IVF - It’s a Sin!

Ireland’s secular revolution is still quite fragile when the Minister for Health has felt that he had to weigh in on a Christmas Facebook posting from Tullamore RC Parish outraged at IVF treatments...
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Comments

  • What do you wish to discuss? The fragility of Ireland's secular revolution? The Catholic Church's pro-life stance? Churches interacting with government ministers on social media? Which churches think IVF is/is not a sin?
  • Pretty much all of that, thanks
  • I really hate our Christian tendency to make rules for everyone in all situations. I don't like IVF or abortions, but I would go to the barricades to defend a woman's right to control her own body.
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    Simon Toad, what's wrong with IVF? I have three lovely cousins born that way.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    I've clicked through @Ronald Binge's link and "damages embryonic stem cells" is not an objection I've ever heard about IVF before. I've heard complaints about harvesting embryonic stem cells or discarding unused embryos from Catholic sources before, but not the idea that simply damaging embryonic stem cell was an objection.

    At any rate I'll believe the Catholic Church is serious about its objections to IVF when they bus in a load of nuns and Catholic school students to heckle people at IVF centers they way they do abortion clinics. For some reason harassing wealthy couples seems a lot less appealing to the Catholic Church than heckling scared teenagers and single mothers.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    A decent summary of the Catholic position. At least from what I know (as a non-Catholic).
  • I think the RC hierarchy is against any technology that separates the act of conception from sex between an husband and wife, but have any non-RC anti-abortion Christians, the kind who encourage embryo adoption to save embryos unused in IVF from destruction, tried to come up with a version of IVF that tries to implant every single embryo created by/for a couple (and as a result probably makes fewer embryos at a time even if that lessens the chance of a successful pregnancy)?

    I thought about this because I know Islamic legal scholars (not sure if this applies to all schools of Islamic jurisprudence, but it is frequently cited as saying "Islam teaches that") have ruled that IVF is permissible as long as the eggs and sperm come from a married wife and husband at the time they are married and the wife carries all pregnancies in her own womb. So I was wondering what other adaptations have been made for other religious groups.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    I've clicked through @Ronald Binge's link and "damages embryonic stem cells" is not an objection I've ever heard about IVF before. I've heard complaints about harvesting embryonic stem cells or discarding unused embryos from Catholic sources before, but not the idea that simply damaging embryonic stem cell was an objection.

    At any rate I'll believe the Catholic Church is serious about its objections to IVF when they bus in a load of nuns and Catholic school students to heckle people at IVF centers they way they do abortion clinics. For some reason harassing wealthy couples seems a lot less appealing to the Catholic Church than heckling scared teenagers and single mothers.

    Similarly I have a bumper sticker that says "People hate fur more than leather because it's easier to harrass rich white ladies than motorcycle gangs."
  • Not all IVF users are rich, especially now that some states mandate insurance to cover it. And it has been possible for decades to handle IVF in a way that produces no excess embryos, provided the doctor agrees (and if not, dump him/her) and provided that the parents are willing to accept a larger than usual family, or alternately a less than ideal set of odds. To be sure, nothing is guaranteed (both parents might walk out of the clinic and be hit by a bus, leaving embryos) but nothing in life is utterly foolproof. I know a family which did IVF in just this way.
  • NicoleMR wrote: »
    Simon Toad, what's wrong with IVF? I have three lovely cousins born that way.

    Indeed. My g/f’s lovely niece was an IVF baby. There might as well be funerals for sanitary products If the logic of the hardline is followed through.
  • Funerals for sanitary products - that is a humdinger.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Funerals for sanitary products - that is a humdinger.

    Indiana passed a law requiring any aborted or miscarried fœtus/embryo to be "interred or cremated by a facility having possession of the remains", no matter its stage of development. Since women can miscarry spontaneously without realizing they were pregnant this would indeed require funerals for sanitary products. Someone organized an effort where women would call the governor's office with questions about their periods and what they should do with their various sanitary products. I wonder whatever happened to that guy, Mike Pence?
  • What's also interesting is that (unless someone here can find something more authoritative or recent that I am unaware of) the RCC hierarchy does not have a clear answer about whether it is permissible to adopt frozen embryos in order to save them from destruction. See here and here.

