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The Case Against IVF (with Stephanie Gray Connors)

Trent Horn

Audio only:

In this episode Trent sits down with Stephanie Gray Connors to discuss why IVF is wrong and how we can communicate this teaching to a world that sees nothing wrong with children being “conceived by science.”


Welcome to The Counsel of Trent Podcast, a production of Catholic Answers.

Trent Horn:

Hey everyone. Welcome to The Counsel of Trent Podcast. I’m your host, Catholic Answer’s apologist and speaker, Trent Horn. Today I have with me, the queen of bioethics herself, Stephanie Gray Connors. Steph has done a lot of great work doing pro-life work on abortion ethics, debating abortionists. She is one of the few people by the way, probably one of the only people actually that I would trust to fill in for me in a second for a talk or for a debate on abortion. She does a great job with that, but recently she has been expanding in the world of pro-life and bioethics. She wrote a book on Assisted Suicide and now she has a new book on IVF, in vitro fertilization that book is called Conceived by Science. Let me get the subtitle here. Conceived By Science: Thinking Carefully and Compassionately about Infertility and IVF. So Stephanie, welcome back to the podcast.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

Thank you. It’s always great to connect with you, Trent. And I have to say, since having my baby I’ve just naturally had to be more selective about what events I say yes and no to. And so on a number of occasions recently, when I’ve declined requests, I have sent a very small list of alternative speakers I recommend, of course, you are on that list. And I recently said to a group, Trent is basically a female version of me.

Trent Horn:

Well, that’s very nice to hear. I do notice when we analyze issues, we often get the same ethical conclusion, get there through the same pathways of reasoning. It’s fun. And by the way, congrats on the new baby. I love it. Are you getting sleep?

Stephanie Gray Connors:

Not really. Violet is almost six months. Everyone talks about the four months sleep regression. I think she’s getting it at five and a half, six months. So no, two nights ago it was every one to two hours that I was up last night. I don’t even remember. It’s such a blur. So I’m running on the Holy Spirit right now.

Trent Horn:

Laura and I remember those with Matthew. Now we have three children, but honestly I really feel like going from zero to one, it’s really the hardest, because you’re used to your life and suddenly now there’s this demanding person who’s lovely and beautiful and wonderful, but still quite demanding 24 hours a day. But this is a good seg. Well, go ahead.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

Well, I was just going to say that’s encouraging to hear, because going from zero to one, we’re like, my husband and I got married older, so I was 40. He was 45. I’m now 41. He’s 46. And so we’re feeling like we’ve been hit by a truck, oh my gosh, this is so overwhelming. But of course joyful and delightful at the same time. But, yeah, people have said no, that first baby you’re just your world has been rocked because quite frankly, even when I was pregnant, there were definitely aspects of it that were uncomfortable. I had to sleep on the couch late in pregnancy because the bed wasn’t comfortable. But at the end of the day, it’s like, I could still nap when I wanted, I could go out when I wanted. And it’s when the baby’s out of the womb that you realize, wow, I have to completely change my life, which totally helps me grow in virtue. So that’s a good thing, but it’s really transformative.

Trent Horn:

Right. And so, well this is a good segment what I want to talk about. Because I think a lot of people, a lot of Catholics have a hard time explaining why in vitro fertilization is wrong. Because look what we’re talking about. Having a baby is a good thing. Now look how it’s benefited you, it’s benefited me. What could be wrong with a technology that allows people to have children? Because I think for a lot of people, when we talk about abortion, a lot of people say, oh, okay. I get that. That’s not the hard to argue. Here’s a baby. They’re wonderful. Abortion kills this baby. How could this be right. I think a lot of people they can wrap their heads around that. And for Catholics, they’ll tell me, “Oh, don’t worry. I know how to argue about abortion.”

