A conference in Seoul on infertility and NaPro (natural procreative) Technology, recently discussed in the pages of the Peace Weekly, reviewed the present state of assisted reproductive technology in Korea. The archbishop said in his introductory talk at the conference "We are not only called to love the child who is born but the process of conception and pregnancy is also important. The husband should be present at the birthing process, and respect should be shown for the dignity of the child throughout the birthing process." He added that he hopes they will be able to make the act of marital love the foundation from which to develop any natural procedures.
to current standards, if during a year of marital relations there is no
pregnancy, the couple is considered infertile. 10 to 15 percent of
couples of child-bearing age are infertile; 30 to 40 percent of the time
the man is responsible for the infertility, 45 to 50 percent of the
time the woman. For the man, the problem resides in the formation of
sperm, and for the woman ovulation, tubal or uterine problems.
is described as "a health science that not
only helps facilitate or avoid birth but to care for the woman's
health and to promote the marital relations of the couple." It
provides medical and surgical treatments that cooperate completely
with the reproductive system. It is a natural way of respecting
the body and maintaining the marital act in the birthing process. Korea
is one of the countries that have recently begun working with the new
Sister Arlene Te of the Sisters of the Sacred
Heart, a family doctor, at the Cardinal Tien Hospital in Taipei,
Taiwan, spoke at the conference on her successful use of NaPro Technology in providing infertility
treatments at the Taiwan hospital. The fertility methods used there are in accord with the teachings of the
Catholic Church. Dr. Thomas Hilgers, developer of the method in 1976, said, "Approaches
that do not separate love from life are the methods that are in accord
with the teachings of the Catholic Church." They do not include
artificial means, he added.
Arlene reports that NaPro Technology was introduced to Taiwan in
2005. At the Cardinal Tien Hospital 120 previously infertile couples
have given birth by natural means. The program is used in the
United States, Poland, Australia, Malaysia, and other countries. In
the success of the NaPro Technology method, says the sister, has a
better success rate
than in vitro fertilization methods.
Arlene laments that in Taiwan the Catholics only number 2 percent of
the population which makes it difficult to spread natural procreative
technology. Those without religious beliefs will try any method to have a
child; natural methods hold no attraction. She is hopeful, nonetheless, that NaPro Technology will ultimately be so successful that its method simply cannot be ignored by anyone, regardless of religious beliefs.