    If the RCC hierarchy doesn't allow it, it makes them look like hypocrites when they say embryos have the same rights as all other human persons. If they do allow it, it sets a precedent that might be of use to critics of the hierarchy's teachings on reproductive and sexual ethics and bioethics more broadly.
  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    edited January 3
    The Big Question that arises from IVF is whether or not the law should treat human embryos outside of any woman's body as the property of the biological parents, human persons, something in between, or something completely different.

    If any kind of artificial womb for humans (they're already being used in experiments for animals) is ever developed that can keep alive an embryo or fetus that is more developmentally advanced than what we currently make in IVF and freeze, these questions would become even more pressing.
  • The Big Question that arises from IVF is whether or not the law should treat human embryos outside of any woman's body as the property of the biological parents, human persons, something in between, or something completely different.

    The law, at least in England and Wales, does not precisely treat your own body as your property, so I don't see any reason why it would consider embryos as property, wherever they were.

    I gather there's at least one divorce case in US law where frozen embryos were treated as property.
  • Very IMHO:

    I do sometimes wonder about possible unintended side effects of freezing embryos (and sperm, and eggs). Our reproductive plumbing is the warmest part of our bodies, so I wonder if temperature might make a difference. Maybe a very subtle one, that won't be discovered for a very long time.

    Not saying IVF is wrong, at all. Just that there might be minor, unintended consequences.

    FWIW, YMMV, etc.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    I knew the RC church didn't like IVF because, to their way of thinking, all the embryos would be little frozen people, but I was surprised the link said it's first problem with it was: "It replaces love between a husband and wife."

    So. The Catholic church has always been against any sex that doesn't carry with it a good chance at procreation (merely expressing love is not enough reason to do the deed and us over fifty folk should probably cut it out) but now it seems merely hoping to procreate is not good enough, either. Actually I doubt that either partner would go through the indignities of IVF collection if not for love of each other, so it is an expression of love.

    My only problem with IVF is that the clinics downplay the bad odds for the prospective parents and cost way too much money. I also wonder if they really should take customers who for religious reasons believe every embryo should be implanted. That can result in women carrying 5-8 babies at once, often resulting in lifelong health problems for the tiny preemies.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    edited January 4
    Re the status of embryos: longstanding legal principle, before people got all worked up about it, was that you had to be born to be a person in the eyes of the law.

    It is also strongly arguable that this is the position in the Bible. But just try telling that to a strident right-to-lifer and watch them froth at the mouth. They don't need to read the Bible, they know God treats life as sacred from the moment of conception. He just kind of forgot to mention this to the nation of Israel who treated an injury to a pregnant woman not at all like the death of a child.

    Also it turns out God kills the great majority of people before they're ever born.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    orfeo wrote: »
    Re the status of embryos: longstanding legal principle, before people got all worked up about it, was that you had to be born to be a person in the eyes of the law.

    It is also strongly arguable that this is the position in the Bible.
    I agree about the Bible's legal position, and my impression of the Bible's "when life begins" position is at "quickening" or at around four months, which seems to agree with a lot of the medical community. Still not a legal person until born.
  • Whoever thought putting a bunch of celibates in charge of other people's sex lives would end well?

    PS. I agree that is neither an original or a sensitive response to what is a morally troubling area for many, but the idea that people's (consensual) sex lives should be regulated or controlled is despicable to me.
  • Whoever thought putting a bunch of celibates in charge of other people's sex lives would end well?

    PS. I agree that is neither an original or a sensitive response to what is a morally troubling area for many, but the idea that people's (consensual) sex lives should be regulated or controlled is despicable to me.

    Plus many of the worst offenders are not RC but married "quiverful" types from the con-evo end of things. It's not the rules that individuals choose to follow that are the problem, but the faulty theology that says they should use the secular law to impose them on others.
  • Twilight wrote: »
    orfeo wrote: »
    Re the status of embryos: longstanding legal principle, before people got all worked up about it, was that you had to be born to be a person in the eyes of the law.

    It is also strongly arguable that this is the position in the Bible.
    I agree about the Bible's legal position, and my impression of the Bible's "when life begins" position is at "quickening" or at around four months, which seems to agree with a lot of the medical community. Still not a legal person until born.

