Moral/religious opposition to pre-genetic screening of embryos

In the last two months, I joined a few IVF support groups on Facebook just to see what people were posting and if there was any information I could potentially benefit from. For the most part, over the last week or so, I’ve stopped reading any of the posts in depth, but I did notice a few annoying themes that I immediately ignore when scrolling.

I’m sure decades ago when IVF first became available, a lot of people were “morally” or “religiously” opposed, believing that this interfered with “God” or whatever higher power exists, and felt that pursuing IVF was wrong or “a sin.” I’m sure there are a lot of people who still believe this. Yet, as couples become desperate to start a family of their own, they slowly but surely begin to let their guard down, believing that “God intended for them to pursue this route,” or “God made people discover this possibility to benefit us,” so of course, it would be okay to pursue because God gives these options to people. In other words, when things are convenient for them, they allow what was previously against their beliefs to be acceptable.

The latest war seems to be against pre-genetic screening, which, for women who choose an IVF “freeze-all” cycle instead of a “fresh” cycle, they can also add on (with an additional expense if you are self-pay), as the embryos that make it to blastocyst/Day 5 are biopsied and sent off to a lab for genetic testing to make sure that the embryos are “chromosomal normal” (you cannot do PGS testing for a fresh cycle because the labs need at least 1.5-2 weeks to biopsy and get the result back to you, and fresh-cycle embryo transfers are usually 3-6 days after your egg retrieval). In addition to this, PGS testing also allows for you to know what the sex of the embryo is (it’s usually redacted, but you can request to have it un-redacted). You can also elect for other tests that can evaluate whether the embryo is a dominant carrier of certain diseases if you and your partner overlap for any recessive diseases. So funnily enough, there are many women and couples who think that although “God created IVF for a reason,” doing PGS testing is against God or “messing with God,” and choose “for moral/religious reasons” not to do PGS testing…. even though studies have shown time and time again that transferring a PGS-normal embryo results in a higher live-birth rate, a higher transfer success rate, and a far lower miscarriage rate.

And soon in the future, the people who were morally or religiously opposed to PGS-testing will ween themselves off this thought, and then be against some other new development in science and infertility medicine because it’s convenient for them. I hate it when people use religion or morals as a reason to be opposed to these decisions. You could use “God created X to benefit man/woman” with pretty much every argument!

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