The Untold Millions is a project devoted to uncovering the widespread destruction of embryos in our society. While anti-abortion efforts have historically been associated with opposition to surgical abortion, abolitionists understand the necessity of rejecting ageism and protecting the unborn beginning at fertilization. That means that we oppose practices such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), embryonic stem cell research (ESCR), and abortifacient birth control as dehumanizing and destructive to the weakest members of our society. The destruction of human life in these practices has been frequently underestimated and is at an absolutely staggering scale.
We believe that the practice of IVF is unconscionable and morally reprehensible. Statistical analyses estimate that in 2012 in the US alone 1.2 million children were created from IVF with only 62,000 children born as a result of the procedure. For comparison, Guttmacher reports that in 2011 1.1 million abortions were performed. For perspective, that means that for every child born as a result of IVF, 19 others were created and were either frozen, discarded, donated for scientific experimentation, or died of natural causes in the process. This scale is much larger than any of us expected, and is of extreme concern to anyone who would advocate for the defense of the unborn. The destruction and dehumanization of our embryonic neighbors by the practice of IVF demands our response and we are compelled to oppose it as vehemently as we oppose abortion.
Furthermore, we believe that embryonic stem cell research, regardless of its therapeutic goals, should be utterly rejected. Human experimentation that results in the destruction of the human being is never acceptable under any notion of human rights. These embryos, without their consent, are being subjected to tests and even utilized in therapies which result in their personal destruction. This is murder and human experimentation. This is not, as some companies claim, acceptable merely because these embryos are “leftover” from IVF without anyone to rescue them. Parental consent does not make this acceptable. This practice is murder and ought to be decried as such.
Finally, we believe that many forms of birth control allowed on the market ought to be banned as abortifacient. We understand that the burgeoning market for abortifacient birth control has driven the issue of abortion partially out of the surgery centers and into the local drugstore. Pharmaceutical companies which produce these embryo-destroying drugs must be exposed and condemned. We reject the notion that the bloodguilt of abortion is expunged in our communities merely by the closing of all abortion surgery clinics because we know that nearly every pharmacy in the country carries drugs which destroy an increasing number of our preborn neighbors. We believe that these drugs need to be clearly identified and fiercely opposed in the public sphere, just as one would oppose surgical abortion.
We understand that direct, strategic opposition to these practices is an uncommon posture even among individuals who believe embryos are image-bearers of God and neighbors. We recognize that in 1973 surgical abortion was the primary target of pro-life organizations. However, we believe that the pro-life movement as a whole has failed to adjust to and clearly address the changes in our society’s treatment of the unborn since Roe v Wade.
Our approach today must be different than it was in ‘73 simply due to the proliferation of technologies which destroy our neighbors. In the same way that it would be absurd to oppose D&C abortions but not saline abortions, we believe that IVF, ESCR, and certain birth controls are merely alternate techniques and not fundamentally different practices. Because of this, we call upon opponents of abortion to respond anew to these new technologies and we intend to lead the charge in this fight.
There are literally millions of humans whose destruction has gone largely unnoticed. Their plight has gone untold – their deaths unmourned. Abolitionists desire to investigate and expose these horrific practices thoroughly, all the while mobilizing Christian action in response to them. Please join us in our labor to protect these forgotten ones.
Consider one abolitionist artist’s exploration of IVF – LoveJoy, The Snow Is Red.
Are you saying children born through IVF should never have existed?
We definitely praise God for any human being that is alive today and created in His image. That does not mean that we must of necessity applaud how they came about. For example, while we believe people conceived in rape are just as human as those who weren’t, the circumstances of their conception were sinful and wicked. Rape is evil, and it sometimes causes a child to come about. We want all rape to stop; we want all potential rapists to repent of their sin, bow down before Jesus, be born again by the power of His Spirit, and be filled with zeal for good works to protect women, not violently use them, and we want those who will not bow the knee to Jesus and who do such an evil thing as rape to be tried, convicted, and sentenced to very severe punishment by the governing magistrates.
The idea that “what matters is that children are coming into the world at all” could be applied to rape in order to justify its continued existence. Please hear us: We are not saying IVF is rape. We are saying that the same argument – the ends justify the means – can be used for both. And if the argument proves too much like it does here, it should be abandoned. If you wish to say that IVF should perpetuate, you need to use a different argument than that one.
Yes, there are many children who will not enter the world if IVF becomes illegal. But we do not think it is right to concern ourselves much with a vague idea of what might be, maybe, in the future, when what we have right now before us is a dehumanising industry that treats tiny humans like chattel and property to be bought, sold, and ignored on a whim. Further, we know what the success rate for IVF is, and it is not good. Even if you only implant one baby at a time, it is still an elevated risk of death. So you create a human being, so as to put him in an intentionally risky situation. Why, when you could spend that money and effort in adopting children that are already here and in need of parents?
