May 31, 2005

Well that was quick

On Friday I suggested that the logical outcome of conservative opposition to stem cell research would be a ban on in vitro fertilization. But when I said the country was leading up to this, I thought it would be several years down the road, not today.

A prominent conservative US senator called for restrictions on the number of embryos that could be created during fertility treatments, hoping to lessen the number of unwanted embryos left over when the procedures end.

"In a number of countries, they limit the number of these in vitro fertilizations from outside the womb," US Senator Sam Brownback told ABC television's "This Week" program.

"They say you can do this, but you have to do these one or two at a time, so that they're implanted in that basis. And that might be the better way to look at this."

During infertility treatments in the United States it is not unusual for a dozen or more embryos to be created, but many fewer are implanted in the mother's womb, creating a dilemma about what to do with the leftover embryos.

"This isn't medical waste or something that you discard. This is human life, and it's sacred per se," Brownback said.

Obviously if embryos are "human life" and "sacred per se," the proposal to limit the number created is merely a way to ease up to a total ban. After all, no one says they oppose killing six people, but that someone should be free to kill "one or two at a time."

Brownback's position puts him in line with the Catholic Church, which is fighting to preserve sections of an Italian law that "define life as beginning at conception, ban donated sperm and eggs and surrogate parenthood, prohibit all research involving human embryos, and require for couples seeking in vitro fertilization that no more than three eggs may be fertilized at a time and that they must be implanted in the uterus together."

And remember, if the Church can take a political stand in Italy, it will very soon do so here.

To understand how intrusive this is, it helps to know a little bit about the countless tiny-yet-momentous decisions that go into having IVF. Creating viable embryos is not easy. Do you choose to have the doctor create a dozen -- knowing you may eventually need to discard some -- or do you choose to create only three, knowing there's a good chance that won't be enough to get you a baby? If you get four viable embryos, do you choose to implant all of them, giving you better odds that one will take? Or do you choose to only implant one, eliminating the risk of either giving birth to multiples or having to selectively reduce, while greatly raising your chances of not giving birth at all? If it doesn't take the first round, do you want to have extra embryos frozen to implant for a second (or third or fourth) round? They're less likely to work than fresh ones, but it does save the not-minimal physical and psychological stress of starting the process from scratch. Keep in mind, every choice you make will cost or save you money too.

All of this leads to the most pressing question: do you want Sen. Sam Brownback making any of these decisions for you? Seriously, how fucking dare he? Suppose a doctor tells you neither of the two government-approved embryos he created are high quality. Will Sam Brownback insist that you implant them anyway, forcing you to go through a pregnancy likely to end in a miscarriage? Will Sam Brownback pay the 10 grand for a second round of IVF if the first one didn't take because of his limits on how many embryos the doctor could create? If you need any more proof that "pro-choice" isn't just a euphemysm for pro-abortion, this is it.

The only way to eliminate all of these messy questions is to ban IVF outright -- and, as the Church would like -- sperm and egg donation too. I give it a year before the first full-scale ban comes to the Senate floor and three months before Bush is distancing himself from those embryo adoption agencies he just embraced -- which in Brownback's book are obviously immoral.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Obviously, this is a man trying to make a decision about something he knows nothing about. Well yes, maybe it would be prudent to only take as many eggs as you plan to produce children from but not all the eggs get fertilized and become embryos. If it were a simple process to obtain the eggs this might be acceptable to get eggs for fertilization every month, but he knows nothing of what the woman must put herself and her husband through in order to do this.

What says that the remaining embryo will be trashed? People do want more than one child at times and those that are set aside will be there to achieve that goal.

What in HELL has happened to the separation of church and state? I feel that these people and the person we laughingly call 'Our Leader' are trying to force their views, based on their RELIGION, down the throats of the world. They have the new Pope behind them (I don't think that I'd want to be backed by someone who was in Hitler's Army)so don't they think they are right!!!!!

As the granny of TTB's They are wonderful, their mommy and daddy went through a lot to get them here and they have a brother or sister waiting in the wings to either join us all or maybe help someone to not leave us. I don't know and the reason I don't know is the same reason that the government should keep it's nose out of it. That reason is IT'S NON OF MY BUSINESS!!!!!

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