Marking a new low, revised Swiss in vitro fertilization (IVF) legislation takes effect today. Passed by public referendum in 2016, Switzerland is alleged to be the last country in Europe to allow so-called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) of fertilized embryos prior to IVF implantation. Ironically, this was strictly forbidden by Article 2, Paragraph 2 of the Swiss Constitution, but the Swiss voted to revise the Constitution in 2015. IVF laws are also being relaxed, allowing couples to fertilize twelve embryos, instead of the former limitation of three.
According to HLI Representative for Switzerland, Christoph Keel-Altenhofer, “Inhuman reproductive medicine is a slippery slope. In the United States, embryos are fertilized and purposely genetically altered. There are those in Switzerland that have jumped on that precedent to try and increase embryonic research here, and even to plead for fertilization of embryos for purely research purposes. Pre-implantation diagnostic testing is threatening to degrade the status of embryos to nothing, less than a step away from lab rabbits.”
The Catholic Church teaches that in vitro fertilization is an immoral act for multiple reasons (CCC 2377-2379). Life is created in a petri dish, sometimes with a donor egg and sperm, instead of as a natural result of an act of love between a married husband and wife, open to procreation. Each human life is made in the image of God and endowed with a right to life from conception, yet many of these fertilized embryos, human lives, are created and destroyed. According to HLI, Swiss reproductive statistics are unreliable but one single IVF center between 2013-2015 allegedly destroyed 450 fertilized embryos – human lives – alone.