J Lo: IVF a no-go

Jennifer Lopez Elle, in vitro fertilization, IVF.jpgFor any wondering (and I admit I was curious), Jennifer Lopez conceived her fraternal twins the old fashioned way - and wouldn't have had it any other way. Some recent comments of hers on that topic are making quite a stir. From US magazine, January 6:

Although many stars have turned to in vitro fertilization to conceive, Jennifer Lopez never considered it an option - and says she never will.

"When it comes to family and relationships, I'm quite traditional," the star, 40, tells the February issue of Elle magazine. "Just because of the way I was raised. And I also believe in God and I have a lot of faith in that, so I just felt like you don't mess with things like that."...

the back up plan, lopez, ivf, in vitro fertilization.jpg

Lopez - who is mother to 22-month-old twins Max and Emme with hubby Marc Anthony - portrays a woman who decides to have a baby through artificial insemination in the upcoming romantic comedy, The Back-Up Plan [JLS note: cute site].

Still, she doesn't believe the process is for her.

"I guess deep down, I really felt like either this is not going to happen for me or it is," she tells Elle. "You know what I mean? And if it is, it will. And if it's not, it's not going to."

I don't want to dissect the "family and relationships... traditional" part too far, since J Lo's on her 3rd marriage. That aside, as expected, lots of people were offended by her comment - IVF moms, infertile moms, feminists, etc. But if Lopez were making a statement of condemnation for all who follow the IVF path, she wouldn't have made the movie that prompted the question. Here's the trailer...

LifeSiteNews.com has a good commentary on the whys behind moral opposition to IVF.

And here's some stripped down commentary from the blog tugandregina, a comment by Sara-Kala:

I got almost eaten alive by posting about Jon and Kate a long time ago... and I only said "they used an unnatural method" to conceive (washing his sperm, injecting into wife)....

As a Catholic, we know exactly what went wrong here: masturbation, for starters; not having intercourse to conceive in love, 2nd. Of course, this pisses people off. I'm not telling folks the kids they get with lab help aren't any more/less loved or wanted than ones conceived by the God standard (or, the natural way, irregardless of beliefs). But, the less/more loved thing is what they hear. They think they aren't wrong in their pursuit to have a baby. There's so much wrong with it, it's embarrassingly obvious. But no one today wants to be told they can't have something they want - or that they have to have what they don't want. Period.

Kudos to JLo.


Comments:

I'm not a big fan of Jennifer Lopez, but good for speaking her mind. It would be nice to know if she were prolife or not.

Posted by: Phillymiss at January 8, 2010 6:37 PM


I don't believe her. Celebs deny undergoing all sorts of medical treatments(most commonly cosmetic surgery). I guess it's hard admitting you need help when you're rich and famous. Her and Marc Anthony were spotted at a fertility clinic in LA over the course of several months the year she became pregnant. Muliple sources reported she was undergoing fertility treatments. Many of these same sources correctly reported she was pregnant before she would admit it. While it is theoretically possible she became pregnant with fraternal twins without assistance after three years of infertility, it's not as probable as what everyone else seems to have reported.

Posted by: Ella at January 8, 2010 6:52 PM


Oh, so anti-choicers are also against people HAVING kids through IVF? Is there any limit to the amount of dictating you think you're entitled to do? If a woman desperately wants kids and there's technology available to help her do it, she should live a childless life because it violates the anti-choicers' morality?

This is pure Womb Control. It's not about "saving babies," it's about a bunch of control freaks demanding that everyone live according to their religious beliefs.

As an aside, it's also hilarious that anti-choicers oppose masturbation. You know that a man's sperm has to be refreshed, right? The old sperm has to come out eventually. That means if he's unmarried and not having sex, he has no choice but to masturbate or have a "nocturnal emission"..which is usually accompanied by an erotic dream. Bad! Sinful! Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Too bad your religious fanaticism can't prevent basic bodily functions.

Posted by: Ashley at January 8, 2010 7:06 PM


Ashley, its the way that the embryos are CREATED that we object to (that and how many are created at one time.) And I think we should learn a lesson from OCTOMOM that IVF is way out of control.

Plus, in many cases, these women who use IVF may have something wrong that a surgery could have fixed(and not sterilization surgery) and then they could achieve pregnancy the OLD FASHIONED way.

Children are a gift, they should not be created in a laboratory.

IVF has also led to babies that people create that they want to have blue eyes or blond hair or no diseases!

Its out of control.


Posted by: LizFromNebraska at January 8, 2010 7:23 PM


Ashley,
Not all pro-life people are opposed to IVF. Many pro-lifers have had children such a way. The concern revolves around embryos that aren't implanted. Those who are pro-life usually tranfer all the embryos(either separately or at the same time). Pro-lifers have also adopted embryos that would otherwise be discarded or remain frozen.

As for the religious, most Christian denominations are ok with most fertility treatments and view it as science helping those with a medical problem.

The Catholic Church is opposed to IVF and abortion, so that is pobably why you assumed all pro-lifers are against IVF.

Posted by: ella at January 8, 2010 7:23 PM


Okay, thanks for clearing that up. Still, you'd think Catholics would welcome more living, breathing children rather than obsessing over frozen embryos.

Posted by: Ashley at January 8, 2010 7:29 PM


Ashley, you need to educate yourself as to WHY Catholics believe what they do. This information is readily available online (vatican.va, catholic.com, newadvent.org, etc) so now would be a good time to get educated! :)

Posted by: segamon at January 8, 2010 8:58 PM


"Still, you'd think Catholics would welcome more living, breathing children rather than obsessing over frozen embryos."

By that logic, you'd think Catholic doctrine would say that everyone on planet Earth should hump like bunnies whether married or not so we can all be fruitful and multiply, that every family should be like the Duggars, etc. But it doesn't -- quite the contrary.

What the Catholic Church teaches is RESPONSIBLE use of the fertility and sexuality that God has designed for us. That means, among other things, being sexually active only within marriage, only conceiving children in the womb and not in a lab, not killing children for medical research or because they're inconvenient, etc.

