/ Reproductive Technologies - IVF / Andrew Kerr

Sweet Home Alabama?

Court Rules

I must confess my surprise at the epidemic outbreak of panic and hysteria in the media and politics over a recent Alabama IVF-ruling on Feb 16. I was encouraged to hear one anxious voice seek a "quick fix". The response of conservatives has, in general, been weak: in their scramble for votes, too many cover their backs.

Fake News

It is hard to grasp the misinformation of sensationalist reports and ignorance of the political response. What is required is a calm, sane, expert to be wheeled-out before a mic to put people straight on facts. While we can welcome the judge who spoke up for biblical personhood, if confusion reigns, tempers will likely flare.

Think Hard

Saints don't nail a contemporary IVF debate by appeal to a single isolated ancient text. We subject ourselves to whole-Bible authority, scriptural inerrancy, image-of-God theology, Creator right-to-life, edenic flourishing, Ten Commands, case-law application and virtue ethics (patient, submissive, wise, compassionate love).

Bad Deeds

Conventional IVF raises grave concerns which disciples cannot condone. It does not please God, even for parents in a monogamous, heterosexual, marriage, to hyperstimulate ovaries (raise success and lower cost, time and stress) to "create" spare embryos to experiment, grade, freeze (lose, trash, kill) and selectively abort.

Right Paths

Alternative IVF, however, avoids ovarian hyperstimulation with normal cycle or minimal stimulation IVF (only 1-3 eggs harvested), by freezing excess eggs instead of making spare embryos, and by agreeing in advance that all embryos made must be implanted and carried. Is lower success and higher cost worth such stress?

Snow Flakes

Some Christian parents, unable to have kids, have already made a prayerful choice to salvage unique "snowflake" children in refrigerated suspended animation. By doing this, they in no way condone clinics who put little ones on ice: like plucking howling infants from a home parents set on fire, they ask in love how could I not?

Next Steps

A nuanced, qualified, message is hardly a vote-winning sound-bite. Yet it calls for media honesty and politician integrity. If Christians often have ability to say "No", they can lack ethical dexterity to state a cautious qualified "Yes". Sadly, personal autonomy, "constitutional rights" and material greed make pro-life, IVF, hard

Buck Stops

How did staff react when babies were dropped by a patient and killed? Perhaps they sorrowfully wept or callously shrugged? Those who cause the axe to fall are not the most to blame - consenting parents, facilitating clinics, profiting medics, sponsoring investors, sanctioning legislators and lobbying activists all share guilt.


I've tried to be brief to get my point across - in a highly technical field there is far more to be said. Those who agree with Alabama's Supreme Court might move to Selma to help rebuild a storm-struck Church. Or, perhaps better, we can avoid under-reporting or over-reacting. Pray and preach with care in what we teach.

Andrew Kerr

Andrew Kerr

Pastor of Ridgefield Park NJ (NYC Metro Area) - Husband of Hazel, Dad to Rebekah, Paul & Andrew, Father-in-Law to Matt, Loves Skiing, Dog Walking. Passionate for Old Testament - in Deep Need of Grace

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