CHAPTER 55 IN-VITRO FERTILIZATION
American Life League
HARBINGER OF THE BRAVE NEW BIOLOGICAL WORLD

The man-moulders of the new age will be armed with the powers of an omnicompetent state and an irresistible scientific technique: We shall get at last a race of conditioners who really can cut out all posterity in whatever shape they please.

                                                                      C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man.[1]

Anti-Life Philosophy.

The attack [by pro-lifers on IVF] includes a condemnation of sacrifice even of a zygote as a form of abortion, abortion being held to be (as such) immoral. This means that embryology, fetology, and all forms of laboratory reproduction are immoral that physicians and scientists are murderers.

I respect the ethics of scientists, which is primarily a love for and search for the facts, but some scientists seem to have an almost blind faith that somehow the facts will be used to good purposes, not misused for evil.

If the greatest good of the greatest number (i.e., the social good) were served by it, it would be justifiable not only to specialize the capacities of people by cloning or by constructive genetic engineering, but also to bio-engineer or bio-design para-humans or "modified men" as chimeras (part animal) or cyborg-androids (part prostheses). I would vote for cloning top-grade soldiers and scientists, or for supplying them through other genetic means, if they were needed to offset an elitist or tyrannical power plot by other cloners a truly science-fiction situation, but imaginable. I suspect I would favor making and using man-machine hybrids rather than genetically designed people for dull, unrewarding or dangerous roles needed nonetheless for the community's welfare perhaps the testing of suspected pollution areas or the investigation of threatening volcanos or snow-slides.

People who appeal to Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four and Fahrenheit 451 forget this, that the tyranny is set up first and then genetic controls are employed.

Coital reproduction, is, therefore, less human than laboratory reproduction more fun, to be sure, but with our separation of baby making from lovemaking, both become more human because they are matters of choice, and not chance. This is, of course, essentially the case for planned parenthood. I cannot see how either humanity or morality are served by genetic roulette.

To be men we must be in control. That is the first and the last ethical word. For when there is no choice, there is no possibility of ethical action. Whatever we are compelled to do is a-moral.

Rights are nothing but a formal recognition by society of certain human needs, and as needs change with changing conditions, so rights should change too. The right to conceive and bear children has to stop short of knowingly making crippled children and genetics gives us that knowledge ... It is human need that validates rights, not the other way around."

                                                                                  'Bioethicist' Joseph Fletcher.[2]

Introduction.

THEY SAY BABIES ARE MADE IN HEAVEN,
BUT WE KNOW BETTER.

                                                                   Sign on an IVF clinic waiting room wall.[3]

The Procedure.

The IVF process is remarkably simple to describe. In-vitro (literally, "in glass") fertilization is the beginning of a new human being outside the mother's body.

The first step in an in-vitro fertilization is to obtain a healthy egg from the woman. This is accomplished during a laparoscopy performed under general anesthesia. A laparoscope (a camera with a miniature flashlight attached to its head) is inserted into an incision in the vicinity of the woman's navel. The physician locates a ripe egg that is about to be released from the follicle and extracts it with an aspirator tube. More advanced techniques make use of ultrasound, and a 'band-aid' incision is made under local anesthesia.

The retrieved egg is placed in a dish filled with a nutrient and exposed for half a day to a few drops of sperm. If the egg is fertilized, it is monitored for proper growth. At the 3rd or 4th day, (approximately the 8- or 16-cell stage), the embryo is inserted into the donating woman's uterus with a catheter or tube which is passed through the cervix.[4]

Baby Louise.

On July 25, 1978, Louise Brown, the first baby conceived in a Petri dish, was born. Since that date, more than 15,000 such babies have been born, about one-third of which have been in the United States. Other leading practitioners of IVF are England, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Australia.[5]

The first child to be conceived through IVF, frozen, thawed, implanted and born is Zoe Leyland of Melbourne, Australia, who was born on March 28, 1984. Her mother was superovulated and produced 11 eggs, 10 of which were deliberately destroyed through abortion or died in the process.[6]

Zoe was very lucky indeed to survive.

The Moral Objections to IVF.

The very probability that we may be faced with a human person in the full sense constitutes, in my opinion, an absolute veto against any type of [in-vitro] experimentation.

                                                                                                       Bernard Haring.[7]

Perverting the Original Plan. In 1979, a Federal Ethics Advisory Board (stacked, as these committees invariably are, with pro-abortionists) concluded that IVF research was "ethically acceptable," while at the same time acknowledging the dangers of abuse and unspecified risks that accompany the procedure.

They ignored the basic fact that IVF by 'semen donor' is technically adultery, and gave only passing reference to the future horrors predicted by Joseph Fletcher in this chapter's lengthy opening quote.

It seems that bioethicists no longer glorify the way reproduction should be: Sex with babies. Instead, they glorify sex without babies (contraception, sterilization, and abortion) and babies without sex (IVF).

It is quite certain that God did not intend the reproductive miracle of His creations to be bypassed and abused so horribly. The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, speaking for many Christians, has condemned the practice of IVF and stated that women who participate in IVF and surrogate motherhood "... have been used for nine months as an incubator, prisoner of the egoism of the mother and of detestable techniques," and quotes heavily the Vatican document "Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on Dignity of Procreation."

Creating Life in Order to Destroy It.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has funded extensive IVF research since 1972 but not to help childless women become pregnant!

