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The Week: Legally recognized sperm (and egg) “donors” take money with the expectation that the resultant children will not be “theirs.”
Irish Examiner: “A woman who underwent fertility treatment at a clinic in Rome became pregnant with the twins of another couple after their embryos were mixed up. Italy’s health ministry says it is launching an investigation into the error, which was only discovered when the woman was three months pregnant.”
Melissa Moschella, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America, at Public Discourse: “Every child has a right to be loved by his or her biological parents. Third-party reproduction violates this right by intentionally conceiving a child in a way that will alienate that child from at least one of her biological parents.”
Michael Hanby at The Federalist: “[T]he sexual revolution is, at bottom, the technological revolution and its perpetual war against natural limits applied externally to the body and internally to our self-understanding. . . . the argument for marriage as an affective union has been buttressed time and again in the courts by the claim that assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs), surrogacy, and the like eliminate any relevant difference between a married man and woman and a same-sex couple, from which it is but a short step to the conclusion that the state has an obligation to secure same-sex couples’ rights and access to these technologies as a condition of their genuine equality.
Washington Times: “The number of American babies conceived with the help of medical technology hit another record in 2012, with nearly two out of every 100 babies born in the country begun with the help of in-vitro fertilization and other techniques, according to a new study released Monday.”
Kokomo Tribune (AP): “A woman who claims she was fired from her job at a Roman Catholic school in northern Indiana after she had in vitro fertilization tells a federal judge that testimony about church doctrine concerning the procedure is irrelevant.”
Topeka Capital-Journal: A Shawnee County District Court judge ruled Wednesday that William Marotta was more than just a sperm donor, that he is also the presumptive father of a child born to a lesbian couple and is subject to paying child support as sought by the Kansas Department of Children and Families.”
Associated Press: “The University of Utah is investigating a complaint that a convicted felon working at a fertility clinic replaced a customer’s sperm with his own, fathering a girl 21 years ago.”
Sarah Elizabeth Richards in the New York Times: “ANDY INKSTER, a transgender man, had always wanted biological children. So when he embarked on the transition from female to male at age 18 — changing his name, taking testosterone and eventually undergoing surgery to remove his breasts — he left his female reproductive organs intact.”
Catholic Culture: The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has issued a statement on the baptism of infants born to surrogate mothers.
Gay Star News: Liz and Nadia Harris had a full house in New Orleans for Christmas with five new additions to their family. The couple, married for four-and-a-half years, are now the parents of quintuplets – four boys named Michael, David, Maxwell and Joseph and a girl named Elizabeth.
The Independent (includes video): The sperm’s tail acts like a tiny outboard motor inside a metal nanotube; the resulting biobot could be used to deliver drugs and guide sperm to the egg
Global Times: The surrogate and egg donation industry has developed rapidly in the US as it provides healthy young women a new way of making money.
Rene Almeling at NY Times: How did we get to this point? Sperm donation has evolved from a practice of customized production to an industry that resembles mass manufacturing.
Kellie Fiedorek at Alliance Defending Freedom: Does it matter if you are the result of love and passion between your biological mom and dad? Or are you okay with your parents being donor numbers 548 and 2143? Would it hurt you to never know—or even have the opportunity to know—who your biological parents are?
Alan S. Newman at Public Discourse: “Eggsploitation” reveals the predatory practices of the fertility industry, which lures young women in need of money to undergo medical procedures that carry the risk of severe long-term health problems.
LifeNews: That crass market was the subject of a piece in the Daily Mail about an actress, named Robyn Young, who has sold her eggs repeatedly to help support herself as she tries to build a career.
Manchester Evening News: The women say they were told separately by a nurse and a doctor at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Manchester that they were not entitled to IVF because they were in a same-sex relationship.
Nathan Cherry at Engage Family Minute: If you’ve read Aldous Huxley’s near prophetic tale “A Brave New World” you are familiar with the term Bokanovsky’s Process. For those unfamiliar with this term let me explain. Bokanovsky’s Process refers to a process of creating children that does not involve humans. The process allows the controllers and creators to manipulate every aspect . . .
