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  1. #1 The Overlooked Ethics of Reproduction 
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    An interesting and provocative article

    The Overlooked Ethics of Reproduction
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/wom...tml?paging=off

    A recent Pew Research study found Americans largely do not see in vitro fertilization as a moral issue. Adults across religious traditions, including evangelicals, are more likely to say IVF "is not a moral issue" than they are to take a position for or against it.

    While grieving with those who struggle with infertility, Christians still need to look more carefully at today's reproductive technologies such as IVF in light of our beliefs about God, life, our bodies, and our children....


    ....The fact that so many people fail to consider the moral implications of IVF suggests that in the age of fertility treatments, surrogates, and modern family-building via parenting partnerships, a woman's womb has come to be seen as a somewhat arbitrary location. NBC's The New Normal quips that women are "Easy-Bake Ovens" and children are "cupcakes."....

    .... Renowned marriage and family therapist Nancy Verrier, in her book The Primal Wound, writes about how mothers are biologically, hormonally, and emotionally programmed to bond with their babies in utero as well as at birth. A baby knows his or her mother at birth, and both the mother and the baby will experience grief at any separation at the time of birth. This primal wound is forever present.

    In other words, it's nowhere as easy as the Easy-Bake metaphor. In the case of surrogacy, we can interrupt the natural rhythm for mother and child and risk negative effects. (It is worth noting that surrogacy differs from adoption in that surrogacy intentionally establishes a situation that demands that a woman not bond with the child she is carrying.)

    With the Center for Bioethics and Culture, I'm currently working on a documentary about surrogacy, and in our interviews I have sadly heard firsthand stories of the complications of this process—even when everyone starts off with the best of intentions. One surrogate was asked to have an abortion because the child she was carrying had a genetic defect. Another surrogate's own children were heartbroken that their mother gave away the baby. A woman who served as a surrogate for her brother and his partner is still battling over custody of the now school-aged children. Even Elton John, who celebrated the birth of his children with the help of an egg donor and a surrogate, admits that it is heartbreaking that his children will grow up without a mother.

    In response to assisted reproductive technologies and procedures, an uneven patchwork of policies and laws in the U.S. attempt to protect intended parents rather than surrogates or the children they carry. Legislative debates frequently take place with no larger sense of the gravity of this practice or how it might harm families and society.

    For example, this year in Louisiana a state senator introduced a law that would allow surrogacy contracts for heterosexual couples. The legislator, who had gone to another state in order to contract with a surrogate to have children, described surrogacy as baking a loaf of bread in an oven, a comparison that—as I've mentioned before—belittles the very real issues involved. As human beings created in the image of God, women are not ovens, nor are their bodies simply vessels to be used, sold, rented, or loaned....
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  2. #2  
    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    It's been a generation since IVF was introduced-people view it as normal, now.

    I remember all the controversy back in the 70s, and then the first "test-tube baby". My mom was a nurse and found it somewhat freaky, but for some women with fertility issues, it was a miracle.

    My dad thought it took all the fun out of making babies.
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  3. #3  
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    I was always jealous of test tube babies, they had a womb with a view.
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    Catholics still have many issues with IVF. The most obvious one is that of "selective reduction" (abortion). Basically, a number of embryos are implanted to give the best possible chance of conception, but sometimes a number of embryos "take", and it is too much either physically or financially for the mother to bear. In that case, the extra implanted embryos--considered persons by the Catholic church--are aborted so that one embryo can be carried to term.

    This is not only a problem for Catholics. I knew a Protestant couple who could not conceive and were considering IVF, but in the end did not do it because of the possibility of abortion.


    Other issues the Catholic church has concern the "donation" of eggs and/or sperm from 3rd parties. The church believes that the resulting child is denied the moral right to know his or her own biological parent (from whom the egg or sperm comes). It's considered morally different from adoption, since the act of purposely creating a child with unknown parents is considered morally wrong, while adopting the already existing child of parents who cannot raise that child is considered a blessing.

    The issue mentioned in the article, though, is something every liberal should care about. If you don't care about abortion or the deliberate creation of a child with unknown bioparents, you should care about the fact that the surrogacy movement can objectify the woman's body to the extent that the woman herself no longer exists. Remember the feminist's movement's main complaint about straight males making women into "sex objects" and forgetting there was a person there. Now, gay men can join straight couples in the fun by making women into "womb objects", forgetting that there is a person there, as the article above makes clear.
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    Sin City Moderator RobJohnson's Avatar
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    I think IVF would just be considered a Blessing from God & science.
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    There's vilifying a woman for ending a pregnancy that has been started, and there's also vilifying a woman for doing anything she can to CREATE a pregnancy in order to become a mother. Jeez, people.
    "Today, [the American voter] chooses his rulers as he buys bootleg whiskey, never knowing precisely what he is getting, only certain that it is not what it pretends to be." - H.L. Mencken
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    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    The devil is in the details. What started out as a way for infertile couples to conceive has now become a means for infertile singles or gay couples to buy children. This is where the ethics become highly convoluted. For example, it's one thing for the law to permit this, but another for it to mandate coverage for it, as Obamacare does. Also, once unmarried singles can have this "right," can other entities, like corporations? Eventually we will be able to replicate the womb, at which point parents will only be necessary as donors, and then abortion won't be the issue, mass production will be. Imagine if a person incorporates for the purpose of financing an IVF procedure. Is the baby property, or is he human? Does a corporation that owns the mechanical womb own the end product? With the breaking of the human genome, can genetically engineered people be far behind? When a corporation can breed its own workforce, or a government can breed its own Soldiers, where does that leave the average citizen? We're talking Bladerunner, Brave New World and Gattaca, with a heavy dose of A Clockwork Orange thrown in for good measure.

    Divorcing reproduction from sex and parenting has serious consequences that our technocratic elites don't want to address, but by the time that they acknowledge them, the damage will be done.
    --Odysseus
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    Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
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    Thanks Ody. I can go to bed completely peaceful, knowing that corporate-owned genetically-engineered people are just around the corner.
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    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobJohnson View Post
    I think IVF would just be considered a Blessing from God & science.

    If an infertile woman has a baby through IVF, of course she would feel that way. Once the baby is here, it's hard to say that the process of how it came here is wrong.


    I think one of the issues is the unused embryos. Although I am prochoice, an embryo forms after conception, so if one believes (as the Catholic Church and others do) that life begins at conception, what is done with leftover embryos? Is it murder to dispose of them?
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    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
    Thanks Ody. I can go to bed completely peaceful, knowing that corporate-owned genetically-engineered people are just around the corner.
    On the plus side, some of them will be smokin' hot.



    Quote Originally Posted by noonwitch View Post
    If an infertile woman has a baby through IVF, of course she would feel that way. Once the baby is here, it's hard to say that the process of how it came here is wrong.


    I think one of the issues is the unused embryos. Although I am prochoice, an embryo forms after conception, so if one believes (as the Catholic Church and others do) that life begins at conception, what is done with leftover embryos? Is it murder to dispose of them?
    According to the Catholic Church, yes. Another issue is that in order to be sure of success, multiple embryos are implanted at the same time, but not all are brought to term. The excess ones are aborted. Now, think of the language that I just used there: "excess" embryos. Potentially excess people. Got the chills yet?
    --Odysseus
    Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.

    Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
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