Breaking Evangelicalism’s Silence on IVF

The Gospel Coalition | 4/25/2019 | Staff
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The quiet heartbreak and pain of infertility is well known to many evangelicals, whose aspirations to have a child have been frustrated for reasons they cannot understand or control. It is frequently a secret burden that couples carry, which only emerges into the open as they reveal their struggles to family, friends, and doctors.

The weight of infertility and the value of children has increasingly prompted infertile couples to pursue procreation by every means possible: artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and even surrogacy have all found their way into evangelical communities.

Evangelicals - Challenges - Infertility - Poses - Costs

Yet while evangelicals have become increasingly aware of the emotional challenges infertility poses, we have not yet considered the hidden costs of our desperate pursuit of children through artificial reproductive technologies.

Few movies have brought those challenges into the open like Netflix’s Private Life. The film narrates the hope and heartbreak a couple experiences as they walk through various means of aiding conception, and the personal and relational distress that arises from their efforts. After receiving one final, disappointing report of failure, the husband callously asks his wife while lying in bed next to her, “Will we ever have sex again?” The wife, not surprisingly, denounces the question as self-interested and insensitive.

Costs - Pursuit - Children - Technologies

We have not yet considered the hidden costs of our desperate pursuit of children through artificial reproductive technologies.

The moment poignantly captures how fertility treatments reconfigure how infertile couples sometimes experience their sexual lives together. Ironically, the couple had consigned sex to marriage’s dustbin; the very act that might naturally generate children has been relegated to an inconvenient, cloying annoyance. What should be a source of joy and deep union has become a painful reminder of their frustrated desires.

Evangelicals - Ethics - Fertilization - Begins - Question

For many evangelicals, though, the ethics of in vitro fertilization begins and ends at the question of how many embryos are created and what...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Gospel Coalition
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