Wednesday June 14, 2000


MONTREAL, June 14 ( – Recent news has brought the issue of in vitro fertilization to world attention. A prominent Catholic bishop in Rome has criticized amendments introduced by the Italian senate to a bill on IVF, one of which would remove the obligation to inform couples that the technique involves the wastage of embryos. Bishop Eli Sgreccia, director of the Bio-Ethics Centre of Rome’s Sacred Heart University and vice-president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said: “The majority of embryos, in other words of [the couples’] children, will be sacrificed for the one child who will survive. If they knew the truth, I don’t know how many would decide to go ahead with these procedures.”

But the glories of IVF were also trumpeted with the announcement that Celine Dion, the famous Canadian musician was pregnant thanks to IVF. Pro-life leaders are concerned that Dion, also known for her openness to Christianity, was left unaware of the fact that the in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure costs the lives of (albeit very tiny) human babies. Although pro-lifers naturally treasure every child, no matter how conceived, and have great empathy for women who cannot conceive, there remains a disturbing question – did the fertility scientists tell Mrs. Dion that having a child via IVF would cost the lives of some of her other children?

An August 1998 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) confirms that IVF often requires the death of many conceived embryos before one successful pregnancy is maintained. IVF involves the creation of human embryos outside the womb and the implantation of several of these already created children in the womb of the mother. It is known that some of the implanted embryos will not survive the procedure and others that are created are often deliberately destroyed or removed for experimentation or frozen and stored for future use.

(with files from Society for Protection of Unborn Children)

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