Sept. 10, 2013
In a brave column in Christianity Today, Jennifer Lahl urges us to consider "the overlooked ethics of reproduction". She asks, "The barren womb is a matter of great heartache and sadness. But is it unlike any other suffering we are asked to carry? In what ways might Job's question, 'Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?' affect our thinking about infertility?" Great questions, ones with which my wife and I dealt during our years of infertility. We chose not to pursue in-vitro fertilization because we concluded that to do so would involve the almost invariable death of several unborn children (yes, we believe that embryos are tiny people) in order to obtain a child. We could not square that with the God of the Bible's authorship of life and the sanctity with which He has imbued it. Instead, we adopted three children, and our lives were changed and enriched beyond words.
Manipulating nascent life has become a big business. Last year, Jennifer spoke at FRC on the unintended consequences of anonymous sperm donation. FRC's own Dr. David Prentice has written extensively and eloquently about bioethics (President George W. Bush appointed David to his Council on Bioethics to write its comprehensive review of adult stem cell research) and why adult stem cell research is not only ethical, but unlike embryonic stem cell research, actually works.
We live in an era when boutique babies and sex- and development-based abortion are becoming common. We are tinkering with the very essence of lives created by Someone other than us. We would do well to heed the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Ethics: “Destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.”