Skip to main contentAccessibility feedback

Dear Catholic.com visitor: Summer is here, and you may be thinking about a well-deserved vacation, family get-togethers, BBQs with neighborhood friends. More than likely, making a donation to Catholic Answers is not on your radar right now. But this is exactly the time we most need your help. The “summer slowdown” in donations is upon us, but the work of spreading the gospel and explaining and defending the Faith never takes a break. Your gift today will change lives and save souls for Christ this summer! The reward is eternal. Thank you and God bless.

Dear Catholic.com visitor: Summer is here, and you may be thinking about a well-deserved vacation, family get-togethers, BBQs with neighborhood friends. More than likely, making a donation to Catholic Answers is not on your radar right now. But this is exactly the time we most need your help. The “summer slowdown” in donations is upon us, but the work of spreading the gospel and explaining and defending the Faith never takes a break. Your gift today will change lives and save souls for Christ this summer! The reward is eternal. Thank you and God bless.

Background Image

The Practice and Morality of In Vitro Fertilization

Dr. Craig Turczynski, the former director of in-vitro fertilization, andrology, and hormone assay laboratories at Louisiana State University Medical Center-Shreveport explains how IVF is done, and why it raises grave moral concerns.

CORRECTIONS:
1. The number of IVF procedures annually is about 250,000 not 250.
2. Cytoplasmic transfer is taking cytoplasm from a young woman’s egg and injecting it into the infertile woman’s
egg. It is not injected into the woman. 


Cy Kellett:

Hello and welcome to Focus, the Catholic Answers’ podcast for living, understanding, and defending your Catholic faith. I’m Cy Kellett, your host. If you have ever tried to defend Catholic sexual ethics, you’re likely to have faced questions about in vitro fertilization. Why would the church that claims to be pro-life, for example, oppose this method of bringing new life? Isn’t this just more evidence that the church is anti-science and that kind of thing? So today’s episode is meant to help you explain and understand, grasp what’s at stake with in vitro fertilization so that you’ll have that in your back pocket when it’s time to defend the Catholic stance.

Our guest is reproductive physiologist, Dr. Craig Turczynski. Dr. Turczynski directed the in vitro fertilization, andrology, and hormone assay laboratories at Louisiana State University Medical Center in Shreveport, where he also served as assistant professor of OBGYN and embryologist. Seeing firsthand that in vitro fertilization harmed patients, Dr. Turczynski left the IVF field and received training in fertility awareness based in methods including the Creighton Model, and then became a certified teacher of the Billings Ovulation Method. He now serves as the director of Strategy and Scientific affairs for the Billings Ovulation Method in the United States, among other things that he does. Dr. Craig Turczynski, thanks so much for being with us.

Craig Turczynski:

Thank you, Cy. It’s really a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak with you today and to your listeners.

Cy Kellett:

Well, this is a tough one because often we are confronted with this, well, first of all, a kind of ignorance among Catholics that they really don’t know what the church teaches, and then a kind of, “Really? Why would the church do that?” when we say that the church opposes this. Was that your experience? Did it take a long time for you to kind of grasp the Catholic view on this?

Craig Turczynski:

Yes. So I was born a cradle Catholic and went on to do training and reproductive physiology, having an agriculture background. It was first with animals, but then got very interested in the human field. I knew of the church teaching. I guess there was kind of an arrogance on my part that surely the church couldn’t understand what really needs to be done to help these couples struggling with infertility. So I knew it was there, but I just kind of ignored it, I guess, that part of my faith.

Cy Kellett:

Okay. So one of the things I think with a lot of these, we we’re into these biological technologies now, and it’s not possible to have a discussion about the morality of a thing absent a real understanding of the practicalities of it. And this is one of the things that I think is missing. So if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to just ask you to explain the science of in vitro fertilization and in a practical sense described how it’s done, who seeks it, and maybe how well it works.

