I was on the radio yesterday morning promoting my latest book, We Chose Life, and was asked what I thought about the Octuplet Lady out in California. I declined to offer an answer because I knew only the headlines and hadn’t looked much further than that and so didn’t consider myself informed on that situation. I’m still not overly informed. 🙂 It was in the news this morning so I guess I’m slightly more informed now… with these caveats…
I think my main point of resistance is not with her being implanted with 6 embryos. In the secular press that seems to be the big complaint. I guess she would not have been ‘selfish’ if she had only had 1-2 embryos implanted? The secular press sees embryos as impersonal commodities and so the focus is all on the woman. But I believe that the embryos are actual human persons. What would have been their fate had they not been implanted? I suppose eventually they would have been destroyed. This doesn’t seem like a good solution to me. After the embryos have been created, I find myself happy that they have been given a chance at life.
While in the main the woman strikes me as a pretty loopy in the net analysis I’m glad she did what she did, at least insofar as the embryo implantation goes.
My main point of resistance is not with the implantation but with the creation of the embryos in the first place. In my mind, it is here where the ethical questions should have been played out by the doctors and by society at large. Do we really want to be generating thousands upon thousands of embryos that will be stored indefinitely and then, at the last, destroyed? I am all for helping parents conceive and have children and receiving medical help if necessary, but I am not for creating embryos that one does not plan to implant.
In short, the time to have discussed real life with this lady is when she sought to have the embryos created in the first place. After they were created, giving them a chance for life is much superior to the alternative.
My convictions inform me that an embryo is not an expendable commodity. I don’t know what the pro-life community at large is saying about this particular subject but if they aren’t already, I suggest they- we- dwell on the culture and attitudes involved in the generation of hundreds of thousands of eventually unused embryos.
Their fate in my mind is only slightly better than the Jews during the Holocaust. Millions of embryos are also going to the ovens, but at least they are not suffering in the meantime or during. Even if the embryos don’t feel it (and I am not certain they don’t) it still wouldn’t be right, and action is still required. Our responsibility to Life goes beyond pregnant women and extends to the consumer mentality that pervades even in the fertility industry.