The prospect of all-female conception
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Published: 13 April 2007
Women might soon be able to produce sperm in a development that could allow lesbian couples to have their own biological daughters, according to a pioneering study published today.
Scientists are seeking ethical permission to produce synthetic sperm cells from a woman's bone marrow tissue after showing that it possible to produce rudimentary sperm cells from male bone-marrow tissue.
The researchers said they had already produced early sperm cells from bone-marrow tissue taken from men. They believe the findings show that it may be possible to restore fertility to men who cannot naturally produce their own sperm.
But the results also raise the prospect of being able to take bone-marrow tissue from women and coaxing the stem cells within the female tissue to develop into sperm cells, said Professor Karim Nayernia of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
And exactly how does this glorify God and His creation? This whole process violates the precepts of Natural Law on so many levels. First of all, children are to be conceived as the fruit of the love between a husband and a wife—one man and one woman. The longing to have and the desire for total self-giving—the eros and agape—of marital love is a reflection of God’s relationship with mankind. Pope Benedict XVI outlines this very clearly in his encyclical Deus Caritas Est.
Marriage based on exclusive and definitive love becomes the icon of the relationship between God and his people and vice versa. God's way of loving becomes the measure of human love. This close connection between eros and marriage in the Bible has practically no equivalent in extra-biblical literature.
God gives us the gift of life. He gives us the gift of our sexuality so that we may have the privilege of joining with Him in the creation of this new life. All of our technological contortions of conception that take it out of the marital act—in vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, embryo implantation, and now same-sex conception-- are an affront to the procreative purpose of our sexuality. Procreation is not the only reason for our sexuality, but sexual relations within a proper marital relationship is the only appropriate place for procreation. The technological capability to do otherwise does not give one the moral license to do otherwise.
My brother writes of this in his blog post, Inventing Good:
Man's ability to embrace science is a gift from God. Advancement in technology is good only if it is done for the glory of God's creation. The Internet can be used to spread the Gospel or spread pornography. What is a better use of the medical mind, curing cancer in children or solving erectile dysfunction in men? Does man spend billions of dollars ending hunger in the world or does he devote his time and resources to creating a better tasting dog food? Is luring consumers to the ultimate coffee drinking experience more important than inspiring people to shelter the homeless.
At what point, if ever, will man take a break, step back, and ask, "What has all of our invention really accomplished for our species?"
One answer that seems unlikely, today, is "It brought us closer to God."
I certainly do not advocate a moratorium on scientific research and discovery. However, the application of such research must be carefully weighed on the scales of Natural Law. Does the application acknowledge the primacy of God? Does the application honor the dignity of every human being from conception to natural death? Does this application lead our culture closer to Heaven?