Craig Turczynski:

Yeah, perfect. Yes. So first, I always like to point out to… Well, to point out to your listeners as well as people that I’m talking to about this, that I don’t feel like my story is something to be proud of or celebrated. I would’ve been much better off if I didn’t pursue this path. There’s many ways that I’m still doing penance in that regard. But after being silent for about 20 years since I left the field, I now believe that God can use my story to help others. And I hope I can help those who are experiencing the pain of infertility or those who have gone down the path of this technology. And I want to apologize in advance if what I share in any way brings pain or opens any wounds.

Cy Kellett:

Oh, okay.

Craig Turczynski:

Sometimes I’ll use the lingo of the industry, it’s out of a habit or to demonstrate the callousness of the field, but it’s not a lack of respect for the seriousness of this topic.

So IVF is a form of treatment for infertility that really replaces the natural procreative process and replaces it with a technical manufacturing process. Hormonal drugs are used to suppress and then drive the reproductive system of the woman. Multiple eggs are retrieved surgically and then sperm is obtained from the man, typically through a morally illicit way. I don’t know. You may have little ones listening to this, so I’ll be careful with how I talk, but a morally illicit way to obtain the sperm, or they’ll sometimes use a biopsy of the testicle or the epididymidis, and then the gametes are processed and they’re either combined in a culture dish where a fertilization is forced by injecting a sperm directly into the egg.

The method really achieves success mostly by creating excess embryos and then selecting the most viable ones through a kind of survival of the fittest process. Selection sometimes even occurs after implantation due to multiple fetuses, and they use a process called selective reduction, although the field has greatly reduced that due to improving viability or culture and selection of the embryos. But nothing is typically done to get at the root cause of the infertility, especially with men, but pregnancy and live birth rates very significantly based on the reason for the infertility and mostly the age of the woman. But for patients younger than 35, about one out of every two people that attempt it will have a baby. But if you include everybody, all forms of infertility and all the age groups, it’s truly one out of every four that will successfully have a baby.

Cy Kellett:

Wow. Okay. So overall, a 25% chance then that you’re going to conceive using this method. And who pays for it, if I may ask?

Craig Turczynski:

The patient of course.

Cy Kellett:

Insurance doesn’t cover this kind of thing?

Craig Turczynski:

Well, some states there is some insurance. Depending on who your employer is, you may have better coverage. You may get one or two IVF procedures covered with the best of insurances. But typically, a lot of patients pay for infertility out of their own pocket.

Cy Kellett:

Is it expensive?

Craig Turczynski:

Very expensive. It varies. The price would vary quite a bit, but it’s somewhere around the cost of around $10,000. 10,000 to $15,000 probably per…

Cy Kellett:

Attempt?

Craig Turczynski:

Per attempt.

Cy Kellett:

Okay.

Craig Turczynski:

But then of course there’s surgery. Sometimes surgery might be done prior and more testing may be done prior. So the costs can rise and it can vary.

Cy Kellett:

Okay. So I just want to get a clarity on one thing because I think this will be important in discussing the morality of the entire operation. Overall, a 25% chance of success, I imagine it doesn’t seem to me possible, but maybe there’s some science I don’t understand, you can’t create more embryos than eggs that you take. So for each attempt, how many eggs are taken and therefore how many embryos are created?

Craig Turczynski:

Yeah, good question. So on average it’s about nine to 10 eggs that will be collected. But again, that can vary quite a bit. I tell a story sometimes in the paper that we wrote in presentations that I do, that one time we had as many as 70 eggs collected from one woman. This was unusual. It was due to the fact that the woman had polycystic ovarian disease, but the absurdity was that in that case, all of the eggs were inseminated. I think she ended up having 30 to 40 embryos, most of them then frozen. But no one would ever be able to possibly utilize that many embryos.

Cy Kellett:

Okay. So with the state-of-the-art technology today, if you’ve got 30 embryos, are you implanting them one at a time? You’re selecting one embryo? Or are you maybe implanting them several at a time? How is that working?

Craig Turczynski:

Yeah. Typically at least today, the average is probably two. Two embryos at one time. Back when I was in the field from up till around [inaudible 00:10:13] to 2000, it was routine to put five embryos back at that time. Five embryos per transfer.

