By Peter J. Smith and Kathleen Gilbert
LONDON, May 18, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Researchers are bragging that within the next ten years, in vitro fertilization (IVF) technology will have advanced so far that it will perform "better than nature" and sex will no longer be necessary for human reproduction.
"We are not quite at that stage yet, but it's where we're heading,' said Dr. John Yovich, co-author of the study, “Embryo culture: can we perform better than Nature?” as quoted in the U.K. Daily Mail. The study was published in the April 2010 issue of the journal Reproductive BioMedicine.
“Natural human reproduction is at best a fairly inefficient process," said Yovich. He and co-author Gabor Vajta, both Australian veterinarians, told the Mail that given that IVF is 100 times more “efficient” than natural reproduction in cattle, the same may be possible with human beings. “Within the next five to ten years, couples approaching 40 will access the IVF industry first when they want to have a baby.”
The idea of normalizing sex and procreation as two completely separate activities was predicted in Aldous Huxley's 1932 novel Brave New World, where children are conceived and grown in Hatcheries and Conditioning Centres, before undergoing a final “decanting” process that has replaced birth.
According to Vicki Thorn, founder and executive of Project Rachel and the National Office of Post Abortion Healing and Reconciliation, and an expert on the negative effects of in-vitro fertilization, the scientists pushing for IVF are dangerously ignorant of the repercussions such violence against nature is bound to have.
"We're doing end-runs on naturally occurring events," Thorn told LifeSiteNews.com Tuesday.
Thorn described a number of steps in the process of forming a child that IVF ominously misses: for example, she pointed out, when sperm and egg meet in a woman's body, sperm undergo a biological change that helps them penetrate the egg, and the egg undergoes a selection process over the sperm that will be accepted.
None of these elements survive in the IVF process, where sperm are simply forced into the egg via injection. The child then grows in a sterile petri dish, robbed of the natural hormonal chemistry within a mother's body that was meant to support the baby's development, said Thorn.
In addition, she said, concerns are being raised over serious autoimmune complications arising from surrogacy (when mothers bear children not their own), a common practice in IVF.
"It's exciting - look what we can do, we can play God," she said. "But, the serious question is: are we going to be producing totally different kinds of people? And yes, we are. These are children who did not have the benefit of the chemistry of being conceived in the womb as nature intended it to happen."
Thorn cautioned that scientists are just beginning to discover the long-lasting damage done to children conceived in IVF: a study on IVF young adults published in the February 2010 issue of Fertility and Sterility found that such individuals were up to 11 times more likely to be diagnosed with certain psychological disorders such as clinical depression and attention deficit disorder, and often reported other maladies such as vision problems, asthma, and allergies.
"It's nice that doctors want to play God, but this is a serious issue. We're putting children at risk," she said.