Thoughtful Thursday: Religion
May 28, 2009
This weekend I sat down at the breakfast table and noticed an article in the newspaper.
I find this extremely fascinating. Of course, I’m interested in modifications to the IVF process from an IF point of view, and I’m pleased to see the process becoming possible for some who were previously unable to use it. Depending on whom you ask, certain sects of Judaism have firm restrictions on reproductive technologies as well as adoption (which the above newspaper article doesn’t address).
I am also especially interested in the article because I know far more observant Jews than the average person does — friends (primarily from DH’s Orthodox upbringing) as well as some members of DH’s family. I even know observant Jews who have dealt (or are currently dealing) with infertility, though I haven’t talked to any of them about the topic.
However, if I did have such discussions, I’m guessing that some of them would say that they’ve made reproductive choices based on prohibitions and mandates that come from their religion.
I, on the other hand, would not let religion (or anything else) limit my quest. We’re not remotely as observant as the people I mentioned (and I’m not actually even Jewish), but we are still fairly observant compared to most people. Over the past 7 years we’ve had enough roadblocks caused by biology, economics, limits of technology… almost more than I have been able to handle, without the added limitations of something like religion. Plus, DH and I are both governed by logic, and we both see a lack of logic in many religious beliefs as they apply to our modern world and our own lives.
Someone from my now-defunct IRL support group was limited in the reproductive technologies she could pursue due to her husband’s (Catholic) religious beliefs. Last I heard, she has been pursing the same low-level intervention for almost a year now, and to be frank, based on my knowledge of her situation, I don’t know if she’ll ever succeed at conceiving without escalating the level of intervention. She doesn’t share his beliefs, but her actions are confined by his beliefs. I hope it’s not the case, but I’m afraid that ultimately his beliefs will prevent her from ever having a child.
Have religious (or other concerns such as ethical or moral) concerns caused you to make certain choices in your reproductive journey? Have concerns for others’ concerns, such as your partner or family members, caused you to pause or change your own mind?