TheLeader.info: Infants conceived with techniques used in fertility clinics, are four times more likely to have certain birth defects and malformations than children conceived naturally, according to a study by researchers at the University of Lund ( Sweden).
Christian Concern: “There are larger social and ethical considerations that mitochondrial replacement also forces us to confront. Most importantly, this technology raises one of the thorniest questions humanity will ever face: are we willing to genetically modify future generations of humans?”
Jennifer Lahl at Public Discourse: Assistive reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization not only involve serious medical risks, they also disrupt family life and commodify human beings.
‘She gave her eggs, I carried the baby’: ‘Two-mom’ IVF approach allows lesbian couples to share pregnancy role
Daily Mail: Fertility clinics have put a new twist on how to make babies: A ‘two-mom’ approach that lets female same-sex couples share the biological role. One woman’s eggs are mixed in a lab dish with donor sperm, then implanted in the other woman, who carries the pregnancy.
CBS: About five million babies have been born thanks to the aid of assisted reproductive technologies (ART). The International Committee for the Monitoring of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ICMART), which represents more than 50 fertility organizations around the world, announced the landmark figure on Tuesday.
JCONline.com: A federal magistrate has ordered a Roman Catholic diocese in northern Indiana to turn over a wide range of documents, including records involving diocese teachers disciplined for violating church teachings, to a former teacher who claims she was fired for undergoing in vitro fertilization.
Religion Clause Blog: In Herx v.Diocese of Fort Wayne- South Bend, Inc., (ND IN, Oct. 7, 2013), an Indiana federal district court rejected a Catholic diocese’s First Amendment defenses to a discovery request. Plaintiff is a former Catholic elementary school teacher whose contract was not renewed after the school learned that she had become pregnant through in vitro fertilization.
Sarah Elizabeth Richards at NY Times: THE end of a marriage is always sad, but divorce can be particularly devastating for a woman who still wants children but whose fertility is on the decline. Her ex may have many years left to start a new family of his own, but by the time she meets a new partner, it may be too late.
CNSNews: Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman, who has a strong pro-life record and supports same-sex marriage, said it is okay for gay couples to adopt children, but he would not say what should be done with the “spare” human embryos usually created through in vitro fertilization, a process by which some gay couples obtain children.
LifeNews: How long can a human embryo be frozen at a fertility clinic and still be implanted in a mother’s womb and be able to grow and develop to birth? One woman implanted a unique human being and gave birth to a child 19 years after initial freezing.
NBCNews: Forty men who put their sperm on ice because cancer or other illnesses threatened to leave them infertile are suing a Chicago hospital after a freezer malfunction robbed many of them of the chance to have biological children, their lawyer said Wednesday.
Bioedge: The Dalgettys are an extreme case, but natural conception after an IVF birth is not uncommon, according to Australian research published in published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. One in three women who have their first baby through infertility treatment, become pregnant again naturally within two years of their first birth.
ABC: Forty separate lawsuits – one for each of the patients whose sperm samples were allegedly destroyed while stored in a chamber owned by Northwestern Memorial Hospital – were filed Tuesday.
LifeNews: The Daily Telegraph this weekend reports on a new expert study which has raised fears that some clinics may be offering techniques that put the embryo at risk for their own profit. The review, carried out by Dr Justin McCracken, the former head of the Health Protection Agency, highlighted a new technique, known as Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening (PGS), as one which is possibly being offered inappropriately for commercial reasons.
Pew Forum: Asked whether abortion is morally acceptable, morally wrong or not a moral issue, only about a quarter of U.S. adults (23%) say they personally do not consider having an abortion to be a moral issue, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. Twice as many Americans (46%) say this about using in vitro fertilization.
Rebecca Hagelin at Townhall: “Wendy” wonders about her dad. Who is he? Does she look like him or share his personality quirks? Does he want to know her? Will he reject her if she reaches out? After all, he fathered under the assumption that he’d never have to know her.
Alana S. Newman at Public Discourse: We’ve created a class of people who are manufactured, and treat them as less-than-fully human, demanding that they be grateful for whatever circumstances we give them. While fathers of traditionally conceived human beings are chased down and forced to make child support payments as a minimal standard of care, people conceived commercially are reprimanded when they question the anonymous voids that their biological fathers so “lovingly” left.
