Among Women 191: Jenny’s IVF Story

June 14, 2015

Among Women guest: Jenny Vaughn

This is a very important show for the Among Women audience since it is first time we’ve discussed in-vitro fertilization, both in relation to Catholic teaching, and within the life story of a guest. For many years I have searched for a guest who would dare to talk about this subject in a reasonable and faith-filled way. In this special expanded edition of Among Women, I am suspending our normal format in order that I can bring you this important conversation in its entirety. Our focus today is on one woman’s story, Jenny Vaughn, and her personal journey through IVF, in vitro fertilization, and her conversion to a deeper relationship with Jesus and the Catholic Church.

Parental Programming Note: This program is rated PG-13. It contains mature subject matter, not suitable for children.

There is no quibbling about Catholic teaching on the part of this show, but as we will hear, our guest took a while, for a variety of reasons, to come around to the truth of this teaching.  I understand that this is hard subject for many to discuss. We have friends and relatives, who may be Catholic, who have built their families using IVF. There are some people we may love who have left the Church over the Church’s teaching that prohibits the use of IVF.  There may be others who have never heard that IVF is prohibited. No matter where we may be on this subject, I humbly offer this testimony of teaching and sharing for your prayerful consideration.

This podcast is also a story of growth in understanding in the life of Jenny. For when we come to know Christ deeper, and ultimately encountering the truth of the Father’s love and forgiveness for us, we can own the truth of knowing our sins and repenting of then. So, dear listener, pay attention to the progressive faith journey that Jenny and her husband undertake, as she talks ever so candidly about the healing she has received in the face of the traumas she and her family sustained as she underwent IVF.

The Catholic perspective is that the use of IVF ignores the dignity of human persons and the dignity of marriage. IVF replaces the marital embrace with invasive third parties, and removes the unitive and procreative means of the conjugal act from the married couple. Plus, the process reduces the dignity of the human person who is created in the petri dish to a commodity, a product of reproduction, rather than being begotten or generated procreativity.

This program also mentions resources to help you learn more about this subject and the teaching of the Catholic Faith with regards to it. See that list below.

Listen to the whole program. Then share it with others.

Links for this episode:

Donum Vitae

Jenny Vaughn’s article about IVF, “My Journey through In Vitro Fertilization” on Catholic Sistas

The Lamb’s Supper by Scott Hahn

Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats

NaPro Technology

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Catechism on the dignity of marriage and the prohibition against artificial reproductive technologies can be found in paragraphs 2373-2379. Pay close attention to 2376, 2377. Many of these quotes are taken from Donum Vitae listed above.

Catechism on the dignity of the human person is found in paragraphs 1700-1715.

Article from a longtime practitioner of IVF repudiating the practice.

Other shows of related interest:

AW 75: Healing from the Hurt of Abortion with Dr Theresa Burke

AW 79: Overcoming Trauma of Sexual Abuse with Dr Theresa Burke


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2 comments on “Among Women 191: Jenny’s IVF Story

  1. Chris Carroll says:

    You should also mention about one of your earlier podcasts (either #3or 4) which talks about being a physical mother but more importantly being a spiritual mother. It may not take all the pain away of not being a physical mom, but that mothering instinct can still bless others.

    1. Pat says:

      Thanks for your input! Yes, we’re discussed spiritual motherhood at length on Among Women. Interested listeners can look up episodes 30 & 31 with Dr Maura Hearden, as well as more recent episodes such as AW 170 and 188. In my book, Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious,() I discuss this subject in depths in chapter 9 and 10.

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