Sometimes I see a story that is impossible to ignore that hits me in the few part left of my heart that can still feel genuine emotion.
When my eyes fell on this story I felt the stirrings of a feeling that has been numb for quite a while in the face of the current protest, safe space, “everyone-I-don’t-like-is-Hitler” culture…genuine outrage.
An Australian couple who used IVF to conceive three children didn’t quite know what to do with the “leftover embryos” (that phrase makes me sick), so they turned them into jewelry. Baby Bee Hummingbirds is an Australian company that turns embryos into keepsakes for parents unsure of what to do with their…leftovers.
Excuse me for one second…
For someone with pro-baby sensibilities the “touching” story reads like the opening to a horror script.
After a six-year IVF journey to receive miracles Lachlan, 4, and 21-month-old twins Charlotte and William, Belinda and Shaun Stafford didn’t know what to do with their remaining embryos. Their babies.
There is not even the typical attempt to hide behind terms like “embryo”, “fetus” or “viable egg”. The reporter admits almost immediately that these are indeed babies.
Donation wasn’t an option, the annual storage fee was an added financial strain, and disposing of them unimaginable.
Let me rephrase this for clarity. They were unable to “adopt out” their embryos, saying the idea of embryo adoption carried too large an “emotional toll”, but letting them live in some sort of eternal suspension of time was too expensive, and “disposing” of them felt like throwing their (admitted) babies in the trash.
I have never heard anything more selfish in my life. Rather than give those babies a chance to live and enrich the lives of another couple they chose death because thinking of their living babies with other people was too much. It was more acceptable to the Staffords to kill their babies than to have to possibly feel sadness about their living babies being loved by someone else.
Another selfish thing: spending so much money on conceiving that you have nothing left to care for the children you actually conceived and thus justify ending their lives because of the financial hardships. Pro-abortion activists often make the point that creating children you can’t afford is irresponsible, so abortion is compassion because it relieves the financial burden. These people are much more culpable than a young, poor, scared girl facing pregnancy all alone. They have money. They had money and they spent so much on IVF, willfully ignoring the other options available to infertile couples (adoption, anyone? Why is this such a terrible option?). They had many choices others don’t get the privilege of having and they intentionally chose the option that would lead to someone’s death eventually.
So when the NSW couple heard about Baby Bee Hummingbirds, an Australian company turning embryos into keepsake jewelry, they jumped at the chance.
Now Ms. Stafford has all of her babies with her every day – including seven embryos in her heart-shaped pendant worn close to her heart, always.
They made their living babies into jewelry. The author of this piece admits they’re babies, them parents call them babies, everyone involved in this story acknowledges that these were living babies. The parents express disgust at the thought of “disposing” of their babies but seem to have know moral qualms with turning those living babies into jewelry.
Given that all parties involved in this story see these embryos as actual babies, this process is the equivalent of slitting the throat of the infant you can’t afford to care for and then wearing the remains around your neck to keep the baby “close to your heart” every day.
The Staffords might as well be wearing coffins.
Here are some other quotes from Mrs. Stafford:
“We had been on a six-year journey of IVF,” she said.
“It was painful, tormenting, a strain on our marriage and just plain hard.
“Finding this has brought me so much comfort and joy.
“I finally at peace and my journey complete.
“My embryos were my babies – frozen in time.
“When we completed our family, it wasn’t in my heart to destroy them.
“Now they are forever with me in a beautiful keepsake.”
Well, I’m so sorry that IVF journey was so painful and tormenting for you. I can only imagine the torment of being murdered and turned into jewelry just because my mother didn’t want me be alive with another family who could love me and raise me.
This story is a horrific peek into the devastation of “me culture”, perpetuated by the millennial generation that believes they should be allowed to have anything they want at any time with no delay.
Parenthood is not a right. It is an enormous privilege. I know couples who have chosen IVF as a last resort and I know couple who are devastated by their infertility but would never do IVF, knowing the possible consequences and the religious implications as well. I don’t begrudge anyone desperately wanting children. Indeed, it is a singular joy to be a parent.
However, I find the current notion of western parenting to be the opposite of what family is supposed to accomplish. These days couples are more like the Staffords, waiting until the time is “right” to have children and then stymied by infertility issues. Then they choose expensive options with questionable ethics and justify it in the name of wanting a baby. These are all selfish motives. They’ve made absolutely no sacrifices for the sake of their children. All of their sacrifices were based on what they wanted, not what they could provide a child, their family and the world by way of creating a family.
IVF should be a last resort and should only be considered by those people willing to accept that the babies they create – all the babies they create – are real human beings with dignity and deserve to be treated as such.
They are certainly not jewelry.