This past Saturday was the New Hampshire state March for Life in, Concord. Every year, this procession — organized by New Hampshire Right to Life — wends its way from the State House to the Church of Saint John the Evangelist, passing along the way an abortuary that’s roughly mid-route, where a raucous assembly of pro-aborts hold signs proclaiming public indecencies as some of their number hurl obscenities at the praying pro-lifers.
At the end of the procession, there is always a hot meal prepared by the Catholic Daughters, and then there is a speaker. This year’s speaker was not I would have considered a “typical” pro-life speaker. Jennifer Lahl, of the Center for Bioethics and Culture, spoke about bioethical issues that had never been on my radar screen before. Reminiscent of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, the developments she spoke of are not futuristic, but are very much with us, and they are hurting people badly.
Mrs. Lahl is Protestant, but made the observation that the Catholic Church is the only institution standing up for what she believes is the ethical “line in the sand” concerning medically assisted fertility: human conception ought to be the result of marital relations between a husband and wife. As soon as this business is carried on outside the womb, you’ve crossed that line. We Catholics know that, when you divorce sex from birth via contraception, you’ve sinned. What Mrs. Lahl spoke of was the inverse sin which, by a variety of new technologies, removes birth from the context of sex.
“Test-tube babies” were only the beginning. What seemed a compassionate thing to help a married couple to have a baby has highly evolved.
There are two interested parties on the industrial side of this operation. They are the scientists who want embryos for purposes of research (yes — research), and the members of the fertility industry, who profit from assisting people who want to have babies. And their customers are not just married couples who want a family. No, this unregulated industry also allows unmarried couples, homosexual couples, or single persons to become parents through a variety of unethical practices, including sperm donation, egg donation, and hired birth mothers.
California now partially accommodates such circumstances on their birth certificates. Instead of “Mother” and “Father,” the certificate has places for “Parent A,” “Parent B,” “Parent C,” and “Parent D.” Here is one scenario that this certificate might accommodate: a sperm donating male, an egg donating female, a birth mother, and her husband (or — and we need the quotes and italics here — her “wife“). But the speaker pointed out that California is actually behind the times now, because a fifth “parent” could be added to this list: a woman who rented out her body to gestate the child.
Parents: Your college age girls need to be warned of something here. College and university newspapers sometimes have ads for girls to become egg donors. Now sperm donation is, of course, a moral monstrosity because it entails the sin of pollution. But wicked as it is, it’s biologically simple and straightforward. Not so egg donation. Medical procedures have been developed to extract eggs from women, and because the pay is good, cash-strapped college students are an easy target for the slick marketing of companies that profit from trafficking in eggs. And here is where it goes from sick to sicker: The procedure is a lot of trouble, and the companies paying the girls want to collect lots of eggs, not only the normal one egg from a healthy ovulation. So, they give the girls drugs to make them hyperovulate, which entails serious medical risks. Make no mistake, these girls are being reduced to the function of egg production because they needed (or wanted) cash, and fell for some very clever marketing. Some of these girls have been rendered sterile by the procedure. Others almost died.
Mrs. Lahl’s organization, the Center for Bioethics and Culture, has produced a number of films to expose these unethical practices and the risks to which they expose women, as well as the trauma they can inflict on the children who are the offspring of these unnatural procedures.
Toward the end of the talk, which was very moving, Mrs. Lahl mentioned the real fear that people conceived by donations from “anonymous fathers” might meet one day and want to get married. Considering the fact that some male donors donate regularly (at $75 per) — and one was active for decades in the business — this is not an impossible occurrence.
A favorite expression of Bob Grant’s comes to mind: “It’s sick out there, and getting sicker!”
When this very moving talk was over and the floor opened up to questions, one lady in the audience made the point that fatherhood has been thrown away. She related the story of a cousin of hers who said that if she was not married by age forty, she would just have a baby and raise the child herself. The woman relating this said she was the only one in the family who objected, saying that the child was deprived of a father, as if fathers are unnecessary.
The thought struck me after the talk that if men were doing what men should do, and fathers were doing what fathers should do, this nonsense would be stopped. Men should be protecting women and little ones from these atrocities.
It all starts in the family.
Below are some trailers to videos produced by the Center for Bioethics and culture. Go here to find out more about the films, including how to rent or purchase them.