The entire world system is set up to further abortion. It is one of the devil’s chief tools – he tried to abort Moses, tried to abort Jesus, the dragon tries to eat the Messiah in Revelation 12, etc. More than 60 million people are dead in this country in 44 years. Whatever you think is an important issue, it pales in comparison to mass child sacrifice, and you ought to be doing something about it.
IVF is a cog in the system and lends an air of respectability to the dehumanisation of human beings created in the image of God. If someone participates in IVF they are enriching the people who in all other cases are creating 18 and 20 children, only to freeze 17-19 of them and then abandon them forever. You can tell the doctor to only make one, sure, and I guess he might, but he will take your money and use it to create tons of babies for someone else. What you should be doing is exposing his wickedness and the wickedness of his system, rescuing frozen babies instead of creating more, adopting children that already exist, and calling all who participate in a sinful industry to repentance.
While we praise God for the lives of those born through IVF, it breaks our hearts that so many of them have brothers or sisters cryogenically frozen somewhere, neglected and abandoned to certain destruction.
We encourage those born through IVF to use their status as IVF babies to speak up and raise their voices for the defenseless and abandoned and orphaned, saying something like “I am thankful to have life today, but not at the expense of the untold millions who have been abandoned in the meantime. This practice must stop.”
Analogies are not that hard to think of. Suppose Joe marries a woman conceived in rape and they have a long happy life of marriage together. He can be thankful for her while still speaking out against the wickedness of rape. Suppose a Negro slave meets the woman that later becomes his wife on a Southern plantation, and they are later able to escape to freedom. He can be thankful for her and God’s providence, God bringing good out of evil, while still speaking out against the wickedness of slavery.
To those who credit their existence to IVF, we say this: your life is every bit as valuable as every other human life on this planet. We thank God for your existence. However, this does not pertain to the fact that the process by which you were brought into this world was indeed sinful. Just as a child who is conceived in rape or incest or out of wedlock was conceived in a sinful manner, we also do not think less of the children whose existence was brought about by those sinful means.
Many abolitionists have adopted frozen embryos who had been “leftover” and abandoned from a couple who produced multiple human lives in order to love only one or two of them and then discard the rest as unworthy of their love and care. These children, along with their siblings are frozen in icy prisons for years before others come to rescue them. Sadly, many of these do not survive the transfer to the adoptive mother’s womb.
There are so many unnatural risks to life for these children who are produced this way. There is the very likely chance that many of them will be discarded after being examined under a microscope and have been determined to be unfit to keep. Then of the ones who make it through that first weeding process only two or three are chosen for transfer into their biological mother’s womb, while the rest are cryogenically frozen and imprisoned. However, many of them die in the process of freezing them initially. Then the parents can later decide if they want to transfer more of their children, donate them to science, or simply throw them into the trash.
But what of the children of those couples who can no longer afford the expensive procedure to prepare the woman’s body and transfer the embryonic children more than a year later? What of the children of those couples who change their minds and no longer want to undergo the difficulty? What of the children of those couples who get divorced with children still frozen? What of those children who are simply forgotten, ignored and abandoned unto perpetuity as the woman ages beyond the childbearing years?
For those who mercifully “donate” them to other parents, those embryonic children must then go through a thawing process, and around 65% do not survive that process. Then because of the freezing process, even after thawing them, a technique called assisted hatching must take place, wherein a laser is used to cut a small slit in the shell around the embryo that had formed due to freezing. There is another 5% chance of death in assisted hatching. It costs adoptive parents more than $12,000 to adopt a child whose parents created him or her with the intention of abandoning for someone else to pay for rescue (and storage fees). Adoptive mothers must put their bodies through all kinds of abuse in order to save these lives, including hormonal treatments, injections of Lupron, and progesterone. All because of an evil industry which creates life for individuals who choose to only care for some of that life, when they could have and should have cared for the millions of orphans already in their midst. Even if the couple only creates as many human lives as they are willing to give a chance to and do not, at the end of the day, leave any children frozen, they are still unnecessarily contributing to an industry which creates and then subsequently destroys millions of human lives, all for big money.
Compared to IVF, adoption:
Is much less risky
Involves no surgery
Is sometimes comparably expensive and sometimes much less expensive
saves and greatly blesses a life rather than creates lives that are often in weak health
does not further often-questionable biomedical technology
takes in orphans that already exist rather than making more orphans.
IVF children, your life has great value. Jesus Christ dies for the sins and the lives of those conceived in sinful circumstances, speaking to the great value that you and others with a similar history possess in His sight. But your value does not speak to the inherent sinfulness of a practice such as IVF. This wicked practice must be exposed for the evil institution that it is and brought to an end. We encourage you to be as outspoken as all of us against it. Think of the power your testimony against it would be, being someone who was created as a result of the very evil you are speaking against. Please consider this.
Please see also this article from the adoptive father of two children who were frozen, abandoned, and then redeemed, only to pass into eternity before they could know any human touch: Frozen People are People Too!