BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, June 18, 2013–Responding to a new law on assisted fertilization, the bishops of Argentina stressed that “not everything that is technically possible is ethically and legally acceptable.”

Argentine lawmakers recently voted overwhelmingly to approve legislation requiring all health care plans to offer a range of artificial fertility treatments to anyone at least 18 years of age.

In their statement, made public on June 15, the executive committee of the Argentine Bishops’ Conference recalled that every human being, including those conceived outside the body, has the same dignity and rights.

“The transmission of human life enjoys such dignity that it cannot be submitted to technical parameters,” the bishops explained. “Among the goods that are affected is the right of conceived children to an identity.”

“Moreover, the recently approved law on ‘comprehensive access to medically assisted reproduction’ raises concerns because of the legalization of new forms of manipulating human lives at the embryonic level,” they added.

Given the new law, they continued, it is necessary to implement an “express prohibition of any form of destruction of human embryos, or of their utilization for commercial, industrial or experimental purposes.”

The Argentine bishops observed that the country has long protected human life from conception, a policy that they called “wise.”

“This protection, far from being the expression of a religious viewpoint, is a manifestation of the respect that each human life deserves and that is at the foundation of the functioning of our system of human rights,” they said.

They also praised the European initiative “One of Us,” which seeks to defend human embryos from manipulation and destruction, and they recalled the words of Pope Francis, who said on May 12, “I invite you to keep everyone focused on the very important issue of respect for human life from the moment of conception.” (CNA)