I recommend reading Christopher West's "Good News About Sex and Marriage" if you'd like to learn what Catholics actually believe about this topic.

Posted by: JoAnna at January 8, 2010 9:24 PM


What Joanna said.

Posted by: LizFromNebraska at January 8, 2010 10:50 PM


Posted by: Ashley at January 8, 2010 7:06 PM


"You know that a man's sperm has to be refreshed, right? The old sperm has to come out eventually. That means if he's unmarried and not having sex, he has no choice but to masturbate or have a "nocturnal emission"..which is usually accompanied by an erotic dream."

----------------------------------------------

So what biological purpose is served when women masturbate?

Is there some scienfically established correlation between orgasm and ovulation?

If so, then from what I hear and read from, they are either lying about not masturbating or lying about not having orgasms during intercourse.

Maybe faking orgasms fools the ovaries as well as the man.

Ashley, just do what works for you.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at January 9, 2010 5:49 AM


The Natural Family Planning method uses acquired knowledge about the human reproductive system to enhance or diminish the probability of harry the sperm meeting sally the egg.

A calendar is consulted.

Man made technology and insturments are used to measure temperature and PH.

Subjective observations are made about the consistency of the mucus.

And then a time and date is determined to attempt conception.

You can even enhance the probilities of determining the gender of your child using this same data.

Some additional choreography and contortionsism is also part of the gender selection package.

(I have never actually participated in it's implementation in an attempt at gender selection.)

If there is nothing inherently wrong in the method, then does the 'motive' make it wrong?

IVF just seems to be using acquired knowledge and technology to enhance the probability of harry meetin sally.

[You know, kind of arranging a blind date.]

Is there anything inherently wrong about the method of IVF, if the motive is right?

I can see the problem with producing more embryos than are acutally required to achieve a successful pregnancy.

But I also know that research has shown a certain percentage of fertizied eggs never implant, or fail to survive the process of gestation to a live birth and result in a spontaeous abortion or miscarriage.

Who gets blame or credit for these lost ones?

The same ONE who gets blame or credit for the ones that survive to birth.

If the LORD tells you, do not cross the street and you cross the street and something bad happens, who gets the blame or credit?

If the LORD tells you to cross the street and you cross the street and something bad happens, who gets the blame or credit?

There were some christians, there may still be, who believed man should never have attempted to go to the moon because God sets boundaries and that was a boundary we should not have crossed.

There is a thing called 'conscience'.

When the 'book' is not clear on an issue, then we ought to leave it up to the individual to follow the dictates of her/his own conscience and/or to hear GOD to lead him/her.

Just one other tangentially relevant observation.

If you have ever read all the variables that have to line up for conception to occur and implantation to follow you would probably conclude that there is more at play than the mere whim of man and woman.

The timimg has to be spot on.

The 'window' for conception is mesured in hours.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at January 9, 2010 6:55 AM


For the record, there are many fertility treatments that require going to a fertility center over a course of days or weeks w/out necessarily being IVF. So her being spotted there means nothing about what procedures she may or may not have undergone.

Also, there are MANY fertility treatments in keeping with Catholic teachings. It's not womb control - it's a beautiful, coherent teaching on the dignity of the human person from conception until natural death and the right of the child to be conceived in keeping with that dignity. If JLo (or anyone else) holds these beliefs, that's her right. If you don't share the belief, you are able to do what you want. I'm not sure why people who have undergone IVF need universal approval for that decision.

Posted by: CT at January 9, 2010 10:48 AM


"I'm not sure why people who have undergone IVF need universal approval for that decision. "

All those persisting in grave sin desire approval by others. That is the nature of sin.

Great posts this morning, CT.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at January 9, 2010 10:53 AM


"What the Catholic Church teaches is RESPONSIBLE use of the fertility and sexuality that God has designed for us. That means, among other things, being sexually active only within marriage, only conceiving children in the womb and not in a lab, not killing children for medical research or because they're inconvenient, etc. "

Amen.

Posted by: angel at January 9, 2010 11:12 AM


One would think that the Catholic Church would be on board with IVF so that more little Catholics can be bred. What's the old saying - "demographics is destiny." And here's a question for all you Catholics regarding the "babies" in petri dishes or whatever the "babies" live in. Do priests go to the labs to baptize the "babies?" Because if they don't, they'll go to "limbo. And here's another question. Do priests come and give them communion after they're 7 years old? I do hope that the "babies" get to hear regular Cathechism lessons. And why isn't the Catholic Church trying to shut down these labs where the "babies" are "murdered" when they get flushed down the drain?

Posted by: Snooki at January 9, 2010 1:30 PM


Hi Snooki.

"One would think that the Catholic Church would be on board with IVF so that more little Catholics can be bred."

Catholics do not hold to a utilitarian worldview where the ends justify the means. Hence, when considering a certain action, like IVF, while the ends are very noble, the means are problematic.

"Do priests go to the labs to baptize the "babies?" "

I'm sure they would if the parents requested it. It is not licit in Catholic teaching to baptize a baby without parental consent.

"Because if they don't, they'll go to "limbo."

This is simply not true. We don't know what happens to unbaptized babies, but we leave them to the mercy of God, as the Catechism points out. Limbo is theological speculation.

"Do priests come and give them communion after they're 7 years old?"

No, embryos have not developed enough to be able to eat.

"I do hope that the "babies" get to hear regular Cathechism lessons."

14 day old embryos can not hear, and even if they could their minds are not sufficiently developed enough to be able to interiorize any lessons, just like my 7 month old.

"And why isn't the Catholic Church trying to shut down these labs where the "babies" are "murdered" when they get flushed down the drain?"

I'm sure there are those who are attempting to.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at January 9, 2010 1:54 PM


There's nothing worse than those attacking the Church based on straw man arguments. I"m not that religious, but it's only right to be debating against a fair interpretation of Church doctrine. My brother is a big atheist and I catch him doing it all the time, so frustrating.