Trent Horn:

But when IVF comes along, it becomes a lot more difficult to explain why it’s wrong. And I think some people will try to take a shortcut here and they’ll say, well, IVF is wrong because in the process, a lot of embryos are destroyed, which is true sometimes, but that may not be true all the time. And that doesn’t give us a principled argument against IVF. I’ve set you up with that. Maybe you can take us into the book and your thoughts about how to explain the wrongness of it and what angle we need to take at it.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

Yeah. Great, great, great. So I think for people to say, I just don’t understand what could be wrong. As you said to use your phrase, which is what many people would use, to use that technology to have a baby. Well, what’s wrong is the use of the term technology. And the reality is at the core of this issue, we need to remember human beings are subjects, not objects, objects are to be used. They are to be manufactured. They are to be at some point disposed of. They can be replaced. Subjects, persons are very different from objects were not to be manufactured, were not to be used, were not to be disposed of, were not to be replaced. And so problem at the core with IVF, is it manufactures into existence another human person, a subject and not an object. And because we aren’t objects, we shouldn’t come to be the way objects do it.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

It enlist a third party outside of the marital couple, the couple who are in a marital embrace, it enlist a third party to create offspring that they should receive through sexual intimacy rather than be forced into existence to use the title of my book by science, Conceived By Science. So there’s a lot to unpack which this podcast will and what you’ve touched on is yes, it, it can be easy to take that, that simple argument look, IVF kills a whole bunch of human beings. It endangers some human beings, even if it doesn’t kill them. Therefore, it’s wrong. And I address that and I think that’s a valid point to make, but we need to remember as I point it in my book that doesn’t address the whole way of thinking someone may have on this issue and that’s why I start early on in the book with that point.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

But I really lead into the third part, which gets to the foundational issue of wait, how ought human beings come into existence. Because even if you could narrow IVF down to only being with the husband and wife and only being a couple sperm and a couple eggs and only being immediate implantation and not freezing of any embryos, it’s that manufacturing element, the use of technology on a subject. That is the issue.

Trent Horn:

Yeah, because I’ve brought this up before. Sometimes when I talk with people who have a hard time wrapping their head around something more abstract, like we shouldn’t objectify people that I’ll make another pragmatic argument that I’ll say, “Well, look, you’re the only examples you are bringing up are an infertile loving, married, couple who just desperately wants children.” But if we say it’s okay to create children in a laboratory from other people’s gametes, sperm and egg, why can’t a single person order a child like in a catalog, I’m going to order the egg. I’m going to order the sperm. And I want this child just stated in somebody else’s womb. And once that’s all done drop them off at my house under your view, you can’t say this is wrong, if this person really wants a child, who are you to say that’s not okay, but a married couple that is okay. Because there, I think when you did the example of somebody who just mail order and that happens.

Trent Horn:

There is a way you can do that. Now you get donor egg, donor sperm, a surrogate pregnancy, and then the child just be brought to your house, Amazon Prime the next day, basically. Well, nine months in one day. And I think people can see there, oh, that is really like the child’s being treated no differently than an Amazon package in that case, but it’s only removed in degree rather than kind from a married couple that uses and to make clear, everyone understands what we’re saying in vitro fertilization.

Trent Horn:

We’re talking about taking sperm out of the man’s body, egg out of the woman’s body, fertilizing it in a Petri dish or another apparatus in a laboratory and then placing the embryos that are created, the ones that are screened back into the woman’s uterus. Because I think before we continue on, it’s important for us to distinguish, to get out of a misconception. We are not against fertility treatments that are listed.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

And that’s one of the points I address in my book, is when I object morally to in vitro fertilization as a solution to infertility, I am not objecting to all solutions to infertility. I think there are a number of morally acceptable interventions that a couple could pursue when faced with primary or secondary infertility. And I outline what those are and I share beautiful success stories, but I don’t live in a Pollyanna type atmosphere where that’s always going to work. So then what I also address in my book are the sad realities of people who try those alternatives and those don’t even work. In order to address the fact that we live in a broken world. And there are some crosses, there’s some sufferings that we can’t completely eliminate, but I talk about the difference between the ethical interventions. Like for example, if a woman is not ovulating, a couple who has sex in that situation is not going to conceive.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