The International Population Union Conference on the Scientific Study of Population, held in London on 1969, was funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, West Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the United States. Their real, unobstructed vision for IVF was neatly summed up in the opening speech; "There are grounds for hoping that the use of IVF embryos for research will lead to the discovery of efficient new methods of population control. This is the real justification for the promotion and funding of IVF by governments and organizations involved in population planning."[8]

The research proposed and funded at this conference (and all those held ever since) has been delving into the possibility of finding a pill that would destroy the corpus luteum whether or not fertilization had taken place (the corpus luteum secretes progesterone, which maintains an embryo and prepares the uterine lining to accept it). For this purpose, a very large and continuous supply of human embryos is required, and most of these are supplied by government-funded IVF programs so that they can be destroyed in tests of abortifacient drugs. In other words, human life is being created for the express purpose of destroying it.

Not even women who obtain abortions intend this result!

So much for the "tragic but necessary" theory!

Medicine Serving Desires.

In-vitro fertilization is another instance of medicine serving people's wants instead of their needs or illnesses. As a 'service' fulfilling needs, IVF has inevitably become an outright business venture for many doctors with questionable ethics just as abortion has become, and just as euthanasia just as inevitable will become.

Therefore, it was also unavoidable that unscrupulous operators should exploit women in exactly the same manner that abortionists do. Physicians and investigators have reported that many doctors prescribe fertility drugs without even taking a woman's history, recommend painful and expensive tests, and generally 'take' an infertile couple for all they money they can.[9]

Other examples of medicine as business include abortion and the famous case of a woman golfer who had a healthy breast removed because it interfered with her swing.[10]

More Preferable Methods.

Many women who resort to IVF do not first check in to the rapidly-growing field of alternative procedures that can actually restore fertility in many or even most cases.

According to the executive director of the national infertility-counseling organization Resolve, various micro-surgery techniques can restore fertility to about 70 percent of all infertile women.[11] Dr. Joseph Ballina, Director of the Laser Research Institute of New Orleans, has reported an 80 percent success rate in repairing blocked or cut Fallopian tubes. After surgery, 80 percent of these women subsequently become pregnant.[12]

The repair of damaged Fallopian tubes is an example of medicine used to repair an injury or pathological condition, unlike the IVF procedure.

Unnatural Selection.

In-vitro fertilization may interfere with natural selection via two mechanisms. The eggs 'harvested' after stimulated ovulation may not be those that would have been released during the natural course of a woman's cycle. Even more importantly, the sperm that just happen to be mixed with the egg(s) in a dish are almost certainly not those that would have had to survive their rigorous and hazardous journey through the female reproductive tract. Many scientists believe that as many as 40 percent of all sperm are damaged or abnormal, and that almost all of these are screened out by the difficult trip through the uterus and Fallopian tubes.[13]

This is one of the reasons that most IVF clinics insist upon prenatal diagnosis and abortion if the resulting baby is defective in any way. In fact, the parents of the first IVF baby, Baby Louise, signed a contract that required abortion if prenatal testing revealed their preborn to be handicapped.

This type of contract is logical. After all, defective 'products' would be bad for IVF publicity and business.

Technological 'Progression.'

I can foresee the day when a human baby is born to a chimpanzee. That might happen within 20 years.

                                                                                       IVF scientist in 1985.[14]

Shattered Vows.

The sanctity of the marriage vow is not only bypassed by the various types of IVF procedures, it is shattered and the resulting fragments are irrevocably scattered.

The Precursor: Artificial Insemination.

The first artificial insemination by donor (AID) procedure was performed in 1884. An infertile but rich Philadelphia couple sensed that there was some way to 'bypass' infertility and asked the assistance of medical school professor Dr. William Pancoast. The good doctor in turn asked the handsomest student in his class to contribute a sperm sample and injected it into the wife while she was under general anesthesia. She was not advised of the details of the procedure, but her husband was.[15]

In AI, a sperm donor can masturbate three or four times a week for $20 a shot, and does not care whether he has fathered dozens or even hundreds of sons and daughters. AID, or artificial insemination by donor, is technically adultery. The real father is unknown to the mother, and neither 'partner' really cares about marriage.

Going 'All the Way.'

In artificial insemination, the precursor to IVF, only the male gamete is isolated from the body. In the IVF procedure, both male and female gametes are isolated from the body.

Embryo transfer takes this process one step further. An embryo that is conceived (usually by AID) is removed and transferred to another woman.

As reproductive technology 'progresses,' motherhood and fatherhood are divided into successively smaller 'pieces.' One or more men may donate sperm, one woman the egg, another the womb, and maybe a third the actual raising of the child.

So a child may have a genetic mother, a gestational mother, an adopting mother, a genetic father, and an adopting father. The various reproductive technologies therefore lend new meaning to the term 'extended family,' as shown below; 

THE EXTENDED FAMILIES OF KIDS BORN WITH REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES 

With IVF Procedure;                     A Child Has;

DS (donor sperm)                            2 fathers and 1 mother
DO (donor ovum)                            2 mothers and 1 father
DE (donor embryo)                          2 fathers and 2 mothers
SET (surrogate                                 1 father and 2 mothers; or 
    embryo transfer)                           2 fathers and 2 mothers; or 
                                                        2 fathers and 3 mothers

The Ultimate Goal: EG. 

