First off, all of us who recognize the conceptus as a new member of the human family will be happy to find the embryos defended again. And once again it is good for our society to be reminded that reason and faith are valid sources of knowledge, possessing an authority more than equal to scientific theories.
When scientific technologies overreach and fall into immoral ways. then correction is necessary. Yes, it is important to encourage scientific discoveries and advances. but it is just as crucial to say "no" when sound moral reasons impel refusals. Remember Hiroshima and applaud the principles stated in this instruction.
I would also like to add a footnote in regard to some few familial implications of harmful reproductive technologies. Extended family members, i.e. grandparents, also have an interest in reproductive practices producing the next generations.
For example, moral differences may exist over the acceptability of certain reproductive technologies within the closest of families. Thus IVF can be used, at least with no third party donations, and provoke problems. A grandmother can wonder about the fate of those related embryos stored in a distant freezer. The relief of infertility manifested in a blessed new grandchild is a good thing, but it is saddening to remember how many other embryos were lost in the process, or still remain in a frozen limbo.
Thankfully, in the best case scenario, no dreadful donations of left over embryos for experimentation are envisioned. Another pregnancy may take place but no horrendous embryo reductions of embryos in the womb will be likely in this event. And the same holds for problematic embryo adoptions.
What an irony it is to see that just as long overdue recognition of women’s suffering from infertility, miscarriage and spontaneous abortion, new reproductive technologies appear that induce massive losses of embryonic life. These losses are added to the millions lost in legal abortion.
How can pro-life women craft a personal faith response to this prevalence of abortion and destructive reproductive technologies? I start by recalling that my own non-Catholic family of origin approved and practiced abortion with no qualms. I know for a disturbing fact that at least two previous pregnancies before my conception were aborted. These secret abortions were done by a family friend who was a hairdresser.
So, are these long ago aborted siblings and other lost lives of beloved family members, lost forever? No. I believe the good news that no human life will be wasted or permanently extinguished, no matter how brief its duration. The billions and billions of miscarried, aborted embryos (along with the infants who die) will live again in God’s loving future.
With God all human life can be seen as precious--and it can also be seen as rare in the light of the trillions upon trillions of empty galaxies that exist in the visible world.
Surely we believers can now take a similar faith perspective on the fate of the millions of embryos being lost or frozen in destructive reproductive technologies. These lives of unfulfilled potential join all the other human beings who have suffered a foreshortened, blighted existence in the creation that is groaning into birth.
Hope, faith and courage should characterize our Christian response to this round of technological challenge. We should never be conformed to the world but always seek to be transformed as we work for the coming of the kingdom. In the midst of the labor we can be thankful for the steadfast witness of the teaching church.