Because there is never an egg for the sperm to fertilize. So if she’s not ovulating, an ethical intervention would be to give her a pharmaceutical, whether it’s an injection, whether it’s an oral drug that she takes, that would cause her to ovulate, an ovulatory drug. So that when the couple then engages in sex, her body has naturally produced an egg. It increases the likelihood of fertilization occurring. In that case, we’re not replacing the sexual act, we’re aiding the sexual act. And that’s the key difference between the interventions that would be ethical from that, which would be unethical, such as in vitro fertilization. We are literally making the sexual act with IVF entirely unnecessary. And that’s another kind of foundational point that I make in my book is that if you look at, and certainly there’s an element in my book that is oriented towards the religious.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

I think there’s some nonreligious claims I make that are compelling for an atheist, but I do go down the path of making some religious appeals. And one of them is from a Christian perspective, if you look at how God views human life were made in his image, unlike the rest of his creation and the rest of the creation was good, but humans were very good. So we’re made in God’s image. What does it mean to image God, God is a communion of persons. He’s the father of the son and the holy spirit. And so this communion of persons is a God and a relationship of giving and receiving love within the Trinity and human beings are meant to reflect that. And sexual intimacy is a very particular way that we image the Trinity. It is a total communion of persons, the husband, fully giving himself to his wife, the wife, fully receiving her husband and then that giving and receiving, producing a whole other human person and then sold human being.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

And the humans are never a part for fertilization to occur in sexual intimacy, the male and female need to come together. When the child then comes into existence, the baby comes into existence beneath the mother’s heart. Another communion of persons. IVF is the opposite of that. You never have to be together. The sperm is taken from the man not given to his wife, the woman, instead of receiving her husband’s sperm, goes to a lab and the lab retrieves her egg. Instead of her egg receiving the sperm, then the child begins his or her life away from the mother, not beneath the mother’s heart, but in a cold kind of scientific atmosphere at the hands of someone who is a total stranger, who doesn’t have a kinship to that child. So IVF separates and divides and sexual intimacy in the creation of life is God designed, unites and communes.

Trent Horn:

So two points here in what you raise first. I love making that distinction. So people to see, look, fertility treatments are fine as long as they follow this particular principle, does it assist the marital act or does it replace it? So clearly there, if you’re dealing with blockage in the fallopian tube problems with the vas deferens or sperm production or ovulation, a drug here it assists the marital act. The marital act still takes place. Does it assist it, then it’s fine, generally speaking. But if it replaces it, then you’re right. Then all of a sudden that this goes back to your main point. We are subjects, not objects and children. And I think we can use strong language here, have a right to come into existence through the marital act. Well, it’s interesting. And I’ve actually thought about pulling all these threads together for future books.

Trent Horn:

I was going to call it something like human rights before birth, not just pro-life, because we talk about the right to life, but I’ve thought, well, what other rights to unborn children have? And so we think like their right to life, I think because you know the violinist argument, right? It’s like, oh, they have a right to life, but not a right to use their mother’s body. And I always think that’s bunk, because I would say, okay, well what does it mean for the child to have a right to life? It’s only meaningful if they have the right to the one thing that they need to live. So it seems to me that their right to reside in their mother’s body is like, that’s basically like the only right they have. It’s the only thing that they need at that time.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

And that’s a great point.

Trent Horn:

That’s the only thing they need. Just let it be there. That’s all they need. They don’t need freedom of speech. They don’t need due process. They need, that’s all they need. So if they have that, right, that has an implication, not just for abortion, that I would say that the child has a right to reside in his mother’s body. Like they have a right to not come into existence through fornication or adultery, like that’s crummy to do to a kid. It’s crummy to do to them. And so they have a right to not come into existence that way. They have a right to come into existence then only through the marital act, which would preclude illicit actual relationships. So like when we do catechism 101, the church teaches it’s babies in bonding. So, when the marital act, it’s got to be open to life.