Cy Kellett:

So I just want to do a little math with you here and tell me if I’m missing something. If we have a 25% success rate, one in every four attempts, and each attempt is going to mean the harvesting of 10 eggs, so possibly 40 embryos… I want to say this properly, possibly 40 embryonic human lives created for one live birth?

Craig Turczynski:

Yeah. Yeah, that’s pretty close. Now, the 40 of course, was an extreme case. If on average you have nine to 10 eggs, on average you’ll have probably seven to nine embryos. That would be the average number of embryos that are created. And then today, the transfers, again, usually about two. So then there’ll be an additional 5, 6, 7 embryos that are frozen. Not all of those embryos will make it to the point of viability for freezing. And then some of the embryos do not survive the process of freeze and thaw.

Cy Kellett:

Okay. So in speaking with you about this, I think the child conceived in this manner is going to grow up and is going to come to this knowledge at some point, I imagine for some that will be no trauma at all, and for others, I would think this would be a terribly traumatic experience to think I had 10 or 15 or 30 brothers and sisters, all of whom died so that I could live. I can’t be the first person who thought of that.

Craig Turczynski:

No. No, Cy. In the paper that me and my co-authors wrote for The Linacre Quarterly, we get into the five areas in which IVF causes harm. And you put your finger on one of those, I call it legal and social problems. If you can imagine, there’s a whole host of technologies, donor egg, donor sperm, donor embryo, mixed multiple partners kind of things. I can’t even imagine the task of trying to explain that to the children. Unfortunately, there’s some data to show that when a child is not really informed, like take for instance, open adoption, open adoption versus closed adoption, the open adoption is better for the child because they at least are informed of their origin. When the parents try to hide this from the children, it’s essentially lying to them for their entire life. And it doesn’t work. You cannot keep the truth from them really. You can’t continue to lie. They always sense something, and that then creates even more trauma to the child, especially when they find out through their own investigation. But it is one of the major harms that’s done through the technology.

Cy Kellett:

So I guess we’ll go there then. If you say there are five major harms, and one of them is the trauma to the child, which may be delayed by decades but is likely to come at least to some portion of these children, what are the other harms of in vitro fertilization?

Craig Turczynski:

Yeah, so we categorize those into five major ones. Number one is multiple pregnancies and selective reduction. Number two is abandoned and destroyed embryos. Number three is health effects to both the mother and the children. Number four is legal and social problems that we kind of touched on. And number five is human experimentation. Oh, we could probably spend 30 minutes on each one of those.

Cy Kellett:

Sure. Will you give me just a little outline of each about what they mean?

Craig Turczynski:

Sure. So multiple pregnancies, that would be the implantation of more than one embryo. As I mentioned, during my time, it was routine to transfer three to five embryos really. Over time, they’ve gotten a little bit better at selecting embryos for viability, but also culturing them longer. If one or two implant, that’s usually pretty safe. But whenever you start having three or four or more embryos, that brings severe risk to the mother as well as to the children. And usually what the field will do is recommend selective reduction, which is essentially killing one or more of the other fetuses by injecting them with potassium chloride at an early stage. And they call it selective reduction. So the field has improved, as I mentioned, in terms of how many embryos they transfer, but we still don’t know how many pregnancies end up being singleton pregnancies because of selective reduction, because they do not record that. They do not keep those records.

Cy Kellett:

And the reason for that being, who would want to keep that record, I suppose?

Craig Turczynski:

Correct.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah. Okay.

Craig Turczynski:

Correct.

Cy Kellett:

Okay. So-

Craig Turczynski:

Imagine explaining that.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah, right. In other words, I do think, again, the more this is shrouded in mystery, the easier it is to dismiss moral concerns, which is why I really wanted you to explain in detail what happens. So let’s continue with our list, the next harm.

