Over at Jill Stanek’s blog there is an interesting debate going on over IVF and pregnancy reduction. Catch it here.
A woman named Maria who has had three IVF babies, has been arguing in favor of the procedure, using all of the proabort definitions of when life begins, etc., and took strong exception to my statements from the post linked here. What follows is Maria’s response, and my rejoinder:
Excuse me for my bluntness but I think you are crazy. I am completely aware of what happens during an IVF cycle because I did it TWICE. The fact that you keep calling embryos in its earliest form, before they even get transferred into a human body CHILDREN is ridiculous. Given shots to produce more eggs in my body is not SELFISH on my husbands part. In fact I am grateful for that since I was hardly able to produce any on my own.
And yes I am comparing what happens in a petri-dish to what happens naturally after intercourse because its the same damn thing, except sane people don’t call all these initial embryos that dont result in squat CHILDREN, either inside the womb or out!
Those who have engaged in this need to repent of the evil they have done, to themselves, their marriages, and most of all their children. There’s no sugar-coating this issue. It’s abortion on steroids, practiced by desperate couples who have entirely lost their perspective.
Dr Nadal, I have no need to repent for my 3 living children for having them via IVF. Having IVF to conceive them was the best decision I have ever made in my entire life! How you can refer to anything that happens outside of the female body as “abortion on steroids” is insane.
I originally found Jill Stanek’s website because I admired the courage she had to uncover the horrible live birth abortions that were taking place in the same hospital where I gave birth to my babies. However, seeing as there are a bunch of freaks on this site, I will probably take a peek at her posts now and then, but I will never associate with the weirdo’s on this site who make insane comments such as yours by commenting along with them.
And with that, I am out!
It is interesting to note that nobody ever told Maria to repent for her three children born of IVF.
LOL!! You aren’t the first person here to call me crazy, and you won’t be the last. That’s the sort of thing that happens when ideological worlds collide. The fireworks can be spectacular!!
Now, on to the reasons why I am crazy.
Calling embryos children. You’ll forgive my colloquial use of children to refer to your embryonic offspring. The colloquial usage is not sloppiness, or insanity on my part, but actually exactly how people use the language. When asked how many children a pregnant mother of four has, she does not respond with,
“Two actual children, one toddler, one infant and one embryo.”
Get real, Maria. A normal woman says,
“Four, and one on the way.”
She may then go on to break down the clan by sex and age. In truth, it is your response that sounds insane. Now, for the next issue regarding sanity.
I’m a scientist, specifically, a biologist. We are the ones who tell you what a living thing is, or is not. The field of embryology clearly teaches that a new human organism, a new human animal with its own genetic identity, its own body, set on its own dynamic developmental trajectory comes into being at the moment the egg is fertilized by the sperm. There is no such thing as potential or partial life in biology.
Either a thing is its own organism, or it is not. Either it is alive, or it is not. Your embryonic offspring are each a separate and distinct human being. You actually have even less place to hide than the post-abortive trolls here, because you can’t claim bodily autonomy and Roe v Wade’s protections in the killing of your offspring. They weren’t attached to you in the first place.
The fact is, that IVF IS abortion on steroids. You are people’s exhibit A of its callousness and cruelty:
Your offspring are only human beings when YOU say they are, not when science says they are.
Your offspring are merely property to be disposed of as you see fit.
Your offspring are only humans entitled to rights if YOU say they are.
Your body is yours to do with as you please, and not subject to any restrictions imposed by either morality or a well-informed bioethic.
Gee, where have we heard all of that before?
Yes, I do think your husband either terribly naive, or terribly selfish. In our desperation for a child of our own, I was not prepared to go to a fertility clinic and see my wife juiced up with frightening levels of hormones that would have increased her odds of developing cancer down the road. Even if she wanted to, I would not have consented.
There is such a thing as moral and ethical limits, Maria. There is also such a thing as human greed, and no shortage of scientists and physicians who are perfectly willing to cast morality and ethics to the wind as they prey on the desperation of childless (or, in keeping with your nomenclature, shall we say embryoless) couples.
Finally, you say:
“Dr Nadal, I have no need to repent for my 3 living children for having them via IVF.”
You will one day realize that those three children have quite a few dead siblings who never made it out of the lab, and that’s where our paths diverge.
I’m with science, you are not (though you are with technology). From the moment of fertilization a new human being comes into existence. You were evidently okay with killing as many as it took to get to where you are now. I’m not.
This process has less to do with marriage and family, and more to do with hi-tech animal husbandry in marriage (if you’ll excuse the pun).
Does that make me crazy? Perhaps from where you sit it does, but then, deviance distorts the lens of perspective.
It is becoming increasingly clear to me that parents resorting to IVF require the same preconditioning (desensitization) as do parents resorting to abortion. Once we do not allow ourselves to be hindered by embarrassed “manners over morals” from enjoining these folks, we see this preconditioning rage to the surface almost instantly.
More to come.
Photo via N.Y. Times