Policies

Conception outside the womb

  • Date / 1978
  • Location Ratified / London, United Kingdom
  • Ratifying Body / World Humanist Congress
  • Status / Pending-review

The IHEU welcomes the scientific breakthrough that now makes it possible for conception outside the womb (with implantation) thus permitting some infertile couples to have children.

Where a couple had been unable to conceive by normal means, this scientific discovery – like artificial insemination – can be of great value. Technology based on science thus can contribute to human happiness. This procedure, therefore, is justifiable on ethical grounds.

We deplore objections that have been raised against this by Roman Catholic and other authoritarian religions. We regret that some theologians who have argued in favour of family life would now seek to prevent some couple from consummation of this goal.

We realise that there are possible dangers inherent in this method and that additional research is still necessary, but overall we believe that couples should have the facilities and assistance in order to avail themselves of this new technique and give informed consent if they so wish.

We affirm the principle of freedom of choice and the right of individuals to determine responsibly matters concerning their private lives.

IHEU congress 1978

Suggested academic reference

'Conception outside the womb', Humanists International, World Humanist Congress, London, United Kingdom, 1978

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