Craig Turczynski:

So abandoned and destroyed embryos. Using statistics that the society for assisted reproductive technology publishes, legally have to publish, they do about 250 IVF cycles a year. If you do the math, that’s about 2 million oocytes a year. That ends up being about 125,000 embryos transferred results in about 50,000 babies every year born. So there’s still a million and a half spare embryos that what we call spare. I’m using air quotes right now, “spare embryos,” of which about a million of those are cryopreserved and about a half a million of those are simply discarded at that time, or they’re experimented on or they die. And then the cryopreserved embryos many times are abandoned by the couple, and they’re subsequently either discarded or donated for research. Or they’re left in that fate, potentially indefinitely. So that’s number two.

Number three, I think is actually the most powerful. That is the health effect to the mother and children. There’s plenty of data now demonstrating adverse effects to the pregnancy, like preterm birth, gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia. There’s also the data demonstrates that couples who conceive through IVF can expect about a 30 to 40% higher risk of birth defects, some type of defect. But then also for the ones that do survive, there’s now evidence that even though there may not be a genetic damage in any way, there could be epigenetic damage. That’s how the genes are activated, how the genes are expressed essentially. They’re now showing that this can manifest itself much later in the offspring’s life.

Now, the oldest IVF offspring is in their 40s, right? So Louise Brown, born in 1978. So we’re just getting to the point where they’re entering childbearing age or they’re getting past that. So we don’t really fully understand the health effects that could be coming with these offspring, these children of IVF. But that I would say is the most significant one. There’s clear data demonstrating adverse effects.

The number four, we talked about the legal and social problems. Legal, really, if you think about multi-party reproduction, if you think about cryo preserving gametes or embryos and then there’s death or divorce with a couple, you can think about the crazy type of legal cases that ensue after that when one parent wants to discard the embryos, the other one doesn’t, or if sperm has been frozen and the man dies and the woman wants to use the sperm but maybe family members don’t want her to use the sperm. So there’s just a number of legal issues that arise and you really can’t make it up. It’s that bizarre.

Cy Kellett:

Sure. Yeah.

Craig Turczynski:

And then the fifth one is human experimentation. In addition to the fact that a lot of the procedures were not really fully tested in animals before they were really used in humans, ICSI is an example of that, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, there are some more wild technologies being applied, like cytoplasmic transfer where they’re taking parts of a donor egg and injecting it into the woman who’s trying to conceive and then altering the genome of the embryo prior to transferring it so you can create designer, people in essence. So there are some crazy things going on like that, but I like to talk about the kind of more day-to-day things where the technology as it’s implemented is really implemented in the trial and error kind of a process. Those are the five in summary.

Cy Kellett:

It’s really shocking in a way to hear you say it’s implemented in a trial and error kind of process. We don’t usually think of human beings as the kind of things that we practice on. That sounds like a great diminishment of human dignity, just the thought of this trial and error process.

Craig Turczynski:

It is. And don’t get me wrong, I think the field tries to do what it can to, say practice, a new embryologist practice a procedure before they would perform it for real. If they’re changing their technology, say a type of culture media from one type of culture media to another, they may at least have some data to rely on. But the technology is constantly evolving and there’s a need to keep up with the latest in technology. You can’t do that and be an expert day one. It has to be a trial and error process.

Cy Kellett:

So I do think one of the main objections to a lot of you, including the embryonic humans in the discussion of harms, is you can’t really harm them because they’re only potential human beings. I mean, there is this very strong prejudice against… And I think a lot of this is learned prejudice that comes from decades and decades justifying abortion. But certainly we have the prejudice. Well, if you’re a human being in the embryonic stage, you’re not really a human being.

Craig Turczynski:

Right. Right. Yes. Well, the field itself, the IVF field, believes that the embryo is really something between person and property. That’s how the courts have come down in some of these custody battles that have occurred. But I think there’s a better description. It’s really kind of shared property. Embryos are considered shared property, so they themselves do not have any dignity, as you pointed out, in the field. Their wellbeing is not really a consideration. Of course, they can’t speak for themselves. But even the parents do not have 100% decision making ability. It’s kind of a shared decision based on the parents, the laboratory and the doctors where the embryos were created, and then the state, or in some cases through litigation, it ends up being the higher court making decisions. So you can think about the fact that once those embryos are created, they’re really kind of shared property at that point.

