Saturday, August 14, 2010

In Vitro.

This is so wrong on oh, so many levels; it's difficult to know just where to begin.

In India, home of 1.2 billion souls, in vitro fertilization clinics are now the latest craze, particularly for women 60 years old and older.

India does not, apparently, place many - if any - restrictions on it's 550 registered in vitro fertilization clinics; it seems like anything goes. According to a Washington Post article, in the National Fertility Center in Hisar,Haryana India only 60% of the women impregnated at the clinic carried their pregnancies to full term.

The article goes on to say that the clients fall into two categories; one group of older women who wish to eliminate the "stigma" associated with infertility and a second group of career minded couples who choose to wait until their careers were established before having children. Both groups are inherently selfish; choosing their own desires over what might be best for the child.

Reading the Washington Post article, one can begin to appreciate the Catholic Church's policy concerning What’s Wrong With In-Vitro Fertilization:

Father Tadeusz PachoIczyk, director of education at the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, explained that the Church teaches that the procedure is immoral for several reasons. "It undermines the meaning of sex. It violates the exclusivity of the couple's marriage covenant," Father Pacholczyk said. "It says that it is okay to manufacture life in a laboratory as if it were a commodity, when it should be the result of human love."

"There's also the ancillary evil of freezing embryonic humans that are later abandoned or poured down the sink if they are not useful," he added. In addition, Father Pacholczyk noted that babies created through in-vitro fertilization have an elevated risk of birth defects. "Studies have shown a six fold elevated risk for in-vitro fertilization children contracting an eye disease called retinal blastoma versus normally conceived babies," he said. "In-vitro fertilization is very unnatural. You're extracting ova from the woman, culturing them and inspecting the developing embryo in a laboratory setting. They are in a completely unnatural environment for a very long time before they are put back into the womb.

Further research into the Church's stance on the immorality of in vitro lead me to a story from 2006 [Good News, You're Pregnant - Bad News, You're Fired. and Catholic School Teacher Fired for Having In Vitro].
Like far too many Catholics, Kelly and Eric Romenesko knew very little about the Church's teachings in this area. Kelly, who was a French teacher at a Catholic school, was fired after informing her supervisors that she had become pregnant via in vitro. Since the church forbids IVF, she had violated school rules requiring teachers to live according to Catholic doctrine.

Kelly Romenesko reportedly said,

"I did not know what the Catholic doctrine stated against in vitro fertilization. Yes, I signed a contract, but the contract was vague in my opinion. I didn't know what I was doing as far as in vitro goes that that went against doctrine. My understanding was it was the Ten Commandments."

According to one article,

"When Romenesko asked for time off for fertility treatments, her boss at Xavier High School, where she was hired in 2002, referred her to a priest who laid out the church's problems with IVF. She says she left the meeting with the sense that 'this is against church teaching, but I am a good person and will be accepted by the church.' She and Eric are still considering what to do with the frozen embryos left over from their IVF."

Being someone who believes the Roman Catholic Church should follow his teachings, Eric Romenesko said,

"I think the issue here is the fact that Kelly was released from her job for being pregnant, not the in vitro fertilization itself," Eric said. "Our daughters have been baptized Lutheran at this point in time. Kelly and I haven't converted yet."

Mr. Romenesko is, of course, a bozo. The Church encourages Catholics to have children and according to her own statement, his wife had the sense that 'this is against church teaching'.


Dominique said...

Disturbing, indeed.

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