Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Questions and Answers: In Vitro Fertilization

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Question: Is in vitro fertilization a process in which Christians can ethically participate?

I must write about this because my conscience pricks me powerfully. I know that I am not all-knowing, especially when it comes to the technological advances that have allowed us to implant embryos. I believe it’s very important for us to remember that, just because a process can medically be done, and just because it fulfills the deep desires of parenthood in those who are infertile, does not mean that it’s God-approved. It cannot be right for parents to bring life into the world with the INTENTION of not parenting to adulthood (and beyond) each of any children produced in the process. When we start viewing embryos as the tiniest of humans–when we see them as babies–it should be easy for us to see that it is unconscionable for us to select SOME of the children we have created, and then to reject others. It’s not the rescue of embryos already “orphaned” (for lack of a better word), that’s wrong. It’s the intentional bearing of “extra children”–knowing that there will likely be those children that I will not “use,” (and let me say there’s a separate eternal issue involved when passing them along to those who are not New Testament Christians). If we think about these “leftover” embryos as the children that they are, with complete genetics already formed by the Creator, it becomes impossible for us to consider that we could pre-determine, prior to conception, to “donate” our children to others for the teaching, provision, raising and loving. I know that this issue runs deep in the hearts of women, but we are failing to consider that we are endorsing the process of the biological parenting of children without intent to raise those children whenever we encourage parents to participate in IVF as commonly practiced. I love my sisters so very much and I am thinking that most women reading are doing so because they love God. But I’m praying for (and typing this for) the children that are at risk in the process that brings about their existence and, for many, their ultimate rejection by parents. IVF could only be God-approved if the parents who are bringing life into this world intend to nurture every life for which they are responsible…every fertilized egg.

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