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On Embryos and Babies and Octuplets

My blog is racking up some nice numbers lately and much of that can be credited to a recent post about the California Octuplets.  I’d like to make some clarifications.

In the first place, I stand by my general assessment that as Christians and pro-lifers, since we believe embryos are real persons, the Octuplet outcome is much better than the alternative, which of course is death.

While it is true that the mother in this case probably doesn’t deserve charity, again, as pro-lifers our concern isn’t exclusively for the mother, but also for the children.  It is difficult to understand why they don’t deserve charity.  They are in this world and so we should care for them.  Let the secularists say, “They cost the state 1.3 million dollars, so screw them!”  That option is not available to us.

My essential argument was that after the implantation is too late to be caring about the ethics of this situation.  More pertinent is why were the embryos created in the first place?  I honestly can’t say that I know a ton about fertility treatments, but I gather that they often create a few extra embryos because the process isn’t 100% fool proof.   Then they implant some on the expectation or- dare I say, hope- that some will die but the odds are that some will live.  Or, they save some on the same principle.  Either way, if I am true to my pro-life principles I must recognize this for what it is:  actual persons are dying.

Now, that’s not cool, but it isn’t quite as bad as all that.  Women lose babies all the time in miscarriages.  This is traumatic and sad and regrettable.  If a couple is losing children in miscarriages that is about the same, perhaps, as losing a few through the fertility process.

Here begins the real problem and the issue that really needs to be addressed:  what is this business about creating dozens of embryos, if not more?   This is the real issue.  Even in the Octuplet case it is the real issue.  In the Octuplet issue, other issues arise, but the creation of the embryos in the first place is the source of all of them.

So, Christians, let’s be compassionate.  And let’s not take our eyes off the ball.  Our principles won’t allow us.

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