The doctor’s in…

IMG_1879 copyWe were blessed to have an OB-Gyn speak with us at The Great Getaway last summer. Here is a collection of some of the wise tidbits he shared with us:

On infertility…

“Fertility is one of those areas in life where God has us where He wants us. We have to lay it down. We have to give it to God. Who ultimately is in control? It’s not me [the doctor]; it’s not you and your husband; God is the one in control.”

“Infertility is a cross. It’s the cross God has given us. We are to bear our crosses.”

“We can’t even claim to understand why this is happening. This is a wound only God can heal.”

“No matter what happens, your Father loves you. Your Father has your best in mind.”

“Our culture says, ‘I have a right to have my 2.2 children when I want them. Children are things.’ We do not have a right to have children…Children are a precious gift from God.”

“If we had something that worked 100% of the time, then we would lose the awe and wonder of creation.”


“Infertility is not a disease. It is a symptom of a problem. IVF circumvents that problem. Let’s figure out the problem rather than circumvent the problem.”

“Who in the world do we think we are in saying that someone is a Grade D embryo?”

“For every baby that is born through IVF, between 20 to 30 are lost.”

The cost? “$15,000-$18,000 per cycle”

On why life begins at conception…

“Genetically, that embryo is not the mom; that embryo is not the dad. That’s a new person.”

On whether or not the pill ever acts as an abortifacient…

“If it happens once, isn’t that too many?”

Better Does Not Mean Good

Thank you, Rev. Michael Mohr, for this thoughtful, pastoral response to the “So Ashamed” post:

Thank you for this article. It got me thinking in particular about two things.

First – we can often say all of the right things in all the wrong ways, and our shame of the way that people say things can confuse us into rejecting the good and correct points they are trying to make. But we shouldn’t let that ad hominem fallacy keep us from seeing the truth they may have to share.

Second – Just because something is better doesn’t make it good. Yes, non-stimulated harvest of oocytes and implantation of single embryos is “better” because that more closely resembles the God-created process, but does “better” necessarily mean “God pleasing?” It is never “God pleasing” to lose even one child from the womb (regardless of the process by which that child was conceived). I used to be caught in that web of deceit woven by the devil that one-at-a-time fertilization and implantation was better, so it must be good and God pleasing. But better doesn’t mean good. The only things we can say with certainty are good are those things for which we have a clear Word of the Lord (e.g. natural conception in the context of marriage). In all else, even when we didn’t think it was sin to begin with or even if we never realize its true nature as sin, we must rest upon the grace of Christ to cover our sinfulness, confess that sinfulness (as we do in the Lord’s Prayer), and receive the blessing of Almighty God for the sake of His Son, Jesus. That is our only hope – not whether our “better” choices were “good” choices.

Rev. Michael Mohr


Infertility Medicine: An Unregulated Industry

MP900315620They’ve gone rogue.

The infertility industry not only allows for unreported, anonymous sperm donations and child-freezing but also for the killing of children at the whim of adults (parents, judges, doctors, technicians, etc.).

What about the children’s rights? They basically have none, at least not any that an adult would feel bound to respect, and the children involved have the disadvantage of not being the paying customer in the industry. There are no checks and balances set in place, legal or social, to protect the rights of the children created, handled, and destroyed by the infertility industry.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute explains it this way in an interview with Todd Wilken on Issues, Etc. (November 22, 2011):

“A lot of our social systems have built-in, self-correction mechanisms…[T]he free market where we let people do what they want has built into it a system of property rights protection and a system of competition to keep people from getting too far out of hand. There’s nothing built in to in vitro fertilization and the industry around it that stops people from going too far. Absolutely nothing.”

If there are no checks and balances set in place in the infertility industry, what exactly is powering the frantic steam roller that is infertility medicine? Dr. Morse explains:

“[W]e have sort of drifted into the system that we have now. [N]obody ever sat down and said to themselves, ‘You know, I think it would be a great idea if anyone with money could do anything they want as far as bringing a child into being, whether they have to have a relationship with their child’s other parent or not. We’re going to give legal parenting rights to whoever intends to be a parent, never mind if there’s any biological relationship or anything like that.’ Nobody sat down and thought through and said, ‘Hey, this is a great idea. Let’s do it.’ We just kind of drifted into this position, and the in vitro fertilization industry is pretty much unregulated. People say it’s like the Wild West. Well, that’s actually kind of a smirch on the Wild West, because the Wild West did have some sense of order and some internal sense of right and wrong. And in this particular case, people seem to think that as long as the adults get what they want, they don’t really have to think through what they’re doing to the individual child. And they certainly don’t have to think through what they’re doing to the whole system that everybody is operating within…I think it is really quite appalling that what we’ve got is a system that is being driven by two things…One, it’s being driven by the passions of the infertile woman, and, two, it’s being driven by the greed of the infertility industry.”

(Dr. Morse’s full interview can be heard here.)

In a recent interview on NPR’s Fresh Air (January 17, 2013), science editor Judith Shulevitz shines the light on the fact that we can’t even be sure of the longterm medical consequences to both the mother and children affected by infertility treatments:

“[W]e just don’t know what we’re doing. There just isn’t a lot of data, particularly in America. The good stuff is coming out of other countries where they actually have the information collated in a national health registry. In this country, the fertility industry only reports pregnancy rates to the CDC – the Centers for Disease Control – and we don’t do follow up studies.”

Ms. Shulevitz continues to explain that it is not just a lack of required data which should cause us concern but also the cavalier, consumer-driven mentality which steam-powers an already unregulated industry:

“[W]e’re not studying [fertility] enough. We don’t regulate it enough.[W]e celebrate triumphantly each breakthrough as if it was an absolute good, and we don’t go cautiously enough and I think that’s a problem, and as the age of first birth creeps up more, and more women are going to be availing themselves of these technologies, and I think that we really ought to go carefully.”

(Ms. Shulevitz’s full interview can be heard here. PLEASE NOTE: I neither agree with nor endorse Ms. Shulevitz’s personal views on feminism, birth control, or family planning.)