The ultimate goal of this line of technology is extracorporeal gestation (EG), in which a child is conceived in a dish and gestated entirely outside the mother in an artificial uterus. Late-term aborted babies have already been kept alive for days in pressurized vessels. In fact, the Italian embryologist Daniele Petrucci claims that he has kept a female embryo alive for 59 days in an artificial uterus.[13]

Many scientists and doctors, including Dr. Bernard Nathanson, believe that an artificial womb will be perfected and functioning before the year 2000.[16] The implications of such technology as relating to the abortion issue are fascinating to contemplate.

The ubiquitous pro-death 'bioethicist,' Joseph Fletcher, rather likes the EG concept. According to him, "The womb is a dark and dangerous place, a hazardous environment. We should want our potential children to be where they can watched and protected as much as possible."[17]

Isaac Asimov writes that if a woman could "... extrude the fertilized ovum for development outside the body, she would then be no more the victim of pregnancy than a man is."[18]

The ultimate scenario that will be achieved by this line of research has been seriously proposed by several prominent scientists. In their ideal society, pregnancy will be abolished and everyone will be surgically sterilized at the end of their teenaged years. Before the sterilization process, however, girls will be superovulated and their eggs harvested. Boys will masturbate once in order to produce a sperm sample. The sperm and eggs will be carefully gene-mapped (presumably enabled by the Genome Project, now in progress), and any samples that are subnormal in any way will be discarded. When there is a projected need for a scientist twenty years down the road, one will be conceived and grown in an artificial uterus. When there is a projected need for a negotiator, one will be grown. When there is a projected need for a number of talented prostitutes, they too will be grown.[19]

These are serious proposals, not just grist for science fiction pulp novels. If it were possible to implement these scenarios today, Fletcher, Asimov, and many others who think that pregnancy is "victimization" would do so without hesitation. This colossal arrogance allows the 'biocrats' to think that they can go God one better. They think that they can improve upon His design by bettering the "hazardous environment" that He created and by 'weeding out' defective children.

But our God is a jealous God, and whenever man tries to equal Him, there is always a backlash. That's simply the way He designed the universe. You just don't mess with Mother Nature unless you want a bloody nose or worse.

When will we ever learn this lesson?

The IVF Success Rate.

Senator Brian Harradine: "How often has in-vitro fertilization been undertaken on non-human higher primates?"

Professor William Short: "It has not been undertaken on gorillas because gorillas are an endangered species."

Senator Brian Harradine: "So you are able to do it on humans?"

Professor William Short: "We are not an endangered species."

From the transcript of the Australian Senate's Select Committee hearings on the 1985 Human Embryo Experimentation Bill, reported by The Tablet, November 22, 1986.

Effectiveness Per Cycle. 

The chances of a single transplanted embryo surviving the entire IVF process are quite slim. Therefore, the donor woman routinely receives fertility drugs so that she produces several eggs during ovulation. These multiple eggs are fertilized, and then transferred to the receiving woman's uterus.

Despite the use of multiple eggs, the average probability of pregnancy per cycle, according to a March 1989 study by the House Small Business subcommittee, is only about 10 to 15 percent.[20]

Effectiveness Per Embryo. 

Pro-life activists object to in-vitro fertilization primarily because it involves the intentional and inevitable destruction of many human embryos for the sake of pure efficiency. For example, only four percent of 14,585 human embryos survived to birth in a 1984 European study, and another study done in 1987 at the United States' largest IVF center in Norfolk, Virginia, concluded that only five percent of 4,500 embryos survived to birth.

Resulting embryos that appear to be defective in any way are simply discarded as garbage. If a woman becomes pregnant with multiple embryos, a 'doctor' will many times perform a "pregnancy reduction," which is a fancy way of describing selective abortion. The unwanted children are killed with a shot of potassium chloride to the heart, and they are simply reabsorbed by the mother's body.

Naturally, some other researchers hate to see all of these perfectly good embryos go to waste, so they extract them alive and experiment upon them.

IVF and Pregnancy Reduction.

Introduction. 

One of the many undesirable ethical situations that fertility drugs and in-vitro fertilization (IVF) have created is a 'need' for 'pregnancy reduction' abortions. During such a procedure, the woman is deemed to be carrying too many unborn babies, and the abortionist selectively kills one or more of them.

The United States Congress' Committee on Small Business found that many unregulated IVF enterprises deliberately implant an excessive number of embryos during transfer procedures just to increase their chances of success;

IVF success rates are so discouraging that there are some centers trying to do better in terms of creating babies by using multiple [embryo] implants. It shows at the forty-one [leading] centers there were an average of three embryos used. Some centers use more than that. When they do, they sometimes create multiple pregnancies, three, four, five, or six babies.

Then they use fetal reduction, which is killing some fetuses to preserve the health of the mother and to help the other fetuses survive. That is a serious procedure. But because of the lack of pressure to standardize, routinize, and assure quality in the centers out there, we have this kind of dubious activity going on out there.[20]

The Justification. 

The usual scenario develops when an infertile woman receives fertility drugs and then is found to be carrying so many babies that the doctor claims that her life or theirs may be endangered.

This is not always the case. In one instance, a doctor told a woman that her five babies would all die, but she chose to carry them all to term. They were all born healthy, and the entire family was the subject of a 1991 People Magazine cover story.

