After reading the executive summary the Center for Arizona Policy issued regarding the concerns about the “many serious ethical issues that surround the practice and the significant public policy issues that need to be addressed”, leading them to help craft SB 1376, I feel the need to address their concern #1:
Sanctity of Human Life – In the name of “creating life,” infertility clinics are responsible for the destruction of countless unused, unwanted, or “unfit” embryos. Infertility doctors readily admit that they perform experiments and training on embryos that they have deemed unlikely to survive.
Like any issue, there are always two sides.
Just a few weeks ago, I came across this milestone regarding IVF births on the Huffington Post:
Five Million IVF Babies Born Since 1978
Since the first test tube baby in the late 1970s, it is estimated that 5 million babies have been born as a direct result of IVF.
How many lives have been touched as a result of those five million babies over the last forty or so years?
Let’s do the math:
5 million babies born to IVF since 1978
X a mom and dad of each of these kids =
10 million ecstatic parents
X a grandma and grandpa per mom and dad =
40 million ecstatic grandparents (including 2012 Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney!!)
X uncles/aunts/God parents/friends
= 100 million ecstatic family and friends
ALL BECAUSE OF IVF.
The CAP’s focus on what happens with the free floating (not implanted mind you) embryos that a medical professional with years of training deems not to be likely to survive neglects to acknowledge the amount of life THAT IS CREATED.
I am sick and tired of the negative language groups like the CAP use when referring to a process that is designed to create life. Why do they choose to cast a sinister shadow over clinics as if they are “playing God” by choosing which fertilized eggs are likely to survive?
Perhaps the problem lies in the misuse of the term embryo.
Let’s look it up in Merriam’s Webster Dictionary:
an animal in the early stages of growth and differentiation that are characterized by cleavage, the laying down of fundamental tissues, and the formation of primitive organs and organ systems; especially : the developing human individual from the time of implantation to the end of the eighth week after conception.
Notice, the definition requires the qualifying timeline of AFTER IMPLANTATION.
I read articles and news reports that constantly misuse the term “implanted”.
EMBRYOS ARE NOT IMPLANTED. THEY ARE TRANSFERRED.
So that really means, that there is NO EMBRYO unless there is implantation.
There is a great deal of potential. But until that fertilized egg is transferred into a woman’s uterus, and God willing latches on to a good spot, takes root, and implants, there is no embryo.
As infertility patients, we know that even that positive pregnancy test doesn’t mean you are out of the woods.
There is the ultrasound to see the sac.
The ultrasound to hear the heartbeat.
The ultrasound to see the two chamber heartbeat.
The ultrasound to see the 4 chamber heart.
The ultrasound to see the gummy bear formation.
We value every single step of the formation of that baby as infertility patients.
How many natural conception parents have a photo album filled will all those stages of development?
So I’d like to modify the “concerns” sentence up above and reframe it to reflect the value of IVF based on the 5 million babies born as a result of the last forty years of ART:
Sanctity of Human Life – In the name of “creating life,” infertility clinics are responsible for providing parents with a view of their babies at the earliest stages of life, a God given bonus for their persistence. Infertility doctors in most cases are too modest to readily admit that they have been responsible for healing the infertile souls of over 5 million couples since IVF began by helping them make their dream of a biological child come true.
I wonder how much life will be created by SB 1376.
I’ll let the folks at the CAP answer that one.