World's Oldest IVF Mother is Dying

This is heartbreaking in just about every way possible.

Rajo Devi Lohan of India and her husband wanted children for years but were unable to conceive. But so intense was their desire for children that they procured loans to afford IVF treatments while in their 60’s. The couple celebrated the birth of their child last year while Lohan was 70 years old. Now, due to complications stemming from the pregnancy, Lohan is reportedly dying and currently too weak to care for her baby, saying her body never recovered from bearing the child.

This is awful and my prayers go out to the entire family but especially the child. But is it surprising? I don’t think we can call it that.

According to the Daily Mail, “she has no regrets, saying: ‘I dreamed about having a child all my life. It does not matter to me that I am ill, because at least I lived long enough to become a mother.’”

While I’m sure she loves her child, isn’t there something wrong with that quote? Isn’t the focus a bit off center to you?

I’ve heard some calls for limiting the age of IVF mothers but its hardly an outcry. In fact, if an age limit were challenged in court due as age discrimination you’d have to predict the courts would likely eventually side with the wanna-be mothers saying that it’s their body, their choice or something like it. Heck, the courts might even invent a new right if they had to. They’ve done it before.

Legal restrictions for IVF would likely be fought against by both the left and the libertarian right on the grounds that you don’t want the government deciding who can and cannot be a parent. A woman in today’s legal setting may have a right to a pregnancy and a right to terminate - and nobody can tell her different. Any attempt to stage a moral argument against IVF will likely end in talk of separation of church and state and the old canard about how the Church is against science but I still believe it’s a conversation worth having.

But most people (I think) still know there’s something wrong with all this. They may not even be able to say why but they’re worried about Octomon having eight children through IVF. And they know that 70 year old women shouldn’t be pregnant. They are concerned with all the celebrity surrogacies they see in the news but so many people don’t understand that the only argument that stands up against the legal advancement of libertinism is the constant and beautiful message of the Catholic Church.

But IVF pregnancies are happening everywhere including among Catholics. I spoke to a man I knew from church who recently had twins through IVF and he said that he was surprised to learn that the Church was against the procedure. Many people are wholly uneducated as to the moral questions concerning IVF.

When I was younger and deciding whether or not I wanted to be Catholic it was precisely the Church’s teachings on sexuality and reproduction that I responded to. I was bowled over by the beauty of the Church’s teaching and philosophical thoroughness.  We should all do our best to explain it as bloggers, as friends, and as fellow parishioners. We should do it non-judgementally while reminding people that all babies are loved by God.

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.