Trent Horn:

You got to have babies in bonding. So if you have contraception, you have bonding, no babies, okay, if you use contraceptives. You use IVF, you have babies, but no bonding, you don’t have the intimacy there. So I think that you put it all together. It’s like, oh, they have a right to be the fruit of the marital act. And it would put all of this into place. Now the question I want to ask you is I think some people will throw people, a sucker punch here for them to be ready for. [inaudible 00:15:17] people when you encounter, when you say IVF is wrong, there are many, many people who have come into existence through IVF. And they’ll say, oh, so you’re saying I shouldn’t exist. And suddenly it’s like, [inaudible 00:15:29] it’s like, you got to be ready for it’s. I don’t mean to say they’re sucker punching you, but it’s an emotional retort that if you’re not ready for, it can feel like you’ve been sucker punched. How is the best way to address that?

Stephanie Gray Connors:

Yes. I’m glad you brought that up. And I addressed that early in my book, precisely because I’ve experienced in my public speaking career, when I’ve spoken on abortion and people during Q and A raised the question of in vitro fertilization in its ethics, they sometimes preface their question with, I was conceived by IVF. Are you saying that’s wrong knowing that if I do declare IVF is wrong, I’m essentially saying you shouldn’t exist without coming across that bluntly. And so I think as with the abortion debate, when it comes to IVF, we need to have a great sensitivity and a compassion for the emotions and the personal experiences that are involved. And so what we want to be able to explain to an individual or to an audience, is that there is a difference between criticizing ethically or morally a certain behavior and criticizing an individual. And especially again, when we come from a faith perspective, we realize as we’re told in Revelation, behold, I make all things new.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

God makes all things new. God is so powerful that he can take our sins. He can take our mistakes and draw good out of them. And so what I say to people who question their own worth or goodness if they were conceived by IVF, is to address what you said a few moments ago, which is what if someone is created through fornication. And one of the things I talk about in my book is, there’s really four ways someone could come into existence. The first way is the ideal way. Love in a permanent relationship of marriage between a husband and wife, whether that’s the honeymoon or sometime after, but not everyone comes into existence that way. Some people come into existence through lust, whether it’s a hookup one night stand, or even people who’ve been dating for a while, but they’ve not made the commitment of marriage.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

The third way someone could come into existence is violence such as rape incest. And then the fourth way someone could come into existence is through technology. If we look at all four of those ways, not just IVF versus marital love. If we look at all four of those ways, they’re not all equal as wrong as we would say, having sex outside of marriage is, in a hookup or in a boyfriend, girlfriend, relationship worse than that, it would be rape. Obviously a violent act inflicted on upon one party that would be more wrong, we could say, but the child conceived from rape, a friend of yours and mine, Ryan Bomberger, who’s with the Radiance Foundation, he came into existence that way. The person who comes into existence is still valuable. They’re of dignity. They are unrepeatable irreplaceable, and they are the good that God brings from the evil.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

God doesn’t make the evil good. He just says, “Well, you’re going to commit evil. I’m going to work within the choices human makes. So I’m going to bring good from that.” The same with the person who’s conceived on a one night stand or as a result of their teenage parents who have been dating for a year, having sex. The sex that couple had was wrong. The child conceived is not bad. The child conceived is of good. Same with the person of course conceived through love. And therefore, same with the person conceived by IVF. The individual is good, but we’re saying how they came to be is not morally right. But we humans don’t have the ability to go back in history and undo what has happened. So although I’m saying morally the act, which made an individual should never have happened. I can’t undo that it happened. And so therefore I can say, “Well, you came into existence by something that shouldn’t have happened and you were to be valued and you are the way God redeemed and brought good from a terrible, not according to God’s plan type scenario.”

Trent Horn:

And then I think though, it’s important. And you do reference this in the book a little bit. Is, I think once we make the principled argument, it’s kind of like setting up the Christmas tree, then we can hang the ornaments on it. We can talk about this principle argument. And then when you don’t follow the principles, the bad consequences follow such as the situation you have with that documentary anonymous. I can’t remember off the top of my head.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

Anonymous Father’s Day.