Harvard Law Bill of Health Blog: hould a man who donates his sperm to a woman so that she can have a child through medically assisted reproduction later be able to claim parental rights to any resulting child? Would your answer change if the man and woman had an on-again off-again romantic relationship in which they tried for years to conceive “the old-fashion way” before turning to assisted reproductive technologies (ART)? How about if the couple briefly reconciled after the child was born during which time the man grew increasingly attached to his biological son? These are the questions now wending their way through the California judicial and legislative systems.
Guardian: The birth demonstrates how next-generation sequencing (NGS), which was developed to read whole genomes quickly and cheaply, is poised to transform the selection of embryos in IVF clinics. Though scientists only looked at chromosomes – the structures that hold genes – on this occasion, the falling cost of whole genome sequencing means doctors could soon read all the DNA of IVF embryos before choosing which to implant in the mother.
Bloomberg: The increased risk was among children born as a result of intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection in which a sperm surgically extracted from the testes is injected directly into an egg before being transplanted to the womb. Using the injection method with ejaculated sperm also raised the risks, though not as much, the researchers found. Less than 2 percent of children with either disorder were conceived using IVF, they said.
BBC: The UK looks set to become the first country to allow the creation of babies using DNA from three people, after the government backed the IVF technique.
California Family Alliance:
World Magazine: An Ohio jury ruled Monday that the Cincinnati archdiocese discriminated against a teacher fired after she became pregnant through artificial insemination. The expected appeal may affect how much religious organizations can regulate employees’ behavior.
Christian schools at risk! Jury sides with lesbian Catholic school teacher fired for artificial insemination
Fox News (AP): A Catholic school teacher who was fired after she became pregnant through artificial insemination was awarded more than $170,000 Monday after winning her anti-discrimination lawsuit against an Ohio archdiocese.
AP: A teacher fired from Catholic schools after becoming pregnant through artificial insemination told jurors Wednesday she didn’t know that the procedure violated church doctrine or that she could be fired for it.
Mark Regnerus at Public Discourse: Our language about sexuality is dominated by public health, with its talk of risk, “protection,” health, choice, and rights. In so doing we scoff at babies–the crowning glory of human creativity–and where they come from.
C-FAM: Lawyers and doctors last week denounced the highest human rights court in the Americas for meddling with science and failing to protect human life. Last December, the Inter-American Court for Human Rights struck down a Costa Rican ban on in-vitro fertilization, known as IVF. In order to rule that way the court had to weigh in on the law and science of when human life begins. It decided the IVF ban infringed the right to privacy, personal autonomy and sexual and reproductive health.
AP: Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk has fired his justice minister, who made comments alleging Germans may be experimenting on Polish embryos from in vitro fertilization procedures
Leon Kass at WSJ: Consider abortion. After years of calling for abortions that are “safe, legal and rare,” the Democratic Party in its 2012 platform dropped such language altogether in an attempt to appeal to its feminist base. But viewing childbearing solely as a matter of personal reproductive choice, Dr. Kass says, “means we no longer see a child as a gift but as a product of our will to be had by choice only. That makes human choice the basis of all value”—at the price of the child, for “he or she comes from the hands of nature.”
LifeNews: There’s gold in them thar hills! Ounce for ounce, human eggs are probably the most valuable commodity on the planet, with highly intelligent and beautiful university women offered $50,000 or more for their ova for use in eugenic IVF.
Robert P. George at WSJ: Sir Robert Edwards, the Nobel Prize-winning British “test tube baby” pioneer who died last week at age 87, devoted his career to developing in vitro fertilization as a technique to enable women afflicted with certain forms of infertility to conceive and bear children. As a result, there are millions of people in the world today—some now in their 30s—who otherwise would not have been born. According to Edwards’s admirers, their lives are his legacy.
APB: Russell Moore, president-elect of the Southern Baptist Convention’s moral-concerns agency, says parents of test-tube babies are morally responsible for unused embryos that are left behind.