Posted by: prettyinpink at January 9, 2010 3:28 PM


I was conceived through artificial insemination, and comments like Sara-Kala's made me wonder as a kid if Jesus didn't want me to be born. (My parents didn't tell me I was conceived through artificial insemination until I asked them.) She's entitled to her opinions, but let's just say I don't appreciate being told that my conception had "so much wrong with it, it's embarrassingly obvious." That's basically saying that my entire existence has so much wrong with it, it's embarrassingly obvious.

I don't think artificial insemination is really a pro-life issue. It's not like IVF, where embryos often end up destroyed or perpetually frozen. My parents didn't kill any human beings conceiving me. As for "not being conceived in love," I think it was pretty damn loving for my parents to go through everything they did to have me.

Posted by: Marauder at January 9, 2010 8:04 PM


Marauder,

You're right that artificial insemination is not a pro-life issue. IVF and other such procedures that create living human beings to be treated as commodities to be used at the parents' will are very different issues.

However, artificial insemination and other procedures that intervene with either the unitive or procreative aspects of marital love are moral issues. Couples who undertake these procedures are treating their bodies and their procreative potential as something that can be manipulated as they choose to get the end they desire.

This is in NO WAY to say that b/c the means were wrong that the end (YOU) are wrong or that you are less loved by God or somehow have less right to exist. Bad means can lead to beautiful, desired ends, but even the most beautiful end (a human life) cannot retroactively make the means moral or good. It's also not to say that your parents didn't act out of love or that their temptation isn't very understandable to many people (especially those who have struggled with infertility - believe me). But sympathy for their motivation, recognition that a bad act does not make a bad person, and love for the result (you) shouldn't lead us to call immoral interventions good. That breeds confusion and leads others astray.

I think society suffers greatly from this inability to separate the act from the person and the means from the end. It leads to these feelings of hurt when people say "this act is immoral". Those who have done the act or are the product of the act tend to hear "YOU" are bad or immoral. To prevent this hurt, people hesitate to identify wrong b/c they don't want to hurt feelings.

All the best to you.

Posted by: CT at January 10, 2010 11:15 AM


Thats one thing I like about this blog: you don't shy away from blogging about big Hollywood celebs when they say something worth blogging about. JLo is certainly someone I didn't expect to see on this blog. I like some of her movies and Spanish music, I'll admit....so hearing her opinion on this issue is good to hear.

Posted by: Stephanie at January 10, 2010 10:07 PM


All these artificial reproductive technologies are gravely sinful and violate the moral and natural law.
For those coulpes who cannot conceive, it a burden that they must accept because God allowed it for some reason. Many might be called to adopt.

If a married couple canot have their own children, they can always turn to adoption. Adoption rates have sharply dropped since these technologies came out, after decades of high adoption numbers.

There are thousands of children who need homes. Who need loving parents. Why spend thousands of dollars and try to play God by creating children in an immoral unnatural way? Why does a child have to contain their DNA in order for couples to have one? Foster children are children of God too, with souls, that need and want a family. Isn't that enough?

Posted by: Rafael at January 11, 2010 8:16 PM


Saying having a reproductive disorder is God's way of telling you you shouldn't have kids and should forego medical treatments for it is like saying if you get sick you are meant to die. God helps those who help themselves. Just like God gave man the brains to invent medicines that cure deadlly infections he gave us the ability to create drugs that help women with a hormonal imbalance ovulate.

Adoption rates are down because there are less children put up for adoption at birth. As for adopting out of fostering an older child, that's a whole other experience(while adopting a baby is comparable to giving birth to one) with it's own risks and difficulties.

Posted by: Ella at January 11, 2010 9:05 PM


They are not medical treatments, but an unatural creation of human life that goes against nature.

It is only procreation through the conjugal act that can create human life as designed by God. It is the only moral way. There can be no other way or else it goes against God.

A sick man does violate nature by taking real genuine medicine for an illness. There is no natural law being broken. It has nothing to do with procreation.

Posted by: Rafael at January 11, 2010 9:31 PM


Infertility is a symptom of an illness(whether that be PCOS, endometriosis, or leutal phase defect). Fertility is a normal function of the human body. The field of gynecology/reproductive endocrinology addresses these medical issues or their tragic symptoms(miscarriage or inability to conceive) with a wide array of treatments. You may not agree with them, but they are all medical treatments. Some involve things as simple as taking pills to induce ovulation, to surgery to unblock fallopian tubes, to injecting sperm directly into the uterus to bypass a damaged cervix so it is able to fertilize the egg. All of these involve using science to get around physical barriers. They don't breath the soul into the body. They don't form the child. They merely help create the best physical environment for that to happen. They can transfer three embryos into a woman's uterus, but only god knows how many will implant, carry to term, and who they will become. Just like they can transplant a a heart into someone with a failing one but only God knows how long that person will survive. Now any medical procedure can be abused. Obviously when embryos are being killed because the parents do not want to transfer anymore that is a pro-life issue, but this is not necessary for the treatment of fertility disorder. Only God has the ability to create human life and it is our responsibility to protect it will the brains and tools he gave us, but God does help those who help themselves as medical miracles(whether it be a baby born to a woman with bloced tubes or a cancer survivor) are evidence of.

Posted by: Ella at January 11, 2010 11:23 PM


Ella,

The reason I oppose artificial insemination even though it doesn't kill any children is the fact that it's unjust for the child conceived.

Children deserve FATHERS, to not just know who their father is, but to be held and loved by their father, tucked in at night, provided for and protected by and otherwise parented by their father. It takes a man and a woman to make a child- the X and the Y had to come from two people, therefore, the child deserves to be raised and loved by those two people. So these children are denied a basic human right and know nothing but that their father masturbated in a cup for money and that they must ask all potential suitors who their fathers are in order to not end up dating or married to their half-sibling. Sperm donation/egg "donation" (I put that in quotes because I have never been paid to donate anything) is a form of abandonment that has lifetime implications for the abandoned.