    What verse or verses would you cite for that belief? The study I have done seems pretty unequivocal that life = breath.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    I agree the first breath seems like the answer most of the time, and the legal definition, but if I was going to go with the earliest possible definition of when life begins (erring on the safe side) I would go with quickening based on the word used as a synonym of life in several Bible verses* and John the Baptist leaping in his mother's womb in recognition of Jesus. This is just my own, "feeling" about it, nothing I would hold anyone else to.

    *https://www.quotescosmos.com/bible/bible-verses/Quickening.html
  • I'm not sure you can take a word used in two very different contexts and assume the meaning is the same in both. The technical word is "equivocating".
  • And honestly, I'm not sure you can take a very modern situation, "oops, we fertilized more than one", and try to find a 2000 year old scripture to make an applicable observation on it.
  • And, um... A word study that winds up with "breath" as an answer is still going to be equivocal (multivocal? whatever) because as you doubtless know, "breath" and "spirit" (and "wind"!) are the same word in Hebrew, and also the same word in Greek. Which throws us back on context and our own theological presuppositions when we try to translate.
  • And are those also the same words for the Holy Spirit? "Ruach" in Hebrew, IIRC.
  • Yes. Pneuma in Greek,
  • NicoleMR wrote: »
    Simon Toad, what's wrong with IVF? I have three lovely cousins born that way.

    I'm sorry Nicole I don't have a considered position. My feelings about it consist of a vague dread. My Catholicism probably sits at the back of that, but I've never joined the dots.

    My wife and I are childless, and when we were thinking about these things we discounted IVF on the grounds of expense and preferred to consider fostering and adoption. In the end we didn't go ahead with either option.
  • The 'when does life begin' argument is a complete red herring, imo. No one is making that argument over chickens and eggs because society, outside of vegan/vegetarianism, accepts that both can be used as food. Therefore the question isn't when does the life of a fertilised human egg become 'alive' but when does that fertilised egg become human.

    There are two possibilities, discounting as I must any divine spark element:
    1. When the brain of the foetus/new-born develops brainwave activity typical of humans.
    2. When the infant begins to show behaviour we typically associate with humans, such as empathy, language, and so on.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    And honestly, I'm not sure you can take a very modern situation, "oops, we fertilized more than one", and try to find a 2000 year old scripture to make an applicable observation on it.

    Who did that? We were talking about, "When does the Bible say life begins," and noting the references to breath and quickening. That has nothing to do with IVF, with which I have no quarrel. It was just a tangent and I mentioned why my "feelings" leaned toward -- anything's okay until about four months.

    I do wonder why any mention of Bible verses, even when asked for, gets so many backs up on this board. Christians should actually be allowed to read the Bible and come away with a general view or feeling without being attacked by those who have a knowledge of original Greek/Hebrew and so dispute every single word of it and generally would like to throw the Bible in the trash and make up their own version.
  • "Christians should actually be allowed to read the Bible and come away with a general view or feeling without being attacked by those who have a knowledge of original Greek/Hebrew and so dispute every single word of it and generally would like to throw the Bible in the trash and make up their own version."

    Err, where is anyone throwing the Bible away and making up their own version? Or even attacking people who don't know Greek or Hebrew?
  • I think that might have been to my address.
  • I think that might have been to my address.

    I suspect so, but I can't see how anything you said merited such a response.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    Nah, it just pushed a button for me based on my last pastor who every Sunday taught us that everything we had always believed about passage X in the Bible was wrong and it really meant Y. This would usually be based on her recently acquired education that said although all the Bible scholars of the past had agreed that the best translation of the word was X, now that she knew it could also mean Y, then that must be the one true meaning of the word. It wasn't just word meanings, though, other things factored in. She was particularly excited to tell us that there was a tall gate in Jerusalem called The Needle, which allowed Camels to pass with minimum stooping, so Jesus must have meant it was really easy for rich men to get to heaven.
  • Wish you wouldn't have dropped that on me, then--it's a particularly difficult day today IRL.
  • Actually we didn't find any references to what we today call quickening.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    Wish you wouldn't have dropped that on me, then--it's a particularly difficult day today IRL.
    Well I'm sorry, I just said I wasn't thinking of you but my pastor and I was replying to BetteTheRed who apparently thinks applying scripture to modern problems is silly.


    mousethief wrote: »
    Actually we didn't find any references to what we today call quickening.

