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The Back-Up Plan: People in 2010 Have Control Issues

Guest commentary by Kortney Blythe

A romantic comedy, The Back-Up Plan, starring Jennifer Lopez, came out this past weekend. The story centers on the main character, Zoe, who gets fed up with her nonexistent love life and lack of children. As a result, she uses artificial insemination and conceives twins. On the same day she undergoes the procedure, she meets a man and they proceed to “fall in love.”

The movie poster subtitle reads, “Fall in love.* Get married. Have a baby. *Not necessarily in that order.”

Well, at least they recognize the proper order. Unfortunately, the film depicts an all-too-familiar reality: Because of impatience, selfishness, loneliness and the prevailing on-demand attitude of our culture, more women are opting for the immoral act of using assisted reproductive technology (which includes artificial insemination and in-vitro fertilization) because, after years of “controlling” their fertility and “planning” their family, they realize it may be too late to have a child through natural, ethical means. 

People in 2010 have control issues.

Interestingly, in her life off-screen, Lopez told Elle magazine that she wouldn’t use IVF. “I … believe in God and I have a lot of faith in that, so I just felt like you don’t mess with things like that. And I guess deep down I really felt like either this is not going to happen for me or it is. You know what I mean? And if it is, it will. And if it’s not, it’s not going to.”

Despite being 40 years old, when it is significantly more difficult to become pregnant, Lopez ended up naturally having fraternal twins.

While her statement is not well articulated, she has a good point. We shouldn’t “mess with” IVF.  This so-called reproductive technology creates little people in test tubes. Then it determines which ones are suitable for survival. Those who don’t “make the cut” are destroyed.  Of those who are deemed fit, some are frozen; others don’t survive the procedure.

One woman who underwent IVF took offense to Lopez’s statement: 

She’s saying that if you deal with fertility issues then it’s because God doesn’t want you to have children and that’s offensive. In reality, if God didn’t want you to have kids, then he wouldn’t have these opportunities available.  It’s not “messing” or intruding in God’s plan; you go after things in life that you want and don’t sit back and wait for things to happen. God helps those who help themselves.

What a telling statement! First, her final sentence is not at all biblical. Second, she put words in Lopez’s mouth. She never said it’s because God doesn’t want you to have kids. What about adoption and foster care? Third, note the self-absorbed nature of her response. “Go after things in life that you want.” Really? Despite the ethical ramifications? It sounds a lot like the justification used by those who research on little human embryos or any criminal who saw an opportunity to get what he wanted and took it.

Using her moral compass, there should be no ethical boundaries, no standards of right and wrong. As long as an opportunity is available to “go after” what you want, you should seize it. 

One might expect this dog-eat-dog sort of worldview from a nonreligious person. However, another IVF-using couple made the preposterous claim that it strengthened their Catholic faith. “I am Catholic, but I believe in life; if you want something, you have to make it happen yourself, regardless of whether you believe in God. We had faith in what we were doing, and IVF was there to help us.”

IVF was there to help you? You had faith in what you were doing? Idolatry, anyone? Shouldn’t you be saying that God was there to help you through the sorrow of infertility? And you had faith in Christ?

People in 2010 have control issues.

I want this. There exists a way for me to have it. The way may be immoral and lead to death. But I want it.

Infertility is heartbreaking. But God is just and faithful. There are many things in life that may cause us pain, but we cannot sacrifice righteousness in order to do as we wish.

The same can be said about the use of hormonal birth control.

Yesterday, while doing a radio interview about National Pro-life T-Shirt Week, a man called in and asked about our position on the birth control pill. After explaining that we have a project called The Pill Kills, which highlights its effect on women, preborn persons and the environment, he berated me. He accused me of being a radical extremist for having the gall to oppose hormonal birth control and compare it to abortion.

I calmly told him to read the insert included with birth control pills in order to see the side effects. The radio host then moved on to another caller.

Despite the overwhelming evidence for the abortifacient nature of hormonal birth control, as well as its harmful and sometimes fatal effects on women, Christians continue to imbibe it at the same rate as the world. They cannot fathom letting God be in control.

People in 2010 have control issues.

The new movie, along with the article responding to Lopez’s IVF comments, demonstrate our culture’s lack of trust in God and the natural order He created. Instead of trusting in Him, we insist on planning everything out ourselves.

Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. No amount of fiddling with hormones, trying to thwart God or play God will ever create a world in which all goes as we plan.

Kortney Blythe is the chapter and street team coordinator for American Life League’s Rock for Life project, which brings the human personhood message to youth through music, education and human rights activism.