Posted on May 7, 2024 by Published by

May is mostly remembered for two days – Memorial and Mother’s Day. Memorial Day celebrates those who fought for us and the latter is a celebration of all of our mothers including life in the womb. But what about those who are not mothers yet? Those who have yet to conceive. What can couples do when faced with infertility?

The exploding need of couples dealing with infertility (Bioethics) has created the need for a sound understanding of Catholic teaching regarding the dignity of the human person — especially on the trending topic of in vitro fertilization given the recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling that frozen human embryos are considered unborn children under state law. (NCRegister)

The National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), based in Broomall, Pennsylvania, was created to meet this need in 1972. People email or call to ask about all types of bio-ethic issues ranging from vaccines to do not resuscitate requests to assisted suicide. The NCBC provides a way for people to ask the questions around the question of fertility and receive an answer in line with the Catholic Church. (NCRegister)

So what is the church teaching on infertility and specifically IVF? The Church has clearly and unequivocally judged IVF to be immoral. Unfortunately, most Catholics are not aware of the Church’s teaching, do not know that IVF is immoral, and some have used it in attempting to have children. If a couple is unaware the procedure is immoral, they are not subjectively guilty of sin. Children conceived through this procedure are children of God and are loved by their parents, as they should be. Like all children, regardless of the circumstances of their conception and birth, they should be loved, cherished and cared for. (USCCB)

The Church also provides other options – some are medical and others are more widely known like adoption or foster care. Many of these are discussed in the two articles linked at the end of this article.

The Church has sincere compassion and empathy for couples struggling with infertility. She offers guidance and hope through her teachings on how to understand and approach infertility in a way that reverences and protects the dignity of the human person and respects God’s divine plan for married love. She invites couples who struggle with infertility and see this as an obstacle to fulfilling their vocation as still fruitful when their married love is “open to others, to the needs of the apostolate… the needs of the poor… the needs of orphans” and to the world (St. John Paul II, Homily, 1982; quoted in Married Love and the Gift of Life). And to surrender to God’s holy will for them in their lives, consequently opening them to a shower of graces they could never have imagined.

Source Links:

We’d love for you to join Respect Life! Email today.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed here.