Friday, October 7, 2011

Black Market Babies

Humans cannot be owned.
As fertility technologies increase, so do the ethical quandaries. Scanning the comments on these news articles, one is immediately struck by the revulsion many people have to these accounts of black-market infants. On the other hand, the dozens of websites soliciting surrogate mothers indicate that surrogacy is — for many of these same people — just another legitimate business arrangement.

The subject is complicated, even polarizing, because many couples (including Catholics) conceived their own children via IVF. For these parents, IVF is applauded as a means of family-building, not abuse of babies. The temptation of couples who have difficulty conceiving deserves our compassion and prayers. The echo of Hannah is heard down the centuries: “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish” (1 Sam 1:10-11).

Yet the lurid news accounts of black-market babies provide an opening to share the wisdom of the Church’s prohibition against IVF and teaching on the inviolate sacredness of human life. The challenge for Catholics is to effectively engage the secular argument, which is best achieved from the perspective of the common good for all of society without recourse to religious references. Wisdom need not be presented as religious or scriptural teaching, but rather as the practical consequence that proceeds from violating a basic ethic: Humans cannot be owned. (Read entire article.)
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1 comment:

Matterhorn said...

I worry about all the frozen embryos left over from IVF, too...it's an impossible problem to solve.