    No we didn't. I never promised any such thing, you just wanted to see Bible references to quickening. I think of quickening (even without Biblical references) as when the baby first moves. I think of Elizabeth's baby leaping in the womb as quickening. That is all.

    I've said repeatedly that this just feels right to me and that there is no legal proof to it.

    Why not beat Simon against the wall and ask for citations justifying his "vague dread."

    I think Simon and I are both allowed to go with what feels right in our own lives. As far as I'm concerned that's part of what is meant by pro-choice.

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    I took what @BetteTheRed said to mean that quote mining doesn't work for problems the ancients had no way of understanding.
    That is why I recommend a more holistic approach, focused on Jesus' teachings.
  • Twilight wrote: »
    Wish you wouldn't have dropped that on me, then--it's a particularly difficult day today IRL.
    Well I'm sorry, I just said I wasn't thinking of you but my pastor and I was replying to BetteTheRed who apparently thinks applying scripture to modern problems is silly.


    mousethief wrote: »
    Actually we didn't find any references to what we today call quickening.

    No we didn't. I never promised any such thing, you just wanted to see Bible references to quickening. I think of quickening (even without Biblical references) as when the baby first moves. I think of Elizabeth's baby leaping in the womb as quickening. That is all.

    Well, no, you said that was the Bible's position. Turns out it's not. Bluster about beating people against the wall is unbecoming.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    NicoleMR wrote: »
    Simon Toad, what's wrong with IVF? I have three lovely cousins born that way.

    I'm sorry Nicole I don't have a considered position.
    I don't consider NIcholeMR's outcome. The outcome of and IVF child is no more likely to be good than bad. So as far as "lovely" children, it is no different to natural birth. As is the likelihood the child will be treated well.
    So outcome is pretty neutral. All IVF does is give us more people that we do not need. But only by a small percentage, and the same can be said for natural childbirth, so that is fairly neutral as well.
    But none of this is about logic or reason, it is about want.
    I do not want children. However, after my friends started having them and especially after my nephew was born, I began to more personally understand the desire to have them.
    I get that it is a biological drive. And I am not against IVF. But it is still an unnecessary and selfish thing, especially with the need for decent foster parents and adoptive parents. Though that is a more difficult process, with every challenge of breeding your own with many more added. So that is not an even evaluation.
    To reiterate, it is a choice that should be available, but I do not think it is the best choice to be made.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »

    Well, no, you said that was the Bible's position. Turns out it's not. Bluster about beating people against the wall is unbecoming.

    Unbecoming? What ever next, unladylike?

    I find it interesting that while you're always demanding proof notes from everyone else you never produce any for your positions. Where are all the verses stating that life begins after the baby takes it's first breath? I happen to think John the Baptist recognizing Christ while still in the womb indicates life. To me that's the Bible's position.
  • 1. Don't turn my words into sexism. Not On, and nearly a personal attack.
    2. We're told Elizabeth was 6 months along, not at quickening, when Mary visited. I mean, believe whatever you want. But it's not in the Bible.
    3. I didn't post verses because nobody asked for them. No need to snit.

    And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Gen 2:7

    Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army... Ezekiel 37 9-10

    If he should set his heart to it and gather to himself his spirit and his breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust. Job 34: 14-15

    Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it. Isaiah 42:5

    For as long as life is in me, And the breath of God is in my nostrils.... Job 27:3

    The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4

    But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. Rev 11:11



  • Twilight wrote: »
    And honestly, I'm not sure you can take a very modern situation, "oops, we fertilized more than one", and try to find a 2000 year old scripture to make an applicable observation on it.

    Who did that? We were talking about, "When does the Bible say life begins," and noting the references to breath and quickening. That has nothing to do with IVF, with which I have no quarrel. It was just a tangent and I mentioned why my "feelings" leaned toward -- anything's okay until about four months.

    I do wonder why any mention of Bible verses, even when asked for, gets so many backs up on this board. Christians should actually be allowed to read the Bible and come away with a general view or feeling without being attacked by those who have a knowledge of original Greek/Hebrew and so dispute every single word of it and generally would like to throw the Bible in the trash and make up their own version.

