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Bishop Michael Burbidge of ArlingtonCatholic Diocese of Arlington/YouTube screenshot

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. bishops’ conference has issued a letter to the United States Senate calling on senators to oppose and reject the so-called “Access to Family Building Act” (AFBA). The bill would create a “right” under federal law to in vitro fertilization (IVF), which the bishops condemned as being “built on millions of children who are created to be destroyed or abandoned,” as well as other anti-life practices, such as surrogacy and gene-editing.

Expressing their compassion for couples facing the difficulty of infertility, the bishops insisted that “the solution, however, can never be a medical process that involves the creation of countless preborn children and results in most of them being frozen or discarded and destroyed.”

READ: IVF linked to intellectual disability, autism in children: large study

“For this and other deeply troubling problems with the bill, we strongly oppose the Access to Family Building Act (S. 3612).”

The bishops noted that “if enacted, the Access to Family Building Act would be the first law ever to exempt itself from the longstanding Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).”

Drawing attention to the sweeping consequences the bill would have on Christian and pro-life organizations that object to the practice of IVF because it involves the murder of countless unborn children, the bishops stated, “faith-based non-profit charities, schools, and church organizations that serve your communities and, out of principle, cannot cover in vitro fertilization (IVF) in their employee health plans could face impossible, potentially existential choices. Faith-based health care facilities and providers of faith could likewise be forced to facilitate procedures that violate their beliefs or to exit the field.”

READ: Joe Biden repudiates Catholic teaching on IVF: ‘I don’t agree’

The Catholic bishops also pointed out the dangerous uncharted territory of new fabricated “rights” the bill could usher in to the American legal and political landscape.

The terms of S. 3612 could also be readily interpreted to fabricate and impose new rights to human cloning, gene editing, making human-animal chimeras, reproducing children of a parent who is long deceased, engaging in the buying and selling of human embryos, commercial gestational surrogacy, and more. Human cloning and commercial surrogacy are otherwise prohibited in some States. Further, with no limits on age or who is liable, even parents could be sued by the government or a provider if they try to prevent their underage child from using ART [Assisted Reproductive Technologies].

The bishops stressed that “a new nationwide right to commercial surrogacy would also be deeply problematic.”

They stated, “the practice exploits vulnerable women and commodifies both them and their children. It also violates children’s right to a mother and father, and tears them away from the mother in whom they grew and whose voice is the first and only one they had ever known.”

READ: GOP senator blocks Democrats’ radical bill on IVF, cloning, human-animal hybrids

Doubling down on the immorality of the slaughter of countless children involved in the practice of IVF, the bishops stated in unequivocal terms that on that matter alone they would strongly oppose the bill, even if all other moral matters were addressed.

They declared, “While we highlight a range of concerns that we believe are shared by a majority of Americans regardless of their political persuasions, we must make clear that, even if such problems are addressed, we will continue to oppose the Access to Family Building Act as a threat to the most vulnerable of human beings.”

Countering the grossly false claim that the practice of IVF is pro-life, the bishops insisted, “Contrary to what some have claimed, a position that supports legal enshrinement of IVF, however well-intended, is neither pro-life nor pro-child. Approaches such as investing in life-affirming research on infertility, or strengthening support for couples who desire to adopt, would be better to explore.”

In no uncertain terms, they declared, “We cannot condone a practice and an industry that is built on millions of children who are created to be destroyed or abandoned. For all of the above reasons, we implore you in the strongest possible terms to oppose S. 3612 and any similar legislation that comes before you.”

The letter, sent on behalf of the bishops’ conference, was signed by four USCCB committee chairmen: Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities; Bishop Robert Barron of Winona-Rochester, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; and Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty.

READ: Alabama Supreme Court affirms frozen embryos are children ‘regardless of their location’

The letter follows a recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling recognizing human embryos as children. 

Since the ruling, IVF industry apologists and allies in the abortion lobby have quickly acted to make IVF a national issue, while Democrats have attempted to stoke voters’ fears about IVF restrictions and use the opportunity to pass the AFBA. Numerous Republicans have also rushed to declare their support for the practice, including former President and presumptive 2024 presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“Fertility clinics” in Alabama paused their IVF operations in response to the high court decision to determine whether continuing would put them in legal jeopardy.

As LifeSiteNews reported, the AFBA goes much further even than forcing states to allow IVF and in fact would also legalize “human cloning, gene-editing to produce ‘designer babies,’ the creation of animal-human hybrids (‘chimeras’), surrogacy, and the trafficking and destruction of human embryos,” according to The Washington Stand’s Sarah Holiday. What’s more, it would empower the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to bring civil action against anyone attempting to restrict any of those practices.

It has been estimated that more than a million embryos are frozen in storage in the United States following IVF, and that as many as 93% of all embryos created through IVF are eventually destroyed.

The Catholic Church teaches, based on natural law, that IVF is gravely immoral because it separates the sexual act from procreation and violates the right of the child to be born of a conjugal union.

Pray for an end to IVF and the protection of human embryos: Join our prayer pledge


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