Now, all the fatherless children out there due to other types of abandonment- that is another dysfunction that could be greatly reduced if women would stop creating babies with men they aren't married to, but that is a separate issue in that the intent with sperm donation is a fatherless child. I oppose all injustices to children, premarital and extramarital sex being another huge injustice, but since we're just talking about sperm donation, the ends of a beautiful child being created don't justify the means of injustice towards that beautiful child.

That's why I oppose it. And as a woman with endometriosis (a medical condition that makes conception difficult and in some cases, impossible), I see a vast difference between fixing what is broken that is fertility issues and impregnating myself via a stranger's sperm with a turkey baster. Artificial insemination or IVF don't fix what's broken. And drugs that fix ovulation problems to the tune of dropping 8 eggs at once, who are all conceived in a space only meant to sustain 1 to 2 at a time, who overload the cervix and are born premature with a host of lifetime medical complications from that and are vying for care from parents that can't possibly meet those needs because even daycare providers have a 4 to 1 ratio of infants to caregivers, that again, while it made ovulation happen, it didn't "fix" it, it freaked it out and caused other lifetime injustices.

Just my take on all this. :)

-Jacque

Posted by: Jacqueline at January 12, 2010 9:01 AM


But on this Ella, I'd have to disagree:

"Not all pro-life people are opposed to IVF. Many pro-lifers have had children such a way. The concern revolves around embryos that aren't implanted. Those who are pro-life usually tranfer all the embryos(either separately or at the same time). Pro-lifers have also adopted embryos that would otherwise be discarded or remain frozen."

IVF kills children. Period. It doesn't become okay as long as someone transfers all the embryos into the uterus and not leave leftovers. Most, if not all of those kids WILL DIE, because being created in a dish is not the natural, safe environment God intended for conception. So every supposed prolifer that created 5 babies, transferred 5 and didn't get pregnant- tried again, created 5 more, transfer 5, nada- and finally, on the third try makes 5 and 2 implant, that pro-lifer killed 13 of his/her babies, knowing that the circumstances under which she was making them was deadly for most of the children. A prolifer believes that each embryo they make in the dish is a child, so how could any prolifer live with themselves knowing how many dead children they have, let alone make more than one set of children when the first litter dies? Very, very rarely does a woman have an implantation on the first round of IVF. Suppose a pro-lifer does get pregnant on round one, they still know about the other dead children which they made knowing would likely die. Does not sound pro-life to me- rather it's evil and selfish. Would these pro-lifers that want a baby so much that they'll be willing to kill children to have them still do IVF if the risk of dying were the same for them as for their children? I doubt it. "We can do this, but there is only a 10% chance that you will survive." They wouldn't do it, but they'll let their kids die as many times as it takes to have a baby that looks like them. A pro-life couple truly desperate for a child to love can keep their $25,000-50,000 and adopt a child from social services, or spend some of that money and rescue a child from a Russian/Chinese/Haitian orphanage.

And as for adopting the abandoned embryos and praying they survive unfreezing and implant and not have health issues, that poor child is also an abandoned child that deserves to know who his/her parents were. Having worked in open adoptions and international adoptions, these questions form a child's identity. Even a child adopted by the best parents in the world still struggle with the "where did I come from" question.

Is it too much to ask that children be conceived in the safe, natural environment of his/her mother and be loved and raised by two parents? Wasn't that the norm for centuries?

Posted by: Jacqueline at January 12, 2010 9:29 AM


By the way, the average number of cycles of IVF to achieve a pregnancy is 6. 6 times of implanting 5 children each. That's 30 children that were made and one, maybe two survive.

By the way, a conservative pricetag for these dead children is 15,000 per round, times 6= 90,000 to kill nearly thirty children but birth one or two children.

How is an average of 29 dead children acceptable, that someone could think that pro-lifers could participate in this?

Let's also not forget that the selfish folks that pay 90,000 for a child that looks like them also tend to "selectively reduce" when a round results in multiples. After all, children were something they could pay to make according to their desires, so they'll just have one now and have one later...

I know my condemnation of people that choose IVF seems a little harsh, but I find it hard to sympathize with people that kill children because they want children, especially considering how many children need homes.

Posted by: Jacqueline at January 12, 2010 9:38 AM


IVF does not kill those embryos. They die of natural causes just like most that are conceived naturally. Many pregnancies go unnoticed because a high percentage do not implant. With IVF, we know how many embryos there are, but when trying naturally most women would be shocked to learn how many embryos they've actually conceived. IVF enabled the conception of embryos that will die, but that hardly means it killed them. Each one has a chance like a embryo conceived at home.

As for your statements on artificial insemination, we are talking about two different issues. I see nothing wrong with IUI, in which the husband's sperm is injected directly into the uterus of a women taking fertility drugs, as it greatly increses the chance the sperm will get to the egg.

Posted by: Ella at January 12, 2010 9:56 AM


Every single embryo is a human person with a soul.

It is a moral evil for any embryo to be created artificially outside of natural marital union.

There is nothing wrong with surgery to unblock fallopian tubes I believe, but IUI is different.

artificial insemination is a moral evil because it violates the laws of nature and procreation.
Conception must only occur naturally in the marital act for it to be moral. It is pretty black and white. Life can only come about through the natural union of spem and egg by a couple in marriage. Once artifial means are used to separate the reproductive cells from the body it destroys the meaning of marriage and procreation.

IVF and contraception directly destroy the meaning and essence of marriage. IVF and contraception lead directly to abortion and then to gay marriage.

Posted by: Rafael at January 12, 2010 2:35 PM


IVF does not kill those embryos. They die of natural causes just like most that are conceived naturally. Many pregnancies go unnoticed because a high percentage do not implant. With IVF, we know how many embryos there are, but when trying naturally most women would be shocked to learn how many embryos they've actually conceived. IVF enabled the conception of embryos that will die, but that hardly means it killed them. Each one has a chance like a embryo conceived at home.

Ella, you are rationalizing. Perhaps you have someone you are defending because no prolifer can look at IVF objectively and seriously think what it does to women and children is okay.