As always, abortionists lean on the 'hard case' argument. Some women seem to think that twins are too many kids, and abortionists agree with them. So the 'mother's health' argument, in general, doesn't hold up when you can 'reduce' twins to one child with a sort of abominable reverse 'Sophie's choice.' In other words, the mother is not selecting which of two children will live, but which will die. Actually, all abortions can be justified with the same flimsy arguments used to rationalize 'pregnancy reduction.' After all, most abortions are just the reduction of one preborn baby to none.

In fact, most 'pregnancy reductions' are carried out to kill one of a set of twins. Even in such apparently simple cases, 'pregnancy reduction' is an abysmal failure at delivering its intended result. A recent medical journal stated that; "The first six twin pregnancies to undergo selective termination at Mount Sinai Hospital 'worked out very badly,' with the unintended miscarriage of four unaffected fetuses as well as the six targeted for abortion. These first attempts involved the use of exsanguination [draining all of the blood from the unborn babies] or injection of saline or an air embolism [to cause heart attacks], Dr. Berkowitz said."[21]

As with all immoral and cowardly acts of murder, Newspeak is required to insulate the 'doctors' and the 'mothers' from the reality of what they are actually doing. The term 'pregnancy reduction' is a case in point. Others go even further in their self-deceptive language. Dr. Seymour Romney suggests that the 'roulette killing' of some of the babies in a multiple pregnancy be called "enhanced survival of multifetal pregnancies," or ESMP for short.[22]

The Procedure. 

The 'pregnancy reduction' procedure has been in use for more than a decade now and is now generally standardized. A needle is inserted through the mother's abdominal wall into her uterus and potassium chloride is injected into the hearts of the 'surplus' babies at random. They die and are reabsorbed by the mother's body.

Two doctors described the procedure in the New England Journal of Medicine; "Using ultra-sound to locate each fetus, the doctors would insert a needle into the chest cavity of the most accessible fetus and place the needle tip directly into the heart of the baby. Potassium chloride was then injected into the heart and the heart was viewed on the ultrasound screen until it stopped beating. Even at 9 weeks, 3 of the 12 fetuses selected for elimination presented problems. The heart continued to beat and the procedure had to be repeated."[23]

Other doctors described how they killed two of five babies in a slightly different procedure; "At ten weeks gestation, a reduction in the number of embryos was performed at the Clamart Clinic in Paris. Guided by real-time ultrasonography and under abdominal local anesthesia (lidocaine 1 percent), ten milliliters of amniotic fluid from each of the two sacs was aspirated [drawn out] through a ten centimeter long, 21-gauge needle. The tip of the needle was then directed into the thoracic [chest] cavity of the fetus and a mixture of 1 milliliter of dolosal and 3 milliliters of xylocaine was injected. The needle was left in place for up to ten minutes until cessation of cardiac activity was seen. If the initial injection was unsuccessful, it was repeated after ten minutes."[24]

The Psychological Impacts. 

It would seem logical that the babies who are lucky enough to avoid the random 'death needle' may suffer extensively from 'survivor syndrome' when they grow up if they find out about their narrow escape. This syndrome is typically found in children whose parents chose to abort siblings. How much stronger will the 'survivor syndrome' be in children who escape death by mere millimeters, children who, just by chance, are still alive, because they happened to be in the right position when the killing took place? What sorrow will they feel when they realize that their twin died to preserve their own life?

And what of the mother? The vast majority of women who undergo embryo transfer or IVF have been infertile for an extended period of time and spend an average of $11,000 for their assisted reproduction procedures. They obviously want a baby in the worst possible way.

So, after a mother experiences the intense joy of realizing that she is finally pregnant, she is then told that she has too many babies. She has to lie on her back for at least twenty minutes while a needle pierces her abdomen and womb and injects poison into one or more of her baby's hearts. Some of her children will die because of the off-chance that their existence may compromise the health of her other children.

What will this experience do to these poor mothers?

Brave New World.

Sooner or later one human society or another will launch out on this adventure, whether the rest of mankind approves or not. If this happens, and a superior race emerges with greater intelligence and longer life, how will these people look upon those who are lagging behind? One thing is certain: They, not we, will be the heirs to the future, and they will assume control.

                                                         A. Rosenfeld.[25]

Overview. 

The abuses that are possible with IVF (abuses that therefore will certainly occur), are manifold and strain the imagination. However, they are an inevitable and (un)natural outgrowth of the mentality that undergirded the early research and experimentation involving IVF.

Defining Early Objections. 

The moral objections to early IVF experimentation were even more pronounced than they are now due to the initial extraordinarily high embryo wastage rate and the dubious nature of early research.

Doctors Edwards and Steptoe, who produced Louise Brown, the world's first "test tube" baby, discarded 99.5% of their fertilized ova over a period of 12 years. This means that they had failed in the first 200 attempts at transferring the embryo to the uterus.[26]

Steptoe's IVF research had been wholly financed by his very lucrative abortion practice.[27] Steptoe required the parents to agree to abort if there was the slightest hint of an abnormality in Louise, in order not to sully the reputation of the new science. It would be interesting to know how Louise, now a teenager, would react to the knowledge that she would have been disposed of as so much garbage if she had been less than perfect or to the realization that 200 embryos before she had a chance at life.

