Almost 2.5 million human embryos destroyed during IVF in Britain since 1990


The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has released the latest total figures

Almost 2.5 million embryos have been deliberately destroyed in the United Kingdom since 1990.

According to statistics from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, since the passing of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act in 1990, 2,315,262 human embryos were deliberately discarded during IVF treatment.


I wish Christians were more vocal about this. Why not?


I could be wrong but I suspect the pro-life community broadly doesn’t talk about IVF enough. I can only guess why that may.


It might be because some christians have no problems with creating embryos in a laboratory to become pregnant.




I’ve sometimes wondered if it’s a mixture of many people being fine with it while others are stretched too thin. There’s a lot to tackle. That’s why I keep beating the same old drum of contraception, ad nauseum. If Christians can begin to rethink that issue, it will revolutionize all these other life and dignity issues. Heh, that’s the real revolution Podesta should be looking for; and why it caught my attention that he saw contraception as the floodgate for undermining the Church. It’s very revealing.


I don’t think that there is a uniform position. There are spectrums of dispositions for those that self identify as pro-life and pro-choice. There are people that are against most but not all circumstances for an abortion that may self identify as pro-life or pro-choice. Also the principal of double-effect and other principals are not necessarily a part of other forms of Christianity. Ensoulment also is not necessarily a discussion that gets much attention in other churches. Member’s of these other families of Christianity may come to different conclusions on some of the same scenarios as a result.

I was watching a video of someone that I follow on YouTube. He has a twin sister. They were conceived through IVF. In telling his story though he said that there 4 zygotes implanted in his mom and based on that also describes he and his sister as the siblings from a set of quadruplets that survived. But he is also of the position that this is better than the alternative of his mother never having conceived life at all.


I’ve mentioned the story on here before, but my buddy’s sister initially conceived her children through IVF, despite objections of her family. She is strongly pro-ilfe, but was woefully ignorant of what was involved. On the second go around, her grandmother convinced her to research what actually occurs. When the second go around required several “insertions” that all failed, it occurred to her that that was 12 children who died. She regretted the choices she made and is now staunchly against IVF, despite her existing children.

Which is worse? Never having conceived, or the known and likely destruction two innocent human lives? Sure, the video guy may not be here, but he also would be here through a process that intentionally endangered, and ultimately cost the lives, of two innocent human beings.


In thinking of the motivations behind a position someone’s view on this is going to depend on their value system and views. Without a shared value system there’s going to be variance in people’s views on this question. Changing a person’s position on this might require knowing more about the individual’s values and trying to convince a person to make a change there before addressing the issue on IVF and the disposal of zygotes.

On an emotional level people don’t connect as well with a zygote or blastocyst. (I know this gets into an irrational portion of thought, but the irrational/emotional is still a strong influencer of behaviour and decisions). Since it “doesn’t look like a person” I think there are less people that have a problem with it than when it “does look like a person.” As the zygote becomes more developed then I think more people will view it as a person and have a problem with its destruction.

To summarize if a a group of randomly selected people were shown this picture and told it died…

…I think less people would respond then shown this picture and told it died

There may even be a higher emotional response if instead of “it” the pronouns “he” or “she” were used in conjunction with the picture.

That’s my speculation on the question.


So he realizes that he is one of four siblings, of which two were deliberately killed. I think that would be difficult.


Deliberately killed? No. Aside from how others would describe it I don’t think he would describe it that way.

All 4 were implanted and he describes the outcome in terms of probability and luck. He takes his IVF conception as one of the indicators that he was wanted by his mother and sees his existence as deliberate on her part.


It is always important for pro-life people to clarify that the people conceived via IVF aren’t monstrosities or some-such thing. It’s the treatment of people like a manufacturable commodity that is the problem.


Pro-lifers also need to talk about the alternative to IVF - Naprotechnology. It has a higher rate of success of pregnancy than IVF but I bet hardly anyone who has used IVF or considering IVF has heard of it.


It’s very uncomfortable to discuss because the individuals conceived via IVF (like those conceived in rape) are miracles regardless of the way they were conceived.

I’m very close to two children who were created via IVF and it’s always made me sad that they were not asked if they wanted to be conceived this way. Instead of a mother and father coming together in an act of love, a nameless man was paid to do something that I cannot describe on these forums and these two children along with many of their now-dead siblings were created by someone in a white coat. I can’t protect them from eventually realizing all of this, they will definitely one day realize it, and it breaks my heart.