Yes, many embryos conceived inside the mother fail to implant that we don't know about and die. Science estimates the rate as 1 in 5, much like the rate of miscarriages that we are aware of is 1 in 4. THAT is natural. Pumping the ovary full of hormones to produce dozens of eggs, squirting them with sperm that has hit the cold air and either freezing them or placing them inside a uterus with the expectation that of not a 75% chance that the child will live by a 25% chance that ONE child will live, EXPECTING that all or most will die is not comparable to a married couple losing a child by miscarriage or failure to implant (over which mom and dad have no control). In IVF, mom and dad CHOOSE to make dozens of children knowing that dozens of children will die, in hopes that one or two might make it. They choose to conceive children in an unnatural way that will result in the deaths of 99% of these children. That's no more a natural death than if a mother choose not to feed her children and called it a natural death by starvation. In nature, 80% of conceived children implant and 75% live to birth. In IVF, more than 80% of children die. And you call this natural? What part of it?

Here's the only way I can explain it. Suppose you want a particular kind of flower in your garden, but your garden is in the direct sun for most of the day. The flower you want can't handle direct sun most of the time. Still, you want that flower so much that you plant these flowers over and over again, even though they keep dying in hope that you might get one to live. How is choosing to plant those flowers in an environment where you know they are likely to die not make you a integral part of their deaths? Let's not forget, we're not talking about flowers here, but children. IVF parents make dozens of children they KNOW will die from the inhospitable process in hopes of having one that is biologically related. They are responsible to creating children into almost certain death, whether they believe it or not.

So in short, there is nothing natural about IVF and IVF results in dead children who had the odds stacked against them from the start. If the odds of you dying were the same as those children, would you still support IVF? I doubt it.

Posted by: Jacqueline at January 12, 2010 5:00 PM


I am sickened to read many of the comments here. Many of you people that are against ivf should do some research before posting garbage on here (and that is what your posts are - GARBAGE!)
My husband suffers from a severe low sperm count -there is no cure to fix it and the only way we can have children is through ivf. I have done 2 cycles. Both cycles I produced 6 eggs which resulted in 4 embryos but by day 2 only 2 were still alive. WE NEVER KILLED ANY OF OUR EMBRYOS and I don't know any infertile couple that would. We love our little 4 & 8 celled embryos more then people know and more then any fertile couple would ever love an embryo they created which they don't know existed. After going through the ivf process - injecting yourself daily and having blood draws every other day you would not do anything to hurt your embryos - they are your babies. Both cycles I had my only 2 embryos transferred into my uterus. My first cycle 1 out of the 2 embryos sticked, but it died when I was 8 weeks along. 2nd cyle both embryos sticked. One twin died at 21w4d gestation and I am currently almost 24 weeks along with the other twin. I am Catholic and it pains me to see so many people claim to be a Christian yet don't act like it and judge infertile couples. Walk a mile in our shoes and I am sure you will change your tune. God is still in control in whether our embryos implant and continue growing. I believe whole heartly that God gave us this technology to help us achieve conception - something that isn't possible naturally with us - trust me I wish it was - having sex is a million times easier then going through an ivf cycle. Infertility is a medical disease. You wouldn't complain about a diabetic taking insulin to treat their diabetes so why rant on ivf when it is the only cure for our infertility problem.
Also for those who think why not just adopt - you really need to do some more research. Adoption isn't very easy and costs way way more then ivf. Plus unlike what you like to believe that there are millions of kids needing adoptive homes this isn't true. However why should infertiles adopt -how about you don't have your kids and try adopting - oh ya I forgot it is okay for fertile people to not adopt, but all the infertiles they are selfish if they want a biological kid and to experience pregnancy.

Posted by: cp at January 12, 2010 9:29 PM


cp,

1st: If you want to remain a Catholic, do not participate or agree with IVF; educate yourself regarding the reason why the Church has this position against IVF. If you want to continue agreeing with IVF, then don't be Catholic!

2nd: There are many fertile couples that adopt. I plan to in the future and my father-in-law has adopted multiple children.

Posted by: segamon at January 12, 2010 9:43 PM


What right do you have to tell me what religion to be. Just because I do a medical procedure so we can have a child. That doesn't make me Catholic. I disagree. And for the record I know what the church thinks about ivf - I come from a very Catholic family. It doesn't mean I have to agree with it. I know in my heart that God is not against ivf and that is what matters.

And I didn't say fertiles don't adopt just that many fertiles feel that it is only the responsiblity of infertile to adopt. I am just sick of being saying that when they haven't researched the adoption process. Adoption isn't as easy as it makes it out in the movies and there are not overrun orphanage like the media likes to make it out to be. The truth is there are way more couples wanting to adopt then there are children available and the process costs tens to hundred of thousands of dollars and takes years of your life where every facit of your life is put underneath a microscope. IVF for us cost under a grand since it is covered here in MA and we will have a biological child that doesn't have problems because it was abused as a fetus or a baby.

Posted by: cp at January 12, 2010 10:01 PM


I also want to comment on whoever wrote this blog. JLo actually lied when she said she didn't do ivf. She did, but she doesn't want to admit it. I have proof. I know people who went to the same clinic that she used and also one person who met Marc Anthony last month and he said that the twins were conceived by ivf.

Posted by: cp at January 12, 2010 10:05 PM


cp,

"I come from a very Catholic family."

And that makes you a better Catholic? Nope! Catholicism has oftentimes been seen as a cultural religion. This is not true! Being a Catholic means that you agree with the entire faith. Being a Catholic has NOTHING to do with what faith your family has.

"It doesn't mean I have to agree with it."

The fact that you are in complete contradiction with your Faith means that you should find a different religion.

"I know in my heart that God is not against ivf and that is what matters."

Add a new book to the Bible if you're so sure.