    I did that, based on the OP. Seemed to me that the question was more about the morality of what to do with the 'excess' fertilized eggs than the process itself. I really do question trying to tease out the morality of a pretty specific situation using a text that cannot have imagined such a situation.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    I agree that would have been odd if I had been talking about the morality of IVF. I wasn't. I was talking about the general question of when life begins. A side discussion, apart from the OP. Did you just read the OP and then the last few posts? I don't see how you thought an argument over what the Bible said about quickening vs first breath could apply to frozen embryos.

    MT:
    1. Don't turn my words into sexism. Not On, and nearly a personal attack.
    I wasn't calling you sexist, I was calling you my mother. She used "unbecoming" and "unladylike" as reprimands quite often and I haven't heard it much since.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited January 6
    Twilight wrote: »
    She was particularly excited to tell us that there was a tall gate in Jerusalem called The Needle, which allowed Camels to pass with minimum stooping, so Jesus must have meant it was really easy for rich men to get to heaven.

    This is a popular urban legend among evangelical types. One evangelical writes about being disabused of this notion while touring Jerusalem.
    "Where's the 'Eye of the Needle' gate?" I asked.

    If you've never heard of it, I should explain. In Mark 10:25, Jesus said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

    This, it had been explained to me countless times, was a reference to the smallest of the gates in the walls of Jerusalem. This passage was less a gate than a single door, just large enough for a man to walk through, but too small to afford a breach to a hostile army.

    The Eye of the Needle was too small for a camel to walk through — particularly if that camel was laden with worldly goods. If the other gates were closed, however, it could be managed. First, everything had to be taken off of the camel. Then the beast would be made to kneel, almost to crawl, to duck through the tiny gate. And then, on the other side, it could again stand up and everything could be put back on the camel.

    <snip>

    Tony laughed. "Always, always Americans are asking to see this Eye of the Needle gate. There is no such gate. I do not know where this idea comes from."

    Your pastor seems to have made the further adaptation of not needing to unburden the camel or have it stoop much to pass through the 'Eye of the Needle'. Like most urban legends this one can't be traced back to its origins, but Clark goes on to speculate about why this particular tale persists.
    The key I think is the end of the story, after everything is taken off the camel's back and it is made to crawl through the legendary narrow gate. Then everything is put back on the camel.

    That's what we want to hear. That's what guarantees that this urban legend will continue and that, for years to come, American tourists in Jerusalem will be asking to see the Eye of the Needle Gate.

    All italics from the original. Bolding added by me.

    This may seem like a tangent from a discussion of IVF, but I suspect similar motivated reasoning goes in to discussions of when the Bible says human life begins. If you distrust women and are uncomfortable with them making decisions for themselves you'll pick something early in embryonic development to justify curtailing women's freedom. Someone more comfortable with women's freedom will be inclined to pick a later time. Both will insist that these are "Biblical" based on some vaguely relevant passages.
  • LouiseLouise Epiphanies Host
    hosting

    MT:
    "1. Don't turn my words into sexism. Not On, and nearly a personal attack."
    Twilight -
    I wasn't calling you sexist, I was calling you my mother. She used "unbecoming" and "unladylike" as reprimands quite often and I haven't heard it much since.

    Posters don't get to call other other posters anything unless it's unambiguously complimentary and cannot be construed as getting personal/insulting. Longtime posters also know not to get personal with each other outside of Hell - Mousethief and Twilight.

    Would all posters embroiled in this kindly knock it off or start a Hell thread if you want to take personal offence with other posters.

    Many thanks,
    Louise
    Epiphanies Host

    hosting off



  • Twilight wrote: »
    I knew the RC church didn't like IVF because, to their way of thinking, all the embryos would be little frozen people, but I was surprised the link said it's first problem with it was: "It replaces love between a husband and wife."

    So. The Catholic church has always been against any sex that doesn't carry with it a good chance at procreation (merely expressing love is not enough reason to do the deed and us over fifty folk should probably cut it out) but now it seems merely hoping to procreate is not good enough, either. Actually I doubt that either partner would go through the indignities of IVF collection if not for love of each other, so it is an expression of love.