This eugenics attitude has been passed down to latter-day IVF clinics. For example, Noel Keane, director of the largest surrogate motherhood service in the world (New York's Infertility Center), has his applicants for surrogate motherhood sign contracts stating that their children will be genetically tested and aborted if defective.[28]

We certainly can't have the reputation of the 'service' tarnished now, can we?

Nobel Prize laureate James Watson has stretched this 'logic' to its natural conclusion. He asserts that doctors who participate in IVF should be present at the birth of all of their babies so that they may "... terminate the baby's life should it come out grossly abnormal."[29]

Perverse Fantasies. 

Many scientists, drunk with the euphoria of treading where no human has dared go before, are plunging headlong into lines of research that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. In addition to arcane knowledge, they have also acquired a dangerous elitist attitude. As one leading researcher boasted, "[Scientists] have the right to exercise their professional activities to the limit ... as lay attitudes struggle to catch up with what scientists can do."[30]

In other words, ethics and morals, along with judgment, have been sacrificed in order to advance the mad dash for knowledge. This philosophy has destroyed all limits, so that now the rule is:

IF IT CAN BE DONE, IT MUST BE DONE,
AND DAMN THE CONSEQUENCES.

For example, if researchers continue along current lines of inquiry, it will soon be possible for a woman to conceive and bear her own (younger) identical twin sister; it will be possible to allow human embryos to gestate in apes of various species (or even in bovines) in order to bypass the legal barriers now springing up against surrogate motherhood; and it may well soon be possible to fulfill the long-standing homosexual fantasy of male pregnancy.

Where Are We Being Led? 

The noted French biologist Dr. Jean Rostand wrote in all seriousness a few years ago that "Here and now Homo Sapiens is in the process of becoming Homo Biologicus, a strange biped that will combine the properties of self-reproduction without males, like the green fly; of fertilizing his female at long distance, like the nautiloid mollusk; of changing sex, like the xiphores; of growing from cuttings, like the earthworm; of replacing his missing parts, like the newt; of developing outside his mother's body, like the kangaroo; and of hibernating, like the hedgehog."[31]

These are not the mad pipe dreams of some isolated quack. Many leading scientists have advocated the creation of chimeras part-human and part-animal or plant creatures whose usefulness for various purposes would be enhanced by their new 'qualities.'

Dr. Robert C. Gesteland, an associate professor of biological sciences at Northwestern University in Illinois, has suggested (1) crossing man with plants, so all we'd need for food would be water and sunlight; (2) developing a servant class of supersmart apes; and (3) best of all, breeding a race of humans only four inches tall, which would lessen pollution and conserve natural resources.

Watch Out for Leo the Housecat! 

It's funny how educated people often don't think about the practical aspects of their hopes and dreams. Presumably, if Gesteland's dreams came true, (1) we could pass up a McDonald's and simply graze at the side of the road, (2) we would create and enslave another species, and (3) we would shrink ourselves to the point where pigeons would become our predators and housecats would be comparatively as large as elephants.

Dr. George Haldane (the late British geneticist) predicted that we might breed a race of legless humanoid mutants with prehensile tails or feet for space travel. Other scientists would like to see women laying eggs that could be hatched or eaten (i.e., use our own young as a food source); human beings with gills to facilitate underwater travel; and people with two sets of arms and hands, one for heavy work, the other for lighter tasks.[30]

We are already most of the way down Gerald Leach's "Ladder of Unnaturalness." Herds of prime cattle embryos are flown across the Atlantic Ocean in the wombs of female rabbits. Lesbians are now making men superfluous with sperm banks. The exploitation of women as 'wombs-for-hire' is the first step towards parthenogenesis and actual extracorporeal gestation.

The Advantages of Alternative Procedures.

GIFT. 

Gamete Intra-Fallopian Transfer (GIFT) is totally distinct from other procedures in that the woman's egg is fertilized inside her body. In other techniques such as in-vitro fertilization, human sperm and eggs are essentially mixed in a glass dish and the already-fertilized egg(s) are then implanted into the uterus.

In a GIFT procedure, doctors incise the Fallopian tube at a point past any blockage and, using a laparoscope, place the woman's egg and man's sperm inside the tube. If conception does occur, the pregnancy will proceed in the usual manner the fertilized egg will travel down the Fallopian tube and will hopefully implant in the uterus.

GIFT is currently one of the few anti-infertility surgical procedures morally acceptable to the Catholic Church and most Bible-believing Protestant churches, because it does not involve questionable ethical practices such as masturbation to obtain the sperm or the discarding of 'excess' fertilized eggs.

GIFT has a 20% to 30% success rate, compared to IVF's 15% overall success rate, and a single GIFT procedure is comparable in cost to IVF at about $3,000 to $4,000.

Other Alternatives. 

Low Tube Ovum Transfer (LTOT) is also an acceptable technology for Catholics and members of many other faiths. This procedure relocates the woman's egg past the damaged portion of her Fallopian tube so that in vivo (in the body) fertilization takes place.[32]

Other procedures acceptable to almost all faiths include "assisted semination" (not artificial insemination) and Sperm Intrafallopian Transfer (SIFT).[33]


References: In-Vitro Fertilization and Related Reproductive Technologies.

