Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I was researching a different question and saw that some people find that In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is something that should be avoided on the basis of religious grounds.

Does anyone know what these reasons are? I'd like to know if these religious arguments against IVF are biblically based. If so, what passages do they use to support this argument?

(This seems especially strange to me since pregnancy wasn't fully understood back then, let alone IVF.)

Specifically, I would like the Catholic stance on this.

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Read article 4 of Humane Vitae for the biblical basis for the Catholic Church interpreting the moral law.

Then Evangelium Vitae may begin to make sense.

This moral condemnation also regards procedures that exploit living human embryos and fetuses-sometimes specifically "produced" for this purpose by in vitro fertilization-either to be used as "biological material" or as providers of organs or tissue for transplants in the treatment of certain diseases. The killing of innocent human creatures, even if carried out to help others, constitutes an absolutely unacceptable act.

Given the sanctity of every human person, known before they were formed in their mother's womb, the secondary effects of in vitro fertilization certainly fall under "Thou Shall not Kill".

The rest of course falls under the natural moral law as gmoothart says, which is, you ask "where ought a person be conceived" and the answer is "whereever the egg is hanging out during the marital act".

share|improve this answer

The Catholic Church objects to IVF, primarily on grounds that come from natural law rather than the Bible directly.

Also, it is common practice in IVF to inject several embryos, to increase the likelihood that one of them will implant, and then selectively abort the "extras". Christians should oppose that practice for the same reasons they oppose abortion.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.