in vitro fertilization

I spoke to a friend the other night who said she read in vitro fertilization was a mortal sin. She was astounded and said the pope was an old man who was out of touch with the world today. Everyone is doing this. I approached her delicately since I was not sure (but inxtincitively thought) IVF was a mortal sin. I said the reason the pope said this might have been because of what this would lead to. She wanted to know what in the world it could lead to. This was an issue between married people who desparately wanted a child. I could get my thought together at the time so the subject dropped. This is a person who attends daily mass so I would think she had a better grasp on catholic doctrine. Please help me with an answer and help in defining IVF issues to her. Mainly, is it a mortal sin. Thank you.

Typical IVF is a mortal sin. Why? Because the process includes forcing the woman to pump out a large number of eggs. Fertilizing all of the eggs, and choosing a few to be implanted in the mother. Obviously, the worst part is fertizing a large number of eggs, then selectively choosing the “best”. This is obviously an abortive technique. Less minor, perhaps, is the man will typically use self-gratification in order to get the semen for the fertilization. A more minor issue are all the drugs the woman has to take to make her body do the unnatural releasing of multiple eggs. This last issue has to do with repecting the body (my own take on it).

There are ways of helping a couple get past pregnancy issues that do not include abortive methods. Those methods, are obviously, the best.

Maybe someone else could comment, but it might be okay to use IVF, if only one egg was fertized (and sperm was collected via a “holy” :slight_smile: condom) and that egg was placed in the womb. This isn’t typically done because of the cost associated with the procedure.


Another problem brought up is what to do with the remaining fertilized eggs that are not implanted.

The Church has always taught that the act of procreation should be both intimate expression of love and open to partaking in the act of creation. Contraception completely removes the aspect of being open to life. While IVF removes the intimate expression of love.

This is in addition to the other reason mentioned above.

Also, the only difference between IVF and growing embryos for embryonic stem cell research is that the cells are neither implanted in the woman’s uterus nor frozen. Instead, several cells are removed from the developing blastula (which kills the baby), and used in experimentation.
Not only that, but cloning technology is very similar in many respects.
Why not adopt a baby that might’ve been aborted instead of going to all the trouble and sin and expense?

God bless

IVF reduces a child to a product, an object to be used. On the contrary, children, like all of us, are gifts of self-giving— subjects to be loved.

When society separates procreation and union, its members begin to use one another in the most fundamental sense. We started with contraception in which spouses objectify each other. Now, with IVF, we’ve objectified the child. It’s one growing black hole: me, me, me and I’ll turn “you” into an “it” in order to achieve my own utilitarian ends.

After years of chattel slavery, it’s surprising that we still haven’t learned our lesson.

IVF is the obverse of contraception, and is immoral for the same reason. It separates the unitive from the procreative aspect of conjugal relations.

In contraception, the unitive aspect is desired, the procreative is thwarted. In IVF, the procreative is desired, the unitive aspect is separated. Same thing.

In addition, as noted by others, it usually results in “excess embryos” which are discarded–killed or allowed to die.


The main reason in vitro fertilization is wrong and a mortal sin is that they MURDER a ton of babies. This procedure is perhaps worse than abortion! Because not only do they kill innocent babies but they at least tried to create life. This is playing God.

I’m a strong Catholic and I just did this. Some may feel this might not be the case since we did invetro. First off, evil thinking does surround the process…simply because there are so many things that can go wrong or can be done without thinking of consequences. I viewed this as a sickness with my wife and I. I did not have sperm. You have to do tests to check it and I had nothing. (did 3 tests at different times)The doctor said we can do a surgery and we may be able to get some. I had a 70% chance. I did the surgery (wasn’t cool and I don’t want to sugar coat it.) They have to freeze the sperm…(they found only few) We made the decision to only do 3 eggs even though the doctor kept pushing 10. I said no. Only one sperm survived so we only had the option to implant one. We had one shot at this. Also, it is impossible for us to have children through regular sex. Even after the surgery.

My wife is now pregnant. I prayed and prayed and prayed for answers for this and that God’s will be done. I came to the conclusion that our circumstances were different and we were not about to do discard or even implant more than one egg. I hope to God I made the right call, but I do have mixed feelings. We are sooo lucky. Yet, I feel we’re absolutely blessed. From the science and the countless articles I read here’s what I learned. Mind you, I feel this could only be morally acceptable if it is impossible any other way and the science backs the soundest possibility to protect life.

  1. Only implant one egg. EVERY extra will hurt the statistical chances of a healthy child.
  2. Do not freeze the woman’s eggs. That can hurt life for reasons I don’t clearly understand but the articles tried to explain (This is still being researched)
  3. The woman has to be healthy.
  4. Research the doctor’s stats…ours was one of the best in IL located in Crystal Lake.
  5. Never discard an egg and in my opinion don’t fertilize more than 3. Remember, the church is completely against this all together. I simply feel it’s wrong to do 10 and then pick and choose.
  6. Pray about this and read articles. I am not an expert and it isn’t an easy topic to study.

I hope I made the right decision. There are reasons that we concluded this wasn’t an evil thing to do. I just hope to God is ok with our decision. I do have some mixed feelings for reasons that are hard to explain.

Please do me a favor and if you feel I sinned please ask for forgiveness and for me to seek repentance and confession. I don’t think I did sin but there is a part of me that’s not sure. This process was a huge painful sacrifice. It was also costly. I’ve always tried to do the right thing and I just felt that wanting to have a baby is a loving act, not a sin. Thanks for reading and I’ll continue to pray for our baby and for people who are infertile. God bless.

Quick clarification, when I say never freeze an egg…I mean pre fertilization…because somehow it may hurt the integrity of the egg. Every fertilized egg is a life.

Read Dignitas Personae. It explains everything.

You had a very hard decision to make. I thank God that I did not have to make that choice. I do believed that you sinned but we all have sinned so I will pray and just ask that you go to confession. However, thank you for sharing your story, I know it must have been hard.

Truthfully speaking, IVF has many problems in morality, even the doctor you used did not mind loosing 9 children to get 1. While the idea of IVF sounds good on paper, in reality it makes children a product to have. As a loving parent, I know that a married couple would love their child regardless on how they conceived him/her. However, love is not the issue, it is the bigger picture. What happens if we product children in this way?

This is always how sin gets rationalized, by the worst and the best of us.

Please take this to your priest in confession.

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