Some time ago I wrote about a case where a couple woman named Carolyn Savage ended up pregnant with an embryo created for a different couple, the Morells. This was the result of a mistake by the clinic. Carolyn and her husband, Sean, decided to give the child to the Morells once it was born. The case turned up again on the Today show not that long ago, I think in part because the Savages have written a book.
Thanks to the Spin Doctor blog I came across this essay written by Sean Savage. In it Savage, described as a cradle Catholic, considers and rejects the traditional church teaching on IVF. It’s an interesting read because he doesn’t disagree with fundamental church teaching on many of the core issues involved in IVF. But the church draws a distinct line between conception via intercourse and conception via IVF. As to this line, Savage observes that
“to state that a child born of IVF is less perfect than a child created through sexual intercourse is absurd.”
I think Savage’s essay is well-worth reading, partly because both the more traditional church view and Savage’s modified position haven’t been articulated here all that frequently. And because Savage approaches the question as a Catholic, albeit one who disagrees with this piece of Church teaching, he engages much more fully with the argument. All in all, it’s worth taking the time to consider. Even if you think it is wrong, you should figure out what it is you disagree with.