF, not only on moral grounds but also because it hurts and exploits women….
And IVF has led to unforeseen dastardly consequences, such as abandoned embryos who became the overriding excuse to experiment on them. (“Better that than throwing them away!”)
That said, I know IVF children. My aforementioned friend now has 2 wonderful children conceived via IVF. I don’t want them not here. (Sorry about the double negative.)
That brings us to 33-year-old and unmarried Nadya Suleman, mother of 6 children under age 7 (all conceived via IVF and including 1 set of twins) who gave birth January 26 to octuplets.
Now that the babies are here, I wouldn’t want a single one of them not here. The question I’m hearing often asked, “Can one have too many children?” is wrong. No, one cannot. But God didn’t intend for human mothers to give birth to litters, particularly with no husbands in sight. It’s unnatural on all levels.
The Associated Press reported Suleman refused “reduction,” or aborting some to save the rest, which is good. The AP also reported Suleman had such a large amount of embryos implanted because “[t]here were frozen embryos left over after her previous pregnancies… [she]… didn’t want them destroyed, so she decided to have more children,” which is far superior than flushing them away or allowing them to be dissected.
There is now a call to regulate IVF clinics to only implant 1, 2, or 3 embryos. That would likely only lead to more unwanted frozen embryos. There is also a call for doctors to decide who does or doesn’t merit IVF, which is dangerous and suable.
In my mind the only right solution isn’t going to happen – stopping IVF, which makes me feel bad to say, because of all those IVF kids I know.
This is why it has taken me awhile to write on the octuplets. I feel bad about the only solution I think is the right solution.
[Photo, courtesy of the AP, is of nursing staff who delivered the Suleman octuplets.]