Trent Horn:

Anonymous Father’s Day. Yeah. Where you have people who come across their half brothers, half sisters, because their fathers are sperm donors and have sired. They put Genghis Khan to shame. They’ve sired like tens of thousands, thousands of children who have to find each other in this way. And then we have to say, “Look, we’ve got the principle here, but when you take procreation out of the marital act, you’re not going to be able to keep it within, you’re trying to just simulate the marital act by adding a little technology here and there and thinking you can keep it in this way.

Trent Horn:

You think you can just put up your electrified fences and it’ll stay right there, but it won’t, the dinosaurs will break out. They’ll be all over the island. I don’t know. I went on a Jurassic Park tangent here, but you know, you’ll think like, oh, you know, we’ll. We can just create this facsimile for married couples that struggle with infertility, but it falls apart as a result. Now here’s my last question, I want to ask you, but more of an advice question, I think another problem people have when they talk about IVF and try to engage others, is it very easy to step on a landmine when you talk about infertility. People don’t seek out IVF unless they’re infertile. Maybe somebody might do well though, they’d hire a surrogate, they didn’t want to be pregnant.

Trent Horn:

People will turn to this because they’re carrying the cross of infertility, a very difficult cross. And I think sometimes when we talk about infertility, it’s very easy to come across as what’s the word I’m looking for here, not uncaring, but you can really put your foot that you can hurt someone’s feelings or be insensitive when you are trying to talk about this with other people. And I think that’s something we have to watch out for. What do you think?

Stephanie Gray Connors:

Absolutely. And that’s actually how I begin. My book is talking about the cross of infertility is very real. And I actually begin with an analogy that I actually could most relate to. And that is the cross of singleness when you want to be married. As I mentioned, I got married when I was 40, but I wanted to be married in my twenties. And so I would see all these couples that were getting married and every time I would see a beautiful relationship, it wasn’t that I didn’t want those people to have that, but it felt like a little knife in tender flesh being like, “Ugh, but I don’t have that.” And so I actually don’t talk so much about my personal experience as I talk about the experience of something I began to research, which is the reality for men in China, where, because of decades of a one child policy and a culture that is preferred male children to female children, there is a serious imbalance between men and women in that country to the point that there some estimates are saying there are 34 million more men in China than women.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

And just to consider what we’re talking about as a Canadian, the population in Canada is about 35 to 40 million. So imagine if every single Canadian was a man, that’s the sheer number of extra men we’re talking about in China, which means these men.

Trent Horn:

There is a lot of Dudley-Do Right.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

It means these men are realistically not likely to find wives and so there are tons of documentaries I started to come upon when I was doing this research of men who desperately want to be married and they can’t find wives. And there are really sad stories of men in these all men villages, or primarily dominated by men villages. And you can see how much they long for that companionship of marriage. And so I bring that up in order to say, look, we rightly should grieve with these men and acknowledge the real suffering that comes from not having a good desire fulfilled, a desire for a companion in life is a good desire. And so in the same way, then I use that to springboard to a couple who wants a child, have an ordered desire that is entirely normal. And it’s also good.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

The vast majority of people were made for marriage and made for children. And so therefore it’s understandable that when a couple who wants a child and don’t have one, sees another couple with children, and yet that next pregnancy announcement the couple with five kids declare on Facebook, number six is on its way and that couple who can’t conceive that feels like a knife in tender flesh.

Trent Horn:

It’s hard. I think when this hard is when you hear about people, well, people who engage in fornication or who are considering abortion, especially if we struggle with infertility, it’s like, why do these people get to have kids they don’t want, and I can’t get to have a child, I do want. You feel [inaudible 00:24:30] very unfair.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

Absolutely. One of the friends that whose story I told in my book, I actually tell a lot of stories of different friends who struggled with infertility. That’s precisely what she said. She was like, God, I don’t understand. Even before marriage, I did everything right to try to prepare my body for a quick and easy conception. It wasn’t happening once I got married and I would look at people having abortions, thinking this doesn’t make sense. Why aren’t you blessing me with that child instead? So all of this to say, we need to really sit with what that pain is for these people and allow ourselves to feel their sorrow, not to the degree that they experience it, because we can’t until we’ve really been there. And certainly I know I listened to a podcast you had done about your Laura’s experience with secondary infertility.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

