The process basically involves this:
(1) The mother's ovaries are stimulated through hormone injections to release more than one egg per cycle.
(2) The eggs (approx. 20-30) are surgically extracted, prepared by stripping the outer cell membrane, placed in a dish, and adequately stored until the father's "sample" is obtained.
(3) The father is given a containter and sent to a discreet room at the clinic (equipped with the corresponding "toys") in order to provide the necessary seed. Alternatively, single women and lesbians with fertility problems use frozen samples from a male donor.
(4) The IVF specialist doctors up the contents of Dad's dish before dumping them onto the contents of Mom's dish, and the majority of eggs are fertilized.
(5) The babies are left to develop in the dish for several days while being observed. Some grow at a normal rate, some grow slower than expected, and some "arrest in growth" - a euphemism for dying.
(6) Only the embryos growing at a normal, healthy rate will be considered for transfer to the mother's womb. This may be anywhere from a couple of babies to a dozen or more. Most people will end up with 4 to 6 "viable" embryos. Of course, in almost all cases no more than 2 or 3 babies are implanted for fear of becoming pregnant with multiples.
(7) Overall success rate is about 27% per cycle, meaning that the mother only has a one out of four chance that any baby will actually "catch on", grow, and be born, while the rest die. Unused embryos can be discarded or stored in liquid nitrogen for as long as the parents wish (for another IVF attempt or another pregnancy later on).
The question is: Is this procedure morally right? Just because it is technically and scientifically possible, should Christians be participating in it?
My answer is a vehement, resounding NO! Oh, that's that word that our ungodly society doesn't like to hear any more. They like to think that they can do whatever they want to do, and nobody will tell them otherwise - especially not God. The reasons why I feel this way? Read on:
- Murder: Intentionally subjecting your child to a situation in which he only has an extremely thin chance of survival is murder. If I were to load a revolver tonight, load it with 4 out of 6 bullets, spin the barrel and then fire one shot at each of our four children, what would be their chances of survival? For sure, at least two would die, but probably three would. In this example, there is a 33% chance of one child surviving - for IVF, it's 27%. Would I be arrested if I did this? Would it be considered intentional murder since I purposefully loaded less "blanks" than I needed for all children to survive? Could I rightfully say: "Well, God decides who is going to live and who is going to die!"? I am well aware of the fact that miscarriages occur naturally, and I have had a couple myself. But that still only means that I have lost 2 out of 6 children. Compare that to the 1 in 4 chance that at least one of the 20 or so babies that are conceived will survive. If God decides to kill one of my children, does that mean I can kill as many as I like?
- Perversion: If you don't find the above procedure revolting and disgusting there is something seriously wrong with you. And what's up with involving a third party in the procreation process? So the doctor is impregnating the wife of another man?
- Playing God: This is revolutionary: If people don't get pregnant, it's because God doesn't want them to have a child. Am I saying that infertile couples are bad parents? No, not at all! Some of the nicest people I know are still praying for a child. God may have other reasons that we cannot understand. But I do think that ALL parents having children by way of IVF are bad parents (see points above), and that their children would have been better off if they were never born because their parents are twisted and will expose them to who knows what.
My personal experience in meeting IVF parents and children is limited because all of our friends are obviously devoted Christians. But the parents I did meet were more or less ridiculous, and seemed completely incompetent and overwhelmed. I have also doubted the paternity of some of these children, partly due to one of the parents compulsively pointing out similarities to the supposed Dad way more than normal parents would. I am not saying hat mix ups are common, but they certainly must occur sometime, somewhere. So maybe it's just a subliminal fear in the back of their mind that makes them so bent on proving that Dad is in fact the biological father. Not a chance I want to take!
In spite of all this, many Christians are ignorant of the IVF process. They may condone it because they don't know the facts, and are afraid to look into it because someone they love has committed IVF. I have heard of pastors condoning the process, either motivated by money or influence.
So I was all the more surprised by this article that a friend of mine sent me :
Albert Mohler: All involved with IVF responsible for "human tragedy"
A leader of the evangelical movement in the United States recently came down hard on the effects of in vitro fertilization on his blog, decrying the destruction of millions of embryos for the sake of IVF, reports John Connolly, LifeSiteNews.com.
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the primary school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world, called the destruction of embryos in IVF a tragedy, after reading a report in the London Times that over one million human embryos have been killed in IVF procedures.
"Human embryos are being produced, almost factory-like, and then routinely destroyed or indefinitely frozen," he observed. "This phenomenon might be described as an unintended complication of the IVF technology. Nevertheless, all involved in this technology are responsible for this vast human tragedy, intended or not."
"Far too many evangelicals seem to turn a blind eye to this reality," he continued. "While we celebrate the birth of a child and the gift of life, we cannot blind ourselves to the harsh and grotesque reality that this technology also means the destruction of human life. Many evangelicals fail to see what many proponents of human embryonic stem cell research have noted - a glaring inconsistency in condemning the destruction of human embryos through stem cell research, while ignoring or dismissing the destruction of embryos in IVF clinics."
Dr. Mohler has been recognized by such influential publications as Time and Christianity Today as a leader among American evangelicals. Time.com called him the "reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the U.S."
Mohler hosts a daily live nationwide radio program on the Salem Radio Network., and is a leader in the Southern Baptist Convention. He has served in several offices, including a term as Chairman of the SBC Committee on Resolutions, which is responsible for the denomination's official statements on moral and doctrinal issues.
What's the point of this all? Next time a lady tells you she is trying to get pregnant and considering IVF, please explain this process to her and advise her not to do it.
To hear a sermon on this subject, please click here.
For more written information, please visit this site.
"Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity." - Deuteronomy 28:41
"Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter,
That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them?" - Ezekiel 16:20, 21
"Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,
And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood." - Psalm 106:37, 38