Building the culture of life

Column: Technologies lead to births by morally illicit means

Ron Kelsey is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office. You can email him at: or call him at (913) 647-0350.

Ron Kelsey is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office. You can email him at: or call him at (913) 647-0350.

by Ron Kelsey

Advances in technology have afforded society many opportunities to improve the way that we live.

Yet not all applications of technology are morally licit or proper. We know that the ends do not always justify the means.

Such is the case with IVF (in vitro fertilization) and surrogacy. IVF and surrogacy are used increasingly to help a couple obtain a child — but always in morally illicit ways.

We can certainly understand and empathize with the sufferings of couples who deal with infertility. Yet we are called to deal with infertility in morally valid ways. Fortunately, there are morally acceptable ways to use technology to attempt to help couples achieve pregnancy. Such proper use of technology cooperates with the loving conjugal act within marriage.

Such a morally valid approach is witnessed by the use of NaProTechnology, which was developed from ethical research into human reproduction by the Pope Paul VI Institute ( in Omaha, Neb. Couples who are dealing with infertility can be referred to a physician trained in NaProTechnology.

The names of some of these physicians may be found online at: www. (Fertility Care Center of Kansas City). Couples dealing with infertility may also want to consider adoption through faith-based adoption agencies such as, St. Joseph Adoption Ministry (catholicadoptionministry. org), located in Kansas City, Kan.

In addition to the growing use of IVF, society is also seeing a growing use of surrogacy. Surrogacy is a means used to obtain a child through the use of “renting” a womb.

With surrogacy, a woman who will give birth to a child is typically impregnated with an embryo produced with the biological material of another woman and a man. This is also referred to as gestational surrogacy.

Despite the intentions of those involved, which may well be good, surrogacy is not a morally licit approach. Again, the end or goal of surrogacy is proper but the means is not.

Simply put, God intends for children to be conceived lovingly through the marital act and not as manufactured products. As is typically the case, when we deviate from God’s plan, problems arise, and that is certainly true with surrogacy as you can easily imagine from simply considering potential legal problems.

There are many children who now exist as the result of IVF and surrogacy. Children brought into the world in such a fashion are children of God and loved by him as are other children. There is no difference in God’s eyes between children born within marriage or to the 40 percent of children born out-of-wedlock or to children produced via IVF or surrogacy. He is the creator of all and brings good out of everything, including man’s misguided efforts with IVF and surrogacy.

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Ron Kelsey

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