Honestly What’s Wrong with In Vitro Fertilization?

Why Can’t Science Help Infertile Couples?

Fr. Greg Shaffer answers tough questions. (Fr. Greg Shaffer is the currently under attack by homosexual activist at George Washington University for defending the Churches teaching on homosexuality.  Full story here🙂

IVF: Catholic Teaching

In Vitro Fertilization: A Catholic Viewpoint.

Question:  “Most people are quite clear on the Church’s strong stance against preventing pregnancy via artificial means (the use of contraceptives v. natural family planning). The Church takes an equally strong stance against artificial means of CAUSING pregnancy, such as IVF or the use of donor sperm. This stance is consistent with the concept that a child is a gift, but it gets considerably less press. It’s one thing to speak out in defense of life, but another to tell people that having a child isn’t an entitlement.”

Fr. Greg Shaffer’s answer:  Years ago, I had a memorable discussion about in vitro fertilization (IVF) with some Catholic friends. One of my friends was questioning the relevance of the Church’s teaching against in vitro fertilization. I made the point that this type of fertilization goes against not only the procreative end of marriage (procreation is to be done naturally – as God intends -not artificially) but also the unitive end (union takes place outside of the man and woman, and in a laboratory).

My friend basically said, “so what? I’ve heard this before and it really doesn’t bother me. If people want to have a baby and science can help, who cares about the procreative and unitive ends? Is this the biggest reason why IVF is wrong?”

I responded by asking her if she was aware that normally it takes several embryos to be implanted in the woman’s uterus in order for one to be born (as explained below), and that the other embryos are often destroyed. This means that for every baby that is born through IVF, at least one – and often several – is discarded or destroyed. My friend said, “I did not know that”. Almost immediately, she became vehemently opposed to IVF. Praise God!

We addressed this and other reproductive issues in the post from May 16, 2007, “Reproductive Technology”. Below is an excerpt from the article referenced in that post which specifically addresses and describes IVF.

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization):

Conception occurs outside the body–“in a glass.”

Ordinarily, the woman is treated with hormones to stop her natural cycle and stimulated to ripen a number of ova. The ova are harvested from the follicle with a needle under ultrasonic guidance. The needle is inserted either through the vagina or abdomen. Ova are incubated in the laboratory with a carefully washed and adjusted specimen of semen to allow fertilization. Prior to implantation in the woman’s uterus, embryos are examined in order to select the “best.” Sometimes, one cell is removed for genetic testing. To date, visual inspection of the embryos has been totally unrelated to their subsequent course–health or otherwise. Usually at least two embryos are implanted; in some centers, as many as four are implanted with the hope of getting at least one live baby. At times, three or four embryos thrive. Some clinics then offer the mother “embryo reduction” (selective abortion) to allow only one or two fetuses to develop further.

Because the endometrium is considerably changed by the stimulation of ovaries to produce eggs, it is the practice in some centers to freeze the embryos and to implant them in a subsequent natural cycle. Overall success rates in terms of having a living child range from 16-20%. The disposition of frozen embryos varies with the wishes of the parents. “Spare embryos” may either be preserved, donated to other women or to researchers, or destroyed.


Fr. Greg Shaffer Under Attack by Gay Students

Father Greg Shaffer Urge Gays to Live a Celibate Life

The Daily Caller: Two gay seniors at George Washington University say they feel alienated because the chaplain at George Washington’s Newman Center rejects homosexuality, and they aren’t going to take it anymore.

The seniors, Damian Legacy and Blake Bergen, have announced a coordinated campaign to rid the campus of the Roman Catholic priest, reports The GW Hatchet, the school’s independent student newspaper.

Father Greg Shaffer

Fr. Greg Shaffer

They also assert that 12 or more students have quit the Newman Center in recent years because they can’t tolerate Father Greg Shaffer’s ardent anti-gay “and, for the record, anti-abortion beliefs.”

Shaffer has worked for five years at George Washington’s Newman Center. He told the Hatchet that religion and unrestricted speech “play a vital role at a diverse university like GW.”

Legacy and Bergen say they are primarily upset about the counseling Shaffer offers. They say he urges students who have homosexual feelings to lead a life of celibacy.

Catholic Church doctrine maintains that homosexual desire isn’t a sin, but acting on that desire is, according to the website Catholic.com.

Legacy told the Hatchet that he spent considerable time at the Newman Center during his first two years at George Washington. He was an altar server at mass. He believed that he would become a Catholic priest after graduating.

All that changed, though, when Legacy told Shaffer that he and Bergen had entered a homosexual relationship. Shaffer allegedly charged Legacy with being immoral and lacking in faith.

“To have my faith leader view me that way, just because of one piece of the way that God made me, and to think that one part is responsible for the destruction of my human dignity, it just didn’t…I can’t even begin to describe the mental conflict that it creates,” Legacy told the Hatchet.

The two gay seniors are also unhappy about a blog post Shaffer authored back in May 2012, just after President Barack Obama publicly endorsed gay marriage.

“As Vatican II states, God is the author of marriage. He has defined marriage as between a man and a woman,” Shaffer then wrote. “Every single rational person knows that sexual relationships between persons of the same sex are unnatural and immoral. They know it in their hearts.”

The plan to oust Shaffer includes the creation of a video containing the statements of several students who have left GW’s Newman Center. That video, Legacy and Bergen hope, will surely arouse the generally left-leaning campus to anger, thus forcing school officials to act.

Other aspects of the proposed GW Newman Center insurgency include filing a formal complaint with the administration and conducting a series of prayer vigils outside the center.

Legacy and Bergen will also distribute a letter to high-ranking administrators. According to The Hatchet, the letter will cite academic studies connecting homophobic behavior to loss of appetite, insomnia and other detrimental psychological consequences.

Finally, Legacy will request that GW’s Student Association defund the Newman Center (which is affiliated with the school but officially part of the Roman Catholic Church). This year, the Center reportedly collected $10,000 in funding.

Last semester, Legacy presented a report to the school’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion explaining that other schools, such as New York University, vet and evaluate religious leaders before allowing them to work with campus affiliated groups.