Killed, no. On that I agree. Deleting deliberately put into serious harm? Absolutely. It is well known the odds of survival. It’s akin to putting a toddler on a busy highway hoping they will survive.

All 4 were implanted and he describes the outcome in terms of probability and luck. He takes his IVF conception as one of the indicators that he was wanted by his mother and sees his existence as deliberate on her part.

So, what does that say about his dead siblings? They weren’t so lucky? That they weren’t wanted by their mother? What if the die landed differently? Would his siblings say the same of him?

This consequential view of things is very sad.


I misunderstood the situation. If the two embryos died of natural causes then they were not deliberately killed. I was thinking of IVF cases in which a number of embryos are implanted, but then are later “selectively reduced” to limit their number.


I tried to come up with a good metaphore involving a child that has already been born but felt they fall short. The alternative to having a child in a busy highway might be thought of as having the child in a place that is not a busy highway. But prior to IVFlorida she could not have a child. The metaphor doesn’t map to her situation well.

There are some that take the position that bringing anyou new life into a hazardous environment is irresponsible and to be avoided. Contrary to this there are some that think they “must” try anyway instead of giving up.. With this in mind another metaphor that comes to mind is a person making a decision on having a child or not underconditions associated with higher mortality such as during ware or during an epidemic outbreak. Real life examples of this type of consideration can be found from this summer. The Zika virus isn’t yet well understood but could contribute to the deformation, disability, or death of a fetus. If a woman in her later thirties wanted to have a child, was bitten by a mosquito in an area associated with Zika, and has no reliable tests are available to her would she be irresponsible for trying to have a child anyway? Depending on her age she may be in a position to either take the risk or give up on the possibility of children. There are also those that due to other conditions already know they have a higher risk of miscarriage. Does this higher chance of miscarriage translates into them being morally obligated to not have children. It’s still not a perfect metaphor but it’s one that I think comes closers in that she can choose whether or not to risk trying to conceive a child in a condition that may or may not allow it to live. I myself don’t have a good answer for what she *should * do.

There’s not any information that points to his mother desiring for the other two to not make it. I asked two other woman for their thoughts. In summary they didn’t think much of the ones that didn’t develop into pregnancies. If they were trying to get pregnant as long as at least one made it they said they would find happiness in the outcome.


It’s okay. I know that sometimes there are some embryos that are never planted and are simply discsrded.. The movie GATACCA removed a conversation about this. A deleted conversation from the 6-day clinic contains the line “you have to remember these are not people, they are the possibilities of people” (or something similar, my memory of the exact wording has decayed. Perhaps it said “lives” instead of “people”). I think the movies moral argument was more on prejudice and eugenics.


The metaphor is with regard to IVF. Implanting 4 unborn children, knowing that there is a very high likelihood that two or more will die is intentionally putting a human being into deadly circumstances. As I mentioned in my case of my friend’s sister. The doctor intentionally implanted 4 each time, and when each time none implanted, 4 unborn human beings died. These deaths were forseen–indeed expected. Do that with any born child, or even adults, and one at a minimum will get hammered with reckless endangerment at a minimum.

Once conception occurs, there is already a new life. One cannot change that, regardless of the environment. One can avoid conception. But that’s a different argument here. In IVF conception is expected. And one is intentionally placing an innocent human being in harms way.

No doubt. And allowing emotion to override reason is a recipe for the continued deaths of innocent children. The women who put their own desires over the well being of their children to the point of blocking out reason will and do perpetuate this mass destruction of human life.

The entire discussion of IVF is post- conception. Every single one of the cases you discuss can be handled by avoiding conception. But avoiding conception is completely the opposite of IVF, where conception is exactly the point.

It’s not even close. “[W]hether or not to risk trying to conceive a child” is quite beside the point. Conception has already occurred. Now what does one do?

Indeed, with respect to IVF, one should not conceive at all, since it is well known, even expected, that some, many, perhaps all, the conceived children will die.

Which means they value their own desire to have children over the well-being of the other children that died. Perhaps one day they too will have an epiphany like my friend’s sister did, and they will understand that in order to fulfill their “need” to have children, other children died–and were likely expected to die.


It goes beyond that. Typically, the IVF doctor implants many unborn children, which the expectation that most will not implant and will be as you say “discarded.” But in many cases, multiple do survive and implant, and a multiple pregnancy occurs. Sometimes in this case, the doctor suggests “selective abortion” to remove the additional children. They are torn out of the womb and killed.

That was JimG’s point.

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