Fertility Treatment


Fertility treatment is used when people can not conceive naturally, usually because of a medical problem e.g. a man is not producing enough sperm, or a woman is not ovulating. There are different forms, depending on the problem. Often, couples may have to try many fertility treatments for months or years in the hope of success. It doesn’t always work. It can be very expensive. However, it can bring great pleasure if it is successful. Childless couples may face the following options:

Some Christians argue life is a gift from God, not a privilege, a right or something we can demand. Others argue that infertility is a medical problem, and that if doctors can treat it, we have a right to expect treatment. Why should it be any different from any other medical problem?

Christian arguments for IVF and AI

Christian views against IVF and AI:

Many Christians believe IVF and AI and other forms of fertility treatment are wrong because:

Church positions on fertility treatment

IVF and AI

Roman Catholic Church

IVF and AI - acceptable, only if:

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:

Methodist Church

Church of England

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


All Churches agree that surrogacy is wrong because: