As the abortion lobby rifles through their bag of ‘gotcha questions’ these days, it seems that the topic of In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) gets picked quite frequently in an attempt to embarrass the pro-life movement and say, “Bet you didn’t think of IVF when you said life begins at conception, huh?” Unfortunately for the abortion lobby, we are no strangers to the IVF discussion—the pro-life movement and Students for Life of America (SFLA) has been considering the ethics of IVF for a long time.
Back in 2019, Students for Life Action (SFLAction) and SFLA President Kristan Hawkins wrote an op-ed for National Review, entitled “Creating Disposable Babies—Yes, We Can, But Should We?
.” In the article, she discussed the questions we need to ask ourselves about this method of conception, and Hawkins directly addressed the common attack that if pro-lifers were really pro-life, they would support IVF without question. She wrote,
“The issue, however, was not whether we want people to create families (we’re the pro-life movement — we love babies) but whether creating disposable children, a common event with IVF, is a good idea.”
(Click HERE to listen to an episode of Explicitly Pro-Life entitled, “Infertility, IVF, and the Pro-Life Ethic” with Kristan Hawkins and Stephanie Gray Connors.)
Hawkins uses the term “disposable children” because the IVF industry in the United States is almost unregulated and therefore provides “controversial services,” according to the Washington Post. These services include sex selection, commercial surrogacy anonymous sperm donation, and screening for physical characteristics such as eye color. Such screening also includes screening for rare genetic diseases as an argument why certain lab-created embryos should be tossed. Hawkins asserted,
“This wild, wild west of science is well known to families dealing with rare diseases…In my own family, two of my four children have cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease impacting the lungs and digestive system, requiring daily treatment and diligence to ensure enough calories are consumed and to keep fragile lungs clear.
But Jen Gann, a parenting editor of New York wrote a cover story about her toddler Dudley who also has CF. She expresses the throwaway culture as she writes about her wrongful-birth suit and her desire for the chance to have ended his life.”
(Click HERE to read an in-depth pro-life response to the IVF dilemma.)
Hawkins made the point in her article that it is unsettling that we are playing God with our children’s lives by choosing to let them live or die based upon how pleased we are by their characteristics. After all, a human being’s life is intrinsically valuable based solely upon the fact that they are human—it doesn’t matter what color their eyes are or what disease they may live with. Life is sacred and diverse; for us to say otherwise seems blatantly discriminatory. On top of that, it also turns children into a commodity, not a blessing. Hawkins explained this, saying:
“In the context in which we allow people to live if we are satisfied with all their characteristics, society moves away from children as a unique gift, deserving of our acceptance, care, and love to a commodity, available for purchase…We cannot tell children we love them unconditionally when we shopped for the perfect child and disposed of those that didn’t measure up.”
SFLA is not making a moral judgement of someone who has used IVF, but as members of the pro-life movement, we need to consider and be concerned over the culture of dispensability created using IVF. As a movement, we need to work on caring for families and women who are struggling with fertility while we also protect life at all stages—from conception to natural death.
To read the entirety of Hawkins’ article on IVF, click HERE.
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