In the year 4545, ain't gonna need no husband, won't need your wife, you'll pick your son, pick your daughter too, from the bottom of a long black 
tube ...

                                                                             Song entitled "In the Year 2525."

[1] C.S. Lewis. The Abolition of Man. New York: Macmillan Publishers, 1965. Page 63.

[2] 'Bioethicist' Joseph Fletcher. "Ethical Aspects of Genetic Controls." New England Journal of Medicine (285:776-783, 1971). Available as Reprint #104 from the Institute of Society, Ethics and the Life Sciences, Hastings-On-Hudson, New York 10706.

[3] Sign hanging on an IVF clinic waiting room wall. Described in Michael Gold. "The Baby Makers." Science Magazine, April 1985, pages 26 to 38.

[4] Albert S. Moraczewski., O.P. "In vitro Fertilization and Christian Marriage." Also Eugene Diamond, M.D. "A Call for Moratorium on in-vitro Fertilization." Both articles are in the November 1979 issue of Linacre Quarterly.

[5] Parade Magazine, July 2, 1989, page 19.

[6] Claudia Wallis. "The New Origins of Life." Time Magazine, September 10, 1984. Page 40. Also Jo Wiles. "The Gift of Life." Star World, April 24, 1986. Pages 24 to 26.

[7] Bernard Haring. Ethics of Manipulation. New York: Seabury Press, 1975. Pages 198 and 199.

[8] Gary Potter. "Intra Urbem Extraque." The Wanderer, May 18, 1989, page 3.

[9] Robert W. Rebar et al. "Are We Exploiting the Infertile Couple?" Fertility and Sterility, November 1987, page 735. Also see Sevgi O. Aral and Willard Cates. "The Increasing Concern With Infertility: Why Now?" Journal of the American Medical Association, November 4, 1983, pages 2,330.

[10] George Will. "Abortion as Commodity, Not Medicine." The Human Life Review, Fall 1978, pages 73 and 74.

[11] Beverly Freeman, Executive Director of the infertility organization Resolve, quoted in Claudia Wallis. "The New Origins of Life." Time Magazine, September 10, 1984, page 40.

[12] "In-vitro Lab Approved." National Right to Life News, January 1980, page 23.

[13] Donald DeMarco, Ph.D. In My Mother's Womb: The Catholic Church's Defense of Natural Life. Manassas, Virginia: Trinity Communications. 1987, 234 pages.

[14] IVF scientist, quoted in "Creating Monsters." TFP Newsletter, 4.11 (1985), page 10.

[15] Robert Francoeur. Utopian Motherhood: New Trends in Human Reproduction. London: George Allen & Unwin. 1971, pages 11 to 13.

[16] Tom Paskal. "Tampering with the Machinery of God." Weekend Magazine, September 18, 1971, page 7. Also see Bernard Nathanson, M.D. Aborting America. Garden City, New Jersey: Doubleday Press, 1979. Page 282.

[17] Joseph Fletcher. The Ethics of Genetic Control. Garden City, New Jersey: Doubleday Press, 1979. Page 103.

[18] Isaac Asimov. "On Designing a Woman." Viva Magazine, November 1973, page 8.

[19] Edward Grossman. "The Obsolescent Mother: A Scenario." Atlantic Magazine, May 1971, page 49. Also see Shulasmith Firestone. The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution. New York: William Morrow, 1972, page 238.

[20] Committee on Small Business. Consumer Protection Issues Involved in In-Vitro Fertilization Clinics. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1988. Pages 26 and 27.

[21] "Selective Abortion in Multiple Gestation." Obstetrics and Gynecology News, August 1-14, 1989.

[22] As quoted in Debra Evans. Without Moral Limits: Women, Reproduction, and the New Medical Technology. Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1989. Page 116.

[23] "Selective Abortion, AKA Pregnancy Reduction." New England Journal of Medicine, April 21, 1988.

[24] Rene Frydman et al. "Reduction of the Number of Embryos in a Multiple Pregnancy: From Quintuplet to Triplet." Fertility and Sterility, August 1987, pages 326 and 327.

[25] A. Rosenfeld. The Second Genesis: The Coming Control of Life. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1969. Page 145.

[26] Eugene Diamond, M.D. "A Call for Moratorium on in-vitro Fertilization." Linacre Quarterly, November 1979.

[27] Time Magazine, July 31, 1978.

[28] Claudia Wallis. "A Surrogate's Story." Time Magazine, September 10, 1984, page 51.

[29] James Watson. "Child From the Laboratory." Prism (American Medical Association), May 1973, Volume 1, Number 2, page 13.

[30] Paul Ramsey, Ph.D. "On in-vitro Fertilization." Human Life Review, Winter 1979, pages 17 to 30.

[31] R.G. Edwards and D.J. Sharpe. "Social Values and Research in Human Embryology." Nature 231:87-91(1971).

[32] David Q. Liptak. "Catholic Hospital begins 'In Vivo' Ovum Transfers." The Catholic Standard and Times, September 22, 1983. Page 14. Also David Q. Liptak. "New 'Infertility Bypass (LTOT)' Assessed." Catholic Transcript, January 6, 1984.

[33] Orville N. Griese. "Promising Approaches to Human Infertility." International Review of Natural Family Planning, Fall 1986. Pages 243 to 255.


Further Reading: In-Vitro Fertilization and Related Reproductive Technologies.

