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Playing God
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - By Melissa Pena and Katie Brown

As Catholics we understand and believe that God has a plan for each and every one of us. It is essential to have faith and trust in God’s plan, even if we sometimes struggle with not getting exactly what we want in the moment we think we should have it. 

Unfortunately, there are those who become frustrated and decide to take matters into their own hands, rather than trust in God’s plan. This was the case with Kim Kardashian when she decided to have her second child.

For those who do not know Kim Kardashian or her family, she is a reality television star who is married to rapper Kanye West. Kim’s stepfather Bruce Jenner has also made headlines recently for his decision to live the rest of his life as a woman, becoming Caitlyn Jenner. This is a family whose members have not hesitated to take matters into their own hands when they believe God has made a mistake. 

Thirty-four year old Kim Kardashian chose to undergo in vitro fertilization to become pregnant with her second child after she said they had a difficult time conceiving. The couple could have opted for adoption or for giving a homeless child a loving home, but instead decided to pursue a laboratory procedure to manipulate human life into existence. At Kim’s age, IVF only has a 32.2 percent success rate, and there are many health risks. 

It is difficult to comprehend how a family that had truly been trying for a child, and really wanted a child, could choose such a risky and controversial method. Choosing IVF turns children into a commodity. Rather than working to understand God’s plan, the couples seeking IVF pursue a path that leads to a selective mentality, where individuals can work to design the child they want.

There have been claims that Kim and Kanye opted for gender selection IVF, and sources say that Kanye wanted a son so he’d have an “heir.” Although the couple denies these claims, and we may never know for sure, the reality is that this is a possibility and this is practiced. Even if the couple didn’t opt for gender selection, the fact that Kanye reportedly wants an “heir” when he already has a daughter is both demeaning and sexist. Children need to be accepted as gifts regardless of gender. We do not pick and choose children as we do a piece of fruit.

Though there is much debate about whether or not gender selection is ethical, we understand the reasons why it is not. In addition to the risks associated with IVF and the fact that not all the embryos created are implanted, which results in those not implanted being either frozen or discarded like trash, gender selection IVF eliminates the less desirable person. It treats babies like commodities and not as a special gift from God. 

God alone has the power to create, and by using IVF and gender selection, individuals are working to substitute their own plan for that of the Creator of the universe. God put us on earth to be stewards of nature, not controllers of it. By using IVF and gender selection, we are taking control and saying we would rather be God than follow God.

Melissa Pena joined American Life League in December 2014 as development coordinator, providing day-to-day donor support services. Pena is a 3rd year criminology and sociology major at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.

Katie Brown has been an intern with American Life League since May 2015. This summer she conducted research for ALL’s STOPP International’s report on PP’s CEOs, along with helping ALL’s youth department. She is a sophomore at Belmont Abbey College in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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