Posted by: segamon at January 12, 2010 10:08 PM


The fact that you are in complete contradiction with your Faith means that you should find a different religion.
Posted by: segamon at January 12, 2010 10:08 PM

Or sincerely repent, get to confession, and strive to live according to the teaching of the Church if you wish to continue holding yourself out as Catholic.

we will have a biological child that doesn't have problems because it was abused as a fetus or a baby.
Posted by: cp at January 12, 2010 10:01 PM

As an adoptee, I was tempted to respond to that comment. But I doubt that my opinion or experience is relevant to one who considers herself wiser than Church scholars. So I'll just keep my thoughts to myself and wish you peace, cp. And pray that you return to the fold one day as a true Catholic willing to live the faith.

Posted by: Fed Up at January 12, 2010 11:39 PM


Fed-Up: Or sincerely repent, get to confession, and strive to live according to the teaching of the Church if you wish to continue holding yourself out as Catholic.

I was a bit too harsh. These are certainly things that any Catholic can do to unite fully with the faith itself.

I have always believed that if one does not believe in his/her faith 100%, then that person must leave that faith and find another one. When I taught myself about Catholicism, I knew that I would leave the Church if I could not believe in it 100%. I do everything I can to properly, intellectually, and spiritually believe in the faith that I am a part of. We all should try to remain hot for the faith (even if we oftentimes fail)!

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." Revelation 3:15-17

Posted by: segamon at January 12, 2010 11:53 PM


Last time I checked the bible it never said "thou shall not do ivf." It does say "go forth and multiple" as well as "treat thy neighbor as yourself". No I don't believe that old, unmarried, childless men that wrote the Catholic rules know everything, it doesn't mean I can't still myself a Catholic. There are millions of Catholics that agree with ivf and other fertility meds, not to mention even more that believe in birth control options and use them. I believe in God, Jesus, and Mary. I believe God wanted my baby to come into this world and without ivf that wouldn't have been possible. My baby will be baptized a Catholic, along with her twin who died in utero. She will also know how she was conceived and how much loved both me and my husband had for her that we went through everything to have her. It wasn't just one night of love making that caused her to be brought into into this world but a 2 month long duration of pills, shots (both in the stomach and butt), daily blood draws and transvaginal ultrasounds, egg retrieval and embryo transfer. None of this was fun or enjoyable but we did it because we wanted her, and we will go through the process again in a year to get her a sibling.
You can't say my baby shouldn't be born just because it was conceived outside of sex. That is like saying Jesus shouldn't have been born since Mary was a virgin. God had a role in Mary getting pregnant, just like he had a role in getting me pregnant both times.
I really hope many of you read the heartfelt stories that many of us women that had to use this technology to build our family go through before you pass judgement on a procedure you know nothing about - that is all I am asking.

Posted by: cp at January 13, 2010 9:01 AM


I believe God wanted my baby to come into this world and without ivf that wouldn't have been possible.

Impossible on your timeframe perhaps. But to say that you couldn't have conceived without ivf seems to put limitations on God. Was ivf necessary for Elizabeth or Hannah to conceive?

You can't say my baby shouldn't be born just because it was conceived outside of sex

I would never say that your baby shouldn't be born now that you have participated in artifically creating offspring. I have no doubt that you love this child and that you mourn the little ones you lost. I am genuinely sorry for your loss, by the way.

It isn't that your desire to have a biological child is somehow wrong or bad. It's that you chose to start a family in a manner that is disrespectful of God and the human person according to Church teaching while at the same time presuming to call yourself a member of the Church. I hope that motherhood brings you much joy, cp. And that it lights a fire in you to become a Catholic committed to living out all aspects of the faith. Peace.

Posted by: Fed Up at January 13, 2010 11:04 AM


cp,

So you believe these "old, unmarried, childless men" in regards to the virginity of Mary, infant baptism, and life starting at conception? Why would believe these "old, unmarried, childless men" on these issues but not in regards to IVF or contraceptives?

Did you read my last post at all? I quoted the Bible in regards to the fact that it is best to remain "hot" for your faith. If your faith does not match your personal beliefs, then there is nothing wrong with leaving that faith. It is okay to not be Catholic. In fact, it is better to not be Catholic than to claim to be a Catholic and not actually believe in it 100%.

There are certainly many other Christian religions that you can find home to that will agree with your "cafeteria Catholicism." I'm sure that they would be happy to have another member.

Either agree with the Church or not be a member of the Church; that's the bottom line, cp. I do my best to fully understand both intellectually and spiritually all of the positions of the Catholic Faith so that I can remain true to myself and, more importantly, to God Himself.

Regardless of what you want to see in what I write, I certainly pray that you repent and change your ways. It is best for you because our God knows better than all of us. Have a good one.

Posted by: segamon at January 13, 2010 11:08 AM


CP,

Did you have any other embryos left on ice? If so, then what about those souls? Are you going to destroy them, or are you going to leave them frozen just in case?

Posted by: Oliver at January 13, 2010 11:31 AM


I am under deadline, but I will say a few quick things:

Segamon-

Your idea of telling wayward Catholics to find another religion if Catholicism cramps their sinning style is something I couldn't disagree with more. If the Church of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World, tells you certain things are deadly and unacceptable for your own good and you disagree, you don't simply find a church that let's you live as you please. What's true is true, in spite of what people choose to beleive. And you can disagree with your parent's curfew, but you still need to be home by 9 on a school night all the same because they are the parents. Jesus was God and gave us the Church, and if I disagree with it, I still submit myself to it because I am the sheep and they are the shepherds. So encouraging people to leave the family because their disagreements with authority insult you as a good, obedient child is counter-productive. Yes, CP could more rightly call herself something other than Catholic since she has no regard for teachings of morality that don't suit her, but she needs repentance and reconcilation, not another church where what she does is not only acceptable, but celebrated. Encouraging people to leave the Church is not something I think Jesus would approve of. Preach repentence, not more disobedience.

EVERYONE-

As someone who has worked in both domestic and international adoption, dozens of infertile couples and could potentially have fertility problems myself, I can say definitively that YES, THERE ARE COUNTLESS CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE AND IN FOREIGN ORPHANAGES THAT NEED HOMES. Countless. And not only is a social service adoption free, in America, you get a nice fat TAX CREDIT, too. So the lies about how IVF if the only way to have a child to love is a lie told by people that can only love a child that is biologically their own or at least looks like them and is tiny and cuddly, not a year old and another race.

