What would you do?

Would you abort a fetus just because it wasn’t yours?

The question sounds crazy. How could it not be yours? If it’s in your body, you must be the mom, right?

Wrong. Through in vitro fertilization, you can get pregnant with somebody else’s fetus. Thousands of surrogates already have. You can also carry an unrelated child using donor eggs
and sperm. But these are things you’d have to sign up for. The scary
scenario is the one you never expect: going through IVF and
discovering, weeks into your pregnancy, that your doctor put the wrong
embryo in your womb….

Read the rest of the article at Slate here.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Mike M

    Oh my God: kill a baby because of someone else’s mistake? Always, always choose life: Deuteronomy 30:19 “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants…”
    Angie and I would always be happy to adopt that baby instead of killing it off. That is what we have to offer as Christ-followers.

  • Kim

    I would not. But then, I cannot imagine submitting to abortion under almost any circumstances. I appreciated the article’s author seeing the difficulties in the question.
    If anyone would like to get a broader picture of the thorny questions created by the ubiquity of assisted reproductive technologies, I recommend the book Everything Conceivable by Liza Mundy (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007). She was interviewed on Fresh Air recently and I checked it out at the library and found it hard to put down.
    To me, abortion seems a barbaric phenomenon that may have its rare justification, but mine is a minority position. If I’m wrong, I hope I find out soon. If I’m right, I hope I learn what to do about it, and have the guts to do it. For now, I just try really hard to help people who don’t want to get pregnant not to. Even that bothers me some, but we have always had ways of controlling who comes to be in the world, and we have to find our position and try to hold it with integrity.
    AS for the poor woman whose child was aborted because it went into someone else’s womb, I cannot comprehend what her grief must be.

  • http://bobbyorr.wordpress.com MatthewS

    Human life has intrinsic value.

  • joanne

    i would not abort a child if it was not my own.

  • E.G.

    Of course not… and this is a perfect example of why engaging in one ethically-questionable practice can lead to all sorts of unforeseen outcomes.

  • Your Name

    selfishness at it’s most. after having a child i could never abort nor support it, they grow into these cute babies.

  • sean

    i challenge the premise that the fetus “wasn’t yours.” “your” child is whatever child that needs you and was put into your care, however it got to be there (though I think the case of the trauma from rape is more complicated). the need of the weak that determines our obligations, especially to the weak that we have the ability to care for.
    i agree with Karl Barth (and amy laura hall, who pointed me to the passage) that there is no need to go to extraordinary lengths to have children that share one’s genetic makeup, because the child that we’ve waited for has come. children should received as an opportunity to participate in a gift that God is giving to God for the divine delight and the common good, and all children should be received this way without discrimination, whether or not they are one’s own. this is why all Christians, married or single, are required to adopt, which is the most Christian way of having children. in adoption, christians imitate and participate in the way that God relates to us in grace, a way made known to us in the Incarnate One. the more that children are commodified (a process in which in vitro fertilization participates, perhaps intrinsically, especially with the condemnable way that an excess of embryos are made and then frozen), the more it makes sense to kill a baby that one voluntarily had put in one’s womb because the doctor made a mistake. people should realize that this type of mistake is just one of the risks inherent in the practice of in vitro fertilization. killing the child just speaks to the narcissism and acquisitive greed of those involved.


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