During National Infertility Awareness Week this week, the goal first and foremost is providing support to couples struggling with infertility. Secondly, providing information about alternatives to IVF is important. While it may seem compassionate to try to help couples conceive no matter the cost, couples struggling with infertility deserve treatment that acknowledges the human dignity of every child they may have. The time of community support and educational outreach for those struggling with infertility is hosted by RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, a non-profit that focuses on patient advocacy.
The theme for National Infertility Awareness Week this year is #InfertilityUncovered. Much of the focus is on building grassroots support for couples. The week calls attention to the estimated 1 in 8 couples who have difficulty getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. For couples struggling with infertility, the awareness week can be a way of finding support in their communities that they didn’t previously have.
Infertility can feel isolating and the grief that accompanies it can be difficult to express, and support groups can be a huge source of comfort and help during the difficult journey of infertility. Less helpfully, however, RESOLVE also advocates for insurance coverage of fertility treatment without regard to the ethical and moral questions involved with some forms of artificial reproductive technology.
Unfortunately, few couples struggling with infertility are presented with life-affirming approaches like NaProTechnology. Instead, many are told in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is the only means by which they will ever become pregnant. IVF is prohibitively expensive for many couples, but RESOLVE’s advocacy to have IVF covered by health insurance does not address the more pressing issues with IVF.
The practice of IVF has led to an array of disturbing ethical abuses. As Dr. Anthony Caruso, an OB/GYN who specialized successfully in IVF for years before stopping the procedure says, IVF turns children into “manufactured goods.” Abortion advocates have obscured the question of when life begins, but the reality is that science tells us life begins at conception.
In the IVF industry, genetically unique children are formed, selected based on eugenics, “selectively reduced” if too many embryos continue to grow and develop, and discarded or turned into jewelry once couples have all the children they wish to have born or can no longer afford the continued cost of storing and implanting frozen embryos. At every stage, human beings are treated as property that can be discarded if “defective” or no longer desirable.
During this week, the need for ethical alternatives to IVF should be highlighted. Families who cannot adopt, or who choose not to, deserve better alternatives than creating “extra” children and keeping them in cold storage indefinitely.
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