Cameroon: medically assisted procreation denounced by the bishops
The Cameroonian government put in place a law on medically assisted procreation (MAR), on July 14, 2022. It allows, among other things, anyone “to collect and preserve their gametes or germinal tissues”, in order to be able to carry out MAR later.
In a press release, published on August 8, the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon (NECC) denounces “the artificialization and unacceptable manipulations in the field of PMA” and recalls “the teaching of the Magisterium of the Church which considers as sinful , unacceptable and illicit medically assisted procreation, and more particularly the technique of in vitro fertilization (IVF)”.
While expressing their concerns for the populations in the face of technological offers in the biomedical field, the bishops recall that the family and the nascent life are marked with the “seal of sacredness” and deplore the “growing culture of permissiveness and abuse on a medical level. assisted procreation and assisted fertility techniques, while denouncing the “economic, technical and anthropological issues” that result from them.
The Cameroonian bishops have declared that most assisted reproduction techniques “undermine the dignity of the human person by using the human body as an instrument, posing “serious ethical and doctrinal problems”. Catholic doctrine teaches that there is an intrinsic link between sexual intercourse and procreation.
It condemns the practice of extracorporeal fertilization or IVF (in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer). “The intervention of assisted reproductive technologies substitutes the marital act as a means of conceiving a child, and thus becomes morally illicit and inconsistent with God’s intent for human life.”
The bishops’ statement “opposes the dominant vision which sometimes offers a ‘false compassion’, one which considers that encouraging abortion is a way of helping women, that practicing euthanasia is a dignified act, that “producing” a child is a scientific conquest that delights families, or that manipulating human lives in the laboratory is a pretext to save others.
Finally, responding to the desire of sterile couples to have a child, the bishops “admonished couples to
“to accept the failure of irremediable sterility” and called on them to “hold to the only valid procedure of human substitution, that of the adoption of many orphans who need a domestic hearth for their own growth “.
The bishops therefore call for “the categorical refusal of the manufacture and commodification of the human embryo”, the most important issue being the very dignity of the child.