Bruce L. Anderson. The Price of a Perfect Baby: What Christians Should Know About the Genetic Revolution, Test-Tube Babies, Surrogate Motherhood, and Selective Genetics. Originally entitled Let Us Make Man
Bethany House Publishers, 6820 Auto Club Road, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55438. 1984, 181 pages. This book deals with the Christian attitude toward the reproductive revolution, and discusses new questions: Should man create and destroy life in the laboratory? Does surrogate motherhood constitute a violation of God's laws? What impacts do these new technologies have on the family? Is the practice of making babies without pregnancy acceptable?

Apropos, Volume 5.
  A.S. Fraser, Editor, Burnbrae, Staffin Road, Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland, IV51 9HP, United Kingdom. This is a magazine devoted to developments in the European Catholic Church. Lately, the European Church has become deeply embroiled in the continuing controversy over fertility science, including various forms of in-vitro fertilization.

Lesley and John Brown with Sue Freeman. Our Miracle Called Louise: A Parents' Story
Reddington Press, 1979. 188 pages. Reviewed by Sharon Effrein Donehey on page 8 of the February 8, 1982 issue of National Right to Life News. A rather simplistic and unenlightening look at the events surrounding the world's first 'test-tube' baby.

Gena Corea. The Mother Machine: Reproductive Technologies from Artificial Insemination to Artificial Wombs
New York: Harper & Row, 1985; New York: Harper & Row Perennial Library, 1986. 374 pages. Hardback, softcover. Reviewed by Leslie Bond in the November 6, 1986 National Right to Life News. This book discusses the various drawbacks to reproductive technologies, including in-vitro fertilization and embryo transfer. However, the author warns in her introduction that she is extremely anti-male, and this sexist attitude mars her presentation rather badly, because all problems are portrayed as the fault of men. Strangely, she emphasizes the hazards of getting pregnant artificially, but totally ignores any and all of the dangers associated with getting unpregnant artificially (i.e., abortion).

Donald DeMarco, Ph.D. Biotechnology and the Assault on Parenthood
Ignatius Press, 1991, 269 pages. Reviewed on page 45 of the August-September 1991 issue of ALL About Issues. The author examines the various types of assisted-reproduction technologies, including in-vitro fertilization, gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT), and self-insemination ("marriage for one"). This book is heavy on the ethical and spiritual aspects of advanced reproductive technologies, and provides a very good foundation for discussion of these areas.

Donald DeMarco, Ph.D. In My Mother's Womb: The Church's Defense of Natural Life
Hardcover, paperback. Order from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. An eloquent defense of the Catholic Church's defense of human life. An examination of abortion's languages and perspective, the unborn, contraception and bio-engineering. Also covered are the Church's perspective on new technologies, including in-vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, fetal experimentation, and genetic engineering. See especially Chapter 1, "Abortion and Church Teaching," pages 7 to 25, "Abortion and Bio-Engineering," pages 82 to 88, and "In Vitro Fertilization," pages 143 to 159.

Sherman Elias. M.D., and George J. Annas, J.D. Reproductive Genetics & the Law
Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, Inc. 1987, 310 pages. The medical and legal backgrounds of some of the hottest topics in artificial reproductive technologies today: Newborn genetic screening, genetic counseling, prenatal diagnosis, treatment (and nontreatment) of handicapped newborns, "noncoital reproduction," frozen embryos, and gene and fetal therapy.

Debra Evans. Without Moral Limits: Women, Reproduction, and the New Medical Technology
Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1989. 288 pages. See especially Chapter 5, "Egg Harvesting and Embryo Experimentation: Lab-Oriented Concepts," pages 68 to 81, and Chapter 6, "Infertility Diagnosis and Treatment: To Catch a Falling Star," pages 84 to 97; Chapter 7, "In-vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer: Sex in a Dish?," pages 100 to 117; and Chapter 8, "Embryo Transplants: The By-Products of Manufactured Conception," pages 120 to 137.

Greenhaven Press. Biomedical Ethics: Opposing Viewpoints
Greenhaven Press Opposing Viewpoints Series, Post Office Box 289009, San Diego, California 92128-9009. 1987, 216 pages. Each section includes several essays by leading authorities on both sides of each issue. The questions asked are: "Is Genetic Engineering Ethical?;" "Are Organ Transplants Ethical?;" "Should Limits Be Placed On Reproductive Technology?;" "Should Animals Be Used in Scientific Research?;" and "What Ethical Standards Should Guide the Health Care System?" Authors include Tibor R. Macan, Malcolm Muggeridge, and the Ethics Committee of the American Fertility Society. A catalog is available from the above address and can be obtained by calling 1-(800) 231-5163.

Greenhaven Press. Science and Religion: Opposing Viewpoints
Volume I. Greenhaven Press Opposing Viewpoints Series, Post Office Box 289009, San Diego, California 92128-9009. 1988, 233 pages. Each section includes several essays by leading authorities on both sides of each issue: "Great Historical Debates on Science and Religion;" "Are Science and Religion Compatible?;" "How Did the Universe Originate?;" "How Did Life Originate?;" and "Should Ethical Values Limit Scientific Research?" Authors include Clarence Darrow, William Jennings Bryan, The Roman Curia, Bertrand Russell, and the National Academy of Sciences. A catalog is available from the above address and can be obtained by calling 1-(800) 231-5163.

