The creation of "monsters": The discourse of opposition to in vitro fertilization in Poland

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In Poland, there is a campaign to criminalise in vitro fertilization, led by the Catholic church. This article explores how this campaign makes "monsters" of IVF children in its discourse, that is, embodiments of "the other" in the sense of Frankenstein's monster. Basing the analysis primarily on Catholic mass media publications, the article investigates the discursive strategies employed to oppose IVF, most notably by the Catholic clergy and activists and journalists associated with the Church. They attribute "monstrosity" to the children in the following ways: physical (possible bodily deformity), psychological (survivor syndrome, identity crisis), social (loneliness, uncertain place in family relations), and ethical (a life burdened with the deaths of many embryos). Although the world of families with IVF does not provide examples of children who could be considered monsters in any of these terms, these arguments have become the primary reasons given for banning. © 2012 Reproductive Health Matters.




Radkowska-Walkowicz, M. (2012). The creation of “monsters”: The discourse of opposition to in vitro fertilization in Poland. Reproductive Health Matters, 20(40), 30–37.

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