Sometimes people can conceive fairly quickly and then suddenly they don’t get pregnant for quite a long time, if at all, again. And it’s like, why is this happening? And that too is a very heavy cross for us to understand that when we’re making a moral critique of IVF, we aren’t doing it in a vacuum. We’re doing it in a world in which this is a very real heavy cross for people. And so we want to tread carefully and we want to speak sensitively and say, look in no way, should my position be understood as being dismissive of the very real pain.

Trent Horn:

That’s the key.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

That the couple experiences.

Trent Horn:

Just, if you approach people talk about infertility or IVF. As long as you do what you said, empathize, walk with the sorrow with them, compassion, [inaudible 00:26:03], suffer along with, to avoid being dismissive. The hard part is when people try to erase it by dismissing it. When they’ll say things like, “Oh, just relax and it’ll happen.” Or I don’t know why it’s always an Irish grandmother that says that, but like, we always have 12 kids you will too. Or people like tell us, well, at least you have a child. They’re like, yeah, that is great. Of course. But you still feel a pain if you feel like, why can’t we have other children? Why can’t we bless our child and actually it was tertiary that our third child. We were like, what’s going on?

Trent Horn:

Matthew, Matthew and Thomas got here just fine. I always just thought like, I remember you before marriage thinking like, you always are scared. I want to tell my boys just like, don’t even be alone with a girl. Girls can get pregnant, if they stand downwind from a boy, just go be a priest, don’t have to worry about anything. But then there are the struggles. So I think the key here is, it is a cross to bear to recognize that and recognize it just as we would any other cross, like a chronic illness, disability, a death, someone is mourning and it really is like a kind of death, especially if it’s infertility, that seems to be irreparable or impossible to medically treat.

Trent Horn:

And I think the point you brought up earlier, those who suffer with finding a spouse or things like that, that wouldn’t justify it’s painful, but it wouldn’t justify doing something evil to obtain what you want. So for example, let’s say you really, really want to get married. If you just told a lie about yourself, this other person would marry you. Okay? It’s like, what’s the harm. It’s just one little lie. They’ll be happy. They’ll never know the difference. No, that’s still wrong. You should not, just because you want to be happy, it doesn’t give you the right to offend against the truth in something as important as the marital vows, to lie to someone, to trick them essentially into marrying, try to create. I’m trying to think of a parallel example where, because with IVF, they’re like, look, everything’s happy, where’s the harm there. It’s not like you’re stabbing someone in the back physically, but emotionally and spiritually, if you engage in a fence against the truth to achieve the good of marriage, that’s wrong, you ought not do that.

Trent Horn:

And to achieve the good of children, you are making an offense against life and against marriage in doing that and there will be consequences. I love what the catechism actually says. One paragraph about this that I feel like it’s like the catechism authors normally they speak in magisterial tones. I feel like this has got a nice little counter punch to our culture. It’s paragraph 2378. And it says a child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. The Supreme gift of marriage is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property an idea to which an alleged right to a child would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights, the right to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents and the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception. So I love saying there because people who will argue for IVF know, I should get to be happy. I deserve a child.

Trent Horn:

You don’t have a right to a child, no one, because there it goes back to what you said at the beginning, subject versus object. [inaudible 00:29:38] people don’t have a right to me as an apologist, you don’t have a right to me to like, I have a right to you to come to my parish and speak.

