Wednesday, November 2, 2005

A consequence of sin

Celebrity Brook Shields recently announced that she is pregnant with her second child. This comes as a shock after hearing her devastating tales of post-partum depression that she recounted in her book Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression.

Recent studies from Australia reveal that mothers of children conceived through IVF are more prone to medical complications and four times more likely to suffer from post-partum depression. Shields' first child was conceived through IVF.

In addition, as many as one-in-six children conceived in vitro do not make it to birth, but die at some point either naturally or unnaturally. Perhaps the knowledge that about 85% of children are killed, not born, in the IVF procedure helps to compound that grief.

In addition, the faulty philosophy that leads a parent to resort to IVF is also found in the sins of contraception, abortion and "perfect baby syndrome." It is the attitude that a child is a right. But, that's not true. When speaking of personal rights in procreation, the only rights that exist are the rights of children to be born and loved, and the parents have the right to please each other and make each other happy. No one has the right to demand or deny the right to life of another person.

This philosophy drives barren couples as well as couples that sternly demand to be barren to misinterpret not only the means and ends of marriage (procreation and education of children), but also the meaning of our very existence as a gift from God.

One can only wonder whether the conception of her second child took this staggering evidence into account, and whether the child was conceived naturally. Of course, only time will tell, but this evidence should act as a stern warning to mothers against the sin of IVF.


  1. Since when does warning someone to turn from his ways if they are sinful constitude wrong doing? Is it not a great act of love to intervene on that person's behalf in an effort to promote good and end evil? Christ charges His faithful to instruct the ignorant, not to ignore them; to do that would be to do great harm and injustice. Do we allow murderers to persist in their behavior simply because we should not "judge" them?

  2. What is your stance on life-saving medical procedures... according to what you've written, this constitutes playing a role in determining if someone has a right to life or not... and therefore assuming the role of God.

  3. thanks to all for your comments.

    first, ms pickled eggs, i am not judging people. it is only right to judge actions, otherwise we live in a world full of uncharity toward others. IVF is uncharity toward women and children. these children are just very, very young, so it is hard to understand their humanity fully. i read your blog briefly today, and i was saddened to hear your story of infertility. the Church is attentive to the needs of those suffering due to infertility. this situation demands justice as well. the conception of a child is not an act that we can will, and that we ought not will, but that we accept with love from God as an awesome responsibility. while it is not the right of man and woman to have a child, it is their right to raise him/ her in love. there is a distinction. you will be remembered in my prayers that God will bless you with abundant grace to bear this cross. on that note, there is a ministry called Elizabeth Ministry which serves as a support group for women "during the joys, challenges and sorrows of the childbearing years." perhaps you will be interested in their ministry...

    airman, good comments on justice. this goes with the above point.

    manuela (i love your name!!), "life-saving medical procedures" is such a broad topic! wow! in each individual circumstance, there can be a million factors that must be analyzed by an expert in Catholic teachings and current medical procedures, etc. please contact The National Catholic Bioethics Center for an expert consultation on an individual circumstance. there is a webform for you to complete under "consultation." medicine is not assuming the role of God, but caring for the life God gave us. but, this must be understood correctly in light of the Natural Law and justice toward others.