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Discarding ‘excess’ human embryos violate constitution

/ 05:12 AM March 01, 2019

A quick Google search for “in vitro fertilization in the Philippines” or “egg freezing in the Philippines” will reveal that there are clinics and hospitals offering in vitro fertilization (IVF) and egg/embryo freezing services in the country.  They are in Quezon City, Taguig, Pasig, Makati, Cebu and Davao (and possibly in other cities as well).

But why are they being allowed to operate here?  The IVF process usually involves the destruction of “excess”  human embryos, thus abortion.  When the woman’s egg cells are mixed with male sperm cells in the lab to produce a fertilized egg cell that will be injected back into the woman, it is quite often the case that more than one fertilized egg cell (human embryo) is produced.  These “excess” human embryos are discarded or sometimes frozen for future use (with no guarantee, of course, that they will ever be used).  This fertilized cell is a human embryo that both scientists and the Constitution have recognized as human life.

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In the later stage of IVF when fertilized egg cells are returned to the woman’s body in the hope that at least one fertilized cell implants in the uterus, it can and does happen that there is no need for the number of fertilized egg cells produced.  Thus, more “excess” human embryos are discarded or frozen for future use without any guarantee of being used.  For multiple embryo transfers, selective reduction is often done to dispose of the “excess” embryos.

Egg freezing services are usually availed of by women who would like to have a baby at a future date.  But this, of course, implies that IVF will be done at a future date, too. In the case of embryo freezing, IVF is done prior to the freezing of the embryo.

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Why are these IVF clinics and hospitals being allowed to abort human beings?  Article II Section 12 of the Constitution clearly states that  “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception…”

So, very clearly, any procedure that discards/destroys “excess” human embryos is the same as abortion, and violates the Constitution.  Our Constitution understands that human life begins at conception, or fertilization.  Local governments, the Department of Health, law enforcement agencies and associations of medical professionals should put a stop to this practice.  We understand the desire of an infertile couple to have  a family, but killing human life is not the way to do it. Adoption would be a noble and practical option to consider.

AGUSTIN FERNANDO B. PABLO, [email protected]

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TAGS: DoH, human embryo, Human Life, in vitro fertilization, IVF, letters to the editor
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