Cy Kellett:

Wow. Yeah, okay. So that does not comport with a biblical view of the human person, that each of us created in the image and likeness of God, and therefore endowed with immeasurable dignity and that dignity giving us certain rights.

Craig Turczynski:

Absolutely. So obviously the church is teaching on human reproduction can be found in the catechism, but the instructions really come from some official documents of the church, including Humanae Vitae, Donum Vitae, and Dignitas Personae. So I’m a student, you call me a student of moral theology. I’m not an expert. The way my brain works, I think in a practical term. So I’ve kind of summarized the main points of each one of these in my mind. What you mentioned comes from Dignitas Personae. The dignity of the person must be recognized in every human being from the moment of conception, which has to be defined nowadays. Conception should be the point of fertilization between conception and natural death. So you’re absolutely right there.

What allowed me to understand really church teaching though, and to appreciate the wisdom in it, was really natural law, what people know as natural law, because natural law is something that is written by Almighty God in the heart of every human person. It’s eternal, it’s immutable, it’s binding. And through our reason, we can understand things. Even those that don’t have belief in God, the the natural law will inform their conscience. In essence, that’s what happened to me. As I was going through and seeing the harm and the disorder that was occurring, it informed my conscience that what we were doing was wrong. And then subsequently, really after I left… First, I left. I just couldn’t do it anymore. But then over time, I learned to appreciate church teaching.

Cy Kellett:

I see. Okay. So you had a kind of… I don’t mean this in a way that any human repulsed you, but you developed a kind of moral revulsion for something. You looked at it and said, “No, this is hurting too many people.”

Craig Turczynski:

Yes, absolutely true.

Cy Kellett:

And then came to see the sense in what the church was teaching about dignity, that followed upon the more immediate experience of being morally repulsed by this?

Craig Turczynski:

Right. Okay. So Humanae Vitae, of course many of your listeners probably know, but it basically instructs that for any reproductive device or drug or procedure to be moral illicit, it has to preserve the unitive and procreative purpose of the marital act. This is kind of a line in the sand. When you grapple with these things, you come to realize that that line in the sand is the line that makes the most sense. It is divine, I’m convinced of it. And so it allows for the procreative act to be both love-giving and life-giving and in cooperation with God in the beginning of children. And by doing that, you avoid all of the disorder that can occur through IVF. A disordered approach in my mind is a practical person. I feel that the disordered approach creates more problems as it’s trying to solve one. And that’s what I experienced, wanting to help people, believing that I was helping them, but then seeing for myself that we’re not really helping a lot of people.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah. Well, I suppose we’re all familiar with that because it is kind of a cultural learning curve maybe since Betty Ford or something where we all learned that we want to help the alcoholic, for example. But there’s disordered ways of doing that, and then there’s orderly ways of doing that. And if you try the disordered ways, you’re just going to make the problem worse. So you’re saying that infertility is one of those things, that it’s a real problem. It’s not to be denied as a problem, but if you address it in disordered ways, all you do is end up creating more disorder.

Craig Turczynski:

More disorder. Right.

Cy Kellett:

I got to challenge you with one thing, however, if I may.

Craig Turczynski:

Yeah, go ahead.

Cy Kellett:

You look at the little baby, and a lot of people look at the little live baby and say, “That’s actually worth a lot of disorder. I’d put up with a lot of… I can see in plain visible terms before me a live baby, which is about the most amazing thing in the universe. And I can’t see all this other stuff you’re talking about.” And therefore the equation comes down on the side of the baby.

Craig Turczynski:

Yes. So certainly the child is always a human good. Cy, we’re actually kind of exploring this more. I’m working with a couple who are Catholic converts that went through… Well, first adopted, then had some children through the IVF process. They have actually two children from the IVF process. They subsequently understood, came to the same knowledge that I have now, but they have the children. So understanding that although they know they didn’t follow the right path in having those children, they have those children and they are a human good. And you can never blame them. You should do nothing but respect them. But the child is a gift. It’s a gift from God. And as a gift, it’s not something that’s owed to you. You can’t work harder to achieve a gift. You can’t earn a gift. You can’t really specify what that gift is, i.e, if it’s a male or female or if it’s even healthy or not healthy. A gift can only be accepted. It’s a tough one, Cy. It’s one that-

Cy Kellett:

Well, let me ask you. When we talk about solving the problem then, when you talk about it that way, it changes the calculus of thinking of infertility as a problem. So let me just ask you some basic questions about infertility to which I don’t think I know all the answers so you’ll be filling me in. First of all, are there people for whom absent in vitro fertilization, they will never conceive a child? Or is there always some other method that could be employed?

