Comments: "'Catholic' speakers weigh in on conception"

Dianne N. Irving
May 31, 2006
Reproduced with Permission

As in most states, Catholics in Wisconsin no longer understand why IVF or other ARTs are morally objectionable because no one ever taught them why this is so, even in our "Catholic" schools. They were not taught so because the moral theology is grounded in St. Thomas' natural law philosophical ethics, and after Vatican II the works of this most venerable Doctor of the Church were banished (or severely deconstructed), even in the seminaries. Even today, if St. Thomas is used (which is rare), it is only his theology, not his philosophy. You can't teach what you don't know.

Also, as especially philosophers understand, the language and definitions one uses are like "fingerprints", implying from where the concepts originate. Note in the article below the now-familiar false science "language" used currently in debates in order to justify human cloning: "In vitro fertilization is the process of extracting eggs from a woman's ovaries, fertilizing them with a man's sperm, choosing the most promising cell clusters and injecting several into the mother's uterus." These "most promising cell clusters" are not just cell clusters; they are living human beings, including the single-cell embryo.

Isn't it curious that this same false science of "cells" vs. "organisms" was concocted only recently by the likes of Weissman, West, Varmus et al in order to fool the public (and themselves?) that the immediate product of BOTH cloning and of fertilization is "just a cell" and that the 5-7 day human blastocyst is "just a ball of cells" or "a cluster of cells" -- rather than full-fledged living human beings. This way they can attempt to claim that all they are doing is "cell" research, and no human organism (human being) is killed. And isn't it interesting that only "the most promising cell clusters" are chosen to be implanted into the woman's uterus? This is the now-established technique for the IVF industry, and necessarily involves the discarding of embryos (not clusters of cells) who are deemed (by whom? with Ph.D.'s in human embryology??) to be "not promising" -- or, they are used as research fodder in experiments. And this is how mothers' can assuage their consciences when they choose to use IVF -- and donate their "clusters of cells" to scientific research. Small worlds.

Appleton Post-Cresent [Wisconsin]

By J.E. Espino
Post-Crescent staff writer
May 31, 2006

Catholic speakers weigh in on conception

Xavier High forum airs in vitro, fertility issues

APPLETON  Amy Malinski wants it known not every couple that chooses in vitro fertilization has lost its moral compass in the creation of a new life. Four months ago she and her husband, Scott, gave birth to their son, Maxwell, thanks to the process.

The Malinskis, who are Roman Catholics, had no misgivings over their decision, which has stirred debate after the firing by the ACES/Xavier school system of a teacher who became pregnant by in vitro fertilization because the procedure violates Catholic Church teachings.

"I look at my son and he is a miracle my husband and I did do," Malinski said Tuesday after a two-hour event at Xavier High School that examined fertility technologies through the lens of church teachings.

Speaker Jeannie Hannemann, founder of Appleton-based Elizabeth Ministry International, said that "God's plan is fertility," and called on the audience of about 120 to take time to look into NaProTechnology, a systematic approach endorsed by the church, to normalize or optimize reproductive function.

The clash of artificial reproduction and Catholic teachings attracted national attention when The Post-Crescent reported May 9 that Kelly Romenesko of Buchanan had filed a complaint with the state Department of Workforce Development after her termination. After an investigator found no probable cause that ACES broke the law, she appealed and a hearing before an administrative law judge is pending.

Speakers Tuesday night stressed compassion for couples who are struggling with infertility and have chosen to follow conception methods outside the teachings of the church.

Elisa Tremblay and her mother-in-law Bonnie Tremblay said they were taking back the information they had gathered from the workshop to friends who want to overcome infertility issues.

Their hope is that rather than seeking out invasive methods of conception such as in vitro fertilization, they would consider more natural means.

Malinski, however, said that she hopes the church researches further its position on in vitro fertilization so that people understand some processes don't require male masturbation to harvest sperm or the implanting of multiple fertilized eggs.

"I don't think everyone has all the information. They make it sound like we're all killing our babies," she said, adding she became pregnant using those methods on her first try with a single fertilized egg. Elisa Tremblay, who herself struggled with infertility after her first and third child, said she is "all for science, but I'm surprised how (in vitro) separates dignity from life."

She and her husband are expecting their fifth child, due on Sunday.

In vitro fertilization is the process of extracting eggs from a woman's ovaries, fertilizing them with a man's sperm, choosing the most promising cell clusters and injecting several into the mother's uterus.

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