Thursday, 6 January 2011

There is a paradox in society's attitude to infertility and child destruction

Wesley Smith (pictured right) has picked up on an interesting article by Ross Douthat of the New York Times called The Unborn Paradox. Douthat explores the tragedy of human life being readily discarded through abortion, but Smith rightly extends the discussion to account for those lives destroyed in IVF procedures. However, at the same time there remains a desperate longing for human life in society. Douthat insightfully comments that:
In every era, there’s been a tragic contrast between the burden of unwanted pregnancies and the burden of infertility. But this gap used to be bridged by adoption far more frequently than it is today. Prior to 1973, 20 percent of births to white, unmarried women (and 9 percent of unwed births over all) led to an adoption. Today, just 1 percent of babies born to unwed mothers are adopted, and would-be adoptive parents face a waiting list that has lengthened beyond reason.
It is natural for human beings to long to raise children. However, there's an important distinction to be made between the exercising of that longing through applying for adoption and between undergoing IVF treatment. IVF procedures lead to the destruction of innocent human life. 2,137,924 human embryos were created by specialists while assisting couples in the UK to have babies between 1991 and 2005, according to BioNews. During this period, the HFEA informs us that the total of live babies born through IVF procedures was 109,469. IVF treatment disregards the worth of numerous lives while desperately seeking babies for couples unable to conceive. The disregard for life inherent to IVF procedures was made all the more evident last year when it was reported that many women choose to abort their children after conceiving through IVF.

I have said before that amidst all the challenges faced by the pro-life movement, we must continue to work openly and courageously for a ban on all IVF procedures. Opposing in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) does not imply denying babies, conceived by IVF, their humanity. However, it's vital to oppose IVF as a way of conceiving children since it turns human beings into commodities to be brought to birth or discarded at will.

Douthat offers a powerful perspective into the plight of unborn children today. He says:
"This is the paradox of America’s unborn. No life is so desperately sought after, so hungrily desired, so carefully nurtured. And yet no life is so legally unprotected, and so frequently destroyed."
We must continue to work for a society where all human life is respected and legally protected.

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