The Roman Catholic Church
IVF and AI - acceptable, only if:
- NO “spare embryos” are created.
- No 3rd parties are used.
- They do not replace sex within a marriage.
AI - acceptable, only if the husband’s sperm is used.
AID - not acceptable. AI using a donor is wrong! It brings a 3rd party (another man) into the marriage.
In an address to Catholic doctors, Pope Pius XII condemned AID because a third person becoming involved in a marriage is like "mechanical adultery": the donor fathers a child (with his sperm) yet he has no responsibility to the child; and a process that isolates the sacred act of creating life from the marriage union is a violation of the marriage union (which alone is the way to create life). However, if the marriage act is preserved, then various clinical techniques designed to help create new life are not to be condemned."
Adapted from Modern Catholic Dictionary
"Any use whatsoever of any method that stops the natural power of sex to generate life is forbidden."
Pope Pius XI, 1930
Roman Catholic 1987 Report: “Respect for Human Life and the Dignity of Procreation”
This report gives guidelines for infertility treatment. Main points:
- Loving sexual relationships between husband and wife is the proper place for conceiving children.
- Children are a gift and a blessing from God.Although science makes some things possible, it does not make them right. Research must continue into the causes of infertility, but the morality of these should be carefully considered.
- All humans have the right to life from of conception. Infertility treatments must respect that.
The Church of England
IVF is acceptable in all its forms, including the donation of eggs and sperm by third parties
Experimenting on “spare” human embryos is acceptable up to 14 days after fertilisation, because up to 14 days a foetus can split into 2 and form twins. Therefore, it is not really a human life until 14 days.
1984 Report “Human Fertilisation and Embryology”
"We support the recommendation that research, under license, be permitted on embryos up to 14 days old and agree that embryos should not be created just for scientific research."
Anglican report - 1994
- Believes it is right for scientists to try to learn more about causes and cures of infertility.
- Accepts using “spare” embryos in medical research, but only up to 14 days after fertilisation.
All Churches agree that surrogacy is wrong because:
- It involves a 3rd party in a much bigger way than donated eggs and sperm.
- It strikes at the heart of the family.
- It can create massive problems for everyone concerned, including the child.