Trent Horn:

Well, no, I’m a person. I’m not able to accommodate your request, but says treat children as like I have a right to that to fulfill me that is not, children do not exist. And that’s the problem with seeing treatments for infertility are important, but we can never view children themselves as if they were a solution or treatment for the pain of infertility. A child does not exist for us to feel good. They exist solely for their own good. And we serve them. So not to pontificate here, but I think we have to be compassionate, but also push back against a modern idea that that children exist for our good, which leads to IVF and all these other things.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

Absolutely. And it’s, I think another chapter in my book where I talk about rights versus gifts. We do not have a right to another person and one of the questions I ask to analogize, what we’re talking about to another issue is why is slavery wrong? Slavery is wrong because it treats the human person as an object in claiming that you have a right over another, who’s considered inferior to you rather than your equal. And so if we say we have a right to a child, then we’re essentially doing the same thing as slavery, which people typically object to. And that is to say that we’re claiming one is inferior. I have a right over you and I have a right to you.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

And that’s why also, even for people who long for a marriage companion, we having been in that situation before I got married with that deep desire is, everyone in that situation has to come to a realization. I actually don’t have a right to a spouse. And so, because what is a husband or wife? They are a human person. They are a subject, not an object. And the marriage is to be a relationship of equality, not one of superiority and inferiority.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

And so if I’m claiming I have a right to you, then I’m putting myself above you. You’re something that I can own. Something that I can grasp at. And so another human person is a gift, not from the parents of that child. But from God.

Trent Horn:

You have the right to pursue marriage. You have the right to pursue children within marriage, but you don’t have a right to the specific end itself. You have the right to the pursuit. But not to that end as a person that we are gifted with.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

Exactly. And so another point I’m making the book is because some people would say, well, if you have a country that says you can only have one child, you can only have two children. The problem with that is the government is saying, you cannot have the natural end of your relationship. I’m in some way, limiting it by number or entirely at all. If we were to get to a point where a country were to say, you can’t have kids at all. So when we object to such a country doing that, we’re not then saying the country has a right to make children for you to create science labs where you can go place your order. No, we’re simply saying that the government may not intervene in the achievement of the natural end of your marital relationship, which is children, but that doesn’t give you license to then go and manufacture children.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

All it’s saying is, you then have the right to be open to the natural fruit or flowing of the relationship that you have. But whether children come or not is something that we have to accept. Whether a spouse comes or not is something we have to accept, but we can’t force or manufacture a person, a subject. That’s what we do with objects.

Trent Horn:

Thank you so much, Stephanie, super helpful to have you on the show with us, Stephanie Gray Connors. Her book is Conceived By Science, working people, get a copy and learn more about what you’re doing. I know you’re spending a lot of time at home and that’s a good thing. I’m glad you could spend that time with little Violet, but where can people learn more about your book and what you’re up to?

Stephanie Gray Connors:

Sure. Yeah. So people go to my website, loveunleasheslife.com. And if you click on books that has my books there, the top one on the list is my book on IVF. I’ve got this gray strip, because this is my author copy, but pretty soon I will have my official copy in my session. So, go to loveunleasheslife.com or just Amazon, go to Amazon in any of its marketplaces, type in Conceived By Science. And you can get this book by me. And so I just hope it’s a blessing to people. And as I mentioned in our conversation, I’ve made some non-religious arguments as well as religious arguments, but in the realm of religion, even though you and I are Catholic, I actually try to write to as broad a Christian audience as possible. So appealing to Catholics as well as non-Catholics who are evangelical, Protestant of various denominations. So if you’re a Catholic listening thinking. Yeah, but my Protestant friends think IVF is okay, this book is actually written to them. So hopefully this can be a blessing to them.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

So, and I am as you mentioned, I’ve cut back on travels. I’m doing very select traveling, very select speaking, but people can learn more at loveunleasheslife.com and certainly I’m still doing a lot of online things.

Trent Horn:

All righty. Well, thank you so much, Stephanie, for joining us. Everybody, please pick up a copy of Conceived By Science. We want to equip ourselves to be able to talk about a wide variety of bioethics issues. We’ll have to have you back to talk about your book on Assisted Suicide. I think that would be a good topic as well.

Stephanie Gray Connors:

Great.

Trent Horn:

Let’s do that soon. All right. Thank you guys so much and I hope you all have a very blessed day.

 

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