Craig Turczynski:

There’s always hope, Cy. And there’s always room for a miracle. I mean, I believe I observed miracles in the conception of children, even in the IVF lab because it defied all of our science, right?

Cy Kellett:

Oh, wow. Yeah.

Craig Turczynski:

There’s always hope. But certainly, there are some people who will probably never be able to conceive. And for those people, there are other ways in which they can express their love and experience life. There’s other things that they can do. There’s of course adoption, but there’s also mission work and volunteering your time with children and teaching. There are other things you could do. But what I have really come to understand and know is that there are other ways in which many infertile couples can conceive a child. It’s when the illness of infertility is looked at like other illnesses and the physician or the health professionals seek to look at the root cause.

So many times, infertility is not just a barrier. It’s not just a barrier. There’s an illness there, either the man or the woman or both. And getting to the root cause will actually solve the issue, and the couple can have children. The church’s promotion of natural family planning is also just absolutely divinely inspired. Natural family planning is the foundation for the woman and her husband to understand and appreciate their fertility. It really starts there. Being open to life early and then using more precise but natural means to conceive is very, very helpful. That will help many, many couples. But then when difficulties arise, it’s a woman’s chart that then begins to be a diagnostic tool.

Cy Kellett:

Ah, yeah.

Craig Turczynski:

It can even be a diagnostic tool for detecting that the man is infertile. And then with that tool, we have physicians now that are trained in a field called restorative reproductive medicine. There’s some different brands that you may have heard about, NaPro from tom Hilgers in the St. Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha. There’s FEMM, stands for Fertility Education and Medical Management. That’s the work of Pilar Vigil from Chile and here in the states, the administrative support from Anna Halpin and the FEMM organization. And then a newer version called NeoFertility. Now, it’s based on 25 years of work. It’s a program from Dr. Phil Boyle out of Dublin, Ireland. And so this restorative reproductive medicine approach is highly effective and will help many couples to be able to conceive without the harm because the correct good, the human good that’s being pursued is to identify and cure the illness.

Cy Kellett:

So is one of the harms of the broad adoption of IVF technology that the medical profession itself was distracted away from other opportunities there were to treat infertility?

Craig Turczynski:

Absolutely, Cy. Especially with men. But when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail, right?

Cy Kellett:

Right.

Craig Turczynski:

The cost of this technology is quite high. The microscopes, the incubators, all of the equipment that goes into it. And then the highly trained personnel, they’re very highly paid by the way. And so when you have all that, you have to justify it. You have to find a way to use it. So many times, all roads lead to IVF.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah. Right. Yes, I can see that. There’s financial incentives and there’s just incentives maybe of pride of work, like, “I’ve studied. I’ve trained to do this. I want to do it.”

Craig Turczynski:

Right.

Cy Kellett:

Okay. So there are options. There’s a couple things that you mentioned that I want to follow up on before we are finished. First of all, you mentioned a paper. Is this a paper that the general public could read that would be helpful to people either considering this or maybe with a family member they wanted to talk to about it or a spouse they wanted to talk to about it? Is it available?

Craig Turczynski:

Yes. So the Catholic Medical Association publishes a journal called Linacre Quarterly. Now you have to be a member of the Catholic Medical Association to get the full paper. Technically, I can’t just put it out there-

Cy Kellett:

I see.

Craig Turczynski:

… for anybody to peruse. But if somebody reaches out to me and says, “I would like to read your paper,” I can send them a copy, or they can contact the Catholic Medical Association, The Linacre Quarterly, and they can get copies of that paper.

