In vitro fertilization (IVF) and the Bible
In vitro fertilization is the process by which several eggs from a woman are fertilized in a lab. Then, medical professionals check the embryos for genetic health and viability and select the most promising embryos to implant them in the mother-to-be’s womb. Other “healthy” fertilized eggs may be reserved by freezing for future implantation, while the remaining “unhealthy” fertilized eggs are discarded because some may fail to implant or may produce babies with disabilities.
Scientifically, human life starts at conception when an egg and a sperm unite to form a new being with a new string of DNA (the blueprint for the new human). This new being has the capacity of development and growth. When people purposely destroy the process of fetal development, they are destroying life.
The scriptures affirm that life begins at conception in the womb and that God takes an active role in creating it. The Psalmist wrote, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought …” (Psalm 139:13, 15).
Because the fertilized egg is a living human, people have no right to tamper with it. Through the process of in-vitro fertilization, people harvest more eggs than they plan to use, which means that some embryos will be destroyed. The Lord does not give us the authority to destroy innocent human life—this would be murder. The Lord commands, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13) for life is sacred (Geniesis 9:5, 6). In fact, the Lord in Exodus 21:22-25 gives the death penalty for a person who causes the death of a unborn as for an adult who commits murder.
Solomon, the wisest man, talked about the sacredness of life, “These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood…” (Proverbs 6:16-17). People justify killing the fertilized eggs saying it is not fully human when the only difference between the embryo and the adult is only time to develop.
In vitro fertilization would be OK if couples only harvest the eggs that they plan to implant in the womb. And if the fertilized eggs they harvested miscarry on their own, that would be considered a natural occurrence. This way there is no deliberate destruction of embryos and there is no sin involved.
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In His service,