In vitro fertilization: A battle that must be fought
While many abortion opponents denounce stem cell research, there is too little attention paid to the scores of embryos destroyed by fertility clinics.
Note: I originally wrote this on January 26, 2009
Earlier this month, I addressed the issue of stem cell research, again explaining why I oppose killing human beings in the very beginning stages of development for the purposes of scientific research. But there is a much bigger issue than stem cell "research" that abortion opponents have, for the most part, not addressed nearly as much as we should. After all, the justification for destroying human embryos for their stem cells is that those babies would have been discarded anyway be fertility clinics.
To be clear, I have no problem with in vitro fertilization in and of itself. Simply joining sperm and egg to create a new human being in a laboratory instead of through sexual intercourse is neither moral nor immoral. The problem comes when more babies are created than the couple intends to use, and those babies are then killed. If fertility clinics used every single embryo created, this would not be an issue.
A study of one fertility clinic in Australia documented by the National Institutes of Health reported that over an 11 year period "of 1246 couples relinquishing frozen embryos, 1116 (89.5%) opted to discard rather than donate their embryos." We know this happens, and that babies created in the image of God are "discarded" (murdered) by fertility clinics. So what should abortion opponents who believe life begins at fertilization do about it?
First, we should address this head on and educate the public about this issue. If opponents of stem cell "research" recognize that life begins at fertilization, they should be reminded that killing is taking place on a much larger scale. We should publicly pressure fertility clinics to implement policies that ensure that all embryos created will be used and not "discarded" by the clinic. We should lobby our legislators to protect life, as I do below.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: In vitro fertilization
Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2009 16:09:22 -0500
From: Scott Tibbs <email@example.com>
Once again, I thank you for the stand you have taken defending innocent human life over the last decade. There is another life issue, largely ignored by the anti-abortion community, that needs to be addressed if we are to truly create a society where all human lives are protected.
While many abortion opponents denounce stem cell research, there is too little attention paid to the scores of embryos destroyed by fertility clinics. It is a scientific fact that life begins at fertilization, with the creation of a human embryo. Given time, nutrition and shelter, that embryo (the tiniest human being) will grow and develop through the stages of life. Too many, though, are never given the chance to live because they are discarded.
It is perverse that a process that is designed to create life results in the wanton destruction of so many human lives. President Barack Obama is correct that we as a society have failed to fulfill our obligations to protect "the least of these," and this is one area where progress is necessary. I encourage you to consider what can be done to more strictly regulate fertility clinics to ensure that human life is protected from the moment of fertilization and to file the legislation necessary to see this happens.
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