Experts and Former Abortionist Warn About ‘Eugenic’ IVF Industry

According to Bruchalski, the IVF industry operates like the “Wild West,” with little to no oversight.

IVF laboratory.
IVF laboratory. (photo: Medical Works / Shutterstock)

A former abortionist and several pro-life ethicists are urging lawmakers to protect children and parents from the in vitro fertilization (IVF) industry, which they say operates on “eugenic” principles.  

IVF is a fertility treatment that works by inducing hyper-ovulation during a woman’s cycle to harvest her eggs and then fuse them with sperm to conceive a child outside the womb. The Catholic Church is opposed to IVF because it separates the marriage act from procreation and destroys embryonic human life. 

Speaking at a panel discussion on IVF last week at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Dr. John Bruchalski, a former abortionist and IVF provider, said that “IVF is embedded with eugenics” and that anything “not perfect” is either eliminated or used for scientific research.

According to Bruchalski, the IVF industry operates like the “Wild West,” with little to no oversight. The result is not only the destruction and abuse of millions of frozen human embryos but also risks to the children born of IVF as well as to the women involved in the process.

“Ultimately, the way we do this is we actually experiment on our patients,” Bruchalski said. “So, even without the embryos being created, I would say that it is something that still needs to be very cautioned over.”

This comes as IVF has returned to the forefront of American politics in the wake of a controversial Alabama Supreme Court decision that ruled children conceived through IVF should be protected under the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act.

IVF Takes Center Stage

Since the ruling, many politicians from both parties have rushed to defend IVF. Both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump voiced their support for the IVF industry.

During the 2024 State of the Union, Biden called the Alabama ruling an “assault on freedom” made possible by the overturn of Roe v. Wade in 2022. He urged Congress to pass a national “guarantee” of the right to IVF.

Trump, meanwhile, praised the Alabama Legislature for quickly passing a law in response to the ruling that gave the IVF industry in the state blanket immunity from certain negligence and malpractice lawsuits.

“The Republican Party should always be on the side of the miracle of life,” Trump said, adding that “IVF is an important part of that.”

IVF is Not Pro-Life, Ethicists Say

IVF researchers and experts at the Georgetown panel, however, contested the idea that IVF is pro-life.

Andrew Kubick, a bioethicist with the National Catholic Bioethics Center and the Religious Freedom Institute, said that IVF operates on a “very dangerous eugenic note” in which “only the ‘best’ survive.”

“What are some of the aspects of IVF? Well, after sperm-egg fusion, we have pre-implantation genetic testing. We’re literally using arbitrary guidelines to select who is worthy of life,” he said. “From a country that has fallen into the sin of placing one group over another several times throughout history, we cannot fall into the trap of saying: ‘Well, because of this disability, this individual is not worthy.’”

“When we view the child as a product or commodity rather than a gift, when we put the domination of life and death in the hands of a technician,” he continued, “I don’t think that’s pro-life.”

Despite the current push to expand IVF, Kubick told CNA that he believes the pro-life movement can use this as an educating moment. 

“The different types of procedures they do to bring about the life of the child can have devastating effects,” he said. “Alabama has given us the opportunity to dig deep, to educate, to pray, and to hopefully change hearts and minds.” 

What are Realistic Pro-Life Goals?

Emma Waters, another panelist and a senior research associate with the Heritage Foundation, told CNA that her advice to lawmakers is to “take a deep breath” and “not let temporary political pressure result in a rash decision that will have long-term negative consequences.”

Though she believes that Democrats will ultimately continue supporting the anti-life position, she said that several pro-life groups are currently strategizing on how to educate Republicans on the dangers of IVF. Right now, their goals are very limited.

“I think if we can keep Republicans from rashly putting forward legislation on this topic that’s a win in and of itself,” she said.

Going forward, however, she said she thinks it is a realistic goal to get lawmakers to address the “bloat” in the IVF industry by limiting the number of embryos being created through IVF.

“Oftentimes anywhere from 15 to 20 embryos are created in one cycle and yet only a couple, at most, actually result in the birth of a child and then parents are left with a really difficult decision where they have to decide what to do with the leftovers,” she said. “So how can we practice IVF in a way that empowers parents so that they’re not put in that position?”

Another realistic policy to pursue, Waters said, is to regulate the IVF industry by providing parents with legal recourse to sue fertility clinics for negligent or wrongful deaths of their children.

“At least half of the states already have a wrongful death law for children in the womb. So, we just need to extend that to children of in vitro fertilization,” she said. “That’s actually a very reasonable step, it doesn’t penalize IVF, but it does ensure that fertility clinics provide the highest standard of medical care.”