Cy Kellett:

And they can reach out to you at the Billings Ovulation Method Association USA?

Craig Turczynski:

Yes, craig@boma-usa.org.

Cy Kellett:

Gotcha. Okay. Now, another thing that you mentioned was that you thought male infertility, twice you mentioned, that you thought that that was being missed in many cases. What’s happening with this missing male infertility or poorly treated male infertility?

Craig Turczynski:

So I was in the field when the procedure of ICSI was discovered and implemented. It would’ve been around 1994, I believe. Prior to that, even sometimes through IVF putting the sperm directly in contact with the egg in a dish, you would get fertilization failure. But what they learned was that you could eject the sperm directly into the egg and almost guarantee fertilization. That was first really shown to be highly successful in humans before it was shown to be successful in animals. Since that procedure was discovered, much of the investigation into what’s causing male infertility was just abandoned.

Cy Kellett:

Wow.

Craig Turczynski:

Now, recently in the field though, I’m beginning to see some andrologist and urologist making the case for the fact that regardless of whether we can just get fertilization through ICSI, we should be working with trying to discover what’s the root cause of infertility in man. But it’s really scattered. It’s hard to find.

Cy Kellett:

Okay. Okay. A baby is an awfully good advertisement and you got to do a lot of work to make the case for the Catholic position. But I really feel like your extensive experience here is invaluable to us in making that case. It’s very, very helpful. These harms are very real and need to be considered by anyone who’s considering in vitro fertilization. Are there any other resources that you would point people to if they’re dealing with infertility in the family, in the marriage, or in any other way?

Craig Turczynski:

Yes. So I would look for a physician who is trained in one of those methods. I’m actually working very closely with Dr. Phil Boyle from NeoFertility to kind of help organize his educational curriculum. He’s launching a healthcare professional, like a physician training that will be online so that more physicians can be trained in this area. I encourage physicians to be trained in at least one natural family planning method, preferably more than one. We have scholarships. BOMA-USA has scholarships available for students, healthcare professional students, say doctors in training, in residency, nurses and such.

So I recommend that all health professionals have some training in natural family planning. Again, that’s the foundation. And then do at least one of those trainings, the FEMM, the NeoFertility or the NePro. Or better yet, do them all. So find a physician that has had that kind of training. You can find some of those physicians through our website, through the NeoFertility website, through the FEMM website, through the Pope Paul VI Institute website so you can find resources. And then MyCatholicDoctor is also an organization that has a number of physicians and PAs and nurse practitioners who’ve been trained in these methods. So the resources are becoming more widespread, but we still have a long way to go.

Cy Kellett:

I’m so grateful that you came and talked to us about this very difficult subject. Again, I just strongly believe that having an understanding of the practicalities of the thing is required before one can evaluate the morality of a thing. And so your practical experience is very, very helpful. Dr. Craig Turczynski, thanks very much for being with us.

Craig Turczynski:

Thank you, Cy. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Cy Kellett:

And I want to thank all of our listeners too. If you’d like to get in touch with us about today’s episode, we can also help you get in touch with Dr. Turczynski. If you need to do that, just send it an email to focus@catholic.com. That’s our email address. focus@catholic.com.

As always, if you like what you hear, would you give us that five star review and maybe a few nice words? It helps to grow the podcast. And growing the podcast makes us happy. You know what else makes us happy? Just getting to do the podcast. That requires a little bit of cash. So if you got a little bit and you’re like, “You know what? I’d like to help them out,” head over to givecatholic.com and you can support us there. givecatholic.com.

Hey, maybe this gives you ideas for future episodes as well. If you’ve got ideas or you there’s an issue that you thought, “Well, [inaudible 00:45:58] would’ve gotten more into that,” we can invite Dr. Turczynski back or someone else if you’ve got in mind. If there’s another episode you’d like, just please email that to us as well, focus@catholic.com. That does it. I’m Cy Kellett, your host. Thanks for being with us. We’ll see you next time, God willing, right here on Catholic Answers Focus.

Did you like this content? Please help keep us ad-free
Enjoying this content?  Please support our mission!Donatewww.catholic.com/support-us