Artificial Conception

Artificial Reproduction Could Soon Take Place With A Pill in A Woman's Body (4/08)

TECHNOLOGICAL CONCEPTION

A new report indicates artificial reproduction could take place with a capsule inside a woman's body rather than using traditional treatment at a fertility clinic.

Pro-life groups are concerned that the "progress" in fertility treatment continues to commodify human life.

The Invocell technique involves the mixing of eggs and sperm in a pill-like container that is placed inside a woman's vagina for three days.

Any resulting embryos are screened for quality and implanted in the womb.

The London Times bills the company's new approach as a treatment that could allow women to have in-vitro fertilization in a quicker and cheaper setting — perhaps stopping by on their lunch hour.

BioXcell, the US-based company behind the Invocell process, hopes to introduce the new process in England later this year and has applied for approval from American regulators.

During the process, women would be given a drug to stimulate their ovaries and eggs would be removed while she is sedated. Up to seven eggs could fit in the Invocell capsule along with cleansed sperm.

After the three-day wait, a woman would return to the fertility clinic for a second appointment where the capsule is removed. After inspection, clinic workers transfer one or two of the most viable human embryos.

The newspaper cites fertility experts who say women would only need to spend 90 minutes in a fertility clinic in the process and they say it would reduce the costs since incubation is unnecessary.

But John Smeaton, the director of the British-based Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, and calls the news "frightening" because some unborn children would obviously be destroyed in the process.

"These are our fellow human beings and they are treated as disposable commodities created via a manufacturing process to be sold to the highest bidder," he said.

"The pro-life movement must work tirelessly to build public opposition to this kind of reproductive technology in which human subjects are treated as things," he added. "Compassion for childless couples should prompt funding for fertility treatments which respect the inalienable dignity of unborn human life and which also offer real hope of success, such as naprotechnology." [21April08,  Ertelt, LifeNews.com, London, England]