The Nobel Committee's decision to award the Nobel Prize for Medicine to Dr. Robert Edwards, one of the two pioneers of IVF, has been not without controversy. Some naysayers immediately pointed to the occasional misuse of IVF (Octomom, 72-year-old pregnant women), and the Vatican wasted no time in condemning it. (As a confirmed Catholic, let me just say this: Shut up, Vatican. I've happily attended the baptisms of several babies conceived through methods of which the Pope wouldn't approve and they are blessings to our community just as much as children born to families who toe the church line, and to the legion of us who are somewhere in between.)
We stopped short of IVF, so as happy as the news made me, I felt like I wasn't as qualified to comment as those friends of mine who have had children this way. So I asked them what they thought of Dr. Edwards' Nobel. Here's a sampling of their comments:
A friend of mine who has helped countless Catholic youth learn to love and serve their fellow humans had this to say:
"I am absolutely ecstatic that Edwards received this award. I have had three pregnancies and four beautiful children, three living, because of his medical breakthrough. As Catholics, we did quite a bit of research on this and talked to several priests on the issue. Just because we didn't get pregnant the 'normal' way does not mean our children were not conceived out of love, which is part of the argument the Catholic church uses. They are wanted, desired, longed for, and prayed for. I would like to meet the Catholic that follows 100 percent of the Church's teachings."
My friend Sarah, ever the journalist, said, "I think it's awesome, but I would like to retire the term 'test-tube babies.' It's a petri dish, people!" and noted that AP Stylebook aside, the children resulting from IVF are just called ... children.
Julie of A Little Pregnant, who was one of the first infertility bloggers and continues to bring the snark and the funny after completing her family, had lots to say ... just go read it, it's too hilarious and I can't repeat the whole thing word for word here.
It's easy to say "all those people should have adopted," but it's not remotely that easy; there are, at minimum, three families waiting for every infant available for adoption and foster adoption is not like finding a puppy at the pound (and I find it telling that virtually no one who says that has themselves decided to adopt out of the foster care system).
More than four million babies have been born via IVF, and 3,999,986 of them were not born to Octomom, but to parents who wanted and loved them so much they were willing to spend thousands of dollars and subject themselves to harsh medical treatment to even have a chance at bringing them into the world. Millions of loved, wanted children were born who would never have otherwise been here, and for that, Dr. Edwards, I say thank you.
Do you think Dr. Edwards deserved the Nobel?