Company receives backlash for turning frozen embryos into ‘jewelry’
May 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Australian company that says it has pioneered a process to make frozen human embyros into jewelry is facing backlash after a story on it went viral last week.
Baby Bee Hummingbird, started by midwife Amy McGlade in 2014, has “crafted” 50 pieces of jewelry from “embryo straws,” which it preserves and cremates, making an “embryo ash” that can be preserved in resin, according to a report in Kidspot.
“I don’t believe there is any other business in the world that creates jewelry from human embryos, and I firmly believe that we are pioneering the way in this sacred art, and opening the possibilities to families around the world,” McGlade told Kidspot.
The jewelry costs “$80 to $600, depending on the piece, and can be sent worldwide.”
The article featured couple Belinda and Shaun Stafford, who used IVF to conceive a son, now four, and a twin boy and girl, who are almost two. They didn’t know what to do with the seven frozen embryos they had left.
“Donating our embryos wasn’t an option for us and I couldn’t justify the yearly storage fee,” Belinda told Kidspot. “I’d heard others had planted them in the garden, but we move a lot, so I couldn’t do this.”
So they opted to have the babies made into jewelry — in this case, a heart-shaped pendant.
“My embryos were my babies — frozen in time. When we completed our family, it wasn’t in my heart to destroy them,” Belinda told Kidspot. “ Now they are forever with me in a beautiful keepsake.”
Baby Bee Hummingbird’s Facebook page says it is “offering 15 percent off all Embryo Ashes Jewelry. We hope this will make the process more affordable & easier on families.”
It’s clear the company has been dealing with backlash from the Kidspot story.
Wesley Smith decried the practice in National Review as “illustrating the crassness of our age.” Matthew Archbold wrote in the National Catholic Register that he “had to read this headline twice (or three times) because I thought it had to be a twisted joke. Sadly, it's not.”
Added Archbold: “The more I read the more horrified I became.”
A post on Baby Bee Hummingbird’s Facebook last Wednesday said it was “taking a small break and going offline until tomorrow” after “a very draining 48 hours.” Two days later came the following response:
• t r u t h • l o v e • r e s p e c t •
Truth • Many of you would be aware of the traumatic & soul destroying week we have endured. The truth is we have received thousands of vile, cruel & unimaginable emails & messages. Death threats & hate have flooded our accounts ( & yes it will take a long time to delete & filter true enquiries ).
Those that have chosen to spread hate are not our people. They are not the people we would create for. They are uneducated in our craft or the many reasons behind our " why".
We have chosen not to respond to a single word. We will continue to ban & delete.
It wouldn't help or ease their destructive paths. Those that know us & understand my passion for capturing all memories are our people - you are our beloved tribe & the reason I do what I do.
We will not stop.
Love • We always craft & create with love. It's simple. We follow our hearts & those that seek our service.
Respect • We have literally built this business from the ground. We have sacrificed & given everything we have. We are respectful to those who opinions differ.
We will not respond.
We will create a safe place for ourselves & the families we create for.
We invite you to join our • CLOSED GROUP •
This will be a highly monitored, nurturing & safe environment.
We truly can't thank you all enough for your words of wisdom, support & love. We hope you continue to follow our journey. As of Monday we will be back doing what we love ( with some help, so we can quickly filter our mail ).
Comments on the page defended the company’s “exclusive concept.”
Reads one post: “Unless you've been the IVF route SHUT YOUR UNEDUCATED MOUTH! If you've no part of this journey, You don't know anything. You don't know, Unless you live this horrific journey.”
Says another: “It’s not a baby yet, it's a bunch of cells. ... I'm also infertile and relied on donor eggs for me to have my family. …I personally would rather wear my embryo around my neck then it get thrown down the sink (because that's what happens believe it or not).”
And another: “How do you get the embrio's? Would we have to give you permission? I'm interested as we have 6 frosties we are still paying storage for.”
According to Pope Saint John Paul II: “A person’s rightful due is to be treated as an object of love, not as an object for use.”
Ultimately, IVF turns the human person, made in the image and likeness of God, into a commodity.
The “problem is so evidently apparent and sickening that it’s hard to know where to start,” says Marie-Claire Bissonnette, youth coordinator at Campaign Life Coalition.
That parents would make jewelry from the human embryos they created by in vitro fertilization is “emotional, narcissistic, unnatural and utilitarian,” she told LifeSiteNews.
“There’s no consideration for the babies, just how the parents feel. This is the antithesis of parenting: killing your children and using their bodies to create frivolous tokens in the name of ‘keeping them close,’” she added.
“When I consider where we are as a culture and how confused we are, in the end it really is so simple. Do we believe God created each and every human being? Do we believe life is sacred? Not just important. Sacred. Priceless,” wrote Archbold.
“There are no good solutions in cases like these for what to do with frozen embryos. Even when one of those solutions is on sale,” he added.
Healing “comes from Christ, not a keepsake.”