    I was going to post here that I don't think the RCC hierarchy currently bans opposite-sex couples who for reasons of age or infertility know they cannot bear children from marrying or from having sex once they are married, but I wanted to do some research to see what their policy really is.

    And what I found was interesting, to say the least! Infertile couples can marry, but couples where one or other party is permanently incapable of having the kind of sex that the church considers to be "the marriage act" (and the only moral kind of sex) cannot. This condition, which they call impotence but it doesn't mean exactly the same thing as the more common use of the term, doesn't invalidate an already existing marriage if it comes about after the couple marries, but if it existed before the couple married, whether they knew about it or not, then the marriage never really happened.

    Oh, and if a couple intends to have a sexless marriage like Mary and Joseph, that's ok (and they can even get a church divorce - a real divorce, not an annulment, I think - as long as they never consummate the marriage), but I think they still need to be capable of having "the marriage act" when they get married. I'm not entirely sure why.

    Source and source. If someone finds better sources, please let me know!
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »



    This may seem like a tangent from a discussion of IVF, but I suspect similar motivated reasoning goes in to discussions of when the Bible says human life begins. If you distrust women and are uncomfortable with them making decisions for themselves you'll pick something early in embryonic development to justify curtailing women's freedom. Someone more comfortable with women's freedom will be inclined to pick a later time. Both will insist that these are "Biblical" based on some vaguely relevant passages.

    That's no doubt true in many cases, but quickening can mean "an earlier time" when compared to "at the first breath," or quickening might mean "a later time" when compared to "when the sperm meets the egg." Which later is how I'm used to using it.

    I first heard of quickening as a desirable definition of when life begins by a group of Catholic women who wanted abortion to be legal in the first trimester. Since the first trimester, (which is usually before quickening) seems to be the time when most abortions are performed it seemed like it might be a good compromise time for those of us (like me) who are pro-choice and hoping to get more pro-life people on our side.

    I was going to post here that I don't think the RCC hierarchy currently bans opposite-sex couples who for reasons of age or infertility know they cannot bear children from marrying or from having sex once they are married, but I wanted to do some research to see what their policy really is.

    And what I found was interesting, to say the least! Infertile couples can marry, but couples where one or other party is permanently incapable of having the kind of sex that the church considers to be "the marriage act" (and the only moral kind of sex) cannot. This condition, which they call impotence but it doesn't mean exactly the same thing as the more common use of the term, doesn't invalidate an already existing marriage if it comes about after the couple marries, but if it existed before the couple married, whether they knew about it or not, then the marriage never really happened.

    Oh, and if a couple intends to have a sexless marriage like Mary and Joseph, that's ok (and they can even get a church divorce - a real divorce, not an annulment, I think - as long as they never consummate the marriage), but I think they still need to be capable of having "the marriage act" when they get married. I'm not entirely sure why.

    Source and source. If someone finds better sources, please let me know!
    Bolded mine. Thank you for your research Stonespring. I was just given a short answer from a priest once that didn't give much specifics. This effects someone I know who is quite capable of falling in love and wanting to marry someone of the opposite sex, but would never be physically capable of having ordinary, baby-making sex.

    There are so many men and women like this, who may have physical injuries, men with hypogonadism, women with androgen sensitivity, low-testosterone levels, Kallman's syndrome, birth irregularities, injuries or tumors to the pituitary or hypothalamus, and I'm sure many problems I've never heard of. It just seems so cruel to tell these people they can never marry.
  • I first heard of quickening as a desirable definition of when life begins by a group of Catholic women who wanted abortion to be legal in the first trimester. Since the first trimester, (which is usually before quickening) seems to be the time when most abortions are performed it seemed like it might be a good compromise time for those of us (like me) who are pro-choice and hoping to get more pro-life people on our side.
    You see, this is just the problem, speaking from the other side of the divide. A "desirable definition" sounds about as sensible as a desirable mathematical sum. To us, it either is or is not true; we can't go picking and choosing what we want to be true. If I could do that, my life would be so much easier. I don't enjoy bucking the culture-at-large, it's painful. But if one can choose one's own reality, well... the ground slips under my feet.
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