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Please Get Out Of My Womb
a blog by JPalumbo, June 5, 2012
Sometime in February 2012, Pope Benedict XVI spoke out against in vitro fertilization and warned that families who benefit from any scientific advances in fertility treatment are guilty of “the arrogance of taking the place of the creator.” I would have paid more attention to this statement if it wasn’t for the fact that I was currently taking care of my then 1-month-old son; a son that I had through IVF. Although I’m sorry I missed this — as my “Kiss my infertile ass” is now officially later than I would have liked — it’s probably best that I didn’t hear I was arrogant when I was particularly sleep deprived and covered in spit up.
In general, there seems to be more and more religious groups taking issue with reproductive assistance. Whether it’s the Pope once again thinking scientific advancements or any acknowledgement of modern life are evil or the folks in New Hampshire who would like to amend the current homicide law in the state to include the death of an unborn child, where an unborn child is being defined from the moment of conception until birth, a whole lot of people think what’s going on in our uteruses (or is it uteri?) is their business. The New Hampshire law in particular scares me under the language they are proposing, if any embryos are discarded prior to being transferred to a woman’s womb during the IVF process, neither she, her partner, her embryologist or her fertility doctor would be protected and could very well be considered a murderer. It’s stressful enough dealing with infertility. Now you’re throwing on a possible murder charge? Yikes!
Now, I’m not going to change anyone’s mind on what they believe or don’t believe. If you think IVF is wrong in the eyes of the Lord, that’s your business and I’m not going to argue with you. I’m also not going to argue with people on gay marriage, premarital sex or whether you should or shouldn’t eat meat on a Friday. I’m not writing this to confront anyone’s moral, ethical or religious values. There are too many religions out there that attempting to respond to each one would most likely give me a brain aneurism. The only reason I’m even writing this is to remind everyone that we can’t make judgments or laws on your personal beliefs.
I have a friend who is Pentecostal, and we were at a video store a while back (sounds like a joke doesn’t it? A former Catholic and a Pentecostal go into a video store…). We were trying to decide what to rent, and when I picked up one of the many Harry Potter movies, he explained that he couldn’t watch it because it involved witches, and he couldn’t allow that in his house. Although I will never understand how a movie with Maggie Smith could ever be considered sinister, I respected his beliefs and put the DVD down. Does that mean it should be illegal for me to watch the Half-Blood Prince? I don’t think so.
Everyone is entitled to their own set of values but why, oh why, are more people feeling the need to impose them on everyone else? I was raised Roman Catholic and although I’m no longer a practicing Catholic (I quit practicing the piano and the church around the same time), I firmly believe that if you are religious and believe in God, you would stay out of condemning other people and leave it up to Him (or Her) to deal with it. Really. If God judges the wicked, then the position has very much been filled. Move on.
I respect religion and religious people a great deal. If a belief system makes a better person, a happier person or brings them joy, why would I possibly be against it? I just don’t understand why religious beliefs are becoming increasingly political. Why are we making laws on one group’s doctrine? When did the Bible start becoming our constitution? And if we allow that, what about the Torah? Or the Koran? When and where does it stop?
The pope is entitled to his opinion. From where I stand though, when I look at my son, not only am I grateful for the technology that gave him to me, but I dare say that I even thank God that he’s here. I can’t imagine anyone looking at my baby’s smiling face or his beautiful blue eyes and saying that he’s not a blessing. He is to me and always will be.
With regards to the people in New Hampshire who are trying to pass this law, how about this? If you think the in vitro process is morally wrong or could be considered murder (depending on how the cycle goes), don’t do in vitro.
Of course there is more to say on all of this, but the bottom line is that there is separation of church and state. No really. It may not seem like it these days, but there is and it’s there for a reason. Our bodies, our future and our choices are at stake, and whether you have had fertility issues or not, whether you’ve done in vitro or not, if you have a uterus, I urge you to start paying close attention.