IVF stands for In Vitro Fertilization; Latin for ‘Fertilization in the glass.’ The first successful birth of a child conceived through IVF happened in 1978. IVF is a wicked and dehumanizing process that will always end in the death of children. IVF ought to be abolished.
The number of IVF cycles for the year 2012 (according to Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology) is about 165,172. In 2011, 154,412. In 2010, 146,693. It is common for anywhere from 10 to 30 eggs to be harvested and fertilized and thus 10 to 30 children to be created in each cycle.
After 5 or 6 days of growing and maturing in the solution in which they were created, the 10 to 30 children reach the blastocyst stage and pass under the careful eye of the embryologist who looks at several factors, such as cell mass and wall continuity to determine which children will be given a chance to continue living and which will be either discarded, frozen, or sold for experiments.
Out of the many it is common practice to pick only two for implantation into the uterus. The survival (or implantation) rate for these children who are thrown like dice into the womb of their mother is less than 40%
Projecting the average growth of 5% each year, our nation will permit 191,207 cycles of IVF treatment. Each of these cycles will on average involve the creation of 20 children. Optimistically, 2 out of these 20 children might be chosen for implantation and might survive.
When you stretch the math out you come up with a best-case scenario of roughly 3,441,730 children being killed each year as a direct result of the practice of IVF.
Even granting the possibility that the number of IVF cycles done each year did not change from 2012-2015, we would still come up with a best-case scenario of 2,973,096 children dead as a direct result of the practice of IVF.
Where are our priorities?
Roughly 1.2 million-1.5 million children are killed each year in the United States through the practice of surgical abortion?
Which method is killing more children?
Which method is more palatable to the culture?
About which method are Christians more apathetic?
If you can be persuaded of anything here, let it be that Abortion and IVF are absolutely of the same evil tree and that we will not remove one branch without removing the other.
Although we have discussed that IVF is responsible for as many if not many more deaths as surgical abortion, but there are a multitude of other problems which make IVF intolerable.
IVF goes directly against Gods sovereignty over the womb and usurps His role as the giver of not just life but of children, which He says are a blessing.
IVF dehumanizes children in a multitude of ways. They are trafficked wrongfully and without consent. They are often times held captive, frozen in cryo-freezers. They are often sold as lab rats to be used in embryonic stem cell research. They are most often discarded as nothing more than medical waste. Furthermore, even the embryos that are chosen for implantation were dehumanized as they were looked over through the embryologists microscope just as a buyer looks over livestock, jewelry, or some other piece of property or equity, like a plantation owner might inspect his slave for defect or undesirability.
IVF is a direct denial of the IMAGO DEI and THE INCARNATION. Our Lord, the word made flesh, entered the world as an embryo, as one of the least of these. To our shame, IVF is a summary explanation to how WE THE PEOPLE have ‘done for the least of these.’
IVF helps to perpetuate the consumer mentality towards children (as in HAVING CHILDREN IS MY RIGHT) and the self-idolatry that we see in the practice of abortion (as in KILLING MY CHILDREN IS MY RIGHT).
IVF detracts from the God given institution of adoption which he has historically used to bless barren couples with children, but because the selfishness of many to perpetuate their own name, genes, traits, etc. they rebel against GOD and misuse the means with which He has blessed them. The average cost of IVF in the United States is $12,700, enough money to adopt two orphans. Instead of adopting two orphans, people who procure IVF decided to create twenty more.
Most Christians that I have had a chance to discuss this with at any length (excluding abolitionists) have said something to the effect of ‘you can’t equate abortion to IVF, they are completely different things done by completely different people for completely different reasons’. To this, I would say that ‘you should readily admit that stabbing a child to death is not the exact same as starving a child to death, but that they should both be treated and punished as murder.’
Another excuse that I hear often is that ‘IVF isn’t inherently evil, but rather is in need of regulation.’ This objection will likely be held by many within mainstream Christianity. People have illustrated various scenarios in which only one child would be created at a time, and only one child would be implanted at a time. Obviously this would still result in the same 40% implantation rate, meaning that 60% of the time the single child that is placed into his or her mother’s womb will die. But what if, with the advances in science, that failure rate was to be dramatically reduced? What if in time it could be ensured that 99.9% of the children conceived through IVF and inserted into their mother’s wombs would successfully implant, grow, and be born? Would it be justifiable then, even with all of the other problems that I mentioned aside? MOST CERTAINLY NOT. I do not want to live in an unjust society which will tolerate the dehumanizing destruction of one child so that 999 may be.
What is the right way?
The right way is obviously to trust God, always. He has a plan and purpose. If He blesses you with two biological children, then praise Him. If He blesses you with twenty biological children, then praise Him. If He does not bless you with any children, then praise Him. Trust God to grow or not to grow your family. Do not attempt to stop Him from blessing you with children and do not attempt to force His hand at blessing you with children. Both are indicative of a wrong view of children.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
All of the aforementioned indictments are important to mention when discussing IVF out in the culture or outside of an IVF clinic, but it is important to note that the uncontrollable risk of death that is incurred by the embryo alone is why IVF must be abolished. IVF is probably wrong for a thousand more reasons than what I listed here, but it seems evident to me that if we do not clarify in our speech that IVF is an inherently murderous practice that we will not be effectively communicating the truth to our communities.
We can at no point justify taking such a risk, at the expense of an embryo, who is both ‘a man and a brother.’
-Jered Ragon, Abolitionist