Sunday, October 07, 2007

In vitro fertilization kills kids too

Dom wonders if pro-lifers picket or pray at IVF clinics.

After all, there are many babies who are aborted in the process of in vitro fertilization. For every baby born, there are several more who die in the fertilization process or by “selective reduction”.

To tell you the truth, I'd never thought about it. But he's got a good point. Here, for example, is some of what happens at Boston IVF:

The retrieved eggs are placed in a petri dish with a special solution for 2 to 3 hours. During this time, the male partner provides a semen sample. The sample is delivered to the lab where it undergoes a clarifying process referred to as “washing.” The washed sperm are incubated and placed in the petri dish with the eggs. After 18 hours, the eggs are examined. If fertilization occurs, then two to four of the resulting embryos are selected for transfer back to the woman. [my emphasis]

Guess what happens to the remaining "embryos?"
Embryo freezing permits high quality embryos that are not immediately used for IVF to be frozen for the couple’s later use. Approximately half of all frozen embryos remain viable after thawing and can be successfully used in IVF treatment. If the frozen embryos are no longer needed, they can be sometimes donated to research, donated to other infertile women or discarded. [Again, my emphasis, but you get the point.]

This is not in any way a criticism of pro-life activists who do far more than I do to save babies. But I do wonder why we're not at least maybe half as outspoken against this practice as we are against abortion. Is not an embryo in petri dish as human as one in the womb?

The irony cannot be escaped. In the same world where so many parents do not want their children and therefore dispose of them before they are born, so many people do want children and for any number of reasons cannot conceive (double-irony: one reason for infertility is a past abortion). And so they choose to cooperate with what we call "science:" abetting in the destruction of many children in order to obtain their desire.