I’m going to talk to you about frozen characters—and I don’t mean those in the Disney film.
A hundred years ago, ladies often clipped hair from a deceased relative and fashioned it into a brooch. It was a way of remembering loved ones.
Today, an Australian company has brought back the idea in a frankly bizarre and repulsive way: They are turning fertilized human embryos—that is, children at the embryonic stage—into jewelry. It’s a stunning example of how far we have fallen in terms of treating children as commodities.
The Baby Bee Hummingbird company has for years been making keepsake jewelry containing drops of breast milk or baby’s first tooth. But now it is turning frozen human embryos left over from In Vitro Fertilization into jewelry. Each mother sends in her “leftover” embryos, which are contained in what’s called a straw. The straw is reduced to ashes and set in resin. The jeweler then designs a piece of jewelry around it. And the company calls this “sacred art.”
One anonymous mother, who bore three children through the IVF process, told the New York Times, “My embryos were my babies—frozen in time.” When she and her husband felt they’d had enough children, she says it just “wasn’t in my heart to destroy [the extra embryos] . . . Now they are forever with me in a beautiful keepsake”—a pendent she wears next to her heart.
Yeah, but she had to kill her babies to do it. And the reality is that all she’s really wearing is the straw the embryos were stored in. Dr. Jeffrey Keenan is a reproductive endocrinologist with the National Embryo Donation Center who has performed over a thousand transfers of frozen embryos. Writing at the Gospel Coalition, he notes that the embryos themselves are “microscopically small.” When the straws they are stored in are cremated, “the embryos themselves would be essentially vaporized,” which means the so-called “embryo ash” is nothing but the “burnt remnants of the devices in which they were stored,” he writes.
Dr. Keenan smells a hoax, and so do I. But hoax or not, how did we become so blind to the inherent value God places on each of us?
Wesley Smith at the Discovery Institute says that IVF has undeniably brought great joy to parents. But it has also “unleashed a terrible hubris around human reproduction, mutating it into a form of manufacture.” IVF has brought us “such staples of industrialization as special orders for style, warehousing, quality control, harvesting natural resources to support the industry, and independent service contractors who facilitate productivity and efficiency.”
In other words, having children has become a business. No wonder we’re beginning to view children as product, as raw material to be turned into jewelry.
The Founder of Baby Bee Hummingbird makes no apologies for her so-called “sacred art.” “What better way to celebrate your most treasured gift, your child, than through jewelry?” she asks.
Well, I’ve got an idea—how about letting them live, grow up, contribute to the world, to marry, and have children of their own?
Scripture tells us to do justly and love mercy, and to look after orphans in their distress. How just, how merciful is it to kill our tiny, helpless offspring, and then hang them around our necks as fashionable accessories?
IVF has become a popular option, including among Christians. There are now over a million frozen embryos living in cryogenic tanks. If you know couples who’ve undergone this procedure, and have, as a result, some very cold children they don’t know what to do with, I have a suggestion. Rather than destroying them, these parents might consider allowing other couples to adopt their embryos through Nightlight Christian Adoptions, or the National Embryo Donation Center.
Because every human being, from conception until natural death, is made in the image of God, and is worthy of life and dignity.
— by Eric Metaxas
Metaxas is the voice of Breakpoint, a radio commentary (www.breakpoint.org). Copyright© 2017 Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with permission. BreakPoint is a ministry of Prison Fellowship Ministries.