Human Life International’s country director in Ukraine, Genia Samborska, visited HLI world headquarters in the U.S. this week and talked to staff about her recent pro-life initiatives, including a new nation-wide training program.
The program, called “Preparation for Married Life,” gives instruction on all issues near and dear to the pro-life and pro-family movement to introduce people to, and support them in understanding, how to build a culture of life.
An important development for instituting the program occurred just last month when it was approved by the Ukrainian Parliament for instruction in State facilities. This means Genia and her team will be able to teach the course in State-run schools, health offices, etc.
In addition to the comprehensive training program, Genia said she focuses many of her pro-life efforts on the issue of in vitro fertilization (IVF).
As HLI’s Arland K. Nichols wrote in Crisis Magazine:
It is commonly estimated that only one in six embryos created following IVF will make it to birth. However, the numbers published by Britain’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority may be more accurate. In July of 2011 Britain announced that for every child born by IVF thirty embryos were created.
This means that for a typical couple seeking IVF, somewhere between five and thirty of their children died so they could give birth to one. On a world-wide scale, this means that 30-150 million children have died because of IVF.
Article 27 of the Ukrainian Constitution states, “Every person shall have the inalienable right to life. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of life. Protection of human life shall be the duty of the State.” But this language has not stopped IVF clinics from operating in Ukraine despite the fact that human lives are lost during the IVF process.
Genia is working with parliamentarians to amend the Constitution and add stronger wording protecting life from conception.
She also works hard to promote Natural Family Planning (NFP) in Ukraine, both as a way to strengthen marriages, and to help couples with fertility issues. A recent NFP seminar she helped organize in Ukraine featured speakers from European Institute for Family Life Education, which “promote(s) the values of family life and family life education including in particular the study of fertility and its regulation by natural means.” Genia also tries to train as many gynecologists as possible on understanding NFP, the problems with IVF and on understanding pro-life issues.
While ending abortion is the primary focus of the pro-life movement, stopping the practice of IVF – though not often discussed publicly – is a major hurdle for pro-lifers. HLI’s new pro-life documentary “Central America and Mexico: Fighting for Life, Faith and Family,” which premiered on EWTN last week, discusses the battle against IVF in Costa Rica. Last year, the Inter American Court of Human Rights went after the Costa Rican government for its life-protecting laws banning IVF. HLI’s new film goes into some of the details of that fight, and also how HLI Costa Rica Director Dr. Alejandro Leal is using NaPro Technology to treat infertility problems naturally, and without the loss of embryonic life.