2. I made the mistake of getting involved in a Twitter conversation about a celebrity's wife, mother of five, who wants to use IVF. A pro-life acquaintance highlighted the story, and I agreed that mothers should be grateful for the children they have. I also mentioned that infertility was a heavy cross, and I disliked how the NHS dealt with mine. (Update: They kept offering me IVF as if it was my only option and as if I had not already refused it several times, citing my religious faith.) Eventually a "Catholic" told me that refusing IVF was my choice, so I shouldn't "castigate" women who have it. Her actual message was insensitively written, shall we say.
It was an ideological rug-pull. Caroline was told (in short) she couldn't say anything about IVF because she doesn't know the pain of infertility. I was told (in short) I can't say anything about IVF because, although I do know about the pain of infertility, I refused IVF.
The two pro-IVF women in this conversation identified themselves as Catholics, but when I brought our Lord Jesus Christ into the conversation, the first had the grace to admit that she had lapsed. This may be a discovery that when someone who clearly doesn't believe one of the harder teaching says she is a Catholic, one should mention Our Blessed Lord and see what she says then. After all, Catholicism is not veganism. It's not an ethical code (let alone an ethnic group): it's a relationship.
What made me angry about the remarks of the second non-Catholic Catholic was that she assumed I feel pain over refusing IVF. I feel no pain over refusing IVF. I'm proud that, under God, I refused IVF. Of course, it wasn't a struggle, as I found the concept stomach-churning even back when I first found out such a thing existed.
This is not, by the way, a rejection of anyone, least of all the innocent human beings conceived that way. God can and does bring good, in this case babies, out of such evils as extramarital sex, rape, and IVF.
No, I'm proud I refused IVF, and it gives me something in common with the brave women who continue to trust in God after their 12th pregnancy. The pain is about not having children--a bruise the unbelieving second Catholic walloped. However, I have learned my lesson, and it is not to reveal my weak spot on Toxic Twitter, even in a good cause.
Update (August 13): I didn't have time to say so, but when a Christian woman is so desperate to have a child that she turns to IVF (knowing what moral compromises that entails), her choice is reminiscent of Milton's version of Adam, who chose Eve over God. In this scenario, the woman choses what child she might have (who does not as yet exist) over God. God in His mercy sometimes gives that woman what she desires so badly anyway. (Of course, there are some women who might think that God gave man the intellectual gifts to develop IVF for the better flourishing of mankind, in the way man developed the polio vaccine, and it is a brave Catholic who steps in to explain why this ideas is wrongheaded.)