Montreal Gazette: Specialists at Akdeniz University Hospital placed an embryo into Sert’s womb earlier this week in hopes she will become the first woman with a uterus transplant to give birth.
Ruth Institute: You may consider the following headline from a leading US newspaper blog last week to be rather extreme: “The British Embryo Authority and the Chamber of Eugenics”. But when it is followed a week later by a news report in a British newspaper saying: “Lord Robert Winston warning over child ‘eugenics’”, should we then take more notice?
Christian Post: All of this comes to mind after reading about a proposal coming out of a scientific conference in Madrid. There, researchers from Israel and the Netherlands announced a potential new source for human eggs to be used in in-vitro-fertilization treatments: aborted female fetuses.
Live Action News: Two Australian ethicists created a firestorm of controversy last year when they argued for after-birth abortions. Another Australian ethicist has taken up their torch, gleefully celebrating the idea of designer humans and in vitro eugenics.
Wesley J. Smith at National Review: Leave it to my state of California to head off in radical and expensive directions. Legislation has been filed that would require group insurance to cover gay and lesbian infertility treatments just as they do heterosexual. But, as I note elsewhere, AB 460 . . .
LifeSiteNews: A proposal by fertility researchers to “harvest” female gametes, “ova,” from the dead bodies of aborted children to create in vitro embryos in the lab has created a small buzz among the pro-life websites, blogs and Facebook in the last couple of days. But the buzz is over a story that appeared in the Daily Mail nearly ten years ago, about research that has very likely moved along considerably in that time.
Christian Concern: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised the Government to permit the use of an IVF technique that would result in the creation of children with three parents.
AP: Britain’s fertility regulator says it has found broad public support for in vitro fertilization techniques that allow babies to be created with DNA from three people for couples at risk of passing on potentia
AP: A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by an Indiana woman who says a Catholic diocese fired her from her teaching job because she had in vitro fertilization.
Washington Post: A lesbian whose adoption request was recently denied by Puerto Rico’s Supreme Court is appealing the ruling.
Bruce J. Clemenger at Evangelical Fellowship of Canada: Recently a fertility clinic in the United States made news for not only selling human sperm and eggs, but human embryos as well. While many responded with disdain, National Post columnist Marni Soupcoff questioned the validity of the objections.
John Smoot at LifeSiteNews: Yesterday I explained the problems that arise from commercialized sperm donation—namely degraded men who are absent fathers to children disturbed by the circumstances of their birth. Today I explore more closely the role that money plays as men’s greatest motive for donating sperm, and its impact on future children. I conclude by proposing how we can challenge the sperm-sale industry.
Topeka Capital-Journal: Citing a first-of-its-kind Kansas Supreme Court ruling made Friday, Topekan Angela Bauer on Wednesday sought the right to intervene in a case in which the state contends sperm donor William Marotta is legally the father of the daughter born to her former lesbian partner, Jennifer Schreiner.
World: It’s one of many custody battles in which courts have ruled in favor of the “right” of same-sex couples to have children, instead of the right for children to have both a mother and father.
Jurist: The Kansas Supreme Court [official website] on Friday ruled [opinion, PDF] that a non-biological mother of children conceived using assisted reproductive technologies has parentage rights under Kansas law. Kelly Goudschaal and Marci Frazier were in a committed, long-term, same-sex relationship and had two children via artificial insemination. The couple executed a co-parenting agreement and after they separated, Frazier filed suit to enforce the agreement.
Washington Post: Puerto Rico’s Supreme Court narrowly voted Wednesday to uphold a law banning gay couples from adopting children. The 5-4 vote came . . .
Public Discourse: With money as the biggest incentive for sperm donation, donors are set up to be absent fathers. Politicians, charitable organizations, academics, and donors themselves should counter the ills of sperm donation through law, journalism, and funding for anti-sperm donation advocacy. The second of a two-part series.
AP: The case of a Kansas sperm donor being sued by the state for child support underscores a confusing patchwork of aging laws that govern assisted reproduction in the United States and often lead to litigation and frustration among would-be parents.
Manila Standard Today: Piero Tozzi of Alliance Defending Freedom complained that the ruling turned the right to life on its head and subordinated it to so many other secondary rights.