What’s The Deal With IVF?

Infertility can be devastating.

1 in 5 women struggle with infertility in the United States, and many of them experience the deep emotional pain that often accompanies struggling to bring new life into the world. 

Modern reproductive technology has produced seemingly effective solutions to this heartbreak.

Today, more than a million children have been born in the U.S. because of in vitro fertilization (IVF) or other forms of assisted reproductive technology.

That should be great news… right?

What is IVF, and what are the concerns about it?

IVF is a form of assisted reproductive technology in which a human egg is fertilized in a laboratory and then implanted into a woman’s uterus. 

While it can seem like a solution to infertility, IVF tragically involves the devaluing and destruction of innocent human life.

During the process, lab-created embryos are typically stored in cryogenic freezers until they’re ready to be implanted. Some are stored this way indefinitely. Today, around a million human lives created through IVF are frozen in chambers nationwide.

Many embryos — especially those considered “low value” like those thought to have Down syndrome — are simply discarded. In fact, the vast majority of human lives created through IVF are destroyed.

In addition to discarding extrauterine embryos, another common practice in IVF is to implant multiple embryos into a woman’s uterus. If this results in a multiple pregnancy, “pregnancy reduction” (selective abortion) may be recommended. 

What is Oregon Right to Life’s position on IVF?

Oregon Right to Life holds that the natural process of human conception (e.g., the union of egg and sperm within the maternal body) provides the safest and most supportive environment for the maturation of the newly created human being. 

We uphold the natural process of human conception and oppose fertility treatments that involve fertilization occurring outside the maternal body and leading to the destruction of human life, whether for family growth or experimentation.

The IVF process treats human life with disregard, creating and destroying hundreds of thousands of lives each year. 

Therefore, Oregon Right to Life maintains that IVF is not an ethical solution to infertility.

What about the babies conceived through IVF?

All life is precious. Babies conceived and born through IVF are human beings with inherent dignity, value, and the right to life.

No ethical or philosophical objections to IVF procedures should ever be taken to mean that infants conceived via this method are somehow inferior to other children.

In fact, pro-life concerns about IVF stem from this very recognition that every human being deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. 

IVF is problematic, not because it results in the conception of inherently valuable human beings, but because it treats innocent lives like commodities to be created and destroyed at will.

What are life-affirming options for people struggling with infertility?

Pro-life advocates who struggle with infertility shouldn’t lose hope.

IVF is not the only option in dealing with infertility, and there are many natural, life-affirming methods to help couples conceive.

Some of the options that pro-life couples may consider using are Natural Procreative Technology and Gamete Intra-Fallopian Transfer.

Closing thoughts

Oregon Right to Life recognizes and deeply empathizes with the distress felt by couples experiencing infertility. 

As a pro-life organization, we both support and uphold the dignity and value of every human life and simultaneously promote life-affirming fertility options for couples who earnestly desire to welcome children into the world.


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