Ted Howard and Jeremy Rifkin. Who Should Play God?  
Dell Publishing Company, 272 pages. Reviewed by Doug Badger on page 22 of the March 1980 National Right to Life News. An excellent primer for pro-lifers that holds that the test-tube baby is just the beginning of a cascade of biotechnological horrors that may soon engulf and destroy whatever is left of medical ethics.

D. Gareth Jones. Brave New People: Ethical Issues at the Commencement of Life
Eerdmans Publishing Company, 255 Jefferson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503, telephone: (616) 459-4591. 1985, 225 pages. This book was so 'controversial' (which means that Leftist censors didn't like it), that it was withdrawn from the market after its original release in 1984. The author addresses complicated issues that apply to the beginning of human life: In-vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, cloning, and genetic tinkering.

Carol Levine (Editor). Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Bio-Ethical Issues.
Dushkin Publishing Group, Inc., Guilford, Connecticut. 1984, 297 pages. Leading thinkers on both sides of bioethical issues express their opinions in scholarly essays on subjects including abortion, In-vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, involuntary sterilization of the retarded, informed consent, active euthanasia, withholding treatment from handicapped newborns, suicide, the insanity defense, animal experimentation, prisoners volunteering for research, justifiable deception in research, organ harvesting from the dead, and genetic engineering. A good primer on the bioethical issues.

J. Robert Nelson. Human Life: A Biblical Perspective for Bioethics
Philadelphia: Fortress Press. 1984, 194 pages. Reviewed by James Manney on pages 9 and 15 of the October 24, 1985 National Right to Life News. The author contrasts the philosophies and resulting actions of bioethicists who are believers and those who are not.

Paul Ramsey, Ph.D. "Shall We "Reproduce?" 
"Part I: The Medical Ethics of in-vitro Fertilization. Part II: Rejoinders and Future Forecast." Journal of the American Medical Association, June 5, 1972, pages 1,346 to 1,350, and June 12, 1972, pages 1,480 to 1,485. Available as Reprint #613 from the Institute of Society, Ethics and the Life Sciences, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York 10706 (The Hastings Center).

Sean O'Reilly, M.D. Bioethics and the Limits of Science
Christendom College Press, Route 3, Box 87, Front Royal, Virginia 22630. 1980, 176 pages. Reviewed by Robert E. Joyce, Ph.D. in the Fall 1980 issue of the International Review of Natural Family Planning, pages 274 to 276. Recommended for college students working in a Christian context. This book covers the definition of life and person, how technology has complicated the debate, the norms of bioethics, the definition of death, and a description of false and true humanist ethics and the foundation of Christian ethics and the authority of the Church.

Peter Singer and Deane Wells. Making Babies: The New Science and Ethics of Conception
New York: Charles Scribner and Sons. 1985, 245 pages. Reviewed by William May in the October 24, 1985 issue of National Right to Life News. This is an enthusiastically pro-in-vitro treatise by two people who laugh at the idea that the preborn are human. Anyone who opposes IVF technology for any reason is automatically labeled "irrational," "undemocratic," and "obscurantist" (you can always quickly identify a typical intolerant and judgmental pro-abort, because they invariably whine and call people who disagree with them nasty and fancy names). In fact, the authors state that IVF is what sets us apart from animals not free will, but the ability to manipulate technology. They also state baldly that anyone who thinks humans are superior to animals in any way is guilty of the heinous sin of "speciesism!" This book is a classic example of the mentality that assert, "if it can be done, it must be done." Shows how so-called 'bioethicists' lend a veneer of respectability to biological atrocities.

United States Government. Artificial Insemination: Practice in the United States, Summary of a 1987 Survey
Covers the extent of AI in the United States, the patterns of donor and recipient screening for genetic and infectious diseases, and the economic and other obstacles to performing AI. Serial Number 052-003101129-8, 1988, 120 pages. Order by mail from Superintendent of Documents, United States Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by telephone from (202) 783-3238.

United States Government. Infertility: Medical and Social Choices Summary
Illustrates a range of options for Congressional action in nine principle areas of public policy related to infertility, collecting data on reproductive issues, infertility services, transfer of human eggs and sperm, and embryos, surrogate motherhood, and reproductive research. Serial Number 052-003-01100-0, 1988, 38 pages. Order by mail from Superintendent of Documents, United States Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by telephone from (202) 783-3238.

United States Government. Mapping Our Genes, The Genome Projects: How Big, How Fast?  
Focuses on how to assess the rationales for conducting human genome projects, how to fund them, how to coordinate scientific and technical programs, and international impacts and repercussions. Serial Number 052-003-01106-9, 1988, 224 pages. Order by mail from Superintendent of Documents, United States Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by telephone from (202) 783-3238.

United States Government, Committee on Government Operations. Medical and Social Choices for Infertile Couples and the Federal Role in Prevention and Treatment
Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1989.

Robert M. Veatch. A Theory of Medical Ethics
New York: Basic Books, 1981. 387 pages. Reviewed by Joseph M. Boyle, Jr., on page 19 of the January 6, 1983 issue of National Right to Life News. The author attempts to construct a parallel pro-life framework of medical ethics that can be applied in all or most of the many new areas of bioethics that are being explored today.


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This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia published by American Life League.


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