Most importantly,

CP, you are the mother to 8 children, only one of which is alive today. That means that your children have a survival rate of only 12.5%.

---->Would you have done IVF if you knew the chance that you would survive would only be 12.5%? That there would be a 87.5% chance that you would die?

You were willing to take those odds with your children, would you take that gamble yourself?

Posted by: Jacqueline Christine Harvey at January 13, 2010 1:18 PM


Jacqueline,

Your point is well noted. You are indeed right in what you say. My approach was wrong. However, it is still true that if someone knows that he/she will never agree with his own faith (be it Catholicism or another faith), then that person should ultimately find some other faith (or make up one). That's the bottom line.

I used to not understand numerous Catholic teachings. Initially I disagreed with the Catholic teachings regarding the death penalty (that it should be discouraged until it is absolutely a last resort). I now agree with the Church through educating myself, praying about it, and giving it time.

I hope cp can do the same with the Church's teaching on IVF as I did with the Church's teaching on the death penalty.

Thanks for your opinion, Jacqueline. I was a bit too emotional in my responses.

Posted by: segamon at January 13, 2010 1:53 PM


Segamon,

I understand! It drives me crazy! People that say "I'm Catholic, but I don't practice and/or observe the Church's teaching." Then you are NOT CATHOLIC. I used to get mad at fake Catholics, and that was before I, myself became a Catholic. :)

I am worried for CP's soul and her children, as she has plans to make/kill more children in order to be pregnant again. And she sees no hipocrisy in going against the Church and still asking the Church to bless and support her through baptism of her children, although she can't truly make the vow to raise them in accordance with the teachings of the Church (especially when she wants to make more children AGAINST the teachings of the Church). Her selfish desire to experience pregnancy and birth biological kids appears to outweigh her love for her kids or her fear of Hell and judgement. This is scary.

Posted by: Jacqueline Christine Harvey at January 13, 2010 9:03 PM


CP,

I had a feeling you wouldn't answer that question. Of course you wouldn't take a 87.5% risk of death. Maybe you should think about that before you force your children to take that risk for you.

Posted by: Jacqueline Christine Harvey at January 13, 2010 9:07 PM


Let's get one thing straight. I DID NOT KILL ANY OF MY EMBRYOS! I don't have any on ice. The only ones we had we transferred to my uterus when they were a few days old. Here are the complete details if you want to know:
ivf #1: 9 eggs retrieved of which 6 were mature. All 6 had my husband's sperm injected into them, 4 of the 6 were successfully fertilized and continued to develop, the other 2 the fertilization never took (fertilization is a 2 step process so even with the sperm being in the egg doesn't mean it will always produce a zygote). On day 2 I had one 4 cell embryo, one 2 cell embryo, and 2 embryos that were dying. The 2 & 4 cell were transferred - one became my first pregnancy, the other likely arrested during the first few days in my uterus. The two embryos left arrested over the next couple of days - they weren't killed they died like what happens with 75% of all embryos fertilized in a women's body - only difference is a women doesn't know her egg was ever fertilized because it dies before it can implant and cause a pregnancy, because of ivf I knew how many eggs were fertilized.
Cycle #2 I produced 6 eggs both 1 of those eggs was degenerated and another was empty. They injected the remaining 4 with my husband's sperm. 2 died on the first day and by day 2 I had only 2 embryos. The next day luckily both embryos were still alive (one was 6 cells and one was 7 cells) we transferred both to they struck producing my twin pregnancy. So you see we did not kill any embryos or have any left over embryos.

It seems that you guys like to remain closed minded so I will stop posting here. I try and give people the benefit of the doubt but it seems your opinion goes beyond just plain ignorance. I pray none of you wind up with infertile children, etc - however given that the odds of infertility is 10% chances are there will be quite a few of you that will have to deal with it - maybe not yourself but with one of your loved ones. I hope you show them more love and respect then you have shown me.

Posted by: cp at January 13, 2010 10:09 PM


CP,

You have it backwards- 75% of babies live, only 25% fail to implant or die in utero. (It's more like 1 in 5 or 80%) But for the sake or your rationalization, let's assume that 75% of babies conceived naturally die naturally. With IVF, you have nearly to upwards of 90% dying. Once again, are those odds you'd take with your own life?

The truth that you don't want to accept is that your babies are dead because of how you chose to conceive them. Yes, you killed them. And the worst part is that you aren't having with having one child, so you'll kill another set of kids to have another baby!

If you had 10 kids, but had to kill 9 to get one more, would you? Because that's what you've done. If these embryos were truly your beloved children, you wouldn't dare to make them and mourn their deaths anymore than you would kill a born child to make another baby.

Listen, I am close to infertility with my personal afflictions. I could be infertile. I worked with domestic, international and social service adoptions and counseled infertile couples. Infertility SUCKS. It's not fair that the prostitute can have crack-addicted children and put them in dumpsters and you can not. It's not fair that the teenager can get pregnant in the backseat of a car after prom her first time having sex and a married couples of years and years can't conceive no matter how hard they try. Is it fair? No. And some problems aren't correctable, like low sperm count (note: IVF doesn't make him healthy, so it's not like IVF is a medical procedure that fixes infertility and restores health). So, yes, I have sympathy for the infertile. It's devasting.

However, my sympathy for you wanes and travels to your dead children when you decided that you deserve pregnancy and babies so much that you're willing to kill your children in order to have what you want. I don't feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for your dead babies, and the survivor's guilt your child will feel knowing that she was only born because her older siblings were killed in your first round of IVF.

I could be infertile myself, but I love my kids too much to kill some in order to birth others. I am meant to be a mother, and their and thousands of children out there that need mommies.

You killed your embryos and you want sympathy? You are not going to get it from me. You killed your kids in order to have kids- so what you love is yourself, not your children. My only sympathy for you is that you are too selfish to know what real love is.

