Sunday, October 2, 2011

Faith Facts: 'Be Fruitful and Multiply': The Morality of Fertility Drugs

'Be Fruitful and Multiply': The Morality of Fertility Drugs

ISSUE: Is the use of fertility drugs in conformity with the moral law?

RESPONSE: Medical technology must be at the service of human dignity. In particular, technology that concerns overcoming fertility disorders must be at the service of the dignity of the conjugal union, i.e., the mutual self-giving of spouses expressed in the conjugal act, performed in a truly human way and open to new life (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2361; Code of Canon Law, c. 1061). Couples with fertility problems who desire to have a child and participate in giving the gift of human life should be encouraged to do whatever is morally permissible to bring this about. This can include fertility drugs.

DISCUSSION: As a result of being created in the image and likeness of God, the first man and woman were blessed by God and told to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:27-28). “Fecundity is a gift, an end of marriage” (Catechism, no. 2366, original emphasis). An effect of original sin is that some couples have difficulties with fertility. While knowledge of Natural Family Planning (NFP) has helped many couples conceive, others have not been successful.

Medical technology that recognizes and protects the dignity and integrity of the marital act, either in its unitive or procreative aspect, can be at the service of the original mandate given to man and woman to subdue the earth. The “dominion mandate” (Gen. 1:28-30) does not give man authority to exploit the earth, but to be a steward of creation for the good of mankind and the greater glory of God. The use of technology of any kind, subject to these principles, can advance our God-given mission on the earth.

In questions of procreation, a fundamental principle is that the unitive and procreative aspects of the conjugal union are inseparable.[1] Children are to be considered the “supreme gift”[2] of marriage, the fruit of a loving union between husband and wife. Respect for life, married love, and human dignity demand that the unitive meaning of the marital act (a profound communion of persons in a exclusive bond of love) and its procreative end not be separated.

Visit the {Catholics United for the Faith}page to read the rest of this great article online.


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