Christianity and the In-Vitro fertilization debate in Kenya

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If you look at some of the key women mentioned in the bible they all had issues with childbirth. Sarah had many sleepless nights and years trying to get a baby which God had promised her. She had Isaac when she was old. Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist also struggled to have a baby. Rebecca also had an issue with having children. Hannah the mother of Samson also cried out to the Lord because she was unable to have a baby. Sarah and Hannah were mocked by the women who were able to bear children for their husbands. Rachel – Jacob’s wife also had an issue with infertility. Rebecca the wife is Isaac could not give birth for 20 years and kept praying for God to answer her prayers. Here are some longer insights in women who struggled with infertility.

The in-vitro fertilization bill is being contested by the Kenya Christian Professional Forum. The In-vitro fertilization bill aims to protect rights of the mother and test tube babies. The bill is sponsored by Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo.

We live in a society that (wrongly) defines a woman by her ability to have children and to provide the lineage of the man a chance to continue. Women sometimes struggle for years and decades to have a child of their own. Many are kicked out of their matrimonial home if they are not able to give birth. 50% of the time it is not even their fault it is the man’s but he does not want to be questioned or go for tests.

If presented with an option to try In-vitro fertilization and if it is affordable many will go for it. To me in-vitro is not something that is against the will of God. After all God is the ultimate scientist. He made man and woman out of the soil. Let us not forgot that Jesus was born out of Immaculate Conception.

I don’t believe women trying so desperately to have children would then abort their child as alleged by the Kenya Christian Professional Forum. I do not think the draft to the bill should state that the couple should be married as that is interfering with the rights of a single person to have a child. That is a moral judgment and they should not impose their faith in the bill.

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Kenyans are already having children through this process in other parts of the world and it is very expensive. Imagine having to fly out of the country for the process and if it doesn’t work having to go again and again. Imagine how it would be less expensive if it was done here it would mean that the dream of couples would be fulfilled when they can have a baby or two of their own.

Reading Jeff Koinange’s story through my African eyes you get a feeling of how hard it was for them to conceive and how grateful they are for the miracle of their child. There are so many couples who want to have a child but are unable to without this process. They should not be denied this opportunity.

The Bible says that God is the giver of life. Even those test tube babies are part of his creation. The children are not being formed out of artificial sperm or eggs but the real deal. The process of conception is when the sperm and egg fuse. It is not an issue whether it is in a test tube or the womb. There is no magic or witchcraft there. Sometimes it is just that the process of fertilization in a women’s body does not take place because of various issues affecting either the man or woman.

I do however agree with them that the bill should address the issue of scientific research. I do believe that it is unethical to use embryos for research without knowledge of donors so there should be a clause that deals with that.

Overall I believe that we should have bill to allow for in-vitro fertilization to happen in Kenya. There should be strong legislation to make sure that the system is not abused but I do not believe that this is a process to be policed by the morality police. Not everybody subscribes to the same faith and values and you cannot enforce your own religious values on others.

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