Posted by: Jacqueline Christine Harvey at January 13, 2010 10:31 PM


CP,

You have it backwards- 75% of babies live, only 25% fail to implant or die in utero. (It's more like 1 in 5 or 80%) But for the sake or your rationalization, let's assume that 75% of babies conceived naturally die naturally. With IVF, you have nearly to upwards of 90% dying. Once again, are those odds you'd take with your own life?

The truth that you don't want to accept is that your babies are dead because of how you chose to conceive them. Yes, you killed them. And the worst part is that you aren't having with having one child, so you'll kill another set of kids to have another baby!

If you had 10 kids, but had to kill 9 to get one more, would you? Because that's what you've done. If these embryos were truly your beloved children, you wouldn't dare to make them and mourn their deaths anymore than you would kill a born child to make another baby.

Listen, I am close to infertility with my personal afflictions. I could be infertile. I worked with domestic, international and social service adoptions and counseled infertile couples. Infertility SUCKS. It's not fair that the prostitute can have crack-addicted children and put them in dumpsters and you can not. It's not fair that the teenager can get pregnant in the backseat of a car after prom her first time having sex and a married couples of years and years can't conceive no matter how hard they try. Is it fair? No. And some problems aren't correctable, like low sperm count (note: IVF doesn't make him healthy, so it's not like IVF is a medical procedure that fixes infertility and restores health). So, yes, I have sympathy for the infertile. It's devasting.

However, my sympathy for you wanes and travels to your dead children when you decided that you deserve pregnancy and babies so much that you're willing to kill your children in order to have what you want. I don't feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for your dead babies, and the survivor's guilt your child will feel knowing that she was only born because her older siblings were killed in your first round of IVF.

I could be infertile myself, but I love my kids too much to kill some in order to birth others. I am meant to be a mother, and their and thousands of children out there that need mommies.

You killed your embryos and you want sympathy? You are not going to get it from me. You killed your kids in order to have kids- so what you love is yourself, not your children. My only sympathy for you is that you are too selfish to know what real love is. And you are right, I DON'T have any respect for you because what you have done and keep trying to justify is indefensible. You wanted a baby and would sacrifice your own children to get it. If you want respect, act respectable.

Posted by: Jacqueline Christine Harvey at January 13, 2010 10:39 PM


Mods, can you delete the multiple posts?

Posted by: Jacqueline Christine Harvey at January 13, 2010 10:40 PM


It's amazing to see the ignorant comments but I dont know why I'm surprised given the ignorance of the original blog.

CP - don't waste your time arguing with these idiots.

Where's the blog about the catholic priests molesting children?

Posted by: Big Fan of IVF at January 14, 2010 7:47 PM


Big Fan of IVF,

You are acting ignorant yourself when you state that there are numerous "ignorant comments," that there is an "ignorance of the original blog," calling us "idiots," and then wondering where there is a log about priests molesting children.

"ignorant comments" - You are judging us directly without knowing our experiences, our knowledge base, or by even engaging us directly with conversation. This, in itself, is showing ignorance.

"ignorance of the original blog" - Explain to us where this "ignorance" is and we will gladly retract our statements against IVF. Many of us here are pro-life, and thus wish to protect those who are scientifically deemed as human beings; IVF creates an unnatural excess of embryos for which directly increase the likelihood of these embryos' deaths. We are against this not because of ignorance, but because of the proven scientific facts present in this debate.

Calling us idiots - The mere fact that you automatically discredit us without debating any merits of our arguments is quite idiotic to me. If you wish to not look "ignorant" or "idiotic" in nature, then please show us where the majority of us are wrong in facts and in the interpretation of these facts.

Then you wonder where there is a log about priests molesting children - This blog's scope does not encompass this topic, which is why it is not touched on often (or at all, I'm not sure). I'd bet you a trillion dollars that every poster at this blog is against ANYONE molesting children sexually. I would also think that the majority of people here would not want abusive priests to be protected by the Catholic Church.

Respond with smart and coherent arguments unless you want to stay looking just as ignorant as you claim that we are.

Posted by: segamon at January 14, 2010 8:28 PM


Delete the double post! I clicked post but my browser didn't do a thing. Thus, I clicked post again! lol.

Posted by: segamon at January 14, 2010 8:30 PM


Wow, I am truly shocked at the lack of factual information in many of these posts and the fact that you are judging couples who make the decision to use IVF to conceive a child.

You are not God, therefore you have no right to judge anyone! And for a bunch of so called "Catholics", you are quick to judge anyone who doesn't agree with your views.

You may want to familiarize yourself with the bible to learn how to be a true Catholic.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you (Matthew 7:12).”

I am a Catholic as well and have never ever judged anyone as harshly as you are. You Jacqueline and Segamon should consider going to church to repent your sins of judging others.

Posted by: LB at January 15, 2010 6:55 PM


LB,

Read your Catechism of the Catholic Church. I was only stating that if someone adamately refuses to conform to Church teaching that he/she should leave the Church on his/her own. I'm not forcing anyone to do anything.

CC2270: "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception."
CC2275: "One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing, the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival" [emphasis mine]

Science shows us that IVF disproportionately risks the lives of embryos. Thus, we, as Catholics, must oppose IVF.

I understand that people who use IVF are trying to start a family (this is admirable). No matter how honorable a goal, the ends do not justify the means. This is especially the case when human beings are being put at disproportional risk of death.

Furthermore, read the Catechism a little more and you will find more proof that sheds light against IVF:

CC2377: "Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable." [emphasis mine]

Most importantly, in regards to the lives of embryos, the Bible states:

Matt 25:40 "...I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

If you put the lives of embryos to undue risk of death, so also did you put the life of God Himself at undue risk. It is God that those who participate in IVF must answer to, not to me or Jacqueline. We just want others to understand WHY IVF is an evil that cannot be accepted so that they may not commit the sin of putting lives at risk. My goal is never to judge others, only the actions for which have been professed to have been made.

Posted by: segamon at January 15, 2010 7:15 PM